Last updated: November 26th at 8:30am ET
Team Totals: Jets 22, Bengals 18
Suddenly one of the NFL’s hottest offenses, the Jets have scored 34 points in three straight games and should stay toasty for at least the next two weeks against the Bengals and Dolphins. Eight of the last ten quarterbacks to face Cincinnati logged top-13 fantasy scores, while DC Lou Anarumo’s unit lacks pass-rush firepower to exploit Gang Green’s leaky protection, ranking bottom two in both sacks (16) and QB hits (44). Sam Darnold’s fantasy scores during the Jets’ three-game win streak are QB8 > QB7 > QB3. In another plum draw, he’s a surefire season-long QB1 with ample upside for DFS tournaments. Darnold’s ceiling is heightened with Andy Dalton rather than soft-tossing rookie Ryan Finley on the other side, raising this game’s high-scoring chances. … Le’Veon Bell was unfortunately robbed of a big Week 12 by Darnold, who threw two one-yard touchdown passes and rushed in another himself. Bell still enters Week 13 averaging 21 touches over his last four games, while enemy backs have gashed Cincinnati for 4.73 yards per carry and a 165 total-yards average. Bell has 100-plus total yards and/or a touchdown in four straight weeks. Bell’s to-date lack of big-play ability has been frustrating and alarming – he has zero 20-yard runs and a long reception of 23 – but his workload is secure, and this is a mouth-watering spot.
Darnold’s 2019 target distribution: Jamison Crowder 62; Robby Anderson 44; Le’Veon 39; Demaryius Thomas 38; Ryan Griffin 30; Vyncint Smith 12; Ty Montgomery 7; Bilal Powell 5. … Crowder got lost in the Week 12 shuffle with Darnold spreading the ball around; no Jet topped five targets in last week’s smooth-sailing destruction of the Raiders. This is a bounce-back spot for Gang Green’s slot man; Cincy notably allowed at- or above-expectation stat lines to fellow interior WRs Cooper Kupp (7/220/1), Dede Westbrook (6/103/0), and Hunter Renfrow (5/66/0) within the last five weeks. … Week 13 sets up just as favorably for deep threat Anderson, whose big Week 12 (4/86/1) should inspire confidence in one of fantasy’s least-consistent commodities. Only three teams have yielded more 20-plus-yard completions than Cincinnati (49), while Anderson has commanded 16 20-plus-yard downfield targets, 11 more than anyone else on the Jets. … Thomas is a touchdown-or-bust WR4 who hasn’t hit pay dirt all year with zero targets inside the ten-yard line. … Griffin leads New York in targets inside the ten (4) and should stay hot against the Bengals, who got drilled by Darren Waller (5/78/0), Nick Boyle (4/78/0), Mark Andrews (6/53/2), and Foster Moreau (2/8/1) all within the last three weeks. Griffin is an every-week TE1.
Ostensibly hoping to avoid the 0-16 stigma, rookie coach Zac Taylor reinstalled Andy Dalton this week after Ryan Finley’s incompetent three-game run wherein he completed just 47.1% of his passes at 5.4 yards per attempt. Dalton (60.4%, 6.7 YPA) should be able to spark Cincinnati’s offense somewhat in a home game against the Jets, who rank 25th in sack rate (6%) and have permitted an 18:7 TD-to-INT ratio to enemy passers. Although Dalton’s supporting cast is too depleted for QB1 streamer consideration, I like him as a sneaky-upside two-QB-league play. … No aspect of Joe Mixon’s 2019 season has been more frustrating than his shortage of passing-game involvement. A stellar receiver at Oklahoma who caught 43 balls in 14 games last year, Mixon is pathetically averaging 2.3 targets per game since Week 4 and wasn’t targeted at all in last week’s loss to Pittsburgh. Giovani Bernard ran more routes (18) than Mixon (16) in Week 12. All of this especially matters this week because the Jets play league-best run defense – stonewalling enemy backs for 3.01 yards per carry – yet have allowed the NFL’s third-most running back catches (71), a deficiency Mixon is strangely not positioned to exploit due to irrational coaching. Mixon warrants RB2 treatment with 100-plus total yards and/or a touchdown in four of his last five games, but his ceiling is always capped as what amounts to an early-down committee leader on a low-scoring team.
Dalton’s 2019 target distribution: Tyler Boyd 82; Auden Tate 54; Alex Erickson 36; Tyler Eifert 34; John Ross 32; Mixon and Bernard 25; C.J. Uzomah and Damion Willis 14. … With Dalton quarterbacking in Weeks 1-8, Boyd ranked third in the NFL in targets and 14th in receiving yards (536). Boyd should be immediately restored as an every-week WR2. He has 90 catches for 1,109 yards over Dalton’s last 16 starts. … Tate and Erickson round out Cincinnati’s three-receiver set. Tate was fantasy’s overall WR21 in PPR scoring with Dalton quarterbacking in Weeks 3-8, logging 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown in all six games on an 8.7-target average. Tate is an underrated WR3/flex option against the Jets’ secondary, which has allowed the NFL’s eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. … Erickson is scoreless on the season with two games above 47 yards. … Eifert still isn’t playing enough for streamer consideration. His playing-time clips were under 40% in each of the last three weeks. … Forward-thinking season-long leaguers should grab Ross (shoulder, I.R.) off waivers. He is eligible to return in Week 14 and faces Miami in Week 16. Before going down in late September, Ross ranked No. 14 in the NFL in Air Yards (377), No. 10 in actual receiving yards (328), and scored three touchdowns in Cincy’s first four games.
Score Prediction: Jets 27, Bengals 21