The Buffalo Bills play their final road game of the 2018 NFL season this week, traveling east to Foxborough, MA to take on the New England Patriots. The Bills have won in Foxborough only twice since Tom Brady became New England’s quarterback, and in both games, the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback either started and did not finish (2014 regular season finale) or did not play due to suspension (2016 Week 4).
With this being championship week for many fantasy football leagues, you may be setting a league-winning roster this weekend. Will that roster include any Buffalo Bills? While there have been some solid options over the last month, a date on the road with an angry New England team that hasn’t lost three consecutive games since 2002 doesn’t provide much hope.
Here are the Bills players worth considering...with a grain of salt, of course.
QB Josh Allen
Rookie quarterbacks don’t like playing against Bill Belichick defenses. However, Allen acquitted himself fairly well against the Detroit Lions last week, a team that boasts Belichick disciple Matt Patricia as its head coach and defensive architect. Allen is the highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy football over the last four weeks by both average points per game (24.29) and total points (97.14), so he has to be considered here. New England allows the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but they have yet to feast on a rookie this season. This match-up will be a huge test of Allen’s mettle and progression in his rookie season, and it could be one that brings home a fantasy football championship for you. Are you gusty (crazy, perhaps?) enough to do it?
WR Isaiah McKenzie
We saw a bit of what the blueprint for containing Allen will be last week. The Lions forced him to play from the pocket, taking away the over-the-top throws for most of the game and forcing Allen to hit his receivers underneath. While he was able to hit fellow rookie Robert Foster for a 42-yard touchdown that gave Buffalo the victory, Allen’s most-targeted receiver was actually the diminutive McKenzie. Allen targeted his slot receiver seven times, and McKenzie caught six passes for 53 yards. If Belichick commits two spies to Allen and plays zone, it will be up to McKenzie to find some holes in the coverage. With his speed and elusiveness, McKenzie may have a chance to build on what was a career day. I also expect that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will use McKenzie more in the running game than he did last week. In other words, the little receiver stands to see a big workload this week.
K Stephen Hauschka
For whatever reason, Bills head coaches seem content to kick field goals against New England, or at least they have for the better part of the last 20 years. This means that the Patriots constantly hang around in games where Buffalo plays tough, only to be washed away in the fourth quarter by superior talent and execution. If the Bills continue with that blueprint, then Hauschka will have a good fantasy football day. In three games against the Patriots while with Buffalo, Hauschka is 6-for-7 on field goal attempts, missing only on a 50-yard kick in last season’s Week 16 game between the two teams. Hauschka is still nursing a sore back, but he will have chances to score this week.