Continuing with our DraftKings showdown slates in 2020, we bring you Pittsburgh @Buffalo. It’s week 14 of the NFL, aka crunch time, as teams fight for optimal playoff position. The now 11-1 Pittsburgh head to New York to face 9-3 Buffalo, to battle for the top spot in the AFC.
Pittsburgh are coming off a devastating loss to Washington. and couldn’t find a way to move the ball against a stout young defensive line led by Chase Young.
On the other side, the Buffalo Bills are sitting pretty with a decisive win against the San Francisco 49ers. Josh Allen padded the stat sheet making a case as one the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the league. Both defenses are ranked top 10 in the NFL and their offenses have been clicking on all cylinders. This game grades out to be fast-paced with a lot of big plays. Making it an exciting DraftKings Showdown Slate to play.
DraftKings Showdown 2020: Pittsburgh @Buffalo
Pittsburgh applies pressure to opposing quarterbacks on 44% of their plays which is the highest in the NFL. With Dupree and Spillane out, they should have a harder time with pre-snap audibles and getting guys in the right position to contain Josh Allen.
Issues With The Run Game
Buffalo’s run game has been atrocious, ranked 23rd in the league in rushing yards. Last week Devin Singletary handled the majority of the workload after Zach Moss fumbled inside the Bills 5-yard line. I will not be targeting the Bill’s run game as Singletary accounts for 9.6% of the Bills offensive production.
Before the Washington game, Pittsburgh had allowed only 5 touchdowns to opposing running backs. The spot to target for the DraftKings Showdown slate is the Bill’s passing offense.
Moving It Through The Air
Pittsburgh have allowed 5.75 passing yards per drop back. However, with Haden out, we can expect that number to increase. The Bills rank 4th in the league in passing yards. As well as 4th in expected points added on each passing play.
Josh Allen, therefore, makes a strong candidate for the captain spot as he poses a threat both in the air and on the ground. Stefon Diggs has been responsible for 22.1% of Buffalo’s offensive production and has the highest target share on the team at 27%.
Equally, Cole Beasley grades out as a good play as he holds a 23% target share. Making him a reliable option for Allen, catching 91.43 % of his targets.
John Brown has been out since late November, dealing with an ankle injury, which has paved the way for Gabriel Davis to step up as the team’s deep threat. Davis is leading the team in yards per target at 10.8 and has posted box scores of 3-68-1 and 3-79-1 in his last 2 games.
Adding to the weapons, Dawson Knox has scored a touchdown in back-to-back weeks. However, this week he will face Minkah Fitzpatrick who is ranked 5th at safety by PFF, making him a tough play.
The best point per dollar play of the slate: Cole Beasley
Captain Spot: Josh Allen, Stephon Diggs
Sneaky GPP: Isaiah McKenzie
Just like Pittsburgh, Buffalo applies a ton of pressure to opposing quarterbacks (37% of their plays). Luckily Big Ben is on pace to set a league record for average time to throw (2.18 seconds).
Pittsburgh are a few men down on defense and will try to keep the Bills offense off the field as long as possible. This could be difficult, given the strengths Buffalo has on offense. However, the team welcome back Maurice Pouncey and James Conner from the COVID-19 injury reserve list.
Strength of Running Game
At the moment, it’s unclear if Pittsburgh will ease Conner back in the offense. However, he should be the primary ball carrier ahead of Benny Snell Jr. and Jaylen Samuels. Buffalo rank as one of the worst rushing defensives in the league as they allow 55.48% successful runs classified by Sports Info Solutions.
However, Pittsburgh are ranked 31st in run blocking by PFF and haven’t done much on the ground. Hopefully, Pouncey’s return will help improve the run game. They will need it to keep Allen and crew from racking up points against a battered Pittsburgh defense.
Options at Receiver
Last week, James Washington saw an increase in snaps, beating out Chase Claypool. This is certainly something to watch as Claypool missed practice Thursday due to an illness.
The Bills rank 11th and 27th in allowed yards per attempt against slot and outside receivers. Juju Smith-Schuster had a rough outing against Washington and his struggles will continue against Buffalo. Dionte Johnson has been getting the majority of the targets, catching at least 8 passes in his last 3 games.
Eric Ebron has been a bright spot for the offense as he has 7 catches in back-to-back games. Buffalo give up 66.9 yards per game to TEs and allow the 8th most touchdowns to the position. Ebron will be in the majority of my lineups for the showdown slate.
The best point per dollar play of the slate: Eric Ebron
Captain Spot: Ben Roethlisberger, James Conner
Sneaky GPP: James Washington
So, there are our DraftKings selections for the 2020 Showdown of Pittsburgh @Buffalo! Remember any DFS questions, you can check out our articles here. Or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Image Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig – USA TODAY Sports