Thursday Night Football pretty much went exactly how most people figured it would. Josh Allen threw a couple of touchdowns, to Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, and Rhamondre Stevenson caught a bunch of passes. There were very few surprises in this game, but we still have some things to explore from this one, at least for fantasy football purposes. Let’s dive into this week’s iteration of the Thursday Night Football Absurdity Check!
Is Marcus Jones a Player to Worry About?
Long story short, no. But, if you just look at the box score, you see that Marcus Jones was the leading Patriots’ receiver and that he scored the only touchdown. Well, you don’t have to worry about him, and not just because he’s an explosive player on an offensive built around having as little explosiveness as possible. You just have to watch what actually happened in the game to know why you don’t have to worry about Jones: he had about 5 air yards on the day, but one of his passes came when a Bills defender took a bad angle and Marcus Jones outran another to get to the house. He showed the same speed and elusiveness that he showed on his game-winning touchdown run, but he had just one target after that big catch-and-run in the first quarter. But that is likely the best game of Marcus Jones’ career, and at least the best game of 2022. He’s not worth worrying about.
Did James Cook Justify His Preseason Hype?
James Cook ended the game with 20 touches in this one, 9 more than his career high prior to this game. But, he ended the day with 105 yards on the 20 touches, and six of them were receptions. Okay, so, there’s a lot to unpack here. First of all, he ran well to start the game, starting with 7 carries for 49 yards thanks to a 28-yard run. After that, the Bills put the clamps on him, getting just 15 yards on his other 7 carries. But, ultimately, like J.D. McKissic and current teammate Nyheim Hines before him: it just plain doesn’t matter. His six targets are what have me excited for James Cook, as it’s the second-most receptions from a Bills’ running back this year, and the most since Devin Singletary had 9 receptions on September 25. This is also a portion of the game that the Bills have been trying to add: whiffing on the aforementioned McKissic, adding Duke Johnson, James Cook and Nyheim Hines all point to wanting to pass the ball to the running back. While I don’t think that James Cook is going to take enough touches away from Devin Singletary to render him useless, I do think that James Cook could finally add that role to the Bills’ offense. He should be universally rostered on the back of this game.
What Happened to Jakobi Meyers?
Jakobi Meyers ended the game with just five targets, three catches, and 22 yards. It was a dreadful outcome for Meyers, as he had his worst game of the year. Well, what happened here? It was a three-part effort to undermine Jakobi Meyers. Part one: the Buffalo Bills’ defense, which is one of the best in the league, put the clamps on him, even down to Damar Hamlin getting ejected on an end zone play to knock the ball away from Meyers. The second problem: Matt Patricia is terrible. Just a truly dreadful play caller. He kneecapped the Patriots with terrible play calling that limited their ability to actually run a productive offense by having Mac Jones dink and dunk his way against a superb defense.
Third, and you can see the problem above: this team is not good. It’s just bereft of game-changing talent on offense outside of Rhamondre Stevenson and Jakobi Meyers. This starts with Mac Jones, who is looking like one of the worst passers in the NFL. It’s just a terrible offense, top-to-bottom, that ran up against a buzz-saw Bills defense that knew it could just let Rhamondre Stevenson do his thing and focus on shutting down Jakobi Meyers. And, that’s exactly what they did. His overall upside is still limited by points two and three, but he’s contended with those all year long. He won’t face the Bills every week, and he has the Cardinals, Raiders, Bengals, and Dolphins to finish the fantasy football season. He’ll be fine.
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