Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets – MNF
Details of the Script
- MNF – 8:15pm @ MetLife Stadium
- Weather – Party Cloud w/ Potential Rain.
- What Vegas is saying – Line (BUF -2.5) & Over/Under 46.5
Identifying the Game Script
The last game of week 1! We have two juggernauts who have played each other very competitively the previous few seasons. Since the blowout loss the Jets took in November of 2021, the last three games from these teams have averaged 35 total points for their games. The Jets haven’t scored more than 20 points in the previous five games vs. this Bills defense that has been elite. The Bills have averaged about 24 points in the last three games vs. an elite Jets defense that continues to improve. The first MNF game of the year has had many high-scoring and lower-scoring games. Last year’s game was 17 to 16, which hurt many fantasy owners. While both teams have improved in specific ways on offense, it makes be a trap game where the defenses could shine in a lower-scoring outing.
Josh Allen will likely be an auto start for many dynasty owners in week 1. It could be a trap game for Allen since he hasn’t been fantastic as a passer against the Jets, especially last season. The Jets were a top-10 team vs. fantasy quarterbacks last season, allowing 14.1 fantasy points per game on average. The one thing that the Jets couldn’t stop was Josh Allen running with the ball. Allen produced 133 yards and three touchdowns in two games last season. It’s hard to rely on rushing touchdowns to be consistent, but Allen should be able to put up QB1 numbers in a challenging game.
Aaron Rodgers’s first game as a Jets will be one to watch. As you see above, elite quarterbacks who swap teams late in their careers have had decent play in their first game. The thing is that Rodgers is coming off some career lows in yards, touchdowns, and interceptions (high) in 2022. Unlike years past Jets, they may rely on Rodgers to throw more if they fall behind in this game. The Buffalo were an elite team vs. quarterbacks last season, allowing the 3rd fewest fantasy points. They have a scary front seven, but their secondary has holes. Trusting Rodgers for the first game of the season with a new team is something you should consider sitting unless you are playing in Superflex leagues.
James Cook is going into the season as the starting running back for the Buffalo Bills. Cooks handled most of the preseason snaps/carries with the first-time offense. Unfortunately for Cooks, the Bills gave up on the run game in both games against the Jets last season. Their top rusher in both games only had eight carries. The Bills have said they want to run the ball more, but we must see how that goes. Cook may need to rely on targets to be successful in week one, but the Jets have allowed passing work to running backs. If Cook can get six-plus targets, then there is a chance for a solid RB2 week, but it is risky. Damien Harris, I wouldn’t trust in dynasty lineups for week one. Harris has been dealing with a groin injury for most of the preseason. His opportunity for touches could be limited. A touchdown may be the saving grace for either of these running backs to produce for us in Week 1.
As a fantasy analyst, my eyes will be on how the split will work with Breece Hall & Dalvin Cook. The Bills were a solid team against running backs, but the Jets seem to know how to beat them. In both games, a Jets running back had 70-plus rushing yards. Honestly, both players are coming off injuries, so their workload in this game could be limited. That will be a backfield you flex and see what happens, as it’s tough to tell who will see more work in week one. We didn’t get to see either in preseason, so this duo could be a bust in week one. Michael Carter could even see carries, so the workload isn’t thrown on the top two as quickly. Hall and Cook are talented enough to flex, but be cautious of the workload in week one.
We know the pass catchers for Buffalo that stand out are Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis. Diggs played one decent game and one poor game last year vs. the Jets. Even with a tough matchup with Sauce Garnder, Diggs should be peppered with targets in the offense. He likely doesn’t see an upside in week one, but it should be a strong WR2 for our teams. Gabe Davis hasn’t been on our fan radar since last season, and he should remain that way in week one. Davis struggled against the Jets last year in boom/bust fashion. He should be out of starting lineups in this matchup unless it’s for a desperate flex play.
The bright spot of the passing attack could be Trent Sherfield in the slot. The Jets’ weakness among the secondary was the slot receiver last year, and Sherfield could be a sneaky deep sleeper. This also could be a game for the tight end. Dawson Knox was the producer against the Jets. The Jets were average at best against tight end last year. Dalton Kincaid could be the wild card in this game, depending on his snaps and the opportunity where he lines up, but he should probably be left on benches until after week one.
Garret Wilson should be locked for a top-12 performance vs. the Buffalo, but it could depend on whether the Bill Star DB Tre’Davious White is healthy and ready to return to form. Wilson had double-digit fantasy points last year vs. the Bills defense. Wilson already has a solid connection to Aaron Rodgers; I’ll bet on that for week one. As far as the rest of the pass catchers for the Jets, it will have to be more of a wait-and-see. Rodgers doing enough in a tough matchup to make multiple-receivers fantasy options is less likely.
It would need a touchdown to give Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, or Randall Cobb any hope to give fantasy numbers in week one. If I had to flex one of them, it would have to be Lazard. The Bill was a bottom-ten defense vs. wide receivers, so we could see some surprises. Regarding tight ends, the Bills were the 2nd best team against tight ends last year, and Tyler Conklin had 35 yards in two games. Like the rest of the best pass catchers, Conklin will likely need a touchdown to make his fantasy day worth it.