2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 16: Bills 33, Patriots 21
The Bills got up 7-0 in the 1st-quarter, and never trailed the entire game…but every time they’d get up by two scores, the Pats would cut it to one…so, it was a game down to the final five minutes, where Buffalo put it away with a TD at the 2:30 mark, to go up 12 points, and cut off the final gasp for air by New England. A huge win…a huge mental victory for a Buffalo team that had its psyche fading away recently. They are not ‘fixed’ but this was a step in the right direction.
Really, this game wasn’t that close to my eye – Buffalo was dominant, and the Patriots were lucky the Bills didn’t score 4-5 TDs in the 1st-half. The Bills were constantly thwarted by ill-timed penalties or near-miss TDs, etc.
Checkout the key internal stats from this game…
Bills 428 yards, NE 288 yards
Bills 6-of-12 on 3rd-downs, NE 1-of-10.
Two turnovers for NE, none for BUF.
The Bills get a resounding win to take back the division lead at (11-6), tied with the Pats…but if BUF wins out then they win the AFC East. Who do the Bills finish up with…two home games vs. ATL and NYJ. If they lose one of those games, they deserve to not make the playoffs. Buffalo still has a path to a #1 seed, but it involves a lot of good teams losing all their games…not likely to happen. Bills should win the AFC East and be a #3 seed for the playoffs.
The Patriots blew their chance…but they were really in over their heads. They are to be credited for getting this far…they just aren’t as good as the Bills. New England should win out and be a top wild card…where they will likely get bounced in the 1st-round…and it could be facing Buffalo again.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- There were four MVP (game) performances for the Bills here, and I want to point out all four because they all have some relevance going forward…
1) Josh Allen (30-47 for 314 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT, 12-64-0) did what you want an elite QB to do…he took over the game – running over and around people when he had to, and making a lot of good throws in not so perfect weather against what was arguably the top 1-2 pass defense in the NFL going in.
Going to be ‘feels like’ 10-15 degrees Week 17 vs. ATL…not optimal weather, but not totally restricting (and warming up a tiny amount in forecasts every day this week)…and with Allen carrying the team on the ground and air, you have to ride the current #1 PPG QB in all of Fantasy one more week regardless of the extreme cold.
2) Really impressive performance by Stefon Diggs (7-85-1/13) here. In a big money game, the Bills as an underdog taking back the AFC East…with Diggs facing the GREAT CB J.C. Jackson, who has smushed almost everyone he’s covered this season – Diggs beat him. I haven’t seen Jackson on his heels, frustrated like that in a long time. Credit to Diggs…credit to Allen.
I was a bit worried about Diggs in the deeper cold Week 17 vs. A.J. Terrell…not that Diggs isn’t great/better than Terrell -- but would the weather also kinda put a lid on things? However, considering what Diggs just did to Jackson in not great weather…you kinda have to ride-or-die with Diggs this week too.
3) Isaiah McKenzie (11-125-1/12) was probably the true MVP. We know Allen-Diggs are great, but McKenzie changed the offense from it’s choppy (all season) ways with Cole Beasley (DNP) in. McKenzie was just not ‘right place, right time’, as I have said those (incorrect) words out of my own mouth/two typing hands…no, he was better than that.
I mean, I knew McKenzie could have a moment here – we were giving him a deeper FF-roster push to start last week, and some were able to, and now those teams are in the FF finals. I just thought McKenzie would get a few good touches and has the speed to spring one…I didn’t know he’d be a star here.
What happened here was McKenzie as a real bulldog…he converted several key 3rd-downs. I’ve seen a lot of drops with the Bills WRs this season…McKenzie didn’t miss a thing and dove for passes and took on tacklers, and was money. His best game ever – and played in a way that he deserves to start/split over Beasley…but he won’t because Allen and Beasley are BFFs. But McDermott will likely take Beasley off the field some and get McKenzie on it more so Allen has no choice.
Hell of a performance, not just the stats, the actual tape…very good…very gritty. Just in time for his 2022 free agency in a few months. McKenzie jumps onto the Stash report next week.
4) We also have to credit Devin Singletary (12-39-1, 5-39-0/6) for another lead back performance. DS has put Moss-Breida into the dustbin of Buffalo RB history in recent weeks…which, I don’t know what the hell McDermott has been thinking trying to push Moss or Breida over the obvious answer sitting right there in Singletary.
Singletary has been an RB2 for two weeks in a row now…and it might be three in a row Week 17 in cold weather vs. bottom 10 run defense Atlanta.
-- The Patriots did their normal offense…run the ball a lot and play action passes to so-so results. My only note here is – their Week 17 against Jacksonville looks like a good matchup but people calling for a Mac Jones (14-32 for 145 yards, 0 TDs/2 INTs) QB1 week are reaching a little bit. He’s not that type of QB, and it’s not that type of offense. It’s not impossible, but I’d bet against it.
Mac Jones is not radically better or is about as good as Davis Mills and Trevor Lawrence…and all three don’t have half the talent Zach Wilson has throwing the ball, nor a-third of the athletic gifts of Trey Lance.
Snap Counts of Interest:
61 = N Harry
48 = Meyers
30 = Bourne
34 = Bolden
31 = Dam Harris
55 = H Henry
21 = Jonnu
54 = Singletary
26 = Moss
67 = McKenzie
65 = Diggs
65 = Sanders
**College Football Metrics 2022…new season signups coming in January 2022**
The new season of CFM will be starting up in January, as always. A little different schedule this year as the NFL extended their season by a week and the Senior Bowl was bumped back a week as well. We should have a Senior Bowl, NFL Combine…it looks like it will be a normal scouting year!
The NFL Draft, Dynasty Rookie Draft, and regular season ahead rookie analysis all gets started through CFM in January with our usual season starter -- the past two years/2020-2021 Mock Rookie Draft re-do, along with in-depth Senior Bowl analysis, and full QB scouting reports and much more as we build towards the NFL Combine and all the other positional scouting reports. Football study never ends…
Thank you for your support of CFM for the past decade now…wow, time flies.