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Where will fantasy points come from in hyped Patriots-Bills matchup?

·7 min read
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  • Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Josh Allen
    Josh Allen
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Matt Breida
    Matt Breida
    American football running back
  • Hunter Henry
    Hunter Henry
    American football player
  • Kendrick Bourne
    Kendrick Bourne
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

By Jeff Hicks, 4for4

Special to Yahoo Sports

Yahoo's single-game offering has a roster construction of one "Superstar" that scores at a 1.5 multiplier, while the remaining four FLEX roster spots accumulate points at the normal rate. This is half-point PPR scoring and the "Superstar" salary does not change from the Utility. All scoring and rules can be found here.

It is vital to remember that single-game slates are not simply a “max salary, play as many big names as possible, and submit” format, especially in larger tournament fields. We need to identify players who can be pieces in their offense’s success, whether in the lead or trailing, as well as the players who could be focal points in a neutral game script. The ability to then take those players and identify which will succeed in the single-game format will put us in a better position to thrive as daily fantasy players.

Week 13 is saving the best matchup for last. The New England Patriots head to Orchard Park to take on the Buffalo Bills with first place in the AFC East on the line.

Vegas Total and Spread

Buffalo is a 3-point home favorite with a game total of 40.5 points. The Bills have an implied team total of 21.75 points, while the Patriots have an implied team total of 18.75 points.

[Visit 4for4, where 92% of subscribers made the playoffs, for more]

Potential Game Flow Scenarios

Important weather note. Snow and wind hit Buffalo just in time for this important game. There is a wind advisory until 7 p.m. ET for Orchard Park, New York, with a Gale warning that covers the southeast and east sides of Lake Erie well past the game. That could lead to even more wind concerns. 4for4’s Chris Allen is an excellent resource for all things weather. Check out his Twitter as we approach kickoff.

Tonight’s game features two of the best defenses in the NFL. The Bills ($20) and Patriots ($18) defenses are quasi-run funnel defenses but are no worse than 16th against any position according to 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA). Overall, Buffalo and New England rank first and second in total offensive aFPA, respectively.

That means winning on the ground could be the difference in this game, and both teams have numerous running backs to use. Buffalo has set up the run using the passing game because it has been a revolving door at the position. Zack Moss ($13), Devin Singletary ($13), and Matt Breida ($16) have taken turns as the lead back this season to varying levels of success. Do not be surprised if all three are active with adverse conditions in play and Josh Allen ($33) a willing runner. The Pats defense is pretty healthy with only one starter — LB Ja’Whaun Bentley — questionable for Monday.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 25: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass during the fourth quarter in the game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on November 25, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Josh Allen could struggle to throw in difficult conditions, but his legs still make him a great option to pay up for in DFS. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Allen has an excellent collection of wideouts, but it has been a lot of Stefon Diggs ($27) followed by a smattering of targets to tight end Dawson Knox ($15) that has been the recipe for passing success. If the wind remains a factor, it will be interesting to see if Cole Beasley ($13) can make an impact. Beasley’s biggest issue this season has been the emergence of Knox, who has an average depth of target (aDOT) that is 0.2 yards further downfield than Beasley since Week 8. Emmanuel Sanders and Gabriel Davis are the deep targets for Allen, but if the wind ends up causing deep balls to turn into wobbly ducks en route down the field, Beasley will have to be utilized.

Mac Jones ($22) can thrive because he has not needed to air out the ball with his receivers. Kendrick Bourne ($14), Jakobi Meyers ($12), and Nelson Agholor ($11) are all versatile enough to get open without needing to breeze past secondaries. Chunk passes for the Pats have led to chunk runs from Damien Harris ($19) and Rhamondre Stevenson ($18). Their strong running gives Brandon Bolden (questionable - knee, $12) the ability to be Jones’ safety valve underneath. Bill Belichick may very well dare the Bills to stop the run and take whatever is available in the passing game.

Despite not being every-week fantasy options, Hunter Henry ($15) and Jonnu Smith ($10) are matchup nightmares and add another layer of difficulty for the Bills defense.

[Play in Yahoo's $150K Single Game Baller for NE vs. BUF]

Close, low-scoring game

Damien Harris

Rhamondre Stevenson

Hunter Henry

Patriots defense

Josh Allen

Zack Moss (if active)

Matt Breida

Dawson Knox

Bills defense

Close, high-scoring game

Mac Jones

Damien Harris

Rhamondre Stevenson

Brandon Bolden

Kendrick Bourne

Hunter Henry

Josh Allen

Zack Moss

Devin Singletary

Matt Breida

Stefon Diggs

Dawson Knox

Blowout for home team

Josh Allen

Zack Moss

Devin Singletary

Matt Breida

Stefon Diggs

Cole Beasley

Emmanuel Sanders

Dawson Knox

Bills defense

Brandon Bolden

Kendrick Bourne

Jakobi Meyers

Hunter Henry

Jonnu Smith

Blowout for road team

Josh Allen

Damien Harris

Rhamondre Stevenson

Brandon Bolden

Kendrick Bourne

Jakobi Meyers

Nelson Agholor

Hunter Henry

Jonnu Smith

Patriots defense

Josh Allen

Matt Breida

Cole Beasley

Dawson Knox

Cheap/Unique Stacking Option

Traditional stacks such as QB/WR1 or WR2, QB/TE, and RB/DEF are stacks seen used in winning lineups. The obvious choice is not always the winning choice. Below is a cheap stack with at least one unique quality that could break the slate.

Hunter Henry ($15), Dawson Knox ($15), and Cole Beasley ($13)

Knox’s production upside is higher than Henry’s, but both have been red-zone monsters. Henry leads the Patriots in red-zone receiving targets and has four catches inside the 10-yard line, all for scores. Knox is second on the Bills in RZ targets behind Stefon Diggs. Three of his five catches inside the 10 have resulted in a touchdown.

Beasley is third on the Bills in red-zone targets. I added him because the Bills have passed on 60% of red-zone plays since Week 8.

Low-Salary Volatile Plays

Devin Singletary ($13) and Zack Moss ($13)

The duo is cheaper than Matt Breida and has allowed him to make this backfield a potential mess. Moss is volatile because he could be inactive, but can also be the red-zone back if active. Singletary led the Bills in carries Week 12 one week after Breida led the backfield. It is all a problem but the two longest-tenured running backs may end up cannibalizing each other’s workloads trying to pass Breida.

Jonnu Smith ($10)

Smith had one fewer target than Hunter Henry in Week 12 and finished with more catches and yards than his position-mate. His 7.3 Yahoo points Week 12 were his most since Week 4 against Tampa Bay. Smith is uber-talented but rarely a focal point.

Superstar Picks

Josh Allen ($33)

He gets a pass on the passing game concerns because he utilizes his rushing ability. Against an equally stingy Saints run defense in Week 12, Allen rushed for 43 yards on eight carries with his running backs stifled. It is difficult to bet against one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Damien Harris ($19)

Keep Josh Allen off the field and tenderize the Bills' front line. Like I mentioned earlier, the running game opens the passing game for the Patriots. Harris has at least one touchdown in six of the last seven games. Stevenson’s role should keep Harris’ Superstar rostership lower.

Rhamondre Stevenson ($18)

Want to fade Harris? Cool. Stevenson has averaged at least five yards per carry in each of the past four games he has played, something Harris cannot say. Eventually, those chunk runs will finish in the end zone. New England has the fifth-best Week 13 offensive line matchup against its opponent’s aFPA.

Kendrick Bourne ($14)

Patriots voodoo magic has turned Kendrick Bourne into arguably their best receiver. His biggest threat to his production is his aDOT, which has gone from 8.9 yards for the full season to 6.6 the past month. Only Jakobi Meyers is seeing more targets than Bourne, but Bourne is outscoring him per game this season. The Bills are without Tre’Davious White for the rest of the season, and trying to put pressure on the Bills’ cornerbacks sans White is a plan of attack most will not think of considering the weather and the talent New England has at running back. Using 4for4’s Floor & Ceiling projections, Bourne is tied with Damien Harris for the highest ceiling among Patriots (excluding QB).

Longer Shot Superstar Picks

Stefon Diggs (salary versus expected production), Cole Beasley, Dawson Knox, Hunter Henry, Patriots defense

This article originally appeared in its full form on 4for4.com

Jeff has played fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered fantasy and traditional sports at the pro, semi-pro, and amateur level for the better part of a decade. Born in Illinois and currently living where James Robinson made a name for himself in college, Jeff enjoys running (establish it), followed by doing absolutely nothing.

More from 4for4.com: The Training Room: Week 13 Injury Updates

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