Week nine is upon us. Bye weeks and injuries are wreaking havoc on some teams. Mid-season trades made headlines across ESPN, Last Word on Pro Football, and the Twitterverse. One of the teams that was involved in a big trade was the Buffalo Bills, who acquired Kelvin Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers. How that translates to the rest of the season remains to be seen. The New York Jets have surprised fans and analysts alike. Let’s jump right into breaking down the Bills and Jets to set who starts and sits to give fantasy teams the best possible chance of winning this week.
Fantasy Focus: Week Nine Thursday Night Football Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Buffalo Bills (5-2)
Tyrod Taylor – Quarterback
Tyrod Taylor is a fantasy streamer’s best friend during the bye-weeks. His rushing yardage helps keep his floor safe when the passing yards are paltry, at best. Let’s face it, he’s not throwing for 300 yards and three scores a game. He’s averaging just over 191 yards per game to go with an average of 25 yards rushing.
Against a New York Jets defense that’s allowing the 10th most fantasy points to the position, Taylor is a solid streaming option and a fringe QB1 for this week’s matchup. He’s a safe start in all formats.
LeSean McCoy – Running Back
LeSean McCoy took a while to really get going this season. With a depleted receiving core, defenses have schemed to attempt to remove McCoy from the game plan. With only two games on the season with over 100 yards, he’s been slower to achieve that RB1 status we’ve all come to expect. After the bye week, he’s been looking more like himself. He’s also been a focal point of the passing game. He’s led the team in targets for the last two weeks.
McCoy is a locked and loaded elite RB1 for this matchup and should be started in all formats.
Jordan Matthews – Wide Receiver
Jordan Matthews has yet to really click with Taylor. Wide receivers who move to a new team and new playbook often take some time to adjust to the scheme. Matthews is a good NFL receiver and that should translate to fantasy relevance at some point this season. How long it takes to develop that chemistry is yet to be determined.
Matthews is not a useable fantasy asset until there’s a rapport with his quarterback. If rostered, he should not be started outside of deep leagues as a bye-week fill-in. He’s a sit until he shows some consistent targets.
Zay Jones – Wide Receiver
Zay Jones is a talented receiver. The rookie is still taking some time to adapt to the NFL level. So far in his young career, he’s only reeled in 10 of 37 targets for a disappointing 115 yards.
Jones should be held onto in dynasty leagues, but for redraft purposes should not be rostered or started for fantasy. He’s a sit this week.
Kelvin Benjamin – Wide Receiver
The Buffalo Bills made a splash by negotiating a trade to acquire Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers. While it might not make an immediate impact on this week’s matchup, Taylor having a deep threat playmaker could mean some true success for this offense.
Taylor’s shiny new weapon may not play many, if any snaps at all on Thursday, he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on moving forward.
Nick O’Leary – Tight End
When the Bills lost Charles Clay, they lost an integral part of the passing offense. Nick O’Leary has stepped into the roll, and has not done much with it so far.
O’Leary is not a recommended start with such a low target share. He may have some streaming appeal against an easy-to-beat defense, but there are better options available.
New York Jets (3-5)
Josh McCown – Quarterback
Josh McCown has netted several strong performances recently, cementing his appeal in two-quarterback leagues. He’s averaging 230 yards-per-game and has 12 touchdowns to seven interceptions.
The Bills defense is allowing the fourth fewest fantasy points to the position. While the matchup is not a cake-walk, McCown has shown he can get it done. He’s a safe start in two-quarterback leagues or leagues that utilize a superflex position.
Bilal Powell – Running Back
Bilal Powell and Matt Forte have been part of an interesting time-share. Powell only has one game over 100 yards this season and has only scored twice. Buffalo has been almost as stingy on the ground as they have been through the passing game.
Between the timeshare with Forte and the tough run defense, it’s a toss-up as to which back will have the better game. Powell does have some involvement in the passing game which improves his value. A low-end flex play is the best that can be expected from Powell this week. He is better of used as a flex play in PPR formats.
Matt Forte – Running Back
Forte occupies the same role as Powell. He’s a competent veteran who offers more value in PPR leagues due to his involvement in the passing game. Forte has more receiving yards than rushing yards solidifying his role as the dominant pass catching back.
Forte has been nursing knee-injury. Monitor injury reports prior to kick-off. Forte maintains the preferred back for PPR teams, but is nothing more than a low-end flex pay for Thursday night.
Robby Anderson – Wide Receiver
Robby Anderson has always struggled to offer consistency to fantasy owners. This season, he seems to be building a solid rapport with McCown. He’s topped 70 yards or scored a touchdown in four of his last six games.
There’s no doubt that Buffalo’s defense is hard to pass on. Anderson has shown more consistency with McCown and should be considered a weekly flex option based on the number of target’s he’s getting. He’s a flex play option in both standard and PPR formats.
Jeremy Kerley – Wide Receiver
Jeremy Kerley is serving a suspension and should not be in starting lineups this week.
Jermaine Kearse – Wide Receiver
Robby Anderson has secured his rolet as the top wideout for the Jets, leaving Jermaine Kearse to fight for targets. Anderson will still have some solid games, but will also bust for a few games as well.
Kearse is a flex-worthy start this week. Temper expectations due to matchup.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Tight End
Austin Seferian-Jenkins bulked up a bit whilst serving his suspension and scored a touchdown in three straight weeks and also scored a touchdown in three of the last four games.
Seferian-Jenkins is a decent streaming candidate with upside for touchdowns.