Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- These two teams rank first and second in the NFL in turnover margin; their offenses simply don’t turn the ball over and their defenses are predicated on attacking the football until the whistle.
- Injuries of note include DeForest Buckner (abs, back, throat???), Darius Leonard (ankle, hand), TJ Carrie (knee, but it appears likely defensive back teammate Xavier Rhodes makes his return), and Cole Beasley (ribs).
- One of the higher game totals on the slate, but one that comes with a wide range of potential outcomes as far as true game flow goes.
How indianapolis Will Try To Win ::
The Colts operate the slowest situation-neutral offense in the league and run a largely balanced offense. A lot has been made of the rushing success shown over the previous seven games through Jonathan Taylor, but this offense checks in at 13th in the NFL in pass rate (59%) with the score within seven points (as in, competitive games). The foundation of Frank Reich’s offensive system revolves around layered routes and heavy 11 and 12-personnel rates, creating a dynamic environment that defenses are forced to adjust to in-game. The return to health of wide receiver TY Hilton has given them a dynamic playmaker in the “Z” wider receiver position capable of stretching the field vertically (the duo of Parris Campbell and TY Hilton have missed a combined 13 games this season), which opens up additional room underneath for the running back duo of Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, as well as “X” and “Y” wide receivers Michael Pittman and Zach Pascal. Although the complexities of the route trees are designed to put pressure on a defense at multiple levels, the three primary wide receivers typically align in more traditional roles (“X”, “Y”, “Z”).
Frank Reich has long been hailed as a true technician of the game, tailoring an offense best suited to the personnel available to him, which is no different this year. The problems have largely been just that, the personnel available to him have been hit or miss each week. The main constant has been the running back room, which has devolved into a loose timeshare between Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, with snap rates and opportunity shares largely dictated by the game flow.
How buffalo Will Try To Win ::
As we’ve uncovered throughout the site over the preceding four to five weeks, this Bills offense is not the same unit we grew accustomed to attacking with last year. Bankable weekly volume is a bit more convoluted than it has been in the past with the addition of Emmanuel Sanders and the expanded role of breakout tight end Dawson Knox. Brian Daboll has shown more muted offensive aggression as far as late-game play calling goes when games have been in hand, and we’ve seen a higher emphasis on the run game in the red zone this season (37.5% rush score rate, compared to 25.37% last year). To put that in another way, we know this pass offense is still one of the top units in the league, but we can’t just close our eyes and click on Josh Allen and two of his pass-catchers and call it good as we could last year. We need to be methodical in our approach to this team now. The Bills run the fifth-fastest situation-neutral pace of play in the league this year, with a blistering pace in games they trail (first-ranked 19.89 seconds per play). They’ve also run the fifth most offensive plays per game at 67.1 and rank fifth in total offense per game (401.1 yards per game).
On the ground, the matchup yields a slightly above average 4.31 net-adjusted line yards metric, but from a macro perspective, the matchup hinges a good deal around the health of Colts linebacker Darius Leonard. Zach Moss and Devin Singletary continue to operate in a tightly split backfield, each typically seeing 45-55% snap rates on a standard week. Matt Breida entered the conversation last week, scoring two touchdowns on only eight offensive snaps. Both Moss and Singletary are each typically good for only eight to 12 running back opportunities on a standard week and shouldn’t warrant our consideration this week in a neutral-at-best matchup.
The money is made (figuratively and literally) through the Bills pass offense, which currently ranks sixth in the NFL in total pass yards per game at 279.2. Week 10 marked just the third time all season that Stefon Diggs out-snapped “Queen Chess piece” Emmanuel Sanders, the latter of whom has been deployed all over the formation this year. Keep an eye on the injury status of slot-man Cole Beasley, who missed practice on Wednesday with his ribs ailment. I’d expect it to simply be a case of load management, but it is a situation worth monitoring, nonetheless. We’ll get into the matchups for each pass-catcher in the DFS Interpretation section below. WR4 Gabriel Davis continues to play a moderate role as a situational receiver, while Isaiah McKenzie typically sees 20-25% of the offensive snaps himself. Breakout tight end Dawson Knox has gotten by on an unsustainable touchdown rate and typically sees between four and five targets.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
The Bills should have no problem passing against a very pass-funnel Colts defense, and while the Colts are presented with a difficult matchup on the offensive side of the ball, they create enough pressure over multiple levels that we’re likely to see them generate some level of success here. Although the chances of this game erupting for a “had to have it” game environment are fairly low, we should see this game played close throughout. The deciding factor may very well be which team wins the turnover battle, as each offense simply doesn’t turn the ball over at a high rate but each defense is built to attack the football in every area (aggressively pursue generating turnovers). So while the actual likeliest game flow depends heavily on if and when one of these defenses can force a timely turnover, we should see a tightly contested game here. That makes nailing down the likeliest game flow rather difficult, but gives us a game environment where we are likely to be able to narrow down the likeliest flow of volume to a point where select players should warrant our consideration from this game.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- IND has given up season-best passing days to Russ, Tanny (x2), Brissett, Lamar, Josh Johnson
- IND does have the most forced TOs (21) behind 10 INT & 11 FF
- Josh Allen has 6 INT & 2 FL in 9 games
- Allen has four games of 300+ pass yds, and three more of 300+ total yds
- Allen has 8+ rush TDs in every season
- Allen’s rushing DK pts in 2021 of 4.4 // 3.5 // 6.9 // 4.1 // 11.9 // 2.6 // 11.5 // 5.0 // 0.3
- QB rushing vs IND: Tanny (56, 26) // Lamar (62) // Lawrence (33)
- IND has allowed 16 WR TDs in 10 games
- IND’s success vs JAC jumped them from the 8th highest success rate and 9th highest yds/att allowed to WRs, to just the 15th & 16th highest
- Top WR vs IND by week: Lockett (4:100:2) // Kupp (9:163:2) // Westbrook (4:53:1) // Parker (4:77:1) // Hollywood (9:125:2) // Cooks (9:89) // Deebo (7:100:1) // AJ Brown (10:155:1) // Moore (7:84:2) // MJJ (2:35)
- 11 WRs have 60+ yds vs IND
- 60+ yd games: Diggs (8/9) // Beasley (4/9) // Sanders (4/9)
- WRs with 8+ tg vs IND: Kupp (9:163:2) // Parker (4:77:1) // Brown (9:125:2) // Cooks (9:89) // Deebo (7:100:1) // AJ Brown (10:155:1) // Moore (7:84:2), Cole (5:66) // Viska (3:15)
- 8+ tg games: Diggs (7/9) // Beasley (5/9) // Sanders (3/9)
- Diggs has 10+ targets in 16/28 games with BUF and 8+ targets in 8 more (5, 6, 7, 7 in the only games below 8)
- Diggs has 11 games of 100+ yds with BUF, and 3 more with 90+ yds
- Diggs has just three 20+ pt DK scores this year (21.4, 23.9, 33.2), and only last week’s even reached 3x his W11 salary
- Diggs now has 25+ DK pts with BUF in 8 of 28 games, but just one so far in 2021
- Beasley has three games of 80+ yds this season (11:98, 7:88:1, 10:110), but also five games with a combined 105 yds
- Sanders’ role as the intermediate/deep WR has led to two scores of 20+ DK pts (26.4, 20.4), both in which he caught 2 TDs
- Sanders has maxed out at 5 rec this season
- IND has allowed the 3rd highest success rate to TEs
- Notable TEs vs IND: Everett (2:20:1) // Higbee (1:8) // Gesicki (5:57:1) // Andrews (11:147:2) // Akins (4:41) // Swaim (3:27, 4:23:1) // Griffin (4:28:1) // Arnold (5:67)
- Knox targets: 4, 3, 5, 8, 4, 3, 1
- Knox scored 5 TDs from W2-W5
- Season high in DK pts: Moss (18.1) // Singletary (17.1) // Breida (19)
- Season high in touches: Moss (16) // Singletary (16) // Breida (6)
- Moss/Singletary season-highs both came in first MIA blowout, Breida’s in NYJ blowout
- IND has allowed the 3rd fewest DK pts/g to RBs
- Wentz’s 2+ pass TDs streak of 6 games ended last week vs JAC, the 32nd ranked pass def by DVOA heading into that game
- BUF ranks 1st in def pass DVOA
- Mahomes & White are the only QBs with more than just 216 pass yds vs BUF (272, 251), and they needed 54 & 44 pass att to even get there
- Wentz pass att: 38 // 31 // 37 // 32 // 35 // 20 // 26 // 51 // 30 // 34
- BUF has allowed just 6 pass TDs to 15 INT
- Wentz has only thrown 3 INT this year
- Wentz went for 172:1:0 vs McDermott’s 2019 BUF Def
- BUF has allowed the fewest DK pts to WRs: 27.2 DK pts/g
- BUF has allowed: three WR TDs, zero 20+ pt DK scores, six WRs of 60+ yds
- The six WRs: McLaurin (4:62) // Hardman (9:76), Hill (7:63) // AJ Brown (7:91) // Parker (8:85) // Davis (5:93)
- Pittman’s games of 70+ yds: LAR (8:123) // BAL (6:89:1) // SF (4:105:1) // TEN (6:68, 10:86:2) // NYJ (5:64:1) // JAC (5:71)
- IND WRs vs BUF in 2020: Pittman (5:90) // Pascal (3:37:1) // Hilton (2:32)
- BUF has allowed the fewest DK pts/g to RBs (17.8); NOR at 19 pts/g next closest
- Only TB & NOR have allowed fewer RB rush yds, and no team has allowed fewer than the 5 RB TDs allowed by BUF
- Taylor’s rush att: 17 // 15 // 10 // 16 // 15 // 14 // 18 // 16 // 19 // 21
- RBs with 10+ rush att vs BUF: Najee (16:45) // Gibson (12:31) // Henry (20:143:3) // Gaskin (12:36) // Hyde (21:67) // Carter (16:39:1)
- Only five RBs have topped 50 total yds vs BUF
- Taylor has topped 50 total yds in every game, and 100+ total yds in 8/10 games
- Taylor has scored 10 TDs in the last seven games
- The 5 RB TDs allowed by BUF were a 72-yd screen to Gibson, 3 from Henry, garbage time GL score from Carter
- Taylor did have a 70+ yd screen TD in a game this year himself
- Taylor has 50 RZ rush att; Henry’s 32 are the next closest
- Taylor has 16 rush att inside-5 (4 TDs); Harris’s 10 are the next closest
- 31% of Taylor’s rush att have come in the red-zone