XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT
Sunday Night Football brings us one of the least anticipated matchups of the year as the Jets travel to take on the Raiders. We’ve got a whopping 36.5 point total with New York favored by 1, so hurray, each team is projected to score roughly 18 points. Nice.
We’ll start with the Jets, where Breece Hall has reached a point in his injury recovery where he’s taken over the backfield, playing at least 60% of the snaps in three straight games and seeing 17, 21, and 20 running back opportunities in that time, with 18 of those being targets. Very nice workload for Breece, we know his upside is explosive, and the Raiders defense is not one to fear – they’re 29th in run defense DVOA. Breece is in an absolutely smash spot here. On a main slate, you could argue, “he’s still on the Jets and they’re only projected for 18 points,” but within the confines of a single-game Showdown, his median projection, floor, and ceiling are the highest on the slate. He’s an awesome play. Behind him are Michael Carter and Dalvin Cook, with Carter out-snapping Dalvin for five straight weeks. That said, in those five weeks, Carter has just five carries to go along with 14 targets so his workload is pretty darn modest. At $1,800, he’s at least viable but would need either some late-game garbage time shenanigans like he got last week or a fluky touchdown in order to really pay off. Dalvin’s path to relevance is even narrower as he’s the primary rushing backup. He’s also $4,000, which means just a fluky short touchdown isn’t likely to do it – he almost certainly needs an injury to Hall in order to get enough field time to have a chance of hitting.
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In the passing game, Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard will lead the way at wide receiver, playing almost all of the snaps. While Zach Wilson is not a good quarterback, he has still bombarded Garrett Wilson with targets, averaging almost exactly 10 per game. On volume alone, it’s hard to argue with the consistency that Garrett brings to the table with 14+ DK points in 6/8 games. On what is likely to be a low-scoring game, there’s a good chance that even 14 DK points would be relevant. Lazard, on the other hand, looks a lot shakier: he’s only averaging about 4.5 targets per game, which coupled with his quarterback’s challenges delivering the ball accurately, has resulted in just about 2.5 catches per game. At $6,600, that isn’t going to cut it. Lazard would either need a spike in volume or efficiency – unlikely given how bad Zach Wilson is and how he is so laser-focused on Garrett – or he needs a touchdown (also unlikely because the Jets probably aren’t going to score many of them). He’s on the field a ton so he’s viable in Showdown but there’s nothing that really points to him beyond “I hope he’s low owned and weird football things happen to go in his favor.” The WR3 role appears to have been taken over by Xavier Gipson as Randall Cobb was a healthy scratch last week with Gipson playing a season-high 58% of the snaps. That only came along with two targets, but at $200, he’s fine as a punt value option. Malik Taylor and perhaps Irvin Charles will round out the wide receiver group and are thin MME punt options.
At tight end, Tyler Conklin is in the lead with C.J. Uzomah and Jeremy Ruckert backing him up. Conklin has as many targets on the season as Lazard but has caught significantly more of them and he comes at a $1,400 discount – he’s essentially a better version of Lazard (he’s also seen three targets inside the 10 compared to just one for Lazard, hence, better touchdown equity). Uzomah and Ruckert are both thin punts. Uzomah’s the preferred one here as though they’re both averaging around one target per game, roughly, Uzomah has four red zone targets to Ruckert’s one (and two to zero inside the 10 yard line). If you want a “hope and pray for a touchdown” play, Uzomah’s your best bet on the Jets when compared to Ruckert and whatever other WR types they trout out behind Wilson and Lazard.