Buffalo Bills (4-1, 4-1 ATS) at Tennessee Titans (3-2, 3-2), 8:15 p.m., MNF
Brolley’s Bills Stats and Trends
Buffalo owns a league-best +108 point differential, which is 46 points better than the undefeated Cardinals.
The Bills are 4-1 ATS this season, and they’re 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games.
They’ve outscored opponents 121-28
Buffalo is 5-2 toward unders in its last seven road games.
Josh Allen averaged 31.3 yards per completion in the first half against the Chiefs last week on his way to completing 15/26 passes for 315 yards (12.1 YPR) and three TDs and 11/59/1 rushing for 36.5 FP. The Titans are giving up the 11th-most FPG (21.4) to QBs, and Trevor Lawrence posted 273/1 passing and 28/1 rushing against them last week.
Stefon Diggs finished with 2/69 receiving on a season-low five targets (19% share) against the Chiefs. He’s yet to reach 20+ FP in a game this season after hitting that mark seven times in 16 games last season. Diggs hasn’t shown the same fantasy ceiling he demonstrated on a regular basis last season, but he has a chance to erupt against a Titan’s secondary that’s giving up a league-high 47.3 FPG to the position.
Emmanuel Sanders has 13+ FP in three straight games, including two performances with two touchdowns and 20+ FP in that span. He’s topped 48+ receiving yards in every game
Cole Beasley posted just a five-yard catch on two targets last week, and he’s fallen below 8.0 FP and five targets in 3-of-5 contests. His snap share has also fallen for three straight weeks (66%>50%>39%). Jamal Agnew posted 6/41 receiving in this matchup last week as the Jaguars’ primary slot WR. Sanders, at 34 years old, is on pace to average his most YPR with his 16.9 average through five games. His previous best came with the Broncos in 2015 when he averaged 14.9 YPR. The Titans are giving up a generous 15.2 YPR to WRs this season.
Dawson Knox continues to run pure with touchdowns in four straight games with five total scores in that span. He crushed his previous-best for receiving yards in a game by 50 yards with 3/117/1 receiving last week against the Chiefs. The Titans are giving up the third-fewest FPG (5.9) against an easy slate of TEs to open the year, but Jaguars TEs combined for 7/65/1 receiving last week.
Zack Moss has moved ahead of Devin Singletary in recent weeks, which was made clear by his season-high 74% snap rate compared to Singletary’s season-low 26% share. Moss has posted 12+ FP in all four games he’s dressed in, and he’s coming off a season-best 92 scrimmage yards thanks to 3/55 receiving. James Robinson posted 18/149/1 rushing against the Titans last week, and Tennessee is giving up 4.7 YPC to RBs this season.
Brolley’s Titans Stats and Trends
The Titans are 7-1 toward overs in their last eight games as an underdog, but they’ve played under the total in their first two home games this season.
Derrick Henry is on pace for 530 touches through the first five weeks of the season after posting 29/130/3 rushing against the Jaguars. He’s scored 19+ FP with 130+ scrimmage yards in four straight games, but he’ll be tested this week in a potentially negative gamescript against a good run defense. The Bills are giving up just 2.6 YPC and the third-fewest FPG (13.2) to RBs this season.
Ryan Tannehill has reached 19+ FP and multiple TD passes just once this season with Henry hogging the rock and with Tennessee’s issues at WR. He averaged a season-best 9.0 YPA against the Jaguars last week, but he’s still averaging just 7.2 YPA after averaging 7.9 YPA in 2020. Buffalo’s top-ranked defense picked off Patrick Mahomes twice while holding him to a career single-game worst 5.0 YPA last week.
A.J. Brown has fallen below eight FP in his last two full games, and he left early in Week 3 before sitting out the next week so it’s been a frustrating start to the season. He played just 64% of the snaps in his first game back from his hamstring injury last week, posting just 3/38 receiving on six targets against the Jaguars. The Bills are giving up the second-fewest FPG (26.4) to WRs, and Tyreek Hill managed just 7/63 receiving on 13 targets against them last week.
Julio Jones has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, but he’s trending toward returning to action this week. He’s fallen below eight FP in two of his first three games with an 18.8 FP performance sandwiched in Week 2 against the Seahawks. The Bills are giving up the fewest receiving yards per game (111.6) to WRs this season.
Anthony Firkser has exactly three catches in his first three games of the season, and his yardage has risen every week (19<23<33) while topping out at 50% of the snaps. He could see a bit more run this week with Tennessee entering as 5.5-point home underdogs. The Bills limited Travis Kelce to 6/57 receiving on 10 targets last week but he did find the end zone.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 26.9 (8th)
Plays per game: 71.2 (5th)
Pass: 55.8% (26th) | Run: 44.2% (7th)
Pace: 27.5 (12th)
Plays per game: 78.6 (1st)
Pass: 55.8% (27th) | Run: 44.2% (6th)
Tennessee’s offense has labored in recent weeks without their stud wide receivers and they are desperately going to need them against this Bills team that looks like a juggernaut. Overall, this game is the No. 1 matchup in the pace/play model for Week 6 with both sides top-12 in seconds per snap and top-5 in play volume. After a “slow” start in Week 1, the Bills have filled the scoreboard with 35, 43, 40, and 38 points over the last month and should have no problem clearing another big score against this Titans defense that has given up 38 to the Cardinals, 30 to the Seahawks, and 27 to the Jets.
However, if this game is going to be a shootout, we’re going to need the Titans to play their best game of the year on offense. Not only do the Bills have the best offense – they also have the best defense. Buffalo is “allowing” just 1 point per drive and that easily leads the league. Buffalo has given up a score on just 19% of their opponents drives, and, for reference, the league-average is around 38%. Hopefully getting AJ Brown and Julio Jones back helps fix the Titans woes offensively.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Get comfortable folks… we’re about to reach our destination for Stefon Diggs. The Bills’ schedule looked favorable for him this season, but coincidentally, most of their early-season matchups didn’t feature the coverage shells Diggs is best at attacking. That is… until now. His matchup with Jackrabbit Jenkins and the Titans’ predominant coverage shells indicates a total blow-up spot.
hTennessee has been far better at stunting receiving output from RBs than containing ground production. That’s a death sentence for Devin Singletary, who has already fallen out of favor behind Zack Moss.
It appears the Titans will get AJ Brown and Julio Jones back on the field together for the first time since Week 3. Unfortunately for them, it comes in the week they’re facing the Bills’ defense, the most balanced unit in the NFL.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
Let’s start with the Titans, because it’s not an ideal spot for them to get their passing game on track, even though they will have Julio Jones (hamstring) back this week and AJ Brown will ostensibly be healthier than he was last week.
Brown has been one of the biggest buzzkills in all of fantasy, in a passing game that has appeared broken. Despite the Titans having one of the thinnest WR depth charts in the NFL beyond their two studs, he has yet to lead them in receiving in any individual game.
The #Titans leading receivers this year.— Joe Dolan (@FG_Dolan) October 13, 2021
Week 1: Chester Rogers
Week 2: Julio Jones
Week 3: Nick Westbrook-Ikhine
Week 4: Jeremy McNichols
Week 5: Marcus Johnson
“Brown definitely should be considered as a buy-low at some point, but I’d wait until after this week.
That’s because he’s likely to draw shadow coverage from Tre’Davious White. And White is a big reason why the Bills have given up the 2nd-fewest FPG to opposing WRs (27.0), and the 6th-fewest to outside WRs (17.3). Opposing WR1s (Diontae Johnson, DeVante Parker, Terry McLaurin, Brandin Cooks, and Tyreek Hill) averaged just 50.0 YPG and 11.7 FPG against the Bills, though they collectively average 88.1 YPG and 18.7 FPG in all other games.
Brown, meanwhile, averages just 32.5 YPG and 7.3 FPG this year. He’s just a mid-range WR3 this week, given this brutal matchup.”
Brown is hoping Julio’s presence opens things up for him.
AJ Brown on his fellow WR - "Julio coming back this week gives us an advantage. You respect him, but we have to make plays that's what it comes down to." #Titans— Emily Proud (@emily_proud) October 15, 2021
A.J. Brown just said he won’t play a full allotment of snaps until Week 10— Edwin Porras, DPT (@FBInjuryDoc) October 15, 2021
In 2020 he averaged 81% of snaps
Before the Week 3 injury, he averaged 83%
I’m not entirely certain what to make of this other than they’ll continue to manage his workloads https://t.co/SOZyqGtxYN
I doubt most fantasy players, with bye weeks here, have the luxury of sitting either Brown or Julio, but it’s not the best week for them. I would wager to guess you could find a better option than QB Ryan Tannehill.
Here’s Graham Barfield from Start/Sit:
“Tannehill has finished as the QB16 or better just once all year as the Titans passing offense has struggled to get off of the mat with Julio Jones and A.J. Brown both battling injuries. Even though it seems like Brown is getting closer to 100% and Julio is at least back practicing, this isn’t the spot to get cute and plug Tannehill back in your lineups after the Bills just smothered Patrick Mahomes to 5.0 YPA and a 70.9 passer rating on SNF last week. Overall, Buffalo is now allowing the fewest passing fantasy points per game (8.4) and a league-low 0.239 fantasy points per pass on the season. Until we see Julio and Brown healthy again, Tannehill is best left on your bench in 1-QB leagues. He’s a floor play in SuperFlex.”
Season-long players obviously can’t bench Derrick Henry, but don’t expect a blowup week. The Bills are giving up the 3rd-fewest FPG to opposing RBs this year.
“Across his final 11 games last season (including the postseason), Diggs averaged 11.2 targets, 109.6 receiving yards, and 25.5 DK fantasy points per four quarters (adjusting for the one game he left early). For perspective, those numbers would have ranked best, best (7th-best since 1970), and 2nd-best (9th-best all-time) if over the full season.
Alongside Justin Jefferson and Cooper Kupp, Diggs is one of only three players to hit 60 receiving yards in all five of their games. So, he’s been incredibly consistent, and his volume has been excellent, but the massive “boom” games haven’t been there. And, as such, he ranks just 29th in FPG (14.3).
But again, his volume has been excellent. He ranks 8th in targets per game (10.4), 2nd in air yards per game (141.6), and 11th in XFP per game (17.7). In other words, he’s a screaming regression candidate and a glaring buy-low trade target. We know who he is. Simply, there is no way Diggs isn’t going to continue to rank as one of the most inefficient WRs in fantasy. In fact, the reverse is probably true — he was the league’s 6th-most efficient WR last year, out-scoring his volume-based expectation by 46.1 fantasy points.
And this is a great get-right spot for him. Tennessee has given up the 3rd-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing WRs (+9.2). And, maybe more importantly, they’ve given up a league-high 168.7 receiving YPG (2X the league-average rate) to opposing WRs on deep passes. Diggs, by the way, leads all players in deep targets (13).
Start him this week as a high-end WR1, and know — if you don’t own him — the buy-low window slams shut by the end of this week.”
It’s also a good spot for Emmanuel Sanders as a WR3, and I’m passing on Cole Beasley, who has two games of 13 targets… but just 8 targets in his other three games combined. Beasley has just 2 targets in back-to-back games.
Fantasy players don’t have the luxury of benching Dawson Knox, who has scored in four straight games and is the overall TE3. It appears his role is usurping that of Beasley’s.
While Tennessee’s pass defense is the big weakness the Bills will want to exploit this week, if you’ve been rolling with Zack Moss, I don’t think you have to stop against a defense that allowed James Robinson to go HAM last week. Just don’t expect much more than an RB2 week.