Monday Night Showdown – Seahawks Eagles – Fly Birdies Fly – Week 12 DFS Showdown Strategy

Last night was certainly an interesting game, despite the score. You had Aaron Rogers and to a lesser extent Davante Adams coming out roaring and taking a lead. Then the Green Bay Defense kinda took over and gave Trubisky his Trubisky moments. Then Jamaal Adams became the lead back for the Packers for a quarter and a half and it wrapped up with Chicago Bears Garbage Time offensive production basically saving all of the 5-1 Bears Stacked Lineups from a goose egg (thank you Packers Prevent Defense). As it turns out the 5 – 1 method of building a lineup did seems to have been the most profitable method. My highest scoring and thankfully profitable lineup that I ran in a 20 Max entry tournament was:

Captain: David Montgomery – Flex: Allen Robinson, Mitchell Trubisky, Jimmy Graham, Darnell Mooney, Robert Tonyon. This got me 123.93 Points and at least a little green in my pocket.

The winning lineup in that tournament can show you some things that I had spoken about. Mainly being different and leaving money on the table. So let’s look at the winning lineup, which got a lot of green in that player’s pocket. This lineup gives two good examples of things I spoke of in my article yesterday, should you have read it:

  1. Leaving money on the table. My lineup left $400 on the table. The winning lineup left $1,500 on the table.

2. Rostering a defense in showdown with the opposing quarterback. The Packers defense came out last night and performed, but by the end of the night so did Trubisky.

These two contrarian approaches helped win this player a tournement last night. as well as the contrarian approach of including a defense on a lineup with the opposing QB. Here it is:

Captain: Allen Robinson – Flex: Aaron Rogers, Mitchell Trubisky, David Montgomery, Packers Defense, Mercedes Lewis

Now on a whole I was on all of these players, minus Lewis – which I am kicking myself for. All 3 of Lewis’ touchdowns this season have come on prime time. I shoulda known, right? But it is the combination that turned out to be the winner with Robinson, Rogers, Trubisky, Montgomery, Packers that gave this player 19 More Fantasy Points than me and a whole lot more money.

So for tonight’s matchup between the Seahawks and Eagles, what can we learn here. First Defense can matter in Showdowns and we should discount the notion that the Defense can be rostered alongside the opposing Quarterback – not in every lineup, but at least in one as leverage on the field. Second, the salary cap is not a necessary thing to Hit precisely – don’t be afraid to leave cash on the table. It is not about the most studs possible, it’s about being optimal and in some cases that is Mercedes Lewis. Right?

My Captain/MVP Picks

I’d like to start with the Eagles here. I actually see this game playing out a lot like last night’s and because of that, I will be fairly heavy on 5 – 1 Eagles stacks. Plus, the most interesting storyline on the night also falls on the Eagles side and it definitely will have an effect on the team, the game and your DFS lineups. At least it should, based on what we know.

So let’s talk about what we know. Rookie QB Jalen Hurts has been getting reps with the first team offense all of this week. What does that mean? Well on the surface we need to look at what the team is saying. Per Ian Rapoport the word is that “when (Hurts) is on the field, unlike previous snaps, (Wentz) will not be”. Which means that when Hurts is in he will be operating as the Quarterback and not just the wildcat gadget player we have seen. Additionally the team has said the added practice snaps will lead to Hurts “seeing his most significant snaps yet”. Now of course this could all be thrown out the window based on how this game goes, but at least going into the game it appears that the team is inserting Hurts in to perhaps give this offense a spark.

So what does this mean for Carson Wentz? Taking a look at early ownership projections Russell Wilson looks to be the highest owned player on the slate by a mile so it is tough to really compare what Wentz’s projected 40% ownership means. Hurts meanwhile is as of right now projecting for around 15%. Certainly this is up from past weeks, but the question is if this news hadn’t come out of Eagles camp – would that mean Wentz’s ownership would really be at 50 – 60% and Wilson’s at a closer margin? We don’t know and we also don’t know how many DFS players are up on this. I expect as we get closer to lock and more players are reading into this game the Hurts ownership to go UP and the Wentz ownership to go DOWN slightly. If that does trend as I think it will, I become WAY WAY more interested in Carson Wentz as a Captain Pick on DK. This isn’t based on past performances and stats as frankly, it’s been ugly especially lately. This is based on two simple things. First the Seattle Defense – dead last in the league against Quarterbacks and giving up a whopping 355+ yards through the air per game. Second, the proverbial Chip on the Shoulder. If there was ever a game that the Eagles are holding Wentz’s feet to the fire and saying put up or shut up, it’s this one and if Hurts does indeed see 10+ snaps under center and is successful … good luck Carson. But if you read my stuff you know, I love a guy with a chip on his shoulder.

I also do not mind taking shots on Jalen Hurts either in the Captain spot either – but I do think as more and more DFS players get wise to the practice reports, his ownership rises. I think a lot of that will be reflected on people starting him in Captain as a pivot to Wentz. Depending on how that plays out, he may end up a lot more Chalky in the spot than he is now. So in my lineups I will have more Wentz than Hurts in the top spot as there is a real possibility at that having some leverage on the field if what I think happens, happens. Hurts is of course cheaper than Wentz which also helps the narrative I am laying out here. I could be wrong by the way – but that is what I am thinking will happen.

The major, major issue with rostering an Eagle QB in the top spot of your lineup is the house of cards known as the Eagles Offensive Line. So it is a gamble for sure. Despite being in the bottom half of the league for pressure and sacks, Bobby Wagoner and the Hawks are extremely capable defensive players on the line and could have more success than they have seen all season tonight. So it is with risk that I recommend Wentz and to a lesser extent Hurts at Captain but where there is risk there is often reward as they say. On FanDuel I will look elsewhere.

The really nice thing about the Eagles is that there are only 3 offensive players costing over $7,000 on Draft Kings. Wentz, Hurts and Miles Sanders. I don’t love Sanders as Captain on DK, but he is one of my favorite picks on FanDuel. So why don’t I like him on DK? First the price – he is the highest priced Eagle on DraftKings, which gives me pause for sure. Second, the rotation. While yes the lion share of running back work is being handled by Sanders you also have Boston Scott seeing snaps and 5-6 carries per game. Scott also saw 3 targets to Sanders’ 5 in the last game with each man catching 3 balls and Scott actually gaining more yardage on his catches. Then you have the ever present Corey Clement who rifled a touchdown in the last game on his only carry. So my concern is that Miles’ Sanders’ ceiling is limited and I don’t want that for my Captain on DK. Additionally Miles Sanders hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 6. Yes he was out for 3 games after that, but it is alarming that it was Clement seeing the Goal Line carry in week 11 and not Sanders who by the way had 15 carries in the same game and as mentioned was involved in the passing game. Honestly if I am playing an Eagle running back at Captain on DK I’m paying down for Boston Scott on the chance he gets a prime end zone target.

On FanDuel, I like to roster running backs in the MVP as there are no yardage bonuses available for QBs and WRs as there are on DK (Editors note, there is a bonus on 300 yard Passing for QBs and every 100 Yards gained by WRs on DK). So I don’t mind Sanders as a pivot from Wentz, Hurts or a pass catcher on FD. He has seen double digit rushing attempts in every game this season and if Hurts was practicing with the first team offense this week, it was with Sanders and not Scott, so there should be a similar comfort level for Sanders on Check Downs from Hurts as there is with Wentz.

As much as I like Carson Wentz in the Captain and as much as I will have some shots at Jalen Hurts in the top spot, I think my favorite Eagles plays for Captain will come from the Eagles Wide Receivers. First – they are cheap! Not a one over $7,000 on DK or $10,000 on FD. Second, well, do I need to go over the Seattle Secondary again? The issue becomes, who is the #1 in this offense. Here in the second half of the season it has appeared to be Travis Fulgham who has seen 7 or more targets in every game since Week 5 and has 4 touchdowns on the season – though he hasn’t scored one since week 8. Should Wentz or Hurts have time to throw, this could be the Fulgham show tonight. However to every rose, comes a thorn and I have to wonder if the thorn to Fulgham’s rose could be talented rookie Jalen Reagor. Since being activated in Week 8 Reagor has seen 5 or more targets from Wentz in every game and does have a touchdown catch during that span which includes a bye week however has also had no TDs since Week 8. If you look at the 4 top projected receivers in this game, Reagor is 4th highest in ownership to Fulgham’s 3rd and using either of them as a Captain makes an interesting pivot from the chalk Seattle big two. Wentz is targeting both men, with Fulgham being the clear favorite. Does Hurts follow suit? Or perhaps is there a a rookie connection brewing with he and Reagor. Interesting question indeed.

Call me crazy here though but believe it or not I also have some interest in Alshon Jeffery tonight. It has been 2 weeks since Jeffery has come back from injury and he has done less than diddly squat, while Greg Ward has looked to be the WR 3 in the mix. Historically though, Jeffery has been the #1 and while Fulgham has been fantastic, the Eagles aren’t paying Jeffery’s salary for nothing. I have to wonder if the Eagles were holding the oft injured veteran back for a game such as this and a softer matchup in the secondary. I will have at least one lineup with Jeffery at Captain on DK. He is cheap, cheap and virtually no one is even playing him (at least at the time of this writing).

I think a popular Captain/MVP Pick tonight will be the Eagles Tight Ends – Dallas Goedert and Richard Rogers (Zack Ertz will not be active tonight). Both men found the end zone last week but Goedert had the more productive day with 77 yards on top of the score on 6 targets to Rodgers’ two. But I will be underweight here at Captain or MVP. With Wentz in, the Tight Ends are in play but without knowing how many snaps Jalen Hurts will have or where he likes to look when he is dropping back, I think using Goedert in Rodgers in stacks with either QB (or both) is fine but I will look elsewhere for Captain/MVP. If I had to pick one it would be Goedert over Rodgers but I’ll likely stay away and use them in the flex.

FINALLY – let’s talk Seahawks.

Russell Wilson is the highest projected point totaler in this entire game and right now is sitting around 81% owned. There is a real chance Wilson may climb as high as 90+ in ownership which is absolutely nuts, even in a Showdown. But how can you look past DangeRuss here? It will be extremely difficult to do so. Only once this season has Russ finished with less than 20 Fantasy Points and that one time was against the #1 Defense in the League, The Rams. The Eagles are not The Rams. The Eagles are giving up over 357 total yards of offense per game and I use that stat because it isn’t just Wilson’s arm that makes him a great play. It is also his rushing. Over the last 5 Games Wilson has attempted 6 or more rushes with 8 in week 10 and 10 in week 11. Outside of Lamar Jackson in Week 6, this defense has not seen a Quarterback like Wilson (keep in mind too that Jackson’s own rushing attempts have gone down this season while Russ’ has gone up). In fact let’s look at the recent quarterbacks who have started against this Eagle’s defense recently that perhaps are helping to ‘pad’ the stats for the Green & White. Week 11 Baker Mayfield. Week 10 Daniel Jones. Week 8 Ben Denucci. Week 7 Daniel Jones. I should mention too that Wilson is 4 – 0 against the Eagles in his career. I like Russ’ odds to put on a show tonight. It will be extremely hard to get around him in your lineup I think. You will have to pay for him as he is the highest priced player on the slate on both sites, but you can find value in the flex that can help. Also at 80 – 90% ownership, pretty much any Eagle can make you a little different from the field in Showdown. The Eagles Defense is the ultimate pivot here and if multi-entering, I’d suggest having at least one lineup with them as a flex. Look what happened last night for example as to why.

I think the next most popular picks for Captain will be DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett and I will tell you, this is where I will mostly be playing. Not just for the slight pricing discount off of Wilson but I think one of these guys is going to go off tonight and I’d like to have at least one lineup that has them maximizing those points. The Eagles Defensive line is getting healthy and a very Game Fletcher Cox will be coming at the Seahawks and I think Russ will be throwing. Both men are seeing roughly 50/50 ownership so that isn’t really something to consider here. I think the one factor that will have me leaning slightly more towards Lockett is the expectation that Darius Slay will be shadowing Metcalf more often than not. We have seen Metcalf both struggle and excel when faced with shadow coverage and for what it’s worth, Slay has been playing very well this season in his new uniform. So for me I favor Lockett – slightly. But that does not mean I won’t have any lineups without Metcalf in the Captain Chair, I’ll just have more on Lockett. From a target perspective, Lockett remains the favorite as he leads the team in Targets on the season including 9 in each of the last two games. He also scored his first touchdown since week 7 last week and that was with a slight knee sprain. Of course we all remember the Locket 20 target 200 yard 3 score in week 7, which we may be chasing a bit with his ownership but that is ok. A dream is a wish the heart makes after all. Metcalf on the other hand has seen 5 or more since week 7 including a 15 target game in week 8 and two touchdowns in that game. I think the real upside to Metcalf is the Touchdown equity as since week 7 Metcalf has 4 TDs to Lockett’s 1. It’s like how can you go wrong with these guys running routes, right? One thing I will say here is that I could easily see a simple Wilson Lockett or Wilson Metcalf plus 4 Eagles lineup taking down a tournament tonight. Bold prediction? Perhaps…

To be fair to the Eagles however, I think you have to give a nod to them for being Top 5 against Running Backs. Wow. The thing is though, how are they top 5 against running backs while still allowing over 130 yards on the ground per game? Well two weeks in a row facing Nick Chubb and Zeke Elliot will help explain that margin. So what are we doing with Chris Carson? Now that he is back to full health he will be the clear #1 in the backfield and despite the little red 4 you will see for the matchup, I think you can run on the Eagles and Carson should find success. I like Carson as a pivot to Wilson or Metcalf or Lockett on FanDuel. We haven’t seen him in full capacity in some time and he could be really ready to show why he is the man… in 4 of the 6 games he has played a full compliment of snaps he has scored 19 or more fantasy points with a season high against Miami of 25. In 5 of those games he has also has 3 or more targets with him hitting 7 targets just a few weeks ago against Minnesota. Carson brings a lot of upside in this matchup – as does Carlos Hyde. Hyde was spectacular in place of Carson against Arizona with 79 yards and a score on the ground and 16 yards through the air. We haven’t seen Hyde and Carson healthy and playing at the same time since week 3 and in that game Hyde saw 4 carries and 1 target – but after the performance he put on in Week 11, I would not surprised to see Hyde cut even more into Carson’s workload tonight. I love Hyde as a pivot to Carson in some lineups at MVP on FanDuel.

Flex, Flex, Flex it Up!

From a strategy perspective, in your Eagles stacks, I don’t mind rostering both Wentz and Hurts in a lineup but for who you surround them with I think you’ll need to make a stance on who it will be (Wentz or Hurts) that makes the bigger impact on this game from a fantasy perspective. On the one hand I would expect Wentz to start but if the Eagles struggle in moving the ball, how fast is it before we see Hurts under center. And will that continue once he is in there? I think you safest way to play this is to look at the Wide Receivers Fulgham and Reagor and probably Dallas Goedert as stacking options. Fringe plays like Alshon or Greg Ward or Richard Rodgers I will likely exclusively stack with Wentz. I do think that since we have seen both Sanders and Scott in the passing game, using one of them in a stack in place of a Tight End or second receiver isn’t a crazy notion. Though in Eagles stacks where you have both Wentz and and Hurts together I am less likely to roster a running back as what you are saying in a stack like that is that the QBs get it done for the Eagles. In stacks where I don’t have QBs I am ok with using Sanders or Scott. Scott being the salary saver contrarian play here. 

If I am making an Eagles stack I am looking to run it back with Wilson and a Pass Catcher – either Metcalf or Lockett OR I’m going the other way and using the Seattle Defense and either Carson or Hyde. Hyde projected to come in under owned tonight in my opinion. I could also see Wilson with the Seattle defense as a viable consideration to run back an Eagles Stack. 

If you are building a Seahawks stack I think the first thing you will see is that your salary will get used up very quickly. As is more than 50% will go to Wilson and Metcalf or Wilson and Lockett especially if you are using one of them at Captain. So you will need to look a little deeper with Seattle to make a 3 or 4 or 5 man Seahawks stack work.

For me, I always like playing #3 receiver David Moore in Showdowns. Moore has seen 3 or more targets in nearly every game this season and also has 3 touchdowns on the season. Moore appeared on the injury report coming out of Friday’s practice though. If he plays, he is cheap and NO ONE seems to ever look his way and he is a solid #3 for Wilson. If he sits I think you can take a look at Freddie Swain who will lineup in his place. Swain however also is questionable so if HE sits, you can take a shot on Penny Hart – but only if Moore AND Swain are both inactive. If Moore is active I’d leave both Swain and Hart on the bench. If news breaks on Moore I do people will look to go cheap with Swain, but if news breaks on both I have a hard time believing the majority of the field will look at Penny. I also said it last night and I’ll say it again. These three guys are primarily the ones returning kicks and should a run back happen stacking one of them (whomever is healthy) with the Seattle Defense is a double on the points. Lockett also fields punts so using the Seattle Defense with Lockett for the same reason is a sneaky leverage point against Lockett’s ownership. 

I also think you need to look at Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister the Tight Ends here. With Greg Olsen on IR, Dissly has moved back into the #1 receiving tight end on the team and while that hasn’t been an overwhelming source of targets this season, both Dissly and Hollister have played well for this team over the last two seasons and the matchup couldn’t be any better with the Eagles ranked as the 3rd worst in the league against the position. I could see the Seattle Tight Ends getting more looks tonight especially if Moore is out and Slay indeed slows Metcalf. All of the Tight End attention is going to Goedert tonight and neither Dissly or Hollister is projected at over 8% owned. Gotta like that. In week 11 Hollister saw 3 targets to Dissly’s 2 but I think that was a case of the game flow than a design. While both men only have one touchdown this season, neither has seen the red zone since week 5 so a Seattle Tight End score is overdue and you can’t ask for a better matchup to see that happen than against the Eagles. 

In general I do feel this game could look very similar to last night’s when it is all said and done. You have a high powered offense on one side against an offense that is still trying to figure things out on the other. If that is the case there will be benefits in considering 2 – 4 Seattle – Philadelphia type lineup builds. 1 – 5 Seattle – Philadelphia type builds and 5 – 1 Seattle – Philadelphia builds. Basically the Seattle Offense is clicking and the Eagles are playing catch up and moving the ball in garbage time. Since ownership on the top players so heavily favors Seattle, I’ll look the other way and try and load my lineup with Eagles and be a little more contrarian. 

I also always recommend at least a few lineups with kickers in them. The only issue I have tonight is that neither Jason Meyers or Jake Elliot has seen more than 3 Field Goal attempts in a game this season with the majority of performances only having 1 attempt. It says something about these two offenses. With Seattle, Wilson has been airing it out so much they have simply haven’t been in the red zone and stopped in the red zone much of the season. On the Eagles side they have just plain struggled to move the ball at times. Both teams have strong running games as well which has contributed to the lack of 4th downs in the red zone when they have been there. If I am choosing one it is Jake Elliot only because I think the Eagles will be playing catchup and need to score points however they can. So I don’t mind including him in stacks with the Eagles offense or in lineups that contain the Seattle defense. 

But this is 2020 after all and anything can happen. So you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll have at least one lineup without Russell Wilson on it and the Philadelphia defense and Philadelphia offense heavily favored. And in any game, sacks fumbles and interceptions are a possibility and we saw last night’s winning lineup had both the Green Bay defense and Mitchell Trubisky on it. So don’t sleep on Defenses either if you are multi-entering. 

And don’t forget – the salary cap number you see is only a suggestion. Ownership will be heavily concentrated tonight and you need to be different and if you build a lineup that you think can give you an edge and there is $1,000 left to spend – go with your gut and lock it in. That alone is a way to get leverage against the rest of the DFS field. 

GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!

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