Tonight will mark the first Sunday Night Football of the 2020 Season and what a game it should be! The Highly Touted Dallas Cowboys taking on the most recent Hard Knocks Alum the LA Rams! Could this be the new Franchise QB Dan Prescott’s Night or could this be the Chip Shot in his backyard king Jarod Goff’s chance to show that he is the real deal. We shall find out – BUT what I am here to talk about today is Draft Kings and Fan Duels showdown slates and who I am looking at and what I am employing for a strategy to bring home some green. So let’s begin!
Now if you are unfamiliar with the Showdown Slates on DK and FD – no problem. Here is the skinny. You will be selecting players from one game (in this case tonight’s Rams Cowboys matchup) with one player being deemed the Captain (DK) or MVP (FD) where his total points are counted 1.5x. Cool right? Only thing is each player’s price, when selected as Captain on DK – it also increases by 1.5 too… not so cool. And while it is tempting and possibly a priority to take the highest valued and priced player on the slate as your captain, you have to be skillful in selecting the rest of the team because his price may eat up 15-25% or more of your total Salary Cap.
What I will try and do here is give you some of my favorites tonight and why and also my picks for both High Priced and Low Priced Captains on both sides of the ball. The bottom line here is I want to help you win some $$ and hopefully this article will indeed help you to do that. So let’s begin!
The Cowboys are favored tonight according to Las Vegas and with good reason. Dad Prescott, Big Zeke and all of the receivers come into this game healthy and ready and a healthy Cowboys team is a dangerous one. Here is who I am looking at on the Cowboys side of the ball.
Dak Prescott (QB) $16,200 DK Captain, $10,500 DK Flex, $16,000 FD
Dad recently signed his Franchise tag and for all intensive purposes, he is the franchise. Over the last two seasons we have seen the gameplan run through Prescott’s arm more and more. While Big Zeke is still a big part of the plan with the emergence of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, Dak has been the cog that really makes the train roll for Dallas. Tonight he faces a Rams team that last season he put up 15 for 23 for 212 Yards and 2 Passing Scores. He also ran for 12 yards. Not necessarily the best Box Score but it still equated to 18 Fantasy Points. While I do expect Rams CB Jalen Ramsey to largely take away Amari Cooper, I like the Dallas Offensive Line enough to protect Dak long enough from Aaron Donald to see a nice game. He has developed Michael Gallup as a great #2 option and now he has heralded rookie Cede Lamb coming out of the slot. Expect Dak to put on a show tonight in Prime Time and don’t ignore him when rostering.
Ezekiel Elliot $15,600 DK Captain, $10,400 DK Flex, $15,000 FD
Zeke will eat. That is really all there is to say. Last season against the Rams Zeke turned 24 attempts into 117 Yards and Two Rushing Touchdowns. He also caught 3 balls for 43 yards. Zeke is locked in for me and I will be using him as both a Captain and Flex on DK and my clear cut MVP Choice on Fan Duel if I am paying up. The bottom line is this, only once in 2019 did Zeke fail to score double digit Fantasy points and it sure wasn’t against the Rams. The Cowboys have arguably the best Offensive Line in Football let alone the NFC and I see Dak and the gang leaning on Zeke a lot in the Red Zone as much as from jump. This isn’t to discount what I said above about Dak but the reality is with the passing game where it is for the Cowboys, there is a chance that Zeke sees less stuffing of the box – even from the likes of Aaron Donald and if that happens, Zeke could break the slate. Fire him up with confidence.
Cede Lamb, Michael Gallup.
I will talk about both of these players because at once because I see both having a shot at a good game. As I mentioned above, I think Amari Cooper will be seeing a lot of Jalen Ramsey and that could open the lane for the Rookie Cede Lamb in the slot to have a break out performance. Lamb is a steal on DK at $5,800 for a Flex play for a receiver that should have plenty of opportunities tonight – even as a Rookie. He has impressed in training camp and has the quickness to get open in the seam. While attention from the Rams could be focused elsewhere I think as risky as it sounds – even at $8,500 on FanDuel he will be a player I am looking at.
While Ramsey tends to Mr. Cooper let’s not forget about Mr Gallup screaming down the opposite sideline. I don’t know if enough has been said about the steps that Michael Gallup took in 2019 to establish himself as the clear #2 and some weeks he emerged as the clear #1. While last season he had a less than spectacular performance against the Rams I think, with all of the hype on Rookie Lamb this off season, Michael Gallup comes in with something to prove. 5 Times in the back half of 2019 Michael Gallup broke the 100 yard barrier and he has carried that momentum through to training camp have been his route running has improved as well as his speed. If Cooper is Dak’s first look and it is indeed taken away it really opens the door for Gallup to have a big game on Sunday Night.
Blake Jarwin $9,300 DK Captain, $6,300 Flex, $8,000 FD
No more Jason Witten to keep Blake Jarwin from seeing daylight. Recently coming out of training camp Dak Prescott himself praised Jarwin for his ability to get open and hold onto the ball. While in the past it may have been more of a ‘possession’ receiver role in Dallas, I think Blake Jarwin also offers Red Zone upside to Dak. He is a BIG moving target after all. For all of the hype of the Ram’s defense too, they rank middle of the pack against Tight Ends (between 17th – 23rd depending on the ranking system you are reading). Again if the Rams take away some of the bigger weapons on the outside for Dak Prescott, the middle lane with Jarwin may have it’s number called frequently tonight and I’ll have a piece of that action.
THE LA RAMS
The Rams had the hollywood spotlight on them with this season’s Hard Knocks and due to this I believe there will be a lot higher ownership on Rams players in tonight’s DFS contests. So while I will be playing more Cowboys than Rams, I do want to highlight some players in my player pool from LA. After all – neither site will allow you to only roster one team. However you will note one omission here and that is the Ram’s Backfield.
If I lose tonight because I didn’t play a Ram’s running back – I lose. However I just don’t know which way to choose especially when Coach McVay openly has talked about deploying a 3 Man Rotation. Earlier in the week with Darrell Henderson potentially not being able to go – it was a little easier to figure out. But with news that Henderson will play, now you have to contend with who to choose. Malcolm Brown should be the clear starter. Then there is Rookie Cam Akers who while not impressing in training camp clearly has the skills to take over the whole role. Lastly you have Henderson who is obviously important enough to the game plan that he was asked about and answered about every day in Ram’s Press Conferences this week. Rostering all three is a fool’s errand in my opinion and rostering one and having that one be the wrong one also can sink your tournament chances. So it may be unpopular – but I’m fading all three. Let’s see how it shakes out first. However there are Rams I have interest in:
Cooper Kupp $12,600 DK Captain, $8,400 Flex, $12,000 FD
Kupp just got Paid! Yay! Additionally last season he hung 6 for 41 and 1 on the Cowboys. Not so much Yay but still! Now if there is reason to believe Jarod Goff has turned a corner after what we saw from him on TV, there is also reason to believe that one of his favorite targets will turn a corner as well. Kupp is a big part of the Ram’s Passing attack and he is one of the few Rams I would even have enough faith in to roster as a Captain or an MVP.
Robert Woods $11,700 DK Captain, $7,800 Flex, $11,000 FD
Robert Woods is like the Ram’s Swiss Army Knife. Run the ball, catch the ball, score touchdowns – he can do it all. Wood’s has also become the clear #1 in this Ram’s offense with the departure of Brandin Cooks to Houston. He was largely shut down in the last meeting with the Rams but I don’t expect that to be the case tonight. I said Kupp was one of only two Rams I’d consider starting in my Captain or MVP spot right? The other – Robert Woods. While most of his damage is done in the middle of the field I like Woods as a building block to your lineups, whether Rams or Cowboys heavy. I think there will be a lot of plays designed to get the ball in the speedy receivers hands.
Tyler Higbee $10,800 DK Captain, $7,200 Flex $7,500 FD
Call it Hard Knocks Hype but I am buying it. Tyler Higbee emerged at the end of last season as a big time weapon for the Rams and his training camp has been stellar by all accounts. And while the Cowboys have been great against many opposing passing attacks, they rank nearly dead last in the league against the Tight End. I think he will be a popular play tonight but I don’t mind eating the Chalk. Tyler Higbee has multiple red zone opportunity upside and he will be in my Player Pool. I mean did you see that TD Catch on Hard Knocks Brah or What!
Van Jefferson $2,400 DK Captain $1,600 Flex, $6,000 FD
It may be a dart throw – but only $1,600 on DK? Give me all of Van Jefferson. With Cooks gone, Jefferson will be the Wide Receiver 3 in 3 Wide Out Sets and he has had an impressive training camp. All it takes is a couple 30 yard bombs from Goff and a TD and that $1,600 price tag is paid off for young Van. Meanwhile the flexibility it allows you to stack your lineup with studs is incredible. Don’t sleep on Van Jefferson or a $1,600 price tag.
There is a chance for this to be a defensive struggle. So especially when entering in multiple tournaments I always stick two lineups in featuring one team’s defense and the other team’s kicker. Tonight will be no different. I tend to lean on the Dallas Defense more but coming off of a disappointing season the Ram’s Defense has that proverbial Chip on it’s Shoulder – and you know how much I like those.
Good Luck in your Contests!
Find me on Twitter @DelRayBoston