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This game was a back and forth snooze…14-7 Oakland at the half. Neither team really stood out. Buffalo just kept chipping away and the next thing you knew it was the Bills with distance 34-14. I don’t know if this is a sign that the Bills are still good…or just that Oakland is not good at all.
Without the Week 7 late game heroics versus KC, the Raiders would be losers of six straight games. ‘Imploding’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. 6-10 is the likely finish for 2017.
Huge game for Buffalo on their Week 9 TNF game. A win over the Jets gets them to 6-2. They need this win. There are three other ‘safe’ wins on their remaining schedule from Week 10 on…that would give them a good shot a 9-win season and takes pressure off the potential four-game losing streak ahead. Weeks 10-13: NO-at LAC-at KC-NE. If the Bills beat the Jets Week 9, go to 6-2 and then lose four-straight they’re 6-6 with games against IND-MIA-at NE-at MIA to finish out. They have a path to 9 wins. Lose to the Jets tonight and the good-feel story is coming unglued ahead.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Let’s talk Bills’ WRs and their new edition – Kelvin Benjamin.
First, Zay Jones (3-32-0/5) took another step forward here. He’s getting his sea legs underneath him and starting to catch everything going his way. He caught a couple over-the-middle passes in traffic, taking a hit after catches early in the game. He also made a brilliant catch, out of bounds, on a throwaway/WR-catch-only deep ball. Zay is the kind of WR you win Super Bowls with as part of your ensemble. I’m not sure he’ll ever be FF-great on a run-dominant, defense-led team/coach. He certainly won’t matter with Tyrod Taylor.
Jordan Matthews (3-21-0/4) is three-years from now Zay Jones…professional WR you win titles with…not a flashy #1 but a deadly #2.
Kelvin Benjamin joins this group and is a different style…and should help Jones and Matthews. KB is a #1 you can use as a big end-zone target, and let the other guys do all the work between the 20s.
For fantasy, none of these three WRs will be relevant in 2017 because there is no real passing game here. Benjamin is the most attractive because he’ll get jump ball TDs but not many catches/yards consistently. If you have him, and someone likes this deal to Buffalo, and a lot of people secretly do, then deal Benjamin as a WR2 value and buh-bye.
-- Amari Cooper (5-48-0/10) is still showing us nothing. Great night against KC in Week 7, a career type of night…here, not much action when it mattered. Later in the game…two (of 5) for the game meaningless catches on 4 targets in the all-pass attempt comeback.
I still don’t see any wow here in 2017. My best football scouting reasoning on what’s happened with Cooper is: https://youtu.be/gEuw2mgLRuQ
I don’t know what has happened but something has happened and it doesn’t look good or fixed.
I’m a dynasty buyer cheap (WR2.5-3.0 panic) and not afraid to sell if someone gives me WR1.5 value…which they did last week after his KC spike.
Minus the spike game, in the past three weeks…two other games with 5 catches each, but for 28 and 48 yards. His targeting and after the catch work is garbage.
-- DeAndre Washington (6-26-0, 8-62-1/10) had a game for his scrapbook.
Over half his passing game action happened in the final 2 minutes, when he got like 4-5 dump pass targets in a row in despair/deep deficit comeback attempt. He’s a solid/average RB who had a nice game with Marshawn Lynch out. End of story. His season has been a yawn otherwise.
-- Rookie IDP Shalom Luani (7 tackles) had a nice debut as a starter with Karl Joseph out. He’s got upside hope as a solid starting safety in the future. A nice, aggressive, solid tackler. He won’t matter much in 2017 when Joseph returns.
-- Trae Elston (11 tackles, 1 PD) and Leonard Johnson (6 tackles) had nice IDP numbers for the Bills, but I’m not sure it is foretelling…it’s just guys filling in due to other’s injury.
Elston has my attention because I thought he showed a little something in the preseason, but the Bills cut him before the season started and brought him back. He isn’t anyone the team seems to be planning around. He’s scrappy.
-- The Bills DST is fading. It was hot early this season and some of us rode that train…but, now, it’s starting to sag. This is probably the last week for a while you can use them. A solid start against the Jets this week, and then NO-LAC-KC-NE the next four – all ‘sits’ and no ‘starts’.
Snap Counts of Interest…
63 = Cooper
57 = C Patterson
55 = Crabtree
54 = O’Leary
21 = Logan Thomas