These contests are intended to be fun as you’re watching the game. It’s incredibly difficult to get a real edge as there are so few options and in MME contests there are often many duplicate lineups. One play or one penalty can change the entire outcome of the game.
This article is going to have a heavy DraftKings lean simply because the decision making process is more interesting with the Captain having a salary premium to correspond with the scoring premium. On FanDuel, the pricing is the same for both MVP and flex, so just play either a quarterback or running back in that spot. There are scenarios where a wide receiver can pay off, but it’s difficult with it being the 0.5 per reception.
This is going to be one of the more fun slates of the year as there are so many different captain possibilities. There are a number of questions heading into this game, but the big ones will center around the Rams passing offense. With Robert Woods out for the year with a torn ACL, the Rams acquired Odell Beckham via free agency after the veteran was cut from Cleveland. Most accounts believe that he will be limited in this game, which should create opportunities for other players in Los Angeles. On the 49ers side, the big questions are the health of Deebo Samuel and whether the emergence of Brandon Aiyuk can be sustainable as Aiyuk is coming off of his best game this season.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford- Decent Captain, Great Flex
Matthew Stafford has been tremendous this season as he has topped 300 yards in 5 games this season while averaging 2.5 passing touchdowns per game. The numbers don’t tell the full story however, as the Rams have faced one of the easiest schedules in the NFL this season as they have faced Houston, Detroit, Seattle, New York Giants, Chicago, and Tampa Bay all who rank in the bottom half of the NFL in terms of pass defense. This week, the Rams get a 49ers defense that has been good at stopping quarterbacks as they are allowing just 219 yards passing per game. Stafford is a great stacking piece this week, but if he doesn’t throw for 300+ yards it is almost impossible for him to be the best captain this week.
Darrell Henderson- Contrarian Flex Play/Fade
The problem with Henderson this season has been inconsistency in touches. Over the last three weeks, Henderson has just 40 carries which at his price of $9,200 is going to be prohibitive considering all of the great options on this slate. If there is one thing that Henderson has going for him, it is the matchup as the 49ers run defense has fallen apart over the last three weeks allowing 107 yards to Jonathan Taylor (1 touchdown), 72 yards to Khalil Herbert, and 96 yards rushing (2 touchdowns) and 77 yards receiving to James Conner.
Cooper Kupp- Great Captain/Flex-
There is a lot of things to like this week for Cooper Kupp. With no Robert Woods, the volume should heavily be targeted through the receiver this week On the season, Kupp is averaging the most targets, yards, touchdowns, receptions in the NFL this season. The matchup is somewhat difficult as the 49ers are only allowing 152 yards per game to opposing wide receivers but did struggle at shutting down Davante Adams allowing 12 receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. Fading Cooper Kupp is a dangerous game but is in consideration in this game as Kupp is going to be the most popular play on this slate along with his somewhat prohibitive price at $12,000.
Van Jefferson- Great Captain/Flex
With no Robert Woods this week, Van Jefferson is the player who should be in line to gain the vast majority of the workload. Even prior to the injury to Woods, Jefferson’s usage was on the upswing as he had 6 and 7 targets over his last two games. While Odell Beckham may scare off some people, all reports have come out and essentially said that Beckham will be limited this week. At just $5,800/$8,100 Jefferson should be one of the top targets for you this week.
Tyler Higbee- Flex
Higbee’s targets have been inconsistent, but he has shown that there are games where Stafford will seemingly lock onto him as he has 8 or more targets in 2 of his last 3 games. With no Woods this week, Higbee could become the safety blanket for Stafford this week. Not enough upside for a captain spot this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo- Flex
Jimmy Garoppolo has looked good the past two weeks throwing for 300 yards or more in each of those games, but the problem has been consistency. At times this season, the volume that he has thrown is just far too low as he has thrown the ball 30 times or less in five of his seven starts this season. With such a high percentage of yards going to two receivers (Samuel, and Kittle) and with it being a somewhat difficult matchup against a Rams team Garoppolo is probably best used as a flex play stacked with either Kittle or Samuel.
Eli Mitchell- Fade/Low End Flex Play
It is weird fading Eli Mitchell in this game especially at a great price at just $6,400, but this is a culmination of a difficult matchup along with Jeff Wilson’s return. The 49ers have been hyping up Wilson’s return the past couple of weeks. Wilson was the 49ers leading rusher last season and Kyle Shanahan has come out and said that he will play in this game which should limit Eli Mitchell’s upside this week. The matchup is also somewhat difficult as the Rams have allowed just two running backs to top 60 yards this season and have not allowed a rushing touchdown. If you want to take Mitchell as a flex play, it’s not terrible, as the reality is we just don’t know what Shanahan is going to do and there is no precedent to try to predict his thinking.
Jeff Wilson- High Risk Captain, Great Cost Savings Flex.
This play is all about speculation and price. At just $1,200, Wilson allows you to do so much with your lineup that no one in that price range can truly offer. Wilson was the team’s leading rusher last year and Kyle Shanahan has come out and said that Wilson will play in this game as the team is somewhat limited at running back with JaMychal Hasty out. This is a scenario where this could be a complete boom/bust play as if Wilson even splits carries with Mitchell it will pay off due to the points you’ll accumulate as well as the savings that you’ll have for other positions.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Deebo Samuel- Great Captain/Good Flex
Deebo is an interesting case study this week as far as how good of a player he truly is. Samuel has been great this year and at $4,500 cheaper than Cooper Kupp makes for a potential great captain as Samuel is the only player on this slate that has as much upside as Kupp. The problem for Deebo is that with George Kittle back, there is risk here as if some of those targets go to Kittle, then Samuel’s floor is very low compared to the price. Samuel will likely draw Jalen Ramsey in this game which also has its inconsistencies as we have seen games like last week where he completely shut down A.J. Brown, but other weeks DK Metcalf, Mike Evans, and Michael Pittman all torched this defense. At $9,000, knowing we need savings he is likely a pass at the flex position this week.
George Kittle- Great Flex/Decent Captain
George Kittle made his return last week and made a big statement as the tight end topped 100 yards and found the end zone against the Cardinals. Amazingly, Kittle’s price tag did not skyrocket as it is still at a very affordable price of $7,800. Kittle can make the strong argument that he is still the number one receiver in San Francisco as he is averaging 9 targets per game over his last three games. The matchup is a very good one this week as the Rams are allowing 61 yards per game to tight ends this season, but have not faced one anywhere close to Kittle’s abilities as the only tight end that has consistently produced this season is T.J. Hockenson who does not possess the big play ability that Kittle has.
Brandon Aiyuk- High Risk Captain Only
Brandon Aiyuk is a high risk/high reward play this week that really should only be used as a captain spot as at $6,600 the price is simply too high for the production. Aiyuk is coming off of his best game of the season in which he had 89 yards and a touchdown. While it is a solid game, the problem is that 89 yards is 39% of his total year’s production. He simply has not produced at a level that is going to want to make you play him. By all accounts he has been in Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse this season, and with Deebo Samuel less than 100% last week, he could go back to a tertiary option for the 49ers this week.
|Captain or Flex
|Darrell Henderson Jr.
|Odell Beckham Jr
|Van Jefferson Jr.
|Jeff Wilson Jr.