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 on the season simply because there are so many different players that can be in consideration. With that so many great top end options does make it difficult for lineup construction as you are going to have to make some difficult decisions on how you construct your lineup as there is not a lot of value on the slate.
This seems like a week where it may be difficult to punt the captain position simply because one of the top end players such as Ja’Marr Chase, Cooper Kupp, or Tee Higgins are going to have a huge game. Of course you could always take a quarterback at the captain play, although that is typically not my strategy on these types of weeks where there is elite receiving talent on both sides of the ball. The way that I’m playing the quarterbacks this week is taking them in the flex for the team that you have the captain wide receiver of. If you’re taking a running back as your captain, then paid the quarterback of the team with the most flex wide receivers.
Joe Burrow- Great Flex Play in a Bengals Stack
There’s a lot to like about Joe Burrow as the Bengals are going to have to lean on him heavily this week in order to win the Super Bowl. As great as Burrow closed out the regular season, he has struggled a little bit in the playoffs this season as he has thrown just four touchdowns in three games and has failed to top 250 yards in two of the three games. The matchup is a unique one this week as the Rams have been extremely hit or miss when it comes to opposing quarterbacks. On the season, the Rams have allowed more than 300 passing yards to seven opponents this year, while holding eight quarterbacks to under 200 passing yards, so in 15 games this year quarterbacks have either topped 300 yards or fell below 200 yards.
Joe Mixon- Good Flex, Low End Captain
Joe Mixon is in a tough matchup this week as the Rams’ run defense has been dominant this postseason allowing just 42 yards rushing to opposing running backs per game. However, Mixon’s value comes from far more than just rushing yards, as he has topped 65 just once since Week 12. Mixon is a dynamic receiving threat and with the offensive line issues that the Bengals are experiencing, could have a game similar to Leonard Fournette where he caught 9 passes for the Buccaneers. Now, it’s difficult to expect a 9-catch performance as that one had an entire half of garbage time, but Mixon is averaging 5.3 receptions per game over his last five games, so if he’s able to get 6-7 receptions and add a touchdown he could be in consideration for a captain position if the top end receivers don’t pan out. Also, in a low scoring game, Mixon becomes a strong consideration at the captain position.
Tee Higgins- Great Captain and Flex
Fantasy sites just refuse to price Tee Higgins properly this season. At just $11.4k as a captain, you’re getting a player who has topped 100 yards in five of his last nine games while topping 95 in six of those nine games. With Jalen Ramsey likely to shadow Ja’Marr Chase, Higgins will likely see the more favorable matchup against Darious Williams which if this happens there will be a significant size problem for Williams as Higgins is 6’4’’ compared to Williams who is just 5’9’’ so the Rams will almost assuredly have to provide some help for Williams. If there is some risk, it is that Higgins has only caught six touchdowns this season, but if he’s matched up against the smaller Williams, that should increase his touchdown odds this week.
Ja’Marr Chase- Great Captain
Ja’Marr Chase is a difficult player to determine what to do with this week. He’s priced up at $15.6k as a captain and $10.4k at flex, which on a week with not much value does make it difficult if you want Chase and Cooper Kupp for example. What most people will look to when they think of Chase is the 266-yard 3 touchdown performance against Kansas City. However, Chase has been more inconsistent than that as he has topped 100-yards in just 7 of his 20 contests this season and has scored a touchdown in just three of his last ten games. The upside is certainly there to have a massive performance, but there is substantial risk that it is probably left best to be a captain only play this week.
Tyler Boyd- Flex
Tyler Boyd has struggled over his last four games as he has averaged just 25 yards receiving in that time, but he will likely be the overlooked player in this game which could lead him to having a strong performance. Boyd has shown flashes this season as he had 828 receiving yards and five touchdowns. With all the attention going to be on stopping Chase with Jalen Ramsey, potentially having to double team Tee Higgins due to the size matchup, and stopping Joe Mixon on the ground, this could lead to some favorable spots for Boyd this week and at just $5.4k makes for an excellent flex play this week.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford- Good Flex Play in a Rams Stack
Stafford falls into a similar spot as Joe Burrow in that it is difficult to play them as a captain when there are such strong players around them. Stafford has been great the last two games throwing for 366 yards against Tampa Bay, and 337 against San Francisco. The issue comes down to whether you want to take Cooper Kupp or Matthew Stafford at captain as they are priced within $1,200 of each other. Stafford has topped 25 DraftKings points just once in his last seven games which Kupp has done four times including his last two games where he averaged 37.9 DraftKings points.
Cam Akers- Low End Captain/Good Flex
Cam Akers and the Rams running game has struggled throughout the playoffs as they are averaging just 2.9 yards-per-carry throughout the playoffs. This can be a little misleading however, as they have faced some of the best run defenses in football in Tampa Bay and San Francisco. This week, Akers gets to face a Bengals defense that are allowing 5 yards-per-carry or higher since Week 17. The linebacker play is a big issue and with
Cooper Kupp- Great Captain/Flex
Cooper Kupp was outstanding this season and surprisingly at $17,400 is a value as his price should be closer to $19,000 this week. Kupp is averaging 37.9 DraftKings points over his last two games, averaged 28.2 on the season, and has topped 100-yards in 13 games this season. He should be the most popular player this week as the Rams will look at the Packers game plan earlier this season in which Davante Adams had 206 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals.
Odell Beckham Jr- Fade
Odell Beckham Jr is going to get a lot of hype this week simply because of his name and his most recent performance as he had 113 yards against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game. However, at a price tag of $8,400 at flex and $12,600 at captain, it is overpriced. Prior to his last game, Beckham had struggled as he averaged just 37 yards over his prior six games. Based on how popular he will be, he may be a fade candidate this week simply because last week’s performance can be attributed to the matchup more than anything with San Francisco covering Beckham with Rookie Ambry Thomas. This week, he will likely see a lot of Chidobe Awuzie who is a much better corner than Thomas.
Van Jefferson- Flex
Of the receivers who have the most favorable matchups this week, Jefferson tops the list as he will likely be matched up against Eli Apple for most of the game. Apple has been up and down throughout the season but has been inconsistent and often led to being burned. Jefferson has been relegated to the third option in Los Angeles but has shown a propensity to catch the deep ball as he has 12 games with 20 yard receptions or longer. At just $5.2k, he is a higher risk play, but could pay off tremendously as a flex this week.
Los Angeles Defense- Great Flex
The Bengals have had their offensive line issues throughout the playoffs and have been fortunate in their opponents throughout the playoffs to not have been exposed more. The Bengals were third in the NFL in sacks allowed this season, and Burrow was sacked nine times against the Titans in the playoffs. The Bengals in the playoffs so far faced Tennessee (10th in sacks), Las Vegas (18th in sacks), and Kansas City (28th in sacks). This week, the Rams are third in the NFL in total sacks as Aaron Donald and Von Miller have created matchup problems throughout the season for the Rams. Von Miller should have a big day going up against Isaiah Prince on the right side of this defense.
|Position||Name||Salary||Projection||H-Value||Point/$||Captain or Flex|
|WR||Cooper Kupp||11600||24.8||44.9||2.1||Captain Only|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||10800||20.4||34.4||1.9||Flex Only|
|WR||Odell Beckham Jr Jr.||8400||14.1||23.3||1.7|
|RB||Darrell Henderson Jr.||1600||2.3||5.3||1.4|