Welcome into the NFL DFS Building Blocks designed specifically for showdown contests this season! If you’ve never read my main slate Building Blocks article, I will be highlighting my favorite overall plays and how I intend to build my main lineup. I will be providing both core plays and prop picks for every primetime game this season, and you can gain access to those here. With that being said, let’s dive into the first game of the season…
Top CPT Plays
Fairly obvious, but I don’t see how Allen isn’t considered the top-overall play on Thursday. He’s been fantasy footballs number one QB the last two seasons, and very few people possess the same type of floor/ceiling ability that he does. I don’t think that the Bills are going to stop throwing as much as they transition from Brian Daboll to Ken Dorsey. If anything, I think this offense could be even better suited for Allen’s strengths. Dorsey has been Allen’s main coach for the last three seasons and nobody in the Bills organization should know him as well as he does. This is one of the pass heaviest teams in football, and I believe they’ll play to Allen’s strengths in 2022. He is the top projected player tonight by a wide margin, and will be massively owned as a CPT. I’ll be looking to pair him with a few of his pass catchers, and will likely be building around 4 or 5 Bills in my main lineup.
If I don’t play QB at my CPT spot, I typically lean towards receiver given that they have higher ceilings and can really pop for big games. Exactly like the game we saw from Davis in last years playoff loss to the Chiefs, in which he posted 200+ receiving yards and four touchdowns. I’m not saying he’s going to go off like that again on Thursday night, but dropping from someone like Stefon Diggs down to Davis allows much more roster flexibility. I’m also more comfortable making that drop, having seen Davis have the type of ceiling game he’s capable of once already. He was a part-time player in 2021, running behind the likes of Cole Beasley and Manny Sanders for most of the season and logging just a 50% snap rate. Those two players are now off the roster, and he played 100% of the first team snaps in the preseason. He’s going to be a full-time player this year, on a team with almost 200 targets exiting the lineup. I want to get in on Davis early, and that starts tonight.
Top Flex Plays
QB’s score the most points, and I find it hard to avoid not playing both of them especially in single entry / smaller field tournaments. If you’re playing a lot of teams or large field lottery tickers, you can typically fade one of the them but I will be stuffing in Stafford vs the Bills. Since I like using Josh Allen at CPT and using multiple of his pass catchers, we are playing the angle of the shootout and thus Stafford would likely be having a good game on the other side as well. If using him as a CPT, I would be playing the Rams angle more and pairing him with two of his pass catchers. I think he is better implemented as a Flex play, but he is catching a sub-10% CPT ownership projection which is definitely interesting.
Henderson has sneaky value on Thursday night, and I think he’s going to play a lot this season. Akers looked pedestrian last season, which was kind of expected after returning that quickly from one of the most devastating injuries a running back can endure. That being said, I don’t think we can just assume Akers will be 100% back to his old self this season either, and I think this backfield is much closer to a 50/50 timeshare than it is Akers’. I think Henderson has pass catching ability, and it’s just not going to shock me if he approaches 50% of the snaps vs the Bills. That being said, the projections could simply be wrong and the Rams could force the ball to Akers to try and get him going. I think both are fine options in large-field tourneys / Rams builds, but Hendo is over $3,000 less in salary so he has to be considered the better raw play.
Top Value Plays
McKenzie is going to be popular on Thursday due to a clear mispricing. Like the Week 1 Main Slate, salaries were released weeks ago for this contest and they dropped the ball on McKenzie. He is in line to be the Bills main slot receiver, and should be on the field quite a bit on Thursday night. I do think he is a good player, and is clearly too cheap. The ownership will be warranted, you’ll just have to be conscious of roster construction around him.
This feels gross, but he is so cheap. It’s clear that someone is going to have to fill in for Van Jefferson tonight — and that comes down to Skowronek, Tutu Atwell and preseason star Lance McCutcheon. The latter two are fun fantasy darlings, but Skowronek is someone that we saw play meaningful downs in the Super Bowl. We also have this tweet from Aaron Wilson — stating that Skowronek will be the main third WR vs the Bills. Overall, he is so cheap, a few catches would do just fine and there’s always the chance he somehow finds the box.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)