Welcome to Week 14 of the NFL season, one of the first times that fantasy football owners have really considered whether to start or sit Zay Jones. The Buffalo Bills’ second-year wide receiver has flashed upside at various points throughout his career, but he may finally be coming into his own.
With Buffalo making the decision to release Kelvin Benjamin, it now makes Jones the go-to option without question in the team’s offense. The former East Carolina wide receiver showed a solid connection with rookie quarterback Josh Allen in Week 13 as well, hauling in four passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Just two games prior to that (with Matt Barkley), Jones caught 8-of-11 targets for 93 yards and one score.
The arrow is pointing up for Jones as his workload increases and production does the same. But now, fantasy players are left with a tough call on whether to start or sit the Bills receiver in a Week 14 matchup with the New York Jets. Let’s break down the situation and make a final call.
Week 14 Matchup & Outlook for Bills WR
Before making a decision, we have to take everything into account here, and with Jones, that’s especially important. One of the first things I did was evaluate both the snaps and matchup for him ahead of Week 14, and they check out nicely.
Jones played 92 percent of the snaps in Week 13 and was the only Buffalo receiver to top 58 percent, per Football Outsiders. The high snap count isn’t new for him, as he played 95 percent in Week 12 and 85 percent prior to the bye in Week 10. This number should continue to stay high, especially with Benjamin no longer in town.
The matchup for Jones is great as well, with the Jets being one of the worst teams in the NFL statistically against opposing wide receivers. On the year, they’ve allowed 174 receptions (third most) for 2,273 yards (fourth most) and 13 touchdowns to the position. Tack on that Jones just torched this Jets defense in the game mentioned above to the tune of 93 yards and one touchdown.
Should You Start or Sit Zay Jones in Week 14?
There’s no question that starting a Bills wideout in a very hit-or-miss offense can be risky, especially if you’re considering using him in the fantasy playoffs. With that said, he’s a great option on paper, and I think we could see the coaching staff allow Allen to air it out a bit again in this game.
I was originally worried about the potential weather in Buffalo, but according to NFL Weather, it’s just expected to be a fairly cold game with no snow. If we anticipate somewhere around 8-10 targets for Jones against a poor Jets pass defense, he has the potential to top the 100-yard mark for the first time in his NFL career.
With the fact that Odell Beckham Jr. was recently ruled out for Week 14, it means quite a few players are also looking for options on waivers. Jones (if available) is a great candidate to replace him. I’d start the Bills receiver as a flex in 12-team leagues (WR3 if you had Beckham) and in all 14-team leagues or larger.