Bills-Dolphins DFS Picks: Will Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs Lead the Bills to the Playoffs? (January 7)

Sunday Night Football wraps up the regular season with a win-or-go-home game for the Buffalo Bills who are travelling to Miami to battle the Dolphins. In this issue of Stokastic’s NFL DFS picks series, we’ll be providing our Bills-Dolphins DFS picks for the Sunday Night Football Showdown slate.

Stokastic is bringing plenty of NFL DFS tools and information for all the different slates, game formats and sites. This column will provide a free analysis of the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. It includes team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown analysis to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Sunday Night slate, so check out these Bills-Dolphins DFS picks.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Bills-Dolphins DFS Picks

Buffalo Bills: 25.5 Points


The Stokastic NFL DFS projections have Josh Allen trailing only Dak Prescott in the DraftKings projections, which has the 300-yard bonus in play, and the Buffalo field general also ranks second on FanDuel, behind only Jalen Hurts. Though this has been an up-and-down season for the Bills and Allen, he is among the chase group behind Lamar Jackson for the MVP per OddsShopper.

Miami has been in the bottom third of the league against the pass, and the Dolphins will be without linebacker Bradley Chubb and cornerback Xavien Howard. Allen has rushing touchdowns in 12 of 16 games this season, including eight in his last five outings. Last weekend was the first time he did not throw for a touchdown all season, but he did run two in. Since Week 2, Allen has had 15 consecutive multi-touchdown games … absurd!

Jackson destroyed the Dolphins last week with 321 aerial yards and five touchdowns. Miami has now allowed eight passing scores in the last two games, so the blueprint on how Buffalo should attempt to win this game is clear.

This is a massive game for Buffalo, as a win could give them the second seed in the AFC and a loss could knock them out of the playoffs entirely. If Jacksonville wins earlier in the day, a Bills loss will be the end of the season.

Running Back

James Cook has not been able to totally wrest control of the backfield this season, and the team is content to let Latavius Murray continue to see the field. The veteran will be celebrating his 34th birthday in a couple of weeks, and while he has just six carries and one target over the last three games, he was on the field for 40 snaps. In this same timeframe, Ty Johnson and Leonard Fournette combined for 43 snaps as well, though only one will be active.

When it comes to the workload, Cook has been getting the bulk of the carries, with an average of 20.3 over each of the last three games for nearly 100 yards per tilt. However, that figure is buoyed by his 179-yard effort against Dallas in Week 14. He has only two rushing touchdowns on the season, but three of his four receiving scores have occurred in the last half dozen games. Murray has four rushing touchdowns but only one in the last six games, as Allen tends to call his own number near the goal line.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Stefon Diggs is in the top 10 with his 153 targets, 100 receptions and 55 first downs, though he barely sneaks inside the top 20 with 68.5 yards per game, and his nine plays of 20-plus yards hardly even stand out on his own team — Gabe Davis (12), Khalil Shakir (8) and Cook (13) are all at or above the former All-Pro’s production level this season. This is no slight on Diggs, as he led the league in receptions and yards in 2020 and had his second 1,400-yard campaign just last year. It is just worth noting that Allen has elevated several other players and is taking what the defense gives.

Davis is second on the team with 79 targets, but he has just 12 since the Week 13 bye. Dalton Kincaid has 19 in this stretch and has been capping the upside of Shakir (9), Trent Sherfield (5) and Deonte Harty (1). Dawson Knox was a primetime stalwart each of the last two seasons, but with Kincaid being drafted and Davis and Shakir continuing to develop, he has fallen well down the pecking order. Knox has just five targets over the last four games, and his last red zone look was in Week 7. The salary is enticing, but it is important to understand the underlying lack of production before thinking it is a complete steal.

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Defense/Special Teams

Miami has ceded a dozen sacks in the last four games, though only two interceptions. The Bills had eight picks in the last six games, along with five fumble recoveries and 20 quarterback takedowns. It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins handle the pressure. Back in Week 4 when these teams met, Buffalo collected four sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery in a 48-20 flogging of the Dolphins.

Miami Dolphins: 23.0 Points


Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins do have some pressure to get the second seed in the AFC and thus homefield advantage for a couple games. However, if things go sideways, it is not the end of the world, as they still have the contingency play of being the sixth seed, though that likely would mean a road trip to Kansas City against the enigmatic Chiefs.

Tagovailoa will be without two of his key playmakers in Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert, but the cupboard is far from bare. The bigger challenge is a fierce Buffalo pass defense that has the No. 9 DVOA and is good at pressuring opposing quarterbacks in the pocket. The Bills have had it easy with Bailey Zappe (rhymes with crappy) and Easton Stick the last two weeks, but they did hold Dak Prescott (134/0/1) and Patrick Mahomes (271/1/1) in check the two prior games.

Tagovailoa had just four aerial scores in the last four, topping 240 yards once. He does not add anything on the ground and will have his work cut out for him tonight both on the field and in the DFS streets.

Running Back

Rookie De’Von Achane has dealt with injuries this season, but he is already one of the most dynamic playmakers in the league and can score from anywhere on the field. The Bills are tough against the run, and since Week 7 only three opposing running backs have tallied more than 55 rushing yards.

Last week with Mostert out, veteran Jeff Wilson Jr. stepped into his role, and Achane remained in his for the most part. While Wilson is a downgrade, he had 1,000 combined yards last season for the Dolphins, and he is far from a horrible replacement. Expect the high-value touches to go to Achane, with Wilson seeing a handful of carries and a few targets as a ridiculously good salary saver.

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Wide Receiver

Through 15 games, Tyreek Hill already has a career-high 1,717 receiving and 114.5 yards per game, both of which lead the league. The 29-year-old has been named to his eighth Pro Bowl team, and it would not be a shock if he gets his fifth All-Pro nomination. He will be the focus of the Buffalo secondary, but as one of the three best receivers in the game and a future Hall of Famer, he will be ready.

Last week when Waddle was out, it gave a boost of around 20 snaps to Cedrick Wilson Jr., along with Chase Claypool, Robbie Chosen and River Cracraft each seeing between 10 and 15 snaps, or about double what they had been getting in the prior couple of games. Braxton Berrios remained neutral in his normal role.

Hill, of course, led the way with 12 of the 21 targets earmarked for the wideouts, with Wilson getting four and the rest of the third-tier trio seeing one each. That sort of proportional distribution is a reasonable expectation for tonight.

Tight End and Fullback

Durham Smythe is a constant presence on the field, and we should expect to see him for about three-quarters of the offensive action. He typically gets a handful of targets, with three, four, five and three over the last month. Julian Hill will likely be on the field for around a quarter of the snaps, but he has just one target in the last four games. Fullback Alec Ingold has a similar snap share, and he has a pair of targets in each of the last two games, though both of his rushing attempts on the season were all the way back in Week 3.

Defense/Special Teams

Miami had 11 sacks in the last three games, with two interceptions and four fumble recoveries. In this same timeframe, Allen was sacked just three times and thew a pair of picks. The Dolphins gave up 56 points last weekend in Baltimore, so expect them to be fired up tonight.

Sunday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value. However, those taking the MME approach should remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. That also works conversely, pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with his quarterback.

The Vikings-Broncos DFS picks for the Sunday Night Football Showdown game in our NFL DFS showdown picks series, which uses the latest...

Bills-Dolphins DFS Picks Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Bills-Dolphins

  1. Josh Allen: Fifteen straight with multiple touchdowns.
  2. Tyreek Hill: The Cheetah will be ready for tonight.
  3. Stefon Diggs: Better in full-PPR scoring, but he could still be a slate-breaker on FanDuel.
  4. De’Von Achane: Let’s see if the kid can continue to make magic on the field.
  5. James Cook: Touches are there, but overall snap count is still concerning, and he has to deal with Allen and Murray in the red zone. We need him to get a couple 15-yard catches between the 20s to help him reach his ceiling.
  6. Tua Tagovailoa: Product of the offense rather than the other way around.
  7. The Wilson Jrs: Cedric and Jeff are terrific discount dandies.
  8. Jason Sanders: 2020 All-Pro is 6 of 8 (75%) from 40 to 49 and 5 of 7 (71%) from beyond 50 yards.
  9. Buffalo D/ST: Gamers are not willing to go to this unit this high, making this an interesting spot to make a stand.
  10. Tyler Bass: Just 4 of 6 (66.7%) from 40 to 49 and 50-plus yards.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Bills-Dolphins

  1. Dalton Kincaid: Lots of options in the Buffalo passing game, but the rookie has carved out a nice role.
  2. Gabe Davis: We have seen him destroy slates before on efficiency.
  3. Durham Smythe: Being on the field is half the battle; at some point he will score this season … right?
  4. Khalil Shakir: Essentially Davis 2.0 but gets squeezed by Kincaid for targets.
  5. Miami D/ST: Night games do not have the same advantage for the Dolphins against opposing teams forced to be on the sunny side of the field.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Bills-Dolphins

  1. Latavius Murray: Banking on a score to be a real difference-maker.
  2. Braxton Berrios: Not that different of a play than Cedric; also the main kick returner, and Buffalo has allowed 29 returns this season, though only a 22.4 average.
  3. River Cracraft: Just $800 on DraftKings, but all the other Miami discounts have him projected to be on only 5% of tournament rosters.
  4. Dawson Knox, Ty Johnson and Trent Sherfield: Similar fantasy projections at three different positions in the Buffalo offense. Johnson returns kickoffs, but Miami opponents have just 15 on the season, albeit for a 30.5-yard average.
  5. Deonte Harty: Needs an in-game injury to someone ahead of him on the depth chart to get more than a couple plays. If active, likely will return punts; if not, that duty will go to Shakir.
  6. Robbie Chosen Anderson and Chase Claypool: Better at wearing out their welcome than producing on the field.
  7. Chris Brooks: Saw his first offensive action last weekend for the Dolphins; could be in line for work if Miami gets crushed again and looks ahead to next week, protecting the key players.
  8. Alec Ingold and Julian Hill: More extreme Miami discount dandies on DraftKings; touchdown lottery tickets on FanDuel with the elevated minimum salary.
  9. Quintin Morris, Reggie Gilliam, Leonard Fournette, Kyle Allen

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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