DraftKings Showcase Strategy and Player Selection- Conference

Introducing the new DraftKings Showcase which allows you to play fantasy sports for just one game selecting both offensive and defensive players. This week the showcase game which matchup this week's NFL Conference Championship games. 

DraftKings has launched a new innovative product called the DraftKings Showdown that allows us to finally play DFS on a one-game slate while also selecting defensive players. The way that this contest is setup is that you select four offensive players which can be any position (QB, RB, WR, TE) and two defensive players which can be any position (DT, DE, LB, CB, S). This can lead to a big edge with this being the first week that these contests are out as there is a general lack of information out there regarding these contests.

Jaguars vs Patriots

The strategy in this game is intriguing because a lot of it hinges on the health of Tom Brady. There is firmly some concern as he has stated earlier in his career that he does not like wearing a glove, yet all signs are pointing towards him wearing a glove on Sunday indicating that there is some sort of injury to his hand. At $15,300, Brady is simply too expensive in this game as not only are there the injury concerns, but he is also facing the best secondary in the league and will be highly owned in GPP’s. As far as the wide receivers go, a hand injury should lead Brady to throw the ball short and quickly to players that he is familiar with. This mainly means running backs, Rob Gronkowski on a seam route, and Danny Amendola over the slot who at $8,500 is simply too cheap. Taking chances on players such as Brandin Cooks, or Chris Hogan could be making a mistake as these players will likely see A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey and throwing towards the sideline and turning his body depending on the nature of the injury could cause a more difficult throw to be even more difficult.

If you believe the Patriots which at this point it is sounding a little more serious regarding Tom Brady’s hand injury, that could lead the Patriots to go with shorter passes which would tend to lead to the Patriots running backs, but with Rex Burkhead returning the situation becomes a little bit messy in New England. Dion Lewis’ role should continue to be what it has been which is the running back getting a majority of the work outside of the goal-line, the question will be whether James White or Rex Burkhead take the goal-line work and if it is Burkhead, he is priced at a point that he essentially has to score a touchdown to pay off his value with his limited touchdowns. James White continues to be underpriced, and we never know with the Patriots what they are going to do, but they could continue to utilize James White on the off-tackle runs that worked so well last week against the Titans inside the red zone.

On the Jaguars side of the ball, Blake Bortles is not going to make you feel great when you click on his name, but he is simply too cheap for the guaranteed production he provides and has shown upside throughout the season. The question is, who is he going to throw to? The first name that pops off the screen just because his price is simply too low is Keelan Cole. The Jaguars are going to have to take some deep shots in this game especially if the Patriots sell out to stop Leonard Fournette and the running game. At this price, Cole only needs to connect on one long pass and if it goes for a touchdown that is even better.

Leonard Fournette will likely be the most popular player on this slate and it is hard to go wrong with him if you are playing a cash game, but if you are playing a GPP, you might want to consider fading him this week. The reason being is that we have seen Belichick devise game plans which take opponents best players out of the game. An interesting GPP play is T.J. Yeldon, who could see significant time if the Jaguars fall behind as he is the better receiver of the two running backs and caught 7 passes in the team’s only loss by more than seven points with Yeldon on the field.

Defense Strategy-

The key to this game is going to be the game script. Taking New England defenders could prove to be risky as if Jacksonville struggles to move the ball it limits the opportunity for the Patriots to make plays as the overall play counts will be one-sided as we saw last week for New England against Tennessee.

Unlike last week where we saw the Patriots defense continue to sack Marcus Mariota, the Jaguars are a much more difficult team to sack as they do not throw the ball much and Blake Bortles has been good in avoiding pressure. So, for the Patriots, what we are going to look for players who make tackles, but have the upside for sacks. Cornerbacks are not really a priority in this game as the Jaguars do not have a wide receiver who is going to get a high volume of targets and therefore the upside of the cornerbacks is relatively limited.

 

 

Sacks Allowed

Sacks Created

New England

18th (35 sacks)

7th (42 sacks)

Jacksonville

27th (24 sacks)

2nd (55 sacks)

Patriots Defense

Kyle Van Noy-$4,300 In theory, Kyle Van Noy should be in a good spot this week, as he is the leading tackler amongst the linebackers for the Patriots. The problem was last week, he just does not look 100% healthy after missing a significant part of the second-half of the season with an injury. Van Noy should be better this week, and at $4,300 is not the worst play in the world, but he is risky so he is likely better suited for a GPP than a cash game play.

Elandon Roberts- $2,800- Roberts has struggled over his last two games, but in a game where the linebackers are going to be relied upon frequently to make tackles, this is a spot where there are not a lot of great options for New England, but to get a middle linebackers at $2,800 who will be relied upon to stop Leonard Fournette in this game where there are not a lot of great options is certainly intriguing.

Marquis Flowers- $3,100-While the Patriots do not have a linebacker who was a high number of tackles, Marquis Flowers is simply too cheap for his recent production as he has led the team in tackles in two of the last three games and has 4.5 sacks in his last three games. Outside of this recent hot streak in performance, he has not been great for the season, so there is a little bit of risk but at $3,100 it is a play that the upside far exceeds the price. 

Jaguars Defense

Calais Campbell- $5,100- Getting pressure to Tom Brady is going to be the key for the Jaguars in this game as ultimately, we have seen when Brady has time to throw the ball he will pick you apart. Campbell who has 14.5 sacks on the season has struggled as he does not have one over his last four games, but he will be matching up against Laadrian Waddle who has had to fill in due to Marcus Cannon going on injured reserve late in the season. Waddle has struggled this season and to make matters worse is dealing with a knee injury that has had him missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

Yannick Ngakoue- $4,100- Ngakoue is a cheap way to take advantage of the aforementioned Laadrian Waddle as when the Jaguars shift to a nickel formation which could be a lot in this game, Ngakoue will slide to the outside while Calais Campbell slides to the inside. This provides Ngakoue who has 13 sacks on the season at just $4,100 has sack upside this week which if he can get one sack he will pay off his salary.

Barry Church-$4,200- While Ramsey will seemingly cover Rob Gronkowski on passing downs, Barry Church is likely the player that you want to play in the Jaguars secondary as he will likely be responsible for either Gronkowski or Dion Lewis for the entire game thus increasing his tackle upside in this game. Church has been relied upon for each of the last two weeks in shutting down the opposing running backs as he has 12 tackles over the last two games defending LeSean McCoy and Le’Veon Bell.

There are reports that are coming out that Jalen Ramsey will likely be covering Rob Gronkowski which will make Ramsey extremely popular this week but don’t buy into this. The reality is that Ramsey is the guy who is likely going to see Rob Gronkowski on obvious passing downs. Anything more than that seems to be highly risky for the Jaguars in this game as when Gronkowski is lined up as a traditional tight end Ramsey will be a liability in the run game trying to matchup against Gronkowski.

Eagles vs Vikings

Vikings Offense Strategy

For the Vikings, Case Keenum is going to be a critical piece of whether or not the Vikings win this game. The reason for this is that the Eagles run defense is as good as they come in the NFL. The way to play this seems to be taking Case Keenum alongside one of the wide receivers for the Vikings. With Stefon Diggs’ price being higher than Adam Thielen this seems to be a week where you want to take Thielen alongside Keenum as he has been more consistent and better for most of the season. In terms of a cheap option, looking at Jairus Wright whose speed may be utilized in an attempt to exploit matchups if he is matched up against a safety.

Expect the Vikings to have trouble running the ball in this game especially with Latavius Murray who is a down-hill running back is likely going to have a difficult time getting anything going against one of the best defensive lines in football. This is potentially an opportunity for Jerick McKinnon to be utilized out of the passing game as the Vikings will look to potentially beat this defense laterally.

Eagles Offense Strategy

Nick Foles is going to be heavily relied upon in this game as the Eagles will be facing a tough rushing defense of the Vikings. A great strategy this week could be taking both Foles and Keenum and essentially take the most guaranteed points while filling in the rest of your roster. On the receiving side of the ball, there are three receivers who are intriguing, the first is Torrey Smith who can provide great savings for you this week at just $5,000 and the Eagles took a deep shot to him that was called for pass interference last week. The second is Zach Ertz as even though he was largely taken out of the game by Keanu Neal of the Falcons last week, he is still Nick Foles’ most reliable target as he had 23 targets in two games with Foles before the end of the season. The last player who is intriguing is Alshon Jeffery at just $8,500 as even though the connection between Foles and Jeffery took a while to get going, it appeared they started to figure it out last week as Jeffery had some key catches late in the game that setup a go-ahead field goal.

The Eagles utilized Jay Ajayi early and often last week against the Falcons and while Ajayi started off hot in the last game, but he struggled after the first quarter as he had 49 yards in the first quarter and just five yards the rest of the game on the ground. Ajayi was utilized in the passing game last week which will be much needed this week as running between the tackles against the likes of Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen will make things challenging for the Eagles.

Defense Strategy

Overall, these are two defenses that do not create a lot of sacks, but also do not allow a lot of sacks.

 

Sacks Allowed

Sacks Created

Philadelphia

17th (36 sacks)

15th (38 sacks)

Minnesota

25th (27 sacks)

17th (37 sacks)

Eagles Defense

Malcolm Jenkins-$4,700- Malcolm Jenkins at this point in his career is a run-stopping safety, which is going to be critical in this game as both defenses will try to win the game at the point of attack. Jenkins will be relied upon heavily to clean up any play that Latavius Murray gets past the front seven and will play a key role in defending Jerick McKinnon in this game. One potential stack is if you believe McKinnon will be heavily utilized to go with Jenkins on the defensive side of the ball.

Nigel Bradham- $5,100- Similar to Jenkins, Bradham will play a key role in stopping the run this week and is an extremely consistent option as he has 10 or more DraftKings points in three of his last four games. Bradham is the Eagles leading tackler and his primary responsibility will be to stop Latavius Murray from getting to the secondary.

Mychal Kendricks- $4,000- By now you are probably noticing a trend, with the limited sack opportunities created by Case Keenum’s quick release, we are looking at linebackers and safeties who have tackle upside and Mychal Kendricks is one of those players. Kendricks, who is the Eagles second leading tackler has a high percentage of solo tackles which is great from a fantasy perspective as he will be relied upon in this game to stop runs to the weak side.

Rodney McLeod- $3,800- Jalen Mills has really struggled as of late and McLeod has been a big beneficiary of this as his tackle numbers have skyrocketed over the last four games and his price has not adjusted accordingly. McLeod has five or more DraftKings points in eight of his last nine games with having gone for 10 or more points in four of those games. He is a player who will benefit if Case Keenum is able to complete a high percentage of passes.

Vikings Defense

Harrison Smith- $5,500- Harrison Smith is going to be a key part of this game for the Vikings defense as he is going to have to help stop the run, as well as be matched up against Zach Ertz who we discussed earlier prior to last week had been the leading receiver on this Eagles team. Smith also has five interceptions on the season which gives him upside that very few players on this Vikings team have.

Everson Griffen-$4,900- Yes, we mentioned how neither team takes a lot of sacks, but with Jason Peters out, the Eagles have Halapoulivaati Vaitai as their left tackle which is a big mismatch against Griffen who has 13 sacks on the season. Griffen is going to be a key for the Vikings as if he is able to get pressure and get a sack on Foles this will go a long way for the Vikings to win this game.

Trae Waynes- $3,600- Taking defensive players in DFS you almost have to think backwards. In this instance, taking Trae Waynes over Xavier Rhodes would seemingly be counter-intuitive as Rhodes is one of the best cornerbacks in football, but that’s exactly why you want to take Waynes. Waynes will be picked on by the Eagles and they will try to exploit the matchup which ultimately gives Waynes more upside for tackles and pass defenses.

Anthony Harris- $3,100- This one is entirely dependent on the health of Andrew Sendejo. If Sendejo is active, Harris won’t play so do not start him, but if Sendejo is not cleared from the concussion protocol, Harris will be a nice cheap option at safety that can open up additional opportunities to spend up elsewhere as Harris would be asked to stop the running back out of the backfield which the Eagles use a lot in Jay Ajayi or Corey Clement.


More articles from Devin Knotts

See all

More articles on: Daily FF

See all

More articles on: DraftKings

See all