Last updated: October 9th at 3:59pm ET.
Team Totals: Cowboys 25.5, Jets 18
Sam Darnold’s Week 6 medical clearance bodes nearly as positively for Dallas’ offense as the Jets’ from a fantasy perspective, giving Gang Green a shot at competitiveness they would have lacked with Luke Falk. The Cowboys expect back LT Tyron Smith (ankle) to shore up what projected as a clean pocket for Dak Prescott, anyway; New York ranks bottom three in sack rate (3.9%) despite DC Gregg Williams’ high blitz frequency. Five starts in, Dak’s fantasy outcomes are QB5 > QB24 > QB7 > QB3 > QB2. He should be locked into season-long lineups and has enough upside for DFS-tournament deployment in stacks with Amari Cooper or Michael Gallup. … Jets ILB C.J. Mosley’s (groin) continued absence and underrated DE Henry Anderson’s (shoulder) loss should make life easier on Ezekiel Elliott against a New York defense that has been otherwise stout, holding enemy backs to 83/297/4 (3.58 YPC) rushing through four games. Zeke sent impressive rookie Tony Pollard to the showers by handling 97% and 93% of Dallas’ offensive snaps and 38-of-42 (90%) Cowboys backfield touches over the past two weeks. As running backs facing the Jets have collectively averaged 27.3 touches per game, we should be able to project Elliott in the 24-25 touch range assuming he maintains that 90% touch share against the Jets’ depleted defensive front.
Prescott’s Week 5 target distribution: Cooper and Gallup 14;Randall Cobb 6; Zeke and Jason Witten 4. … Just as he did to Xavien Howard earlier this year, Cooper put a Week 5 clown suit on Packers top CB Jaire Alexander with elite route running in last Sunday’s loss, so much so that Dallas made a valiant comeback rally from its 24-0 second-half deficit and Cooper finished with a career-high 226 yards. Jets outside CBs Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts have been dusted for 33 completions on 46 targets (72%), 384 yards (8.35 YPA), and three touchdowns. On pace for a sensational 103/1,639/16 receiving line five weeks in, Cooper is an elite WR1 play in this plum draw. … Gallup returned from his two-week meniscus injury to run a season-high 47 routes on a season-high 86% playing-time clip against Green Bay and picked up right where he left off statistically. Including January’s playoffs, Gallup has topped 100 yards in three of his last four games. He is an upside WR2 in The Meadowlands. … Cobb catches Dallas’ toughest Week 6 pass-catcher matchup against Jets slot CB Brian Poole, who has allowed 56 scoreless yards on 18 targets (3.1 YPA) this year and bottled up Nelson Agholor (1/20/0) last week. … Witten has yet to exceed four targets in a 2019 game. He’s always a low-floor, touchdown-or-bust streamer.
Although Sam Darnold’s return gives the Jets and this game in general reasons for hope, Dallas’ D/ST remains squarely in play against a turnstile Gang Green offensive line that has surrendered league highs in tackle-for-loss rate (47.6%), sacks (23), and QB Hit Rate (30.1%) and resurrected the season for Eagles under-fire DC Jim Schwartz last Sunday. Philly entered Week 5 with three sacks in four games, only to emerge with ten moreagainst the Jets. Enemy passers have lowly fantasy results of QB19 (Eli Manning), QB15 (Case Keenum), QB30 (Josh Rosen), QB24 (Teddy Bridgewater/Taysom Hill), and QB23 (Aaron Rodgers) against the Cowboys. Darnold is a low-floor two-QB-league option in his first game back from mononucleosis. … Le’Veon Bell is easily the Jets’ highest-confidence Week 6 play with touch counts of 23 > 31 > 32 > 22 under his belt facing a Dallas defense that has permitted 94/431/6 (4.59 YPC) rushing and the league’s fifth-most receiving yards to enemy backs (56.4), raising Bell’s floor even if the Jets fall several scores behind. Le’Veon is on pace for career highs in targets (128) and catches (108). I like the idea of stacking Dak with Zeke and/or Cooper and “bringing it back” with Le’Veon in DFS tournaments.
Darnold’s 2019 target distribution: Jamison Crowder 17; Le’Veon 9; Robby Anderson 7; Ryan Griffin 4; Quincy Enunwa 3; Josh Bellamy 1. … Crowder was Darnold’s Week 1 checkdown of choice under heavy duress against the Bills, a theme that could easily replay itself versus Dallas considering the sorry state of Gang Green’s pass protection. Crowder is a PPR-specific WR3/flex. … Michael Thomas is the lone enemy wideout to clear 75 yards against the Cowboys this year. Anderson showed enough late-2018 rapport with Darnold that a big game is inevitable, but odds are it won’t happen this week. … Chris Herndon’s return from suspension will give the Jets a big upgrade on Griffin in their preferred three-receiver, one-tight end 11 personnel. Coach Adam Gase has been frustratingly vague on Herndon’s role in his first back, however. Sunday’s matchup is unimposing should Herndon resume full-time duties; tight ends have caught 28-of-37 targets (76%) for 283 yards (7.65 YPA) and a touchdown against Dallas this year.
Update: Chris Herndon injured his hamstring in Tuesday’s practice and appears unlikely to face the Cowboys, giving Ryan Griffin another start. Griffin has not been involved in Gang Green’s passing game to this point.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 30, Jets 17