Game Reviews: DET @ CAR and MIA @ BUF

While almost everyone who plays daily fantasy football has their eyes glued to the TV every sunday, most of us simply don’t have the time and energy to closely examine every game on Sunday. But, it can be very helpful to look beyond the box scores and look at every game, even the bad ones. So this week our writers will be covering every game and evaluating all the key players. First up: DET @ CAR and MIA @ BUF.


MIA 10 – BUF 29


Game Summary: The game was closer than it looked, but both teams looked pretty poor overall. Buffalo ended up running away with it in the 4th quarter when Miami’s offense just could not get anything going. CJ spiller at a kickoff return for a TD and Sammy Watkins has a breakout game with over 100 yards and a TD. Mike Wallace also hauled in a TD.




Watkins – Watkins had a very good game on paper but I’m concerned about his ability to repeat. Almost all of his catches we’re on short crossing routes which is something that could clearly be game planned for next week. He seems like a talented, big, and fast player though. I would not target him week 3.

Spiller – Spiller is clearly the #2 back and played kind of like a poor mans Barry Sanders. He literally had just 1 good run and the rest were 3 yards or less. He did have a kick-off return for a TD, and he’ll probably return a few more kicks for scores this year. But it seems impossible to predict when he will have good games.

Jackson – Jackson was used a lot early and is clearly more their #1 back. If I’m targeting a RB on the Bills in a good matchup, it’s him, but it’s hard to say when he has a good matchup.

Manuel – He was very inconsistent, he has a bad arm, and he’s simply not a very good QB. He ran the read option well, but I do not see a reason to use him ever for fantasy purposes.

Woods – He was not targeted at all. It’s hard to like any WR on the Bills with Manuel at QB.

Buffalo D/ST – Reasonable in coverage, reasonable pass rush. Seems like a middle of the pack D. Did well against the run but have no idea if that’s solely because of Miami’s running game. That being said, they were rated poorly by PFF for 2nd week in a row, so it may have been more the ineptitude of Miami’s offense as a whole that made their defense look solid to me.




Miller – Does absolutely nothing as a runner that impressed me. He’s not a talented player. Doesn’t get YAC. Miami’s O-line is partially to blame. I’m also concerned that his back-up could take some time away from him since he actually looked good in limited looks.

Wallace – Wallace has a previous reputation for being inconsistent but I didn’t see that in this game. He played like a #1, had a great TD catch, and was targeted often and caught most of his targets. I would not hesitate to use him in a good matchup.

Hartline – He’s clearly the #2, was looked to a lot but had some unlucky breaks. Wouldn’t totally count him out.

Clay – Was used basically as an H-back. Caught a lot of short balls. Should get 5+ Rec a game if they continue to use him like this, but needs to go against a bad D.

Tannehill – Looked terrible, hesitant. Nothing downfield. O-line looks really bad. Actually rated ok in pass game by PFF, a .9. And he was on the road, so I can’t totally write him off. I’m curious to see how he does at home against the Chiefs next week.

Miami D/ST – Players were open a ton in the middle of the field deep. They looked mediocre at best overall. That being said, PFF rated them as having a good game on D so my eyes could be deceiving me. One thing to note is their special teams looked really bad, they allowed a block punt and almost allowed 2, and allowed a kick return for a TD.  It would be sneaky to use opposing D/ST against them for GPPs.


DET 7 – CAR 24


Game Summary: This game was also closer than it appears. Both defenses played well all game but Carolina capitalized on the Lions mistakes and ended up pulling away in the 4th.




Stafford – He made a couple of key mistakes, and didn’t perform well overall. But it was against a very good defense and his mistakes matter less for fantasy purposes. I don’t see any reason not to target him against bad defenses.

Calvin Johnson – Had a quiet game aside from that amazing catch in the 1st quarter. He was targeted often and is clearly a top fantasy option every week.

Golden Tate – I counted around 7 targets in the 1st quarter alone, and early in the game seemed to be Stafford’s favorite target. He totally disappeared in the 2nd half and I’m not sure why. He looked very good in my opinion although PFF disagrees. He ended with a quality game and I think Tate will be wildly underused by daily fantasy players next week against the Packers.

Bell – One thing to note about Bell was that he was on the field exclusively and targeted often in the Lions 2 minutes offense, so it seems like he should have extra value in games where the Lions are likely to be trailing. He still splits time with Bush so unless Bush gets injured it’s hard to use him.

Freese – missed 2 FGs, looks terrible. Would avoid him as a kicker on FanDuel.

Lions D/ST – They have a great defense, especially against the run. One thing to note is that their punt and kick returned looks talented and I bet he breaks one or two for a TD in the coming weeks.




Newton – the question coming into this game was, “Is Cam healthy?” I think he was. He was pretty spry on a couple of runs although seemed slightly scared of contact, I doubt we’ll see him do any goal line QB draws anytime soon. He was also under pressure constantly, but still ended with almost 300 yards passing. Honestly, as long as the price is right I see a reason to avoid using him.

Olsen – This guy is clearly Newton’s #1 receiver and he looked good. If not for a defensive hold in the redzone, he likely would have had a TD to go with his solid numbers. If you’re going to pair a receiver with Cam, this is the player to use.

Benjamin – He was not targeted much early, and he had several drops throughout the game. But even after a string of bad drops, Newton continued to go to him. He’s an absolutely massive WR, and will clearly be a redzone target. He caught a TD pass early but could not get both feet in bounds. I think he’s a decent GPP play going forward since 2 TDs in a game isn’t out of the question but it would be foolish to use him in heads up games.

Cotchery/Avant – Both looked fine but I see no reason to use either of them going forward. Avant at a TD catch but I don’t see him getting many future red zone targets.

Stewart – The box score fools you a bit here, Stewart was going against a really tough run D in Detroit but I think he looked good. He’s a powerful runner but just had no holes. He probably won’t get many receptions, but if Williams is out once again I see him being a solid play against a leaky Steelers run D.

Gano – All FGs we’re right down the middle.

Carolina D/ST – They look like a top 5 defense in the NFL. Only downside is it doesn’t look like Carolina has any talent in the return game. I’d look for them to do well against the terrible Steelers O-line next week.




View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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