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Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown: Week 4 Buffalo Bills vs. Las Vegas Raiders

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The Bills are undefeated after a victory over the Rams. The Raiders are looking to get back on course after a beatdown in New England. Can Josh Allen keep the Bills fantastic season going? For the 2020 NFL season, Matt Savoca will be providing his weekly NFL Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown column, going through every single game and offensive and defensive matchup, every week of the season. For your viewing convenience, we have broken up the matchups breakdown into several single columns, each one covering a single game. You can find links to every game right here. We have 12 games on tap for Week 4 NFL DFS and NFL Fantasy Football, so let’s dive in. The entire matchups article will be available in podcast form, every Friday afternoon on the Awesemo Podcast Network. Let’s get into the Bills-Raiders NFL DFS picks for your NFL DFS lineups.

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Buffalo Bills (27) at Las Vegas Raiders (24.25) – 4:25 ET

Buffalo Passing Game

The Bills come into Week 4 undefeated and wreaking havoc on opposing offenses, ranking third in expected points per drive and second in expected points added per play. Josh Allen has emerged as an early MVP candidate, leading an aggressive offense that, in neutral game scripts, is the fourth-most pass-happy team on early downs. It’s led to fantastic results thus far for Allen and company, exemplified by Allen’s game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter against the Rams, putting to rest a ferocious comeback effort by Los Angeles. His 311 passing yards in Week 3 was the lowest of the young season, and he’s already crested 400 yards passing once this year.

Las Vegas presents winnable matchups for Allen and superstar receiver Stefon Diggs across the field, as they rank sixth worst in PFF’s coverage grade and fourth worst in pass rush as a team. Overall, PFF grades the Raiders as the 30th-ranked defense, presenting a distinct advantage for the high-flying Bills. Diggs scored once last week, but nearly had two more. With the seventh-highest target totals and 17th-highest true weighted opportunity share in the entire NFL, Diggs is an elite option in a fantastic spot. The problem is that his price reflects this. He’s moved all the way to the fifth-highest option at the wideout position. Though not nearly as expensive as the options at the very top, he still remains too tough to fit into lineups at his salary and needs yet another monster game to return value.

Speedster John Brown is trending toward playing after getting in limited practice work this week. The Bills will look to play Brown and Diggs off of one another to create mismatches against a Raiders secondary that is hurting (Damon Arnette looks to be headed toward I.R.) and was giving up chunk plays already. As the 31st-highest-priced wide receiver, Brown presents better value and an intriguingly high ceiling in this plus-matchup against Las Vegas.

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It doesn’t come with a lot of upside, but Cole Beasley continues his methodical underneath role in the receiving game, predictably having the lowest average depth of target of Buffalo’s big three. In this high-volume offense, that role has proved more valuable than ever through three games. Beasley ranks second on the team in yards per game and hit 100 yards on a team-high six receptions in Week 3. He hasn’t had fewer than four catches in a game yet this season, but he’s also yet to score. With a solid floor but limited touchdown upside, he’s fairly priced as the 44th wide receiver on DraftKings.

Rounding out the weapons for Allen is rookie Gabriel Davis, who saw by far his highest target share in Week 3 (12.5%) due to Brown’s early exit with a toe injury. Tyler Kroft saw his first action in the receiving game and made the most of it, catching four passes for two scores.

Buffalo Rushing Game

Devin Singletary was extremely effective given the bulk of the backfield opportunities in Week 3, rushing 13 times for 71 yards and tacking on four receptions for an additional 51 yards. Though he’s listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, Zack Moss was able to practice on a limited basis, indicating that he’s trending toward being available for the Bills this week. Buffalo may decide to be cautious with their 2020 third-round pick, choosing instead to ride Singletary’s hot hand against a Vegas defense that has already allowed two-touchdown days to Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara and three touchdowns to the Patriots’ Rex Burkhead. Even as the 14th-highest-priced back on the slate, Singletary presents as a great option in what should be an offensively minded game, particularly if there’s word that Moss will be limited or held out.


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Las Vegas Passing Game

After two straight wins, including an upset over New Orleans in Week 2, The Raiders were trounced by the Patriots last Sunday, only mustering 20 points while their defense allowed a putrid 36 points. They looked out of sync and out of sorts offensively, especially compared to the freight train of a Patriots defense across from them, but quarterback Derek Carr has been efficient yet unspectacular. Carr ranks 18th in expected points added per play but a fantastic seventh in true drive success rate, good for 12th among all starting quarterbacks through three weeks. Especially positive for Raiders fans and fantasy gamers alike is Carr’s interception rate this young season: 0%. They’ll likely need near flawless execution from Carr to keep up with a surging Bills offense, and they certainly can’t expect help from their defense that ranks fourth worst in defensive expected points subtracted (EPA allowed). Lining up across from Carr in Week 4 is a Bills defense that is an impressive fifth in PFF’s team pass rush grade and pass coverage grade and ranks 10th in overall defense. With injuries ravaging the skill positions, it will be anything but easy for Carr to return value in fantasy football himself (priced at quarterback quarterback 27) or for his weaponry.

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Behind Darren Waller, the undisputed opportunity leader in the Raiders’ passing game (he ranks first among tight ends in true weighted opportunity share), wide receiver Henry Ruggs is doubtful for Week 4, and Bryan Edwards has already been ruled out. That means Hunter Renfrow could be in for another busy day after earning a team-high nine targets a week ago. He’s now second on the team in targets and receptions, ahead of Josh Jacobs. Zay Jones (136th among wideouts in true weighted opportunity share) is the only other active wideout or tight end to record three receptions in a game thus far.

Waller, who had by far his worst game of 2020 in Week 3, will look to bounce back after disappointing fantasy gamers. According to the Awesemo projections, even as the fifth-highest-priced tight end, he presents fantastic value based on the upside guaranteed workload. He’ll be a great option for all contest types this Sunday.

Las Vegas Rushing Game

If there’s a weakness in the Bills defensive unit, it’s their rush defense. With the defense ranked a surprising 30th in PFF’s rushing grade, one path to success for Las Vegas might involve playing “keep away” from the Bills’ powerful offense by funneling touches (even more than they have been) to second-year back Jacobs, both as a rusher and receiver. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Jacobs touch the ball north of 25 times (he’s done so twice already this season), with spell back Jalen Richard mixing in occasionally. Richard’s four total opportunities in Week 3 are the most he’s seen all year. Jacobs, in a game that looks like it has a high probability of shooting out, should be used regardless of game flow and is therefore an extremely strong pick as the seventh-highest-salary running back on the slate.

Prediction: Bills 34, Raiders 31.

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A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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