DraftKings

Thursday Night Showdown Saints vs. Rams

Alvin Kamara

Thursday Night Showdown

Well, look here: the Rams are currently in the playoffs. The Saints, 7-7, are looking to get in the playoffs. Does this seem like a fantasy football trap game to anyone? No, just me, okay.

Here is the deal: We had historically low predictive points in the last two weeks. In both games, the teams went over in the first half. This week, we have a respectable 45 o/u, with the Rams only favored by four. The Rams are holding the last playoff position in the NFC. The Saints are right behind them. The Rams have won four of their last five, the only lost an overtime game in Baltimore. The Saints come in riding a two-game win streak.

The Saints have held their opponents to six total points in their two-game win streak. Yes, the teams were the Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants, but both are NFL teams.

The Rams’ four wins have come against the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, and Washington Commanders. Cleveland is a playoff team, and Seattle is statistically in the hunt. But the four teams combined record is 23-33.

The Rams and their juggernaut offense are overperforming preseason expectations. The Saints and newly acquired quarterback Derek Carr are underperforming.

LINES

The lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, Wednesday afternoon.

  • New Orleans Saints +4 (-108); Los Angeles Rams -4 (-112)
  • Moneyline: Saints +170; Rams -205
  • Total: 46 o/u (-110)

DFS: PLAYING THE GAME

FanDuel, Yahoo, and DraftKings have Showdown Tournaments for you. This specific article is specific to DraftKings. The difference is the scoring system. DraftKings has a PPR scoring system with bonus points given to the quarterback, wide receiver, and running backs. Each position can get three bonus points. The quarterback gets his bonus points for passing for 300+ yards. The running back and wide receivers get their three points if they rush or receive for 100+ yards.

The Showdown Tournament requires you to roster six players. At least one of these players must come from an opposing team. You also must designate one player to be in the Captain’s spot. The Captain will receive 1.5 times more fantasy points. His salary is also multiplied by 1.5 times more.

It is important to remember that the Showdown slate is game script-dependent. How do you think the game will play out is how you construct your roster. (So, raise your hand if you had last week’s game going 63-21 Raiders?) What players will impact the game?

It also makes a difference if you are playing single-entry GPP or multi-entry. In a single-entry tournament, you not only get one shot at predicting the right game script, but you also will be less adventurous. You will play single-entry GPP more like a Cash game, where you are less concerned about the chalky plays. In a multi-entry GPP, you are going to get jiggy with it. You will want to stay away from chalky players and find that one player no one else is considering who will smash it.

INJURIES

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

DNP:

DE Isaiah Foskey (quadricep)

CB Lonnie Johnson (knee)

OT Ryan Ramczyk (knee)

LIMITED:

RB Kendre Miller (ankle)

WR Chris Olave (ankle)

DE Cameron Jordan (ankle)

DE Carl Granderson (shoulder)

DE Payton Turner (toe)

LOS ANGELES RAMS

DNP:

CB Tre Tomlinson (hamstring)

G Joe Noteboom (foot)

LIMITED:

CB Ahkello Witherspoon (groin)

PROP BETS

These props and odds are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • First scoring play type: Home Field Goal +350

In their last three games, The Saints have allowed a field goal and a rushing touchdown from the opponent’s first score in the first quarter.

In the Rams’ last three games, they have allowed the first score passing touchdown to their opponent once, in Week 13. The Rams have been the first scorer with a field goal in the past two weeks.

  • Demarcus Robinson anytime scorer +300

Robinson has scored one touchdown in each of his last three games. That includes a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns’ defenses.

The Saints’ defense has not allowed a touchdown in their last two games, again against the Panthers and the Giants. However, when they played the Detroit Lions in Week 13, the Lions scored two passing touchdowns on them in the first quarter.

  • Alvin Kamara over 29.5 receiving yards -115

In every wager, there is one. This line seems painfully low for someone averaging 40.2 receiving yards per game. And there is a chance there is no Chris Olave or Michael Thomas. This line seems like a smash spot.

Let’s Play

CAPTAIN’S SPOT

RB, Kyren Williams, $16,800: Williams is the most expensive player on the slate. For good reason, even though he has missed four games on IR, he needs only 47 more rushing yards to be the first Rams player since Todd Gurley in 2018 to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Williams is averaging 95.3 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. The Saints defense is allowing an average of 126.4 rushing yards per game.

WR, Cooper Kupp, $16,500: Death, taxes, and Matthew Stafford getting the ball to Kupp. Kupp has a 25.3% target share and a 26.2% red zone target share. He has scored a touchdown in his last three games, and in two out of three, he has gone for over 100 receiving yards.

RB, Alvin Kamara, $16,200: Kamara is averaging 40.2 receiving yards a game and 6.2 receptions. He has 39 red zone touches and is first in Expected Fantasy Points per Game with 21.6. With Kamara, his rushing production is the bonus. You are counting on his 21.0% target share and 22.3 routes run per game to get you to your fantasy Yahtzee.

QB, Matthew Stafford, $15,000: Stafford has eclipsed 200 passing yards in his last three games. He has also thrown multiple touchdowns in all three.

WR, Puka Nacua, $14,400: For the season, Nacua has a 28.8% target share and a 19.3% red zone target share. He is seventh in yards after catch (437). And in his last three games, he has been targeted 7,8, 8 times.

The main concern is his declining yard production. He has gone from 105 and 84 to 50 receiving yards in the last three weeks with one touchdown.

QB, Derek Carr, $13,500: Game script, there is a path where Carr has to keep up with the Rams and thus exceed expectations. Carr has passed for 218, 119, and 226 yards in his last three games. His three-touchdown performance last week was the most passing touchdowns he has had in one game (although he has passed for two touchdowns in four games).

Keep an eye on the status of Ahkello Witherspoon. When Witherspoon left the game last week, backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett went 8-for-10, 124 yards, and two touchdowns.

If he is without Olave, the path becomes a little trickier, which leads us to the final option I will put up for captain.

TE, Taysom Hill, $9,900: You never know how the Saints will use Hill. In a must-win game and possibly without Thomas and Hill, there is the possibility of Hill passing, rushing, and receiving. There is also the possibility he does none of the three.

FLEX OPTIONS

In addition to the men mentioned above, there are some interesting flex options. (I am writing this believing Olave is out for this game. If not, he is, of course, both captain ($12,900) and flex ($8,600) worthy).

WR, Rashid Shaheed, $7,000: Shaheed was second in targets last week with four behind Kamar,  wide receiver Lynn Bowden, and tight end Foster Moreau, all of whom had five targets.

TE, Tyler Higbee, $5,800: The good news is that the Saints rank 29th against tight ends. The less good news is that Higbee sits behind Kupp and Nacua on the target list, and he hasn’t gone over 40 receiving yards in five weeks.

WR, Demarcus Robinson, $5,400: Robinson scored a touchdown in his last three games. His usage could depend on whether Tutu Atwell gets his WR3 position back.

TE, Juwan Johnson, $4,000: Johnson was only targeted twice last week. He finished with two receptions, 38 yards and a touchdown.

TE, Foster Moreau, $2,000: Moreau’s five targets were a season high. But he only had 13 yards and three receptions.

TE, Jimmy Graham, $1,600: Graham has three red zone touchdowns in three weeks. His six receptions (for the season) have all come in the red zone. For the season, he has four touchdowns.

SO, YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE

K, Lucas Havrisik, $4,800: Plenty of opportunities, but he did miss a 43-yard field goal last week. He has missed three field goals from 40-49 yards in his last six games.

K, Blake Grupe, $4,600: Grupe has six field goals of 50+ yards this season. If you believe in Madden Sims, Grupe will have himself a day.

RB, Jamaal Williams, $4,200: Williams has zero touchdowns this season. Last week, he had eight rushing attempts for 24 yards and was targeted once.

DST, Rams, $3,800

DST, Saints, $3,400

 

Good Luck! Who is your secret flex in this game? You can tell me after the games start because otherwise, it wouldn’t be a secret.

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