FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Bills at Chiefs
The total for this game is set at 53.5 points on FanDuel Sportsbook, and the Chiefs are favored by only a field goal. It should be a tight game with plenty of scoring opportunities.
But how do we handle the two star quarterbacks on the single-game slate on FanDuel, and what about the superstar pass-catchers?
High-Level Simulation Results
I simulated this game a thousand times -- using numberFire's projections -- to see some high-level takeaways. Here's what I found.
Here's a snapshot of how these two teams stack up, based on numberFire's opponent-adjusted Net Expected Points (NEP) metric.
Using numberFire's projections as the base, it's Josh Allen and not Patrick Mahomes who rates out as the likeliest slate leader. That's certainly justifiable. Mahomes isn't 100% healthy by any means, and Allen has run 9.0 times per game through two playoff games. Also, Allen trails only Aaron Rodgers and Mahomes in Passing NEP over expectation per drop back and commands, overall, the top-ranked adjusted passing offense in the NFL. The Chiefs' defense is no slouch against the pass but are 29th in Rushing NEP per carry and 31st in Rushing Success Rate allowed to quarterbacks.
Mahomes is just off the pace of Allen from a median point standpoint if we're being honest, and we know what the ceiling is for him (an average of 25.1 FanDuel points). The bigger question becomes: should you lock in both? The answer is probably not. Only 29.8% of optimal lineups last year featured two quarterbacks. So let's say that every player in this game hits their median point total projection from above. Rostering Mahomes and Allen will guarantee that you have the two high scorers, but you'll miss out (almost entirely) on the other studs in the game.
Rolling with the quarterback you think will win is a good place to start if you're hand-building your lineups.
Let's look at the big three outside of them: Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. Tight ends -- even Kelce -- rarely show the upside to be the MVP in a single game, but receivers are usually under-appreciated at MVP. Though that probably won't be the case in this game as much because we don't have running backs worth prioritizing there, we should feel confident that the quarterbacks soak up a ton of MVP exposure.
If we look at the Chiefs' offense in nine games with Sammy Watkins, we can see that Kelce actually leads the team with a 24.3% target share (9.9 per game with 1.1 downfield targets and 1.4 red zone targets). Hill is at 21.0% (8.6 targets per game but with 2.7 downfield attempts and 0.9 in the red zone). They're the only two Chiefs to run at least 86.4% of the routes in this sample, as well. If you can only get to one, it should be Hill more often than not. I love Kelce as much as the next guy, but the peak yardage potential is greater for Hill, considering the elite air yards share.
Diggs has nine games of his own with John Brown and Cole Beasley. In those games, he has a 27.7% target share for 9.8 targets per game (with 2.3 downfield and 1.0 red zone targets per game). If you give those high-leverage targets the proper weight, he's averaging 12.1 weighted targets per game. That's better than the numbers for Kelce (11.6) and Hill (11.1). Diggs also has seven downfield targets and two red zone targets in two playoff games. He's a great stacking partner with Allen, of course, but he has less competition for high-leverage work than either of the Chiefs studs.
As for the next tier of pass-catchers on either side, we should probably look to John Brown first. Despite a 0-catch, 4-target game in the wild card round, he has a 20.8% target share and has run 93.8% of the team's pass routes, same as Diggs' number. That has led to a 10.9-yard average depth of target (82.0 air yards per game). Gabriel Davis is hurt and has had 5 downfield targets in the playoffs so far. That could trickle over to Brown and Diggs. Beasley's 5.6-yard playoff average depth of target likely keeps the ceiling too low for heavy exposure.
Last week without Watkins, Mecole Hardman ran 82.9% of the pass routes to Demarcus Robinson's 70.6%. The air yards were very different: -9 on 4 targets for Hardman and 57 on 3 targets for Robinson. But Watkins, in his healthy games, has run 79.6% of pass routes with a viable 14.5% target share.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Last week without him, Darrel Williams handled 13 carries and 4 targets for 96 total yards. He played 79.4% of the snaps and ran 73.2% of the routes. If CEH is out again, Williams is a priority play. In 11 games where Edwards-Helaire has played at least 50.0% of the snaps, he has averaged 14.7 rushes, 4.3 targets, 89.4 yards, 2.9 red zone opportunities, and 12.6 FanDuel points. If we get word that he'll play a majority role, we can probably roster him at lower popularity than he deserves.
Devin Singletary is a tough player to cover. Yes, the floor is high (he played 84.2% of snaps last week) but had only 7 carries and 3 targets for 5.2 FanDuel points. In four games without Zack Moss, he has averaged just 9.8 FanDuel points per game (12.3 rushes, 3.8 targets, and 66.8 yards per game). It's an elite rushing matchup against the Chiefs, yet his top score odds are a lowly 3.0%.