The Las Vegas Raiders host the Buffalo Bills in a clash of 2 of the most in-form teams in the NFL.
The Bills come into the game with an unblemished 3-0 record after seeing off the hapless New York Jets, won a close game at the Miami Dolphins and survived a late comeback against the Los Angeles Rams last week. They have QB Josh Allen playing like a man possessed and have one of the leagues best defences.
The Raiders started out 2-0, including marking the opening of the Allegiant Stadium in style with an impressive victory over the New Orleans Saints. They suffered their first defeat at the hands of Cam Newton and the New England Patriots last week however, and have a big job on their hands if they are to bounce back this week.
Money line: Bills1/2Raiders8/5
Points Spread: Bills -3
The Bills are rightly favourites here and I wouldn’t bet against them. Darren Waller is good odds for 1st TD scorer at 9/1, but if you’re looking for something even more ambitious, you can get the Buffalo Defense/Special Teams at 22/1 and Isaiah McKenzie at 80/1 is one for those feeling particularly lucky.
The 2 big name fantasy guys for Buffalo are dual threat QB Josh Allen and WR Stefon Diggs. Allen has been on fire as of late, throwing for over 1000 yards and 10 TD’s in the first 3 games. He added 2 more rushing TD’s but does have 3 fumbles to his name too.
One of the reasons for Allen’s high performance is the newly acquired Stefon Diggs who gives Allen a reliable target. He has 20 catches for nearly 300 yards and 2 Touchdowns through 3 games and will likely figure prominently against the Raiders.
Digg’s partner in crime, John Brown, has had a good start to the season too and if you’re lucky enough to still find him on waivers in your league, is worth picking up if you’re in need of receiver depth.
For Las Vegas, Tight End Darren Waller is a name you should be familiar with by now. After a lacklustre first 4 years in the league, including a year long suspension in 2017, he had a break out year last year, racking up 1100 yards and 3 TD’s, making him one of the top fantasy Tight Ends last season. He was instrumental in the win over the Saints and with Bryan Edwards out and Henry Ruggs doubtful, he could be front and centre in the Raiders game plan this week.
Their run game is built around the impressive 2nd year former Alabama star Josh Jacobs. Jacobs has taken to life in the NFL like a duck to water with his tough running style earning him rave reviews. He opened this season with 93 rushing yards and 3 Touchdowns and another 46 yards receiving against the Carolina Panthers but while his yardage has remained respectable, he has failed to find the end zone again in the following 2 games. The already mentioned injuries may force John Gruden’s hand to focus on relying on Jacobs to run the ball early and often to keep them in this game. That will be no easy feat against a nasty Buffalo defensive front though.
Injuries may have killed what was looking like a really interesting matchup. Any chance the Raiders have may hinge on Henry Ruggs being available, and right now that doesn’t look likely. Safety Johnathan Abram and cornerback Damon Arnette are also out which isn’t ideal when you’re facing the Allen led Bills attack. Hard to see past Buffalo winning this.
Bills by 10