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Fantasy Football Picks: Broncos vs. Bills DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Broncos and the Bills with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images

This is an oddly massive game for the Buffalo Bills. It’s only Week 10, but Buffalo has scuffled its way to a 5-4 record and have Philadelphia, Kansas City and Dallas on the upcoming schedule. The Bills need as many wins as they can get.

Luckily, the Denver Broncos are in the midst of their own underwhelming season, though they do have the benefit of getting healthy over a bye week.

Can Buffalo right the ship on Monday? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (DEN vs BUF)


Captain’s Picks

Josh Allen ($18,900 CP) - Maybe it’s the losses. Maybe it’s the interceptions. But something about Allen’s current campaign feels disappointing — though it’s sort of insane that we hold the former first-round pick to such a high standard. Heck, despite all the noise, Allen entered Week 10 leading the NFL in QBR (75.3), while sitting second in both total DKFP (228.2) and DKFP earned per drop back (0.63). In fact, Allen’s only had one start since the beginning of Week 2 where he’s failed to score at least 22.0 DKFP. That’s the kind of consistency that’s rare with an asset that also has a ceiling as high as Allen’s. It certainly helps matters that he’s a bonafide dual-threat at the position, as the veteran has rushed for six touchdowns in nine contests. Allen leads the Bills in red zone carries, too (14). There’s simply not that many quarterbacks that can do what the 27-year-old does.

Dalton Kincaid ($12,600 CP) - Here’s another way to utilize Buffalo’s passing attack, but one that’s slightly more cost-effective. Kincaid has been a fulcrum of the Bills’ offense the past two weeks, capitalizing on the opportunity presented by an injury to Dawson Knox (wrist). In that span, Kincaid has logged an eye-popping 86.6% snap share. Since the beginning of Week 7, the rookie TE leads Buffalo’s skill position players in receptions (23), receiving yards (221) and DKFP earned per snap (0.33). In layman’s terms: He’s breaking out. I’d expect Kincaid’s dominant run to continue on Monday evening, as you couldn’t ask for a better matchup. Broncos D/ST ($3,200) has improved as the season’s gone along, yet the unit is still surrendering the most DKFP per game to opposing tight ends.

FLEX Plays

Khalil Shakir ($4,400) - If there’s a power ranking of people that have benefitted from the absence of the aforementioned Knox, Shakir is coming in behind only Kincaid at No. 1. With few other TEs on the organizational depth chart, the Bills have instead decided to shift offensive philosophy in their last two games, trading in 12 personnel for 11 personnel. As such, Shakir has logged snap counts of 65.2% and 70.7% in Week 8 and Week 9, respectively. Prior to that, the sophomore hadn’t even cleared a 40% rate this season. It hasn’t been empty volume, either. Shakir had eight catches for 75 yards exiting Week 7. In the two contests he’s played since the Knox injury? 10 receptions for 149 yards. The Boise State product has always been a deep threat. He just needs one missed tackle to alter an entire slate.

Adam Trautman ($200) - This is a mistake, right? While I will acknowledge Trautman did not record a catch — or a target — in Denver’s Week 8 victory over Kansas City, this price makes it seem like the TE wasn’t even on the field. That is far from the truth. Trautman logged an 81.7% snap share against the Chiefs, which is slightly higher than his 80.4% snap rate for the season as whole. Sure, all those snaps have only led to 11 receptions and 69 yards, but Trautman actually comes into this contest sitting second on the team, to Courtland Sutton ($7,000), in red zone target share (18.8%). Trautman literally only needs one catch to be a massive value on this slate, and that value becomes almost incalculable if he finds the end zone. Russell Wilson ($9,400) threw a season-low 19 passes versus Kansas City. As road underdogs, I don’t expect a repeat of that script. Trautman should get some looks.


James Cook ($10,000) - This is so much money. Cook has certainly shown flashes in his second season in the NFL, but I’m not quite ready to drop five figures on the sophomore. Since Week 5, Cook is averaging 42.0 rushing yards per contest. He’s scored single-digit DKFP in four of those five games — the direct result of finding the end zone only one time. While that might seem like small sample chicanery, Cook isn’t exactly the Bills’ go-to guy on the goal line. In fact, Cook appears to be behind both Allen and Latavius Murray ($1,800) in that regard, as the latter owns a 47.1% carry rate inside the five-yard line. Then there’s the matter of matchup. While Denver is conceding the most DKFP per game to opposing RBs, a lot of that is tied to giving up [checks notes] ...a bajillion fantasy points to the Dolphins in Week 3. The Broncos have been much more stout lately, surrendering just 98.3 rushing yards in their past three contests. It’s risky, yet I don’t see many paths to Cook paying off his mammoth salary.


The Bills are probably going to win this game, but the team is also 0-5 ATS in its last five contests. Meanwhile, the Broncos are coming off an upset victory against the Chiefs and they’ve looked significantly better since the beginning of October. I’ll take the points.

Final Score: Buffalo 27, Denver 21

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (DEN vs BUF)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.