TNF Bills @ Browns: Fantasy & Matchup

Bills Offense vs. Browns Defense

Buffalo comes into this game banged up offensively. They predicate their offense around a trio of playmakers, two of which are running backs. Running back Fred Jackson is the healthiest of the three with a sprained knee (MCL), running back C.J. Spiller will attempt to play through a rolled ankle, receiver Stevie Johnson has a history of playing hurt and is currently battling a nagging hamstring injury. If we know anything about Thursday Night Football, the fact that these teams have to play on a short week caters to a low-scoring, defensive affair. Both teams come into this game with a couple of wins after splitting the first four games, however Cleveland ranks third on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback Joe Haden is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Although overdue, he should find success against Johnson who won’t be 100% in this game. The Browns line up in the 3-4 formation that should give rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel more than he can handle, but look for receiver Robert Woods to be involved as he has started to come on recently.

Browns Offense vs. Bills Defense

Since trading running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden went to the sidelines, Cleveland has put together back-to-back victories and won in a couple of different ways: grinding out a win against the rival Bengals last week, and previously outscoring the Vikings on the road. The coaching staff knew something that the naked eye couldn’t notice, which is why Buffalo is fortunate to get safety Jairus Byrd on the field for the first time this season due to plantar fasciitis. They’ve had contractual issues, considering he got franchise tagged, but his presense makes them a better defensive unit. However, it would probably be smart to hold him out until next week, where he has an extra ten days to recover. The Browns offense is sustaining drives just enough, and despite allocating five interceptions against Joe Flacco last week, they made the plays but I put those mistakes more on the over-hyped QB.

Prediction

The Bills travel to the dog pound and come up short. Whether it’s the injuries on offense or a vastly improved Browns defense, expect the offense to have some positive possessions that result in field goals. Cleveland has a Tom Brady protege at the helm (Hoyer) with some nice under-the-radar weapons to beat the back end of Buffalo’s defense. Browns win their third straight game 20-16.

Fantasy Football – Bills

Green: D. Carpenter

Yellow: BUF DEF, F. Jackson, R. Woods

Red: E.J. Manuel (QB), C.J. Spiller (RB), S. Johnson (WR), T.J. Graham (WR), S. Chandler (TE)

Fantasy Football – Browns

Green: CLE DEF, J. Gordon, J. Cameron, B. Cundiff

Yellow: B. Hoyer (QB), W. McGahee (RB), D. Bess (WR)

Red: G. Little (WR)