OPINION: Bills-Raiders start 'em, sit 'em: Cole Beasley is FLEX-worthy


Through three games, this is the most fantasy relevant Buffalo Bills team I've ever seen. Never did I think we'd be talking about as many as six Bills worth starting and eight Bills worth owning, not including defense or kicker.

How did last week go?

I advised fantasy players to start Devin Singletary as an RB2 or FLEX option, but not expect him to blow you away. That's percisely what happened.

Singletary received a solid workload of 13 carries for 71 yards and four catches on five targets for 50 yards. That's good for 16.1 PPR fantasy points.

Singletary will always be a frustrating fantasy player, because he's a very good running back. He's an example of "great football player" doesn't always equate to "great fantasy player."

One miss I had was telling fantasy players to bench Cooper Kupp due to a recent lack of red zone targets.. Kupp racked up nine catches on 10 total targets for 107 yards and a touchdown. Whoops.

Moving on to Bills against the Las Vegas Raiders this week, the Bills are getting healthier, while the Raiders are missing key members of their offense.

All players will be followed by the percentage of league's they're being started in.

Bills start 'em:

QB - Josh Allen (85.0% started)
WR - Stefon Diggs (95.8% started)

You don't sit Allen or Diggs, barring a super team. Nothing else needs to be said at this point.

Start Allen over: Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson
Start Diggs over: D.J. Moore, Cooper Kupp, Keenan Allen, Adam Thielen, Mike Evans

WR - Cole Beasley (15.3% started)

Beasley is off to a great start, thanks to the high volume of passing attempts by the Bills offense.

Beasley stepped up in John Brown's absence as the No. 2 option for Allen against the Los Angeles Rams last week. Six receptions for 100 yards in Week 3 puts Beasley in the top-20 for receiving yards in the NFL.

At best, Beasley will be an injury/bye-week filler for your team. He's on pace for roughly 70 targets on the season, enough to give him week-to-week relevancy, but not enough for him to be a weekly starter.

This week, though, is one week I'd go with Beasley. Brown will play, but has been dealing with a calf injury. Plus, the Raiders' secondary is not nearly one of the better units in the NFL.

If you're missing a Titans or Steelers player this week, or have injuries at wide receiver, you can do much worse than Beasley. He's more of a FLEX play, but it depends on your situation.

Start Beasley over: Emmanuel Sanders, Brandon Aiyuk, Preston Williams, Golden Tate

Raiders start 'em:

WR - Hunter Renfrow (11.6% started)

The Raiders have two starting rookie wide receivers that both have injuries. Third rounder Bryan Edwards has already been ruled out for Sunday, and first rounder Henry Ruggs III is doubtful.

That leaves Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor, and Zay Jones as the Raiders' top-three wide receivers.

Tight end Darren Waller and running back Josh Jacobs will command a big target-share, but Renfrow should get his looks.

Last week against the New England Patriots, Renfrow had six receptions on nine targets for 84 yards and a touchdown. He played 65% of the team's offensive snaps.

Expect a similar workload against the Bills.

Start Renfrow over: Preston Williams, Justin Jefferson, Cole Beasley, Marvin Jones, Jarvis Landry

Bills sit 'em:

TE - Dawson Knox (0.2% started)

Almost nobody is playing Knox in their fantasy lineups, but I would avoid him even if you're desperate at tight end.

Knox has loads of potential, but the Bills just don't use tight ends enough. So far in 2020, no team in the league runs 10-personnel (four wide receivers, one running back, zero tight ends) more than the Bills.

Start over Knox: Adam Trautman, Drew Sample, Dan Arnold, Ian Thomas

Raiders sit 'em:

QB - Derek Carr (9.6% started)

The Bills have been getting thrown on to start the 2020 season.

Through three games, the Bills defense has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks. It's not like Sam Darnold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jared Goff is the toughest slate of competition you're going to face anyway.

However, this Bills defense is healthier at linebacker, with another week of recovery for Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano.

This defense is still a very talented unit, and should see better performances than what we've seen so far.

I'd bet on that starting with a matchup against a Carr-led offense with depleted weapons.

Carr is QB18 through three games and that's his ceiling. Without any rushing or a volume of passing touchdowns, even a good game from Carr isn't worth starting. That includes in SUPERFLEX leagues.

There are very few quarterbacks I'd be wanting to start Carr over, and the Bills should still be considered a tough matchup.

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