Matchup Analysis: Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Bills 19, Panthers 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Buffalo Bills Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Bills Offense21.0 (+0.8) (15)190 (+97) (1)218 (-2) (15)
Panthers Defense3.0 (-17.2) (4)51 (-41) (7)166 (-54) (9)

Carolina Panthers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Panthers Offense23.0 (+2.8) (12)116 (+23) (10)171 (-49) (23)
Bills Defense12.0 (-8.2) (9)38 (-54) (5)176 (-44) (12)

Bills Rushing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Panthers defense.

The Bills rushing attack got off to a great start to the season in week one as they ran all over the Jets rushing for 190 team yards in this game on 42 attempts. LeSean McCoy left this game with a hand injury, but did return and should be fine going forward to see his normal workload. The coaching change to Sean McDermott and Rick Dennison raised some questions, but these have been answered that the Bills will have one of the highest volume week to week in terms of running the ball. LeSean McCoy is as close to matchup proof as it comes in the NFL as McCoy last season had over 100 total yards in 10 of his 15 games last season.

Carolina continued to show that they are not a team that you want to run against in week one as they held the 49ers to just 51 yards rushing in week one. The Panthers defense is one of the best in the NFL as they have one of the best linebacking group in the NFL led with Shaq Thompson, Luke Keuchly and Thomas Davis. Kawann Short could cause issues up front particularly if he lines up opposite of Richie Incognito as he will be going up against John Miller which should be a nice matchup for Short.

Bills Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Panthers defense.

In this run first offense, Tyrod Taylor gets most of his value through his legs instead of his passing ability as Taylor over his last 17 games has completed less than 20 passes in 13 of those games. In week one of this season, Taylor completed just 57% of his passes, but was able to throw for two touchdowns utilizing Charles Clay as his primary receiver as he had 9 of the 28 targets in this game. Taylor and newly acquired Jordan Matthews are still looking to get acclimated as Matthews had just three targets in this game. This is an offense that lost its top four wide receivers from last year. Charles Clay will continue to be the most familiar target to Taylor and will compete each week to be the most targeted receiver until Taylor and Matthews get on the same page as Matthews missed most of the preseason.

On the defensive side of the ball, Carolina is coming off a very impressive performance holding Brian Hoyer to just 166 yards passing. This was a significant improvement compared to 2016 where Carolina ranked as the fourth worst pass defense in the NFL. The issue is that the team has not made any significant personnel improvements since last year so they are still running out the same secondary as last season. The Panthers cornerbacks are led by 2016 second round pick James Bradberry and third round pick Daryl Worley both looked improved from last year in their second year but it remains to see how this secondary will fare as they face better competition as Brian Hoyer and the 49ers is not a prolific pass offense. While the Bills are not a pass heavy approach they may have success against these corners. The Panthers allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends in 2016 which they bring back the same linebacking group as last year. This could be an opportunity for Charles Clay to get involved in the passing game.

Panthers Rushing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Bills defense.

The Panthers in their season opener showed that as expected they are going to be a run heavy offense this season running the ball as they ran the ball 38 times in the season opener against the 49ers. What was disappointing is that they had an ideal matchup against the worst run defense in the NFL and were only able to run for 3.1 yards per carry in this game. Neither Christian McCaffrey or Jonathan Stewart separated themselves from one another and both should expected to have a similar role in this game as they both averaged 3.6 yards per carry while McCaffrey was more utilized in the passing game, Stewart had more carries. McCaffrey greatly outsnapped Stewart 47 to 29 which is not a surprise as McCaffrey is the more versatile back of the two.

The Buffalo Bills showed much improvement in week one compared to where they were at a season ago, as they allowed just 38 yards rushing last week to the Jets who have one of the worst offensive lines in football. The Bills last season were the fourth worst defense against the run in terms of yards per game allowing 133.1 yards per game. The truth lies somewhere in the middle here as the Bills are not as bad as last season and part of that is due to Marcell Dareus being injured throughout last year, but they are not a top five run defense at this point until they can prove otherwise.

Panthers Passing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Bills defense.

Cam Newton in the first game of the season was not forced to throw the ball much as the team got ahead early and coasted to a relatively easy victory against the 49ers. We still do not know how his shoulder is based on this performance as while he was only 14-25 the Panthers were not throwing the ball deep down the field as evidenced by Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen leading the team in targets in this game. This is an offense that if they can find a balanced approach of running and passing could be excellent, but we have to take a wait and see approach early on in the season as the health of Cam Newton is still a question. He was not able to meet with the media after the game, and Ron Rivera said that his shoulder was, “Fine” and that he was “rusty”.

The Panthers are in a tough matchup in this game as the Bills secondary is very strong led by corners Tre’Davious White and E.J. Gaines. New addition Micah Hyde is also an excellent safety who should be expected to see some time on Greg Olsen this week. This is a Bills defense who held Josh McCown to just 4.8 yards per attempt in week one and look improved compared to their 2016 defense where they were the 6th best defense in terms of passing yards allowed per game. This is a defense that should be one of the best against the pass this season and one to be cautious of as you're approaching this week.

Panthers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-9.7)3 (-9.7)2 (-10.7)2 (-10.6)
1Brian Hoyer572435193011-508.

Tyrod Taylor (FanDuel: $7400, DraftKings: $5300)

1vs NYJ771628224218380222219.819.8
2PROJ-Dodds21312161.10.76280.218.518.518.5 (H=42)18.5 (H=59)
2PROJ-Tremblay203324011.16240.218.518.518.5 (H=42)18.5 (H=59)
2PROJ-Bloom17261460.91.28350.113.813.813.8 (H=25)13.8 (H=35)

Panthers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-7.0)9 (-4.7)6 (-5.7)9 (-5.2)
1Carlos Hyde459450663207.713.710.713.7
1Kyle Juszczyk19100421701.

LeSean McCoy (FanDuel: $8600, DraftKings: $8600)

1vs NYJ542211006549015.920.918.423.9
2PROJ-Dodds16730.45340.113.718.716.2 (H=28)18.7 (H=37)
2PROJ-Tremblay15620.36500.113.619.616.6 (H=30)19.6 (H=40)
2PROJ-Bloom21870.34200. (H=25)17.1 (H=31)

Mike Tolbert (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3800)

1vs NYJ23124211112011.412.411.912.4
2PROJ-Dodds7240.21804.45.44.9 (H=6)5.4 (H=9)
2PROJ-Tremblay8310.21805.16.15.6 (H=8)6.1 (H=12)
2PROJ-Bloom6190.31604.35.34.8 (H=6)5.3 (H=9)

Panthers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8 (-7.0)11 (-7.3)9T (-7.0)11 (-7.8)
1Pierre Garcon501068100008.
1Marquise Goodwin50632100002.

Jordan Matthews (FanDuel: $6400, DraftKings: $3900)

1vs NYJ67326100006.
2PROJ-Dodds4530.30007.111.19.1 (H=14)11.1 (H=33)
2PROJ-Tremblay4620.300081210.0 (H=16)12.0 (H=37)
2PROJ-Bloom4410.20005.39.37.3 (H=9)9.3 (H=24)

Zay Jones (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3500)

1vs NYJ66412100002.
2PROJ-Dodds4450.20005.79.77.7 (H=14)9.7 (H=29)
2PROJ-Tremblay3410.20005.38.36.8 (H=11)8.3 (H=22)
2PROJ-Bloom2230.20003.55.54.5 (H=5)5.5 (H=10)

Andre Holmes (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs NYJ3911110006.
2PROJ-Dodds1180.10002.43.42.9 (H=2)3.4 (H=5)
2PROJ-Tremblay1120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
2PROJ-Bloom2210.10002.74.73.7 (H=4)4.7 (H=9)

Panthers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-3.8)11 (-3.1)11 (-3.5)11 (-3.2)
1George Kittle54652702.

Charles Clay (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs NYJ659453111.315.313.315.3
2PROJ-Dodds4410. (H=13)9.9 (H=35)
2PROJ-Tremblay4470.36.510.58.5 (H=15)10.5 (H=39)
2PROJ-Bloom4350. (H=10)8.7 (H=28)

Nick OLeary (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2500)

1vs NYJ43212202.
2PROJ-Dodds1700.71.71.2 (H=0)1.7 (H=2)
2PROJ-Tremblay1120. (H=1)2.8 (H=4)
2PROJ-Bloom000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Panthers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3T (-4.0)3T (-4.0)8T (-4.0) (+0.0)
1Robbie Gould1100334.00.0

Steve Hauschka (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $--)

1vs NYJ0133333.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds1. (H=14)7.7
2PROJ-Tremblay1. (H=11)6.8

Panthers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13T (-3.4)13T (-3.4)12T (-4.6)12T (-4.6)
1San Francisco 49ers2328701100444.04.0

Buffalo Bills (FanDuel: $4200, DraftKings: $2700)

1vs NYJ12.0021412000559.09.0
2PROJ-Dodds24.903602.30.90.600. (H=14)7.2 (H=22)
2PROJ-Tremblay25.253472.21.10.600. (H=17)7.9 (H=26)

Bills vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9T (-4.5)9T (-4.5)10 (-3.4)10 (-4.3)
1Josh McCown5826391870220113.413.411.511.5

Cam Newton (FanDuel: $7800, DraftKings: $6500)

1@ SF6714251712163015.915.914.114.1
2PROJ-Dodds22332551.50.94190.2212121.0 (H=50)21.0 (H=60)
2PROJ-Tremblay21342271.61.15110.319.619.619.6 (H=44)19.6 (H=53)
2PROJ-Bloom19281971.31.15180.317.517.517.5 (H=36)17.5 (H=43)

Bills vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-10.0)5 (-7.7)5 (-8.7)5 (-8.2)
1Bilal Powell307220651703.
1Matt Forte356160532003.

Christian McCaffrey (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $5600)

1@ SF4713470753808.513.59.012.5
2PROJ-Dodds11440.34370. (H=26)15.1 (H=39)
2PROJ-Tremblay10430.36470.2121815.0 (H=33)18.0 (H=53)
2PROJ-Bloom11460.35380.211.416.413.9 (H=28)16.4 (H=45)

Jonathan Stewart (FanDuel: $5900, DraftKings: $4400)

1@ SF29186502217114.
2PROJ-Dodds14580.52120.110.612.611.6 (H=23)12.6 (H=36)
2PROJ-Tremblay14610.42160.110.712.711.7 (H=24)12.7 (H=37)
2PROJ-Bloom15580.5160.1101110.5 (H=19)11.0 (H=28)

Fozzy Whittaker (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3100)

1@ SF111000000.
2PROJ-Dodds000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
2PROJ-Tremblay1500000.50.50.5 (H=0)0.5 (H=0)
2PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Bills vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-9.6)10 (-7.9)7 (-8.6)10 (-8.4)
1Jermaine Kearse55975900005.912.99.412.9
1Robby Anderson57842200002.

Kelvin Benjamin (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $5600)

1@ SF43512500002.
2PROJ-Dodds4600.500091311.0 (H=19)13.0 (H=30)
2PROJ-Tremblay4590.40008.312.310.3 (H=17)12.3 (H=27)
2PROJ-Bloom5610.50009.114.111.6 (H=21)14.1 (H=34)

Devin Funchess (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $3900)

1@ SF4522200000243.04.0
2PROJ-Dodds2340.20004.66.65.6 (H=7)6.6 (H=13)
2PROJ-Tremblay1140.1000232.5 (H=1)3.0 (H=3)
2PROJ-Bloom2260.10003.25.24.2 (H=4)5.2 (H=8)

Russell Shepard (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3500)

1@ SF202253100011.313.312.313.3
2PROJ-Dodds2240.20003.65.64.6 (H=5)5.6 (H=11)
2PROJ-Tremblay1150.10002.13.12.6 (H=2)3.1 (H=4)
2PROJ-Bloom11200001.22.21.7 (H=1)2.2 (H=2)

Curtis Samuel (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3200)

1@ SF120000000000.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds11100001.12.11.6 (H=0)2.1 (H=2)
2PROJ-Tremblay000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
2PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Bills vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)15 (-0.6)16 (+0.1)15 (-0.3)16 (-0.0)
1Will Tye37333403.

Greg Olsen (FanDuel: $6500, DraftKings: $5500)

1@ SF67421801.
2PROJ-Dodds5590.37.712.710.2 (H=17)12.7 (H=29)
2PROJ-Tremblay5510. (H=18)13.1 (H=31)
2PROJ-Bloom5540.47.812.810.3 (H=17)12.8 (H=30)

Ed Dickson (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2500)

1@ SF401000000.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds1800.81.81.3 (H=0)1.8 (H=2)
2PROJ-Tremblay1120. (H=1)2.8 (H=4)
2PROJ-Bloom000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Bills vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)15T (-1.0)15T (-1.0)18T (+1.0) (+0.0)
1Chandler Catanzaro2200669.00.0

Graham Gano (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $--)

1@ SF3322111111.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds1.722. (H=17)8.7
2PROJ-Tremblay1. (H=20)9.6

Bills vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13T (-3.4)13T (-3.4)12T (-4.6)12T (-4.6)
1New York Jets2140821000444.04.0

Carolina Panthers (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3600)

1@ SF3.00217411008815.015.0
2PROJ-Dodds17.903432.50.80.600. (H=19)9.4 (H=26)
2PROJ-Tremblay18.253572.21.10.800.510.710.710.7 (H=23)10.7 (H=33)