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Fantasy Football Picks: Bills vs. Rams DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Thursday’s 8:20 p.m. ET contest between the Rams and the Bills with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

The air is getting a little crisp. The kids are back in school. Your Sundays are all booked up for the next five months. Welcome back to football. We’ve got a great game to kick things off in 2022-23, as the defending Champion Los Angeles Rams will host the Buffalo Bills.

Let’s dive deep in Thursday’s massive Showdown contest to find some picks.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $3M Thursday Kickoff Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semifinal Entry] (BUF vs LAR)


Captain’s Picks

Josh Allen ($18,000 CP) - There’s always a little uncertainty in Week 1, which makes the high-floor and high-ceiling combination of an asset like Allen extra appealing. The former first-round pick ranked top 10 in passing yards per game (259.2) and passing touchdowns (36) last season, all while averaging a league-best 6.3 yards per carry on 122 attempts. Again, when you’re looking at upside at the QB position, you could certainly do worse than the guy who ranked second in intended air yards (5,304) and second in red zone carries among pivots (30). Allen’s hyper-involved in the Bills’ high-scoring attack and he combines volume and efficiency like few others in the league.

Allen Robinson II ($9,300 CP) - While there have been concerns about the health of Matthew Stafford ($10,800) seemingly all offseason, Robinson is about to enter an NFL campaign with a legitimate talent under center for the first time in his career. As such, I think he’s a little underpriced on Thursday night. Yes, we’re nearly seven years removed from Robinson’s 14-touchdown outburst with the Jaguars — not to mention he’ll be sharing the field with Cooper Kupp ($12,400) and his 33.5% target share — but I have high hopes for the veteran. Also, while the matchup doesn’t look too great based on 2021’s DVOA rankings, Robinson will catch a break with corner Tre’Davious White currently on the PUP list. I think Robinson has the advantage against rookies Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford.

FLEX Plays

Tyler Higbee ($5,600) - I kept going back and forth, thinking about whether Van Jefferson (knee) being ruled out was a better omen for Ben Skowronek ($1,800) or Tutu Atwell ($1,000) when it hit me — it likely doesn’t matter much for either. If pressed, I believe Skowronek will play more snaps between the duo, but the real winner might just be Higbee. The tight end averaged a respectable 7.0 targets per game starting in Week 9 of the last season, and that’s not the only way Higbee flexed his raw volume. At 81.1%, Higbee ranked second among all TEs in offensive snap rate. There’s clear value in never leaving the field.

Isaiah McKenzie ($2,400) - I will admit that I’m scared to even think about how high McKenzie’s ownership might be on this single-game slate, but he’s just so, so cheap. While Buffalo seemingly brought in veteran wideout Jamison Crowder ($5,000) to be Allen’s new threat in the slot, it was McKenzie who impressed throughout training camp and the preseason, possibly stealing the job as his own. McKenzie has shown flashes of brilliance in his time with the Bills, hauling in 83.3% of his 60 targets the past two seasons. As mentioned, Crowder couldn’t be a more obvious leverage play, yet McKenzie has the far easier path to 3x value. That’s tantalizing.


Devin Singletary ($7,000) - I talked already about uncertainty. Well, that’s as good a segue as any to start breaking down the Bills’ running backs. It’s a positional group with a lot of talent, but it’s also simply a group with a lot of mouths to feed. Aside from Singletary, who led Buffalo in rushing attempts (188), rushing yards (870) and rushing touchdowns (7) last season, you’ve now got Zack Moss ($3,000) and James Cook ($2,800) looking for touches. That doesn’t include Allen, either, the man that led the team in goal line carries in 2021-22. Though I don’t doubt Singletary’s talent, this is a hefty price to pay for an asset that is nowhere close to “bell cow” status. Particularly in a matchup against a Rams D/ST ($3,600) that conceded the sixth-fewest adjusted line yards per opponent carry last year (3.84).


Maybe this is too much of an oversimplification, but it feels crazy that you can get the Rams as home underdogs the night the team is receiving Super Bowl rings. You want to know how many times Los Angeles was a home dog last season? Just once, and they covered easily. I’d look for Stafford and the Rams to take advantage of a young and banged-up Bills’ secondary.

Final Score: Los Angeles 28, Buffalo 24

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $3M Thursday Kickoff Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semifinal Entry] (BUF vs LAR)

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