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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 best Showdown slates of the season, as it matches up two great offenses, against two really good defenses. There are a number of ways to go on this slate. A lot of people are going to start at the top with Cooper Kupp, or Kyler Murray and figure the rest of the roster out, which likely isn’t a bad way to go about this week, but there are also some lower end players such as Chase Edmonds who is expected to return tonight or Rondale Moore who is seemingly mispriced at just $2k.
Kyler Murray- Great Captain/Flex
Kyler Murray is officially back after dealing with an ankle injury for almost two months. The Cardinals did the right thing by keeping him out for a month to recover as it was not getting better while he was playing. Most of Murray’s value comes from his rushing ability which was on full display last week as he ran for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns. The best news of the week was that his rushing touchdowns both came from inside the 10-yard line which shows the confidence the Cardinals had in his ankle to allow him to carry the ball instead of handing it off to James Conner. In what should be a high scoring game this week, Murray has plenty of upside for a massive game especially since Jalen Ramsey is out this week.
James Conner- Fade if Edmonds is active. Captain only if Edmonds out
James Conner is in a tricky situation as he was mis-priced due to the return of Chase Edmonds. The Cardinals have been very conservative whenever it comes to injuries, so with Edmonds returning, expect him to have a role as they largely have a playoff spot already clinched which means that they could afford if Edmonds didn’t play this week. If Edmonds were to not play, then Conner could become a captain only type player as he is still fairly expensive against a solid defense against the run and will need multiple touchdowns to pay off his salary.
Update: Conner should be a captain only play this week as Chase Edmonds was not activated. He is expensive but does bring multi-touchdown upside. If this is a low scoring game, Conner can certainly be a strong value.
Chase Edmonds- Good Captain/Flex- Did not get activated This one is a simple mis-pricing of Chase Edmonds as it appears that DraftKings did not believe that Edmonds would play this week as Conner is too expensive, while Edmonds does provide some nice salary relief on a week that we desperately need it coming in at just $6,900. This game just fits Edmonds profile as he tore apart this Rams defense in their first meeting rushing for 120 yards on just 12 carries as his quickness and lateral rushing style allowed the Cardinals to mitigate Aaron Donald and the dominant Rams front, putting more pressure on the linebackers who struggled bringing Edmonds down.
DeAndre Hopkins- Flex
On a normal slate, taking DeAndre Hopkins in what should be a high scoring game against a team that is without Jalen Ramsey should be captain viable, but not this week. The problem is that Hopkins just didn’t look 100% healthy last week as he only saw 2 targets in a game in which he was on the field for 74% of the snaps. Even without Ramsey, the price has not come down low enough to justify taking him as a $14,400 captain this week.
Rondale Moore- Great Captain/Flex
Much like most of the other Cardinals wide receivers, Rondale Moore had a low output game last week, but miraculously his price is only $2,000 this week. Moore has been a bit of a yo-yo this season ranging from 1 receptions to 11 receptions, but he does have 3 or more receptions in 8 of his 12 games this year. Moore also should have some positive touchdown regression coming as 10 of his 12 red zone targets came with Kyler Murray at quarterback and Moore has just one touchdown this season. Compare that to DeAndre Hopkins who is tied with Moore for Red Zone targets and he has 8 touchdowns on the season.
Christian Kirk- Flex
Solid mid-range option for a player who has 7 receptions for 20+ yards this season. Still has not had a massive game this season as he has not topped 20 fantasy points this season.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford- Better Flex, but usable as a Captain
Matthew Stafford has been incredibly consistent this season, but the upside has been somewhat of a problem for Stafford on the year as he has topped 30 DraftKings points just twice this season. In their first meeting, Stafford had a very typical game where he threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns. The problem with Stafford is on the two games that he has had his 30+ output, he got to 30.2, and 32.5, while Cooper Kupp got to 40.6 and 39.8. If you want to play Stafford, you certainly can, but it seems unlikely that he will be the top play per dollar which means you should likely avoid him as your captain this week.
Sony Michel- Great Captain/Great Flex
Sony Michel is the top player on this slate, as he is another player who should benefit greatly from injuries/illness as Darrell Henderson has been placed on the Covid list and will miss this game. In Michel’s last game, he ran the ball a staggering 24 times and showing some pass catching ability as he caught 3 passes albeit for just 8 yards. Arizona is an interesting run defense as a lot of teams do not run against them, but when they do, they have had moderate success as Arizona is allowing 4.6 yards-per-carry. The Rams ran for 100 yards on just 17 carries in their first matchup, so expect Michel to see a vast majority of those carries this week.
Cooper Kupp- Better Flex than Captain, but can play both
Cooper Kupp has slowed down a little bit since his torrid start, but his version of slowing down just means he is consistently scoring in the 20-29 range instead of consistently putting up 30+ which he has not done since Week 7. The problem for Kupp this week is really two-fold as 1) he is incredibly expensive at $18k as a captain, and 2) he is going to be very popular amongst the casual players who play this slate. While Kupp has a bunch of upside, taking him as the captain is incredibly risky and if he struggles you will have a significant advantage against the field. You likely want some exposure here, as it seems unlikely that Kupp will completely disappear in this game as he likely ends up with 20-25 points, but that’s not good enough to justify the captain premium cost.
Van Jefferson- Flex
Jefferson still has a solid role even with Odell Beckham back in the lineup. Jefferson has seen 7 or more targets in each of his last 4 games, and has shown an ability to score as he has scored in two consecutive games.
Tyler Higbee is out of this game due to Covid which means Brycen Hopkins and Kendall Blanton are going to split time here. I prefer Hopkins simply because he outsnapped Blanton last week, and he is a younger player that the Rams are trying to develop while Blanton is more of a veteran having been on the Rams since 2019 and is 26 years old compared to Hopkins who is 24 and the team used a 4th-round pick on compared to Blanton who was an undrafted free agent. Both are solid flex plays and a very cheap way to fit some of these more expensive players in your lineup. One of these two seem to be a critical piece to potentially get some value this week.
Odell Beckham- Captain Only
Any time Odell takes the field, he should be in captain consideration based on what he has done early on in his career. However, with that said, he comes with a ton of risk this week as he has not clicked yet in Los Angeles. In his three games with the Rams, Beckham has caught just 9 catches on 18 targets and while he has scored two touchdowns, he is averaging just 42 yards per game. At $9,300, there’s just no way you can trust him as a flex with all of the great options on this slate.
|Captain or Flex
|Van Jefferson Jr.
|Darrell Henderson Jr.
|Odell Beckham Jr