WR David Nelson - New York Jets
|6-5, 217||Born: 11-7-1986||College: Florida||Drafted: ---|
Photo: Ed Mulholland, US Presswire
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Week 15: at New Orleans Saints
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FBG says: Tough matchup. To the shock of any awakening pundits who went comatose during the preseason, the Jets' promising 2017 may be torpedoed by the loss of Josh McCown. McCown had served as a strong (and occasionally dynamic) bridge/mentor type in the vein of 2015 Ryan Fitzpatrick, sitting 11th among regular starters in QBR and 14th in adjusted yards per attempt, which factors in touchdowns and interceptions. But McCown, injury-ravaged throughout his 15-year career, fractured his non-throwing hand in Week 14 and will undergo season-ending surgery. And as much as the Jets' top two wideouts have achieved thus far, their fantasy floors coming crashing to Earth with Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg taking the reins. Petty and Robby Anderson did share a solid connection last year, but Petty is such a poor thrower that we can't merely trust that that rapport will resurface. In Week 14 relief, he completed just 2 of 9 passes for 14 yards as the Jets posted four straight three-and-outs down the stretch. Hackenberg, who has failed for two years to unseat Petty as the No. 2, could be even worse. Simply put: without McCown, there's little reason to prioritize Anderson or Jermaine Kearse, though tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins could hold some value as an exceptionally low-impact PPR option.
As expected, the Saints pass defense quickly returned to its impressive midseason form upon the return of cornerback Marshon Lattimore from injury. Lattimore's outstanding rookie play had stabilized a long-awful unit; from Weeks 3-11, they'd allowed just 188 yards per game - second-fewest in the league over that span - and just 24.2 total fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts (third-fewest). They missed Lattimore terribly when he missed Weeks 12 and 13, but he returned last Thursday and helped hold the Falcons to just 221 yards through the air. (He also intercepted a target for Julio Jones, which snuffed out a Falcons drive late in the first half.) Lattimore is needed for this unit to succeed: the safeties and other cornerbacks have been subpar in coverage, and even with their star rookie healthy they're wholly beatable downfield. But with Lattimore healthy and plugged back in, there's a visible floor in place for opposing passing games. They're certainly fortunate to face off against arguably Week 15's worst starting quarterback (Bryce Petty).
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