In Thursday night’s Showdown, the Buffalo Bills visit the New Orleans Saints. For a breakdown of this game, check out Rich Hribar’s Fantasy Football Worksheet.

As large favorites, I expect the Bills to be heavily rostered by the field in 4–2 builds, but given the slate’s pricing, 3–3 will also be popular. The Saints are dealing with recent injuries to Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Adam Troutman, opening up some cheap value.

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The Saints are touchdown underdogs, but Sean Payton has a very strong track record both at home and as a dog, even with back up QBs under center. My favorite strategy is to build around underdogs, and tonight we have a chance to easily differentiate from the field, with lineups featuring four or five Saints projected to be used less than 7%. Their implied probability of winning is over 28%, which would likely result in a Saints-heavy lineup being optimal. If building for a likely bills win, I would lean to the 5–1 option as it has approximately half the expected utilization.

The field is going full-Lamar on Josh Allen tonight, dominating projected ownership with over 36% at CPT and approaching 95% overall. He’s obviously a great option, but I’d recommend going underweight and using differentiation strategies such as triple stacking him. Perhaps he has a good performance, but one of his receivers is the optimal CPT and he doesn’t end up fitting into that optimal lineup due to his high salary. Fitting him with Stefon Diggs together greatly restricts what you can do with the rest of your lineup, especially if one is costing 1.5x at CPT.

Speaking of Diggs, he’s the next most popular, before a sharp drop off, projected over 20% CPT and almost 80% total. Using any other player at 10% or more CPT and 55% or more total will create leverage. I think all RBs are going under-rostered, but keep in mind that Kamara, Ingram and Zack Moss are OUT. I like Dawson Knox as a lower owned bills player and would also consider Gabriel Davis or even Isaiah McKenzie to help differentiate Allen lineups. Bills DST is under 20% ownership which seems fair.

I would restrict lineups to have at most one of Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill, but I don’t mind multiple RBs from the same team given their low pricing on this slate. Some cheap options that may pop include Tony Jones Jr., Juwan Johnson, Ty Montgomery, Deonte Harris and Dwayne Washington. However, there is plenty of uncertainty, so other low-priced players could get opportunities.

DK Values

  • Tony Jones Jr. ($600) – Starting RB priced near minimum (if Ingram is OUT).
  • Juwan Johnson ($200) — Starting TE priced at minimum.

DK Leverage

  • Trevor Siemian ($10200) – First time a starting QB is listed here. Priced in the top four with a projection near half of Josh Allen’s.
  • Taysom Hill ($6000) – could get boosted reps due to RB injuries.

DK Build Ideas

  • Max 1 DST, Max 1 K
  • Max 1 Saints QB
  • If CPT QB, include one depth option in stack 
  • If CPT RB, negative boost opposing DST/K
  • If CPT WR/TE boost team QB and force at least 1 QB (either team)
  • If CPT Allen, triple stack and use a depth option
  • Cumulative ownership under 250%
  • Leave salary unspent 

FD Values

  • Dawson Knox ($7500)
  • Matt Breida ($6500)

FD Leverage

  • Marquez Callaway ($9500)
  • Trevor Siemian ($14000)

FD Build Ideas

  • No K or TE at MVP
  • Focus on 3-2 build construction
  • No solo CPT in 1-4 construction
  • Negative boost opposing QBs (Lineups with both only win 30%)
  • If WR CPT, boost QB
  • QB is overused but RB and WR are underutilized at MVP
  • Don’t stack 3 pass catchers from the same team
  • Don’t force the max salary

For more optimizer build rules to consider, check out the list for each DK and FD here.