Despite committing four turnovers in the season opener, the Buffalo Bills offset a sloppy first half with a dominant second half to ride to a 31-10 victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Rams. On both sides there were plenty of winners and losers in the dynasty realm, so let’s take a quick look…
Josh Allen, QB
Allen was the MVP favorite on many betting sites predating the season. Despite two interceptions (one of which was his fault), the No 1 dynasty player on Fantasy Data’s 2021 metrics put up another outstanding display, completing 26 of 31 passes, collecting 353 total yards, and four total touchdowns.
On Fantasy Data’s metrics following Thursday Night, Allen was the only player to surpass 20 fantasy points. He collected 31.48 of them.
Allen didn’t throw downfield much (he was accurate on the two completions), but he didn’t need to, as he picked apart the Rams defense with quick passes in the underneath and intermediate levels of the field. The home team simply wasn’t a match for Josh’s brain, and he added a few new plays to his highlight reel on the ground, including a spectacular stiff arm and a dunking touchdown on the goal line.
Allen’s been on an incredible stretch of football as of late, and next Monday Night he’ll look to continue that streak in a highly anticipated matchup against the Tennessee Titans.
Stefon Diggs, WR
Not to be outdone by Allen, Diggs spent the entire night making a mockery of Rams corner Jalen Ramsey. In total, Diggs caught eight passes for 122 yards (15.25 yards per reception) and a 53-yard touchdown. On that touchdown, Ramsey (assuming he had safety help over the top) let Diggs stroll by, and the receiver made him pay with a stumbling catch in the end zone.
In total, Diggs was third among all players in fantasy points, with 18.2 of them.
As we saw throughout the night, Diggs runs one of if not the best routes on curls and comebacks. Thanks to his great hands and ability to stop on a dime on his breaks, he was able to turn chicken salad into chicken droppings out of the Rams defense, primarily Ramsey. It was another spectacular performance from one of the league’s most spectacular receivers.
Gabriel Davis, WR
The star of the Divisional Round last year, Davis continued on that promising display of record-setting with four catches, 88 yards, and a touchdown, resulting in 14.8 fantasy points.
Late in 2021, Davis ascended to become the vertical playmaker the Bills defense needed to close out the regular season, and only became much more so in the playoffs. That continued in the fourth quarter, when he and Allen connected on a spectacular 47-yard pass play.
If Davis keeps this up, he’ll be a must-have WR2 for years to come.
The Entire Bills Defense
If you’re an investor of Buffalo’s defense you were again in luck, as the prior year’s No 1 scoring defense continued right where they left off.
With seven sacks, three interceptions, and just 10 points allowed, Buffalo put up 17 points. The defensive line in particular had a standout performance, with Von Miller and Jordan Phillips combining for 3.5 sacks and 4 tackles for loss.
All of this was done without Tre’Davious White, too.
James Cook, RB
It’s not the end of the world for Cook owners, as he’s sure to get more opportunities down the stretch. But whereas Kareem Hunt was able to redeem his debut back in 2017 after a fumble on his first snap, Cook did not find the promised land.
Cook’s night was over after the fumble, with the one carry going for two yards. He finished dead last in fantasy points, being the only player finding himself in negative waters (-1.8 points). He’ll see better days, but this was a short-lived, disappointing debut.
Dawson Knox, TE
The recent recipient of a happy contract extension, tight end Dawson Knox will be a major staple of the Bills offense for this season. But for Thursday, he was only able to come down with one five-yard catch for 0.5 fantasy points. With the recent release of OJ Howard, he’ll be able to shake that off, but he wasn’t very visible for the season opener, it happens.
Los Angeles RAMS
Cooper Kupp, WR
One of the Rams’ rare winners on a dismal LA night came in the form of the Triple Crown God himself, Kupp. Sure some of his production came in garbage time, but in total he was able to collect 13 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, making him second among all players in fantasy points (18.8).
Not a lot went right for Los Angeles, but in dynasty, Kupp picked up right where he left off.
Troy Hill, DB
In his return to the Rams, Hill’s performance stood out in the IDP world: He totaled eight tackles (six solo) and brought in an interception, bringing in 11 fantasy points, sixth most on Thursday. On a day where the Rams defense folded after an impressive start, Hill gave IDP owners reason to strive forward.
Outside of Henderson, the Rams struggled to run the ball, hitting a combined five yards on as many carries. Henderson was the only competent dynasty back for the team, carrying 13 runs for 47 yards while also adding five catches for 26 yards in the air. His 7.3 points only ranked 20th, but his usage should be encouraging for the future.
Matthew Stafford, QB
The elbow concerns were legitimate, as Stafford showed discomfort throwing the ball throughout the night. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback completed 29 of 41 passes for 240 yards, but threw one touchdown to three interceptions, giving him 7.8 fantasy points, 17th among all players.
It wasn’t all Stafford’s fault, as the offensive line (who lost Andrew Whitworth and Austin Corbett in the off-season) allowed him to get hit 15 times and sacked seven. But with reports of a “tennis elbow” throwing his groove down a deep abyss, there is reason to worry about how effective the 34-year-old passer can be long-term.
Allen Robinson, WR
Hoping to shake off a down year in Chicago, Robinson instead looked even less visible in his Rams debut. Despite playing in 64 of the Rams’ 67 offensive snaps, Robinson was only targeted twice, coming away with a 12-yard catch.
It’s one game, but the usage of Robinson puzzled many considering the team played without Van Jefferson.
Cam Akers, RB
Much like Robinson, Akers performed a disappearing act of his own, with three carries totaling for zero yards. It was a brutal day for Akers owners everywhere, and with the blocking being a problem all night, he and the rest of the ground game could be in for a long season.
Tutu Atwell, WR
A former second-round pick, Atwell certainly wasn’t used like one, as he was targeted once and didn’t post a single reception. The Bills had little trouble spreading the ball around to most of their playmakers, but that wasn’t the case for the Rams, whose usage of their personnel on Thursday has been widely criticized.
With this said, it’s one game, so all of the players listed could either rebound or crumble. Still, what did you think of each of the dynasty assets listed? Let us know in the comments below!
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