Better to be Luck than Good

Staring at the standings on FantasyDraft can be a bit nerve-racking if sitting just slightly inside or outside the cash line of a contest but owning players from this game should ease those concerns. Assuming you find yourself in a situation where tonight’s game can make or break the weekend, here are my projections for the game tonight that will help make your likely fate abundantly more clear:

Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets

Quarterbacks: The correlation between the actual production allowed and the Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) rank for these passing defenses in weak. What do I mean by that? Neither the Colts nor Jets have allowed more than 254 yards passing per game (13th most) this season and yet both rank in the bottom seven in terms of passing DVOA. The Colts rank worse in both categories as they have given up 2,827 total passing yards and rank 30th in passing DVOA. Meanwhile, the Jets allow 224 passing yards per game, 6.8 YPA and yet they rank 25th in passing DVOA. Sometimes DVOA is a bit off and sometimes numbers look better than the actual defensive performance. In these cases, I do not think the numbers lie as neither defense has passed the “eye test” to this point. Ryan Fitzpatrick was priced incredibly cheap on FantasyDraft and he draws the better matchup of the two. Last week, he helped propel Quincy Enunwa to his best week of the season and more of that will be needed this week as Brandon Marshall battles it out with Vontae Davis. As for Andrew Luck, well, he has not topped 20 fantasy points in back-to-back games but the Jets have produced the second fewest sacks of any defense. Luck is at his best when given time so there is plenty of reason to believe he could/should produce a better than average performance. Projections: Andrew Luck 24 fantasy points, Ryan Fitzpatrick 20 fantasy points

Running Backs: Despite lacking the burst he once possessed, Frank Gore has been remarkably consistent this season. Factoring in his dud from last week, Gore has eclipsed 11 fantasy points in nine out of 11 games this year and has scored seven total TDs. Most notably, Gore has caught three or more passes five times this year after accomplishing the feat only five times in 2015. Unfortunately for him, the Jets rank third in rushing DVOA and have allowed the fewest yards per carry (YPC) of any team besides the Ravens. Considering how poorly the entire right side of the Colts’ offensive line has graded, Gore is facing quite a tall task here. On the other side, the combination of Matt Forte and Bilal Powell are both in excellent spots against a Colts defense that ranks 31st in rushing DVOA and 29th against RBs in the passing game. Both Forte and Powell habitually catch passes and have played on at least 40-percent of the team’s offensive snaps (Forte 445 total to Powell’s 291). Therefore, there should be plenty of opportunity for each with Forte the one likely to receive a majority of the goal line carries (33 total red zone carries equates to 68.8-percent of the team’s total). Each Jets back could easily match the production of Gore due to their significant upgrade in matchup. Projections: Matt Forte 15 fantasy points, Frank Gore 13 fantasy points and Bilal Powell 12 fantasy points

Wide Receivers: Although people fear the individual matchup against Vontae Davis, he has graded outside the top 100 at the position so far this season mostly because he has been hobbled by a groin injury. He has been deemed active Monday Night and has had a week to rest the injury but he still may not be at 100-percent. Consequently, Brandon Marshall is still in a fine spot to produce assuming his QB can actually get him the ball. After racking up 1,502 yards and 14 TDs alongside Fitzpatrick last year, Marshall is only on pace for 972 yards and four receiving TDs so far this year. Calling this year a disaster would be an understatement for the entire Jets passing offense but there have been signs of life recently for everyone involved including Marshall, Fitzpatrick and Quincy Enunwa. Marshall dropped 67 and a TD on the Patriots last week and could do something similar if he flirts with 10 targets once again. Enunwa actually draws the more difficult matchup according to Pro Football Focus against Darius Butler at least in terms of talent differential. Marshall has the better shot of a big game in this one. The Colts’ receivers draw some favorable matchups as well as T.Y. Hilton’s ranks as one of the five most favorable individual matchups and Donte Moncrief is looking to vacation on Revis Island. According to reports this week, Revis has mentally checked out from football and is probably destined to retire once the season is over and Moncrief is a threat to score any time Luck is under center. This game has underrated potential to turn into a shootout as evident by the 48.5 point over/under and the individual matchups just highlight the scoring potential. Projections: T.Y. Hilton 24 fantasy points, Brandon Marshall 17 fantasy points, Donte Moncrief 16 fantasy points and Quincy Enunwa 12 fantasy points

Tight Ends: None of the Jets’ TEs were fantasy viable so the focus of this section will be on the Colts’ TEs…and it will be short. Neither one of the duo is highly owned on FantasyDraft and both of them being active at once, along with the receiving core at full strength, limits their upside. If choosing one to out-perform the other, Doyle has caught more passes, gained more yards, caught more TDs and been targeted more in the red zone Allen both overall and on a per-game basis (Doyle 11 games played to Allen’s nine). Allen could sneak into the end zone if the team ventures into the red zone and Gore fails to convert on his opportunities. Projections: Jack Doyle 10 fantasy points and Dwayne Allen five fantasy points

Defense: The Jets defense would be in a pretty decent spot if they were able to get to the QB on a consistent basis but they do not. Still, this team has only dipped into negative fantasy points once this year so they are typically respectable if nothing else. Only Blake Bortles and Philip Rivers have thrown more interceptions than Ryan Fitzpatrick but it should be noted six came in a single game. All-in-all, this game is more likely to turn into an offensive battle than a defensive slugfest. Projection: New York Jets four fantasy points and Indianapolis Colts three fantasy points

Final Score Projection: Indianapolis Colts 24, New York Jets 23

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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