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Daily Fantasy Week 5: Sunday night picks for Bills-Chiefs

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Yahoo is expanding its daily fantasy football options in 2021 with a single-game offering. Yahoo has a roster construction of one "Superstar" that scores at a 1.5 multiplier, while the remaining four FLEX roster spots accumulate points at the normal rate. This is half-point PPR scoring and the "Superstar" salary does not change from the Utility. All scoring and rules can be found here.

This week we get a rematch of the AFC Championship game between the 3-1 Bills and 2-2 Chiefs. Both teams are coming off resounding victories and huge offensive performances where they each put up 40-plus points. We should expect plenty more offensive firepower this week when the two sides meet.

Depending on the type of contest we’re creating rosters for, we’ll need to adjust our player selection strategy. If playing in a tournament with a huge amount of contestants, it will be vitally important to play something other than the optimal lineup based on projections. Differentiating yourself from the rest of the field is equally valuable. Once we understand the type of roster we need to be building for the specific contest you’re trying to take down, we can then focus on player selection, working to identify combinations of players that could all hit their respective ceilings together, based on specific game environments. Slow, run-oriented defensive battles often allow very different players to hit their ceiling score compared to when a game is fast-paced and pass-happy.

Vegas Total and Spread

At 56.5, the current Vegas total is the highest we’ve seen for any game this season. The Chiefs have an implied total of 29.5 compared to the Bills’ 27.0 The total was as high as 57 earlier in the week, but has since come down.

Weather

The current forecast predicts overcast skies with 5-10 MPH winds, and steadier rain to enter the Kansas City area later in the evening. If mother nature decides to move that storm up, we could see a sloppy second half at Arrowhead.

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Potential Game Flow Scenarios

After a shocking 1-2 start to the season, the Chiefs were able to get back on track with a resounding win over the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, scoring a league-high 45 points to get back to .500. We should expect plenty of offense from this squad once again in Week 5. Even the most casual NFL fan knows how Kansas City wants to win football games. They want Patrick Mahomes ($37), arguably the greatest passer of his generation, to use his incredible improvisational and out-of-the-pocket skills to dial up deep passes for his two primary weapons, Travis Kelce ($31) and Tyreek Hill ($32), and maybe a few extra for new acquisition Josh Gordon ($12). Just like in years past, this strategy has remained quite effective for Kansas City, with the Chiefs’ offense currently ranked a familiar number one in the NFL in expected points added (EPA) per play. Kelce and Hill have combined for over 56% of the team’s weighted opportunity (WOPR), a metric that combines a player’s share of team targets and air yards. Expect roughly 20 passes to head towards Hill and Kelce, with just a smattering of targets for the rest of the Chiefs’ auxiliary weapons, which is likely to be a trio of Mecole Hardman ($10), Byron Pringle ($10), Demarcus Robinson ($10) and the aforementioned Gordon. Fantasy gamers should roster at most one of these players.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 03: Patrick Mahomes #15, Tyreek Hill #10, Demarcus Robinson #11, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs look on against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 3, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
The Chiefs got back on track in a win over the Eagles last week, and look to build on that momentum against the Bills. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Though he’s underwhelmed from a production standpoint, and — most infuriating for fantasy gamers — has been taken out near the goal line at times, the Chiefs remain committed to second-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($15). Edwards-Helaire ranks eighth in the NFL in total carries and seventh in total rush yards, but outside the top-40 running backs in targets. He’s also just 24th in red-zone touches with eight, a sign that the team tends to move away from him as they get closer to scoring. At the very least, Edwards-Helaire has looked much more elusive this season, ranking inside the top-20 running backs in total evaded tackles and in breakaway runs. Even though he has a lower probability of reaching his ceiling than Mahomes, Hill, or Kelce, the salary-saving considerations are too much to ignore, making CEH one of the best plays on the slate.

For Buffalo, it'll look to build upon a resounding 41-0 defeat of the middling Texans in Week 4, and will attempt to seek revenge for their AFC Championship Game loss to the Chiefs. Quarterback Josh Allen ($41) hasn’t been quite as efficient as he was a season ago, when he was a legitimate MVP candidate, and led the Bills to the AFC's second-seed — he ranks outside the top-20 quarterbacks in true completion rate, red-zone completion rate, and adjusted yards per attempt (AYA). But he still ranks seventh in fantasy points per game at his position, and more importantly for the Bills, it hasn’t resulted in a massive dip in overall efficiency, as they currently rank top-10 in the NFL in team EPA/play. It also doesn’t hurt that their defense is ranked number one in that same category, though that rank will be tested by Mahomes and company, which has taken pressure off of Allen and the offense to be perfect game-in and game-out. Allen still relies primarily on Stefon Diggs ($30) in the passing game, with Diggs currently commanding over 51% of the team’s WOPR through four weeks. Diggs has an opportunity for a massive game against a Chiefs’ defense that ranks third-worst in the NFL in yards per pass attempt allowed and points per play allowed.

Beyond Diggs, the Bills have carved out a huge role for Emmanuel Sanders ($19), giving him six-plus looks per game in each of the first four weeks this season. He’s made the most of his opportunity thus far, scoring twice, and topping 70 yards receiving in each of the last two games. Sanders’ workload has cut into Cole Beasley’s ($18) opportunities, a bit, but Allen will still pepper Beasley with targets when appropriate. Beasley already has two games with 13 targets, and is tied for the team lead with six red zone targets. The other co-leader inside the 20 is tight end Dawson Knox ($19), who has broken out in a big way this season, earning eight targets a week ago, and finishing top-12 among tight ends in fantasy scoring for three straight games. With weapons like Diggs, Sanders, Beasley, and Knox, it’s no wonder that running is an afterthought for this offense, making Devin Singletary ($18) an extremely thin play comparatively, though he’s seen between 13 and 16 opportunities in all four games this season. The preferred back is still Zack Moss ($19), who continues to be the more heavily utilized back near the goal line, that is when Allen isn’t keeping it himself.

[Play in Yahoo's $150K Single Game Baller for BUF vs. KC]

Close, low-scoring game

  • Travis Kelce

  • Patrick Mahomes

  • Bills

  • Devin Singletary

  • Cole Beasley

  • Zack Moss

  • Tyreek Hill

Close, high-scoring game

  • Tyreek Hill

  • Josh Allen

  • Patrick Mahomes

  • Travis Kelce

  • Stefon Diggs

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire

  • Emmanuel Sanders

  • Cole Beasley

  • Dawson Knox

Blowout for home team

  • Patrick Mahomes

  • Travis Kelce

  • Tyreek Hill

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire

  • Josh Allen

  • Mecole Hardman

  • Stefon Diggs

  • Byron Pringle

  • Demarcus Robinson

Blowout for away team

  • Josh Allen

  • Stefon Diggs

  • Emmanuel Sanders

  • Cole Beasley

  • Dawson Knox

  • Zack Moss

  • Patrick Mahomes

  • Travis Kelce

  • Devin Singletary

Cheap/Unique Stack Options

Josh Allen ($41) and Zack Moss ($19)

By rostering both Allen — whose salary is counter-intuitively higher than Patrick Mahomes — and Zack Moss, you likely add significantly more uniqueness to your lineup construction and gain the added bonus of capturing a massive portion of the Bills’ projected offensive production. If the Bills score all their points via the passing game, you (obviously) benefit by having Allen. And if the Bills instead score on the ground, their most likely scoring options are Moss, and Allen, who have combined for 72% of the team’s opportunities inside the 10. This stack works especially well if you believe the Bills will be successful offensively by spreading the ball around, reducing the necessity of rostering any of the Buffalo receivers.

Low Salary Volatile Plays

Mecole Hardman ($10)

The former second-round pick remains the Chiefs’ secondary speedster and has played on at least 58% of snaps in every game this season. He’s seen 15 targets in his last three games, including three in the red zone.

Byron Pringle ($10)

Pringle has seen more than two targets in a game just once this season but continues to see time as a rotational player. Pringle’s snaps could be cut into by Josh Gordon, but Pringle will likely be the least-rostered minimum-salary Chiefs player, making him an intriguing contrarian pick.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($15)

With a salary that’s just half of the primary Chiefs’ receivers, fantasy gamers could do much worse than rostering Kansas City’s starting running back, who’s seen 17-plus opportunities, averaged 111 total yards, and scored a touchdown in back-to-back games.

Superstar Picks

Tyreek Hill ($32)

Hill’s slate-breaking upside is unmatched, and his Week 4 proved just how lethal he can be in the open field. Hill earned 12 targets in a game for the second time this season, and already as three games earning 130-plus air yards from Patrick Mahomes. He’s topped 30 fantasy points in a game twice through four games.

Travis Kelce ($31)

The most consistent tight end in the entire NFL has only had one game with 10-plus targets this season but has still managed three top-five fantasy performances at his position over the first four games. Kelce leads his position in receptions, receiving yards, and yards after catch, and ranks second in fantasy points per game.

Stefon Diggs ($30)

Diggs’ production through four weeks isn’t representative of his massive opportunity within the Bills’ prolific offense. Diggs has just one touchdown through four weeks, but has seen 10-plus targets in three games this season, and has yet to see less than eight. Despite finishing with less than 70 yards receiving in three contests already, Diggs hasn’t yet had a game this year where he’s failed to receive 100-plus air yards from quarterback Josh Allen. If Allen and Diggs connect on just a few more deep passes, Diggs could easily be the top-scoring wideout on the entire slate.

This article originally appeared in its full form on 4for4.com

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position in middle school, Matt has been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, he loves to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone.

More from 4for4.com: An expert's cheat sheet to Yahoo's Week 5 slate

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