Monday Night Football Showdown “trolls” are players who should be low-owned and overlooked in one-game slates, but have paths to useful games.
Let’s dig into the four potential surprise plays I’ve identified for Browns-Jets.
D’Ernest Johnson, RB
Dontrell Hilliard has been ruled out, which means Johnson will be backing up Nick Chubb. Both backs split time in about 30% of the snaps in what the Duke Johnson role would have been if the Browns kept him around.
The Browns called up Elijah McGuire to take Hilliard’s place on the roster, but I think Johnson can see about 20% of the snaps tonight and could even get 2-4 targets. It’s also worth noting that Hillard was able to get a carry inside the 5-yard to score a 4-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter of last week’s game (well before the Browns were getting blown out).
It seems like Freddie Kitchens doesn’t mind giving Chubb some rest, even in high-leverage situations. Johnson is a deep flier, but he’s likely going to be under-owned due to the high variance of a single game.
Johnson could get a vulture TD, a handful of receptions and/or eat in garbage time if the Browns jump out to a big lead.
Damion Ratley, WR
If Rashard Higgins is inactive, it will likely mean Ratley runs as the No. 3 with Taywan Taylor as the No. 4. Ratley could be running a route in 70% of Baker Mayfield’s pass attempts tonight if Higgins is out.
We know Baker loves to spread the ball around, which means Ratley is likely to be under-owned due to his opportunity in that scenario.
New York Jets
Josh Bellamy, WR
If Demaryius Thomas is inactive, look for Bellamy to have an expanded role to help fill in the void left by Quincy Enunwa (IR). Bellamy is going to be under-owned in that scenario given the potential for running a route on 70%+ of Trevor Siemian’s pass attempts.
Bellamy has had a pretty terrible career, but has put up decent lines when his team rolls him out for extended snaps like like the Jets could tonight. He’ll only need a 3/50 line and potential for a touchdown to be the key to unlocking the one-game slate tonight, which always much tougher to do if you use nothing but chalk.
Ryan Griffin, TE
Griffin is going to be running a route on at least 90% of Siemian’s pass attempts tonight, and with Enunwa out, the tight end could benefit even more.
After a 3/10/0 performance last week, I’m guessing he’ll be extremely low owned given just how much potential he has in this spot. It won’t take much, but I can see him having a 4/40 type of game and at least a chance for a TD.
We aren’t investing in what happened last week, but what is possible for tonight. I think Griffin will be the biggest surprise out of all of the non-chalk options.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Ryan Griffin