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QB Sam Darnold - New York Jets

6-4, 225Born: 6-5-1997College: Southern CaliforniaDrafted: Round 1, pick

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Photo: Vincent Carchietta, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Oct 15): Darnold's play is improving, although his schedule makes it tough to hold him now as more than an emergency play with the Vikings, Bears, Dolphins, and Bills up in the next four weeks. He also lost Quincy Enunwa, although the Jets depth at wide receiver shined in his absence in the win over the Colts.

General News (Fri Oct 19): practiced fully on Friday and is not on the team's injury report.

General News (Thu Oct 18): practiced fully on Thursday.

General News (Wed Oct 17): practiced fully on Wednesday.

Week 7: vs Minnesota Vikings

All QB vs MIN

FBG says: Good matchup. Sam Darnold may have already arrived. The youngest starting quarterback of the Super Bowl era, Darnold opened his NFL career with a whimper, completing just 56% of his throws over the first 5 weeks. But over the last 2, he's averaged a studly 9.54 yards per attempt and thrown 5 touchdowns. Darnold is a strong-armed prospect, one who's unafraid to test downfield and flashes excellent placement when his mechanics are sound. He's still getting by mostly on quick, short routes, and his slot men remain the Jets' most consistent producers. Quincy Enunwa easily led the team in targets and yardage before his Week 6 injury, and Jermaine Kearse stepped in last week to catch 9 balls. But as Darnold's confidence and fundamentals improve, there will be more opportunity for splash plays. As it stands, this certainly isn't the league's most explosive attack, but it's one that's finally showing fantasy utility. If Darnold keeps developing quickly as a franchise passer, the fortunes of Robby Anderson and Terrelle Pryor will rise, if only gradually. In general, the Vikings pass defense has been disappointing to open 2018. They were last year's second-most dominant unit, but thus far have allowed 4 of 6 quarterbacks to top 260 yards. They faced rookies in the other two games, and even Buffalo's Josh Allen was able to beat them on a handful of tough downfield throws. The pass rush remains dynamic, even without Everson Griffen, but the coverage units have been undermanned and shaky. The cornerbacks have alternated solid performances with bad ones, and it likely won't get better without first-round rookie Mike Hughes. This a group still quite capable of dominating, as it did last week in haranguing Cardinals rookie Josh Rosen. But it's no longer the fantasy-shutdown unit it once was.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDFumLPts
3 at CLE 63 15 31 169 0 2 0 0 0 0 6.45
4 at JAX 55 17 34 167 1 0 2 8 0 0 13.15
5 vs DEN 62 10 22 198 3 1 3 5 0 0 21.4
6 vs IND 71 24 30 280 2 1 6 8 0 0 21.8
7 vs MIN 0 17 42 206 1 3 6 18 1 1 17.1
7 vs MIN PROJ-Dodds * 20 33 * * * 2 * * * *
7 vs MIN PROJ-Tremblay * 19 31 * * * 3 * * * *
7 vs MIN PROJ-Bloom * 18 31 * * * 2 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs QB 1, QB 12, QB 24

Percentile ranks

Sam Darnold's percentile rank in each category, among QB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2018 Week 6 vs IND (24 / 30 / 280 / 2 / 1 pass, 6 / 8 / 0 rush)

In what was far and away his best outing, rookie Sam Darnold 80 percent of his passes for an average of 11.6 yards per completion, both season highs. After a brutal early interception where Darnold stared down his receiver and threw off his back foot, the former USC quarterback had a nearly flawless day. Darnold made a lot of plays with his feet, buying time outside the pocket and patiently waiting for a receiver to get open, looking to throw rather than run. He also threw some pinpoint accurate passes, like his first touchdown pass late in the second quarter, a 7-yard throw to Terrelle Pryor. On the play, Pryor ran a short route into the end zone and turned around. He was bracketed by a pair of defenders, but Darnold didn't hesitate, fitting the ball between them and right to Pryor. Another promising improvement for Darnold is his improved accuracy on easy throws. Early on this season there were times when Darnold would miss an open target but the last two weeks he has made the easy throws as well as the tough ones. His toss to tight end Chris Herndon in the third quarter, a 32-yard catch and run off a nice play-action fake, was a simple throw to a wide-open target and Darnold made it look as easy as it was.

2018 Week 5 vs DEN (10 / 22 / 198 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)

The Jets rookie quarterback had what was easily his best day against a Denver Broncos defense which struggled in the secondary and couldn't get past an inspired line save for one sack and a total of three quarterback hits. Darnold also benefited from a great run game, which made sure the defense couldn't afford to focus on just making Darnold a tackling dummy. Darnold's yards per completion jumped up to 19.8, helped by three touchdown passes 20-yards or longer. The first was a 76-yard score by Robby Anderson, which Darnold dropped perfectly in front of the receiver, who didn't have to break stride on his way to the end zone. The second was an absolute dime to Anderson again for a 35-yard score, which Darnold threw over a defender and in perfect placement for the well-covered receiver in the end zone. The final one, a 20-yard pass to Terrelle Pryor, was a little long but Pryor bailed Darnold out a bit with a dynamic one-handed grab. While Darnold's completion percentage is still slumping, his overall ball placement and throws, especially once he got going, showed improvement, and while one game does not a career make, this was a step in the right direction.

2018 Week 4 vs JAX (17 / 34 / 167 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)

To the surprise of no one who has watched the Jaguars defense this year, the Jets rookie's struggles continued this weekend. While his footwork looked good and his short accuracy was once again solid, he struggled on deeper balls and in the second half he tried to thread the needle a few too many times, taking chances which he was lucky didn't turn out disastrous. It could be he's starting to feel pressure to carry the offense, and so he's making some desperate -- but unwise -- passes. That's a concern though, because he missed a few throws high and had an interception on a throw he sailed over Bilal Powell's head called back due to a defensive holding. That was one of three throws in the second half that should have been interceptions, the other two being drops by Jacksonville. He did make a great throw to Jermaine Kearse on a third-and-nine in the third quarter which set the Jets up on a first and goal. On the play Kearse was covered but there was just enough room along the sideline for Darnold to fit the ball in. Kearse then did a great job of keeping his feet in bounds for the catch. Still, the high and wide throws were a concern, and he even managed to miss Quincy Enunwa on a key fourth-and-one late in the first half. While the drive still might not have resulted in a touchdown, it would have extended the drive, salvaged some momentum while the game was 13-0 and kept the Jaguars from scoring quickly in the other direction to make it 16-0. Darnold is a rookie and we are seeing rookie mistakes and growing pains, along with the result of bad offensive line play and a super-conservative game plan as well.

2018 Week 3 vs CLE (15 / 31 / 169 / 0 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)

Much like the rest of the New York Jets, Sam Darnold played two very different halves of football. While not Hall of Fame worthy, his first half was relatively mistake free. The Jets did much of their damage on the ground, but Darnold kept the Browns defense honest. In the second half, Darnold largely fell apart. While one of his two interceptions -- the one which clinched the Browns win -- might have been prevented by Robby Anderson doing more to disrupt the pass, it was still underthrown. His second interception was all on him, however. Darnold rushed the play to avoid a review of the previous first down, and the Browns brought heavy pressure. Darnold failed to see two important things. First, he had a receiver open for a short gain (the only type the Jets seem willing to design for - more on that shortly) and the fact that Jermaine Kearse was bracketed in coverage. Darnold was forced to hold the ball an extra second due to his guard being driven back into his face, but seemed to throw blindly. The Jets have refused to take the training wheels off of Darnold, and the impact is a stale, predictable offense. While Darnold's mistakes hurt the Jets, he will never grow past them if OC Jeremy doesn't let him loose a little. Baker Mayfield came in cold and took chances, and it worked out. At some point the Jets should give Darnold the same chance, but it's hard to see when that will be.

2018 Week 2 vs MIA (25 / 41 / 334 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush)

While Sam Darnold had a rough overall game, where he at times looked like the rookie he is, he still showed a lot of ability and toughness. Probably his worst throw came early, when he was baited by TJ McDonald and passed the ball right at the veteran. McDonald appeared to be shading to the middle of the field, but once he saw Darnold look away, he stepped into the passing lane and cut off a pass aimed for the slanting Quincy Enunwa. As is Darnold's habit though, he rebounded and played well most of the rest of the game. He did throw a second interception, but that one very much appeared to be the fault of his receiver Terrelle Pryor. Darnold was looking for Pryor on a slant but the receiver either didn't fully commit to the route or got so caught up in handfighting that he lost track of the ball. The pass was where it should have been, but Pryor wasn't. Darnold did find running back Bilal Powell on a nice intermediate route down the middle which Powell took for a score. Overall, Darnold made mostly good decisions and continues to show some improvement. He didn't get much help from his receivers, who several times dropped wide open passes, but once that stops happening, his production should go up.

2018 Week 1 vs DET (16 / 21 / 198 / 2 / 1 pass, 6 / -1 / 0 rush)

Things couldn't have gotten off to a worse start for the rookie quarterback Monday night, as his very first throw was picked off and returned for a touchdown. It was a questionable play call which saw Darnold rolling out to his right and then throwing across both his body and the entire field into what should have been an obvious safety. The Jets did a poor job of setting their quarterback up for success on that first play, and Darnold did a poor job of recognizing the play was going poorly and adjusting. In some ways, though, it seemed to take the pressure off Darnold, who came back and played, if not flawlessly, well enough for both the Jets and their fans to be happy. Darnold showed a lot of his good aspects -- resiliency, mobility, an ability to read defenses and adjust -- throughout the game. He also showed some flaws, whether it was underthrowing receivers or missing open routes. His 41-yard touchdown throw to Robby Anderson showed both the bad and the good. On the plus side, he correctly baited the safety into stepping forward, costing the player time, which allowed Anderson to gain a few steps on him as the receiver ran his route downfield. On the negative side, the ball was underthrown, and required Anderson to leap up and fight the defender for the ball. The good far outweighed the bad for Darnold though, and he showed tremendous poise and tenacity in overcoming early miscues to execute the offense.

More

Latest News

Jets | Sam Darnold makes mistakes in loss (Sun Oct 21, 05:24 PM) - New York Jets QB Sam Darnold completed just 17-of-42 passes for 206 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions in Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings and he also rushed for a score.

Our View: Darnold looked like a rookie and didn't support much fantasy value for his offense against a tough Vikings defense. Next week he'll go on the road and face a Bears defense that is starting to show cracks, but it will be tough to trust him or any of his targets.
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Jets | NY Jets' injury report for Week 7 (Fri Oct 19, 02:14 PM) - New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle), S Marcus Maye (thumb) and CB Buster Skrine (concussion) did not practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings. CB Trumaine Johnson (quad), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (foot) and WR Terrelle Pryor (groin) did not practice Friday, Oct. 19, and are listed as doubtful. RB Isaiah Crowell (foot) was limited in practice Friday and is listed as questionable. S Jamal Adams (ankle), WR Robby Anderson (hamstring), T Kelvin Beachum (foot), LB Brandon Copeland (ankle), QB Sam Darnold (elbow), C Spencer Long (knee, finger), S Doug Middleton (hamstring), WR Charone Peake (hamstring), WR Andre Roberts (foot, ankle), DL Nathan Shepherd (shoulder) and DL Leonard Williams (back) all participated fully in practice Friday and have been removed from the injury report.

Our View: Jermaine Kearse will fill in for Enunwa in the slot and Charone Peake and Andre Roberts will be pressed into duty with the team shorthanded at the position. Rookie tight end Chris Herndon could see more targets.
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Jets | Sam Darnold has full practice (Thu Oct 18, 03:03 PM) - New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (elbow) put in a full practice Thursday, Oct. 18.

Our View: Darnold has a tough matchup against the Vikings this week. We can only trust him as a low-end QB2 for Fantasy GMs in Week 7.
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Jets | Sam Darnold able to fully practice (Wed Oct 17, 06:05 PM) - New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (elbow) was able to practice in full Wednesday, Oct. 17.

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Jets | Wednesday's practice report for NYJ (Wed Oct 17, 05:41 PM) - New York Jets WR Robby Anderson (hamstring), RB Isaiah Crowell (foot), WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle), CB Trumaine Johnson (quadriceps), S Marcus Maye (thumb), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (foot), WR Terrelle Pryor (groin), CB Buster Skrine (concussion) and DL Leonard Williams (back) each did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 17. C Spencer Long (knee, finger) was listed as a limited participant while S Jamal Adams (ankle), OT Kelvin Beachum (foot), LB Brandon Copeland (ankle), QB Sam Darnold (elbow), S Doug Middleton (hamstring), WR Charone Peake (hamstring), WR Andre Roberts (foot, ankle) and DL Nathan Shepherd (shoulder) were able to practice in full.

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Schedule

7vs Minnesota Vikings
8@ Chicago Bears
9@ Miami Dolphins
10vs Buffalo Bills
11--- BYE WEEK ---
12vs New England Patriots
13@ Tennessee Titans
14@ Buffalo Bills
15vs Houston Texans
16vs Green Bay Packers
17@ New England Patriots