With the fantasy football regular season finally behind us and the playoffs directly ahead of us, the DFS slates have to get smaller. This means that the decisions for your NFL DFS picks become tougher to make as well. This week, there are six games for NFL fans to watch — two are on Saturday, three games on Sunday, and one on Monday night. Let’s highlight the Bills-Patriots game on Saturday and examine the fantasy value for Devin Singletary, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Damien Harris.
All prices listed are for the all-day tournaments on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Single-game slate prices may vary from those stated.
NFL DFS Picks: Should you trust Devin Singletary, Rhamondre Stevenson, or Damien Harris?
If you’re playing in the Saturday slate with only two games, you are likely looking for whatever small advantages you can find. With that in mind, let’s look at the running backs in the Bills vs. Patriots game to see what we can find. Are Harris (DK $6,400, FD $7,500), Stevenson (DK $5,100, FD $5,200), or Singletary (DK $5,800, FD $6,900) worth starting in the Saturday slate of games?
Bills and Patriots have an intriguing history this season
The Bills and Patriots played in one of the worst weather games we’ve seen in the last decade. During that Monday Night Football game in Week 13, the Patriots only threw the ball 4 times. Instead of passing, the Patriots opted to run the ball an insane 46 times to the Bills’ 25. Clearly, that kind of disparity will not happen again this week.
In their other matchup, the Patriots ran 27 times to the Bills’ 28. This game, in Week 16, was much more of what we would expect. The game took place in New England, but it’s likely a better predictor of this week. If the two teams stick close to that game plan, what should we expect?
Volume is key for NFL DFS picks
When it gets to this point in the NFL season, volume is king. If you’re going to put anyone in your DFS lineup this week, you want to make sure they’re going to get the ball. Not only that, but you want to make sure they’re efficient when they do.
In that Week 16 matchup, Harris got the bulk of the Patriots’ carries, rushing 18 times for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns. He scored a whopping 28.3 PPR points, good enough for RB4 on the week. Harris won people their week for fantasy and could easily do it again this week.
Believe it or not, Singletary wasn’t far behind him. In the same game, Singletary rushed only 12 times for 39 yards and a touchdown. He added 5 catches on 6 targets for another 39 yards, though, which helped him finish the week as the RB10. I doubt they both do this again, but if nothing else, it shows that they are worth consideration at the very least.
If you are looking for a contrarian option, Singletary best fits that bill on Saturday. Most DFS players will likely lean on Harris, Joe Mixon, and Josh Jacobs on the Saturday slate. This could leave Singletary as the odd man out in terms of rostership. Sure, QB Josh Allen will get some carries of his own, but with the entire season on the line, I fully expect the Bills to lean on Singletary early and often. In the past month, the Patriots have allowed over 190 rushing yards twice, as well as 114 to the Bills in Week 16.
Stevenson is a potential X-factor DFS pick for Saturday’s NFL slate
Last but not least, Stevenson is the ideal upside option of all of the NFL DFS picks this week. With or without Harris, the Patriots could limit his touches on the field and instead lean on Stevenson to carry the bulk of the load. This could translate to an amazing return on Stevenson’s low investment cost in DFS.
The rookie missed Week 16, but he was a large part of the team’s Week 13 victory. In that game, Stevenson ran a game-high 24 times. He didn’t score and didn’t get a single target, so his fantasy output wasn’t great. That being said, if Harris is limited at all this week, Stevenson could be a DFS game-breaker.
His price will be low, but his upside could be massive. In large tournaments, I don’t mind firing him up as a long-shot play to try to beat the field. If you’re looking for safety from your NFL DFS picks, however, I would definitely look elsewhere.
NFL Showdown Picks: How to approach Singletary, Stevenson, and Harris
All three of these options could be intriguing for single-game tournaments. The key to those tournaments can be getting your MVP or captain pick correct. The price of both Stevenson and Singletary makes them hard players to select over Allen or Stefon Diggs.
The caveat to that would be if we see a shift in the weather ahead of the game. Currently, it is expected to be extremely cold Saturday night in Buffalo, but there is not projected to be much wind or rain. That should allow the passing game to operate efficiently, putting Diggs in play as a potential MVP selection over the two main backs.
If you did want to save a little in the MVP spot, Singletary could be in play. He has scored well over the last five weeks. The concern would be the Bills going away from Singletary in big spots, which we’ve previously seen. With Allen able to carry the ball effectively, we might see the Bills put the ball in his hands. With the uncertainty over touches for Harris given his injury, Singletary is the better option of the two.
An X-factor selection in your MVP spot could be Stevenson. For that to pay off, you would be banking on: 1) At least an even split between Harris and Stevenson, and 2) the rookie scoring at least 1 TD. It would be the ultimate contrarian play, and in bigger tournaments, it could be a huge differentiator if it pays off.