This week’s NFL “Monday Night Football” gives us an intriguing matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers traveling across three time zones to take on the New York Jets.
The Chargers own one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses with quarterback Justin Herbert at the helm.
Meanwhile, the Jets boast one of the league’s best defenses with an elite pressure rate and blanket coverage on the outside.
The Jets have played admirably in the absence of Aaron Rodgers, but they get a big test Monday.
Will they need to rely on their elite defense or will third-year quarterback Zach Wilson be able to keep up with the elite Chargers offense?
Let’s take a look at three of my favorite plays I am targeting Monday on PrizePicks:
Quentin Johnston fewer than 32.5 receiving yards
Johnston is a physically gifted wide receiver whom the Chargers took in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft.
He is coming off the best game of his young career, when he logged five receptions for 50 yards against the Bears. He had not topped 20 receiving yards in any of his six games prior to last week’s performance.
The Chargers are dealing with multiple injuries at wide receiver, including Mike Williams and Josh Palmer. Johnston should be in line for plenty of opportunities again.
The problem is he gets one of the toughest matchups in the league against the Jets, who have allowed the fourth-fewest passing yards this season.
They also have one of the league’s best coverage cornerbacks in Sauce Gardner.
Fellow wide receiver Keenan Allen runs 62 percent of his routes from the slot, where he should avoid the difficult matchup of Gardner.
Tight end Gerald Everett is likely to be more involved with the injuries to Williams and Palmer, and the Chargers also have a running back in Austin Ekeler who boasts some of the best receiving skills of any back in the league.
Johnston should certainly see a bigger role than he did the first six weeks of the season, but he is still fourth in the pecking order for targets.
It is possible he steps up with the additional opportunity, but I will lean into the difficult matchup and select Johnston to rack up fewer than 32.5 receiving yards.
Austin Ekeler more than 34.5 receiving yards
Ekeler has topped this projection in three of the four games he has played this season. Last week, he racked up 94 receiving yards against the Bears.
The Jets are a tough team to beat through the air, which should put Ekeler in line to earn multiple checkdown opportunities.
In addition, the Chargers always scheme Ekeler into the passing game with designed screen plays and short-area passes that he often turns into much bigger plays thanks to his elusiveness in the open field.
With the Chargers’ injury issues at wide receiver, Ekeler is in a great position to beat this projection with the way the matchup sets up for him.
Betting on the NFL?
Breece Hall more than 20.5 receiving yards
The Jets’ sophomore running back has looked electric in his return from a knee injury that cost him a big chunk of his rookie season.
Ever since coach Robert Saleh took Hall off his “pitch count” in Week 5 game against the Broncos, the running back has averaged an impressive 21 opportunities per game.
He has earned 17 targets in the three games since the removal of the restrictions on his workload, topping 20.5 receiving yards in two of those games.
Hall’s best performance in the passing game this season came last week against the Giants when he totaled 76 receiving yards on six receptions.
This projection for Hall’s receiving yards is too low considering his recent volume and production.
This story originally appeared on NYPost