Kickoff Sunday, Dec 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Bills (
21.25) at

Patriots (
22.25)

Over/Under 43.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Bills Run D
2nd DVOA/13th Yards allowed per carry
Patriots Run O
7th DVOA/8th Yards per carry
Bills Pass D
2nd DVOA/1st Yards allowed per pass
Patriots Pass O
16th DVOA/14th Yards per pass
Patriots Run D
17th DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per carry
Bills Run O
32nd DVOA/6th Yards per carry
Patriots Pass D
11th DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per pass
Bills Pass O
4th DVOA/9th Yards per pass

Editor’s Note: On Friday morning, the Bills announced that OL Cody Ford and WR Gabriel Davis were added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Game Overview ::

By HILOW >>
  • First off, this game will not be played in 40mph winds with gusts over 60 mph – but that’s also kind of a salient point, as this game is not likely to look the same as the last time these two teams played.
  • Wide receiver Cole Beasley will miss this contest on the COVID list while starting left tackle Dion Dawkins and backup left guard Jon Feliciano are also on the league’s COVID list; Star Lotulelei has yet to practice this week while tending to a personal matter.
  • Kendrick Bourne remains on the league’s COVID list but is reportedly asymptomatic, giving him a chance to return in time for Sunday; Rhamondre Stevenson (illness) and Nelson Agholor (concussion) have yet to practice this week.

How Buffalo Will Try To Win ::

The Bills lead the league in pass rate with the score within seven points at 68%, a rate that drops to 56% when playing with a lead. The Patriots have forced the seventh-deepest average depth of target while forcing the second-lowest completion rate and 13th-ranked yards allowed per completion. They have also allowed only 1.1 passing touchdowns per game and have generated the second-most interceptions per game (1.4). That’s pretty incredible to have generated more interceptions than they have allowed passing scores. That said, it is highly probable we see the Bills attempt to win this game through the air.

The backfield has transitioned into a workhorse situation over the previous two weeks, with Devin Singletary handling 82% and 93% snap rates with Zack Moss held as a healthy inactive. That said, the last time Moss was active was against these same Patriots, so keep an eye on the inactive list leading up to the first kick. Should Moss be once again held out, Singletary would likely have this backfield largely to himself. That also said, this does not set up the same way as it did last week when Singletary saw a robust 23 running back opportunities. Expect the Bills to attempt less than 20 running back rush attempts. The matchup on the ground yields a slightly above average 4.38 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Patriots defense allowing 24.2 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields.
Quite the strength-on-strength matchup we have here, with the league’s 11th-ranked pass offense (DVOA) against the league’s third-ranked pass defense (DVOA). With Cole Beasley out and Emmanuel Sanders returning to practice, expect Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis to man the perimeter out of 11-personnel formations, with Sanders likely shifting to the perimeter in heavy formations, a slight dent to the expected snap rate of Davis – that is assuming Sanders is back to full health. Tight end Dawson Knox has worked his way into a near every-down role over the second half of the season. The matchup tilts expected production to the deeper areas of the field but also induces a good deal of uncertainty, making any of these pass-catchers best played at low ownership.

How New England Will Try to win ::

Although we can’t expect the Patriots to approach game-planning in the same way they did the last time these two teams met, we should expect something along the same lines – high rush rates and dynamic run-blocking designed to rush off the edge and off tackle (away from Star Lotulelei, who is currently not practicing, and inside linebacker Tremaine Edmunds). When forced to throw, Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Henry set up the best to be able to take advantage of the high man rates shown by the Bills. Either way, we know the Patriots would like to shorten the field on both sides of the ball while cracking down in the red zone on defense. Expect a slow pace of play and elevated rush rates.

There are some significant question marks surrounding this Patriots backfield, as Rhamondre Stevenson has yet to practice this week (as of Thursday) and Damien Harris is coming off a missed contest. We should expect the Patriots to once again lean into the run game here but we’re highly unlikely to see the same level of output as the last time these two teams played. Said another way, look for the Patriots to build their offensive game plan around the run but in different ways than in Week 13. The expected snap rates depend largely on health and it’s too early to speculate on who would be of the most utility here. Assuming all backs play, we’re likely to see a three-way timeshare amongst Harris, Stevenson, and Brandon Bolden, with Bolden primarily being used on obvious passing downs. The matchup on the ground yields a putrid 3.905 net-adjusted line yards metric but the primary strength of this Bills defense is up the middle, and nose tackle Star Lotulelei has yet to practice this week.

The pass game also has a good deal of unknowns surrounding it with both Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne yet to practice this week. Both are primarily utilized as package wide receivers, as the only pass-catchers to play near every-down roles are Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Henry. That said, should either miss, it would open up additional playing time for punt returner Gunner Olszewski, who could become an interesting piece at min price. It would also likely open up additional perimeter snaps for N’Keal Harry, who has largely underwhelmed throughout his career and should be thought of primarily as a run-blocker at this point. With all pass-catchers healthy, expect a rather wide timeshare outside of Meyers and Henry. The matchup through the air could not be more difficult against a Bills defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers and the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.

Likeliest Game flow ::

Expect another field position battle from these two divisional rivals in their respective quests for playoff seeding (the Patriots currently sit in the second spot in the AFC, one game behind the Chiefs, while the Bills are only one game back from the Patriots and currently in the seventh and final playoff spot). Both teams rank in the top half of the league in average time of possession, meaning we shouldn’t expect more than the 126 total plays these two teams combine for this year. Overall, this game shouldn’t be one to go out of our way to attack, with the most interest from me coming from Bills pass-catchers, which depends highly on expected ownership, or the Patriots backfield, which depends highly on the game-day statuses of Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • Tied for the sixth lowest total in Week 16
  • BUF is 3-3 in their past six games, scoring 45, 31, and 31 in their victories
  • They scored 15, 10 (vs. NE), and 27 in their losses
  • On the season, BUF’s 28.1 ppg ranks fifth highest
  • NE is 5-1 in their past six games, holding opponents to scores of 6, 7, 0, 13, and 10 (@ BUF) in their victories
  • NE’s 26.2 ppg ranks 10th highest
  • BUF ranks sixth in red zone TD % allowed (50%)
  • NE ranks second in red zone TD % allowed (45.9%)
  • BUF had their bye back in Week 7
  • NE just had theirs in Week 14
  • Per numberFire, BUF ranks 14th in adjusted seconds per play (29.2) and second in adjusted pass rate (66.4%)
  • NE ranks third in adjusted seconds per play (28.3) and 27th in adjusted pass rate (53.0%)

Josh Allen

  • Ranks 13th in PFF passing grade
  • Averaging 25 completions on 38 attempts, for 267 yards, 2.2 TDs, and 0.9 INTs
  • 25.7 DK ppg ranks first
  • 39.6 rushing yards per game ranks third
  • DK salary range of $7,000 – $8,200
  • $7,500 in Week 16
  • Scored 4x that salary four times in 14 games: 32.72 @ TEN // 39.5 @ KC // 40.22 vs. BUF // 42.22 @ TB
  • In Week 13 vs. NE, Allen managed a 50% completion rate for just 145 yards and 1 TD, plus six rushes for 39 yards
  • NE ranks first in DK ppg allowed to QBs (13.6)
  • Only Dak Prescott in Week 6 managed to score 4x Allen’s Week 16 salary (31.8) against NE
  • Prescott threw 51 times (completing 36 of them), for 445 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT

BUF Passing Attack

  • BUF will be without Cole Beasley in Week 16, vacating 7.2 targets per game
  • Emmanuel Sanders is also likely to miss again (as of Thursday morning), vacating 5.2 targets per game
  • Target averages for the remaining passing attack weapons: Stefon Diggs 9.2 // Dawson Knox 5.1 // Gabriel Davis 3.3
  • Among qualified WRs, Diggs ranks 10th in target share, 14th in air yard market share, and 12th in WOPR (per Koalaty Stats)
  • His 16.9 DK ppg ranks 10th
  • His DK salary has fallen to just $200 above a season low ($7,600 in Week 16)
  • With Sanders hurt in Week 14 and out in Week 15, Davis saw eight and seven targets, respectively
  • His stat lines in those games: 5-43-1 // 5-85-2
  • His DK salary has spiked $1,000 from Week 15 to Week 16 ($4,700)
  • NE ranks second in DK ppg allowed to WRs (28.3)
  • Only CeeDee Lamb has managed to score 20+ DK pts vs. NE
  • He had 39.1 in Week 6, with nine catches on 11 targets for 149 yards and 2 TDs
  • Among qualified TEs, Knox ranks 14th in target share, 15th in air yard market share, and 14th in WOPR
  • His 12.5 DK ppg ranks sixth
  • His DK salary has risen $1,900 since Week 1 to a season high $5,300 in Week 16
  • He’s scored 15+ DK pts four times: 18.2 @ NO // 19 @ TB // 20.7 vs. HOU // 23.7 @ KC
  • NE ranks first in DK ppg allowed to TEs (6.7)
  • Only two opposing TEs have scored double digits vs. NE: Austin Hooper 12.5 // Dalton Schultz 12.9

BUF RBs

  • Zach Moss hasn’t logged 30+ snaps since Week 8
  • Devin Singletary has dominated Matt Breida in the last two weeks, leading in snaps (129-14), targets (8-1), and touches (33-4)
  • His Week 16 DK salary is a season high $5,100
  • He has yet to score 20 DK pts this year
  • In fact, no BUF RB has scored 20 DK pts
  • NE ranks 19th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (24.2)
  • Notable opposing RB scores: Alvin Kamara 20.8 // Dontrell Hilliard 22.3 // D’Ernest Johnson 22.7 // Austin Ekeler 24.4 // Jonathan Taylor 26

Mac Jones

  • Ranks ninth in PFF passing grade
  • His receivers have rewarded him the lowest percentage of drops of on-target passes among all qualified QBs
  • Averaging just 14.6 DK ppg
  • DK salary range of $4,400 – $5,400 ($5,300 in Week 16)
  • Hit 4x Week 16 salary twice: 24.5 vs. TEN // 25.18 vs. NYJ
  • BUF ranks second in DK ppg allowed to QBs (13.7)
  • They held Jones to 0.46 DK pts in Week 13
  • Just four opposing QBs have scored 20+ DK pts vs. BUF: Patrick Mahomes 21.98 // Taylor Heinicke 23.38 // Cam Newton 24.34 // Tom Brady 33.12
  • All four had at least seven rushing attempts
  • Jones has had six or fewer rushing attempts in every game

NE Passing Attack

  • Despite splashy off season TE acquisitions of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, NE utilizes 12 personnel (most common two TE set) at a below average rate (15%, league average is 21%)
  • Snap share: Jakobi Meyers 85.4% // Nelson Agholor 71.8% // Hunter Henry 67.6% // Kendrick Bourne 51% // Jonnu Smith 48.3% // N’Keal Harry 36%
  • Target share: Meyers 23.2% // Agholor 13.9% // Henry 13.2% // Bourne 12.8% // Smith 10% // Harry 3.4%
  • Among qualified WRs, Meyers ranks 19th in target share, 24th in air yard market share, and 20th in WOPR
  • He’s averaging 10.3 DK ppg
  • DK salary range of $4,800 – $5,600 ($4,900 in Week 16)
  • He’s yet to score 20+ DK pts
  • Agholor has hit double digit DK pts just three times in 13 games: 13.1 vs. NYJ // 15 @ ATL // 18.2 vs. MIA
  • His DK salary range has been $3,500 – $4,800 ($3,600 in Week 16)
  • Bourne is averaging 11.1 DK ppg
  • His DK salary range has been $3,400 – $5,200 ($5,000 in Week 16)
  • He’s scored 4x his Week 16 salary three times in 14 games: 21.6 vs. NO // 23.1 vs. TEN // 24.1 vs. CLE
  • BUF ranks first in DK ppg allowed to WRs (26.7)
  • Mike Evans (21.1) and Chris Godwin (23.5) are the only opposing WRs to hit 20+ DK pts vs. BUF (Week 14)
  • Among qualified TEs, Henry ranks 17th in target share, 12th in air yard market share, and 14th in WOPR
  • His 10.2 DK ppg ranks 12th
  • He leads Smith in TDs (9 to 1)
  • Henry’s Week 16 DK salary ($4,700) ties a season high set back in Week 1
  • He’s scored 4x that salary three times in 13 games: 19.5 @ HOU // 19.7 vs. CLE // 25.7 @ IND
  • Smith is averaging just 4.88 DK ppg, with a high of 10.4 (Week 4 vs. TB)
  • BUF ranks fourth in DK ppg allowed to TEs (8.3)
  • Notable opposing TE scores: Dan Arnold 10 // Gronk 11.2 // Logan Thomas 13.2 // Kelce 17.7

NE RBs

  • Damien Harris was limited at practice during Week 15 and ultimately missed the game
  • He was limited on Wednesday but is believed to be likelier to play in Week 16 than he was in Week 15
  • Rhamondre Stevenson ran 10 times for 36 yards and caught one target for four yards in Week 15
  • Season snap share: Harris 36.3% // Brandon Bolden 28.9% // Stevenson 23.8%
  • Season target share: Bolden 8.9% // Stevenson 3.6% // Harris 3.4%
  • Season touches per game: Harris 14.8 // Stevenson 12.3 // Bolden 4.9
  • Among qualified RBs, Harris ranks 22nd in rush share and 10th in goal line share
  • Harris’s DK salary range is $5,200 – $6,100 ($5,600 in Week 16)
  • He’s scored 20+ DK pts three times in 12 games: 20.1 @ BUF // 20.8 vs. DAL // 28.3 vs. NYJ
  • Stevenson’s DK salary range is $4,000 – $5,600 ($5,000 in Week 16)
  • He’s scored 20+ DK pts once in 10 games: 30.4 vs. CLE
  • BUF ranks 12th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (22)
  • Four opposing RBs have hit 20+ DK pts vs. BUF: Damien Harris 20.1 // Leonard Fournette 26.2 // Derrick Henry 38.6 // Jonathan Taylor 56.4