Should You Start Isaiah McKenzie vs. the Patriots? Fantasy Outlook for Bills Wide Receiver

Should fantasy managers start Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie against the Pats in Week 13 on Thursday Night Football? Here's our recommended play.

The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills face off in a key AFC East battle in Week 13. Fantasy football managers have tough decisions now that we’re down to the final weeks of the regular season. It’s fantasy playoffs or bust!

One playmaker in the spotlight to produce is Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. We’re on top of all angles in this matchup for fantasy managers and bettors alike — let’s dive into whether you should start McKenzie against the Patriots.

Should You Start Isaiah McKenzie vs. the Patriots?

McKenzie is coming off his best receiving game of the 2022 season. With six receptions on 10 targets for 96 yards and one touchdown against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving day, McKenzie took over when quarterback Josh Allen needed him the most.

The speedster has long been tantalizing for fantasy managers because of his ability to be a mismatch when the Bills give him opportunities. However, we haven’t seen this happen consistently.

First-year offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey has done a decent job trying to overcome several injuries across the offense throughout the season. But one area where he’s failed has been consistently getting a second wide receiver to produce across from Stefon Diggs. McKenzie was supposed to be part of the answer when the team re-signed him this offseason.

But Week 12 was only the second game this season where the slot stud had more than 37 yards receiving. What’s also concerning for McKenzie’s usage is he’s had only two games with two rushing attempts. In total, he has seven rushing attempts on the season despite averaging 6 yards per carry. McKenzie is an effective weapon that the Bills could maximize even more.

He has already tied his career high in receptions this season while setting a new career high in yards. And he’s one touchdown behind his 2020 mark of five scores. Could last week be the start of a new trend for McKenzie? It’s truly hard to know since his usage varies so wildly. His Week 3 explosion of seven receptions for 76 yards and one touchdown against the Miami Dolphins was followed up by a four-reception, 21-yard, and one-touchdown performance against Baltimore.

MORE: Fantasy Football Injury Report Week 13

McKenzie’s managers would like to get another touchdown. With McKenzie facing the Patriots this week, however, history has shown that we should not expect this.

The Patriots have allowed 143.9 receiving yards on 10.9 receptions but only 0.55 touchdowns to receivers per game. They’re one of the best defenses in the league at limiting fantasy scoring against them. They’re physical, disciplined, and their pass rush makes up for some of their individual talent limitations.

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McKenzie is currently ranked at WR46 in our Week 13 PPR fantasy football rankings. He’s a gamble of a play, but he has unique explosiveness if given the opportunity. You have to treat McKenzie as a bargain-bin version of Gabe Davis.

That means variance must be expected. McKenzie could produce zero or 15 fantasy points this week. Chances are not in his favor for an impressive showing, though.


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