For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we 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 12 Thursday Night Football slate featuring the Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 12 Thursday Night Football
Buffalo is coming into this game with the majority of their core defensive players and offensive skill players intact. New Orleans on the other hand is without Alvin Kamara once again and Mark Ingram III (knee) was limited in practice. Tight end Adam Trautman was added to the injured reserve this week with his knee injury. They are also running thin with their line depth on both sides of the ball.
Last Sunday Buffalo’s outstanding defense suffered the ignominy of allowing Jonathan Taylor to rack up five touchdowns including four on the ground. This is the same defense that had two shutouts in the first month of the season. Josh Allen is going to need to rally the team who has now dropped three of their last five games after a 4-1 start to the season. The Saints have the best rushing DVOA in the league, though they can be had through the air with a middle of the pack defense. New Orleans has allowed five rushing touchdowns to opposing signal-callers in their last three games including a trio courtesy of Jalen Hurts on Sunday. Allen is eighth in the league with 281.1 passing yards per game and he has also rolled up the second most rushing yards for the Bills.
Remember how annoying it was last year and through most of this season trying to figure out who was the best play between Devin Singletary and Zack Moss on a week-to-week basis? Well now add journeyman Matt Breida into the mix further diluting the opportunities. In Week 10, each of these backs scored a rushing touchdowns while Breida also added on through the air. Last week it was essentially a three way split for snaps with each back seeing opportunities. Factoring in the stout run defense they are facing and having their quarterback as a potential touchdown vulture and we have a very muddled situation. All three are also capable receivers with each having at least one outing with three or more targets in the last three weeks. Breida stands out as the cheapest option on both sites, though that will in turn elevate his popularity.
Stefon Diggs (93) and Cole Beasley (74) easily lead the team in targets with Emmanuel Sanders (58) rounding out the top three while the next closest option is 20 behind. Diggs is right at or just inside the top 10 this season for targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns. Beasley is much better in the full-PPR formats as he tends to work the short routes and has just one touchdown on the season. Sanders is the wild card and while he has a pair of two-touchdown games, that represents his only scores and he has not reached the end zone since Week 5. Allen does not typically lock onto any one receiver and we can see this with three different players having lead the team with double-digit targets over the last three tilts.
Dawson Knox (hand) seems to have put his most recent injury behind him and he had a team high 10 targets last week. He has the clear lead role for the position with 38 targets while Tommy Sweeney has just 11, six of which came in the two games that Knox was on the shelf.
Buffalo is towards the bottom of the league collecting just under two sacks per game while New Orleans has the fifth fewest sacks allowed despite a trio of starting quarterbacks. The Bills lead the league with 2.4 takeaways per game including 15 interceptions while the Saints have suffered just over one turnover per appearance.
Trevor Siemian is likely to start once again, however, Taysom Hill (foot) was a full practice participant all week and he will be in the mix under center and likely as a running back or receiver as the Saints try to spark their offense without their best playmakers. Even after their shellacking last week, Buffalo still has the top passing DVOA on the season. Neither Siemian or Hill is an effective downfield passer so the Saints are likely to rely on the short pass, misdirection and some low risk trick plays. They are obviously missing Alvin Kamara and of course receiver Michael Thomas but what really is going to be tough to overcome is their lack of offensive line depth as at least two and potentially three slots are going to be occupied by reserves tonight.
Mark Ingram III (knee) was only able to practice in limited fashion twice on the short week and he is slated to be a game time decision. Next man up is undrafted rookie Tony Jones Jr. (ankle) who missed six weeks while on the injured reserve. Jones was activated last week, playing 10 snaps. He will likely get the first crack at things if Ingram is out with Dwayne Washington and Ty Montgomery working in as well.
Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris and Tre’Quan Smith lead the way at this position, though how many teams besides New Orleans would any of this trio be starting for is a very apt and bleak question. Kenny Stills, Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Kevin White will be running routes, however this trio has just nine combined targets over the last month. Looking at Awesemo OddsShopper we can see that the books have Siemian projected for 202.5 passing yards which does not bode well for anyone standing out with fantasy production.
Some combination of Juwan Johnson, Nick Vannett and Garrett Griffin will be filling in for Adam Trautman. It would not be a surprise to see Hill lining up at tight end as well in the red zone or any other high leverage situations. Ugh, my condolences to Saints fans.
Both teams are in the middle of the turnover rankings with around 1.5 giveaways/takeaways per contest. New Orleans is averaging 2.3 sacks per game while the Bills have allowed the third fewest at 1.5 per tilt.
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Thursday 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 12 Thursday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings
Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Josh Allen: It isn’t even close.
- Stefon Diggs: Comes with a hefty premium, though with all the Saints injuries there are plenty of discount dandies.
- Trevor Siemian: This doesn’t feel good, but it seems most likely that coach Sean Payton will need Hill at other positions today.
- Cole Beasley: Should be peppered with short targets, great play on DraftKings, neutral option on FanDuel with his lack of touchdown upside. Beasley on the Turkey Day slate is a time honored tradition.
- Mark Ingram/Tony Jones: If Ingram starts he is still a risk of an in-game injury, if he is out, Jones will be chalk du jour.
- Dawson Knox: Steal on FanDuel at just $7,500 coming off 10 targets.
- Taysom Hill: Salary is appropriate for 6-8 opportunities, keep in mind he has more than six fantasy points in just two of his seven games.
- Matt Breida: Discounted to his counterparts on both sites, this is where The Masses will land as well.
- Emmanuel Sanders: You can bet he is happy he left New Orleans.
- Buffalo D/ST: Rare road team recommendation, but the Saints injury woes are that dire right now.
Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Devin Singletary: Likely will get 6-10 opportunities, but they may not be high leverage.
- Tyler Bass: Should enjoy being indoors, 6 of 10 in his career from 50+ across 26 games.
- Brett Maher: Replaced Brian Johnson who was waived after missing two extra points in Week 10, he is the fourth kicker the Saints have used this season.
- Devin Singletary: Likely will get 6-10 opportunities, but they may not be high leverage.
- Zack Moss: Troll touchdown incoming.
Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks
- Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris: Coinflip, Awesemo is projecting 19.86 completions and 221.1 passing yards tonight.
- Juwan Johnson: Super cheap and he has seen action at the position for New Orleans. Did not see the field in Weeks 9 and 11.
- New Orleans D/ST: Buffalo does a good job limiting sacks and turnovers.
- Gabriel Davis: Fourth wideout for the Bills, might actually be the WR1 if he were on the Saints.
- Nick Vannett: Last week was the first time he took the field for New Orleans.
- Kenny Stills, Ty Montgomery, Dwayne Washington and Lil’Jordan Humphrey: Likely will see five combined targets.
- Isaiah McKenzie, Reggie Gilliam and tommy Sweeney: Best left for the 150-maxers.
- Garrett Griffin: four targets in 17 games across four seasons, undrafted out of Air Force he is mostly a blocker.
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