Thursday Night Football: Bucs at Bills
It is Week 8, and this showdown is the surprising Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the also surprising (for a completely different reason) Buffalo Bills. The Baker Mayfield Buccaneers are 3-3, in second place in the NFC South behind the 4-2 Atlanta Falcons. Surprise! The Bills are 4-3, riding in on two losses and sitting behind the 5-2 Miami Dolphins, Surprise! Now, they will meet on Thursday Night with something on the line.
And now, for your weekly PSA, this is regarding DraftKings GPP DFS Showdown Tournament single entry (which includes restricted three-max entry). However, I do include some prop bets for those of you who use some of today’s best online sportsbooks. The scoring system for Showdown Tournaments is a little different. In addition to only playing six players (at least one from an opposing team), there is a Captain’s spot. The player designated as Captain will have their point total multiplied by 1.5 times. Their salary will also be multiplied by 1.5 times.
The regular scoring system for DraftKings holds. It is a full PPR format. There are bonus points you can accumulate. The three bonus points are awarded when a quarterback passes for 300 or more yards, the running back gets 100 or more yards, and the receivers get 100 or more yards.
The lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook and are accumulated Wednesday morning. Be sure to check around and check the lines closer to game time.
- Spread:= Tampa Bay Buccaneers +8.5, (-112); Buffalo Bills -8.5 (-108)
- Moneyline:=Tampa Bay Buccaneers, +330; Buffalo -425
- Total:= o/u 42, -110
- QB, Josh Allen (right shoulder) Full Practice
- TE Dawson Knox (wrist) Did Not Practice Tuesday
- TE Quintin Morris (ankle) Did Not Practice Tuesday
- T, Spencer Brown (knee) Full Practice
- LB Baylor Spector (hamstring) Did Not Practice Tuesday
- LB, Terrel Bernard (knee) Full Practice
- DE, Von Miller (knee) Limited Practice
- DT, Ed Oliver (toe) Limited Practice
- DT, Jordan Phillips (back) Limited Practice
- CB, Kaiir Elam (ankle) Full Practice
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- RB, Chase Edmonds (knee) Full Practice
- WR, Chris Godwin (neck) Limited Practice Tuesday
- QB, Baker Mayfield (knee) Limited Practice Tuesday
- G, Matt Feiler (knee) Did Not Practice
- NT, Vita Vea (groin) Did Not Practice
- S, Kaevon Merriweather (ankle) Did Not Practice
These lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook. Always check around for your favorite player props and best lines.
James Cook’s rushing yards are 50.5 o/u -115
Cook has 56, 71, and -4 rushing yards in his last three games.
In their last three games, the Buccaneers have allowed:
Tyler Allgeier 59 yards
Craig Reynolds and David Montgomery have a combined 30 yards
And Alvin Kamara has 51 yards
Not to mention Latavius Murray is lurking around Buffalo’s backfield, vulturing carries. Last week was the most lopsided the backfield rushing attempts for Cook. Cook had 76.5% of the running back rushes. But Cook was on the field for 52.1% of the offensive snaps and Murray 45.1%.
Baker Mayfield’s passing yards are 225.5 o/u -115
Mayfield has attempted 42 attempts for 275 yards in his last three games.
Thirty-seven attempts for 206 yards and
Thirty-two attempts for 246 yards.
The Bills have surrendered 30 attempts and 272 yards to New England Patriots’ Mac Jones.
The Bills also gave up thirty-six attempts and 200 yards to New York Giants’ Tyrod Taylor and 37 and 315 yards to Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This game’s implied total has the Buccaneers scoring roughly two touchdowns. I think it will be more competitive and a higher total than 42.5.
Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield to combine for 80+ passing attempts +1000
This one is a DraftKings special, and at +1000, it is tempting. Allen has averaged 35.14 passing attempts per game. Mayfield is averaging 34 passing attempts per game.
That’s only 69 attempts, and even if it is a shoot-out, that is asking a lot of Mayfield (assuming Allen will get to 40 easier).
It’s tempting but not enough for me.…if you are going to do it, please let me know in the comments.
The first half for Allen and the Bills hasn’t been great in the last two weeks. Allen has a 50.0% completion percentage for no touchdowns and two interceptions. Allen’s completion percentage in the second half increased to 78.4 with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The Bills lost to the New England Patriots 25-29 and only scored 14 points in their 14-9 win against the New York Giants.
Last week, the Patriots blitzed Allen on 43.5% of his dropbacks. Per sharpfootballanalysis.com, Allen was 10-of-19, a 52.6% completion percentage, for 102 yards. When he wasn’t being blitzed, he had a 77.3% completion percentage (17-of-22) for 163 yards. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fourth in the NFL in blitz rate (37.2%).
Mayfield has only had two games where he has thrown for multiple touchdown passes. He does, however, have 99 rushing yards through his six games. Twice, Mayfield has had over 31 rushing yards, and twice, Mayfield had over 10 rushing yards. In three of his six games, he has over 200 passing yards and 317 passing yards against the Chicago Bears.
While the Bills allow 141 rushing yards per game in the last three weeks, the Buccaneers rushing attempt is inept. They are only rushing for 87.0 yards per game this season. Look for this game to be played through the quarterbacks.
The Buccaneers allow 53% of their fantasy points to the slot position. At the same time, the Bills give 59% of their fantasy points to the out wide.
SHOWDOWN PLAYER POOL
Unlike last week, the Captain position this week is truncated. Remember you want to tell a story, so whomever you choose as Captain, the rest of the players tell the story of how you think the game will play out.
Josh Allen, $17,700: Allen is the highest-priced player on the slate. Allen is worth the price if he reaches his ceiling. (Duh) Allen’s ceiling relies on his rushing ability, which, unfortunately, he hasn’t been using as much as fantasy fortunes would like.
Stefon Diggs, $17,100: Diggs can reach optimal even if Allen doesn’t. Diggs has had at least 100 receiving yards or a touchdown in the last three games.
Last week, he had only 58 receiving yards and a touchdown. The four games before, he had over 100 receiving yards.
James Cook, $12,900: Cook is a fringe Captain choice. He shares snaps with Latavius Murray, who is also vulturing his goal-line carries. However, Cook is utilized in both the rushing and passing games.
Last week, he had 56 rushing yards and 46 receiving yards with one touchdown.
Gabe Davis, $10,200: Davis is also fringe. Davis has the potential to get one or two touchdowns on long passes. Davis is a boom or bust play you will use in large entry GPP plays.
Mike Evans, $15,000: Evans is Mayfield’s primary target. He has a 24.9% target share, is averaging 8.2 targets per game, and is 10th in deep targets with 10. Evans has over 20 fantasy points in two of his six games and over 17 fantasy points in another two.
Baker Mayfield, $13,800: Mayfield’s ceiling is raised because he has now added running to his repertoire. Mayfield has 99 rushing yards so far this season.
Rachaad White, $12,000: The Buccaneers’ run game has been bad. But Buffalo is allowing the sixth-most receiving yards to running backs. Last week, the Bills allowed New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson six receptions on six targets for 51 receiving yards.
Last week, White only had 34 rushing yards, but he also had 65 receiving yards on six receptions.
It is important to monitor the status of Chris Godwin. He was limited Tuesday, and it’s a neck injury.
Chris Godwin, $7,800: Godwin receives the most yards without a touchdown. He has nine red zone targets and zero touchdowns. He is due for a positive touchdown regression if he is healthy.
Trey Palmer, $4,200: Palmer becomes more interesting if Godwin is out. He is on the field for a 59.2% snap share. He has a 13.6 average depth of target with 18 targets.
Cade Otton, $3,000: Otton was targeted six times last week. He had five receptions for 43 yards. The Bills are better than average versus the tight end, although Mike Gesicki did score the game-winning touchdown against them last week.
However, Evan Engram had 28 yards, and Darren Waller had 43 yards against them. If Otton can get 43 yards and a touchdown, he more than pays off his price.
Deven Thompkins, $1,600: Thompkins is mostly used on special teams, but last week, he was targeted three times and had three receptions for 14 yards.
Thompkins is more interesting if Godwin is out.
Dalton Kincaid, $5,000: Tight end Dawson Knox is having wrist surgery, making Kincaid TE1 in Buffalo. Last week, Kincaid had a career-high eight targets and eight receptions for 75 yards.
Last week, Tampa Bay allowed Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith to combine for 74 receiving yards.
Latavius Murray, $4,800: In the last three weeks, Murray has not had more than 5.0 DraftKings fantasy points. Murray is a touchdown vulture. He has had eight and 45 rushing yards in the last two games, respectively. Last week, he also added 20 receiving yards.
Khalil Shakir, $3,200: Tampa Bay allows the second most fantasy points to the slot position. Shakir takes 63.7% of his snaps from the slot.
And Now for the Breakdown…
Never gonna get it never gonna get it…just a little ditty from En Vogue for you.
Anyway, depending on how you see this game play out, the kickers and the defenses can also be in play.
I honestly have no idea right now how this game will play out. The Bills have been bad in the first half of games. Mayfield has been surprisingly good.
If you know how this game will play, please let me know in the comments. And also, good luck!
Gladys is obsessive about fantasy football, Pittsburgh Steelers, dogs/cats, pop culture movies and television shows, and Ben & Jerry’s 7 Layer Vegan Ice Cream (although not necessarily in that order). A writer about NFL, college ball, and fantasy football for more than 10 years, she attempts to combine her degree in statistical variance (BS Policy Analysis) with player knowledge and game script. Though her concentration is on IDP, redraft, and PPR leagues, all fantasy formats are fair game. Reach out whenever you can find me on Twitter @gladysLtyler. And remember, don’t suck and tip your bartenders well.