First off I want to take a minute to apologize as I missed out on getting my article and thoughts up about last night’s Showdown Slate with the Eagles and Cowboys. Had a power outage where I lived and it set us back to the stone age for most of the day because of course – nothing was charged. Anyway, last night actually resulted in one of the lowest scoring DFS winning lineups of the season as the game was also a low scoring affair. Tonight we have another interesting matchup as the Red Hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the desperate for a win, injury weary New York Giants. It will be an interesting one to tackle and so I am going to give you a few of my strategy points as well as picks on who I am building my lineups around. I will then give you an example lineup that I will roster for you to take a look at. If you read my Sunday DFS Article for Week 8 you will see I introduced a new segment called #SlateBreakers. I will utilize that here as well, because fundamentally in a game such as tonight’s I think you will need at least two Slate Breakers mixed in with players that will give you a guaranteed floor. Let me explain why.
The Bucs Defense has been playing at an extremely high level this season and I think, ultimately, this has the makings to be a fairly low scoring game. With the Giants you have the backup to the band aid that was brought in after Saquon Barkley went down and while Wayne Gallman is a very capable runner, he gets to face the #1 Rush Defense in the league tonight. So while anything could happen, I am expecting a high volume of passing from Daniel Jones and to say the least – the Giants Passing Attack at best can be described as Volatile. Ultimately I believe that this game could look very one sided by the time the 4th quarter rolls around and I would take the under on the Vegas line if I was betting.
But here with DFS, especially in Showdowns, we need points and we can find points even in a low scoring affair. So let’s get into it. Unlike my previous showdown articles I will discuss pricing for the players I mention – not just their “flex” pricing – but their Captain pricing as well for DK. This article will primarily focus on Draft Kings pricing and highlighting who I like as a Captain tonight but if you are playing Fan Duel I think you will get what you need from it as well. My thoughts on the individual plays are the same for both sites and even though the specifics of ownership for DK and FD differ, where each player is ranked from ownership (ie; most owned, not owned enough etc) doesn’t change. Just keep in mind Fan Duel is higher priced because they don’t adjust for their MVP seat and there is a higher salary cap. Everyone is in play on FanDuel except the defenses. So you can take what I am saying here about DK and use it to play as best you can on FD. Got it?
Before I get into my strategy, let’s just recap notable absences tonight:
Chris Godwin – OUT
Davante Freeman – OUT
OJ Howard – IR (Out)
And of course, Saquon Barkley – IR (Out)
DRAFT KINGS STRATEGY:
Tom Brady a). has the Highest Projected Fantasy Points tonight, 20 b). has the Second Highest Projected Ceiling of Points, 28 c). is the most expensive player on the slate at $12K Flex, 18K Captain and d). is without question the highest owned player on the slate at 80%. Wowza. Now I do believe a lot of this ownership comes from Brady also having the best projection as a Captain in tournaments tonight. With his ownership and salary being so high tonight it puts me in a conundrum. On the one hand, you have to like Brady tonight against a Giants defense that is ranked 22nd in the league giving up 260 passing yards per game, but on the other hand at that level of investment you need Brady to exceed his Ceiling as Captain and while it is possible, I am concerned that the Bucs defense will put the squeeze on the Giants so much that perhaps Brady doesn’t need a ‘monster performance’ to get the job done. So while risky, I will likely go well under 80% of my lineups with Brady as Captain. However I think he needs to be a lock as a Flex play.
The problem is if you are looking to roster another Buc as Captain – where do you go. The next highest projected player on the slate is Mike Evans. With Godwin out, Evans should be the natural choice to see a target volume increase. In Week 2 with Godwin Out, Evans saw 10 Targets (vs 4 in week 1). In Week 4 with Godwin Out, Evans saw 8 Targets (vs 4 in week 3) and in Week 5 with Godwin Out, Evans saw 9 Targets. The issue is the last two weeks where Evans has only seen 2 targets per game. Yes Godwin was on the field for these games but we also have since seen the reemergence of Rob Gronkowski into Tom Brady’s life occur (Gronk has seen 8 Targets per game the last two weeks) and last week we saw Scotty Miller reestablish himself in the offense with 9 Targets for 109 yards and a score. So it is tough to trust Evans at $10.8K Flex and $16.2K Captain to pay off that salary. This is also not to mention the Giants bright spot in their secondary, James Bradbury, likely being on Evans a lot tonight. Evans is also seeing massive ownership at 70% currently and with too much of a question mark for me and a very high price tag, I am likely not going to have any lineups with Evans as Captain. Could it burn me, sure, but I am ok with that. Again however I will have plenty of lineups with Evans in a Flex spot, stacked with Brady. The one thing that I do like about Evans tonight is the potential for Multiple Touchdowns, even if his total yardage is down.
For Bucs Captains I am more inclined to look at Gronk ($12K CPT, $8K FLEX) or Scotty Miller ($12.9K CPT, $8.6K Flex). Both Gronk and Scotty Miller are seeing decent ownership – around 30% but compared to the mega chalk of Evans and Brady, 30% is contrarian. Gronk has steadily seen an increase in targets including 8 the last two weeks and he always has Touchdown Upside. While the Giants rank 7th against Tight Ends, they really haven’t played a Tight End the level of Gronk this season (week 2 against the 49ers George Kittle was out as was Zack Ertz last week against the Eagles). Miller is a more volatile pick as his explosion last week cme a bit out of nowhere but there is a chance with Godwin Sidelined he sees a strong amount of targets – especially if Bradbury is indeed following Evans. I honestly don’t have an issue stacking Brady with Evans, Miller and Gronk – but I will most likely make it a three man out of that group.
I also like Bucs Captains tonight as either Ronald Jones or Leonard Fournette. RoJo has ownership over 50% while Fournette is coming it at under 30% and while RoJo likely will lead, I think the Bucs are anxious to give Uncle Lenny a fair share of work after multiple weeks of absence. The Giants are in the bottom half of the league against the run giving up over 100 yards on average and if you are following my game theory of the Bucs defense showing up tonight, I think Brady and Company will be leaning on their two studs on the ground more than normal. Especially in the second half. Due to the price and ownership I like Fournette a bit more at $6.2K Flex, $9.3K CPT but Jones will likely have more opportunity. Jones is $8.8K Flex, $13.2K CPT. Since you are looking for RAW POINTS to rack up I do not have an issue using either guy in a stack with Brady and a Pass Catcher, or two. The reality is if Brady scores 3 TDS to your two receivers and then hands the ball off the rest of the game, you are getting all of the Buccaneers offense in a stack.
I think the Bucs Defense is a smart play tonight and while I don’t usually roster Defenses in the Captain spot, I think the Defense should be your 5th man in a Bucs domination stack (5 – 1) and I also think playing a Bucs running back and Defense together is a strong play tonight. I also like kicker Ryan Succup as a contrarian piece to Buccaneers stacks and if you are multi-entering, throw Justin Watson or Tyler Johnson in a few lineups. With Godwin out, both these guys will get on the field and both are cheap and nearly unowned at sub 10%. It could be either Watson or Johnson nabbing a deep TD throw from Tom Brady and you’ll be glad you have a share or two of one or both men if it happens.
The Giants will have an uphill battle tonight against a very game Bucs defense. However I think you have to take a look at Daniel Jones for a few reasons. First the volume. As highlighted at the top, I expect a heavy dose of passing tonight from Danny Dimes. The Bucs have been lights out against running backs and given the situation the Giants find themselves in the backfield, I think they will need Jones to step up and make some pivotal throws. The other reason why I like Jones is because of his mobility. The guy can run – did you know that 70 yard scamper he had last week actually ranks Daniel Jones as the #1 MPH runner of the season – over Raheem Mostert? It’s true – look it up. I like Jones a lot as a Captain option tonight and while it is tough from a salary perspective to roster both Jones and Brady it can be done with both in the Flex. Jones is currently at half of Brady’s ownership and also is rather underpriced as a starting QB at $9.2K Flex, $13.8K CPT.
Right now if ownership holds, Sterling Shepard is being overlooked at around 15% owned and I don’t understand why. I think it is clear based on his return to the field last week, Shepard is the #1 Target for Jones on the offense and I think we could see Shepard turn a big night tonight against the Bucs. Shepard looked good in his return last week and the Giants will need to lean on his route running and his sturdy hands. Shepard fits nicely as a pivot to Jones at $9.9K CPT and is under priced in my opinion as a Flex at only $6.6K. If I am running back a Buccaneers stack with Giants – Shepard is one of my favorite choices to do it with. After Shepard however, I think you really have to take your pick and hope for a little luck on who you go with from pass catchers. Darius Slayton, Evan Engram or Golden Tate. I think we have seen that Jones isn’t able to create 100 Yard Games for more than one – maybe two of his receivers and while Slayton is the buzz worthy choice, could this be the Evan Engram Breakout? Or could we see another Golden Tate 50/50 touchdown grab? It could happen. If I had to rank these guys behind Shepard it would be Slayton, Tate, Engram – but that is just me. If Jones can get either of these guys and Shepard going we could have a game on our hands. I think a smart play if multi entering may be to have a lineup with a stack Featuring Jones, Shepard and one of the three – and making lineups where the three rotate in that stack. I think a full Giants Stack with all 4 primary pass catchers and Jones is not going to give you a high enough Ceiling to cash… Slayton is $7K Flex, $10.5K CPT, Engram is $5.8K Flex, $8.7K CPT and Tate is $3K Flex, $4.5K CPT. Each man is hovering just below Shepard in lower ownership and so due to that and his cheapest of the three price, I like Golden Tate the best of the 3.
Wayne Gallman is (in my opinion) surprisingly more popular of a play tonight than I would have thought. At near 30% ownership, he is an easy fade for me. It may damn me to not cashing but I think I am right here. The Bucs are the #1 Defense in the League against the run averaging UNDER 100 yards on the ground to opposing offenses and while Gallman will see volume, I think there is a chance that the run is abandoned early here. Yes Gallman does offer some passing upside, but I think Dion Lewis is also being severely overlooked tonight and could be a great play considering his role as a pass catcher – at ⅓ the ownership of Gallman. Lewis is only $1.2K Flex to Gallman’s $5.2K. Neither man will make it as a Captain for me tonight but I think I will be underweight on Gallman and overweight on Lewis – if I am using a New York Running Back I mean. In my opinion if you are building a lineup for a single entry tournament, the New York Backfield shouldn’t make the cut – in my opinion.
I really like Kicker Graham Gano tonight as a Contrarian play either to run back a Buccaneers stack with or to include in a stack with Jones and a Pass Catcher. Gano has been a strong play in Showdowns this season (last week not withstanding) as the Giants have had struggles in the Red Zone. At under 10% ownership you have a player with a double digit ceiling that is a nice contrarian piece to Giants stacks or as a run back on Buccaneers stacks. And because anything can happen in 2020, if you are multi-entering I think taking a couple shots on the Giants Defense is a good idea. I would use them in lineups that don’t contain Brady or a Buc’s running back. But to round off a Giants stacks or paired with Gano for example, I think having a shot or two on the G-Men isn’t a bad idea.
So let’s build a lineup. I think using a 4 Man Bucs to 2 Man Giants lineup or a 3 and 3 lineup will be your best bets. Here is a 3 and 3 I built. Below it a 4 to 2.
3 – 3
CPT: Tom Brady
FL: Mike Evans
FL: Bucs Defense
FL: Sterling Shepard
FL: Golden Tate
FL: Graham Gano
Budget Left: $600.00
4 – 2
CPT: Tom Brady
FL: Mike Evans
FL: Rob Gronkowski
FL: Ty Johnson
FL: Sterling Shepard
FL: Dion Lewis
Budget Left: $600
Good Luck in your Contests!