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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Week 13 Monday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel | Patriots vs. Bills

Eric MacPherson



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For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, this column will provide free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks for today. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 13 Monday Night Football slate featuring the New England Patriots at the Buffalo Bills.

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NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 13 Monday Night Football

New England running back Brandon Bolden (knee) and kicker Nick Folk (ankle) are both questionable but did participate in limited practices all week. Several Buffalo veterans had limited practice this week, though nobody of note is expected to miss Monday Night Football aside from cornerback Tre’Davious White, who is on the injured reserve.

New England Patriots: 19.25 Points


Buffalo has the best overall DVOA on the season, and they have rated in the top three for both rushing and passing for most of the year. Rookie Mac Jones has been brought along nicely by coach Bill Belichick, and in his last three games he has seven touchdowns passing. While the yardage has not been consistent, he does have two games over 300 and four with at least 270 yards passing. The plan is for him to only throw the ball 25 to 30 times per game while relying on the defense and a solid rushing attack. Tonight temps are going to be in the low-30s with a chance of rain and sustained wind in the 20 to 25 mph range.

Running Back

Once again, the Patriots backfield is a full-blown committee. In games where they are all healthy, Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, Brandon Bolden and Jakob Johnson all are playing 20-40% of the snaps. Johnson is mostly a blocker, and he has only four targets across 220 snaps this season. Bolden pops up with a carry now and then, but he has just four in the last three weeks and one in the last two with the emergence of the rookie Stevenson. He is still active in the passing game, with a few targets each week.

Harris is technically the lead back, though he is not active in the passing game, with only a target or two each week. However, he has a touchdown rushing in six of his last seven games. Stevenson had a nice game against Cleveland in Week 10 when Bolden was out, but aside from that he has been the clear backup. On the positive side of things, he has played the last five games and seven of the last eight after being inactive for three of the first four games this year.

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Wide Receiver

Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor are the main receivers for the Patriots, and they are on the field for 80-90% of the snaps. Kendrick Bourne has three touchdowns in his last four games, and he also has four carries in that same span as one of the more dynamic playmakers in the offense. N’Keal Harry is on the field for 30-50% of the snaps, but he has only 10 targets on the season.

Meyers leads the team in targets with 90, which is almost half of all targets for Patriots receivers. . Plus, he finally got his first career touchdown in Week 10 this season. Agholor has not been able to recapture the magic of last year with the Raiders, though he is still a decent option for the Patriots, averaging around five targets per game.

Meyers is looking like a top option in the Awesemo NFL lineup optimizer today. He was popping up in the DraftKings NFL cheat sheet and FanDuel NFL cheat sheet for tonight’s showdown matchup. Check out all of Awesemo’s cheat sheets for more free NFL DFS showdown picks.

Tight End

Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are essentially sharing the snaps and workload when both are healthy. Henry has the edge in the red zone, with at least one red zone target in each of the last nine games. This duo each has one game with over 45 yards receiving, indicating that rostering them is for the touchdown potential rather than volume.

Defense/Special Teams

Denver has been solid this season with 2

Buffalo Bills: 21.75 Points


The Patriots have one the best pass defenses, with a top-three DVOA, and they are also in the top 10 for run defense. Josh Allen is fourth in touchdowns passing with 25, and he is in the top 10 in yards with nearly 280 per game. Allen also has produced four touchdowns rushing while averaging nearly 35 yards per game. While this is going to be a tough matchup, and the December Buffalo weather is not in his favor, Allen has the perfect skillset blend to be one of the best fantasy producers tonight.

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Running Back

Zack Moss was inactive last week, and he has been replaced in the Buffalo backfield by Matt Breida. Devin Singletary has a slight lead in this backfield by committee, though in the last game he did play 68% of the snaps. Last week he had 15 carries to Breida’s nine, though Breida has three touchdowns in the last three games, while Singletary has one. If Moss is out, both of these backs are viable, and they can be played on the same roster together with their shared workload. This is a fine strategy to capture all of the production from this position in what could be a game that is influenced by winter weather tonight.

Wide Receiver

Last year Stefon Diggs led the league in targets, receptions and yardage. This year he is around the top 10 in these categories, and while he also tops them all for the Bills, they have several competent pass catchers, so Allen does not need to force him the ball like he did in their first season together. Diggs has really come on since the Week 7 bye, with five touchdowns in those five games and four in his last three.

Cole Beasley has 12 targets in his last three games, though in the two games he totaled 24 opportunities. Emmanuel Sanders has not seen a lot of volume with everyone healthy, though he is a steady presence. Gabriel Davis has been relegated to fourth wideout, but he can score from anywhere on the field and is a big-play threat who would be starting for over half the teams in the league.

Tight End

Dawson Knox has earned the moniker of Mr. Touchdown this year, with seven in his nine games. He has a fan in Allen who has thrown plenty of touchdowns to his tight ends in his career, but this is the first time one player has consolidated all of the production. Knox has pair of games with 80 or more yards receiving and two other games where he scored two touchdowns. Tommy Sweeney is the only other tight end with a reception this season, though he does not have any in the last three games with Knox being healthy. In the two matchups Knox missed he contributed five receptions for 40 yards.

Defense/Special Teams

Despite their excellent passing defense, Buffalo is in the bottom third of the league sacks with 1.9 per game. New England is in the middle of the pack, with Jones being sacked twice a game on average. The Bills are leading the league in takeaways with 2.7 per game, and the Patriots are ceding just over one per game.

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Monday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those taking the MME approach, remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.

Week 13 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Josh Allen: Best option for fantasy production through the air or on the ground, even in inclement weather.
  2. Stefon Diggs: Double-digit fantasy points in all but two games in half-PPR scoring.
  3. Rhamondre Stevenson: Solid savings on DraftKings at $5,600 and projecting for close to half the New England running back production. For FanDuel, where the discount is only $500, swap his ranking with Harris.
  4. Mac Jones: Does not do much with his legs but still should find some success in the short passing game.
  5. Dawson Knox: Looking for the touchdown magic to continue; could see a few extra looks depending on the weather.
  6. Cole Beasley: No discount here, though the point-per-dollar projections have him squarely here on both sites.
  7. Damien Harris: Lack of receiving opportunities have him well behind Stevenson on DraftKings where Harris is $4,200 more.
  8. Devin Singletary: $3,000 savings compared to Breida on DraftKings. He is $500 more on FanDuel and is still the lead back.
  9. Jakobi Meyers: Could lose targets to the tight ends and running backs if Belichick goes uber-conservative.
  10. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith: Henry has been more production, though with a higher salary and more popularity, which makes Smith a direct pivot with built in leverage.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Matt Breida: Touchdown variance has been on his side, and the workload could start to shift as well.
  2. Nick Folk: Second full season with the Patriots; he also had seven seasons kicking outside in the winter while with the Jets.
  3. Tyler Bass: No stranger to outdoor, late-season games in his second year with the Bills.
  4. Emmanuel Sanders: Lacking consistent volume drops him below the kickers when factoring in salaries.
  5. Kendrick Bourne: Similar volume to Sanders but with touchdowns goosing his salary higher.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Nelson Agholor: Fair salary for limited opportunities.
  2. Buffalo D/ST: This may not be a high scoring game, but conservative play calling will limit their opportunities for fantasy points.
  3. New England D/ST: Similar story with their counterparts: If this were a home game, they would get the slight nod.
  4. Brandon Bolden: Clear third option and unlikely to get carries.
  5. Gabriel Davis: Would need something to happen to one of the Bills wideouts.
  6. N’Keal Harry: $200 minimum salary on DraftKings, but there are worse options for two targets.
  7. Isaiah McKenzie: $200 minimum salary on DraftKings; returns punt and kickoffs with a handful of snaps at wide receiver.
  8. Reggie Gilliam, Tommy Sweeney, Jakob Johnson, Gunner Olszewski: Over/under for this group is 1.5 combined opportunities.

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View our FanDuel NFL DFS rankings and our DraftKings NFL rankings. Take a look at our NFL starting line-ups, depth charts and inactive players. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS tips for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, DFS NFL rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking. We also have single-game projections and single-game ownership projections.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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