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Fantasy Football Picks: Bills vs. Patriots DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Thursday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Bills and the Patriots with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Just as we all expected in September, the AFC East is home to four playoff-caliber teams as the NFL turns its calendar to December. That makes every divisional matchup even more important, as seeding is very much on the line. Plus, you know, there’s a little bit of history between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. This is going to be a spicy Thursday nighter.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Thursday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (BUF vs NE)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Josh Allen ($18,300 CP) - Say what you will about Allen’s real-life performance since suffering an elbow injury in Week 9, but his fantasy outputs have remained elite. Allen’s exceeded 25.0 DKFP in three of his last four starts and, for the season as a whole, the former first-round pick leads all QBs in total DKFP (309.4). Simply put, there’s a level of production that only dual-threat pivots can achieve, and with Allen sitting fourth among quarterbacks in rushing yards (561), he’s also managed to average the fourth-most DKFP per drop back (0.65). Really, my concerns about Allen in this spot are more about matchup than anything. Patriots D/ST ($3,200) has been fantastic in 2022, though there is a case to be made that some of that success is due to a soft schedule. Mitch Trubisky, Sam Ehlinger, Jared Goff and, of course, Zach Wilson twice. Not exactly a murderer’s row. Meanwhile, in games against Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins, New England surrendered 3.0 opponent passing touchdowns per contest. I see a pattern. Allen can exploit this unit.

Rhamondre Stevenson ($15,600 CP) - Before we even get into the ramifications of Damien Harris (thigh) being ruled out for this contest, you need to understand that Stevenson’s volume is already at an incredible level. Since Week 5, the sophomore RB has seen a snap share of at least 70% in all but one game, while Stevenson is also tied for 10th in the NFL in receptions since Week 7 with 33. Not 10th among running backs, 10th among all skill-position players — and that’s despite the fact that the Patriots had a bye in Week 10. This man is a true “bell cow” by every definition of the term. However, it is worth pointing out that Stevenson’s season-high in DKFP (25.1) came in Week 6 against the Browns, a tilt where Harris was also unable to dress. His ceiling and floor combination is almost unmatched on this slate and there’s no script where Stevenson won’t be on the field producing.


FLEX Plays

Nelson Agholor ($4,800) - Much of Agholor’s viability is connected to the health of Jakobi Meyers ($7,200; shoulder), who is questionable for tonight’s contest. Meyers was limited to just 16 offensive snaps last Thursday against the Vikings, and it was Agholor that stepped into the void, finishing the eventual loss with eight targets, a 78% snap share and 18.5 DKFP. In a matchup where the Patriots might fall into a pass-heavy script — Buffalo’s opponent pass ratio is a robust 60.5% — a deep threat like Agholor could break this slate wide open with a single reception. More frugal owners should also keep an eye Tyquan Thornton ($400) if Meyers is sidelined, as the rookie with big-play ability will certainly have a role in such a circumstance.

Tyler Bass ($4,200) - It is very rare that I recommend a kicker on a Showdown slate. It’s even more rare for me to do so in an outdoor game in December. Yet, this is sort of a perfect storm for Bass. Buffalo comes into Week 13 ranking second in the NFL in yards per drive (41.7), but 27th in the league in points per red zone trip (4.40). Now, some of that is carelessness with the football on Allen’s part, yet a lot of it is simply settling for field goals. An insane 20.7% of the Bills’ drives this season have ended in three points. Bass sits third among all kickers in field goals made (23) and field goals attempted (26), which has translated into him leading all players in scoring (101). New England plays a role in Bass’ viability, as well. The Patriots have allowed a touchdown on a mere 51.5% of opponent red zone possessions — the seventh-lowest mark in football.


Fades

Devin Singletary ($7,000) - In general, I have a difficult time putting Singletary into lineups, as the RB suffers from playing beside a quarterback like Allen. I mean, look no further than the fact that it is Allen, not Singletary, who leads Buffalo with a 61.5% rushing attempt share inside the five-yard line this season. Add in that Singletary’s yet to reach the 100-yard bonus through 11 games and that he’s been limited to only five targets since Week 10, and it’s pretty difficult to see much DFS upside from the asset. That’s all in a vacuum, too. As it pertains to this Thursday night, Singletary is now facing a New England defense that’s conceded the second-fewest DKFP per contest to opposing backfields. There are just better ways to spend $7K.


THE OUTCOME

It took hurricane force winds for the Patriots to take down the Bills last season in New England, and it’s certainly hard to shake the beatdown Buffalo handed their division rival in the playoffs the last time these two teams met. To be blunt, particularly after last week’s performance, I don’t trust the Patriots’ defense against an elite quarterback. I think the Bills are able to move the football at will on Thursday, while Mac Jones ($9,400) and New England struggle to keep up on the scoreboard.

Final Score: Buffalo 30, New England 21

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Thursday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (BUF vs NE)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.