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We got a mini-break because of the Thanksgiving slate, but it’s crunch time for many teams. The fantasy playoffs are a few weeks away, and every win counts. We’ve got plenty of roster decisions to make, and we’ll be hanging on to every bit of news as it comes. To help sort through the noise, I’ve three of my biggest lessons learned from Week 12 and how to apply them for the coming weeks.
Quarterback: Mike White, Jets
Week 11 Results: (Projected) 12.2, (Actual) 24.8
The Mike White hype continues. It’s a fun story with a huge payoff for White, as the Jets are on a payoff trajectory. Think of him as Taylor Heinicke from the 2020 season. He can operate the offense within its design and let his playmakers do the rest. And after Sunday, it looks like it’s his job to lose.
Advice Moving Forward:
White is a matchup-based starter through the fantasy playoffs. He has positive matchups on the schedule and a high-end defense to cover up any deficiencies.
White merely winning a game against Chicago wasn’t the only reason Jets’ fans were chanting his name It’s how productive he was in the victory. I don’t count style points, but any statistical comparison between the now-starter and his predecessor leans in White’s favor.
The pass rate over expected (PROE) comparison indicates the offense didn’t significantly shift after the quarterback change. But the difference in completion percentage over expected (CPOE) highlights White’s comfort level. He leveraged shorter throws (a 2.1 air yard per attempt lower than Wilson) to keep the offense moving. But the time-to-throw- value caught my eye.
To be fair, Chicago pressured White on just three dropbacks. So, we’re dealing with a minuscule sample. But a 1.2-second difference to throw is a lifetime for quarterbacks in the pocket. Wilson led the league in interceptions under duress because of his inability to operate with the defense bearing down on him. However, we’ve got nearly half a season of games for Wilson to see the good and the bad.
The reasonable argument against White is who he faced on Sunday. The Bears were toothless after trading away Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. Garrett Wilson ran by an injured Eddie Jackson for his second touchdown, and Chicago also lost their top corner during the game. It couldn’t have been easier for White. But Wilson had a similar opportunity earlier in the year.
Wilson faced the Dolphins in Week 5 without Xavien Howard or Tua Tagovailoa. Plus, Teddy Bridgewater was injured in the first quarter, forcing seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson onto the field. And yet, White was still more accurate, more efficient, and had a faster time to throw under pressure. So, even in an almost identical situation, we’ve seen more from the backup.
White’s short, quick-passing skillset generates more fantasy points in favorable matchups. We saw as much in his debut against Cincinnati last season. The Vikings are, at best, a neutral defensive test for White and the Jets’ offense. But with games against Detroit and Jacksonville in the playoffs, White is a strong streaming candidate to close out the season.
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