NFL DFS Picks and Analysis Week 3: The Grind Down - Bills vs. Rams
Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, a fantasy football advice article for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo. This DFS breakdown is an all-encompassing preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the projections, projected ownership, picks, targets, and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.
Every game will be broken down with a DFS-first mentality. Betting lines are shown with projected team totals, spreads, and moneyline to give you an idea of the game environment. Each contest is then analyzed team-by-team, with a focus on finding matchups to exploit and trends to follow. At the end of each section, we’ll deliver a DFS cheat sheet of stacks to build, players to target, and low projected ownership plays that can make an impact on your weekly success.
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Sports Betting Lines and Overview
Buffalo Bills DFS Breakdown
Injuries to Monitor
John Brown (Questionable)
Zack Moss (Out)
Dawson Knox (Out)
Running Game Outlook
One of the least appealing things in all of NFL DFS is a timeshare at running back. Zack Moss and Devin Singletary have provided a nice one-two punch for the Bills this season, but they have cut into each other’s playing time and fantasy production. This is a situation that I have avoided in the first two weeks, but one that we can attack here in Week 3. Moss has been ruled out with a toe injury, which paves the way for Singletary to see a workhorse-like type of role. He’s been effective with his touches the last two games, racking up 129 yards from scrimmage on 19 carries and seven receptions. He doesn’t have a clear path to the goal line work with Josh Allen being such a threat himself, but Singletary should handle at least two-thirds of the touches in this backfield.
As far as the matchup, this actually sets up quite well for Singletary. We are still dealing with a small sample size, but the Rams have been a run-funnel defense in the first two weeks of the season. They are ranked 27th in DVOA against the run and 31st in defensive adjusted line yards. The Bills don’t have the best run-blocking unit, but they should at least be able to create holes for Singletary to run through. The other positive is that Singletary will get usage regardless of the game script. He’s a capable pass-catcher out of the backfield and Allen has already targeted his running backs 14 times in the first two games. It will be interesting to see how ownership shakes out among Singletary, Jerick McKinnon, and Mike Davis. I’ll take the one we can project for the most touches (Singletary).
Passing Game Outlook
Before the season, everyone was saying that Josh Allen would never be an elite quarterback because he didn’t have a great deep ball and that he made too many mistakes. After the first two games, everyone is ready to say he’s a top five quarterback in football. The reality is that he’s likely somewhere in the middle and that everyone loves to overreact on a week-to-week basis. Make no mistake about it, he’s been terrific through the first two games, racking up 727 passing yards, 76 rushing yards, and seven touchdowns. I should note that it was against the Jets and Dolphins, so perhaps we should put an asterisk next to those results. He has a much tougher test this week against the Rams, who have an elite pass rush and who are ranked eighth in DVOA against the pass this season. I still have interest in Allen for tournaments, but have him ranked behind Kyler Murray, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson from a single lineup approach.
The nice part about targeting Allen is that he’s easy to pair with his top receiver in tournaments. Stefon Diggs has caught 16-of-22 targets in the first two weeks for a league-high 239 receiving yards. I only expect his salary to increase from this point on and when we look back at the season, we could be talking about him as one of the most productive receivers in all of fantasy football. His ownership is deflated this week due to a perceived difficult matchup against Jalen Ramsey, but I’m not as concerned as most. For one, Diggs has run nearly 40% of his routes from the slot this season. Additionally, we saw Amari Cooper fare well against Ramsey in Week 1. And finally, does Allen seem like the type to back away from a challenge? Diggs is a tremendous tournament play this week, especially if you are looking to get away from the DeAndre Hopkins chalk.
Given the fact that the Bills have an implied team total of 24.5 points, we should expect them to move the ball fairly easily on offense. If you don’t like Singletary as a value and think Ramsey is going to shut down Diggs, you can easily make a case for John Brown or Cole Beasley. Brown is listed as questionable, but is “trending in the right direction” for Sunday’s game. He has caught 10-of-16 targets for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the first two weeks. Beasley is more of a possession receiver that offers a higher floor than Brown. With Dawson Knox out, more targets could open up over the middle for Beasley and backup tight end Tyler Kroft. If Brown is eventually ruled out, Gabriel Davis would become the WR2 at the bare minimum on DraftKings ($3,000).
Strong GPP Differentiators: Stefon Diggs
Roster Construction Punts/Values: Devin Singletary
My Expected Team Exposure: Medium
Los Angeles Rams Projections Breakdown
Injuries to Monitor
Cam Akers (Questionable)
Running Game Outlook
The Rams offense struggled in 2019, but have looked great through the first two games of the 2020 season. I know we shouldn’t overreact after a two-week sample size, but they look primed to compete in their tough division. Their backfield has been a situation to avoid thus far. They spent a second round draft pick on Cam Akers, yet we’ve seen Malcolm Brown dominate the backfield in Week 1 and Darrell Henderson dominate the backfield in Week 2. Sean McVay might use the hot hand approach for these three moving forward, which is the exact opposite of what we like to see when it comes to DFS.
This week could be a little different though, as Akers did not practice on Thursday. He’s dealing with a rib injury and is very questionable for this game. Brown had surgery on his pinky and while he’s expected to be a full go, Henderson really outplayed him in the second half last week. If Akers ends up being out, Henderson would become an intriguing large-field tournament play. If Akers is active, this is an easy situation to avoid. As far as the matchup goes, the Bills are ranked 17th in DVOA against the run and 21st in defensive adjusted line yards this season.
Passing Game Outlook:
The knock on Jared Goff over the years has been his inability to deal with pressure and his inability to perform on the road. With no fans allowed in most stadiums (including Buffalo), there really isn’t a huge home-field advantage around the league. On top of that, the Bills are pretty average in generating pressure. Goff has plenty of weapons to work with and one of the best offensive minds in football as his head coach. He’s played fairly well in the first two games of the season and has already racked up 11 rushes for 28 yards. Unfortunately, the Bills are a tough matchup for quarterbacks. They are ranked ninth in DVOA against the pass this season and allowed the third fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in 2019.
The Rams have a very concentrated target share among Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Tyler Higbee. We have all three projected for a target share of at least 18% this week. The Rams like to move Woods all over the field, but he’ll likely see the most of Tre’Davious White, who is one of a handful of cornerbacks that I try to avoid targeting receivers against. Woods could get a few carries as well, but I’m not itching to click his name this week. Kupp should have the better cornerback matchup in the slot and is my favorite bring back option if you are looking to play the Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs stack in tournaments. Higbee is coming off of a three touchdown performance in Week 2, but is now priced in a difficult matchup against the Bills (allowed the second fewest fantasy points to tight ends last season).
Strong Projections: None
High Upside Correlations: None
Roster Construction Punts/Values: Darrell Henderson (if Akers is out)
My Expected Team Exposure: Low