Bills @ 49ers
Buffalo QB Josh Allen and the Bills offense rolled over the 49ers on Monday night, ultimately winning 34-24 in a game that never felt that close. Both offenses started with long opening drives that brought goal-to-goal situations, and both defenses stood up to the challenge and turned the other offense over on downs. Allen was brilliant – finishing the night with 80% completion percentage, 4 TD passes, and 0 turnovers. Bills’ WR Cole Beasley also had a career night on Monday in the absence of WR John Brown. What does all of this mean for your fantasy team with the playoffs right around the corner? Let’s dive into what we saw:
Josh Allen: 32/40, 375 yards, 4 TDs, 1 sack | 6 carries, 11 yards
As I mentioned in the opener, Bills’ QB Josh Allen left the 49ers defense with more questions than answers on Monday night. Allen picked apart the 49ers defense in their zone looks, in their man-to-man looks, basically in any look they tried to throw at him. Allen benefited from stellar protection – he was sacked only once and routinely had more than enough time to throw. Allen had 4 TD passes to 4 different receivers, and even though he didn’t contribute much with his legs, he still had his third-highest fantasy output of the season. Allen’s mid-season slump appears to be a thing of the past – and while his playoff schedule is considerably tough, he is a must-start in all formats through the end of the season.
Devin Singletary: 18 carries, 61 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards
Zack Moss: 3 carries, 9 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards
With Josh Allen shredding the 49ers’ defense through the air for much of the night, the Bills’ ground game never really got going very much. RB Devin Singletary had a respectable flex outing in PPR formats with 3 catches and 80+ scrimmage yards but has still scored just 1 TD on the year – all the way back in Week 4. Rookie RB Zack Moss appeared to earn a ticket to the coach’s doghouse after a 1st quarter fumble that has been credited to Josh Allen. It may be worth monitoring your stat adjustments to see if the fumble ends up credited to Moss or not. Neither of these RBs appear to be very trustworthy heading into the fantasy playoffs. It would be wise to avoid starting them unless absolutely necessary.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Stefon Diggs: 11 targets, 10 receptions, 92 yards
Cole Beasley: 11 targets, 9 receptions, 130 yards, 1 TD
Gabriel Davis: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TD
Dawson Knox: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 27 yards, 1 TD
Isaiah McKenzie: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards, 1 TD
It was a career-best night for Bills’ WR Cole Beasley on Monday night. Beasley’s 130 yards were a career-high, and in fact, he topped his previous best mark in the first half with 113 yards. WR Stefon Diggs also had an excellent PPR outing, finishing with 10 catches for the third time this season. With Buffalo’s passing offense playing as well as they have, Diggs has been hanging around WR1 territory all season and this game will surely propel Beasley back into WR2 territory. Both of these WRs should be started throughout the fantasy playoffs – with Diggs as a WR1 and Beasley as a WR2/Flex play. Their matchups aren’t great, but with Allen playing as well as he has, both of these pass-catchers have become virtually matchup-proof.
San Francisco 49ers
Nick Mullens: 26/39, 316 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
49ers QB Nick Mullens hasn’t garnered much fantasy consideration while filling in for injured QB Jimmy Garoppolo, but he had a respectable outing on Monday night nonetheless. Mullens did have two interceptions, but he did finish with over 300 yards and 3 TD passes. Mullens doesn’t have a super tough playoff schedule if you are considering rostering him in 2 QB/Superflex formats, but he should still be considered a risky play at best. San Francisco is still a run-first team after all, especially with a backup QB in the mix.
Raheem Mostert: 9 carries, 42 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard
Jeff Wilson: 7 carries, 47 yards | 5 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards
Tevin Coleman: 2 carries, -11 yards
Kyle Juszczyk: 2 carries, 5 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards, 1 TD
San Francisco’s running game didn’t exactly dazzle on Monday night against the Bills. With the 49ers playing from behind for much of the night, they were forced to throw the ball more in the second half. RB Raheem Mostert tallied 24 of his 42 yards on 2 carries during the 49ers’ first possession but he was mostly bottled up the rest of the way. RB Jeff Wilson was slightly more efficient with his touches than Mostert but still didn’t produce enough for fantasy relevance. San Francisco has been getting healthier in the more recent weeks, so it feels like Mostert could be back to his early-season RB1 form before too long. San Francisco’s rushers have a tough matchup next week against Washington, but things get considerably easier for the rest of the fantasy playoffs with matchups against Dallas and Arizona in Weeks 15 and 16, respectively.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Deebo Samuel: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 73 yards | 1 carry, 3 yards
Brandon Aiyuk: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 95 yards, 1 TD
Jordan Reed: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 32 yards, 1 TD
Kendrick Bourne: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 35 yards
WR Brandon Aiyuk returned from his Covid related absence in Week 12 and paced the 49ers’ receiving group in receiving yards. Aiyuk also found the end-zone for the 6th time this season – and for his third-straight contest that he’s played in. We were curious to see how things would look with both Aiyuk and WR Deebo Samuel in the starting lineup. While Aiyuk led in yardage and scored a TD, Samuel finished with more receptions and an equal target share. Both of these WRs should be willing to produce in instances where San Francisco falls behind and turns to passing more. It seems as though which one will perform better from a fantasy perspective will change week-to-week depending on matchups. TE Jordan Reed had an efficient outing – turning his 4 targets into 12.2 PPR points against Buffalo. As long as Samuel and Aiyuk continue to both see a ~90% snap share, we can count on both of them being at least somewhat fantasy relevant. Choosing which one will be better week-to-week will be a much tougher task.
— Corey Saucier (Deputy_Commish on Twitter, LightsKamaraAction on Reddit)