Patriots vs. Bills: Daily Fantasy Sleepers, Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings
The New England Patriots employed two different strategies in their attempts to beat the Buffalo Bills.
New England got one similar outcome from the run-heavy Week 13 approach and the balanced offense from the Week 16 loss at home, as Damien Harris turned in two of his best performances of the season in the clashes with the Bills.
That is a promising sign for the daily fantasy football players looking for a lock at running back.
Harris was a touchdown-scoring machine in the last month of the regular season, and that makes him one of the top DFS candidates alongside Buffalo’s incredible passing attack.
Josh Allen is the more desirable option at quarterback from Saturday’s nightcap because of his experience and the abundance of big-play options at his disposal.
Allen, Stefon Diggs and one or two other players could be the ideal combination for a lineup stack on Saturday in full-slate contests.
Patriots Lineup Picks
RB Damien Harris
Damien Harris has a case to be the No. 1 running back on Saturday's two-game slate.
New England's top rusher produced back-to-back 100-yard performances against the Bills in Weeks 13 and 16. He missed Week 15 with an injury.
Harris produced his best single-game touchdown total in Week 16, as he found the end zone on three occasions.
The three-score outing came in the middle of a five-game run in which Harris crossed the goal line eight times.
Harris' touchdown potential and New England's expected reliance on the rushing attack in Mac Jones' first road playoff game could make him the top point producer at the position on Saturday.
TE Hunter Henry
Hunter Henry had some of his best regular-season performances away from Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots tight end had five catches for 86 yards in Miami in Week 18, 77 yards on six catches in the Week 15 loss to Indianapolis and 75 yards and a touchdown at Houston in Week 5.
Henry caught a single pass in his two matchups with Buffalo, but in one of those games, the Patriots abandoned the passing game in adverse conditions.
Henry was a reliable red-zone target of Jones, as he produced a single-season career high with nine touchdowns.
He should be considered as a top option at tight end alongside Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders for Saturday's slate, and he may finish with a higher point total if his road trends keep up.
Bills Lineup Picks
QB Josh Allen
Josh Allen had his way with the New England defensive backs in Week 16.
Allen turned in one of his six 300-yard passing games of the regular season. That victory also produced one of his six three-touchdown performances through the air.
The Buffalo quarterback averaged 270.2 passing yards in his four postseason appearances. He has five touchdowns and one interception in those games.
Allen's postseason experience combined with his recent history against the Patriots and his abundance of targets should allow him to produce high totals on Saturday.
He had 324 passing yards and two touchdowns in last season's wild-card round victory over the Colts.
Stefon Diggs was his leading pass-catcher in that contest, and the same scenario could play out in the third clash with the Patriots.
WR Stefon Diggs
Diggs caught six passes for 128 yards and a touchdown at this stage of last year's playoffs.
Buffalo's No. 1 wide receiver produced two of his three 100-yard postseason totals during the team's run to the AFC Championship Game last season. Diggs' other century mark in the playoffs came with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017.
Diggs had 85 yards and a score in the last matchup with New England that secured Buffalo's spot on top of the AFC East standings.
Since he joined the Bills, Diggs has four touchdown catches and three games with at least six receptions against the Patriots. He was targeted over 10 times in two of those contests.
Diggs should receive a high volume of targets from Allen, and that makes him one of the best wide receiver options for DFS contests on Saturday.
New England RB Brandon Bolden
Brandon Bolden could be an X-factor inside the New England offense.
The third-string running back is primarily used in passing situations, and he could be utilized more as the Patriots get closer to the red zone.
Bolden caught 41 of his 49 targets and he produced a pair of touchdowns in the aerial game during the regular season.
He is worth a risk in DFS contests because he will not have a high volume, like Harris or Joe Mixon, but he can be a high-reward player if he discovers a niche in the passing attack.
Buffalo TE Dawson Knox
Dawson Knox increased his status inside the Buffalo offense this season, but he is still the third or fourth option for Allen on most plays.
Knox caught nine touchdowns in the regular season, including one in the Week 16 victory over the Patriots.
Buffalo's top tight end wreaked havoc on some playoff participants. He had 117 yards and a touchdown versus Kansas City, and he scored in Week 14 against Tampa Bay.
Most of Knox's top reception games occurred inside Highmark Stadium. He had three or more receptions in six home contests.
Allen should look in Knox's direction a few times on Saturday, and he could be a vital red-zone asset if Diggs and Davis are covered in the end zone.