If you are looking for a game to watch Sunday afternoon, this matchup has fireworks written all over it! The (3-5) Buffalo Bills travel to Foxboro to take on Tom Brady and the (5-3) Patriots in a key AFC East showdown. Their first meeting on September 30th ended with the Patriots avenging a 21-3 hole to have a huge 2nd half in a 52-28 blow out.
In the second half, Brady threw for 199 yards and the defense forced three turnovers which was the key to victory. These two teams know each other very well, and all of the major fantasy players will look to put up monster numbers in a game that will feature two potent offenses.
We know that both offenses are going to score, and score often. Both defenses have given up a lot of yards threw the air, and that is a trend that will continue this week. The Patriots have showed the ability to stop the run, averaging 88 yards/game so far, but with the duo threat of Fred Jackson/CJ Spiller on the attack, I expect that number to go up.
For the Bills to win, the backfield needs to set the tempo and the Ryan Fitzpatrick has to spread the ball around and find the endzone. The two man balanced running attack has put up 140/gm on the ground and they have been thriving sharing the carries. It appears that Spiller has taken the lead in carries, but don’t sleep on Jackson who can light up the scoreboard as well.
Fitzpatrick’s favorite target, Stevie Johnson, hasn’t put up the greatest against a weak Pats secondary. In seven career games, he’s only averaging 3 catches and 42.3 yards/game. He will need to make his presence felt on the field if the Bills want to win this game.
The Bills need to get off the field on third down as they are giving up almost 50% of third down conversions. To beat Tom Brady, you must pressure him and get him off the field. The Bills haven’t been able to stop anyone so far this year and have been giving up 418 yards per game.
Everyone knows the weapons that the Patriots have in this high powered offense. They find the end zone regularly and it doesn’t matter who it it, they all end up having solid games. In the first matchup, it was the Wes Welker breakout game (9 catches for 129). Look for him to be a big part of the offense, as well as Brandon Lloyd. We know Rob Gronkowski and and Aaron Hernandez will get their touches as well with either one (or both) finding pay dirt in the red zone.
In the first meeting, Stevan Ridley had a big game running for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns. I don’t expect the same production, but 80 yards and a score seems the minimum he will do. One good thing for Ridley’s fantasy owners is that with Brandon Bolden out due to suspension for a banned substance, he won’t have a troll stealing his goal line carries.
Since this is a key fantasy matchup, here are my bold predictions for the matchup
Ryan Fitzpatrick – 310 yards – 3 Tds
CJ Spiller – 130 total yards 1 TD
Fred Jackson 85 total yards, 1 Td
Stevie Johnson 60 yards, 1 td
Tom Brady – 360 yards 4 Tds
Stevan Ridley – 80 yards 1 td
Rob Gronkowski 60 yards 1 td
Aaron Hernandez 70 yards 1 td
Wes Welker 110, 1 Td
Brandon Lloyd 60 yards, 1 Td
Game prediction – Patriots win in a high scoring affair – Start everyone you have on the both teams, except the defenses