Kickoff: Sunday, September 26h at 12:00 PM ET
Location: High Mark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York
Betting Odds: WFT +9.5, 46.5 over/under total via Oddsshark
Washington Football Team
Taylor Heinicke (Sit)
Taylor Heinicke has played very well since coming in week 1 for Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has been a highly efficient passer completing 73.5% of his passes this season. He has talent around him and seems to be making bold choices on his throws. The issue is he hasn’t gone up against a defense like the Bills before. Besides the fact that it will be his first game on the road dealing with crowd noise, he will be dealing with a top-end defense. The Bills come in as one of the top-rated defenses. They are 2nd in sacks with 8. 4th in opponents QBR with 68.4, and second in yards allowed per game with 234.0. And that’s against the Steelers and the Dolphins. I think Heinicke is a great stash for the rest of the season and further for dynasty but I’m not starting him against the Bills, even in Superflex leagues.
Antonio Gibson (Start, Flex), J.D. Mckissic (Sit)
Antonio Gibson was a pre-season fantasy darling. He hasn’t really lived up to that hype. He’s been a solid running back who has averaged 16 carries in the first 2 games and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He has increased the pass-catching some but is still losing that to J.D. McKissic. In a game against a tough defense, I’m not really loving starting either of these guys. You may be in a situation where you have to due to injuries. Gibson will be okay in the flex spot due to the consistent volume. McKissic is really only a desperate boom-bust play for full PPR leagues. The Bills have given up lots of screens and short passes.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Terry McLaurin (Start, WR2), Dyami Brown (Sit), Adam Humphries (Sit), Logan Thomas (Start, TE2)
The switch to Heinicke from Ryan Fitzpatrick saw a lowering of expectations for Washington receiving weapons. What we saw from one full game of Heinicke is that Terry McLaurin was hyper-targeted (14 times). After that, there were plenty of targets to go around. Adam Humphries and Dyami Brown saw 8 and 6 targets respectively but didn’t do much with those opportunities. That was in a shoot-out-style game against a bad defense in the Giants. This week it’s the Bills D that can shut down receivers. I still think McLaurin is worth the start but with tempered expectations. Brown and Humphries are not startable this week for fantasy. Both could be guys to watch and stash for later. Humphries seems to be getting some red-zone targets. Tight end Logan Thomas seemed to be the number 2 option in that offense but lacks the red zone targets you would want to see from a tight end. Ricky Seals-Jones got the touchdown this past Thursday night, not Thomas. The tight end landscape in fantasy is tough and you are generally looking for good matchups. I do not see this as a good matchup but I also can’t see me dropping Thomas for another tight end. If you have the room to put him on your bench then yes go find another option. If you don’t I think you can roll out Thomas and be okay when he gets 2 catches for 30 yards.
I will also say now is the time to pick up Curtis Samuel if he is not rostered in your league. He is a talented wide receiver who will be back in a week or two and by mid-season could be a solid WR2 for your team.
Josh Allen (Start, QB1)
The Bills had a big win in week 2 blanking the Dolphins 35-0. This came after a tough loss to Pittsburg in week 1. There is some small concern about Josh Allen coming into week 3. He hasn’t had the big games that we saw last year. He only has 3 touchdowns on the season and 1 interception. His completion percentage is worse than the 2019 number, 56.0 in 2021 and 58.8 in 2019. It’s still early in the season but you don’t want to see a regression in the area that really vaulted Allen into the top of the quarterback ranks. The Bills seem to become much more balanced with the run game. Josh Allen only has 14 rushing attempts for the season and 79 yards. You are still starting Allen. You are encouraged by the rushes he does get in the red zone. He is tied for the team lead with red-zone rushes with 6. He is a great quarterback with weapons around him. He won’t be a top 4 or 5 QB like he was last year but he is still an every-week starter. This week against a good defensive front he will face pressure. This will either mean big runs or lots of sacks.
Devin Singletary (Start, RB2), Zach Moss (Sit, RB4)
The Bills seem to be more balanced in the rushing game in terms of giving the running backs the ball. Play percentage wise they are about the same as last season, rushing the ball 38.46% of the time compared to 38.29%. But the percentage of the pie this past week against the Miami Dolphins showed that the running backs were combining for 76.6 percent of the rushes compared to last year where the team’s running back accounted for 70. 5 percent of the team rushing attempts. Having Devin Singletary and Zach Moss rush the ball instead of Josh Allen has proven to work as the Bills won 35-0. Devin Singletary led the team again in week 2 with 13 carries. He racked up 82 yards and scored a touchdown. He did have two more touchdowns vultured by Moss who was back in action after being a healthy scratch Week 1. The game script looks to be similar to week 2 where the Bills should be leading and rushing the ball more. Even if the game script went more towards week 1, Singletary still got 11 carries and 72 yards. He is averaging around 6.4 yards per carry. That number will come down this week against a tough defensive line in Washington. Moss could steal some goal-line work but that’s not something you can count on in fantasy.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Stefon Diggs (Start, WR1), Emmanuel Sanders (Start, Flex), Cole Beasley (Sit, Flex), Gabriel Davis (Sit), Dawson Knox (Start, TE1)
The Bills passing offense is still top-notch. Stefon Diggs is in the top 10 for the league leader in targets with 22. He is tied for the lead in red-zone targets with 6. He has only converted those catches into 1 touchdown so far but the opportunities are there. Emmanuel Sanders has been a nice addition to the team this year. He has compiled 14 targets, 6 catches, and 100 yards. He and Josh Allen are still building chemistry together. He’s a fine flex play this week in a game that the Bills should win. Chemistry is there for Allen and Cole Beasley. Beasley continues where he left off last year catching 12 of 17 passes and 96 yards. The fantasy issue for Beasley is the low yards per catch and depth for targets. He is more of the short pass guy who gets you first downs which is great for the Bills and Bills fans to watch but not really fantasy relevant. He does have 2 red-zone targets which are encouraging. Dawson Knox has been a solid tight end so far this year. He scored in week 2 despite low target and catch numbers and in week 1 he caught all 4 of his targets for 41 yards. Those numbers don’t sound great but in fantasy, that’s a solid day for a tight end. He is also 2-2 in red-zone targets so the confidence is there. Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie have been really nonfactors outside of a random touchdown. Davis is a good stash for deep bench teams or dynasty as an injury in front of him could mean increased work.
– Dustin Ludke (Dunit13dl on Reddit)