NFL Grind Down Week 2: Bills vs. Giants

Vegas Overview

BUF @ NYG Team Spread Total Implied Moneyline
NYG 2 43 20.5 104
BUF -2 43 22.5 -120

Betting Quick Take: Give me the Bills -2 here based on defensive advantage. Barkley can do some damage, but the lack of weaponry in the passing game should make it easy for the Bills to keep a lid on things and force Eli to operate long, sustained drives. The Bills defense is a favorite in that battle in my opinion. Bottom line: I think Buffalo can be effective enough with their offensive tools to score points, but I struggle envisioning the Giants doing the same. Buffalo -2. Confidence Level: 7 out of 10

Injury Situations

Player Team Pos Status Part Impact
Sterling Shepard NYG WR Q Head 8
Cody Latimer NYG WR Q Calf 6
Golden Tate NYG WR O Suspension 5
Cole Beasley BUF WR Q Illness 7
Tyler Kroft BUF TE Q Foot 6
Andre Roberts BUF WR D Quad 2

Injuries to Monitor: The Giants could be in a critical situation with regards to their available wideouts. Sterling Shepard did not practice Thursday and remains in the concussion protocol. Golden Tate is suspended. And now we see Cody Latimer has popped up with a calf injury.

The Bills aren’t fully healthy either, with Cole Beasley missing Thursday’s practice with an illness. For now I expect him to play. DB Taron Johnson could continue to miss, which may not be needed given the state of the Giants WR corps. Kroft still isn’t full go, so I would expect more Tommy Sweeney snaps until he’s ready to roll.

Matchup Factors, Team Identity Metrics, and Game Flow Expectations

Expected Game Pace and Tempo: Buffalo is a lower end team in terms of total plays executed and pace of play. They won’t often get involved in high play volume shootouts, but for various other reasons can still create fantasy friendly environments. Namely: via turnovers for their opponents. The Giants don’t make a good fit for that outcome, as their defense is not highly touted and got smoked by Dallas a week ago. On offense, the Giants will run at a fast pace only when trailing. Otherwise, they are slow. Perhaps we’ll see them trail this week, but the Bills defense is stout enough that I don’t suspect they’ll be hyper effective at any point in the game. Translation: It would be a surprise if the total plays run in this game deviated very far from average either way. The Bills should run more plays than the Giants.

New York Giants Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Eli Manning NYG 15.41 QB30 36.60 245.33 Rank 16 Rank 16 Rank 2 Rank 18
RB Team Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar% Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FD
Saquon Barkley NYG 22.28 RB2 77% 21% Rank 3 Rank 19 Rank 47 Rank 14
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FD
Sterling Shepard NYG 12.84 WR25 21% 7.69 Rank 19 Rank 18 Rank 22 Rank 14
Cody Latimer NYG 8.27 WR76 14% 5.12 Rank 73 Rank 49 Rank 19 Rank 42
Bennie Fowler NYG 7.31 WR85 13% 4.76 Rank 74 Rank 55 Rank 33 Rank 35
Evan Engram NYG 13.42 TE4 21% 7.50 Rank 5 Rank 7 Rank 8 Rank 13

BUF 18-19 Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 32/RB Rank 7/WR Rank 30/TE Rank 32

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note:
MS Rush: Barkley 65% / Gallman 12% / Penny 12%
MS Tar: Barkley 13%
Snaps: Barkley 84.6%

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note:
Barkley Yards per Touch: 9.3 (Rank 2)
2018 Barkley Yards Created: 1.95/carry (Rank 5)
2018 BUF D Rush EPA: 7th lowest

The one soft spot on the Buffalo defense from both a raw and schedule adjusted fpts standpoint was the RB going back to 2018. Le’Veon Bell didn’t exactly have a field day last week, but this is nothing but a mid tier defense in that department. The Bills look like a nice matchup for a player who should get elite opportunity.

At his current workhorse projection Barkley looks like a player that demands our consideration in GPP. If you consider that they might not have any choice but to use him in the passing game more, then I would nudge him up slightly higher. While his ceiling does look nice, this is still a team that could struggle to move the ball. The mere presence of opportunity does not guarantee slate winning efficiency.

The bottom line: We want to attach ourselves to monster workloads, and Barkley will certainly have that in Week 2. Cash games may not be the perfect fit for his price, but his mega-ceiling can bring fortunes in tournaments on the right day.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note:
Manning Pass Attempts Week 1: 44 (Rank 7)
MS Air Yards Week 1: Shepard 43% / Fowler 29% / Engram 7%
MS Targets Week 1: Shepard 40% / Fowler 20% / Engram 20%

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note:
Manning Adj. YPA Week 1: 7.2 (Rank 18)
BUF Success Rate Allowed Week 1: 37.5% (Rank 21)
BUF Passing EPA Allowed Week 1: 5th lowest

We still have questionable WRs Shepard and Latimer in the projections above, and this was going to be a tough matchup even if they were healthy. The fact that they could miss the game brings up all kinds of potential scenarios. The most likely scenario is that the targets get replaced by Russell Shepard, Cody Core, and T.J. Jones. That is a who’s who of who cares. That is a group of guys who will arrive at the stadium in a clown car, and be given multi-colored giant clown sized cleats when they arrive. It’s a certified clown show here in New York if Sterling Shepard and Latimer miss.

So we’re not using Eli – and we were never going to anyway. Why? Well, because he is the lead clown in the clown show. He gets a new pair of clown sized cleats every year for Christmas, so he just brings his to the stadium. Don’t use Eli.

We might be able to trust Evan Engram, who figures to be a focus of the offense even more so than usual. We originally projected him for 21% of targets, and it’s hard to expect a ton more than that on a median basis. That said, there is room for a big ceiling without any major players around him. You can easily consider him with this kind of projection, especially at a TE position that will see condensed ownership up top. He’s a fine GPP play as a pivot from those clear top plays.

Team Quick Summary: You can play Barkley and Engram in GPPs, but it will be a struggle to convince me to roster anyone else.

Buffalo Bills Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Josh Allen BUF 18.58 QB11 34.72 243.25 Rank 10 Rank 1 Rank 8 Rank 6
RB Team Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar% Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FDFT
Devin Singletary BUF 12.9 RB23 36% 13% Rank 10 Rank 3 Rank 2 Rank 6
Frank Gore BUF 7.91 RB47 38% 2% Rank 29 Rank 30 Rank 22 Rank 31
T.J. Yeldon BUF 1.74 RB75 4% 2% Rank 67 Rank 67 Rank 67 Rank 67
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar Pts/$ FD Pts/$ DK Pts/$ Y Pts/$ FD
John Brown BUF 12.74 WR26 23% 7.99 Rank 25 Rank 24 Rank 48 Rank 33
Cole Beasley BUF 10.58 WR53 20% 6.94 Rank 26 Rank 6 Rank 6 Rank 18
Zay Jones BUF 8.74 WR70 16% 5.38 Rank 45 Rank 20 Rank 10 Rank 11
Robert Foster BUF 2.79 WR119 5% 1.74 Rank 104 Rank 103 Rank 102 Rank 103
Isaiah McKenzie BUF 1.7 WR134 3% 1.04 Rank 116 Rank 117 Rank 116 Rank 117
Dawson Knox BUF 5.21 TE30 10% 3.30 Rank 25 Rank 22 Rank 19 Rank 25
Tommy Sweeney BUF 3.91 TE38 7% 2.57 Rank 27 Rank 30 Rank 28 Rank 30

NYG 18-19 Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 10/RB Rank 11/WR Rank 14/TE Rank 9

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note:
MS Rush: Gore 46% / Allen 39% / Singletary 16%
MS Tar: Singletary 19%
Snap%: Singletary 74% / Gore 24%

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note:
Singletary 10+ Runs: 2 on 4 carries (rank #3)
Evaded Tackles Rate: 44% (Rank 13)
Yards per touch: 10.9 (Rank 1)

I’m here to take my L. I was adamant that Singletary was a poor athletic tester who would a) not have a big role with Buffalo year 1 and b) may not have the skills to produce at the next level. I’m changing my tune after one game, as premature as that may seem.

I don’t know if this this a hot take, but I really think this is a spot where Singletary could emerge. The Giants defense has been friendly to RB fantasy point scoring dating back to 2018, and it seems clear the Bills are going to put him on the field and find ways to leverage his skills. The elusiveness is really what has stood out in camp, the preseason, and Week 1 to the point where I want to quickly change my mind on his short term outlook. At 4.2k on DraftKings and $9.5k on FantasyDraft, I can envision some roster builds where he might be acceptable for GPP (paying up at WR or the other backs). I don’t think the ceiling is massive, so we’re really talking about a “glue” piece that allows you to string together some combination of options that can really smash.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note:
Josh Allen Carries Week 1: 10 (Rank 1)
Josh Allen Deep Attempts: 5 (Rank 9)
Air Yards Week 1: Brown 133 / Beasley 81 / Jones 73
MS Targets Week 1: Brown 27% / Beasley 24% / Jones 14%

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note:
Josh Allen Clean Pockets Week 1: 68.18% (Rank 20)
NYG Clean Pockets Allowed: 81.25% (Rank 5)
John Brown QB Rating when targeted: 145.0

I once believed it was fluky that Josh Allen generated so much production rushing, but at this point we can no longer have that conversation. The guy is willing to take off and surprisingly productive when he does. That actually does offer some semblance of a floor, but efficiency is the hallmark of a great fantasy QB. Allen is absolutely not that so far in his career. Perhaps the potential for clean pockets will help him, as the Giants allowed plenty of them for Dak Prescott last week (81%). That could allow for plenty of time to find some of his targets deep downfield, and connect on the splash plays that would ultimately propel him to GPP success. Allen is a strong value play at QB this week, but I have hard time committing to him as somebody you can call optimal. There are other more trust worthy floors on this slate that can be considered for cash games, but in GPPs he can easily be placed in the player pool against a vulnerable Giants defense.

John Brown stepped into this offense Week 1 right where he left off in preseason: as the clear top receiving option for the Bills. While Cole Beasley has shown chemistry with Allen, the real DFS value lies in Browns high air yards share and TD equity. Beasley will compete in terms of raw targets, but can’t compete on those ever important stats that will make or break DFS tournament lineups. Brown’s median projection is never going to look earth shattering on a Bills team that plays slow and has a high projected share of rushing attempts. That being said, we only care about his ceiling…and Brown is one of the rare few who can deliver multiple spiked weeks per season way beyond his price. He has a rather elevated price this week, but that should keep his ownership low. He’s a great stacking option with Josh Allen.

Team Quick Summary: Devin Singletary, Josh Allen, and John Brown are all in the GPP conversation this week.

DFS Recommendations

Optimal DFS Plays: None

Leverage Plays: Devin Singletary, Josh Allen, Evan Engram

Secondary Plays: Saquon Barkley, John Brown, Bills DST

About the Author

  • Chris Gimino (ChrisGimino)

  • Chris Gimino is a top mind in the DFS industry and one of the primary contributors at RotoGrinders including one of the most accurate ownership projection systems in the industry. A multiple time live-finalist, Chris delivers actionable tools and advice for RotoGrinders Premium subscribers that helps them make informed decisions for their lineup builds.

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