The Buffalo Bills will look a little different when they take the field this week against the New York Jets. The last time the two teams met, the Bills were starting Matt Barkley at quarterback, and they also had Kelvin Benjamin in the starting lineup at wide receiver.
Barkley has since been relegated to the backup quarterback job, and Benjamin was released on Tuesday after sleepwalking his way through most of the 2018 season. The Bills blew the Jets out of the water in the teams’ first meeting, winning 41-10 at MetLife Stadium.
With fantasy playoffs beginning this week in most leagues, the pressure to make good choices with your lineup is even greater than usual. Hitting on a “boom” player can be the difference between elimination and advancement. However, missing on that very player and inserting a “bust” into your lineup could send your team home early.
Are there any Bills players worth playing this weekend? There most certainly are. Here are three who make the most sense.
QB Josh Allen
I saw an incredible tweet from Evan Silva regarding Josh Allen’s rookie season and his fantasy football value:
Josh Allen Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 3— Evan Silva (@evansilva) December 4, 2018
Aaron Rodgers Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 3
Ben Roethlisberger Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 2
Tom Brady Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 1
Philip Rivers Top-5 fantasy QB weeks: 1
Matthew Stafford: 0
Now, if you don’t have the time or desire to comb through the replies, Silva says that Allen has as many finishes at QB26 or below as he does at QB5 or higher, showing that Allen is the quintessential boom-or-bust play at this point in his career. Since returning from a sprained elbow, Allen has been very good, especially with his legs. In his last two games, Allen is 26-for-52 (50%) for 391 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. He has also rushed 22 times for 234 yards and one touchdown. He has scored a total of 57.04 fantasy points over the last two weeks. Against a Jets squad that allowed Barkley to throw for 232 yards and two touchdowns in Week 11, Allen should be able to have another strong afternoon. If your quarterback is a middle-of-the-pack option and you find yourself an underdog in the playoffs, you might want to roll the dice on Allen this week.
WR Zay Jones
Buffalo’s number-one receiver in terms of stats and experience (what a difference a week makes!) loves to play against the Jets. He has been targeted 143 times in his career. 22 of those targets have come against the Jets. He has 68 career receptions, and 15 of them are against the Jets. Jones has six touchdown receptions for his career, and two of them are against the Jets. In his last two games against Gang Green, he’s averaged seven catches for 73 yards and one touchdown, which amounts to 16.8 fantasy points in half-PPR leagues. That’s great production from a guy who seems to be coming into his own towards the end of his second professional season, yet is still available in 90% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. He’s a high-ceiling flex option this week.
Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold returns from injury this week. He has 14 interceptions this season, and he has taken 21 sacks in nine games. Buffalo should be able to pressure the young man early and often in a battle of top-ten picks from the 2018 NFL Draft. The Bills have seven interceptions and 21 sacks in their five home games this year; on the road, they have four interceptions and 10 sacks in seven games, so the difference is obvious. Buffalo’s defense could have a huge game this weekend. They’re definitely worthy of a start.