This is my first of two showdown articles for today’s championship games. These articles are intended to be a compendium to the main DFS Article that I published yesterday. If you need a quick link to check that article out first for my drill down on both games and the key players here is a link: https://tinyurl.com/ChampionshipDFS
Ok so let’s get into the Showdown slate for the NFC Championship between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Game has an expected point total of 51 and the Packers are favored by 3.5 points. Let’s go
My Captain/MVP Picks
It may seem against the grain but I don’t have a lot of interest in either Aaron Rogers or Tom Brady as my Captain/MVP. I am going to prefer to lean on matchups and expected production so my first picks may surprise you:
Buccaneers Running Backs: I just think the way the Buccaneers are using both Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones is lining up too nicely against a Packers defense that a). ranks 25th against running backs and b). are allowing over 100 yards on the ground. I think also with Leonard Fournette really claiming the pass catching back role in this offense and with Antonio Brown out he has a great opportunity to perform in the Captain/MVP role. However he is popular today – nearly 60% ownership in Showdowns. So why not look at Ronald Jones? He is projected at less than half of Fournette’s ownership and the last time RoJo played the pack he took them for 113 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The other reason I like the Buccaneers running backs for Captain/MVP is the sheer ridiculous ownership that Aaron Jones is seeing – close to 80% ownership in Showdowns. Holy smokes. Be different here.
Buccaneers Receivers: Chris Godwin in particular jumps out from a usage standpoint and as a red zone target. Godwin has seen since week 11 he has seen 7 or more targets in 5 of 8 games and has 6 touchdown catches in that span. He is cheaper than Evans on Draft Kings and more expensive on Evans on FanDuel. So Godwin would be my Draft Kings pick. Evans is the wild card and honestly I love wild cards in tournaments especially in showdown. In any game Evans could end up with 60 yards and 2 scores and win you a week. Or he could bust. But with no AB on the field, this could be a Mike Evans showcase week waiting to happen. The slight discount on FanDuel has me leaning his way.
Packers Secondary Receivers: Davante Adams is highest owned Wide Receiver on the slate by a mile (76%) and the second highest owned player overall behind Aaron Jones. In this matchup against the Bucs, Adam’s ownership makes tons of sense to me – but for Captain/MVP I want a home run ball and we have seen both Alan Lazard (last week) and Marquez Valdez Scantling (two weeks ago) deliver those. Both are touchdown dependent yes but so is Mike Evans to a certain degree and both the Lizard King and MVS are cheaper and are running just as many routes as Evans is in a more efficient offense. Who do I like better? Well you can ride the hot hand with Alan Lazard at 11% ownership or you could take the lottery ticket MVS at 3% ownership… the choice my friends is yours.
Robert Tonyon: Big Rob is due for a Touchdown catch. He closed the regular season with a TD in 6 Touchdowns in his last 7 games. 5 of them came on back to back to back to back to back weeks. He hasn’t had one in the playoffs yet and it may be an emotional play here but at home in the championship game, doesn’t it just feel good to think Tonyon – TD once or twice? He is seeing around 25% ownership but I do not think that is due to people rostering him at Captain on DK. Perhaps at MVP on FanDuel it is a bit more because his price is $2,100 less than on DK (yes take advantage). I like Tonyon.
Kickers: Ryan Succup (Bucs) Mason Crosby (Pack) will be in play today. It will be cold in Lambeau. Maybe even a flurry. Not every ball will be on target and not every red zone drive will end in a touchdown. I think the big thing here is that the Bucs have been decent defense particularly up front and the Packers have been playing decent defense on a whole since the start of the playoffs. I always roster at least one lineup with each Kicker as Captain on DK. They are always cheap and low owned. I do the same with one roster for each defense on DK. You just never know.
It is not that I am down on Aaron Jones the player, I am just down on the matchup against the Buccaneers defense that has been lights out against running backs nearly all season long. Yes I know last week he played another strong rushing defense and shocked the world with a 60 yard touchdown run to start the second half out of no where. But you are betting on lightning striking twice here rostering a player with near 80% ownership. I’d rather bet on Aaron Rogers finding Alan Lazard deep for a 60 yard score again. Now I have heard and seen the idea that the Buccaneers Defense will flip the script and try and lock down Aaron Rogers and Davante Adams and leave the running game wide open? REALLY? You play with the cards that brought you to the dance. No way. I will say now, I will have a lineup with Aaron Jones at Captain and one with him at MVP. Yes. I will also have some Aaron Jones exposure in my flex spots – some – not 80% of them.
This article has and always will be to get you guys to start thinking about your lineup construction differently. If Aaron Jones busts and you took the chance on not rostering him, you just gained an advantage on 80% of the field that has him. How does he bust? The Bucs front holds up. The carousel of Jones, Williams, Dillon continues to be a carousel. The Packers trail by 2 scores and Rogers is slinging… guys it could happen. 80% ownership on a player in a less than stellar matchup is a huge risk if you stop to think about it. Yes I will have some Aaron Jones but not a lot. That’s just me though, you do you.
Flex, Flex, Flex it Up
As always or if you are new to this article, anyone mentioned above in my Captain/MVP section is in play for me in the flex spot too. I don’t want to write twice about a player here…
I think it is a wise play to find a way to having both Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers in your flex spots. It isn’t a must by any stretch but hear me out. One of three scenarios will play out here. First one: The Packers efficiently move the ball and score at will, where having Aaron Rogers and likely Davante Adams stacked will be a must. But in that scenario Tom Brady will need to be throwing to keep pace, so having Brady and one of his primary pass catchers in the lineup will also be vital to success. Second scenario: This is a literal shootout with whoever has the ball last wins and points rack up like a winning pull on a slot machine. In this scenario having as much of both offenses as you can will be vital. That starts with Brady and Rogers. Third scenario: The Buccaneers shock the world and put the Packers on their heels. Again you will want to have a piece of Tom Brady’s touchdown passes and Rogers and Adams to play catch up ball.
In order to have Brady+Rogers+Adams + Godwin or Evans in your flex you will need to ride cheap at Captain on DK. We gave you some cheaper options. Then you will need to fill in the gaps. So here’s my gap fillers list…
Scotty Miller – $1,800 on DK, Miller is the technical wide receiver 4 and although he hasn’t really broken out in this offense with AB out, Brady could be looking for the shifty Miller early here. Sleeper watch.
Cameron Brate – $4,400 on DK has seen 11 Targets from Brady in the playoffs with Antonio Brown on the field, now that AB is off I’d expect that to maintain or rise.
Rob Gronkowski – $4,200 on DK. Touchdown or Bust yes but still Gronk is a trusted Brady ally on the field and these two have made magic together in Championship games in the past.
Jamaal Williams – $2,200 on DK. Especially in lineups without Aaron Jones, Williams is an adept pass catcher and you never know if he may be the right guy at the right time in the Red Zone. To a lesser extent AJ Dillion here at only $1,200 on DK who is a dart throw but you never know what those tree trunk legs can do to a stiff defensive line until you try.
Equanimeous St. Brown – Say that name 3 times fast. Seriously the wide receiver saw action last week and again this is a Championship game and if it gets into a dog fight, any long catch and run or long touchdown pass will do. $1,000 on DK.
Tyler Johnson – when AB went out last week it was Ty Johnson stepping into his routes. Ty Johnson may be the sleeper pick of the week if he is indeed playing the AB role in this offense. Only $800 on DK. Not at all a bad pick for at least one lineup with Ty Johnson at Captain. The things you could do with the rest of that lineup…
Marcedes Lewis – Touchdown or Bust, yes – but Aaron Rogers has an affinity for “The Big Man” as he has called him in interviews and in prime time in big games he is 2 for 3 in Touchdown catches in the redzone. I’ll have one roster with Lewis in it for only $400 on DK.
Good Luck in your Contests!!