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Best lineup strategy for Chiefs-Broncos in TNF Showdown

Patrick Mahomes is always the top play when the Chiefs take the field, but don’t sleep on Phillip Lindsay

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay talks with running back Royce Freeman on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, there’s nothing like an AFC West battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. It’s been 25 years since the incredible John Elway-Joe Montana Monday night classic that defined the rivalry. Let’s look at some players to target in DraftKings’ $1.5 million six-man Showdown slate -- with an entry fee of $10 and a first-place prize of $300,000 -- and who to use in the critical Captain slot:

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs ($18,000)

There’s a lot of elements lining up against Mahomes this week: He’s on the road; the Broncos defense is playing at a high level; he appears limited by an ankle injury. All that may be true, but Mahomes will still likely emerge from this game as the leading raw points leader, and considering the narrative-busting nature of the Thursday games this year, he might throw five touchdowns. I’m willing to spend up here and hope his Captain ownership is too low for his ceiling.

CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS

Philip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos ($13,200)

There’s nothing really courageous here, other than he’s not Mahomes. But from a game theory perspective, he’s the ideal choice. The Broncos are going to want to dictate time of possession and pace, to keep the Chiefs’ offense off the field. That means running the ball and Linsday is playing at a high level in recent weeks. He should be the focus of the offense, and the Chiefs have not been great against the run.

FLEX MEN

Joe Flacco, QB, Denver Broncos ($8,000)

If this thing shoots out, Flacco is going to be just as busy as Mahomes, at a much steeper discount. Flacco’s three double-digit DK point outputs came in the three games where he had to throw the ball 30+ times. That’s the kind of game we could get here.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,200)

If the Broncos have had a weakness on defense, it’s stopping the run. Leonard Fournette ran wild against the Broncos just a couple of weeks ago, and the Chiefs should be able to move the ball on the ground with the defense properly focused on stopping Mahomes and the passing game. Damien Williams has not re-emerged here, so McCoy should get a decent complement of carries.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jeffgo33) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.