Is Jamison Crowder a safe fantasy start for Thursday Night Football? | PFN

The New York Jets will be getting a much-needed boost to their offense for their Thursday Night Football game when they host the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring) is expected to play in the Week 4 opener. Crowder, who has missed the past two games due to that hamstring injury, will not be 100%, per Pelissero, but the 27-year-old receiver will give it a go. Given the sheer lack of competent offensive players on the Jets, is Crowder a safe fantasy football play?

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The Jets need all the help they can get on offense

It doesn’t take much research to know the Jets offensively is an absolute mess. Let’s just give a quick refresher for those who are unsure. These are where the Jets rank in the NFL, tweeted by Manish Mehta, Jets/NFL columnist for NY Daily News:

Total Yards: 32nd
Scoring: 32nd
Passing Yards: 32nd 
First Downs: 32nd
Touchdowns: 31st
Rushing Yards: 28th 
Yards Per Carry: 30th
Punts Per Play: 32nd
Third Down Conversion: 31st 
Yards Per Play: 31st
Red Zone Offense: 32nd

Even from a fantasy aspect, we have effectively written off any player who is on their offense. The only option has been Sam Darnold, and that has been in only 2QB or Superflex formats. 

Le’Veon Bell has been on IR and is out for the game. Breshad Perriman has been ruled out while dealing with an ankle injury, and Chris Hogan is questionable. By default, Crowder will be the Alpha tonight, and someone Darnold will be looking for all game.

After missing two weeks, Crowder hopes to back up his solid Week 1 performance

While the NFL, and fantasy, are a “Whats did you do for me recently” industry, we might quickly forget that Crowder had himself a great opening game.

In his only game of the season, Crowder caught seven of his 13 targets for 115 yards and a score against the Bills. The vast majority of that production came on a 69-yard catch-and-run TD, but he’s the type of receiver who’s capable of those kinds of plays, so we can’t completely write it off as a fluke.

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The most significant stat from that game was the 13 targets. Even when the Jets were at full strength, Crowder saw a 37.5% target share. There is no reason to see this being much less. While I don’t see many scoring opportunities, his total receptions give him a boost in PPR formats. The only risk is the ever-present possibility of a re-injury during the game.

Is it safe to start Jamison Crowder in Week 4?

If you told me that he was 100% healthy and would play the entire game, then absolutely fire him up as a WR3. The issue is we don’t know how close he is to full strength and if he is playing because he is healthy, or is being encouraged to play in an effort to save head coach Adam Gase‘s job.

He will be a low-end WR3 for me, given the risk of him playing only a half and then missing the rest of the game. If you choose to play him and he can get through the game, he will likely outperform this projection in PPR leagues. I am unsure if that is a risk I would be willing to take if it was my own team. 

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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