Thursday Night Football returns in week two, as the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets will wage war in an AFC East battle in Buffalo on Thursday night.
At first glance, this is a game where daily fantasy football hopes and dreams go to die, as both teams wield strong defenses, good coaching and will probably be playing things close to the chest against a bitter rival. Adding to the intrigue is a less than 100% Sammy Watkins (foot) and the fact that both of these teams lost a week ago.
Home opener. Primetime. Jets. Red. The first at New Era Field.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 15, 2016
Jets vs. Bills Betting
Combine a heated rivalry game with a borderline must-win situation and we likely have ourselves a defensive battle. Bovada figures as much, as tonight’s game is projected to be low-scoring (41 Total) and no one really wants to pick a side (Jets are “favored” with -1.5 spread).
If you plan on betting on this game, we wish you luck. The weak spread makes this virtually a pick’em game and you truly can go back and forth as to which team seems to have the edge. Buffalo might have the more complete defense right now, seeing as they held the Ravens to just 13 points in a road loss in week one. They’re keeping things together even though big man Marcell Dareus is suspended for four games to start the year.
Offensively, the Bills were severely challenged in week one. LeSean McCoy was their lone bright spot, the aforementioned Watkins looked hobbled and Tyrod Taylor couldn’t get anything going. If the Bills are going to win tonight, Taylor naturally needs to be better, but the odds are Shady will need to come up with some big plays and the defense will have to be just as good for a second week in a row.
For the Jets, they have a stacked offense with stars like Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker just waiting to sound off. It’s tough to imagine them busting out in this matchup on the road, but craziers things have happened. Defensively, New York cannot be run on, while their passing defense struggled mightily a week ago.
One other aspect to consider here is the revenge game: Rex Ryan faces his old Jets squad and Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to take down his old Bills team. Odds are the rage and determination of those two lost souls cancels out, but both deserve to be noted. Then again, perhaps the revenge narrative should be cast out to sea, seeing as Tyrod Taylor and Ryan both had reason to deal out payback to Baltimore last week and failed miserably.
If we have to pick a side, we reluctantly go with the Bills. They’re at home, their defense was more impressive in week one and Ryan can’t allow a loss to his former team. That, and Ryan Fitzpatrick was awful against this defense the last time he saw them.
That being said, picking this game straight up or ATS isn’t the way to go. The real path is to bet the Under on the Total. These two teams didn’t even combine for 30 points a week ago, so it’s going to be hard to buy them delivering a shootout on a short week.
TNF Fantasy Help
The other aspect of tonight’s TNF game is what fun finds you can uncover in daily fantasy football – or even just your season long fantasy football leagues. They’re two different worlds, so let’s approach them as such.
Season Long Advice
This is most certainly a game to avoid. Obviously if you can’t help it, you should probably play your normal studs like the guys we already touched on, as well as the quarterbacks and maybe even Sammy Watkins. Not a one of these guys are locks to pay off, however, especially considering most of them were duds a week ago and things only get uglier tonight.
Two guys that stand out above the rest, though, are Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte. Forte has a huge role and especially in PPR formats is going to be just fine. Buffalo’s run defense is good but he didn’t even score last week and was a total monster. He should be one of the top plays in this game. Marshall was awful last week, so I expect a decent bounce back game. The matchup isn’t great, but he’s not the type of guy you bet against in back to back weeks.
There are not a ton of sleepers here for season long purposes. You’re either taking a chance with your normal big name guys here, or you’re fading this game and never looking back.
Quite honestly, the case is very much the same in the daily fantasy football community. That being said, Forte, Marshall and Eric Decker are all very much in play and as we’ve learned, we need to consider other guys that could be even extra contrarian.
That may keep Shady in play, while both quarterbacks could be worthy GPP tries. If Sammy Watkins suits up, he wouldn’t be a bad try against a Jets pass defense that got absolutely torched last week. Just don’t get upset if he bombs, seeing as he’s operating on one foot these days.
The Watkins injury is what could really open the door for a sleeper in this one. If he’s out or limited, Robert Woods could be a really sneaky play. He was the only other Bills receiver to do anything last week, after all. Buffalo tight end Charles Clay is also banged up, but he figures to start and could have an ehanced role with Watkins not being himself.
This turns us back to McCoy, who probably won’t do much on the ground against a stout Jets run defense, but could be more active than usual as a receiver out of the backfield. He had four receptions last week and doubling that wouldn’t be that insane in this game.
Over in New York, there just isn’t much sleeper appeal beyond the big names. Bilal Powell has a mild role but is way too risky to try even in DFS, Quincy Enunwa was a fun week one surprise and seems to have the #3 role locked down and this team pretty much doesn’t have a tight end. Enunwa is the only guy there to gamble with, but after showing well last week, he probably regresses a bit in week two.
With all this said, both defenses are very much in play at DFS sites like DraftKings. Buffalo is at home and fared slightly better last week, and as our projected winner, they figure to be the superior play again.
Overall, this just is not a game we’d suggest betting on or stacking in fantasy football. This will likely be a boring slug-fest with 30-35 total points. Enjoy.