Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re looking for Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills NFL DFS picks for Thursday’s turkey extravaganza in Week 12, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.
The following recommended fantasy football lineup (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aims to lock in a relatively high floor while maximizing upside.
Detroit is in a fascinating situation heading into this brutally tough showdown. At 4-6, they’re still competing for the postseason. By some measures, they’re in an incredible position, especially considering where they were a few weeks ago.
In Week 9, they were 1-6 and clinging to a six-point lead against the Packers. Aaron Rodgers had the ball 1st-and-10 inside Detroit’s red zone. The Lions held on, and then beat the Bears on the road the following week in the final minutes. Last weekend’s comfortable victory over the Giants cemented Detroit’s standing as a team to be taken seriously.
Jamaal Williams has been one of the keys, and we can’t confidently craft this DFS lineup without strongly weighing his potential impact against Buffalo. He already has 12 rushing touchdowns, 4x his career high, and we’re not even two-thirds through the season. He’s effectively overtaken the oft-injured D’Andre Swift, who remains an overpriced, underutilized DFS option.
As for the passing game, can we trust anyone besides Amon-Ra St. Brown? With DJ Chark back in the fold, is this receiving corps more crowded? Or is Chark a distant tertiary option, irrelevant to St. Brown’s outlook?
Through it all, we have to weigh the impact of Buffalo’s defense — at times terrific (league-leading 13 interceptions and fourth-fewest points), at times merely solid (4.3 yards per carry), and at times barely middling (221 passing yards per game).
This remains a top-heavy offense, which means we need to consider incorporating a top-heavy lineup. Yes, Josh Allen has been playing with an injured elbow. He’s had fewer than two touchdowns in consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 6 and 7 of 2020. This isn’t normal for him.
Yet, the Lions’ subpar defense should be vulnerable to much of what Buffalo throws at them. Detroit’s yielding a league-high 7.8 yards per pass attempt and the fifth-most passing yards. Their run defense isn’t any better: third-most yards per carry (5.2) and second-most rushing TDs (17).
While the Lions are enjoying a three-game winning streak — and while they’re playing great football even without key departed playmaker T.J. Hockenson — one of their biggest challenges is getting stops on defense. Detroit is surrendering the most points per game in the league (28.2).
It would be difficult to fade Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis. Both guys have 20+ point upside. Conversely, Devin Singletary presents a dilemma; he’ll be much more expensive than rookie James Cook. But will Cook continue to build on last weekend’s breakout? If so, he could bring a lot more DFS value at a cheaper price.
He and Singletary could cancel each other out. Or . . . they might dominate touches.
Top Lions vs. Bills DFS Lineup for Thanksgiving
Today, we’re playing DraftKings “Showdown Captain Mode,” which includes one player who earns 1.5 times his scoring output, plus five Flex players.
The following NFL betting recommendations are based on proprietary PFN predictive analytics pulled from decades of NFL historical data. Using this data, I’ve built dozens of models showing actionable probabilities of better-than-expected and worse-than-expected outcomes.
Captain: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions ($15,600)
Warning: this lineup is not for the meek. We’re going to challenge conventional wisdom. This slate could bomb, or it could differentiate just enough to win big if the game script follows expectations.
I’m going with St. Brown in the Captain slot. Buffalo’s supposedly strong defense just gave up a combined 13-174-3 receiving line to Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones. The week before, Justin Jefferson went off for 10-103-1. Assuming no other Lions receiver can be trusted, St. Brown is a great bet for 10+ targets and 18+ DFS points.
Flex: WR Stefon Diggs, Bills ($11,200)
Squeaky wheel. Diggs had a season-low five targets last week. Davis played the No. 1 role, taking what the Browns gave him. Today, I’d rather go big with the only serious three-TD-upside receiver in this game.
Flex: RB Devin Singletary, Bills ($7,600)
I’ve written about this several times since the summer. Some teams make a concerted effort to limit the reps of their starting RBs on the Sunday before a Thursday game. That did not happen with Singletary, who’s coming off a 20-touch performance. But it’s also not the same as 25 or 30+ touches.
So as you’ll see shortly, I’m going to pair him with his fantastic rookie backfield teammate. Together, they could hit 28+ DFS points if the Bills get out to an early lead and want to limit Allen more than usual.
Flex: RB D’Andre Swift, Lions ($6,400)
Aside from being $1,000 cheaper than the high-flying Williams, the only “great” reason to start Swift is because of his receptions. Williams hasn’t caught a pass in three straight games — not coincidentally, during the Lions’ three-game winning streak. Playing from behind, Swift at his best has a higher upside through the air than Williams at his best.
Flex: RB James Cook, Bills ($5,000)
See above. He’s the real deal, and a few targets aren’t out of the question. I love Cook’s upside in this matchup.
Flex: K Tyler Bass, Bills ($4,200)
As great as Buffalo’s offense is, and as porous as Detroit’s defense is, we can envision some Bills drives stalling with a less-than-100% Allen at the helm. Tyler Bass is one of the best DFS kickers this week, period.