Monday Night Football Preview
Hey all and welcome to the DFS MNF showdown between the Bills and Jets!! Obviously, tonight’s game in New York has more significance to it considering what happened there 22 years ago. I just have to say, it’s a privilege to be able to write about this sport. I certainly have feelings about yesterday that I’m doing my best not to overreact to (because it’s only Week One), but there are people out there who have given their lives or continue to risk their lives so we all can continue to get emotional about fake football. Hopefully, the Jets give a stronger performance at MetLife Stadium than their NY counterparts did.
I play mostly on DraftKings, so my analysis is largely geared toward their scoring format, which is based on full-point PPR and bonuses for certain yardages. However, I know everyone plays something different and we all have our opinions on what’s the best daily fantasy betting sites, but this article is broken down in a way that everyone should be able to take away some good advice.
Game Overview – Bills @ Jets
- Buffalo Bills – 2
- O/U: 45.5
- Money Line: Buffalo Bills -130
Bills Key Players Out or Injured:
- LB Von Miller is OUT with a knee injury
Jets Key Players Out or Injured:
- RB Breece Hall is QUESTIONABLE with a knee injury but is expected to play
- OT Mekhi Becton is QUESTIONABLE with a knee injury
- OT Duane Brown is QUESTIONABLE with a shoulder ailment
The Bills Offense
From a fantasy perspective, the Bills offense is well known by now. What might be different this year, however, is the commitment to the run game. James Cook looks to be the RB1 this year, but Damien Harris is likely to be the goal line and short yardage back, and Latavius Murray could be involved as well. Josh Allen will be running less, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be running at all.
Stefon Diggs is still WR1 with Gabe Davis at WR2. WR3 and the starting slot receiver are up in the air. Deonte Harty and Trent Sherfield look to be the ones splitting the slot WR duties, and Khalil Shakir will be backing up Diggs and Davis and potentially seeing the field on 4 WR sets, if the Bills employ them at all. The TE situation is a little murky with Dawson Knox still here as well as the newly drafted Dalton Kincaid.
The Bills Defense
HC Sean McDermott has elected to take on the role of DC as well HC. This could go well or not so well, but history is not on McDermott’s side. He will use mostly man coverage, but McDermott will be switching up coverages as necessary and moving his DBs where he feels they need to be. He’s going to ask that his defensive players be versatile, especially the LBs whom he wants to be versatile for coverage purposes. McDermott is going to dare teams to run on them.
The Jets Offense
Though Nathaniel Hackett is listed as the Jets OC, Aaron Rodgers is the real OC. He’ll be calling the plays he wants, making audibles when he wants, managing the game and play clocks, and he’ll be expecting his WRs and TEs to read defensive coverages AND react to them just like he would. While Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb have plenty of experience with this style, the other members of this offense do not.
Aaron Rodgers is going to try and establish the run so that he can set up play action passes and take deep shots. On short-yardage goal-line situations, expect him to lean toward passing or running TDs in himself, as opposed to letting his RBs do it.
The Jets Defense
The basic setup for the Jets should be a 4-3 scheme with a cover 3 zone in the secondary. When they bring pressure, which will appear random, it will be disguised and come from unconventional areas, like a Safety blitz for instance. Two big goals of this defense are to make the offense think there is less coverage than there really is and/or bring more pressure than there appears to be prior to the snap. These things have been difficult to accomplish because New York just doesn’t have the horses. Having Sauce Gardner at CB is a luxury though.
Player Pool Thoughts
- Josh Allen & Aaron Rodgers. The math is something like 90% of the time there is at least 1 QB in the optimal showdown lineup. This includes last night as Dak Prescott made the optimal lineup even with only 6.32 DraftKings points. Typically you should pair a QB with at least one of his pass catchers.
- Stefon Diggs is the second highest priced player tonight. He is totally in play, but know that the Sauce Gardner effect could limit Diggs’ ceiling. If using Diggs, or any WR/TE at captain, stack him with his QB or the team’s RB1 as 95% of optimal lineups feature such a combo when the WR comes through as the captain.
- Garrett Wilson is talented for sure. However, his ceiling could be limited by both CB Tre’Davius White as well as adjusting to Rodgers’ playing style.
- The Jets RBs are tough to dissect here. We don’t know how the RB share will break down. There are 4 NFL caliber backs dressing tonight, Breece Hall is on the injury report, and Rodgers is more likely to pad his stats with TDs in the red and green zones than let an RB run it in. That being said, Rodgers and the Jets will need to establish the run to be successful on offense. I’m going to limit my exposure to 1 Jets RB per lineup. Also, if Becton misses, that’s hit to the Jets’ offensive line.
- The Bills RB stable is a little easier to dissect as it should mostly be James Cook and Damien Harris getting the work. James Cook should start and be the passing down back, whereas Harris will get run on 1st and 2nd downs as well and get the goal line carries. I’m expecting a near 50% split for the season opener.
- Allen Lazard strikes me as someone Rodgers will lean on in the passing game tonight since Lazard has experience playing in the Rodgers system. You could say the same about Randall Cobb, but at 33 years old, he’s ancient in terms of NFL age.
- Gabe Davis is a rebound candidate from all the hype surrounding him last year. I’m interested in Davis for ownership purposes as he should be lower owned than Diggs as well as likely avoiding Gardner in coverage.
- Most optimal lineups that feature a kicker usually only have 1, not both.
- Most optimal lineups that feature a DST usually only have 1, not both.
- Only play one player below $2000. These are called punts. 98% of optimal showdown lineups feature no more than 1 player priced below 2K.
- You can play some of the TEs. I’m untrusting of rookie TEs and Rodgers doesn’t have a good history of throwing to his.
- Anyone is really viable for the captain spot in showdowns (just look at the Cowboys DST last night), but statistically speaking, high volume receivers and rushing QBs are more likely to find themselves in optimal lineups at the captain spot than not.
- Josh Allen, Gabe Davis, and Allen Lazard are my priorities at C, though I’m admittedly taking a risk not playing Diggs or Wilson there.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me at @Borisnow00 and/or join my Discord for updates, especially on Sunday mornings. Also check out all the Gridiron Experts Staff NFL Picks for this week and weeks to come here.
Matt, aka Boris, had a friend in his high school freshman English class once mistakenly call him that, and the nickname has somehow stuck ever since. He has been playing fantasy football since the early 2000s and Daily Fantasy Sports since 2015. Boris has been writing about DFS since 2020 and is excited to be a part of GridIron Experts. He has a wife (proving someone can stand him) and a daughter. Boris loves the beach, skiing, hockey, soccer, and football. He attempts to teach high school English, and aspires to make a ton of money in DFS. Follow him on Twitter @Borisnow00.