The Bills and Chiefs close out the Divisional Round in what many consider to be the most anticipated game of the weekend. These teams are meeting for the fourth time since the start of the 2020 season after playing back-to-back regular seasons and facing each other in the AFC Championship last year. The spread of the game is small and the over/under is high, setting the stage for an exciting shootout. I agree with the betting public. However, figuring out who to use is difficult, as each star quarterback requires a significant salary cap commitment, let alone the best players on each team. Luckily, there are some intriguing value players out there who sometimes have flash, making it easier to struggle with a handful of stars.
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Game: Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: KC -1.5 points
Over/Under: 53.5 Points
Invoice analysis: Buffalo’s offense goes through Josh Allen. It’s just modest hyperbole to call the Bills an offensive one-man show. According to Pro-Football-Reference, Allen was seventh in passing touchdowns (36) and 10th in passing yards per game (259.8). However, he also averaged 44.9 rushing yards per game, scoring seven times as a rusher. As a result, Allen is a script-tested, high-floor, high-ceiling superstar. The Chiefs have improved tremendously on defense since losing to the Bills in Week 5. Allen, however, destroyed them, passing for 315 yards and three touchdowns, running for 59 yards and a score. As a result, he’s my preferred option on the single match roster.
Allen leads one of the happiest passing offenses, opening the door for multiple contributors in his pass-catching corps. According to Sharp Football Stats, in neutral play scripts, the Bills drop to second (66%). Also, even with Kansas City’s colossal improvements in defense in mind, they were only 23rd in Defense-Adjusted Value Above Average (DVOA) pass defense, per Football Outsiders.
Clearly, Stefon Diggs is the top stacking option with Allen. He led the bills in all significant reception categories. So if you want to lean heavily on the Bills, this is a great pick. However, I’m just making it disappear for Allen’s secondary and tertiary pass catchers.
Dawson Knox and Gabriel Davis are my favorite non-Diggs pass catchers on the Bills. First, Allen likes the two big-body options in the red zone. According to red-zone stats, Knox was second on the team in red-zone targets (19) and Davis was third (18), converting them to precisely six touchdowns for each. Additionally, since Week 14 (including the Wild Card Round), Knox and Davis have been co-leaders in touchdown receptions with four. According to Pro Football Focus, during that span Knox was second in routes (228), tied for third in targets (30), second in receptions (21) and third in receiving yards (247). ). Meanwhile, Davis was third in routes (181), second in targets (34), tied for fourth in receptions (18) and second in receiving yards (248).
I’m also interested in Isaiah McKenzie as a punter. Since barbecuing with the Patriots in Week 16, he’s gradually carved out a functional role in Buffalo’s offense as a gimmick player and slot receiver. In fact, last week he completed 12 courses compared to Cole Beasley’s only eight. Therefore, Beasley is toxic as an option on the single game roster, and McKenzie is a defensible salute, adding value as a jet runner to his receiving profile.
Devin Singletary is the other option that is a great choice among the Bills. He rose to a supporting role in the home stretch. Singletary has touched the ball 17 or more times in five straight games, reaching for at least 78 yards from scrimmage in six straight games, splattering the paying dirt in five straight games, scoring multiple touchdowns in three straight games. He is connected. Finally, the Chiefs are a good match for him in the passing game. According to Pro-Football-Reference, Kansas City has allowed the fourth-most receptions (109) and third-most receiving yards (887) to running backs.
Leader analysis: Kansas City’s offense is led by Patrick Mahomes. In a down year by his lofty standards, Mahomes finished fifth in passing yards per game (284.6) and tied for fourth in passing touchdowns (37). Unfortunately, he’ll have a tough game with Buffalo’s pass defense being first in DVOA. However, the league is offensively oriented, and he was still excellent from a fantasy standpoint in the first matchup with the Bills this year. In Week 5, Mahomes passed for 272 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, rushing for 61 scoreless yards for good measure. As a result, he is my primary Chiefs target. Thus, since I suggest using Allen and Mahomes together, it is necessary to spend on auxiliary parts.
However, as essentially the reverse of using Allen and Diggs together instead of spending on high-end Chiefs options, players can use one of Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce with Mahomes rather than elite players on the Bills. Obviously, Kelce is in the table above, and Hill is not. So I strongly support Kelce. It’s not a competition to see who was the most productive on the straight. From Week 14 to the Wild Card Round, Hill had 30 of 35 targets for 342 yards and two touchdowns in six games. Meanwhile, Kelce had 27 of 36 targets for 385 yards and five touchdowns in one game less (five games).
Still, my general inclination is to dig even deeper for Mahomes’ ancillary and tertiary options. Ranking them without pay in mind, Byron Pringle is my favorite, followed by Jerick McKinnon, Mecole Hardman, and a distant fourth is Demarcus Robinson. In the previous six games, Pringle was second in rushes (175), third in targets (31), receptions (23), fourth in receiving yards (253), and second in touchdown receptions.
Hardman only ran 128 routes during that time. However, he used his blistering speed to amass 300 receiving yards on 20 receptions. McKinnon came out of nowhere in the Wild Card Round, shattering his six targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, he rushed for 61 yards on 12 attempts. In all, he had 142 scrimmage yards, six receptions and a touchdown. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is aiming for a comeback this week, and Darrel Williams could muddy the waters even further. Still, it’s hard to imagine Andy Reid ignoring the dynamic element Jet added to CEH and Williams’ unseen backfield prior to last week.
Finally, Robinson is good at popping up out of nowhere once in a while. It’s been quiet most of the year. However, he had a 3-46-1 line in Week 2, went 3-46-1 in Week 6, 2-33-1 in Week 17 and 4-76-0 last week. . So it’s a defensible choice.
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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more on Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.