NFL Grind Down Week 2: Jets vs. Browns

Vegas Overview

CLE @ NYJ Team Spread Total Implied Moneyline
NYJ 2.5 46 21.75 130
CLE -2.5 46 24.25 -150

Betting Quick Take: Upon news that Sam Darnold will miss Monday’s game with mono, betting markets took this game off the board and reopened with the Browns as -6.5 favorites and the total set at 44. Le’Veon Bell is also questionable with a shoulder injury and is scheduled to get an MRI on Thursday. Due to injuries, this is now a solid bounce-back spot for the Browns after a miserable Week 1 performance against the Titans.

Cleveland -6.5
Confidence Level 6/10

Under 44
Confidence Level 6/10

Injury Situations

Player Team Pos Status Part Impact
Sam Darnold NYJ QB O Illness 10
Le’Veon Bell NYJ RB Q Shoulder 10
Quincy Enunwa NYJ WR O Neck 7
Chris Herndon NYJ TE O Suspension 5
Dontrell Hilliard CLE RB Q Head 7
Rashard Higgins CLE WR Q Ankle 7

Injuries to Monitor: Sam Darnold is out with mono; Trevor Siemian will start in his place. Le’Veon Bell has an MRI for his shoulder scheduled for Thursday – Gase is optimistic Bell will be available for Monday’s game. Quincy Enunwa is out for the remainder of the season – the Jets signed Demaryius Thomas to replace him.

Matchup Factors, Team Identity Metrics, and Game Flow Expectations

Expected Game Pace and Tempo: Despite playing from behind for the majority of the game, Cleveland operated at the 23rd slowest situation neutral pace in the league in Week 1 running a play every 34.13 seconds. The Jets rank 16th in situation neutral pace of play after one week, snapping the ball every 32.14 seconds. Look for the Browns to operate at a pace well below league average, similar to last season, and for the Jets to oblige wanting to limit possessions with Siemian under center.

New York Jets Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Sam Darnold NYJ 15.84 QB27 33.60 239.84
RB Team Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Le’Veon Bell NYJ 19.55 RB4 74% 16%
Ty Montgomery NYJ 4.32 RB64 15% 4%
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Robby Anderson NYJ 11.75 WR41 21% 7.06
Jamison Crowder NYJ 12.15 WR33 22% 7.39
Ryan Griffin NYJ 5.79 TE28 11% 3.53

CLE 18-19 Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 12/RB Rank 9/WR Rank 22/TE Rank 1

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note: Talk about potential. Le’Veon Bell limitations were completely overblown prior to Week 1 as Bell played 71-of-71 offensive snaps and parlayed 23 touches into 92 total yards. He carried the ball 17 times for 60 yards. As noted above, Bell is currently listed as questionable for Monday’s game with a shoulder injury. We should have clarification regarding Bell’s status leading up to MNF. If Bell is expected to be limited, Ty Montgomery is the first in line for an increased role.

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note: New York ranked 18th in RushingEPA in Week 1 while Cleveland Browns defense ranked 16th. After one week, Cleveland ranks 20th in rush defense DVOA.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note: We can take everything encouraging we saw last week with Sam Darnold under center and…completely throw it out the window. Darnold is expected to miss the next couple of weeks with mono and his replacement is the wildly unheralded Trevor Siemian. The Jets’ already low expectations for the passing game are now even lower and would be completely avoidable if this wasn’t an island game with big Showdown slate prizes. Darnold dropped back to pass on 50-of-71 Week 1 offensive snaps but it’s safe to expect regression in that area moving forward for as long as Darnold is out. Jamison Crowder saw a ridiculous 17 targets against the Bills followed by Le’Veon Bell (9), Robby Anderson (7), and Quincy Enunwa (3).

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note: Considering the number of targets slot receiver Jamison Crowder saw, it’s unsurprising that Darnold ranked dead last in yards-per-attempt (4.3) in Week 1, constantly targeting short and quick routes run by Crowder and Bell. I’m not expecting Siemian to be trusted to target downfield receivers either, so look for a similar game plan against the Browns.

Jamison Crowder saw a 40% target share in Week 1 and it’s safe to say he’s not going to see that moving forward, regardless of who is QB. We currently have Crowder (22%) and Robby Anderson (21%) projected for a similar market share projection and that’s likely the correct approach. Notably, Ryan Griffin is currently projected for an 11% target share and he could be a relatively sneaky Showdown slate option – he was on the field for 67-of-71 offensive snaps against the Bills and ran a route on 46-of-50 Sam Darnold dropbacks.

Team Quick Summary: This game is completely avoidable on Thu-Mon slates. For single-game slates, Ryan Griffin is surprisingly my favorite passing-game option due to expected snap count and expected cost. Keep an eye on Bell’s projected availability moving forward as any limitation would lead to increased opportunity for Ty Montgomery.

Cleveland Browns Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Baker Mayfield CLE 18.42 QB12 36.23 275.16
RB Team Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Nick Chubb CLE 17.5 RB7 75% 10%
Dontrell Hilliard CLE 4.9 RB62 13% 6%
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Odell Beckham CLE 17.71 WR8 28% 10.15
Jarvis Landry CLE 11.36 WR44 19% 6.70
Rashard Higgins CLE 9.2 WR67 15% 5.44
David Njoku CLE 9.03 TE14 14% 5.07

NYJ 18-19 Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 5/RB Rank 22/WR Rank 1/TE Rank 31

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note: Nick Chubb was a fantasy disappointment in Week 1 but it wasn’t due to a lack of opportunity. Chubb played 50-of-71 offensive snaps against the Titans and carried the ball 17 times for 75 yards. Additionally, Chubb caught 3-of-4 targets for 10 yards. A lot was made of Dontrell Hilliard and D’Ernest Johnson getting work on passing downs but Chubb notably ran the third-most routes (26) on the team behind just Jarvis Landry (50) and Odell Beckham (50). Hilliard left Week 1’s game with a concussion and is listed as questionable for Monday night – his absence would lead to a more solidified role for Chubb and lead to Johnson being a long-shot play on Showdown slates.

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note: After one week the New York Jets rank just 22nd in rush-defense DVOA allowing the Buffalo Bills to compile 128 yards on the ground. While Frank Gore was unsurprisingly unimpressive, Devin Singletary did rack up 70 yards on just four carries and Josh Allen tacked on an additional 38 yards on 10 attempts.

The lack of success from Nick Chubb in Week 1 was a bit overblown due to his alternatives (Austin Ekeler, Chris Carson, Dalvin Cook) going nuclear. Rushing opportunities should continue to be there for Chubb and his role as a pass-catcher is likely to expand if Hilliard is unable to suit up. Chubb makes for a strong tournament option on full slates and is a core play for Showdown slates.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note: Baker Mayfield really struggled against the Titans due to poor offensive line play, taking five sacks and throwing three interceptions. Cleveland was pass-heavy in Week 1, largely thanks to playing from behind, as Baker threw the ball 38 times. Odell Beckham (11) led the team in targets in his Cleveland debut, followed by Jarvis Landry (7), David Njoku (6), Nick Chubb (4), and Rashard Higgins (3).

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note: When Baker was actually able to get rid of the ball he completed just 65.8% of his attempts and averaged 7.5 yards-per-attempt. The Jets defense wasn’t able to generate much pressure in Week 1 against the Bills, ranking 23rd in Pressure Rate (22.73%), which should bode well for Baker’s time in the pocket in Week 2.

Odell Beckham saw a 29% target share in Week 1 and we currently have him projected for a similar 28% target share against the Jets. That projected workload is valuable and gives the always explosive OBJ a ton of upside. Odell is a strong full slate option and a top target in Showdown slates.

Team Quick Summary: Odell is the Browns pass-catcher to target – he’s in play in all formats for both full-slate and Showdown lineups. Chubb is also a top target for Showdown lineups but more of a secondary option on full-slates. Baker Mayfield and David Njoku are best left for game stacks on the full-slate and are secondary options for Showdown lineups.

DFS Recommendations

Optimal DFS Plays: None

Leverage Plays: Le’Veon Bell (pending status), Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham, Baker Mayfield

Secondary Plays: David Njoku, Jamison Crowder, Trevor Siemian (Showdown only)

_*Showdown Value Plays:_ Ryan Griffin, D’Ernest Johnson (DK), Demaryius Thomas (if active), Ty Montgomery (obviously *lock button play if Bell out)

About the Author

  • Dan Gaspar (MrTuttle05)

  • Since his addition to the RotoGrinders community, MrTuttle has been continually climbing the Grinders leaderboards and is currently ranked in Top 150 overall. He has qualified for countless live finals as well and has proven himself to be one of the best high-stakes DFS players in the industry. You can find him on Twitter @MrTuttle05.

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