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NFL DFS Picks & Advice: Steelers vs. Bills (Sunday)

NFL DFS Picks & Advice: Steelers vs. Bills (Sunday)

IT’S PLAYOFF FOOTBALL TIME, BABY! Now, the season after the season begins. Anything can happen in the playoffs. We have seen in previous years Cinderella teams keep the magic going and advance deep into the playoffs. We have also witnessed NFL Goliaths get trounced by lowly-seeded teams. My body is ready for the chaos.

The chaos of injuries and a playoff slate that extends across three days should make it a wonderful DFS slate for us to get different with our lineups. Embrace variance. Embrace the wildness of playoff DFS. Again, if I didn’t write up a particular player for this week’s Primer, it’s because I don’t like their outlook and won’t be playing them in DFS. It’s time to build some lineups.

Here is the complete Super Wild Card Weekend Primer. Below we dive into Steelers vs. Bills.

DFS Primer: Wild Card Weekend

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen: Allen is the QB1 in fantasy points per game with eight outings with 25 fantasy points per more. Since Joe Brady has been the offensive coordinator Josh Allen‘s passing accuracy has been an adventure which I don’t think is a Brady thing but it has to be mentioned. Since Week 11, among 34 qualifying quarterbacks, Allen ranks 14th in yards per attempt, 22nd in CPOE, and 25th in highly accurate throw rate. That hasn’t stopped him from ranking 13th in passing yards per game, 12th in passing touchdowns (tied), and second in fantasy points per dropback.

Running Backs

Najee Harris: Harris has been a volume monster since Week 16 as Pittsburgh’s clear leadback. He has played 44-60% of the snaps, averaging 25.7 touches and 111 total yards. He has crushed Warren during this stretch in red zone usage with 24 opportunities versus Warren’s six. Among 49 qualifying backs, Harris ranks 10th in explosive run rate, 19th in missed tackles forced per attempt, and 17th in yards after contact per attempt. Since Week 13, the Bills’ run defense has dissolved into a bottom-tier unit, allowing the eighth-highest explosive run rate, the highest rushing touchdown rate, the 12th-highest yards before contact per attempt, and the 11th-highest success rate to zone runs (Harris 56.1% zone). Harris won’t be popular, especially for the six-game slate, but he’s an amazing play.

Jaylen Warren: Warren is an MME and large field play only. Since Week 16, he has remained in the backseat while Harris drives the bus for the Steelers’ run game. He has averaged 14.7 touches and 67.3 total yards in this timeframe while losing the red zone battle to Harris ( six vs. 24 opportunities). Warren and Achane are the Spiderman GIF this week. RB2s for their respective teams with elite explosiveness and big play ability. Warren ranks third in explosive run rate, first in missed tackles forced per attempt, and second in yards after contact per attempt. He faces a pushover Bills’ run defense. Since Week 13, the Bills’ run defense has allowed the eighth-highest explosive run rate, the highest rushing touchdown rate, the 12th-highest yards before contact per attempt, and the 11th-highest success rate to zone runs (Warren 53.0% zone).

Wide Receivers

Diontae Johnson: Johnson has had a bumpy season, but he has been red hot lately with at least 57 receiving yards in four of his last five games and touchdowns in four of his last six games. He has six red zone targets across his last seven games. This is another week that the target volume should flow to Johnson. Since Week 12, Buffalo has the seventh-highest rate of two high, which has been Johnson’s wheelhouse. Since Week 7, against two high, Johnson has been the clear leader for the passing attack with a 22% target share (George Pickens 16.1%), a 41.1% air-yard share (Pickens 27.4%), 1.85 YPRR (Pickens 0.99), and a 29.2% first-read share (Pickens 19.5%). Johnson is a volume play in a tough matchup. He also won’t be a popular play despite having a strong game last week against another two high-loving secondary. Since Week 14, Buffalo has allowed the fifth-lowest PPR points per target and the fourth-fewest receiving yards per game to perimeter wide receivers.

Stefon Diggs: Diggs’ lull has been discussed at length, but he did have a small bounce back last week, securing seven of his eight targets with 87 receiving yards. It was his first double-digit outing (15.7 PPR) since Week 12. Diggs has seen his red zone usage drop off the map with Joe Brady at the helm, with only three red zone targets over his last seven games. Since Week 13, the Steelers have had the second-highest rate of single-high (64.9%). Since Week 8, against single-high, Diggs has had a 27.2% target share, a 30.3% air-yard share, 1.47 YPRR, and a 33.3% first-read share. Diggs’ efficiency hasn’t been there against single-high, which is concerning, but the volume should be there this week. Diggs could see shadow coverage from Joey Porter Jr. this week, but he has been struggling lately with D.K. Metcalf and Tee Higgins both logging at least 91 receiving yards, with Porter following them on 66.7-78.4% of their routes. Since Week 14, Pittsburgh has allowed the 12th-most receiving yards per game to perimeter wide receivers.

Khalil Shakir: Shakir has flashed a ceiling since becoming a full-time starter in Week 8 with three games of 92 receiving yards or higher. He doesn’t have much touchdown equity, with only one red zone target and one touchdown in this span, but he doesn’t have to score to make the optimal build this week. Since Week 13, the Steelers have had the second-highest rate of single-high (64.9%). Since Week 8, against single-high, Shakir has had a 10% target share, 2.03 YPRR, and a 9.8% first-read share. If Gabriel Davis sits this week, I expect the Bills to lean more on Shakir. Since Week 12, Pittsburgh has allowed the third-most PPR points per target and the second-most receiving touchdowns to slot receivers.

Tight Ends

Dalton Kincaid: After a huge dip in Kincaid’s production in Weeks 15-16, he has rebounded nicely with 7.5 targets, 5.5 receptions, and 85.5 receiving yards per game (71.8% route run rate). Since Week 13, the Steelers have had the second-highest rate of single-high (64.9%). Since Week 8, against single-high, Kincaid has had a 17.8% target share (second on the team), 1.61 YPRR, and an 18.7% first-read share (second on the team). Since Week 8, Pittsburgh has allowed the fifth-most receiving yards, the second-most fantasy points, and the fourth-most receiving touchdowns to tight ends.

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