2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 15 Game Analysis: Bills 48, Broncos 19
I take notes during the live watch. I re-watch the game on tape looking for hidden clues to report on. Here are my notes/takes on what I saw and how it related to FF 2020. I write anywhere from 1,000-3,000+ words on each game, and I must move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
Do you believe me now…that the Buffalo Bills are the best team in the NFL? Some in the media began to jump on this theory during this game week. I was proposing it three weeks ago. This upcoming week, many more will jump on the bandwagon. Many others will never allow the thought to hit their brains…it’s not possible for them that the Bills would be the best team in football.
That’s why I’ve been betting the Bills heavy the past few weeks – football people don’t want to see them as THEE top team, so they’ve been undersold and thus the Vegas lines under stated. I fear that with a 29-point massacre on national cable television…my easy money won’t be as easy ahead. It was fun while it lasted.
Outside of perception discussions, this was a quality win on the field. I was worried that this was a spot where a ‘favorite’ gets a close call – coming off big wins, positive media buzz gaining, playing a losing record team to take lightly, the Denver altitude effect on visiting teams (and look what happened to LAR and PIT this week). There was reason for concern. However, I bet heavy on the Bills again for the simple belief that – if I really believe they are the best team in football, a top Super Bowl contender…then this is the type of game top teams go ‘handle their business’ on. And that's just what they did. This game was never close, not for a moment.
Buffalo wins their 4th in-a-row, seven of their last 8 games…a Hail Murray from 8 wins in a row. They are the AFC East champs for the first time in 25 seasons. They have vanquished the Patriot way, finally…and will for many years to come, I suspect.
Denver was overmatched and it got away quickly. This is what happens when you face a superior team. It’s not a crime. They play at LAC next week – the Monday line jumped to LAC -3.0 (it was LAC -2.5 Saturday), but the fact that LAC won on a solo night game and Denver got embarrassed on a solo night game…I’ll be taking Denver and the points for sure Week 16. The public will be swayed by what they just saw…but barely beating the Raiders is not a gold star event, and the Broncos getting throttled by Buffalo isn’t a punishable crime. The public will make it one.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Josh Allen (28-40 for 359 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT, 3-33-2) was going for an MVP stat tally game here. He almost had 1-2 other TDs in this game. It was really close to being like a 50-60 point offensive outburst if they wanted it, but after some penalties and a bad ref spot on a 4th & 1 run near the end zone forced a change of possession – the Bills started to throttled it back a little bit and ran the ball a bunch late to run out the clock on this game and didn’t gun it for more points. They were merciful at the end.
Patrick Mahomes is the most owned QB among the FFM-nation (Dynast, Redraft, Best Ball).
Kyler Murray (#1 owned in Dynasty) and Justin Herbert are very close for #2 most-owned overall (Herbert an early pickup in many redraft leagues). And Josh Allen isn’t close to the top 3 on FFM-ownership but we added a bunch of his stock in-season this year -- with hardly anyone owning him to start the season.
Herbert kind of fell into our laps in redraft, and several of us ran with it…and he helped carry teams to the FF playoffs and then put up a nice playoff game event here.
Allen, everyone had to go acquire him on purpose. It took faith. It took effort to get it done. For all of you that took that plunge – this one was for you. Another huge Allen event…and this one at just the right time.
Most people with Mahomes and/or Murray and/or Herbert and/or Allen made their FF playoffs this season, and all those guys came up big just at the right time this week (Mahomes the weakest of the group for Week 15!).
For weeks, I pushed Allen as an acquisition…even as he had ascended…because FF-society didn’t believe. Now, that shopping center is closed – no more Dynasty deals to be had this upcoming offseason. Everyone is into Allen now. Those of you that made the move earlier, getting ahead of the market…congrats. Look back at what you traded to acquire him…and then smile and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
There were people who LIKED Josh Allen to start the season. I was not one of them.
There were people who noted his hot start and were liking him a little bit, but did FF-nothing about it (many were willing to trade him, many analysts kept naming him as a ‘sell high’). I was not one of them.
I was the guy who went bananas over what I saw and become the loudest voice in the room for Allen, our #1 ‘buy low’ during the first quarter-to-half of the season. I was chasing him/pushing him even when people turned on him Weeks 5-6 when they lost two games. I saw what was happening and changed course.
You can be wrong about scouting on a player, but if you’re the first to change course and go into action on your beliefs – you can win. Just noting that Allen looked better, but doing nothing about it in Fantasy, got you nowhere…but going all-in crazy about it, that was the win.
I also implored you to chase Stefon Diggs at the same time…because if Allen was who I thought he was becoming, then definitely pay the price to get his top WR – because if Allen was hot then his #1 WR would be a payday too. Some were able to and changed their FF fortunes as we went.
-- Patrick Mahomes has Tyreek Hill. Justin Herbert has Keenan Allen. Kyler Murray has DeAndre Hopkins. Aaron Rodgers has Davante Adams. Russell Wilson has D.K. Metcalf.
Josh Allen has Stefon Diggs (11-147-0/13).
That’s the listing of the six best/difference making QBs in the NFL/FF, for my money…and their #1 WR.
Through Week 14, the PPR PPG leaders at WR:
Are there more talented WRs than those guys? Sure. It’s a question of talent PLUS the QB, the offense you play in.
I was watching Diggs in this game, and my mind was telling me…this is what Antonio Brown looked like in his prime.
Some of you acquired Diggs early on when we went Allen-crazy. Congrats to you on that winning move. People liked Diggs. We had to LOVE him and be willing to pay a good price early this season in order to get a GREAT return. Many did.
I will probably remember this season for Allen and Diggs more than anything…because that we had to work for it – and both were guys I did not like at all for FF 2020 coming into the season. Those who pulled off one or both…reaping the rewards now. This was no ‘good to get if you can’ throwaway, tepid, generic opinion – I went bonkers for this, and wanted you to go bonkers too. There’s a difference…and that difference made all the difference. Congrats to those riding the wave on it right now.
-- The #2 receiving options for these elite QBs are not near as productive. The elite QB has his #1 WR…and wears him out. The #2 WR is more random and not top 10 in fantasy production.
Where the elite QB usually goes to, aside from their #1 WR, for activity/TDs/some nice FF production…is the TE.
Mahomes…Kelce (we barely remember that Sammy Watkins is on that team).
Rodgers…Tonyan (now 10 TDs this season)…and MVS and Lazard go games with almost no targeting.
Hebert…H Henry. Mike Williams has been a ghost more than not.
Wilson…Will Dissly has shown TD production in the past but keeps getting hurt. Tyler Lockett has fallen way off.
Kyler…Arnold is starting to score TDs on limited targets. (Kirk is a bit player)
Allen…it has to be Dawson Knox (2-36-1/4). Knox has a TD in three of his last 4 games. He’s been hurt for a chunk of the season and is now just getting back to form. Knox is a neat under-the-radar guy to acquire low and see him rise to an 8-10 TD season in 2021 with Allen still playing at a high level.
John Brown has been the best of the #2 WRs here, but he can’t stay on the field. Gabriel Davis (2-18-0/5) has scored TDs in his absence, but he has otherwise blended into the background as a generic WR on the field. I see no star power or aggression with Davis.
*Note…if Joe Burrow is going to join this elite QB list, then we have decide – is it Boyd or Higgins as his guy? And I’m betting the Bengals acquire a TE in the offseason (draft or FA) to push Sample into a blocking TE.
-- Last week, Drew Lock (20-32 for 132 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 5-37-0) had 4 TD passes versus Carolina…and this game’s pregame show was filled with many now in love with Lock because of it – because the NFL only exist in what you did last week statistically, heck I heard Michael Irvin (on the GB-CAR pregame show) say he was with Rodgers over Mahomes for the MVP because Mahomes has 3 INTs in the prior week.
All those Lock lovers are all turning on him 4 hours later after this loss and poor stat result. It’s like no one has any context – lock tore up Carolina, that should be taken with a grain of salt. Getting worked by Buffalo’s defense right here…not a crime. But it’s being made out to be.
Now, I turned a corner somewhat with Lock last week too. But I’m not one of ‘them’/the others that fell ‘in like’ with him after Week 14 because he had great FF numbers. I hope I’m not one of ‘them’.
I’ve been a leader in banging the drum that Lock is not ‘it’. That’s he’s a weak QB to target with your DSTs. And that’s been a more smart way to play him for FF than not for two years now. However, something changed last week.
Lock’s Week 14 game made me ponder…I’d been mentally noting Lock was looking a little better on tape (but then dismissing it as fast as I could) the past few weeks. Then I looked at his recent numbers, and they were better than I realized was happening. So, last week’s Broncos game report – I moved to ‘neutral’ off of ‘perpetual sell’ on Drew Lock. I was willing to see more of his work before damning him any further.
As I also stated with my Lock move to ‘neutral’ -- what happened with Josh Allen from 2018 to 2019 to 2020, cannot be ignored. Not saying every QB needs three years with no critique – but ones with all the tools, and from this new era, starting show glimpses maybe deserve a pause or a re-think. I’m willing to do that with Lock.
So, then he comes out here and gets squashed by Buffalo. Now, all his fair-weather analyst fans are bailing…as they do. But I’m not. I was impressed with this game from Lock – this was a top defense and then knowing he was going to throw (in a huge deficit) and Lock didn’t collapse, didn’t totally humiliate himself…that’s a step in the right direction. He ran for some nice 1st-downs instead of trying to force passes. Others will re-write him off after this game, but I see some progress in this. The lack of full respect for Buffalo is putting focus onto Lock as ‘bad’, when it should be that this was a bad matchup.
I’m not endorsing Lock…but I am seeing some positives. I am ‘neutral’. I could go either way ahead. If anything, this is a deep roster Dynasty buy moment…a #3-4 QB add/stash/throw in to see how he develops. I don’t want to invest any real resources into him, but depending upon my roster…I’d buy some shares of a penny stock people don’t like. I think that’s where we should be at with Lock…likely not paying off, but for the price of near-zero…worth a look, perhaps.
Don’t forget…Lock is from the new era of college passing games – where the NFL is a breeze with its better receivers and better blocking than what they had in college. New era QBs from Air Raid type systems walk into the NFL and blow it away. Maybe Lock needed more time, grooming, maturation.
I still think Lock is too flawed to ever be a QB1, but we’ll see. I’m not trying to get Lock to win me a Super Bowl in the NFL, but if he can help me win games in fantasy…OK. Or I can flip him in trade for a gain later if he heats up even more.
-- Noah Fant (8-68-1/11) was Lock’s top throw…again, more maturation of Lock. Buffalo’s secondary is borderline great, you can only beat them with the TEs or RB-heavy targeting.
This game flow…
15 catches/19 targets = TEs + RBs
5 catches/13 targets = WRs
If Lock does improve…Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant will go for the ride. Not Patrick-Jeudy-Hamler.
-- In three of their last 4 games, the Bills-DST has held opponents to under 20 points in a game. Facing the Patriots Week 16…top 5 play.
They’ve held five of their last 8 opponents to 21 or fewer points.
They just lack a real high-end pass rush to really juice the DST scoring. They did get 3.0 sacks and 1 fumble recovery TD in this game.
-- FYI, it’s Jeremiah Attaochu (4 tackles, 1.0 sacks) time. That means it’s later in the season, and he gets healthy for a few games, and goes on a sack tear.
In his last 16 games played, back to the 2019 season, he has 7.0 sacks, 12 TFLs.
He can just never stay healthy.
Snap Counts of Interest:
34 = Gordon
23 = Lindsay
07 = Freeman
39 = Singletary
34 = Moss