Game Overview ::
By Hilow >>
- Josh Allen is likely to have more time in the pocket considering the minuscule 10.8 percent pressure rate from Las Vegas in Week 1 – large expected boost to the downfield presences here (Gabe Davis and potentially Stefon Diggs).
- James Cook dominated backfield opportunities in Week 1 but still only saw 59 percent of the offensive snaps.
- Dawson Knox saw elite underlying usage in Week 1 – 92.6 percent route participation rate and 59 percent slot snap rate.
- Buffalo has been most susceptible to power rushing attacks, particularly those with breakaway assets – Josh Jacobs saw an elite 80 percent snap rate and 88 percent team opportunity share in Week 1 and finished 2022 with the sixth most breakaway runs (15).
- Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers combined to account for a 73.1 percent team target market share in Week 1 – Meyers is currently in the league’s concussion protocol following a vicious hit late in the fourth quarter last week.
- Somewhat quietly, both of these teams held pass rate over expectation values in the top half of the league in Week 1, with the Raiders checking in at 11th and the Bills checking in at sixth.
- There is one clear and obvious path for this game environment to erupt – more on this in the DFS+ Interpretation section!
How Las Vegas Will Try To Win ::
Josh McDaniels showed us that his concentrated offenses from years past are likely to continue into 2023. Two players accounted for 73.1 percent of the team’s available targets and one player accounted for 85 percent of the team’s running back opportunities. Those players, of course, were Davante Adams (nine targets, 35.6 percent target share), Jakobi Meyers (38.5 percent target share), and Josh Jacobs (19 of 20 running back carries and three of five running back targets). We have a pretty good idea of what the offense is expected to look like from the Raiders this season, beginning with run-balanced attacks which should be expected to maintain the emphasis for as long as they remain within striking distance. The final glaring observation from this team is that they lack much in the way of a downfield presence, which we saw translate into a moderate 7.0 intended air yards per pass attempt value from Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 1. Furthermore, the type of routes the wide receivers ran to open the season lacked the ability to allow for significant yards after the catch, as evidenced by the team’s 3.1 YAC per completion (29th).
The best chance for the Raiders to stay in this game the longest is via the run game, but they’ll need some level of success through the air to keep the Bills from simply stacking the box against them – as they did against the Jets once Aaron Rodgers left the game. Either way, pure volume expectations for Josh Jacobs are amongst the highest on the slate at the running back position. As was mentioned above, Jacobs returned from his holdout to immediately reclaim his workhorse role on this offense and should be a near lock to finish the majority of weeks in the top three in total volume this season. One of the aspects likely to aid the Raiders in this pursuit is the general tendencies of the Bills defense to operate from nickel base alignments. That typically results in one of the lower stacked box rates in the league. Furthermore, the Bills lost elite inside linebacker Tremaine Edmunds this offseason. In all, I expect the Raiders to want to control the ball for as long as possible on the ground against an opponent that is best attacked in that way.
As was mentioned above, this pass offense was the most concentrated of any team in Week 1, with two players accounting for over 73 percent of the available targets. One of those players is in the concussion protocol after experiencing a “lights out” event at the end of the game last week (Jakobi Meyers). Should Meyers gain clearance from his concussion, expect a similar setup against a Bills team that should filter most of the pass work against them toward the middle of the field, which is likelies to benefit Meyers over Adams (unless McDaniels motions Adams into the slot at a higher rate, which he only did in the red zone a week ago). Adams ran very few 7-9 routes (corner, post, and go) last week, instead living in the 3-6 realm (comeback, curl, dig, and out). This also exacerbates the one-dimensional nature of this offense as it allows safeties to creep up to a more shallow depth behind the linebackers, which likely explains the low YAC/completion from Week 1. The Raiders operated primarily from a 21-personnel in Week 1 through a 46 percent snap rate from fullback Jakob Johnson, with tight ends Austin Hooper and Michael Mayer splitting snaps almost down the middle. That meant only Adams and Meyers saw a snap rate above 53 percent in Week 1, amongst pass-catchers.