Two top teams from their respective conferences square off on Monday night in a game that could end up being the best primetime game of the season from a football standpoint. As far as fantasy goes and, more importantly, the DraftKings showdown slate, there is a lot of intrigue to sort through. I'll help you out with some of that below!
Independent of game script, Tom Brady has been airing the ball out to the tune of 38 or more attempts in seven of his last eight games. This matchup could pose a problem for Brady as far as targeting Mike Evans goes as Jalen Ramsey will likely be blanketing him, but Brady has plenty of other skill position players at his disposal. In a crucial game where the running back position, mainly Ronald Jones, is unreliable, Brady will control this important game for Tampa.
Jared Goff has been more of a rollercoaster ride this season than Sean McVay, and the Rams would have liked, but regardless the Rams are 6-3 as it stands. Goff has gone over 300 yards passing four-time this season, including in back-to-back games. Goff's problem, outside of pulling the occasional disappearing act, has been his lack of touchdown passes to go with his yardage. Tampa has the best run defense in the league as far as yards be game on the ground goes, so one would have to think that Goff will have to air the ball out.
One of the receivers that Goff should be looking for is Cooper Kupp, the receiver you can find in the slot over 55 percent of the time for the Rams. The matchup with Sean Murphy-Bunting is a favorable one and one that the Rams should exploit. Kupp saw just 37 snaps last week, but I have to think that was just an anomaly considering that Kupp has been on the field for over 84 percent of snaps in every other game this season. The receivers on the outside might have some difficulty for the Rams. Still, Kupp's matchup is extremely favorable, with Murphy-Bunting allowing a 140 passer rating and seven touchdowns allowed on the season.
NOTE: All are worth considering as captain's plays.
Chris Godwin, TB (DK $12,600) should be the preferred target for Brady on Monday night as Mike Evans should be followed around by Mike Evans all night. While picking out a receiver for Brady to target heavily is a challenge at times, the oft-injured Godwin has seen at least six targets in every game played this season. Troy Hill has been solid defending the slot but is beatable, especially by one of the league's better slot receivers. The Buccaneers will force Goff to throw the ball, I have to believe, and with that expected volume and a good price tag, Goff is a prime captain candidate.
WR Josh Reynolds, LAR (DK $6,800)
Despite a tough matchup with, more than likely, Jamel Dean, Reynolds has been seeing enough run of late to make him worth considering in showdown builds. At $6,800, Reynolds is significantly discounted compared to teammate Robert Woods (DK $8,400), who has perhaps the tougher matchup with Carlton Davis. Reynolds has seen 8, 9, and 10 targets in his last three games and has 80 or more air yards in three of his last four games.
RB Cam Akers, LAR (DK $2,800)
Akers has been a non-factor this season but sees more runs of late with 20 touches over the Rams' last two games. Even with the Bucs being the best team in the league against the run, the value that Akers has to go with his ability in this offense could be a factor that pays if he's given a more prominent role.
RB Leonard Fournette, TB (DK $4,400)
The backfield for the Buccaneers has been all over the place. Every time Ronald Jones makes a mistake, you think he's about to hit the bench in favor of Fournette. With that said, Fournette could have a prominent role in the backfield at any moment, even if he saw just 10 touches last week. At his price, Fournette is worth a roll of the dice if playing multiple lineups.
Other FLEX Plays
- WR Rob Gronkowski, TB (DK $6,200)
- WR Antonio Brown, TB (DK $7,800)
- TE Tyler Higbee, LAR (DK $4,800)