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Week 2 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Last season started with bad game after bad game on Monday Night Football. If last week was a sign, this season should be much better in terms of both gameplay and announcing. Thank goodness for both. This week, the matchup pits an underperforming Cleveland Browns team traveling east to New Jersey to take on the New York Jets.

This game should have been the matchup of the top drafted quarterbacks of 2018. With Sam Darnold contracting Mono, the everlasting Trevor Siemian will instead get the start for a Jets team looking to avenge a blown game in Week 1.

I am not going to waste your time or mine in this article. You already know to start your elite guys. It is not worth it for either of us to explain why to start Odell Beckham Jr., Nick Chubb or Le'Veon Bell. Instead, for this week and also going forward the concentration will be on the mid-level guys and lower who may have question marks. Besides, do you really want to read 3,000 words on why Odell Beckham is a better play than Hunter Renfrow?

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Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets

Game time: Monday, September 16, 2019 @ 8:15 PM EST
Game line: Cleveland Browns -6.5 O/U 44
Cleveland Browns 0-1-0
New York Jets 0-1-0



Baker Mayfield - QB, Cleveland Browns

Sure, you may be hesitant to start Baker after his miserable showing in Week 1 against the Titans. With three interceptions, a safety and a turnover on downs, it was an ugly game for sure. But the Titans Defense Is actually pretty good. The same cannot be said about the Jets Defense.

Their secondary consists of Jamal Adams and no one else. Even their front seven, their supposed strength will be lacking this week. Rookie Quinone Williams is already hurt and is limited in practice. If he misses the game, the pass rush, which was minimal, will become non-existent.

The game may not have gone as planned last week, but the Browns still have Beckham, Chubb, and company. These weapons are not likely to be shut down for two games in a row. Especially against this team in New Jersey. This means the man who is going to be orchestrating it all will also improve greatly. Three interceptions this week? No. But three or even four touchdowns? Quite possible.

Jamison Crowder - WR, New York Jets

Sam Darnold? Out with cooties. Quincy Enunwa? Season-ending neck injury. Le’Veon Bell? Shoulder issue. There is not much left to be excited about on the Jets offense. However, enter Jamison Crowder.

13 receptions on 17 targets in Week 1, and there is a chance that might actually go up this week. Denzel Ward is a good cornerback, but he might be one of the worst tacklers since Deion Sanders. Robby Anderson is a deep threat,  but with Trevor Siemian taking the reigns at quarterback the Jets will be reliant on the short game not the deep game in this one. Especially with the Browns pass rush being the strongest part of their defense with Miles Garrett, Sheldon Richardson and Olivia Vernon providing pressure.

When Simien does have time to throw, it will be short passes to Le’Veon Bell, the tight end Ryan Griffin and of course the slot guy. Jamison Crowder.

Don’t be surprised if at the end of the weekend you look up and see Crowder as a top-24 receiver this week.

Jarvis Landry - WR, Cleveland Browns

As stated with Baker Mayfield, the same goes for Landry. The Jets defense is not good. They have one good player in the secondary in Jamal Adams. And guess what? He will be worrying about Odell Beckham Jr. Not Jarvis Landry.

This means the middle of the field should be wide open for the underneath master to perform. Add to this Nick Chubb being set to light up the run game and the Jets will have a lot to worry about, and no talent to stop it with.

While Beckham and Chubb become the focus of the defense. Landry could quietly have a monster game with over 10 receptions and 100 yards. If he adds in a touchdown in a game which should be a win for Cleveland, he could win you your week. If he doesn’t have a touchdown? His floor is still a double-digit week for you. If he is in your flex, this is a great result. If he is your WR3, it is still a good result.


Consider Sitting

Robby Anderson - WR, New York Jets

Anderson is a good receiver, at least when Darnold is on the field and he is able to be found deep. With Simien taking over for the foreseeable future, this is not the case.

This game will be dump off galore and is why a player like Ty Montgomery or Jamison Crowder could be interesting starts. But it is also the reason Robby Anderson should stay on your bench this week.

Sure, Denzel Ward cannot tackle. But he can cover. His coverage will lead to a minimal number of targets for the speedy Anderson. And those minimal targets will lead to even fewer catches. Could he break off a 75-yard catch for a touchdown? Yes. But it may be his only catch, and that is if he gets it. That is not a risk I want to take on a Monday night. You shouldn’t either. Better days will be ahead. So, sit him this week and be patient.


Potential Sleepers

Browns Defense, D/ST

This one is pretty simple. We have already talked about how bad the Jets offense should be with no Sam Darnold. So, it would make sense to start the players who are set to stop them.

Obviously, I would not encourage you to go out and pick up Cleveland’s defense for this game. But if you drafted them, I would suggest you play them instead of going to get someone else to stream.

Ty Montgomery - RB, New York Jets

Le’Veon Bell has a shoulder issue. He got an MRI Thursday, and everything came back clean. But he will get hit and hit a lot in this game. Something could flare up and if it does Ty Montgomery could be a great play.

This is the deepest of deep sleepers for sure. In a normal 10 or 12 team leagues, he is not worth a flex spot. But in larger leagues, he could have some benefit. He was a running back in high school before transitioning to a wide receiver in college and the early part of his NFL career. This said, whether the Jets need to run the ball or pass the ball he will be in the game.

Although not as talented as Bell, if for some reason Bell doesn’t play Monday, you can fire up Montgomery and expect at least some production.

Ryan Griffin TE, New York Jets

Why am I calling someone who had three receptions for 10 yards in Week 1 a sleeper? Well for one, he isn’t a star. And two, the theme of this entire article on the Jets side of the ball is the short pass game. Who better to focus on than the tight end in the short pass game?

With Chris Herndon coming back next week, this may be your only chance to play Griffin. And it may be a good week to do so. The Browns just got lit up by Delanie Walker last week. To the tune of two touchdowns and 27 fantasy points. They are also notoriously bad against the tight end position in recent seasons. Both of these factors lead to the conclusion that this could be a solid game for Griffin.

Much like Ty Montgomery, this is more of a deep league play. But with Griffin, we know he will be in there and this makes him safer play overall. The tight end position is also not as exciting at the top as the running back position. So even if he doesn’t pan out to be the best, he will not kill your week like a disappointing running back or wide receiver will. This means starting up Ryan Griffin, especially if you had said, Hunter Henry on your team could mean great things. And the best part of all? He is on your waiver wire as he is still owned in less than 1% of Yahoo fantasy leagues. So, go get him, start him and then drop him for someone else. I mean the Jets probably will after Herndon comes back.

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