Last updated: September 12th at 3:09pm ET.
Team Totals: Bills 23, Giants 20.5
Due to his innate ability to “go get it” like a dog chasing down frisbees, John Brown is the perfect match for Josh Allen, and last Sunday showed precisely why. Putting the offense on Brown and Allen’s back, Buffalo rallied from a 16-0 deficit for its 17-16 win as Allen overcame four first-half turnovers and Brown went off (7/123/1) against a Jets secondary that had no prayer of covering him. OC Brian Daboll used Allen as a runner more aggressively as the game progressed, allowing the Bills’ bazooka-armed signal caller to hang 10/38/1 rushing on the Jets en route to Week 1’s QB15 fantasy finish. A theme of last week’s Matchups column, Allen-to-Brown stacks remain squarely in play against the Giants’ lowly defense, which got obliterated for Week 1’s QB2 result by Dak Prescott and cooked out wide by both Michael Gallup (7/158/0) and Amari Cooper (6/106/1). Entirely devoid of pass rush, the Giants pathetically pressured Dak on just 1-of-32 dropbacks despite blitzing at the NFL’s seventh-highest rate. … Buffalo’s Week 1 backfield deployment was strange to be kind, but we can never be surprised at oddball usage in RBBCs on teams quarterbacked by dual threats. Devin Singletary dominated snaps (71%) but didn’t get a carry until halfway through the third quarter. Frank Gore out-touched him ten to nine. The good news is T.J. Yeldon barely played, so this is shaping up as more of a two- than three-man committee. Particularly after Singletary turned his nine touches into 98 yards, he looks like a risky but viable flex option in what should be a balanced-to-positive script affair against the lowly Giants. Singletary is clearly the most-dynamic back on the team.
Allen’s Week 1 target distribution: Brown 10; Cole Beasley 9; Singletary 6; Zay Jones 5; Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney, and Patrick DiMarco 2; Robert Foster 0. … One more note on Brown; I love that the Bills played him in the slot on 54% of his Week 1 snaps, where Brown added 3/32/0 to his box score. It’s a means of funneling Brown high-percentage catches on top of his goes and flies outside. Last week, Dallas’ slot men tag teamed to torch the Giants for 4/99/1 receiving on interior routes. … New York’s slot-defense weakness extends positively to Beasley, Buffalo’s primary slot guy. Beasley is popping as Week 2’s No. 6 buy-low receiver in Josh Hermsmeyer’s predictive Air Yards Model after performing miserably in Week 1 with two drops – one resulting in an Allen pick – but seeing heavy usage and playing the second-most snaps among Bills receivers behind Brown. Based on matchup and opportunity in a spot where I expect Allen to perform well, Beasley is an underrated PPR WR3/flex. … Jones and Foster essentially shared Week 1 third-receiver duties with Jones playing more. Both lack near-term fantasy appeal. … With Tyler Kroft (foot) on his way back, rookie TEs Knox and Sweeney are safe to ignore.
The Giants will continue to trudge out Eli Manning as their starting quarterback for Week 2, even after a largely unwatchable 17-point opener at Dallas in which Daniel Jones didn’t play until garbage time. The Bills are a more-fierce opponent than the Cowboys, last year ranking No. 2 in pass-defense DVOA before holding Sam Darnold to an anemic 4.3 yards per attempt and Week 1’s QB25 finish. Anyone rational is more than ready for the Danny Dimes era. … In what projects as a closer game than last week’s blowout in Dallas, expect Saquon Barkley’s usage to rise considerably from 15 touches, which he nevertheless parlayed into 139 yards. As a rookie, Barkley scored 12 of his 15 touchdowns and averaged 120.5 yards from scrimmage in games decided by one score. Sunday’s spread favors Buffalo by a 2.5-point margin.
Eli’s target distribution: Evan Engram 13; Cody Latimer 8; Sterling Shepard 7; Barkley 6; Bennie Fowler 5; Rhett Ellison and Wayne Gallman 1. … Even in a one-game sample, Engram’s monster 29.5% target share foreshadows his third-year breakout as one of the NFL’s most-athletic tight ends on a team built to throw the ball voluminously between the numbers. Engram is averaging 6.6 catches for 87.2 yards over his last five games. 2018 overall TE1 Travis Kelce averaged 6.4 catches for 83.5 yards. I’m viewing Engram as a matchup-agnostic play until he proves otherwise. … I’m not chasing Latimer’s 74-yard Week 1 against the Bills, who shut down Jets perimeter WRs Robby Anderson (3/23/0) and Quincy Enunwa (1/-4/0). But perhaps I’ll regret it; Latimer is Week 2’s No. 2 buy-low receiver in Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. Latimer did miss Thursday’s practice with a calf injury. If he and Shepard (concussion) can’t go, the Giants’ three-receiver set would be reduced to Fowler, special teamer Russell Shepard, and ex-Lion T.J. Jones. … Buffalo’s defense is more vulnerable inside, where it lost slot CB Taron Johnson (hamstring) on Opening Day and was pounded by Jamison Crowder (14/99/0). Unfortunately, the Giants signed Jones after Shepard entered concussion protocol, suggesting they’re preparing for Shepard to sit. It’s Barkley, Engram, or bust for me with this offense in Week 2.
Score Prediction: Bills 24, Giants 23