December 1, 2022, 12:46 pm
Bills (-190) @ Patriots (+3.5): O/U 43.5
It’s admittedly a bit surprising to see the Pats as only 3.5-point underdogs here, since it’s not like they’re coming off of an impressive win after they fell to the Vikings last week. Having said that, there seems to be some revitalized fantasy hope among at least some of the Pats skill position players thanks to QB Mac Jones putting in easily his best performance of the season so far. There’s certainly some hope here against a really good Bills defense, but it’s one that may not be as elite as usual with Von Miller (knee) and CB Christian Benford (oblique) both basically week-to-week. It’ll be particularly interesting to see what Bill Belichick and company do with the offensive game plan after they surprisingly passed on 75% of their plays in Week 12 especially with the score being pretty close most of the way with Minnesota.
For the third straight week, Josh Allen’s blind side will have lessened protection with LT Dion Dawkins (PFF’s 21st-best graded tackle) ruled out yet again with an ankle injury. This season, Allen has had about 8% less time in the pocket when Dawkins is out of the lineup while seeing a 10% increase in blitzes. The even bigger concern, however, is that Allen has taken an average of 6.2 pressures per game with Dawkins playing compared to a whopping 11.0 when he’s not playing. Allen is a must-start QB1 as usual, but don’t be surprised if he feels the heat ratchet up a few notches even though it’ll be nearly below-zero in Foxboro on Thursday night.
Devin Singletary has settled in now as a high-floor producer with 8.5-plus fantasy points in six of his last seven games. The ceiling still isn’t very high for him in the league’s 12th pass-heaviest offense, and that could be even further capped going up against the Pats and their defense that has limited opposing running backs to the second-fewest fantasy points (behind only the Niners). What Singletary does have going for him is being a snap-hog — rookie James Cook played just two running snaps against the Lions in Week 12 while newcomer Nyheim Hines had just one (but did play three passing snaps). Week over week, Singletary went from playing 55% of running snaps in Week 11 to 62% in Week 12. Especially with freezing temperatures likely to make the ball harder to catch, I’d expect Singletary to get a healthy workload here and deliver another low-end RB2 floor performance.
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