Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs. NYJ

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs. NYJ


Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs. NYJ

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Prediction: CLE 13, NYJ 24 (Line: NYJ by 3)

Update: Duke Johnson was cleared to play from his concussion. Dwayne Bowe is questionable to play and is not a safe start since his role is not clear regardless of his health. I am removing him from the projections until he is healthy and sure to contribute.

Injury Report
Wednesday – (Limited) Dwayne Bowe (hamstring), Duke Johnson (concussion)

Thursday(Limited) Dwayne Bowe (hamstring)
Friday – (Limited) Dwayne Bowe (hamstring)

This will be a game with two teams that are searching for an offensive identity.

The Browns ended 2014 with a 7-9 record and are currently on a five game losing streak. Instead of using journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer, the Browns are lining up behind journeyman Josh McCown as the starter while knowing at some point Johnny Manziel will be taking snaps if not starting. The loss of Jordan Cameron wasn’t really filled though adding Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe won’t be any worse than last year. Adding Duke Johnson could also be a great boost if he is ever actually healthy enough to play. Mike Pettine enters his second season as head coach while, yet again, there is a new offensive coordinator with John DeFilippo coming over from the Raiders.

The Jets have moved on to the Todd Bowles era which should improve the defense if nothing else. The offense now comes under the direction of Chan Gailey which should be a positive development after Marty Mornhinweg was unable to do much here. The annual quarterback quandary was solved when Geno Smith got too lippy with linebacker IK Enemkpali and now eats through a straw until the end of the month. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the starting nod. Brandon Marshall was also added which can only help a team that hasn’t had a fantasy-relevant receiver since Keyshawn Johnson.

This could go either way but the nod should go to the Jets even though they are installing new schemes. This is not likely to be the highest scoring game of the week but it could be the lowest.

Cleveland Browns

1 @NYJ —— 10 @PIT ——
2 TEN —— 11 BYE ——
3 OAK —— 12 BAL ——
4 @SD —— 13 CIN ——
5 @BAL —— 14 SF ——
6 DEN —— 15 @SEA ——
7 @STL —— 16 @KC ——
8 ARI —— 17 PIT ——
9 @CIN ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh McCown 10 170
RB Isaiah Crowell 60,1 2-10
WR Brian Hartline 3-30
WR Andrew Hawkins 5-40
PK Travis Coons 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: As often as the Browns change offensive coordinators, it is a wonder that the offense is as productive and consistent as it is… no wait… it never is. This is the SIXTH new offensive coordinator in the last six years. They have have churned through 13 over the last 17 years. The only reasonable explanation is that the OC office is haunted. That astounding lack of continuity is a death knell to any offense. And there is new quarterback this year as well. For a team with an above average offensive line, the failure to stick with anything is a missed opportunity in fantasy and NFL terms.

QUARTERBACK : The Browns went with Brian Hoyer as the starter last year despite it being his only year of starting in his six years in the league. So naturally he is gone and Josh McCown is starting after a 12 year career of never being a full season starter and playing on his seventh team. Johnny Manziel is still more hype than hope but he is out with tendinitis in his elbow anyway so the “Here’s Johnny!” moment will come later this season. Every season you think Cleveland’s quarterback situation can’t be any worse than it was before… and every year the Browns manage to take us to new depths.

RUNNING BACK : The Browns will rely on a committee backfield again at least until someone clearly separates himself from the rest. Isaiah Crowell is the default starter though he only ran 148 times for 607 yards and eight scores last year. Terrance West was actually drafted by the Browns and had 171 carries for 673 yards and four scores as a rookie but lacks the consistency of Crowell. Throwing yet another back into the mix, the Browns spent their 3.13 pick on Duke Johnson out of Miami and he sparks a lot of promise with his 6.8 yard rushing average for the Hurricanes. He’s the smaller back here at only 5-9, 206 lbs. but is expected to add speed and outside running to the offense and he may end up challenging for the primary role against the uninspiring cast of backs in Cleveland. But he missed time with a hamstring strain this summer, returned and then suffered a concussion that may not be cleared by this game.

West was recently traded to the Titans which helps clear up this backfield a bit. Now it is just a question if Duke Johnson can earn more playing time.

For week one, I will project for Crowell but this will be a committee. What we really want to see is what Johnson can produce on the field to see if there is hope of anyone breaking out of the bunch in Cleveland.

WIDE RECEIVER : This unit has been upgraded and it wasn’t that hard since Andrew Hawkins led the crew in 2014 with 63-824-2 and four other wideouts had at least 300 yards on the season. Dwayne Bowe came over from the Chiefs but so far has received nothing but negative reviews. He’s going on four years since he had a truly fantasy relevant season. Brian Hartline could be a surprise here after posting two 1000 yard seasons in Miami and the Browns having a lack of credible outside receivers.

The Browns will have to throw in most games. Hartline and Hawkins appear to be the most likely beneficiaries.

TIGHT END : Jordan Cameron was a solid player for the Browns and topped out at 80-917-7 in 2013 before being injured in last year. He’s gone to Miami now and the Browns no longer have a proven player at the position. Gary Barnridge is the official starter though he is 30 years old and totals 44 catches over his six year career. Rob Housler came from the Cardinals as is the best receiving option but the Browns are on to yet another new offense and have no viable weapon for a tight end. I won’t project for the Browns here until there is a clearly consistent and at least mildly productive player.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Jets were great against the run and bad against the pass last year but that will change now that the corners are manned by Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. It probably doesn’t change much here since it is far too early to rely on any element of the Browns offense. Unless Duke Johnson emerges, this team won’t provide much more than bye week fillers or possibly a low end RB3 from Crowell. Hartline draws Revis to remove any temptation to start.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 32 22 23 22 25 14
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 24 7 19 30 21 25

New York Jets

1 CLE —— 10 BUF ——
2 @IND —— 11 @HOU ——
3 PHI —— 12 MIA ——
4 @MIA —— 13 @NYG ——
5 BYE —— 14 TEN ——
6 WAS —— 15 @DAL ——
7 @NE —— 16 NE ——
8 @OAK —— 17 @BUF ——
9 JAC ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Matt Forte 100 2-10
RB Bilal Powell 20 2-20
RB Khiry Robinson 20 4-40
WR Eric Decker 2-20
WR Quincy Enunwa 2-30
WR Brandon Marshall 6-70
PK Randy Bullock 2 FG 1 XP
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jets move on from Rex Ryan and that can only help the offense – that and keeping Geno Smith on the sidelines. Chan Gailey is a veteran coach who knows offense and should bring some life back into this team. Todd Bowles will ensure that plenty of attention goes to the defense and the offense will need a rebuild next year. There are parts here that can produce at least average numbers with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall on the outsides. And sticking to one back like Chris Ivory will help with consistency.

QUARTERBACK : Geno Smith is out and may not get the job back. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a credible track record for playing on mostly sub-par offenses and threw for over 23 scores in each of his final three years in Buffalo. He’s no long-term answer but he could end up the season-long starter. That dilemma will be decided at the end of the month when everyone can once again understand what Smith is saying.

RUNNING BACK : The Jets brought in Zac Stacy and Stevan Ridley to compete for a job and Stacy cleared cuts and looked good in preseason play against mostly looming defensive cuts of the opponent. Ridley is expected to start the season on the reserve/PUP list because of his knee. Bilal Powell is slated for third down work that could prove fantasy relevant in the new offense but the backfield is not yet set in stone other than Chris Ivory is the starter.

Ivory has only been a committee member since coming to the Jets in 2013 but he has a career mark of 4.8 yards per carry and has always been underrated and under-used. The Jets have a good rushing schedule and Ivory should be able to take advantage. This week should be a nice start for Ivory.

WIDE RECEIVER : The Jets are better off at wideout than they have been for years. Eric Decker came over last year and predictably proved that being Peyton Manning’s #3 is still better than being the Jets #1. He ended with 74-962-5 and returns as a starter. But Brandon Marshall is now on the other side. He had a down year in 2014 thanks to injuries but was on an eight season streak of 1000 yards. He’s only 31 years old and should definitely have a year or two left in him. Jeremy Kerley should be the #3 but he’s disappointed the new coaching staff and will not be a factor. Devin Smith was taken in the second round but missed training camp because of broken ribs. He won’t figure in until later in the season if then.

TIGHT END : The Jets have already lost Jace Amaro for the year because of shoulder surgery on a torn labrum. That leaves Jeff Cumberland as the best of the bunch though he’s never caught more than 29 passes in any of his six years. Tight end is not expected to be fantasy relevant this year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Browns had trouble stopping the run last year especially in road games so Ivory is a recommended start this week. Fitzpatrick has to prove himself before he is worth consideration. Joe Haden should match on Decker which removes him from consideration. Marshall is the only reasonable play here other than Ivory.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 30 21 29 20 15 30
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 10 21 17 7 23 5

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