NY Jets players to sit with reservations
- Dalvin Cook
- Allen Lazard
- Mecole Hardman
Listed in order from most likely to prove me wrong to least, these are the three players I feel pretty comfortable leaving on my bench this week.
Mecole Hardman could've easily ended up on the first list, especially considering he played zero snaps on Monday. But head coach Robert Saleh said that was more of a knee-jerk reaction to the Aaron Rodgers injury than anything else.
If they do decide to let him loose, they could use him for screens (which Zach Wilson suddenly appears to be good at) or run him out deep like he did in Kansas City for a Zach Wilson bomb.
The one time the Jets really let Wilson air it out, he found a lot of success with Garrett Wilson. Hardman could certainly eke out some yardage if they show confidence in Wilson.
Allen Lazard is the closest thing Wilson has to Corey Davis, who historically was always his most comfortable target. He loves the strong guys with the big frames, who he feels the most confident throwing to because he seems to wait until guys are "college open" to throw the ball instead of throwing guys open.
We've already seen camaraderie develop between the two, but of course, it seems like Wilson has worked hard to improve his chemistry with the uber-talented Garrett Wilson as well.
However, in the immortal words of Mike Tyson, "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." If Micah Parsons wreaks havoc and causes chaos in the pocket, instinct may kick in for Wilson and draw him to Lazard — making him a potential steady option in PPR and a potential red zone target (if they ever make it to the red zone).
Lastly, there's Dalvin Cook. If you want to disagree and start him anyway, that's fine because I'm on the fence with this one. My reasoning is that it looks like Hall will be used in short-yardage situations, and we saw that, in general, Hall was much more explosive (even if he gassed out on that run). It's clear that Hall is RB1, even if Cook out-touched him last game.
It's very possible he out-touches Hall this game as well, but I don't have faith that this is the defense he'll be able to pick up his efficiency against.
Unfortunately, these are some tough run defenses that the Jets are going against these first five weeks, and the Cowboys specifically just held Saquon Barkley to 51 yards on 12 carries. In the 14 games last year in which he had 12 or more carries, he finished with less than 55 yards just once, so the Cowboys certainly held Barkley in check.
If Mike White was under center hitting his running backs all the time, I'd have Cook on the definitely start list, but with Wilson, we must err on the side of caution. I think he can only support the production of one running back, and I personally predict that running back will be Breece Hall.