For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will be providing 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 5 Sunday Night Football slate featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 5 Sunday Night Football
Tonight is a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship, and both teams are essentially at full health.
Josh Allen has led the Bills to a 3-1 record, and while it does not feel like he has been as prolific from a fantasy perspective, he is on pace for an eerily similar per-game stat line. Kansas City has been abysmal against the pass, with the worst DVOA in the league. They also have the worst rushing DVOA while allowing 31.3 points per game, which is the second most in the league, behind only the Falcons. The Bills’ addition of Emmanuel Sanders has been a good one and provides yet another steady option for Allen.
While it feels like Buffalo is constantly passing, they are rushing on 43.84% of their plays, which is 12th in the league. This is also right in line with their game flow-adjusted rate. Over the last two weeks, Zack Moss (56%, 56%) has a slight edge in snap counts over Devin Singletary (44%, 43%). In these games, Moss has two more carries and has a rushing and a receiving touchdown. Singletary also has two fewer targets. On DraftKings it makes sense to give Singletary the edge, with a nearly 30% discount. However, the $1,000 FanDuel salary gap is not as extreme.
Buffalo has been rotating receivers the last three weeks, with Stefon Diggs and Sanders seeing around 75% of the snaps. Cole Beasley has been in the mix for 50-60% of the plays, and Gabriel Davis is in the 30-40% range. Against Kansas City Buffalo is likely to use more three- and four-wide sets. It is important to remember that Buffalo had two shutouts in their last three games, which allowed them to take the foot off the gas pedal.
Diggs had double-digit targets in three of four games, and Beasley has reached that threshold twice. Sanders checks in with six or seven each game, with Davis, Isaiah McKenzie and Jake Kumerow seeing 10 combined looks in the first month.
Dawson Knox has been a key part of the offense and is averaging five targets per game. Tommy Sweeney has just two targets on the season while playing around 20% of the snaps. The Bills rarely run two-tight-end formations.
Kansas City does a good job limiting sacks, and Patrick Mahomes is nimble in the pocket with a quick release. In his 50 career starts, he has averaged 1.44 sacks per game and a 1.5% interception rate. The 9.9% touchdown rate is well above his career 7% average
Patrick Mahomes is carrying a heavy load this season, with a shaky defense not doing him any favors. He already has four interceptions after throwing only six last year and five in 2019. Buffalo has the best passing DVOA and the second-best rushing DVOA, so Mahomes has his work cut out for him on Sunday Night Football. Mahomes is one of the most prolific passers in NFL history through his first 50 games. For his career, he is averaging 307.2 yards passing and an absurd 7% touchdown rate, which works out to 2.56 touchdowns passing per game.
On the positive side of things for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, he has had at least two red-zone chances in three of four games. On the downside, Darrel Williams has only one fewer look, and Edwards-Helaire has seen four consecutive weeks of declining snap share (72%, 65%, 62%, 52%), while Williams has been going in the opposite direction (22%, 27%, 34%, 36%). Jerick McKinnon has only seen a handful of snaps each week.
From an opportunity perspective, Edwards-Helaire has been relatively steady, with 13 to 17 carries through the first month. Williams has closed the gap the last two weeks, with seven and 10 himself. Williams has two touchdowns rushing, while Edwards-Helaire has two receiving. Both DraftKings and FanDuel have set Edwards-Helaire’s salary as if he were the lead back in a 70/30 split, and that may not be the case at this time.
Tyreek Hill already has two games of at least 185 yards receiving, and he leads Kansas City with 38 targets. The rest of the receivers are well behind, with Mecole Hardman (18), Byron Pringle (12) and Demarcus Robinson (eight) combining for the same opportunity share as Hill. Hardman at least is getting three-plus targets per game, and on a per-route ratio Pringle is well ahead of Robinson, who has two or fewer targets in all but one game.
Pringle is in play at $800 on DraftKings, and Hardman is viable on both sites as roster filler. One more wild card will be introduced tonight, with Josh Gordon officially available.
Travis Kelce has 32 targets, and aside from last week’s four-reception, 23-yard dud, he has been amazing once again. Kelce has topped 100 yards or had a touchdown in his other three games, and that has him among the elite receivers across the statistical categories. Jody Fortson has scored each of the last two games, though he has just four targets on the season. Blake Bell is mostly used as a blocker, getting one target per game, and Noah Gray is in a similar boat with two targets.
There is not much to see here, and the Chiefs D/ST will need a pick-six or scoop and score to be of any relevance. Buffalo has just four turnovers on the season, and Kansas City has four takeaways. Allen does a good job avoiding sacks, and he has been taken down only five times this year.
Sunday 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 5 Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings
Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Josh Allen: Rushing upside gives him the slight edge over Mahomes.
- Patrick Mahomes: Will have his hands on nearly every Kansas City touchdown tonight.
- Stefon Diggs: Gets the nod as the top playmaker with his discount to the next two guys.
- Travis Kelce: Brings a 15% discount on DraftKings and less popularity on FanDuel than Hill.
- Tyreek Hill: Third-most expensive player on both sites; in Weeks 3 and 4 he had single-digit fantasy points.
- Byron Pringle: DraftKings only where the $800 salary provides flexibility. Return kickoffs.
- Darrel Williams: Another discount option, should get 8 to 10 opportunities, and any Edwards-Helaire mistake opens the door for more.
- Cole Beasley: Effectively an extension of the running game for Buffalo; hit and miss in the red zone, with five chances in Week 3 and one total in the other three games.
- Devin Singletary and Zack Moss: Let personal preference and salary needs dictate this choice.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Touchdowns receiving each of the last two weeks are propping him up.
Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Mecole Hardman: Well behind Hill and Kelce, but ahead of everyone else in the passing game. Also returns punts.
- Harrison Butker: Only three field goal attempts this year, just 27 last year. Loads of extra points, though.
- Tyler Bass: Gets more field goal attempts than Butker since the Buffalo offense is not quite as efficient with touchdowns as Kansas City.
- Emmanuel Sanders: Consistent, with six targets each of the last three games, but two touchdowns in Week 3 have inflated his salary.
- Dawson Knox: Four touchdowns in the last three weeks and six in last seven games is not sustainable.
Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Demarcus Robinson: Running wind sprints with no targets last week and just eight on the year but does have touchdown equity because of his quarterback.
- Gabriel Davis: Needs something to happen to Beasley or Sanders to get any uptick in volume. Can score from anywhere on the field.
- Kansas City D/ST: Needs to get lucky. I cannot recall the last time the D/STs were both ranked in this tier.
- Buffalo D/ST: Needs to get really lucky.
- Josh Gordon: Hard to know what to expect; did not do much with New England or Seattle in 2019, and that competition was not as strong as it is in Kansas City.
- Blake Bell, Noah Gray and Jody Fortson: One will be inactive; the others can be used if creating 100-plus lineups.
- Isaiah McKenzie: Returns punts and kickoffs.
- Jerick McKinnon and Marcus Kemp: Need a fluke play.
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