Kickoff: Saturday, December 19th at 3:30 PM ET
Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Betting Odds: BUF -5, 48.5 total via Oddsshark
Josh Allen (Start, QB2)
Josh Allen bounced back from a quiet first half last week, to an offensive explosion in the second half. Allen is playing as well as any quarterback in the league and is currently the QB3 in fantasy, despite ranking just eighth in rushing yards. Allen is getting it done as a passer and that should bode well for his future. However, in his present, he may have a tough time navigating a strong Denver pass defense. Over the past five weeks, the Broncos have allowed 300-yards passing just once, are allowing less than 185 yards passing, and have surrendered just two touchdowns. While they are shut down by no means, Allen may have a difficult time putting up fantasy numbers, which makes him a high-end QB2 with upside. Don’t even think about benching him though, his upside is massive.
Devin Singletary (Sit), Zach Moss (Sit)
Devin Singletary and Zach Moss continue to split carries and opportunities. Add this to the fact that Allen himself is just as likely to earn the goal-line carries as either of their two young backs. Together, Singletary and Moss have just one weekly top-12 finish on the season. Both cannot be considered anything more than mid to late RB3 options this week but with the stakes so high in the playoffs, both are hard to trust.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Stefon Diggs (Start, WR1), Cole Beasley (Start, WR3), Gabriel Davis (Sit, Deep Flex)
Stefon Diggs continues his torrid pace chasing Buffalo BIlls receiving records. Last week he became just the second Bill ever to have 100 receptions, set a personal career-high in receiving yards in a season, and caught 10 or more balls in consecutive games for the first time in his career. He remains on pace to set the single-season Bills record for receiving yards. Altogether Stefon Diggs is balling. It doesn’t matter who is opposite of him at this point in the season, start him without hesitation.
Cole Beasley remains a solid WR3 option this week for fantasy owners, as long as John Brown remaining out. Beasley’s breakout games have coincided with Brown being out of the lineup, and Brown has returned to practice this week. Pay close attention to the practice reports leading up to this Saturday game. If Brown remains out, Bealsety should have little trouble carving out a solid flex return for fantasy managers this week. Gabriel Davis’s value will also be tied to Brown’s return. Davis has been solid in his absence and has finished as a WR3 in 85% of his games this season. However his upside is also limited, and managers can’t expect much more than 10-12 fantasy points in any given week. Should Brown play at all, he should also head to your bench.
Drew Lock (Sit)
Drew Lock tossed four touchdowns last week against the Panthers, a career-high. Still, Lock is a limited passer, evident when you look deeper into his career stats. Last week Lock completed 78% of his passes, just the third time he has finished higher than 65% in 15 career games. He only has two career 300+ yard games passing. Lock is such an up and down player and his production is almost purely based on touchdown passes. Buffalo isn’t the best defense but we can’t expect the Broncos to run up the score this week. Sit him if you can.
Melvin Gordon (Start, Flex), Phillip Lindsay (Sit)
Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay are dealing with injuries that have limited them in practice, and with a Saturday afternoon game, their status is in question. Still, both are expected to be active and available for this game. Gordan remains an RB3 with upside, but also a low floor. Starting Gordon and you are just as likely to get 3 points as you are to get 15. Gordon is nothing more than a flex play this week, and a deep one at that. Lindsay owners have suffered through a tough season, Lindsay has had his role cut down and hasn’t had a startable fantasy week since Week 8.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Tim Patrick (Sit, WR3), Jerry Jeudy (Sit), Noah Fant (Start, TE2)
Tim Patrick has surpassed rookie Jerry Jeudy as the go-to option in the Broncos passing game heading down the stretch. Jeudy has just one 10+ point performance in the past nine weeks, even while collecting plenty of targets and opportunities with injuries around him. Patrick has quietly become a solid streaming option for fantasy owners over these last four weeks but he also disappeared for a game with no catches during this same stretch. Neither are enticing fantasy options this week against the Bills secondary that shut down the Steelers’ passing attack last week. Patrick could be used in a pinch but there should be other stronger options on your roster if you are in the playoffs.
Noah Fant was a late scratch due to a non-Covid related illness last weekend. Fant is expected to return this week. However, Fant is not a strong fantasy play this week. The Bills have allowed just one touchdown to receivers in five weeks and less than 45 yards per game. Fant is firmly in the TE2 range, he has just three games this season with 10+ fantasy points and just once since Week 3. The second-year breakout will have to wait till year three.
-Marc Salazar (@dingwog on Twitter)