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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.
While last year’s Super Bowl ended up being one of the best Showdown slates of the year, and one that we nailed with Cooper Kupp as the number one captain, this year is a little bit different. While the Eagles and Chiefs are both fantastic teams, from a fantasy perspective the amount of players that we typically use from these teams is somewhat limited especially on the Chiefs side of things. While that does complicate things from a Showdown perspective, it also adds in some intrigue on trying to decipher between players such as Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Justin Watson, or JuJu Smith-Schuster. While it’s a difficult week, it does have more options particularly at the captain spot than normal given some of the uncertainty of how this game is going to play out.
In this game, the quarterbacks are going to be the stars, and while it’s not typically advisable to play the quarterback as the captain position on DraftKings, this week could be an exception. Patrick Mahomes II finished the season as the top overall quarterback in terms of points per game, while Jalen Hurts finished second.
- Jalen Hurts
- Travis Kelce
- Patrick Mahomes II
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling
- DeVonta Smith
- Eagles Defense
- A.J. Brown
- Jerick McKinnon
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes II- Great Captain/Flex
Patrick Mahomes II is in a bit of an interesting spot this week. He’s expensive at $11,000, but it feels as if you almost have to play him in either the captain/flex position. The way that he is able to distribute the ball limits makes him and this offense so dangerous as they can beat you in so many different ways. There were concerns heading into last game about Mahomes’ ankle, but those have seemingly gone away with two weeks of rest and a 326 yard passing performance against the Bengals in the AFC Championship game. This week, the matchup is not an ideal one. The Eagles boast one of the best secondaries in the NFL led by Darius Slay and James Bradberry, alongside the best pass rush we have seen in almost 40 years in the NFL as the Eagles had 70 sacks on the season only bested by the 1984 Bears. Even still, Mahomes is as matchup proof as they come in the NFL throwing for over 300 yards 11 times this season.
Isiah Pacheco- Good Flex Play
Pacheco is a bit of a wildcard in this game, as during most of the regular season, his volume was incredibly steady however over the last four games it has become sporadic and somewhat unpredictable. From Weeks 10-16, Isiah Pacheco had 15 or more touches averaging 16.7 touches during those games. From Week 17 through the AFC Championship game, Pacheco is averaging just 11.8 touches and has 15 or more in just one of those games which was the AFC Championship. The good news for Pacheco is that he did catch 5 passes last game, but that seems somewhat unpredictable as he had just 8 other receptions on the season.
Jerick McKinnon- Captain Only
Jerick McKinnon’s usage is a bit of a mystery during this playoff run. McKinnon was a fantasy machine during the final stretch of the season as he scored 9 touchdowns over his final 6 games. Where McKinnon made the biggest impact was through the passing game as he averaged 4.5 receptions per game over that final 6 game stretch. However, in the two playoff games he has just two total receptions. Whether it is teams game planning around stopping McKinnon or just random variance, it is concerning heading into this game. McKinnon could very easily get back to his former self that led the team in red zone touches, and if he does, he’s going to be a player you’re going to want in the captain spot.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling- Decent Captain, low-end Flex
Valdes-Scantling is the definition of a deep play threat. We saw last game regarding what he can do when the defenses don’t focus on him as he had 116 yards and a touchdown. However, with that big play explosiveness comes volatility. Valdes-Scantling has topped 15 DraftKings points in just 4 of his 19 games, which makes it very difficult to play as a flex play unless you’re just doing a Chiefs stack.
Justin Watson- Value Punt Play
Justin Watson is an interesting player, as he is the third wide receiver on the field for most of the plays for the Chiefs, yet the production is hardly there. Watson is a speedster intended to create space for the rest of the receivers and tight ends. He has been seeing about 2 targets per game which all it takes is one long reception for him to reach value. On a week where there are not many options at the low-end, he’s a player who is going to be on the field for more than 50% of the snaps and if he catches a long pass will easily pay off his cheap salary.
Kadarius Toney- Flex
Kadarius Toney is going to be one of the more popular flex plays on this slate. At just $4,400, the former first-round pick is arguably the most talented receiver on the roster. Consistency has been the issue for Toney who has shown glimpses of breaking out, but has not been able to put together a massive game since being acquired mid-season. The good news here is that while Toney was hurt in the AFC Championship, he did have 4 or more receptions in 2 of his prior 3 games. If Toney can catch 3-4 passes this week, Toney should reach value while having upside for much more than that.
Travis Kelce- Good Captain/Flex
There really is not much to say about Travis Kelce as we are 22 weeks into the season. He’s in his own class regarding tight ends and is one of the few players who has the upside to match either of these two quarterbacks. The issue for Kelce is price. By taking him, you’re essentially going to either have to not have one of the two quarterbacks or take flyers on some of the low-end guys such as Justin Watson or Quez Watkins. The matchup is a good one as the Eagles coverage weakspot is against tight ends as they have allowed three tight ends to top 60 yards since Week 13 and have faced one of the easiest tight end schedules in the NFL this season.
Jalen Hurts- Great Captain/Flex
Jalen Hurts has exceeded every expectation of him this season. While always thought of as a good running quarterback, he has added an ability to beat you through the air as he has four 300-yard games this season. While this is a run-first offense, the Eagles have enough weapons in Devonta Smith, AJ Brown, and Dallas Goedert to make it a matchup nightmare for any opponent. If there is a concern, it is that Hurts has not put together one of his masterful performances since his shoulder injury that kept him out in mid-December. While most accounts are that he is completely fine, he just has not been needed to show off his passing ability as he has not thrown for over 150 yards during the playoffs, but the Eagles have cruised to the Super Bowl beating the Giants 38-7 and then the 49ers 31-7 in a game in which the 49ers lost both of their starting quarterbacks. While the Chiefs have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, they are allowing only 205 yards passing since Week 9, as Trent McDuffie’s return from injury has greatly improved their play.
Miles Sanders- Flex
Miles Sanders at $7,800 is just a little overpriced considering the Eagles committee approach along with the matchup. Consistent volume has been an issue for Sanders who does not have a big presence in the passing game, and since Week 9 has only had 15 or more carries in 5 of his 12 games while topping 100-yards twice. The Chiefs run defense has had a great year this season allowing a total of 81 yards per game to opposing running backs this season. He is a fine piece to build in as a flex play, but just does not seem to have the upside needed in order to payoff as a captain this week given some of the premium options combined with the full point PPR on DraftKings.
Kenneth Gainwell- Flex
Kenneth Gainwell’s value is primarily driven by his touchdown equity as he has 9 red zone opportunities over the last two weeks, and 15 since Week 16. Over that timeframe, Miles Sanders has 16 red zone opportunities since Week 16. At $5,000, Gainwell’s carries maybe held to under 10 this week, but he does have at least one reception in nine straight games. If you’re looking for a cheap play, Gainwell could fill out a roster, but is not someone to center your roster around.
DeVonta Smith- Great Captain/Flex
The second half of the season, Devonta Smith has emerged as a top receiver in the NFL. Since Week 13, Devonta Smith had 60 or more yards in every game except his last one where the Eagles did not attempt to throw the ball with the 49ers having no quarterback. Smith also showed he has a tremendous upside as he has topped 100-yards in 4 of those 8 games which having that 100+ upside is required to be a captain this week given the assumed upsides of both Hurts and Mahomes. For $600 cheap than AJ Brown, Smith provides a small salary relief for an emerging wide receiver who has shown that he too can have the elite wide receiver upside.
A.J. Brown- Eagles Stack Flex
Even if you’re someone who is doing 10+ lineups, you’re likely going to need to choose between AJ Brown and Devonta Smith this week. Of the two receivers, Brown is likely going to draw the more difficult matchup this week seeing a lot of L’Jarius Sneed while Smith will draw the talented rookie in Trent McDuffie. AJ Brown just has not looked right this post season as he has failed to top 30 yards and does have just one touchdown over his last six games. When it comes to a single game format, we’re splitting hairs on players, but Brown just feels a little more volatile than Smith at this current moment, and the price plays a massive factor into this one this week.
Eagles Defense- Low End Captain/High-End Flex
The Eagles defense is far too cheap this week. At just $3,600, the pricing algorithm is factoring in more about the Chiefs offense than it is the Eagles defense. This is an Eagles defense that has 70 sacks on the season and is facing a quarterback who we aren’t sure is 100% healthy regardless of not being listed on the injury report. Philadelphia can cause pressure issues in all sorts of ways whether it is up the middle with Javon Hargrave, or on the outside with Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, or Brandon Graham. The Chiefs were sacked the third-fewest in the NFL this season, but Patrick Mahomes II was sacked three times against a Bengals defense that had the fourth-fewest sacks in the NFL this season.
|Position||Name||Salary||Projection||H-Value||Point/$||Captain or Flex|
|QB||Jalen Hurts||11200||24.0||43.9||2.1||Captain Only|
|QB||Patrick Mahomes II||11000||21.0||35.5||1.9||Flex Only|