Welcome into our 2021 coverage of the DraftKings showdown slates- continuing with New England @Buffalo. The Patriots enter this one as the top-seed in the AFC and will look to solidify their play-off credentials tonight. These two teams rank first and second in terms of points allowed this year, with New England the current holders of the longest active win streak in the league (6 games). Buffalo are currently 3-point favourites with an O/U of 41 – despite it opening as high as 46.5 in some places at the beginning of the week. Weather could play a big role in this one tonight.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- New England @Buffalo Captain Picks
Josh Allen ($16,800)
Death, taxes and Josh Allen being a great captain option on a showdown slate. It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue too well, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Josh Allen boasts one of the highest floors and ceilings on this slate and has averaged 25.7 DKPTS per game so far this year. His price tonight represents the lowest it’s been all season, and for good reason too. This Pats defense has been elite in recent weeks, allowing just 6.5 PPG through the month of November. They’re also solid against the pass, boasting the 3rd-lowest YPG allowed through the air (200.9). However, I think Allen can do some serious damage with his legs tonight. We’re yet to see Allen’s upside on the ground so far this year, and although he’s still averaging 34.8 yards rushing per game, I think he should exceed that number tonight. Perhaps the one downfall of this New England defense is its run defense, with 115.8 YPG allowed, good for 13th-most in the league. Buffalo have yet to have a 100-yard rusher this year, but Allen has posted 50+ yards on the ground on 3 occasions.
Jakobi Meyers ($10,800)
I personally think Diggs is the second-best captain option on this slate, but I want to take a different route on this one and try and be slightly more contrarian. Meyers was a pure alpha receiver in terms of target share through the first chunk of the season and whilst that has dropped off a bit in recent weeks, he still possesses a team-high 24.35% target share. He’s led the team in targets in 8 of their 12 games this year but comes in $1,400 cheaper than Bourne. He’s also led the receiving corps in snap count percentage every week, and clearly has great chemistry with rookie Mac Jones. In a game which Jones could be forced to through a fair amount, Meyers has great upside in PPR scoring, and has proven to be reliable, even if he doesn’t make it into the end zone.
Devin Singletary ($6,900)
Scared money don’t make money! This pick honestly scares me, and makes me feel a bit ill, but I honestly think Singletary is in a great spot tonight. This all depends on Moss’ status when inactives are released prior to kick-off, but if he ends up sitting again, I think Singletary is a sneaky play here. Breida has been gaining most of the plaudits in recent weeks, and rightly so, but his price has shot up to an almost unusable $6,600. The only problem is that Singletary still played as the RB1 in this offense last week – he out-snapped Breida 45-21, out-carried him 15-9, and saw 3 rushes inside the 20 compared to Breida’s 1. As I mentioned, I think the weakness in this New England side is their run defense, as Tennessee found out last week with Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman rushing for 131 and 109 yards respectively. If Singletary is able to produce anything close to that tonight and find the endzone he could put up some nice numbers. With gusts of up to 50mph expected in Buffalo during the game, the ground attack could be pivotal.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- New England @Buffalo Flex Picks
Stefon Diggs ($10,600)
Diggs should be a lock in cash games tonight, as he boasts the highest ceiling of anyone not named Josh Allen. He’s averaging just over 20 DKPTS per game in his last 5, as well as 5 TDs across that span too. Despite this fearsome-looking Pats pass defense, Diggs 25.25% target share means he’s going to see the ball multiple times per game, and has solid upside in PPR scoring. Despite allowing the 2nd-fewest yards to WRs this year (1578), they have surrendered 10 TDs to opposing wideouts, 7 more than their opponents tonight.
Mac Jones ($10,000)
This is probably my Dolphins-bias coming through a little bit here, but I’m still yet to be wowed by Mac Jones, or shown any proof he’s this world-beater the media is portraying him as. Is he having a solid rookie season? Of course he is, but having a top-2 defense is always going to allow you to play more conservatively and look better on paper, but I think tonight could be a huge test for him. He eclipsed 20 DKPTS last week for just the second time this year and tonight he faces a Bills defense allowing a league-low 12.1 DKPTS to opposition signal-callers. If Jones does well tonight then I will happily eat my words, but until then I’m still unsure of his true ability.
Cole Beasley ($7,800)
I always hate placing too much of an emphasis on the weather, but I think tonight sets up really well for a nice game for Beasley. His aDOT through 12 weeks this year is just 5.59, and it’s clear he’s the top option for the underneath stuff on this offense. In cold, windy conditions he’s the perfect, reliable option Allen is going to be looking to. I don’t think we see him air it out too frequently to the likes of Sanders and Gabriel Davis – but I can see Beasley getting plenty of looks. Only Diggs and Knox have seen more red-zone targets than Beasley this year for Buffalo.
Dawson Knox ($5,400)
Speaking of Knox, he’s another guy I think could be in for a big night. He’s 9-112-2 across the last two weeks, with 5 red-zone targets in those as well. He’s definitely more touchdown-dependent than the other guys and does face a New England side that’s allowed just 3 TDs to opposing TEs. That being said, he’s hard to ignore at this price.
Nelson Agholor ($3,000)
Agholor is probably the only guy in this Patriots passing attack I’ll be touching besides Meyers. He’s ridiculously cheap for someone who’s the clear WR2 in this offense and has played at least 70% of offensive snaps in the last 5 weeks. Whilst he’s definitely more of a deep threat and could be affected by the heavy winds, at such a low price he’s probably going to be heavily rostered in cash, and looks like a hard fade.
DraftKings Showdown 2021- New England @Buffalo Defenses and Kickers
Everything points to this being a hard-fought, low-scoring affair with two elite defenses in action. Both defenses are definitely in play, in what could be a tight affair with a fair number of turnovers. At just $3,800 Buffalo would probably be who I lean towards, especially facing off against a rookie QB in the wind and potential snow. Either kicker also has the chance to be optimal on low-scoring slates. Whilst the weather is less than favourable, both kickers certainly have the ability to out-score the rest of their price range. I’m liking both Bass and Folk tonight.
Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove – USA TODAY Sports