NFL Showdown can be a fickle beast. These contests do not rely on median projections so much as leverage and uniqueness. Fading the highest-rostered plays can be a risky proposition. Typically, your edge is going to come by identifying the best low-rostered plays and finding clever ways to pair them with the juggernauts of the slate.
This article will have a heavy DraftKings lean simply because the decision-making process is more interesting, given the salary premium attached to the Captain spot. FanDuel's pricing is the same for both MVP and FLEX spots. You will usually need the slate's top scorer at MVP, so FanDuel strategy revolves around unique FLEX builds.
Advice in this article will pertain predominantly to tournament lineups and strategy. For cash lineups, build around median projections. For head-to-head contests, continue to lean into the median projections, but if two options project closely, give the nod to the lowest rostered player.
Vegas is waffling a bit on this game. Washington's spread varies from –6.5 to –5.5, with a total ranging from 42.5 to 44.5. The uncertainty is fair: these are two below-average (yet tough to project) teams with young, shaky passers. No one can play with any real certainty when Sam Howell is a near-touchdown favorite.
A 42.5 total feels low, for sure. The 2023 Bears aren't known as scorers, but Washington's supposedly stout defense has been burned for 30+ in 3 straight weeks. Both secondaries are easy to pick on: Chicago sits 31st league-wide in net yardage allowed per throw, with Washington at 23rd. And between the two, they've allowed 16 touchdown passes thus far.
In other words, you may not trust the quarterbacks to show up with their heads on straight, but you'll likely want to be in on (some of) their receivers.
My Off-Hand Prediction: Commanders 26, Bears 20
Justin Fields (CPT or FLEX)
Fields is always in play due to his legs. But last week, with his back against the proverbial wall, he showed that there's juice in his arm as well. He posted his first 300-yard game in the NFL, as well as his first day of 4 touchdowns. For all the real-world concerns over his diagnosis, accuracy, and ball control, Fields can produce fantasy numbers of some sort when asked to. A shootout of any sort would make him a must-play.
The only question, then, is just how much Captain consideration Fields deserves. And there simply isn't much screaming upside here – not enough for our Captain, anyway. His penchant for turnovers limits the offense's snaps, so it's unlikely we'll see some 38-33 barn-burner. And for all his rushing chops, he's run for 25, 47, 3, and 59 yards thus far, with just 3 rushes from inside the 10. That's not exactly some Lamar Jackson level of production set to erupt at any moment.
Herbert finally woke up for the DFS world in Week 4 – right when no one was on him. After amassing just 29 touches through the first 3 weeks, he took on 22 last Sunday, producing 122 yards and finding the end zone. Of course, it's never wise to chase out-of-nowhere production like that for $8,600. You'd never pay that for Herbert in a standard slate, but in a game low on proven volume, he fits in nicely.
Johnson spent Week 4 as the clear-cut backup to Herbert. The lines were fuzzy to open the year, but his snap share has slid from 42% in Week 2 to 22% last Sunday. It appears his 6-catch Week 1 was fool's gold.
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