Week 1 Thursday Night Showdown

Thursday Night Football Kansas City Chiefs vs Houston Texans FanDuel and DraftKings showdown slate.

DraftKings and FanDuel are kicking off the season with a $3M Thursday NFL Millionaire contest. Below is a quick look at strategy and some players that could help you in the contests.



One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make in these types of tournaments is that they take a quarterback at the captain position. Taking a quarterback in this type of competition largely is the safe approach, as they have the highest floor of any player, but the reality is with the way that DraftKings scoring is setup, the way the quarterback position is priced, and how popular the quarterback position typically is at the captain spot, it doesn’t make sense to start either Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes II there this week.



Let’s say you want a stack of Mahomes/Tyreek Hill which will largely be the most popular stack on this slate. If you put Tyreek at your captain, it costs $28,200, but if you put Patrick Mahomes II in at your captain it costs $29,300. Now on a long touchdown that you’re hoping for with Tyreek Hill, he gets 7 points for the touchdown (6 + reception point), plus 0.1 points for every yard. Compare that to Mahomes who only gets 4 points for the touchdown and 0.04 points for every yard. You can quickly see why Hill would have a higher ceiling if we are talking about the 1.5x multiplier for the captain position.

This is not to say that Mahomes could not work in the captain spot, but typically for this to be on the optimal lineup in this large of contests, they will need to either run the ball in for a touchdown or spread the ball around to a large number of players.

Another option on DraftKings is that because the salaries of the captains are 1.5x of the normal player you could go really cheap with a player and have a higher quality roster build in general.


FanDuel the MVP is less strategic as they do not stagger their pricing by charging a premium for the position like DraftKings does. The key to the strategy there is to build a lineup and then choose the player you believe has the highest upside within your lineup and put them in your captain spot. There are some game strategy items such as taking a slightly lower upside player as the captain so that your lineup may be more unique as FanDuel does tend to have a lot of overlap at times.

Player Options

(Patrick Mahomes II, Deshaun Watson, Tyreek Hill are all in great spots and can be considered as great plays this week. Player rankings are down below)

Travis Kelce- There are a number of great players in this game, but Kelce has to be one of the top players in this game. Kelce dominated against the Texans in the playoff game in January as he had 134 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Texans signed Eric Murray at safety who is a run-stopping limited safety this could open up a tremendous opportunity for the tight end to once again produce in a big way this week.

David Johnson- With Brandin Cooks questionable, the real question will be how do the Texans move the ball enough to stay with the Chiefs. If Cooks is not able to go, the Texans could go with a dump off strategy to the running back. With Johnson having a poor year last year and with the amount of star power in this game, he may go overlooked and could have a strong performance in this game.

Darrel Williams- Williams is potentially the best salary relief on the slate as the coaching staff has been talking about Clyde Edwards-Helaire and largely giving mixed signals about his pass blocking ability. If for any reason the rookie doesn’t have the volume that is expected, at just $1.8k on DraftKings Williams opens up opportunities for a better lineup all around.

Mecole Hardman- Hardman gets the benefit of facing off against Vernon Hargreaves III who continues to be one of the worst cornerbacks in football which should be a major play this week as the Texans also struggle at the safety position signing Eric Murray who is a run-stopping safety and asking him to play in coverage. With Justin Reid likely double teaming Tyreek Hill, expect Hardman to potentially break a big play this week.

Will Fuller V- With Brandin Cooks being less than 100%, the Texans are going to rely more heavily on Fuller this week. Fuller will draw a favorable matchup against Rashad Fenton who is still largely an unproven cornerback who ran a 4.52 40-yard dash giving Fuller a considerable speed advantage.


DraftKings Captain:

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. David Johnson
  3. Tyreek Hill
  4. Mecole Hardman
  5. Will Fuller V
  6. Deshaun Watson

DraftKings Flex

  1. Patrick Mahomes II
  2. Deshaun Watson
  3. Travis Kelce
  4. Tyreek Hill
  5. Mecole Hardman
  6. David Johnson
  7. Darrell Williams
  8. Will Fuller V
  9. Brandin Cooks
  10. Harrison Butker
  11. Clyde Edwards-Helaire- Unknown role, will be highly rostered, if you’re going to play him, play him at MVP or captain
  12. Randall Cobb
  13. Duke Johnson Jr

FanDuel MVP

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Tyreek Hill
  3. Patrick Mahomes II
  4. Deshaun Watson
  5. Clyde-Edwards Helaire
  6. David Johnson

FanDuel Flex

  1. Patrick Mahomes II
  2. Deshaun Watson
  3. Travis Kelce
  4. Mecole Hardman
  5. Tyreek Hill
  6. Brandin Cooks- Risky due to injury, but a solid price at just $10k
  7. Will Fuller V
  8. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  9. David Johnson
  10. Darrell Williams
  11. Randall Cobb

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