XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT
Sunday Night Football should hopefully be exciting as the Packers visit the Bills for a 47 total game with Buffalo favored by 10.5 . . . oh wait, that means the Packers are only implied for about 17 points. Maybe less exciting than I thought.
On the Buffalo side, the run game appears to have been taken over by Devin Singletary (remember how that happened last year, too?), who has played 88%, 54%, and 87% of the snaps in the past three weeks. Zack Moss was a healthy scratch last week (and while he played 29% of the snaps in Week 5, he saw just one carry), while James Cook appears to be grabbing hold of a small RB2 role with a handful of snaps and touches in the past couple of weeks. The question that I always come back to with the Bills is, first off, can we believe this, and second, how much does it matter? We’ve seen Singletary’s workload spike up and down for a couple of seasons now, and while he operated like a bell cow towards the end of last season, the fact that Buffalo didn’t stick him back into that role from the get-go this year makes me suspicious. I also suspect there’s a reasonable chance that Singletary’s workload last week (22 opportunities including 17 carries; he only has one other game of double-digit carries this year and that was just 11) was driven by an opponent-specific game plan designed around holding a lead and keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field. This is a long way of saying I don’t feel great about Singletary’s role here, or at least I don’t feel it’s something that I have a high degree of confidence in. But that’s okay, because, at $7,200, we don’t need him to be a bell cow back. If he gets 20+ touches, he’s (enormously) underpriced for a massive home favorite who also gets solid passing game work. If he gets his “normal” workload, he’s pretty fairly priced. So, when price is considered, he’s one of the strongest on-paper plays on the slate but we should also expect him to be owned accordingly, especially going up against a Packers defense that ranks 11th in pass defense DVOA but just 31st against the run (only the Texans are worse).
Showdown Ownership Projections!
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In the passing game, we know that Stef Diggs and Gabe Davis are the two primary guys here. Both are awesome, Diggs is the better play but also significantly more expensive, while Davis’ role is less volume-driven; he’s a 5-7 target per game kind of guy most of the time and he needs touchdowns (preferably of the long variety) to pay off. Behind them, things start to get a little muddy. Isaiah McKenzie is operating as the WR3 but has yet to exceed 51% of the snaps in a game. He was splitting work with Jamison Crowder earlier in the year and now it’s Khalil Shakir who is playing the WR4 role. McKenzie is fine, we’ve certainly seen him flash upside, and anyone being thrown to by one of the league’s best QBs in the league’s best offense is worth playing, but I’m actually quite interested in Shakir here as a tournament piece. Shakir is going to play under 50% of the snaps but priced below the kickers, he makes an interesting tournament punt play; he’s safer than a lot of tourney punts (like, say, fullbacks), and he’s shown an ability to be successful when given work. Making things more complicated is that Jake Kumerow, who opened the year in a WR4/WR5 role, is back from injury. I don’t know if Kumerow will slot back into the pecking order ahead of Shakir or behind him, but I would only play one of the two, and watch the inactives to see if both are even active in the first place. At tight end, Dawson Knox will play almost every snap with a tiny bit of work going to Quintin Morris and Tommy Sweeney. Knox is really a touchdown-or-bust player who has only exceeded 10 Draftkings points in one game (when he scored a TD, duh), but his touchdown equity is solid. Knox is the kind of play who I want something like 20% of in tournaments and will just call it a day. I don’t have a strong feeling about him one way or another, he could grab a TD and be necessary to win, or (more likely) he could fail to get into the end zone. Morris, Sweeney, and fullback Reggie Gilliam can be included as tourney punt options.
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