Matt Breida Start/Sit Week 12: Can you trust the Bills RB with Zack Moss out Thursday?

Should fantasy football managers turn to Matt Breida in Week 12 with Zack Moss set to be a healthy scratch on Thanksgiving?

It has been a strong couple of weeks for Buffalo Bills RB Matt Breida, who has burst back onto the scene in Buffalo and is now an intriguing fantasy option. With Zack Moss inactive for the Bills’ Thanksgiving game on Thursday, could Breida be a player to start for fantasy managers?

Matt Breida has burst back onto the fantasy radar

As recently as Week 9, Breida’s career was essentially over as far as fantasy managers were concerned. The Bills RB had not played since Week 2 of the 2021 season and had played just 12 offensive snaps in those first two weeks. That all changed in the Bills’ Week 10 demolition of the New York Jets.

In that game, Breida had 3 rush attempts for 28 yards and a touchdown. He added a further 3 receptions on 3 targets for 22 yards and another touchdown. He then followed that up with 5 rushing attempts for 51 yards and 16 yards on 1 reception from 2 targets in Week 11. Now with Moss inactive for Thanksgiving, Breida looks set to take on a much bigger role and could be a Week 12 fantasy darling.

Which version of the Saints’ defense will we see?

This is a key question when considering what value Breida might have for fantasy managers. When we look back over the season, the Saints are the second-best defense against RBs in terms of fantasy points. They have allowed just 18.54 points per game to the position.

However, in Week 11, the Philadelphia Eagles ran all over the Saints’ defense. Miles Sanders had 94 yards on 16 attempts, Jordan Howard added 63 yards on 10 attempts, and Boston Scott had another 16 yards on 6 carries. The only thing the running backs did not do was score a rushing touchdown. Then again, QB Jalen Hurts rushed for 3 himself.

Should you start Breida against the Saints in Week 12?

The Bills’ running game has been really difficult to trust this season. Devin Singletary is averaging just 8.3 rush attempts and 3.2 targets per game. Moss has also been averaging 8.3 rush attempts per game and just 2.9 targets. Therefore, even if Breida simply assumes the role of Moss, he is likely only seeing somewhere in the region of 10-12 opportunities, unless the Bills switch their entire offensive focus.

Part of the issue is that Josh Allen is averaging 6 rush attempts per game. So even if the Bills run the ball 20 times, there are really only around 14 or 15 to be shared between the two backs on average. It is tough to have fantasy value with that limited of a role.

The other issue for the Bills is that touchdowns have been shared around. Moss has 4, Singletary 3, and Josh Allen 2. However, the positive for Breida is that if steps into Singeltary’s role he should get the majority of the red-zone carries. Moss has 23 red-zone carries this season compared to 16 for Allen and 11 for Singletary. Inside the 10 yard line, Moss has 14 compared to 12 for Allen and 4 for Singletary.

It is tough to pin too much on Breida outside of deeper leagues or a shooting for the moon-type flex play. His burst in the past two weeks has been exciting but the chances he has 15 or more opportunities is low. Breida needs to break off some big plays or score a touchdown to have any serious fantasy value. The risk is that his floor is extremely low and his ceiling is not that high based on opportunities.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

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