We have an interesting collection of matchups to kick off the playoffs. One of the most striking realities upon analyzing each playoff team is a complete lack of elite defenses. We have elite defenses, but only elite from the sense that they are superior to most other defenses. While I’ll save the individual breakdown of vulnerabilities for the appropriate write-ups, I will state that every defense is vulnerable in at least one area of play. With scoring down across the board, that’s an alarming realization.
For far too many offenses, responsibility for the general failure in attacking the susceptibleness of an opposing defense falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff. One of the most glaring weaknesses in U.S. law prior to the emergence of serial killers in the 1970’, i.e., Ted Bundy, was the complete lack of communication between neighboring law enforcement entities. Keeping with the approach of the legal process, law enforcement follows the evidence toward the criminal. In the case of the inability of teams attacking vulnerabilities, the evidence points toward the offensive and defensive coaching staffs failing to marry their approaches.
Why would neighboring law enforcement offices refuse to communicate?
Two words: greed and glory.
NFL teams divide up the responsibility for coaching a team to a list of individuals that provides the appearances of filming a major motion picture. And the league is notorious for using a revolving door approach with their coaching ranks. The tediousness in establishing and maintaining the schematic understanding and trust between incumbent and incoming coaches must be overwhelming. That accountability is further encumbering between the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. One defensive coach may feel it to be inappropriate in bringing offensive approach concerns to the other side of the ball, while some younger coaches may feel the same in addressing schemes of attack with elder statesmen. It’s high time that franchises put an end to rotating coaching pieces with the same approach as building a roster through free agency.
The most alarming reality is that I’ve yet to mention the major issue related to coaches running the same schemes as their great-grandfather instructed them as children. Need some evidence? Consider the following:
Number of playoff teams using a top-10 rate of Spread and/or Air Raid personnel: 8
Number of playoff teams using a bottom-10 rate of Spread and/or Air Raid personnel: 2
Fired head coaches from teams using a top-10 rate of Spread and/or Air Raid personnel: 0
Fired head coaches from teams using a bottom-10 rate of Spread and/or Air Raid personnel: 5
Percentage of playoff teams ranking in the top-16 in deep passing attempts: 71%
Percentage of playoff teams ranking in the bottom-16 in deep passing attempts: 29%
Last three non-GOAT Super Bowl winning team utilizing an offensive scheme without significant Spread and/or Air Raid components:
Super Bowl XLVI – New York Giants (February 5, 2012)
Super Bowl XLII – New York Giants (February 3, 2008)
Super Bowl XXXVII – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (January 26, 2003)
Percentage of non-GOAT Super Bowl winning teams utilizing offensive schemes with significant Spread and/or Air Raid components since Super Bowl XXXVII: 79%
The numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of the Spread and Air Raid taking over the NFL. An offense either implements the scheme/s or faces between 70-80% odds against making the playoffs. Perhaps some of the dumpy offensive scheming will dissipate with Matt Nagy, Vic Fangio, Joe Judge, Brian Flores and Mike Zimmer sent packing. Speaking of Zimmer, his offense under Klint Kubiak was one of the unique schemes using a bottom-10 rate of Spread and/or Air Raid personnel, but calling for deep passing at a top-10 rate. Here is the updated graph showing that the Week 18 scoring increased without any significant spikes to the tracked data points:
The 25.5 points/offense in Week 18 stands as a season high. Before we get carried away, a big chunk of that scoring can be confidently swept under the rug in light of four playoff teams resting players on both sides of the ball, and the 35.5 PPG the opposing teams put on the scoreboard. As for the deep passing, in spite of the deep passing rate spiking to the third-highest rate of the season (12.6%), Kirk Cousins accounted for 201 yards and three TDs, while completing six-of-seven throws of 20-plus yards. Without Cousins, the Week 18 deep passing YPA decreases down to 10.15% (9% decline) – would be the second-lowest number of the season.
Modern NFL rules are in place to support vertical passing games. And a valid argument can be made that the current crop of WR, TE, and even RB professionals are more talented as receivers than at any point in league history. The finger can be pointed directly at two parties:
- Refusal by certain coaching staffs to spread out their detached offensive personnel, failure to implement analytics into their draft strategies and gameplans, and dragging their franchises behind in the dark ages with a preference for a run-heavy, “Pro Style” approach
- While much of this issue is carried on the shoulders of front offices for their appalling draft scouting, half of the league’s offenses are equipped with a level of QB quality that would even draw ridicule back in the 1970’s
As always, how can we use all of this information toward actionable lineup construction?
Targeting struggling qualified defenders will always be at the forefront of the process. And targeting late-week replacements in the secondary that have yet to play significant roles this season (the unqualified) offer another profitable approach, in the proper situations, of course. Receiver target share reliability should continue to be held in very high regard – particularly in Cash/Single-Entry (SE) games. DFS success has always been dictated by the players receiving the opportunities. And those opportunity shares are even more important without the deep passing reliability to bust a particular slate.
As always, the following chart provides the full names for the acronyms and the defensive coverage performance numbers for each position group holding coverage importance through Week 18:
To magnify their importance toward processing the matchup data, familiarity with these abbreviations are key. The full names of the data points in the headers of the data table above will not be written out in full within the specific matchups. You’ll find the following acronyms frequently used whenever referencing defensive coverage statistics:
Yards Allowed Per Coverage Snap = YPCS
Fantasy Points Allowed Per Coverage Snap = FP/CS
Air Yards Allowed Per Coverage Snap = AY/CS
Targeted Passer Rating (i.e., Passer Rating on Targets into Coverage) = TPR
Offensive abbreviations used when referring to the performance of QBs/RBs/WRs/TEs:
FPs/Dropback = FP/Db
FPs/Route = FP/Rt
FPs/Touch = FP/Tch
Yards/Route Run = YPRR
Air Yards/Attempt = AY/Att
Air Yards/Target = AY/Tgt
Yards/Target = YPT
Targeted Passer Rating (i.e., QB Passer Rating When Targeting Receiver) = TPR
If you’d like to learn more about/refresh yourself with each of the defensive coverage shells and other relevant schematic details mentioned throughout this series, utilize the following resources:
- Fantasy Shells: Coverage Glossary
- Fantasy Shells: Cover 1
- Fantasy Shells: Cover 2
- Fantasy Shells: Cover 3
- Fantasy Shells: Cover 4
*107-96 (53%); 9-6 in Week 18
Cincinnati Bengals (-5.0) vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Buffalo Bills (-4.5) vs. New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys (-3.0) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals
*99-81 (55%); 8-7 in Week 18
Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (Under 49.5)
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (Over 44.5)
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Over 48.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (Under 50.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (Over 46.0)
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (Over 49.0)
*130-68 (66%); 9-5 in Week 18
Cincinnati Bengals (-225) vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Buffalo Bills (-200) vs. New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-380) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys (-165) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Kansas City Chiefs (-630) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Los Angeles Rams (-190) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Quick Note: The listed pricing is for the combined slate, but analysis is provided for both the combined and Saturday-only slates.
Matchups to Target
Josh Jacobs, LV ($6.5K DK | $7.2K FD) vs. Bengals’ Cover 2
We always see big one-and-done performances during the Wildcard round. The 32-13 beating from Week 11 that the Raiders took from the Bengals in Clark County, no less, seems to indicate Las Vegas’ postseason reign will be short-lived. Cincinnati dominated the time of possession (62% of the clock) in that game despite the Raiders actually outpacing the Bengals in average offensive gain (5.9 vs. 4.1 yards/play, respectively). It certainly didn’t help that Cincy doubled their point total during the final five minutes or that LV handed their opponents 77 yards on seven penalties – one penalty for five penalty yards for Cincinnati.
Josh Jacobs only managed a 9/37/0 rushing line in that Week 11 defeat. However, it’s highly unlikely that the Bengals will be able to repeat that level of an air-tight performance. Since Kenyan Drake was injured, Jacobs has taken 82.2% of the RB carries, his touch rate has increased by 27.7%, his YPC has improved by 12%, and his total YPG has jumped by 31.6%. He’s also averaged 17.7 FPG over those last seven games. All four of the starting RB options on the Saturday slate are sexy. And one offense will supply a couple salary-saving backs to the mix.
Even with RB2/RB3 pricing on the Saturday slate, Jacobs is still entirely in play as a lock for 20 touches. On the combined slate, since I don’t view Jacobs as a Cash/Single-Entry (SE) option, the ownership number on his RB8 pricing on FD will be too high for GPP consideration. But he will be a solid GPP target on DK with RB3 pricing.
Hunter Renfrow, LV ($6.0K DK | $7.3K FD) vs. Mike Hilton, CIN
Cincinnati has put two of the top-20 perimeter corners on the field this season between Eli Apple and Chidobe Awuzie. While Mike Hilton has also been solid on the inside, the Bengals are currently allocating 60.5% of their FPG allowances to receivers aligned in the slot (fifth-most). Lou Anarumo is featuring the eighth-highest rate of Cover 2 this season. Cincy held Hunter Renfrow to a 4/30/0 line in Week 11 but, calling back to the assumption that the Bengals will not repeat that dominatingly-efficient performance, this matchup is tailor-suited to Renfrow’s game.
During his career, Renfrow has generated 0.52 FP/Rt (third-most), 2.63 YPRR (third-most), and he’s been targeted on 26% of plays when on the field across from a Cover 2 (sixth-highest). Cincinnati has permitted the ninth-most FP/CS (0.41), second-most YPCS (9.25), second-highest completion rate of deep targets, and fourth-highest TPR (126.6) when defending play action. The Slot Machine not only posted the 10th-most FP/Rt overall this season (0.485), he also averaged the 11th-most FPG on play action (4.93).
Joe Burrow, CIN ($6.8K DK | $7.8K FD) vs. Raiders’ Cover 3
Where are all of those folks that attempted to label Joe Burrow as not having the arm strength to pass deep in the NFL? Burrow has accounted for 23% of his total passing yardage and 28% of his TDs on throws traveling at least 20 yards through the air this season. He ranked fourth-best with 1,076 yards and led the NFL with 13 TDs on deep throws. He also led the NFL with 8.87 YPA, was second with a 108.3 passer rating, and fourth with 0.494 FP/Db. Even though the Bengals are still fielding a bottom-five O-line in terms of pass protection quality, Burrow registered a 92.4 passer rating when under pressure (second-highest).
The Raiders have put the highest rate of Cover 3 on the field this season. In fact, they have used it on 74% of their defensive plays over the last three weeks – 35% higher than the next highest team. During his career, Burrow has manufactured the 12th-most FP/Db (0.40), the ninth-highest passer rating (100.0), and with the seventh-highest spike in AY/Att (17%). Finally, Las Vegas is delivering the eighth-most FPG through the air to QBs (15.2). Burrow and the Bengals have utilized play action at a bottom-five rate this season. However, if Zac Taylor notices it during his preparation this week, he simply must include the misdirection in his game plan since the Raiders are permitting 0.42 FP/CS (seventh-most), and a 124.0 passer rating (sixth-highest) in defense.
Ja’Marr Chase, CIN ($7.4K DK | $8.2K FD) vs. Brandon Facyson, LV
Based on the alignment numbers on the season, Ja’Marr Chase is going to align across from Brandon Facyson on around 56% of his reps. Some of them will be against Desmond Trufant when the Bengals put four wideouts on the field, but those routes against Facyson are particularly enticing. To be clear, in Chase’s last full game, he collected 11-of-12 targets for 266 yards and three tuddies within the coverage of Rashad Fenton and Charvarius Ward. If Chase comes out on Saturday with anything close to the level of amazo that he represented in Week 17, even Casey Hayward Jr. will stand little chance of slowing him down.
Assuming Chase remains among the realm of mere mortals – from the perspective of an NFL level of skill, Facyson handed his coverage 0.39 FP/CS (second-most), 1.59 YPCS (fourth-most), 0.26 AY/CS (the most), and a 105.7 TPR (18th-highest among 79 qualified outside corners). Going up against the highest rate of Cover 3, Chase will pack along a career 0.55 FP/Rt (eighth-most), 2.86 YPRR (sixth-most), 12.5 YPT (fifth-most), and a 120.7 TPR (ninth-highest) across from Cover 3. Bryce Callahan and Ronald Darby combined to limit Chase to 1/3/0 line in Week 15. In the last three games where Chase played a full game, he created 35.5 FPG. No other RB/WR/TE on the Saturday slate holds a handle to the slate-busting upside of Chase, precisely why we’ll need to devote WR1/WR1 (Saturday-only), and WR3/WR3 cap dollars to roster him. I’ll close by adding that the Raiders have permitted the second-highest percentage of their receiving FPG allowances on the perimeter (50.3%).
Joe Mixon, CIN ($6.8K DK | $8.5K FD) vs. Raiders’ Cover 3
On the one hand, if Burrow and Chase explode for another record-breaking performance, Joe Mixon’s numbers will take a hit. On the other, should Las Vegas come out flat and fail to move the chains early, Mixon could take over like he did in Week 11. In that game, Mixon ran for 10 first downs, a 30/123/2 line, and 27.3 FPs. The one downside to the performance was five runs resulting in negative yardage. However, Mixon did show in Week 16 against Baltimore that he can still blow up (31.5 FPs) when Burrow posts big passing numbers, but he must play a role in the passing game – 6/70/1 on six targets to account for 60.3% of his fantasy scoring.
The Raiders’ run defense has been a massive liability all season. They are gift-wrapping 15.5 FPG on the ground (eighth-most), 27.6 FPG to RBs overall (third-most), and 2.81% of carries have gained at least 20 yards (the sixth-highest rate). It is a slight concern that LV has limited backs to 4.2 YPCS (12th-fewest) since Mixon ranks 26th with 4.13 YPC among 51 RBs with at least 100 carries. Half of his 16 games have ended with an average of 3.8 YPC-or-less. That said, 21.2 opportunities/game (sixth-most) goes a long way towards nullifying his lack of efficiency. And no other RB has scored a higher percentage of his team’s goal-to-go (GTG) rushing TDs (89%).
C.J. Uzomah, CIN ($3.2K DK | $5.2K FD) vs. Raiders’ Cover 3
For those that don’t want to devote premium dollars to either Chase or Mixon, if everything plays out as I’m hoping, C.J. Uzomah will slip well under the radar. Las Vegas has been a bit better against TEs as of late, but they are still agreeing to 5.35 receptions/game (eighth-most), 59.9 YPG (eighth-most), 0.59 TDs/game (third-most), and 15.1 FPG to TEs (fifth-most). One of the sneakiest of factors is that, if Cincinnati does decide to use play action more this week, 36% of Uzomah’s FPG has been collected on fake handoffs. Breaking that down, on 14% of his routes, Uzomah has assembled 27% of his receptions, 32% of his yardage, and 60% of his TDs on play action this season. With WR12/WR12 pricing on the Saturday slate, Uzomah will provide some outstanding salary relief in order to roster the big names in play.
Final notes on Las Vegas
Overall Backup Opportunity Level = Low
Carry Share (with Josh Jacobs active): 26.2%
Route Share (with Josh Jacobs active): 43.2%
Target Share (with Josh Jacobs active): 43.9%
- Route Share (post-Henry Ruggs III): 13.6%
- Target Share (post-Henry Ruggs III): 9.8% (All DeSean Jackson targets)
- Route Share (with Darren Waller active): 32.6%
- Target Share (with Darren Waller active): 18.0%
Eli Apple has limited his coverage to 0.18 FP/CS (ninth-fewest), 0.83 YPCS (12th-fewest), 0.09 AY/CS (10th-fewest), and an 86.2 TPR (29th-lowest). Needless to say, Zay Jones ($4.2K/$5.3K) will be in capable hands. On the other side of the field, Bryan Edwards ($3.4K/$5.1K) will be bottled up by Chidobe Awuzie. For my large-field GPP junkies, I’m mildly intrigued by DeSean Jackson ($3.0K/$4.9K) as a dart throw. On 47 routes against Cover 2 the last three seasons, D-Jax has collected a 5/165/2 line on five targets. Darren Waller ($5.7K/$6.3K) did not hit the ground running against the Chargers’ last week. It certainly doesn’t help that his three-year FP/Rt declines by 37% against Cover 2. Foster Moreau ($2.9K/$4.7K) lost over half of his reps with Waller back in the offense.
Divert that precious cap water around these Mojave Desert Vegans:
Marcus Mariota ($4.8K/$6.3K)
Nathan Peterman ($4.0K/$6.0K)
Jalen Richard ($4.0K/$4.7K)
Peyton Barber ($4.4K/$4.6K)
Tyron Johnson ($3.0K/$4.5K)
Derek Carrier ($2.5K/$4.1K)
Final notes on Cincinnati
Overall Backup Opportunity Level = Very Low
RB (Very Low):
- Carry Share (when Joe Mixon was active): 19.6%
- Route Share (when Joe Mixon was active): 41.4%
- Target Share (when Joe Mixon was active): 47.8%
WR (Very Low):
- Route Share (when Tee Higgins was active): 10.6%
- Target Share (when Tee Higgins was active): 7.1%
- Route Share (with C.J. Uzomah active): 20.9%
- Target Share (with C.J. Uzomah active): 17.3%
I love the FPG allowances on the outside from the Raiders. I don’t love Tee Higgins ($6.3K/$6.9K) facing Casey Hayward Jr. on 55% of his routes. And Tyler Boyd ($5.0K/$6.0K) will deal with LV offering the slot the second-fewest percentage of their allowance and Nate Hobbs on Saturday. Hayward and Hobbs rank among the top-five in each of my important coverage metrics.
Goetta Nati this week:
Brandon Allen ($5.0K/$6.1K)
Samaje Perine ($5.0K/$5.1K)
Chris Evans ($4.0K/$4.7K)
Trayveon Williams ($4.0K/$4.6K)
Mike Thomas ($3.0K/$4.5K)
Trenton Irwin ($3.0K/$4.5K)
Auden Tate ($3.0K/$4.6K)
Stanley Morgan Jr. ($3.0K/$4.5K)
Trent Taylor ($3.0K/$4.5K) S
Drew Sample ($2.5K/$4.3K)
Chris Myarick ($2.5K/$4.1K)
Mitchell Wilcox ($2.5K/$4.0K)
Matchups to Target
Damien Harris, NE ($6.4K DK | $7.5K FD) vs. Bills’ Cover 1 | 4
I am envisioning an early playoff exit for the Patriots – as well as Vegas and most of the money. After the Patriots’ overwhelmingly fluky victory in Buffalo with rain and powerful winds that allowed New England to coast to the win on the back of 46 rushing and only three passing attempts. These same teams had the opportunity to square off without the powerful weather 20 days later. The Bills’ offense generated 33% more total yardage and 36% more points. With the Pats’ playing from behind, Mac Jones was fully overwhelmed by Buffalo’s elite secondary.
It appears the Orchard Park weather will once again have a hand in the effectiveness this weekend. However, it’ll be in the form of extremely frigid temperatures. It’s been well documented in countless scientific studies that temperatures in the neighborhood of the 5℉ that these teams will play in result in a decline in response time – yes, even in next-level athletes. Do not be surprised when Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels make every attempt to control this game with their ground game.
The 13.5 FPG allowed to RBs on the ground (13th-most) by the Bills may not blow you away, but that number has been injected with games against the Falcons, Panthers, Alvin Kamara- and Mark Ingram-less Saints, Dolphins and two games against the Jets since their Week 7 bye. None of the Bills’ rushing allowance metrics are reliable. In two games against Buffalo, Damien Harris has constructed a 28/214/4 combined rushing line, and 25.7 FPG. If the Pats attempt to force the issue through the air, my condolences to their chances. With heavy ground volume, the Patriots will stand a chance.
Rhamondre Stevenson, NE ($4.7K DK | $5.2K FD) vs. Bills’ Cover 1 | 4
Brandon Bolden, NE ($4.3K DK | $5.0K FD) vs. Bills’ Cover 1 | 4
As you can see with the available opportunities on the table for RBs behind Harris on Saturday, no other team on the Saturday slate will come close to the touch availability for Rhamondre Stevenson and Brandon Bolden. Only four teams on the Saturday slate and zero cheap alternatives starting for injured players. We will all need to bend the knee of the process with careful scrutiny for every cap dollar, and we simply must find every possible salary-saver on the slate.
Dre Day didn’t play in Week 16, but he did run for 78 yards on the Bills in Week 13. We also need to factor in Harris’ ailing hamstring. If Harris is forced to take an early exit or is limited in any way, Stevenson will step in as the primary ball carrier. However, we can’t forget about Bolden. He’s seen around the same receiving work as Harris and Stevenson, combined. My expectation is for New England focusing on pushing the pile on the ground. But I have thrown a couple LF GPP darts at Bolden in case that scenario collapses.
Devin Singletary, BUF ($5.7K DK | $6.9K FD) vs. Patriots’ Cover 1 | 3
Seemingly out of nowhere, Devin Singletary has gone from a complete, inefficient afterthought over the first 12 weeks, into one of the hottest RBs in the game over the last five. He’s averaged 20.3 FPG during those last five weeks, entirely bolstered by 21 touches/game the last four weeks.
The Patriots are offering backfields 123.7 rushing YPG (11th-most), 4.5 YPC (eighth-most), 2.80% of carries resulting in at least 20 yards (the seventh-highest rate), 11.3 FPG through the air (ninth-most), and 23.2 FPG to RBs (15th-most). Just keep in mind that the cat is completely out of the bag on Singletary. I would not recommend fading Singletary in Cash/SE.
Stefon Diggs, BUF ($7.2K DK | $8.0K FD) vs. J.C. Jackson, NE
My approach to attacking New England is to circumvent J.C. Jackson’s coverage. However, Emmanuel Sanders sounds as though he’ll return to the lineup. If that comes to fruition, Gabriel Davis’ reps will diminish. And we already have multiple examples of Stefon Diggs succeeding inside Jackson’s coverage. 6/92/0 9/145/3 7/85/1 Excluding Week 13, Diggsy is averaging 7.3 receptions, 107.3 yards, 1.3 TDs, and 26.1 FPG against Jackson and the Patriots over three games the last two seasons.
The Patriots are fielding the second-highest rate of Cover 1 and eighth-highest of Cover 3. During his last three campaigns, Diggs created 0.63 FP/Rt (eighth-most), 3.31 YPRR (seventh-most), and he was targeted on 31% of his routes when defenses used Cover 1 (seventh-highest). When working across from Cover 3, he generated 0.51 FP/Rt (ninth-most), 2.61 YPRR (ninth-most), and collected 26% of the targets when he’s on the field (10th-highest).
Final notes on New England
Overall Backup Opportunity Level = High
RB (Very High):
- Carry Share (when Damien Harris was active): 44.7%
- Route Share (when Damien Harris was active): 71.6%
- Target Share (when Damien Harris was active): 77.8%
- Route Share: 13.1%
- Target Share: 11.5%
TE (Very High):
- Route Share: 29.4%
- Target Share: 38.4% (all Jonnu Smith targets)
Mac Jones ($5.1K/$6.5K) is a complete no-go in this brutal matchup. And the fade suggestion also extends to Jakobi Meyers ($4.5K/$5.9K) vs. Taron Johnson, Nelson Agholor ($3.1K/$5.0K) vs. Levi Wallace, and Hunter Henry ($3.7K/$5.9K) against the top safety duo in the league: Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. I do have some mild interest in Kendrick Bourne ($4.5K/$5.6K) since he’ll run a good number of his routes on the inside, away from Dane Jackson’s watch on the perimeter, and opposite the Meyers-Johnson clash. Just not enough interest for more than the single dart throw I’ve invested. The backup opportunities for Jonnu Smith ($2.5K/$4.5K) are actually compelling, but nearly all of his involvement came prior to Week 7.
Don’t count on “grinder” participation volume from these Norfolk County residents:
Brian Hoyer ($4.0K/$6.1K)
N'Keal Harry ($3.0K/$4.6K)
Kristian Wilkerson ($3.0K/$4.7K)
Gunner Olszewski ($3.0K/$4.5K)
Devin Asiasi ($2.5K/$4.1K)
Matt LaCosse ($2.5K/$4.0K)
Final notes on Buffalo
Overall Backup Opportunity Level = Average
- Carry Share: 39.4%
- Route Share: 36.5%
- Target Share: 43.7%
- Route Share (with Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders active): 19.3%
- Target Share (with Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders active): 15.3%
TE (Very Low):
- Route Share (with Dawson Knox active): 7.1% (all Tommy Sweeney routes)
- Target Share (with Dawson Knox active): 7.8% (all Tommy Sweeney targets)
We all know Josh Allen ($7.8K/$8.8K) is going to score. I will not use a single second of your time attempting to sell him. But squeezing him into lineups on either slate is nearly impossible without taking considerable hits elsewhere. Look it up, Cole Beasley ($4.3K/$5.5K) was ghosted by the Pats last season. I don’t care what the slot allowances state, Beasley is a hard fade for me this week against either Myles Bryant or D'Angelo Ross. As is the case every week when he’s active, Emmanuel Sanders ($4.0K/$5.4K) is also all-fade vs. Jalen Mills. And the Bills are the only team to defend TEs better than the Patriots. Sorry, Dawson Knox ($4.8K/$6.0K). Outside of Diggs, Gabriel Davis ($4.6K/$5.2K) is the only Buffalo receiver offering any type of intrigue. We will just need to expect him to produce with a massive reduction in opportunities.
Send these “wings” down Buffalo Creek:
Mitchell Trubisky ($4.6K/$6.1K)
Zack Moss ($4.1K/$5.2K)
Matt Breida ($4.0K/$4.8K)
Isaiah McKenzie ($3.2K/$4.8K)
Jake Kumerow ($3.0K/$4.6K)
Isaiah Hodgins ($3.0K/$4.5K)
Tommy Sweeney ($2.5K/$4.2K)