NFL DFS Picks for Thursday Night Football: Start Stefon Diggs, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Jakobi Meyers?

    Can we fully trust Rhamondre Stevenson in this Patriots vs. Bills lineup? Here are the top Thursday Night Football NFL DFS picks for Week 13.

    If you’re looking for New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Thursday Night Football NFL DFS picks in Week 13, 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.

    Patriots Considerations

    This marks the fourth meeting between these two clubs in less than a calendar year. With New England coming up short in their last two engagements, I’m expecting head coach Bill Belichick to “un-sleeve” a few tricks up his sleeve — to use personnel and/or plays that Buffalo might not have prepared for.

    With Jakobi Meyers questionable as of Thursday morning, I’m not including him in this DFS lineup. Maybe he’ll be a full go. Maybe he’ll be limited. Whatever happens, Meyers is expensive relative to his realistic ceiling. And frankly, I don’t anticipate New England trying to go toe-to-toe with the Bills through the air.

    MORE: Bills vs. Patriots Prediction, Odds, and Picks for Week 13

    Instead, with Damien Harris sidelined and neither rookie RB (Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong Jr.) having stepped up, Rhamondre Stevenson should get all the work he can handle. Despite averaging only 3.7 yards per carry since Week 6, Stevenson assuredly will be leaned on — including through the air — in somewhat of a must-win game.

    Our big question, then, is whether Stevenson is the “safest” Patriots DFS play. Twenty-plus points seems unlikely, yet 10+ seems like a near certainty given his significant target share. Is that enough to make him a must-start option?

    Bills Considerations

    Let’s start with the backfield, where not even Devin Singletary seems like a good bet. The Patriots are yielding the league’s fewest DFS points per game to running backs. That stinginess includes surrendering an NFL-low two RB touchdowns on the season.

    Dang, that’s some good defense.

    So including Singletary, or even the much cheaper James Cook, wouldn’t be rational. I mean, one of them might break through. But given their respective costs, why take the chance?

    Instead, let’s lean into the passing game. On Thanksgiving, the Vikings figured out how to expose New England’s capable pass defense. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen became the first players to exceed six receptions against the Pats since Week 3. That they achieved this in the same game is all the more remarkable.

    While I don’t expect Josh Allen and his high-end receiving corps to have a field day tonight, they should be productive enough to warrant serious consideration, despite their lofty fees.

    Top Patriots vs. Bills NFL DFS Picks for TNF

    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: RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots ($15,600)

    Earlier this week, Allen was tentatively in my Captain slot. But yesterday, I swapped him out for Stevenson to create cap space for one more great player. We’ll see if it works out.

    MORE: Patriots vs. Bills Prop Bets for Thursday Night Football

    If you told me now that Stevenson would finish with 14 points, I’d say, “Great to hear.” Because that might be enough to make him a top-four scorer in this contest.

    Flex: QB Josh Allen, Bills ($12,200)

    So good, so expensive, etc. Benching Allen requires a leap of faith. Sure, the Pats might shut him down, but the more likely scenario is an 18+ point evening for this MVP candidate. And with Allen, 28+ points is always realistic.

    Flex: WR Stefon Diggs, Bills ($11,600)

    I’m betting that Stefon Diggs nets his 10th touchdown — perhaps, also his 11th. Since New England does such a good job shutting down opposing running backs, Bills receivers are more likely than usual to factor into any scoring opportunities.

    Flex: TE Dawson Knox, Bills ($6,200)

    Highly risky and also too good to pass up at this price. So far this season, New England has given up one touchdown to tight ends per 6.25 TE receptions. That’s an extraordinarily high clip. In fact, it’s the highest in the league. Don’t sleep on Dawson Knox.

    Flex: K Nick Folk, Patriots ($4,200)

    On the one hand, Buffalo’s defense is surrendering the fifth-fewest kicker DFS points per game. On the other hand, given their offensive prowess (No. 2 in points scored per game), opponents have been forced to go for touchdowns instead of settling for field goals.

    Case in point: NFL teams have given up, on average, 4.7 made field goals from 20-29 yards out. The Bills have yielded only three. On average, teams have given up 5.4 made field goals from 30-39 yards out. The Bills have yielded only three.

    I expect this game to be close enough to keep Nick Folk involved well into the third quarter. He’s booted 4+ field goals in three of his last four outings. As long as Buffalo doesn’t pull away early, Folk has a good shot at another great game.

    Flex: WR Tyquan Thornton, Patriots ($400)

    Shocking, I know. With only $400 remaining, we’ve got this slate right where we want it. Again, I believe Belichick will try things Buffalo didn’t anticipate. Tyquan Thornton is a talented rookie who’s mostly buried on the depth chart — somewhere around the No. 4 or No. 5 WR.

    But the second-round draft pick has flashed when given the opportunity. And with the Pats thin at running back, we might see an end-around or trick play to get Thornton the ball in the backfield so he can show off his game-breaking 4.28 speed.

    Whatever you decide, good luck tonight.

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