NFL – Bills vs. Rams Showdown Preview

Wow! The offseason is finally coming to a close, our fantasy drafts concluded, our best ball teams set and it is now FOOTBALL TIME! The first game of the season is finally here and boy are we excited! It is time for our first Showdown Preview of the NFL Season!
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Bills @ Rams (BUF -2, 52.5)

Injury Report

Tre'Davious White, CB LAR (Out)
Van Jefferson, WR LAR (Out)
Isaiah McKenzie, WR BUF (Questionable)
Jordan Poyer, S BUF (Probable)

Captain Picks

So we have 3 VERY high priced options that might be essential to getting the optimal lineup tonight. With all of Kupp, Allen and Stafford over $10,000, getting to a mid range CPTN with a high upside seems like the best move and I think someone like Allen Robinson ($9,300 CPTN) seems like the perfect guy for that. He might be in a new offense, but the offseason buzz around how well he has been doing and McVay's praise make me really like his prospects for this season. Stafford is by far the best QB he has ever had and even in sub par offenses he has found a way to put up a solid statline. With no Tre White for BUF and a banged up Poyer heading into this first game, their secondary might be easily exposed which is great for ARob. The next guy that fits this mold but comes with a pretty large warning is Gabe Davis ($10,800 CPTN). Most everyone playing the opening night Showdown are aware of Davis' heroics in the playoff game against KC to end their season where he went for 8/201/4. I think that game alone will inflate his ownership tremendously and even though that scares me a bit, I still think the price and his upside are worth taking a shot on. He seems to be one of Allen's favorite red zone targets given he has a nearly 20% TD:Reception ratio throughout his career. Given there are no Cole Beasley or Emmanuel Sanders in the equation (even though they got replaced in a way), I think Davis has firmly taken a hold of that WR2 job which in this offense can produce big numbers. You also have to look into Jalen Ramsey possibly getting a lot of looks guarding Stefon Diggs which will make it easier for Allen to target Davis. He is the perfect cash game CPTN, but I still like him in GPP's at CPTN if you get a lower owned UTIL core. I think the last CPTN option I will be targeting is none other than Josh Allen ($18,000 CPTN) who probably has the highest floor on the slate by a large margin. For a QB of his calibur, even against a tougher Rams defense, he should be able to rack up 20 DK points with his passing and rushing. I think that would be a bad game for his standards. He has plenty of weapons to target and even if the routes break down and no one is open he has the mobility to get solid rushing yards. Ramsey can only guard one guy or area at a time, so a few of Diggs, Davis, Knox or whoever lands as the WR3 are likely going to have an easy time. Allen has played the Rams once in his career and he put up 311/4/1 with another rush TD added on top. I think when you can snag a CPTN that for sure will get you 20 DK points minimum (30 @ CPTN) then you try to make it work and figure out the punts later.

Buffalo Bills

Other Bills Options:
Stefon Diggs ($9,000) - The targets will be there for sure and even with Ramsey on the other side he should be able to get his. I expect 8-10 targets with a solid catch floor and decent yards. For some reason he is coming in at lower ownership compared to other pass catching options making me like him quite a bit. I think the price is actually a bit low given he was this price or cheaper just once in 19 games last season.
Devin Singletary ($7,000) - While it was quite tough to rush against the Rams last season, they still gave up 18 rushing TDs on the year. Singletary lit it up towards the end of last year, but the Bills did invest some prime draft capital on an RB to possibly filter some of Singletary's passing catching away from him. I like the price and still think he will be featured, but their is a significantly low floor for him tonight. Probably stick to him only in GPPs.
Dawson Knox ($6,800) - Knox will likely play almost 100% of the snaps and run plenty of routes. I could see him being criminally under owned which has me quite intrigued. Being sandwiched between Gabe Davis and Robinson who will get almost all of the ownership will leave him around 10% owned give or take a few percentage points which could be huge for GPPs. He is a great red zone option, but typically isn't going to get there unless he gets in the end zone. Definitely a high risk/high reward play that I think I will personally be getting to in a few lineups.
Jamison Crowder ($5,000) - Given the news he is likely to start as the backup slot WR, at this price it becomes a bit tough to get to. However, most of the field is also thinking that way so he might come in very low owned. He probably splits time with McKenzie and I think he is a better player in general. I think he could be a slate winning play at the projected ownership (sub 10%). He really just needs to get a score and he is golden.
Zack Moss ($3,000) - I really don't think he will get much run at all unless the Bills get inside the 1 yard line. I think Cook will be the 3rd down/passing down RB which kind of ruins any sort of upside Moss might have had. Big fade here.
James Cook ($2,800) - Now Cook could be a very interesting play tonight. The rookie looked fairly solid in the preseason and seems to have secured the backup job regardless of what the depth chart says. He will get some run tonight that is for certain just to see how he can produce in a big game environment. The most intriguing part about Cook is his ownership compared to McKenzie who might be the highest owned player under $5,000. I think there is higher chance Cook outperforms McKenzie compared to the ownership so I will likely have a good amount of Cook tonight. It might be risky, but a few screens and a couple of rushing touches might be all he needs.
Isaiah McKenzie ($2,400) - Ahhhh yes the one and only chalk play of the game. McKenzie was named the starting WR3 beside Diggs and Davis. That happened after salary was released so McKenzie is dirt cheap and will be very highly owned. I still think he is somewhere around the 4th or 5th option in this offense which can still produce, but I don't think I want to get as much as the field wants him. This guy has like 7 career games with more than 3 catches in his 5 year career. For someone that could hit nearly 50% ownership, those numbers do not instill a lot of confidence. I still think he will get a decent number of targets and maybe an end around or two. It all comes down to if he can do something with those and if it can eclipse Cook's output or some of the cheaper Rams. In cash games he is almost a lock. In GPPs I would try to look at some of the other cheap options as leverage off of the mega-chalk McKenzie will be. All of this can said, but we still have to remember that he is questionable and a bit banged up coming into this game. That is even more reason to possibly fade him in GPPs.

Los Angeles Rams

Other Rams Options:
Cooper Kupp ($12,400) - There really isn't much that I need to say here. The offensive coaching staff has changed from last year, but Kupp is still going to get his due. The price is really tough to get to but there is enough value to make it possible. Only reason I don't like him at CPTN is you are eating up nearly 40% of your salary on just one guy and it becomes hard to even get a single QB without punting the other positions.
Matthew Stafford ($10,800) - I think he is a really solid play tonight in all formats. The ownership will go to Allen and Kupp first and then down all the way to the Davis/Robinson range. I think against Buffalo with a banged up secondary and a solid DL, Stafford will have to air it out and pass to keep up. He checks just about every box you want tonight.
Cam Akers ($8,000) - This is one I continue to flip flop on quite a bit, but I am going to side with fading him here. We are coming off of a rushed return from an Achilles injury where he put up some very mediocre numbers. Word is he will split with Henderson to start the season as a committee, so at this price I would probably be out. Definitely a GPP only play that does have a significant amount of upside so I don't hate him. The ownership being low is just about the only appealing thing about him tonight.
Tyler Higbee ($5,600) - I am pretty sure the Rams only have 2 TEs on their roster in Higbee and Hopkins. With Jefferson out, it is likely that Higbee sees 100% of the snaps and a fair amount of routes run. For this price, I really think he could be someone you easily fit in as your 4th or 5th option and won't be too highly owned. I am only skeptical because the Bills were very solid against TEs last season. I think he is an okay play here, but don't get your hopes up for a crazy strong performance.
Darrell Henderson ($4,800) - I would be more inclined to got to Henderson here over Akers at a massive discount. He could easily get 40-50% of the carries and I don't think anyone would be surprised. He will be virtually unowned and has a decent chance at a TD if they get within the 5. That being said I think he is in a bit of a deadzone right beow Higbee and just above the K/DST and punt WRs that a lot of people will go to. I think it becomes tough to get him in and doesn't have the highest ceiling. I would probably look elsewhere, but there is still an avenue for him to have some success in this game.
Ben Skowronek ($1,800) - Will be the defacto WR3 in this offense and will likely play around 60% of the snaps. Target share will likely be low, but at this price all he needs is a few catches. When he gets the playing time, he typically can produce at a decent level and I like him a bit more than McKenzie at hopefully a lower ownership. I still think he will come in at a decent ownership which is a bit scary. I get the appeal, but still don't expect much here. Definitely in play though.
Tutu Atwell ($1,000) - Atwell is coming off of a season ending injury that will likely land him as the WR4 that filters in during certain sets or if they get down a ton and need to throw. He is a big play type of guy that could also see some end arounds or bubble screens and similar to Skowronek, he only needs a few catches to be optimal. If he is going to a lot lower owned compared to Skowronek, then sign me up for some Atwell. I think he will be a lot more involved then some people think tonight.


Looking at the defenses, they will probably come in a bit underowned given the 52.5 point implied total. I think the Rams DST ($3,600) is still an elite unit that will force some sacks and maybe a turnover or two. I actually think they hold a bit of value tonight at very low ownership. The Bills DST ($4,200) seems a bit gross without Tre White and Poyer a bit banged up. Also being price above the K's is a bit tough to stomach. As for the kickers, looking at data from last year their ownership is usually a lot higher than the optimal rate so I would probably fade here. They usually are a lot more optimal in low scoring games as well. This is more than likely not going to be low scoring so that is an easy fade for me. If I had to choose one it would be Tyler Bass ($4,000) over Matt Gay ($3,800) just because I think the Rams have a better chance at stopping the Bills in the RZ based on their defensive strengths.
Thanks for reading and best of luck!

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