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Well the Ho-Ho-Holiday season is here and so is the NFL Playoff Race. With their win on Thursday Night the Chiefs now lead the Patriots by half a game as the number 1 seed in the AFC, so a win here would firmly place the Patriots back in the lead – so you know that the Pats will be laying it all on the line for a win. At the same time the Colts are still managing to hang on to their hopes of a Wild Card berth, so this AFC Matchup should be a good one. We are going to be talking about the Showdown slate on Draft Kings here but I will mention FanDuel plays as well as I go.
If you are new to this article I will first run through my favorite plays at Captain on DK first. Then I will go over my strategy for lineup construction and mention some dart throws. Today’s special Saturday Article will be is a quick read article however and for a more in depth look at the full Sunday DFS Slate, lookout for my Week 15 article coming later in the weekend. Follow me on Twitter so you know when it’s live.
Before I get to the picks I just want to quickly talk about these two defenses. The Colts have really come together as a defense over the last 4-5 weeks and their secondary has been playing much better basically shutting down Brandin Cooks last week, but also holding the Tampa Bay receivers to 25 yards each and even keeping Stefon Diggs in check. The thing I have to wonder is if that was by design, with each of those teams’ offenses so geared around their star receiver(s) the Colts have had really key components to focus their attention to. If that is the case, in this matchup, I am going to speculate that (especially after the Patriots’ last game against the Bills) it will be the run game that the Colts focus defensively on. If my estimation is true, I’d suggest (if you are multi-entering) you build at least a couple lineups around Mac Jones and his pass catchers.
The Patriots Defense has been playing lights out football for easily the last 10 games that they have played and they have also been very good at limiting the production of their oppositions’ #1 Wide Receiver. The issue is though that the Colts, like the Patriots are a clear run first offense and the run game has been about the only achille’s heel of the Pats defense. So it will be interesting to see if the Patriots also sell out to stop the run and if they do, I’d suggest to you (if you are multi-entering) is that you build a couple lineups on Carson Wentz and the Colts’ pass catchers.
OWNERSHIP is going to be a challenge tonight as well. Both of these teams are so concentrated with their offensive production and particularly on the Patriots, key injuries are a factor. So it should be easy to see where the field of DFS players are going. Here are your top owned players, ranging from 60% – 20%:
Rhamondre Stevenon 54%
Jonathan Taylor 51%
Carson Wentz 51%
Mac Jones 41%
Michael Pittman JR 37%
Jakobi Meyers 28%
Hunter Henry 23%
Kendick Bourne 21%
Brandon Bolden 21%
When you have ownership so concentrated like that, Raw Points are going to matter even more than leverage, so building lineups with getting the most Raw Points as possible is going to be my strategy with trying to find one lower owned player in my lineups to get a little leverage.
Jonathan Taylor $19,200 Captain – If the Patriots roll out the exact defensive game plan that they have over the last 8 – 10 weeks, than Jonathan Taylor should blow a hole in what has been a “run funnel”. JT has had double digit touches in every game this season including 32 in 2 of his last 3. He’s had 7 100 yard (or better) performances leading to 19 or more Fantasy Points in his last 9 games. In those 9 games he also has run for a touchdown or more and seen 3 or more targets in 7 of those games too. He has 2 receiving touchdowns on the season too. He is a strong play on DK and a great play on FanDuel at MVP.
Rhomondre Stevenson $12,300 Captain – This is all about opportunity as with Damien Harris already ruled out and Brandon Bolden is officially questionable. So there is a very strong chance that this backfield will run almost entirely through the big bruising rookie. In week 10 without Harris on the field, Stevenson had 100 yards on 20 carries and 2 touchdowns. He also saw 5 targets in that game. I would expect a similar workload here and with the Colts allowing over 111 yards on the ground per game it is easy to understand why Stevenson is the highest owned player – especially with nearly $3,000 in savings vs Jonathan Taylor on DK. Stevenson also is a pick for me on FD at MVP.
Mac Jones $14,700 Captain – when I mentioned the recent success the Colts defense has had recently, what I failed to highlight when I spoke about the Texans, Bills and Buccaneers is none of those are a run first offense and in fact none of those teams remotely come close to the number of running plays that the Patriots attempt. I mean we just saw this team have 46 running attempts to only 3 passing plays in a shut down performance against the Bills. If the Patriots can establish the run, I like Jones and his play action passes here. Now this is a risk since we again just saw a prime time game where Jones only attempted 3 passes – but I am willing to take a shot on him here, especially coming in over 10% less owned than Carson Wentz. If I had to make a comp to the team Jones will play tonight, it would be week 12 against Tennessee where Jones went 23 of 32 for 310 yards and two touchdowns. That seems like a good stat line worth 24.5 fantasy points to land on for tonight…
Jakobi Meyers $11,100 Captain – if the Colts are going to key in on the Patriot’s top receiver, I think it will be Kendrick Bourne that sees more double coverage than Meyers will, especially underneath and Meyers could chew up this defense with his YAC ability. Meyers has seen 6 or more targets in 9 games this season and has never seen less than 4. In that game against Tennessee I mentioned above Meyers took 5 catches for 98 yards, so again if we are looking for a comp since the Patriots last game there were only 3 pass attempts, I think that Tennessee game is it. Right now Meyers is seeing heavier ownership than Kendrick Bourne but I am not sure if he will be a very popular pick at Captain so I am willing to take a shot.
Hunter Henry $9,600 Captain – near dead last in the league against Tight Ends the Colts are and on top of that, he leads the Patriots pass catchers with 7 Touchdowns on the year. Henry isn’t a possession receiver, let Jakobi handle that. He is a red zone threat and I like him for at least one touchdown grab tonight.
Nyheim Hines $4,200 Captain – There is no statistical reason for me to mention Hines here outside of his role. As the gadget play, swing route, need a 3rd down player on this team and in a game environment that I expect to be a close one … this is literally a gut call but a lineup with Hines at Captain can do so much and if he does catch one of those balls in the flats that he ends up taking for 35 yards and a score, you will thank me for mentioning.
TY Hilton $8,700 Captain – Much like Hines, there is no statistical reason for me to highlight Hilton here EXCEPT what I wrote above, the Patriots are very good against #1 Wide Receiver/Weapons. So given that presumably would be either Michael Pittman or Jonathan Taylor or both, that leaves the veteran TY to target. That is #Analysis
Dart Throw Captains:
Michael Pittman JR
Lineup STRATEGY & Dart Throws:
Every player I listed above is viable in your lineup because of how these two teams concentrate the offense so I will give a couple lineup constructions that I like here and mention a few dart throws on either side. PS both defenses are very viable in your lineups at Captain or not, so don’t sleep on them.
I think in a game like this stacking the running backs is a smart play. Jonathan Taylor + Rhomondre Stevenson and building around them. In stacks like this both defenses and Kickers are viable – Nick Folk & Michael Badgely. Here is a build I will be playing like this
Jonathan Taylor (Captain)
Don’t sleep on the Colts Austin Dulin in this game he has been a deep threat and if he plays Brandon Bolden should be in your player pool for sure as should be Nelson Agholor and Zach Pascal. Again if each defense is keying in on #1 Wide Receivers, then each Quarterback will need to find another outlet.
The only players I am fading tonight are the Colt Tight Ends, Jack Doyle and Mo Allie Cox. It’s just something to note but the Patriots have been lights out against tight ends all season and I’d rather take a dart throw on Dulin or Pascal. If this decision beats me so be it.
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!