Bills-Bengals DFS Showdown: Injury and Depth Analysis

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QUARTERBACK:

As the playoffs approach, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals will host Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football in a highly anticipated AFC matchup. Burrow’s played himself back into the MVP chatter amidst the Bengals’ seven-game winning streak. He ranks fifth in the league in passing yards and second in touchdowns, so his fantasy ceiling is clear as day. He has thrown four touchdowns over the past three weeks, which is slightly concerning, but there is enough for optimal value. Josh Allen has passed for under 200 yards in two of the last three games, but we know he can turn it on and pass for over 300 yards casually. He’s rushed for over 700 yards this season, which could make him the RB1 in this offense anytime. 

RUNNING BACK:

Joe Mixon has only eclipsed 20 carries three times but has had a high pass-catching ceiling to compensate. He’s averaged over four receptions per game and is coming off a nine-target outing last week, so the path to 20 touches is open. Samaje Perine will see roughly five carries and a few touches as the rotational back. 

We’re slightly leaning toward James Cook as the Bills’ RB1 over Devin Singletary. Last week, both backs combined for 205 yards, and each found their way to the end zone for six. Singletary could out-touch Cook tonight, but we view Cook’s role in this offense as continually increasing, so we’re expecting this to be the week where Cook eclipses Singletary. Nyheim Hines will rotate in for a carry, with his minimal upside presenting itself in the passing game more. 

WIDE RECEIVER:

Ja’Marr Chase wasted no time returning to form since his injury, as over the last three weeks, he’s seen 39 targets. He’s also led the NFL in red-zone targets during that stretch in finding the end zone in two of the last three weeks. Tee Higgins has also found the end zone in four consecutive weeks and fully possesses a WR1 upside with two 100-yard games over his previous four. Tyler Boyd will operate primarily out of the slot and should account for four-five targets. Trenton Irwin will be the rotational receiver who has had an increased role in recent weeks, as he’s found the end zone three times over the last three weeks.

Stefon Diggs has one of the highest target upsides in the league but hasn’t performed exceptionally as of late because he hasn’t had to. He’s shown a 15-target upside and has ten touchdowns through 15 games this season. Gabe Davis offers a serious vertical threat as the WR2 and has found the end zone in two of the last four weeks. He should see about six targets and could break the slate with a single catch. Isaiah McKenzie’s role is something to look at tonight, as he was out-snapped by Khalil Shakir last week. McKenzie still possesses a higher ceiling, but we can’t overlook last week. Cole Beasley should rotate in, but he has only seen 17 snaps over two weeks.

TIGHT END:

Dawson Knox is finally putting it together. After a slow first three months, he’s had a touchdown in each of the last three games and has combined for 20 targets over that stretch. Hayden Hurst is off the injury report, so tonight will be his first game back since Week 13. The week before his injury, he showed out with nine targets, but Buffalo is the only defense in the league that has not allowed a touchdown to the tight end position this season. Not a great formula for a showdown in an expected high-scoring affair.