Week 9 Game Hub: BUF-JAX

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Week 9 Game Hub: BUF-JAX

Buffalo Bills (5-2, 4-2-1 ATS) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6, 2-5), 1 p.m.

Brolley’s Bills Stats and Trends

  • The Bills are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games

  • Buffalo is 6-2 ATS and 6-2 toward overs in its last eight road games.

  • Josh Allen got off to a bit of a slow start against the Dolphins last week, but he finished strong with 249/2 passing and 55/1 rushing to finish as the QB1 with 29.5 FP. He’s now posted 29+ FP in three straight games and in four of his last five contests. The Jaguars allowed the previously anemic Geno Smith to lead the league with a 128.3 passer rating in Week 8.

  • Stefon Diggs posted a season-low 40 yards on five catches and seven targets last week, but he scored for the second straight game. Diggs has reached 20+ FP just once this season, and he’s been hovering around a 75% snap share since Week 2. Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf combined for 18/185/2 receiving in this glorious matchup last week.

  • Emmanuel Sanders posted a goose egg on four targets last week, which was the first time he’s been shutout in a full game since Week 10 of 2015 when he was playing in Denver — Peyton Manning got benched for Brock Osweiler in that game after he started 5/20 for 35 yards. Sanders was averaging 4.0 catches and 68.8 yards per game in his first six contests. The Jaguars are giving up the fifth-most receiving yards per game (192.3) to WRs.

  • Cole Beasley is back to being featured in the offense with 17/198/1 receiving on 22 targets in his last two games after managing just 3/21 receiving on four targets in Weeks 4-5. Beasley has 7+ catches and 60+ yards in 4-of-7 games and he has just 7/57 receiving combined in his other three contests. Lockett posted 4/28 receiving on five targets on his slot routes last week.

  • Dawson Knox is still on the mend from his hand surgery, and the Bills are unlikely to rush him back this week if he isn’t close to 100%. Tommy Sweeney would get another start this week if he’s unable to play after posting 3/30 receiving against the Dolphins last week. The Jaguars are giving up the seventh-most FPG (15.9) to TEs this season.

  • Zack Moss nudged ahead of Devin Singletary in their first game out of their bye week. Moss posted more snaps (47 to 25), routes (25 to 11), touches (14 to 8), and yards (58 to 29) against the Dolphins. The Jaguars have limited RBs to just 3.6 YPC but they’re giving up the fourth-most rushing TDs per game (1.1) to the position.

Brolley’s Jaguars Stats and Trends

  • The Jaguars are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games

  • Jacksonville is 5-1 toward unders in its last six games.

  • James Robinson left Week 8 early with a heel injury, which has his status in doubt this week. Carlos Hyde stepped in and did little as a runner with 9/32 rushing against the Seahawks, but he helped out a struggling Lawrence with 6/40 receiving on eight targets. Hyde played on 74% of the snaps after Robinson left for good while Dare Ogunbowale saw just three touches and 23% of the snaps. This is a brutal matchup for whoever sees the touches as the Bills are giving up a league-low 16.6 FPG to RBs this season.

  • Trevor Lawrence had been trending upward, but he flopped coming out of their bye. He completed 32/54 passes for 238 yards (4.4 YPA), one TD, and one INT against the Seahawks, and he added just 3/11 rushing. He now gets a matchup against a Bills’ defense that’s giving up the fewest FPG (13.5) to the position.

  • Marvin Jones has seen his target share fall from a team-best 23% with D.J. Chark (ankle, IR) in the lineup in Weeks 1-4 to the team’s third-best rate at 18% without him in Week 5-8. He’s finished with fewer than nine FP in three of his last four games after posting 5/35 receiving last week. DeVante Parker did post 8/85 receiving in this tough matchup last week.

  • Jamal Agnew, Jacksonville’s new slot WR, has 5+ catches and double-digit FP in three straight games since the Jaguars lost Chark for the season, and he’s leading the team with 21% target share in that span. Agnew posted 6/38/1 receiving on a team-high 12 targets (22% share), and he scored the team’s lone touchdown from nine yards away. The Bills allowed just 4/29 receiving on 12 targets to Jaylen Waddle last week.

  • Laviska Shenault has finished with fewer than nine FP four times this season after posting a miserable 2/13 receiving on four targets last week. He’s a distant fourth in target share since Chark left the lineup at an ugly 14% share. The Bills are giving up the second-fewest FPG (26.8) to WRs this season.

  • Dan Arnold had his best game in teal and gold in a blowout loss to the Seahawks in Week 8. Arnold played 72% of the snaps and he posted a team-best 8/68 receiving on 10 targets (19% share) for a season-high 14.8 FP. He’s seen 5+ targets in three straight games. Mike Gesicki posted 3/48 receiving in this matchup last week.

Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies

Bills

Pace (seconds in between plays): 26.4 (5th)

Plays per game: 71.3 (6th)

Pass: 59.3% (21st) | Run: 40.7% (12th)

Jaguars

Pace: 27.7 (15th)

Plays per game: 66.3 (20th)

Pass: 65.2% (7th) | Run: 34.8% (26th)

Pace Points

For as long as this game is competitive, the Bills are going to do what they do: Throw the rock. Buffalo is the seventh-most pass-heavy team in neutral situations (game within a score in 1st-3rd quarter) and the eight-most pass-heavy team when leading. The gap between these two teams could not be any wider here as the Bills are scoring on a league-leading 52% of their drives while the Jaguars are dead-last in scores per drive (23.7%). After completely flopping against the Seahawks coming out of their bye, it’s impossible to trust the Jaguars against the league’s best pass defense.

Huber’s Key Matchup Notes

NOTE: Each week, Huber’s Key Matchup Notes in the Fantasy Points Game Hubs are little snippets from Wes Huber’s industry-best, comprehensive Advanced Matchups bible. A DFS-slanted article typically available to only our Premium Subscribers, we are making this week’s edition FREE to coincide with our midseason price drop, with rates reduced by 50%. There is still plenty of time to get on board!

We’ll have a few examples of players that faced solid opportunities against Cover 1-heavy defenses last week, failed to hit, and who will do so again this week. Stefon Diggs wasn’t a complete failure last week. With a Xavien Howard shadow, Diggs managed 4/29/1 of his 5/40/1 total receiving line inside Howard’s coverage. And the Jaguars will have another top-10 Cover 1 rate (eighth-highest) ready for the Bills. During the last three seasons of play, Diggs is eighth-best with 0.68 FPs/route (FP/Rt) vs. Cover 1. On 25% of total routes vs. Cover 1, Diggs has assembled 37% of his yardage, and 38% of his total TDs. He also ranks sixth-best with 3.28 yards/route (3.31) and 15th with 10.7 yards/target (YPT) when opposing a single-high scheme.

The alignment numbers actually place Diggs across from 2021 second-rounder Tyson Campbell on nearly two-thirds of snaps. If DC Joe Cullen has the brass pair to put his rookie corner on Diggs, the term “nuclear” comes to mind. But I am anticipating that Cullen will want Shaquill Griffin across from Diggs on as many obvious passing snaps as possible. Griffin is permitting 1.05 YPCS (29th), 0.25 FP/CS (37th), 0.23 AY/CS (26th), and a 112.6 TPR (67th). This matchup is far less about Griffin’s coverage issues, all about Diggsy’s pwnage of man-to-man coverage.

A Diggs-Tyson Campbell matchup would be so much fantasy gold that I’m also expecting very good numbers resulting from an Emmanuel Sanders-Campbell faceoff. This play is far less about Sanders against Cover 1, all about the coverage issues from Campbell. Just to be crystal clear, 83 outside cornerbacks have qualifying statistics. Campbell is surrendering 2.54 YPCS (83rd), 0.46 FP/CS (83rd), 0.51 AY/CS (71st), and a 128.3 TPR (76th).

Marvin Jones Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., and Jamal Agnew will need to find weaknesses inside the four-high coverage of Tre'Davious White, Levi Wallace, Taron Johnson, Micah Hyde, and Jordan Poyer. Yeah, good luck.

Investing in TE production against Cover 4 and Cover 6 is a venture not for the light of heart. That said, Dan Arnold is one Jag receiver that might do well. These percentages might not blow your mind, but they are actually better than Travis Kelce’s. On 15% of routes against Cover 4 over the three previous campaigns, Arnold has caught 17% of his total passes, 15% of his yardage, and 14% of his TDs.

Dolan’s Vantage Points

The Bills haven’t been as consistently sharp on offense this year as last, but they’re still pulling out impressive performances weekly. That starts with QB Josh Allen, who didn’t even look great last week against the Dolphins but still cobbled together a heck of a fantasy performance.

Here’s his recent run of finishes, from Graham’s Week 9 Stat-Pack:

  • Josh Allen’s last five weekly finishes: QB1, QB12, QB4, QB3, and QB1. Not bad.

  • Next up? The Bills get the Jaguars, Jets, and Colts.

Indeed, the Jags got absolutely torched by Geno Smith in Week 8, and over their last five games, they’ve surrendered 20.4 FPG to opposing QBs, 6th-most over that span. Yeah, it’s looking like an Allen blowup spot.

Of course, the production for guys like Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders could well depend on what the gamescript looks like here. Still, the Jags have been getting absolutely smoked by opposing WRs, and I’d be willing to go back to the well with all three, though Beasley is the toughest to trust given he’s questionable with a rib injury. It’s entirely possible he’s limited.

Sanders’ goose egg last week was an uncommon one, as Brolley pointed out above, but it may have just been a blip on the radar. From Graham:

  • Emmanuel Sanders' goose-egg in Week 8 wasn’t due to a lack of usage. He led the Bills WR group in routes (43) followed by Cole Beasley (42) and Stefon Diggs (41).

This could be a good game for the Bills to get the run game going in the second half if the gamescript is as anticipated, but I have a clear favorite from the pair of Zack Moss and Devin Singletary — Moss. Not only has Moss outsnapped Singletary nearly 2-to-1 over their last three games (131 to 75), but Moss is clearly the Bills’ goal-line back. Moss has played 19 of the Bills’ 23 offensive snaps in goal-line situations, compared to just 5 for Singletary. As Brolley pointed out above, the Jags’ biggest weakness in their run defense is giving up TDs in goal-to-go situations. Advantage Moss.

The Jaguars are a disaster. Poor Trevor Lawrence.

To add injury to insult, it seemed likely last week that the Jags were going to get a colossal performance from RB James Robinson against the Seahawks, as he gained 39 yards from scrimmage in the first quarter on just 8 snaps. But he went out with a heel injury that’s going to leave him up in the air for Sunday’s game (he’s questionable), which would open the door for Carlos Hyde to be a mediocre plodder against the Bills in a bad matchup. Yay?

Anyway, here’s Scott Barrett from the Week 9 XFP Report on Jacksonville WR Jamal Agnew, whom Urban Meyer called the Jags’ “best separator” last week:

“Agnew ranked 7th among all WRs in XFP last week (19.4). Since Week 5, he leads all Jacksonville players in XFP per game (14.4, ~WR32). Though, he had a top-3 matchup last week, and this week’s matchup is bottom-10.”

Agnew cashed some DFS tickets for me last week — thanks Scott and Wes Huber! — but I’m not sure I’ll be going back to the well this week. It’s also a brutal matchup for Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault, it goes without saying (and the Jags clearly have some issues with Shenault).

One guy whom we could go to bat for this week is TE Dan Arnold. Here’s Scott from XFP:

“Since Week 5, Dan Arnold ranks 5th in targets per game (8.7), 5th in XFP per game (13.0), and 10th in FPG (10.6) on a 71% route share (15th).”

And Jake Tribbey from Streamers:

“Over the last three weeks, Dan Arnold has ranked 3rd on the Jags in target share (16.3%), 3rd in targets per game (7.7), 3rd in routes (99), and 3rd in FPG (10.0). Or, in other words, that’s the same target share as Zach Ertz, 0.5 more targets per game than Mark Andrews, a comparable number of routes per game as Mike Gesicki, and the same FPG as C.J. Uzomah. Jacksonville went out of their way to trade former Round 1 pick CJ Henderson for Arnold, and they’ve shown in the month he’s been with the team that they clearly want to make him an active part of the offense. Of the TEs on this list, Arnold is my favorite long-term hold given the stellar usage he’s seen thus far as a Jaguar.

Arnold faces a difficult matchup with Buffalo in Week 9, but the Jags are 14.5-point dogs, and that means plenty of pass volume for this offense, and thus, routes and targets for Arnold. He can be safely trotted out as a mid-range TE2 this week — similar to Tyler Conklin — with the key exception being that Arnold is available in 20% more leagues.”

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