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Week 11: Patriots vs. Bills X-Factors

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Which players need to step up against the Bills?

Unleash the LaKraken
Unleash the LaKraken
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have a tough matchup coming against the Bills on Monday Night Football. For this game they won't have their budding superstar RB/human highlight reel and their most reliable receiver. For the Patriots, it's Next Man Up and the guys already contributing may have to contribute a bit more to the team's cause.

Brandon LaFell: With the injuries surrounding the receiver position, one man that needs to step up is Brandon LaFell. He had a good showing against the Dolphins and Redskins, but he needs to make that more regular. LaFell will likely either get matched up against Ronald Darby or Stephon Gilmore on the outside, but could make for a tough matchup if they line him up in the slot against Nickell Robey. While some of the unheralded options at WR need to be a reliable 3rd guy, LaFell needs to the 2nd guy behind Gronk because teams roll coverage that way.

Logan Ryan: Even though the Bills lost both Marquise Goodwin and Percy Harvin for the season, Robert Woods is still a very good #2 WR on the outside. With Butler likely lined up against Sammy Watkins all day, that means Ryan will draw the assignment of the #2. Ryan should be able to match Woods in this game since Woods isn't a vertical threat. If Ryan can lock down his man, that will force the Bills to have to go their 3rd or 4th option in the offense, which gives the pass rush an opportunity to apply pressure to Tyrod Taylor.