2020 Dynasty/Fantasy Week 4: Game Analysis: Bills 30, Raiders 23
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 have to move fast to get to all of them through the week…so, please forgive any typos/grammar.
Now, let’s talk about ‘my’ Bills…
Did you know the Bills have gotten out to a 10+ point lead at some point in each game in the 1st-half of every game they’ve played in 2020? They get up big quickly, then their opponents close the gap a little…and then Buffalo punches the accelerator and wins.
In this game, Buffalo got up 17-6 late 2nd-quarter…but the Raiders scored right before the half to close the gap. Las Vegas never led in this game but closed the gap to 1-point after three quarters (17-16). Buffalo scored on the first play of the 4th-quarter and then again to swing back up by 14. A late garbage TD made it a 7-point win for the/my Bills.
The Bills have a tough next two weeks, facing the AFC finalists from last season – at TEN and then hosting KC the next two weeks. The good news for Buffalo is – Tennessee will play this week’s game (if) with a lot of players out due to COVID. Then, if you want to have a chance to beat KC…you want to have them come to you, on a Thursday Night game (if only there could be rabid Bills’ Mafia there).
Buffalo is (4-0) and we project them (6-1) hosting New England Week 8…with a chance to put a bullet in the Patriots’ AFC East decades of dominance.
Las Vegas was headed to the playoffs after Week 2, two wins right away…but they’re now (2-2) and have to go to KC this week. We still see 9-10 wins here and a wild card. Losing to Buffalo is not a crime.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Josh Allen (24-34 for 288 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) is still playing great. Some of the throws he made in this game…unreal…almost as good as Justin Herbert this week. Allen is working very Mahomes-like…confident, aggressive, successful, down field flicks on the money.
The Bills are 5th in scoring in the NFL, 4th most total yards, 2nd-most passing yards, 3rd-most passing TDs. You want in on this passing game for FF.
Stefon Diggs (6-115-0/7) is obvious…he is very good and playing with the best QB he’s ever been with.
But what works after Diggs?
Cole Beasley (3-32-1/4) is Mr. Reliable and he works solidly for FF. But Allen’s real #2 look over any of the other WRs, TEs, RBs is John Brown (4-42-0/5).
I love Brown as the ‘buy low’ of the week. People overlook Buffalo for offense in general. Diggs captures everyone’s attention first/last. Brown has a boring name…’John Brown’, how can that be exciting/any good? He had a ‘meh’ FF game here. He had a zero FF game Week 3 (due to early injury and out). You can slide in and snag him as a WR3-level acquisition potentially. You want to pay low, not buy at all costs. He’s a WR2 hopeful.
Here’s the way we could look at Brown’s season-to-date…
1) We ignore Week 3 completely…he left early with no catches, didn’t return.
2) Do the math on Weeks 1-2 and 4.
3) Add a TD to Week 4 because he caught a TD, at the goal line, he was in…but due to some inconclusive replay they ruled it down at the one-inch line. Had that been ruled a TD, then in Brown’s three real game performances in 2020, he would have a TD each game.
Using points #2 and #3 above, Brown is averaging in 2020:
4.7 rec. (7.0 targets), 64.7 yards, 1.0 TDs per game…that turns into 12.5 FF PPG/17.2 PPR PPG. That would place him 13th among WRs in non-PPR scoring per game this season and 19th in PPR.
You’d like the talented #2 WR in a top 5 offense with a sudden top 3 QB.
-- I’m looking fort a sign that Dawson Knox (2-16-0/3) might go for the ride in all this as well, but not yet. He was hurt Week 3 and split time Week 4.
He’ll probably have a 2 TD game ahead and go back on ‘sleeper’ lists for FF analysts, he’ll pull an Ebron/Tonyan/Sample, etc.
There’s hope here if Josh Allen continues flying high. Knox looks just like/better than all the Tonyan, Schultz, Sample type guys in on-field ‘look’/movement…talented and athletic, but the TE has not been a star for Buffalo under Allen -- BUT fill-in TEs had 3 total TDs Week 3 when Know was out. This is a new Josh Allen…it might click any week now, but still more TE2 than TE1 but TE1 hope among the TE2/3s.
-- We all think Derek Carr (32-44 for 311 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) sucks, but he’s actually been pretty nice this year. 8 TDs/0 INT, 73.6% Comp. Pct., and 273.8 passing yards per game. What else do you want from the guy? He’s a solid #2 QB right now in fantasy, a consideration if the matchup works.
-- With Edwards/Ruggs out and losing all their momentum, they’ve given rise to Nelson Agholor (4-44-1/5) as the Raiders’ new #1 WR. And I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.
Agholor is playing lights out. Had his best game of 2020 (or 2019) here, and 4-44-1-/4 looks weaker-good…but note he lost three catches on penalties this game, all defensive penalties that were either taken to get the 1st-down, so he lost the play. And one of his negated catches was a sweet 49-yard TD.
Agholor’s line in this game should’ve been: 7-103-2/7…and then everyone would be flying in as if he were Tim Patrick but better, instead Patrick is being chased after like a god and Agholor is ignored. If Ruggs/Edwards stay out…Agholor is the guy…and I’m not sure he won’t be when they return.
I love Bryan Edwards, but he opened the door for Agholor and Nelson busted in and may send Edwards to a backup/part-time role the rest of the season. When the rookie WRs were all healthy earlier in the season…they all rotated anyway, so I suspect Agholor will be a starter from here on in but rotating around in/out and having upside capped.
-- Josh Jacobs (15-48-0, 3-25-0/4) scored 3 TDs opening week and was declared an FF god. Since Week 1, his last three games, Jacobs has posted:
19.0 carries, 69.0 rush yards (3.8 ypc), 0.0 rush TDs, 3.0 rec., 18.0 rec. yards, 0.0 TDs per game.
That’s 8.7 FF PPG/11.7 PPR PPG…meaning since Week 2, Jacobs is #30 non-PPR in total points, #28 in PPR total points among RBs…even worse rankings if you go to a PPG calculation. He’s been an RB4 the past three games.
-- Devin Singletary (18-56-1, 5-21-0/7) feels way less sexy than Jacobs, but since Week 2…Devin has been the #18 non-PPR scorer among RBs, #22 in total PPR points in that span.
Singletary is tied for 6th in most catches this season by a running back.
We’ll see if he keeps a 70/30 split over the great Zack Moss, when Moss returns this week or next.
Snap Counts of Interest:
67 = Agholor
66 = Zay Jones
50 = Renfrow
03 = Doss
56 = Diggs
52 = Brown
36 = G Davis
21 = McKenzie
18 = Beasley