2022 Week 1 TNF (LAR-BUF) Fantasy Preview
So much excitement for Week 1, as per all our usuals…and we should be fired up -- but it then being a solo night game opener, it allows us to hyperfocus and outthink every jot and tittle of this game…which is the fun of football/fantasy, overthinking everything.
Here’s my take on expectations tonight, which may help settle a sit/start or two -- ‘just’ eight points to cover…
1) Do you have confidence in Allen Robinson tonight?
You drafted him highly.
You like him…you like Stafford throwing it to him, and here we are with the first chance to deploy him…and, well…you’re not sure.
One part = Is ARob really going to produce against the tough Buffalo defense?
One part = You got 4-6 viable WR options all projected around the same WR1-2 levels to choose from.
One part = You fear starting a player on TNF because -- when they put up a dud FF effort, then you have three days of misery until Sunday to forget about it.
That last one is a ‘you problem’…not a football analysis. Don’t give into it. It’s a real feeling we all feel…we can’t let it jade our evaluations.
Remember a few things here…
a) The Bills are using an outside CB duo of Dane Jackson (shaky/OK) and rookie Kaiir Elam (promising, but a rookie)…either of which is a good matchup for ARob. Tre’Davious White is on IR for the first 4 weeks.
b) Last year, when Dane Jackson was starting with Tre’Davious gone -- the Bills defense was not the same.
They had a final 9 game stretch (including playoffs) where they got EASY matchups to hide behind in seven of the 9 games…3x games with NE, plus NO, CAR, ATL, NYJ.
But they had two games among the final 9 with ‘real’ teams/QBs, and they lost both…giving up 37.5 points per game. Tampa Bay hit them for 33 points in-season, Brady rolled for 363 yards with 2 TDs/0 INT. In the playoffs, KC put up 42 in that epic playoff game and Mahomes hit for 378 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT.
The Rams/Stafford matchup is more in that TB-KC camp, no?
c) Allen Robinson is probably one of the 10 or so best WRs in the game but lost in playing for JAX and CHI for his career. This is his season to shine with the first legit QB/offense he has ever played with.
Some WRs are good/OK in good/great places…like Gabe Davis in this game is mediocre in a great spot. ARob is great in a great spot. And teams can’t as easily double ARob with Kupp roaming around.
ARob should be fine, and this is a good matchup despite the Bills metrics for pass defense the past 1-2 seasons that weighs down any basic projections/rankings system you’ll see on various sites. It’s a glitch…it’s a loophole…it’s not accounting for the Bills’ defense’s easy schedule the 2nd-half of 2022 and the real impact of a missing T. White.
d) If you start Allen Robinson here, among your 4-5-6 roster options to use at WR or Flex…you book the player here and thus avoid any weird news breaking on any of your other options Sunday. Tie goes to the guy playing before the other similar options. Make sense?
2) Will this be a shootout?
If the Bills’ weakness at corner + the strength of the Rams’ passing game is reality -- then McVay is going to attack them with Stafford & Friends. And judging by all the point the Bills minus T. White have given up last season -- there will be scoring.
The Bills might try to protect their weaker corners by running the ball more to try and control the game. But in those games BUF got into shootouts with TB-KC, the run game got ditched pretty much. The Bills more likely will counter with letting Allen try and beat Stafford.
3) Should I worry about Stefon Diggs?
If the Rams throw Jalen Ramsey at him, then he’s all but done for a nice/big FF effort. However, as you know if you were with me last year, I’m the only one who actually watches these NFL games apparently -- because Ramsey worked as a linebacker/safety floating defender for about 80%+ of his snaps last year…while every NFL pregame show went on and on about Ramsey locking down #1 WRs for a fear for the upcoming game -- it wasn’t true in 2021. Sometimes Ramsey went 1-on-1 and took out a WR…but mostly he played linebacker/safety.
I don’t know what the Rams will do but putting Ramsey on Diggs is on the table…especially in the red zone.
4) If not Diggs, then Gabe?
I’m not a huge Gabe Davis fan, not a fan of his talents (look at that catch%, ehhh)…he’s a guy in a good spot to get trickle-down economics TDs from the attention given to other options and Allen being so good. The Rams don’t give up a lot of passing TDs, but Allen throws a lot of passing TDs…so, Gabe has a chance.
I think Isaiah McKenzie can be the X-factor that shocks everyone this game/season.
James Cook will probably have 1-2-3 specific pass plays to try and confuse L.A., whether he hits on them is another question.
5) Knox gonna score in honor of his brother?
Knox is likely to score a TD any game, but this one is a good opportunity vs. this LAR LB group…and Knox/Allen outwardly talking about a TD in honor of Dawson’s brother this week.
Speaking of TEs, Tyler Higbee is playing coming off his 2021 season injury. Unknown his effectiveness or snap counts.
6) Lance McCutcheon gonna matter?
But note that I am hoping to see him work with Van Jefferson out. He won’t start, but if he starts sliding into this game on-and-off and if he makes a play or two within that -- he’s gonna be the Rams #3 WR in no time.
7) What's up with the Rams RB situation?
I don’t know.
It’s been kept a secret/mystery with generic, open-ended, non-committal talk from McVay.
My nickel bet is 70/30 Akers with DHendo as a pass game RB, but it’s just a guess.
8) Bet this game?
I’m picking Rams + points…because home team, a good team, +points in Week 1 = I like it, but I hate betting a game involving two good/great teams and QBs, so I’m not betting it with any passion…just playing the Rams for a little taste for fun to watch the game with.
9) What do I always say, in-season? New people, listen up…
A lot of people are using Allen Robinson tonight, among others. DO NOT HAVE ANY PLAYERS FROM THIS GAME IN YOUR FLEX.
“Keep your Flex flexible.” My motto.
Use a WR in the WR spot, RB in the RB spot. Keep that Flex open for Sunday in case you have to make any adjustments to last second injuries or COVID, etc.
Check your lineup…DO NOT have a player from this game in the Flex, unless you have all Bills and Rams and you have to because all your RBs and/or WRs are full.
Email me if you don’t understand what I’m saying.
Enjoy the game tonight. My analysis will be out on it sometime tomorrow.
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