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Tom Brady has lost two games in a row and tonight he gets a Giants Team that has been ravaged with injuries all season. I mention these things because I think what we will see tonight on Monday Night Football is two teams playing with something to prove and I love that potential motivation.
If you are new to this article, welcome. What I will do here is lay out my favorite picks for Captain (Draft Kings) and MVP (Fan Duel) for single game showdown tournaments. Then I will go through my strategy for lineup construction, utilizing the Captains I highlighted.
If you happened to read this article last night and took my advice on any of the Captain picks I spoke about, primarily Austin Ekeler but also Mike Williams, Pat Freiermuth or Diontae Johnson than I hope you found the success that those picks should have led you to. If not, well welcome back and let’s see if we can find some gold for you for tonight.
Tom Brady – will be your highest owned Captain on DK and MVP on FD tonight. It’s easy to understand why when you break it down to brass tax. First the weapons – yes, no AB BUT he gets Gronk Back and he has the tandem of Godwin and Evans running routes as well. Not to mention any check downs to Leonard Fournette. However Brady also happens to be the most expensive play on both sites tonight as well. So my hesitation here is how similar so many rosters will be using him at the top on DK at $16,800. What I mean is that by using him you will need to find a lot of value plays if you want to pair him with one of his studs, which will naturally lead you to likely the same cheap plays as a lot of other players. I am not opposed to Brady on DK but on FanDuel where passing yard bonuses are non-existent, he is a pass for me since he also offers little with his legs.
Daniel Jones – If I am playing a QB at the top tonight, I am much more interested in using Danny Dimes for a number of reasons. First price. Jones is a full $2,400 cheaper than Brady on DK at Captain and $2,000 less on FanDuel. Second, the Bucs’ strength at Defense has been against the run and if we are to assume that the Giants will be playing from behind the combination of this information should lead to higher passing volume from Jones than normal. Third, the weapons. Yes there is no Sterling Shepard but Jones gets Saquon Barkley back who has been elite in his career as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Plus he will also get Kenny Golladay back tonight and he also has rookie stud Kadarius Toney back as well. Not to mention big play threats Darius Slayton and John Ross and also there’s Evan Engram. Plenty of targets to exploit a banged up Buc’s secondary. Lastly, his legs. Jones has attempted 3 or more rushes in every game this season and has gone for 17 or more yards in 2 of his last 3 games. That makes him A-OK for me on FanDuel at MVP as well.
Saquon Barkley – if he plays, I love the contrarian nature of playing the star running back against a team that “you can’t run on”. Here is the reality – volume. If Barkley plays I expect him to see the lion share of work and even against a tough run matchup, Barkley is an elite runner and pass catcher. We just saw what an elite running back could do against the #1 Ranked Run Defense Yesterday (Jonathan Taylor – 5 Touchdowns) and so in the year of anything can happen, if Barkley plays tonight he currently sits at 8% ownership at Captain on DK and 7% ownership at MVP on FanDuel. I love taking a shot on Saquon here.
Rob Gronkowski – this is another Contrarian Play that I think has a lot of upside. Gronk is expected to return tonight and if he plays, you can bet that Tom Brady will be targeting him. In week 1 and 2 when Gronk played a full game, he walked away with two touchdowns in each game and 12 catches on 13 targets total. Without Antonio Brown on the field, we have seen Tom Brady have some struggles – but now he gets one of his security blankets in Gronk back and I’d expect some fireworks to happen. At 3% ownership at Captain on DK, he is right up my alley. Gronk is seeing a tick more ownership on FanDuel at 7% but still, that is contrarian enough for me to take a shot here. For what it’s worth the Giants are below average against the tight end, ranked 17th. I think Gronk will be a very popular salary saver in the flex on DK but not at Captain. Gonk Smash!
Leonard Fournette – Uncle Lenny is another player I am targeting at Captain due to a couple factors. First the carries. Fournette has averaged 13 carries per game and against the 25th ranked Run Defense in the NFL, that is enough for me. Against similarly bad run defenses in Chicago and Philadelphia, Leonard had 81 yards and at least one score on the ground. Second the targets. Leonard has averaged 6 targets per game and gone over 40 yards receiving 4 times this season. Fournette will be a popular Captain on DK and MVP on FanDuel where he sits as the second highest owned behind Brady – but if he goes 13 for 80 and 4 for 50 and has 2 touchdowns, which is entirely in the range of outcomes in this matchup, you’ll be glad you ate the Chalk.
Kadarius Toney – I love playing receivers at Captain on DK. Just last night, the variance of a Mike Williams Captain’d lineup likely paid off for many people. It doesn’t take much for a Receiver to be a game changer and that is exactly what Toney has been. Sure this comes at some risk. You have Kenny Golladay back on the field among other options for Daniel Jones to throw too, but for a big play to help an offense – Toney has been THE MAN on this team since getting the nod to start earlier this season. The Giants have had some tougher matchups with two sneaky good passing defenses recently, so Toney has certainly had a string of down games. However, this is the type of game environments that variance will be key so I don’t mind taking a dart throw at 3% ownership on DK.
Chris Godwin– I love playing Mike Evans at Captain on DK. I don’t mind it on FanDuel either. He and Brady are just a thing and now that Brady will very likely have Gronk back in the huddle, maybe some of the MoJo will be back in this offense. BUT, it looks like Mike Evans will see his fair share of CB James Bradbury tonight and a quick google search on the matter will tell you that the matchup has not historically landed in Evan’s favor. So if I am leaning on historicals, I will select Godwin as my pick here as a Buc’s WR Captain on DK. Since AB’s injury, Godwin has seen double digit targets in 3 of the last 5 games and operating primarily out of the slot, I like Godwin’s shot against this Giants Defense. You are hoping for a touchdown here and that is the only thing that worries me and honestly will have me still using a bit of Evans at Captain in my lineups. From an ownership perspective you really aren’t getting much of a difference going one of the other, and neither from price. My gut just says Godwin has a better shot at being the preferred Captain due to Evan’s matchup.
Evan Engram – oh this one pains me, but I have to mention Engram here. If you have watched any DFS Videos of me and my guy Lee, you would know I hate playing Evan Engram. However here is the reality… he has a touchdown in each of the last two games and he has outscored any other Giants receiver playing tonight from a Fantasy Stanpoint in the last 3. The Bucks are bottom half of the league against Tight Ends. If Saquon is back, you can bet Daniel Jones will be looking for Play Action with Engram tonight – particularly in the Red Zone. He’s less than 1% owned on FanDuel at MVP and less than 2% owned at Captain on DK. It pains me to say it but, I like Evan Engram tonight ….
The Buccaneers Defense – anything can happen in the NFL, yes that is true especially this year, but I have to tell you… I kinda like the Bucs Defense tonight. It just kinda matches up. The Giants – struggling passing attack, concentrated run game …. even on the road, there is a good chance that the Bucs get it done. Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers. I can’t say I’m all in on the idea, but if you need some salary savings and need some variance in your life – if you are multi-entering, I’d have at least one lineup with the Buccaneers Defense at Captain.
Flex Strategy & Darts
If I am playing Tom Brady at Captain, I am stacking with Gronk (if he plays) and either Godwin or Evans and I really don’t mind adding in a dart throw like Giovanni Bernard who has been involved as a pass catching back. I also don’t mind swapping Gronk in that stack for WR3 Tyler Johnson who has also seen an increase in targets lately, but I do wonder if Gronk coming back will effect Johnson’s usage.
Editor’s Note – if Gronk doesn’t play, Tyler Johnson I think takes a big step up and I don’t mind looking at TE Cameron Brate at Captain or in the flex or TE OJ Howard as a dart throw flex play too.
I also do not mind playing Brady naked in Lineups filled with Giants, but my real contrarian approach is stacking Brady with Fournette and banking on Fournette having his way with the G-Men and rushing for a score and catching one too.
If I am playing Gronk at Captain, while I mostly will be stacking with Brady and one or the other Godwin or Evans, I also don’t mind playing Gronk solo without Brady and stacking with Fournette and Evans. This is a more contrarian approach but with Gronk, Evans and Fournette you could have all the Buccaneers scores even if Brady has a tougher game…
If I am playing Godwin (or Evans) at Captain, I am going to Stack with Brady but that is it. If I am rostering either receiver at the top with the Brady Stack I am banking on that pairing being the dominant pairing of the game.
If I am using Daniel Jones at Captain, I’ll start my stack with Evan Engram then choose either Golladay or Toney to pair with them and round it out with a dart throw, primarily Darius Slayton or John Ross. Much like Brady I also don’t mind using Danny Dimes naked as it is possible he spreads the ball around so much it doesn’t positively correlate to stack and you could fill the rest of your roster with Buccaneers.
If I am using Saquon Barkley, I am pairing him with Daniel Jones and mostly Evan Engram. I also don’t mind sprinkling in the kicker here, Graham Gano. You will just want to have the most likely point scorers on the Giants stacked in case Saquon busts a little.
If I am using Kadarius Toney (or Kenny Golladay) at Captain, I am again rostering him with Daniel Jones and Evan Engram but that is it. Again I am banking on Toney-Jones being the highest Giants point totals of the night. I also will have some lineups using Saquon Barkley (or if he doesn’t play Devontae Booker) stacked too, just to be different.
If I am using Evan Engram at Captain, it is with Daniel Jones and one other pass catcher – Golladay, Toney, Slayton or Ross. Even though it is likely that Engram is the highest fantasy scorer out of the pass catchers, you are hoping for that last minute bomb like we saw from Mike Williams last night to push the linuep over the top.
I just don’t see the Giants Defense slowing the Buccaneers down to the point that I can see myself rostering them – but it’s 2021 and anything can happen – so if they beat me they beat me. For that reason I am also low on the Buccaneers Kicker, Ryan Succup as well. But if you play either you have my blessing.
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!