When the SAINTS come marching in … it is ringing in my head as the Saints are AT HOME in the Superdome against a NFC Rival and a date with destiny on the the table… so what Voodoo to Do You Do may I ask? Much like Ravens Titans I like Saints Bears for not only main slate picks but Showdowns too. So I have broken these 3 games up in my DFS Strategy & Picks for today.
MICHAEL THOMAS IS ONLY $6,300 ON DRAFT KINGS. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
So it is no wonder that Mike Thomas will be the Chalk Wide Receiver today (45% Ownership). Here is the thing… how do you avoid the volume and production that Michael Thomas offers in a do or die situation at that price. I should note here, Draft Kings did a nice job keeping a lot of players at their regular season week 17 salaries. They did it yesterday too. So especially in large field tournaments, don’t be afraid to leave some money on the table when you are building. If your gut likes the lineup you built and there is $1,000 left to spend – leave it – especially if you are in a 20 Entry Max type tournament. That alone can make you different against the field. Ok back to the picks.
Seriously, Michael Thomas is the 3rd most expensive Wide Receiver and at under $7,000 I will eat the Chalk. This has been a Tumultuous year for Thomas to say the least but do you know what erases all the bad in a troubled season? A Superbowl ring! You have to believe that Thomas is coming out to torch the Bears. The Bears by the way that in 4 of their last 5 games have allowed opposing offenses to score 25 or more points. Earlier this season they allowed 26 Points to the Saints and Michael Thomas DIDN’T PlAY IN THAT GAME. I think Thomas is about as close to being the only LOCK on this entire slate….
Someone who did play in that game in week 8 however was Alvin Kamara who had 96 yards receiving in that game. With Thomas back on the field, I would expect that number to come down but the thing about Kamara is his overall usage in this offense. Yes he had a 6 Touchdown game in week 16, but don’t try and chase that. Between rushing attempts and targets, Kamara is averaging 21 touches per game this season and really there are only 2 other backs on this slate that come close to that (Derek Henry and Nick Chubb). Kamara is the Chalk Running Back today at close to 40% ownership, so it will be tough from an ownership perspective to roster both Kamara and Thomas on the same lineup without your whole lineup being Chalk. That being said – it may be worth it. While the Bears are ranked 3rd against running backs, they are still allowing over 100 yards on the ground and they have had issues with pass catching running backs all season long. My fear on Kamara though is the Saints taking a lead and how much Latavius Murray we will see in this game. Certainly a contrarian play would be to Stack Thomas and Murray together but it is a risk for upside. With Kamara also being the most expensive Running Back on the slate, stacking Kamara and Murray together limits the upside on the lineup salary investment on Kamara. In showdowns though, I have no issue using all three. I don’t have a problem with Murray as a cheap underowned flex play on the main slate… but in general I am using Kamara on non Michael Thomas lineups. Both Kamara and Thomas should be smash plays today, I don’t want anyone to think otherwise.
It is a shame that Taysom Hill is not able to be rostered as a Tight End on DK and FanDuel anymore. The reason is, he makes it tough to roster Drew Brees for me. Brees is the 3rd Highest owned QB on the slate behind Big Ben and Lamar so perhaps I am an outlier here. Since returning from Injury Brees has thrown for over 300 yards once out of 3 games. In week 8 against the Bears he threw for 280 yards and 2 scores. 19.9 Fantasy Points. The difference was though, Brees was outside in Chicago and he didn’t have Michael Thomas on the field. Now at home in the dome with Mike Thomas running routes, Brees has the chance to absolutely be a smash. However, it is the Taysom Hill wildcat formations that the Saints are using more frequently that give me pause. I have no problem rostering Brees in stacks with Thomas or Kamara but again at 30% ownership, Brees himself is chalky. So you are really going to have to find some variance in your lineups I think. It’s not that I like dislike Brees today, but I like Tannehill in the last game a whole lot more.
I don’t think you should ignore Emmanuel Sanders today. Sanders has developed into a strong #2 option in the passing game especially over the second half of the season. He has averaged 5.5 targets per game since week 13 and saw 13 in week 16. He has 5 Touchdowns on the season but he has become a bit of a field stretcher for the Saints and I like that today with the Bears likely to put all of their efforts on slowing Thomas and Kamara. Sanders actually missed the first meeting of these teams in Week 8, so it will be interesting to see how the Bears handle him on the deep balls. Similarly TE Jared Cook has emerged not only as a Red Zone target but also a possession option for Brees this season. Since week 13 Cook has also consistently seen 5 targets per game and he has 7 Touchdowns this season. With Mark Andrews on this slate, Cook is going a but underowned and the Bears are 30th in the league against tight ends. I’ll have my shares of Jared Cook today.
Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller are chalk. Both north of 30% ownership today. Simple reason in my opinion – Run Backs. With Darnell Mooney out for this game the usage for Robinson should even climb higher than his 9.5 Targets he is averaging this season per game and with Mooney out the natural thought is more targets will open up for Miller. Both are perfect run back options to Saints stacks and with the Brees, Kamara, Thomas all being chalk too it is easy to see what most DFSers are doing. So it may sound crazy – but Mitchell Trubisky is projected at less than 15% ownership and for me an interesting way to attack this game is to go Trubisky-Thomas-Robinson-Kamara for example. So yes I am saying it, I like using Trubisky over Brees in tournaments. Now this could blow up in my face as the Saints defense at home is SCARY … but I have to think Frisky Mitchy will do his part to keep this game competitive and by the way Garbage Time points are as good as not garbage time points in fantasy … #Analysis
I think the player that most intrigues me for the Bears though is David Montgomery who has been on a literal role the last 5 games of the regular season. Especially over the last 3 where he averaged a whopping 26 touches per game. Ownership on Montgomery today is a bit shocking at close to 40% he is the third highest owned running back on the slate. However for me …. and it may blow up in my face … he is a fade. The Saints are the #1 Defense against the run and are at HOME in the SUPERDOME. In week 8 he took 21 carries for 89 yards and 2 catches for 15 and 11.9 Fantasy Points just doesn’t give me a sense of enough upside here to warrant the ownership… he is a great Showdown Play though. That is just me though… I think the Bears will need to pass a lot in this game and I think playing Montgomery is the hope he falls in the endzone twice. I’d rathe pay up for Henry and Kamara …
Last thing on the Bears. Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet. Both coming in at less than 10% ownership and on a slate where you will need some value, I think you need to look at this tandem. Kmet has seen 7 or more targets in the last 5 games and whose to say the beneficiary of the Darnell Mooney targets won’t be Kmet who the Bears and Trubisky are high on. He is cheap and at 9% ownership he helps to offset the Chalk that Thomas, Kamara, Brees, Robinson, Miller all represent if you are building a stack on this game. I like the upside with Kmet here. Jimmy Graham will not DIE! He is a little too touchdown dependent yes, but again – Trubisky is without and emerging favorite target in Mooney and those targets need to go somewhere! Graham has 8 touchdowns on the season. More than Emmanuel Sanders, more than Jared Cook. He is more of a Showdown play for me but I have no problem rostering a cheap Jimmy Graham at 5% ownership if I am stacking this game.
OK Two Down and One to Go – Browns Steelers is up next!
In the meantime play a Showdown of Saints Bears and Good Luck in your Contests if you have already locked!