Welcome to the special Thanksgiving Day NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Thanksgiving Day Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel Showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Bills vs. Saints Thanksgiving Day matchup.
Bills vs. Saints Thanksgiving Football NFL DFS Showdown
The Buffalo Bills, suddenly second in the NFC East, head south to New Orleans to take on a Saints team that has lost three straight games but is still clinging to the final playoff spot in the NFC. The New Orleans pass-funnel defense has become a major liability during that stretch, ranking 30th in NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt, and 29th in points allowed per play since the Week 8 victory of the Buccaneers. They now rank well-below average in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing offense, which points to this being a get-right game for the Bills passing attack this Thursday. Even without Alvin Kamara, who is slated to miss his third straight game with a sprained ankle. And while there are plenty of showdown players who will be leaning on the Bills’ passing game weapons this Thanksgiving Night, much fewer will be building lineups with the assumption that New Orleans keeps pace with Buffalo offensively. With both defenses being recently exposes, this game has some serious boom potential, and could shoot well over its current Vegas total of a middling 46 points. Fantasy gamers should keep that in mind as they begin to set lineups for this pass-friendly single-game slate.
Top NFL DFS Options
It is no surprise that Josh Allen ($12,200 DraftKings/$17,500 FanDuel) has the highest projection of any player on this slate, and he is far from a stay-away option in this contest, but his salary, particularly on FanDuel is quite high, which means Allen only grades out as a mediocre point-per-dollar play in our value rankings. Still, Allen has thrown for 250 or more yards in flour of his last six outings and reached the 300-yard passing bonus in 50% of his games since Week 5. While his rushing totals have been down in recent weeks, Allen has five weeks with over 40 yards rushing in 10 starts this season and ranks top three at his position in red-zone carries per game. He has been equally lethal as a passer in the red zone, ranking top five among quarterbacks in red-zone completion rate and touchdowns. Still the primary goal-line back for the Bills, Allen is a top option worth paying up for and has 35-point upside in this plus matchup.
With Allen so highly rated by our top plays tool, it should also come as no surprise that the projections are also bullish on Allen’s top three receiving weapons, who all project to produce double-digit fantasy points in this contest. Stefon Diggs ($11,800 DraftKings/$13,000 FanDuel) has the highest projection of any wideout on the entire Thanksgiving slate and will likely be one of the top three most rostered players on both sites. However, Diggs managed to find the end zone twice last weekend on six targets, just one target above his season-low in opportunities. Diggs has dozen-target potential in this contest, even if he does end up seeing plenty of Marshon Lattimore in the Saints’ secondary. Our value rankings also love Cole Beasley ($6,600 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel) who offers low-salary access to this hopefully high-octane passing attack. Though he has only seen seven targets the past two weeks, Beasley averaged 11 targets per game from Weeks 6 through 9 and has been targeted nine or more times in 50% of his starts this year. Emmanuel Sanders ($7,400 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel) has not had the same target ceiling as Beasley but has seen between five and eight looks in all but two games this year and could easily find the end zone multiple times in a single-game slate.
The only sure thing on the Saints is Mark Ingram ($8,800 DraftKings/$12,000 FanDuel), who missed practice this week with a lower leg injury of his own but is still expected to carry the bulk of the backfield workload for New Orleans this Thursday. Due to Kamara’s untimely injury, Ingram has been busy since arriving back in New Orleans and has now seen 45 opportunities in his last two games. He has turned that premier usage into quality production, producing back-to-back games with 100-plus yards from scrimmage. Ingram may be the only running back in this contest who sees double-digit looks, as the Bills continue to mix things up with Zack Moss ($4,400 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel), Devin Singletary ($5,000 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel), and even Matt Breida ($3,800 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel), who has seen his snap share steadily rise in his first two weeks off of injured reserve. Moss’ role might be particularly limited this week, as he is hampered by an ankle injury.
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Volatile, Salary-Saving Plays
Dawson Knox ($8,000 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) saw 10 targets, the most he has seen in his entire career, in the Bills’ Week 10 loss to the Colts last Sunday. Knox’s return has coincided with a drop in opportunity for both Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders, with Knox now having caught three or more passes in all but two games this season. Knox has also been a reliable red-zone weapon on a week-to-week basis, ranking second on the team behind Stefon Diggs in red-zone target share. Knox’s salary, the same as starting running back Mark Ingram on DraftKings, makes him particularly tough to play on that platform, but he is still a fine tournament pick, especially with his first double-digit target game in the books. If looking for a punt play, the Awesemo projections suggest looking at Isaiah McKenzie ($200 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) or Gabriel Davis ($1,800 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel), who have combined for just over 8% of the Bills’ targets this season.
Since Week 7, no active Saints player has earned more than a 16% target share, making this an incredibly difficult receiving corps to project on a weekly basis. The Bills’ secondary has been elite for much of the season, ranking first in the NFL in schedule-adjusted points allowed to opposing passing attacks. With that in mind, it makes sense that the Awesemo projections are pointing to the lower-salary options, such as Deonte Harris ($2,000 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel, the lowest-salary player on the slate projected for eight or more fantasy points, instead of Marquez Callaway ($5,200 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel), who hasn’t earned more than eight targets all season. Coincidentally, Tre’Quan Smith ($5,800 DraftKings/$10,000 FanDuel) hit exactly eight targets, a season high, last week in a losing effort against the Eagles. Unless creating some contrarian Trevor Siemian stacks, fantasy gamers should only roster one of these three options unless playing in ultra large-field tournaments.
The Bottom Line
The Bills are coming off an embarrassing home loss, playing a defense who gave up an embarrassing amount of production to Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Meanwhile, the Saints have put up 28 or more points in 50% of the games this season. With strong top plays, and a multitude of value options within both passing attacks, this looks like an ideal showdown to build with a shootout in mind. Ultimately, the Bills are the betting favorite to win the AFC East. Accordingly, the Bills will ultimately outlast the Trevor Siemian-led Saints, but not before this game soars above its current Vegas total.
Bills vs. Saints Thanksgiving Day Prediction: Bills 31, Saints 27
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