To close out Week 10, we get an AFC matchup that features the Denver Broncos heading to upstate New York to visit the Buffalo Bills. The Bills currently sit in second within the AFC East and they’ve lost three of their last five games. Buffalo has certainly had its struggles with injuries on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve lost three of their last five games and certainly need a “get right” performance as matchups on the horizon include the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, and Miami Dolphins. The Denver Broncos sit at 3-5 but have played more competitive football in recent weeks and they’re coming off their bye week. Their defense was showing signs of life prior to the bye week but overall this is a game that has potential to very entertaining and we can close out this week with some big DFS wins to generate some momentum ahead of Week 11.
Spread: Buffalo Bills (-7)
Over/Under: 47.5 Points
Weather: Partly cloudy skies with temps starting in the high 40’s around kickoff and dropping off as the game progresses. Sustained winds between 10-15mph seem likely.
Denver Broncos – Nobody listed with a designation on their injury report.
- Micah Hyde, Safety – OUT (Neck/Stinger)
- Christian Benford, Defensive Back – OUT (Hamstring)
- Terrel Bernard, Linebacker – Questionable (Concussion)
NFL DFS MVP/Captain
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
The analysis is fairly simple. His ceiling is incredibly high but you pay a premium plugging him in at Captain on this slate. With DraftKings’ scoring, he’s gone for 25+ fantasy points in five of his last six games, and in three of those games he went over 30 points. He has six rushing touchdowns on the season. Allen’s also completing over 70% of his passes on the year, and there’s been plenty of passing volume as well. The Broncos are well rested and are coming off their bye week. They were horrendous against opposing quarterbacks early on in the season but they’ve been better of late, even keeping Patrick Mahomes in check in two matchups. But Josh Allen at home? Sign me up!
Anytime the Bills have been in a Showdown slate, it’s basically been routine to write up Allen and Diggs in this particular section. Playing them together, with one at Captain, costs over 60% of your budget so you better get creative with how you round out the rest of your build. He popped up on the injury report heading into the weekend but was left off the final injury report ahead of this matchup so that’s an excellent sign. Diggs ranks first in targets and receptions while he’s third in receiving yards. He’s also just one of five players in the league with (at minimum) a 28% target share and 2.40 yards per route run. He had a modest game last Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, but I doubt he gets fewer than 10 targets for a second straight week.
The kid is a special talent in the making and he’s benefitted greatly from the injury to Dawson Knox…
More specifically, in the last two games he’s run 91% of the routes and has a quarter of the Bills’ targets in that span. He’s a big, athletic specimen and another weapon at Josh Allen’s disposal. The Broncos have only allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends all year, but they still allow the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. This is another potential smash spot for the rookie.
Williams is pretty much the only player on Denver I have any interest in playing at Captain. And he needs a specific game script in this matchup. Fortunately, the Bills have been playing to the level of their opponents lately so that gives Denver some hope. The Bills are missing key pieces on defense and they’ve been much weaker on that side of the ball. Williams had also touched the ball 48 times in the two games leading up to the team’s bye week. He’s also been much more elusive since coming back from injury…
By playing Williams at Captain, you kind of acknowledge that he needs heavy volume, involvement in the passing game, and multiple touchdowns. Dare I say it might even be a little contrarian to go that route as well?
Mid-Tier & DFS Value Plays
James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills
I gave a lot of consideration to using Cook at Captain. The matchup is good, but not as outstanding as it looks on paper. The Broncos’ numbers against running backs are heavily inflated because of that game against the Miami Dolphins from earlier this season. Take that game away and the Broncos have allowed just three rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs all year. Cook is featured heavily when the team tries to move the ball between the 20’s, but doesn’t get as much usage in the red zone evidenced by just two touchdowns on the year. He’s undersized so he’s more effective helping the team move the ball. He might see 15+ touches but there are too many dud performances lately for me to have any faith in playing him at Captain.
If the Broncos have any chance of winning this game they likely need to dominate this game on the ground. Wilson has been pretty successful with his legs this season, but he just doesn’t have a rushing touchdown (but he has fumbled four times). He’s already rushed for 30+ yards on four occasions this year. He will need to be active on the ground because his passing volume was very low heading into the bye week. In his last five games he has just one performance with more than 30 pass attempts and in that span, he’s only thrown for over 200 yards just once. But the Bills have allowed three straight quarterbacks to throw for multiple touchdowns so that potentially bodes well for Wilson in this matchup.
Gabe Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills
Obviously there’s GPP appeal with using Davis at Captain. However, there’s so much variance to his game. He either breaks the slate or he’s lightyears away from the optimal lineup. This tweet basically sums up what it’s like being a Gave Davis manager in season-long fantasy football…
That tweet comes from a Barstool Sports account but it seems to check out. Davis had nine catches on a dozen targets and a touchdown against Tampa Bay in Week 8. Then last Sunday night he had zero receptions on two targets. He’s the most infuriating player alive but he certainly has upside and you play at your own risk.
Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
You kind of have to just pick your poison here. Sutton has caught a touchdown in five of his last six games but has just three games with more than 50 receiving yards and he only has one game all year with more than eight targets. Regarding Jeudy, he will see between five-to-seven targets. That’s consistency at least. He doesn’t have the touchdown equity that Sutton has, but he has gone for 50+ receiving yards on five occasions. We’ve seen wide receivers having more success against this Buffalo secondary of late. I’m curious if Sutton sees any coverage against Rasul Douglas who was acquired by the Buffalo Bills at the NFL Trade Deadline. It was just a few weeks ago that Sutton caught a touchdown on blown coverage when Douglas was still with the Green Bay Packers so that’s a matchup that’s somewhat intriguing. But overall, we need passing volume from Russell Wilson for these two to pay off and if Wilson’s chucking it less than 30 times Monday night, I’m skeptical of the upside with these two.
He’s not as cheap as he’s previously been on other Showdown slates, but he’s caught all 14 of his targets the last three games. He’s not great in getting separation so he thrives more against zone schemes. But at the same time, he’s still affordable and looks to have built some chemistry with Josh Allen in recent weeks. We don’t have a ton of touchdown equity with this play as Shakir has just one touchdown all year, but the role seems to be expanding for the young wide receiver.
I don’t particularly feel great about either defense. Both teams are relatively rested. On top of that, neither defense is particularly good at the moment. This is the third straight primetime game for Buffalo. So if you frequently read these articles you’ll know they’ve lost Tre’Davious White, Matt Milano, and Daquan Jones. In their last four games they’ve returned 16 total fantasy points on DraftKings. In that four-game span they have just eight sacks and one takeaway, which is really why they’re struggling to hit their ceiling. I know Russell Wilson is certainly turnover prone, but this defense is inviting teams to move the ball and score on them. On the other side of the ball we have the Denver Broncos who likely struggle to keep Buffalo out of the end zone with all their explosive weapons. But Josh Allen has been throwing interceptions on a weekly basis and the Broncos forced five turnovers against the Kansas City Chiefs prior to their bye week. Vegas is expecting plenty of offense in this game so I don’t really want to play either defense. But it’s a position of variance. I’m just not that excited for either D/ST with an implied total over 47 points.
While I’m not excited about the D/ST’s in this game, I am intrigued by the kickers. Tyler Bass ($5,200) is very expensive on DraftKings for a kicker. Bass has just 19 fantasy points in his last five games which is slightly concerning. But in Denver’s last four games, opposing kickers have attempted a total of 14 field goal attempts and three of those kickers have put up double-digit fantasy points. Bass’s output hasn’t been great lately, but we give him a free pass one more time because this is a great spot and he correlates well in the flex if you play Josh Allen at Captain. For Denver, Wil Lutz ($4,600) has provided a good floor even if he only has one game with double-digit fantasy points. The Buffalo Bills are technically “good” against kickers. However, I don’t really buy into that narrative. A good defense against kickers would routinely block kicks on a weekly basis. Opposing kickers have attempted multiple field goals against the Bills in just four games this year and field goals won’t be enough for Denver to win this game. This position is a cheap source for fantasy points and, as I always say, they correlate well with their quarterback at Captain.
NFL DFS Dart Throw Bargains
The Broncos spent quality draft capital to select Marvin Mims. Despite all that he’s seen just three targets in his last four games. He flashed outstanding big play ability in Weeks 2 and 3 and he’s made multiple big plays this year. Denver just doesn’t utilize him enough. While that’s frustrating for season-long leagues, I still think he’s worth the gamble on a Showdown slate because this is the environment where we want to chase that upside. He’s probably a guy I would have 35% exposure to if building 20+ lineups.
McLaughlin’s price has been dropping steadily for Showdown slates and now we have him on DraftKings at just $2,600 for a flex play. McLaughlin may see anywhere from six-to-10 touches in this game, but he has at least two targets in five straight games so there’s a surprisingly decent floor for a player with such a cheap price tag. If you are one of the brave souls that plays Cash games for Showdown slates, McLaughlin is the preferred Cash game option in this range over Mims. And if you need even more salary relief then you can run Samaje Perine ($1,400) in some lineups as well. Perine has multiple targets and receptions in every game this season.
He is horrendously inefficient. By playing Latavius Murray you are simply trying to grab a cheap running back that you hope gets a goal line carry and finds the end zone. He elevates his floor slightly with occasional work in the passing game but you’re really just hoping he gets a touchdown at this price tag. If you need a $200 play on this slate, I would just go back to Deonte Harty who gets work in the return game and could occasionally catch a pass or two but he’s been kept in check the last two Showdown slates for the Bills. That’s a nice way of me saying he’s made me look like an idiot.