Last week, we returned to our winning ways and went 4-2 on player picks. This brings our total for the season to 84-77-2. I would be careful playing too many entries this Thursday night as the weather looks like it will be terrible.
Some reports predict several inches of rain falling during the game, and the unpredictability of the weather makes it hard to feel confident in any pick. With that being said, I found three picks I will be using in entries on Thursday night, and I have included my confidence rating with each pick.
Tyler Conklin HIGHER than 21.5 Receiving Yards
With Zach Wilson at quarterback this season, Conklin is second on the team in target share, seeing 15.1% of Wilson’s targets. The Jaguars are one of the best matchups for tight ends. They give up the most yards per reception to tight ends and the fourth most receiving yards to tight ends.
The weather will likely restrict both quarterbacks’ ability to throw the ball deep, so Conklin has a chance to be active on short throws. The resurgence of C.J. Uzomah in this offense scares me away from having too much confidence in this play. Therefore, I rate it 3/5 for and wouldn’t play it any higher.
Christian Kirk HIGHER than 50.5 Receiving Yards
This is an absolutely wild line for Kirk. It’s just way too low. There are multiple reasons for it to be low, like the weather and the recent emergence of Zay Jones, but the matchup looks great for Kirk. The Jets run man coverage on 28.2% of plays, the ninth-most in the NFL. In the seven games where the Jaguars faced man coverage on more than 25% of plays, Kirk is averaging 92 receiving yards per game.
The weather is far from ideal, and the overall defensive matchup is rough, but I feel like 50.5 is way too low. I rate this pick as 4/5 for confidence and would play it to 55.5 receiving yards.
Travis Etienne HIGHER than 81.5 Rushing + Receiving yards
I expect a run-heavy approach from Jacksonville on Thursday night. Not only is there projected to be a significant amount of rain during the game, but the Jets’ pass defense has also been suffocating this season. New York is giving up the fourth-fewest passing yards per game. A run-heavy approach likely means Etienne is in for a busy game. Since James Robinson was traded, not including the game he went out injured, Etienne has accounted for 89% of Jacksonville’s running back rush attempts. If it is indeed a run-heavy game, Etienne should see plenty of work.
Between Week 5 and 9, Etienne had more than 100 total yards in five straight games. Since Week 9, he’s faced some difficult matchups and also injured his foot. Because of that, he has only had more than 100 total yards once since Week 9. He was tied for the league lead with four rushing attempts of more than 10 yards last week, so I believe Etienne has his midseason lull behind him.
There is a chance he blows past this line on rushing yards alone, but by adding receiving yards to this, it helps protect against Jacksonville falling into a negative game script. Because of all these factors, this is my highest confidence play of the week. I rate it as a 5/5 for and would play it to 89.5 rushing + receiving yards.