Written By Jackson Sparks
The game total for the Patriots-Bills matchup is set at just 42.5, so this might not be the most exciting first-round playoff contest, but if we're creative, we can find enough value to produce an adequate DFS lineup. These teams are playing for the third time, but we can't merely trust everything we saw in the first two games. We can, however, take some aspects of the strengths and weaknesses of each team and craft our DraftKings Showdown lineup around those factors. Obviously, the playoffs are headlined by a ton of high-priced daily fantasy football stars, so avoiding chalk as much as possible without sacrificing too much value is key here, too.
Here are the important settings for DraftKings single-game contests: It's full-point PPR, and there are three-point bonuses for 300 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, and 100 receiving yards. The Captain pick costs 1.5 times a player's original price, but he also gets his point total multiplied by 1.5.
MORE DK SHOWDOWN: How to win a Showdown contest
DraftKings Showdown Picks: Patriots vs. Bills
$50,000 budget, need at least one player from each team.
Captain: (1.5x salary, 1.5x points): WR Stefon Diggs, Bills ($15,900)
The last time we saw Diggs match up with the Patriots, he scored 21.5 DK points and hushed the New England fans for good measure. Even if this game gets sloppy, he's the most consistent producer, and his targets will remain steady. Hopefully, the low point total will keep some people off him as their "Captain" selection.
FLEX: QB Josh Allen, Bills ($12,800)
Allen will be one of the chalkiest plays of the weekend, but we don't see a path to the No. 1 spot in this tournament without him. He can get it done in ugly conditions thanks to his rushing upside, and could very well be the top scorer here. However, his price and chalk level makes it tough to put him at "Captain," but as long as he continues to target Diggs, we're fine with that.
FLEX: TE Hunter Henry, Patriots ($6,200)
Henry is a touchdown-or-bust option, but among all Patriots' pass-catchers, he probably has the highest upside. Yes, maybe a guy like Jakobi Meyers has the safer floor, but the touchdown upside gives Henry a boost in DFS value. Ultimately, red-zone opportunities could be scarce, but Mac Jones should target him in his security blanket in crucial moments in his postseason debut.
FLEX: WR Gabriel Davis, Bills ($4,400)
Even if Emmanuel Sanders (knee) plays, we're on Davis thanks to his explosive upside. In fact, Sanders playing would keep Davis' ownership down, so we're all in. Drives are going to be tough to sustain in this AFC East defensive struggle, so hitting on deep shots will provide Buffalo the edge. This selection finalizes the Allen-Diggs-Davis explosive stack.
FLEX: RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots ($5,000)
Stevenson is half the price of Damien Harris with just about as much upside (and lower ownership), and while Buffalo's pass defense is stingy, plenty of backs have run wild in this matchup. This is DFS, so we're taking the gamble Stevenson will get his usual workload and get opportunities near the goal line.
FLEX: Bills D/ST ($4,800)
A rookie QB in his first playoff start on the road against one of the elite defenses in the NFL? We like the odds of a few forced turnovers and perhaps even a defensive TD. If the Bills offense can put points on the board and force Mac Jones to be a high-volume passer, mistakes are imminent, and the Bills' D/ST being a top scorer in this showdown is, too.