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Best lineup strategy for 49ers-Cardinals in TNF Showdown

Tevin Coleman and George Kittle are your best bets for the Captain slot in a game the 49ers should control

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With baseball season now officially over, and with the undefeated 49ers and its stellar defense taking on Kyler Murray, we’ve got a nice Thursday night matchup to keep in the background while manning the front door and handing out the candy (Be safe, everyone!) Let’s look at some players to target in DraftKings’ $1.2 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:

CAPTAINS OBVIOUS

George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers ($13,800)

Tevin Coleman, RB, San Francisco 49ers ($13,500)

You have to figure the vast majority of the Captain percentage will be filled by these two, as they are the the likeliest point-producers in the game. With Matt Brieda and Raheem Mostert likely out with injuries and Jeff Wilson banged up, it is going to be the Coleman show once again, and we all saw what he can do when given the bellcow workload. Kittle is back to his dominant ways and the Cardinals have been destroyed by opposing tight ends all season. The game script calls for the 49ers to ground and pound, while supplementing the running game with short and intermediate throws, where Kittle lurks.

CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS

San Francisco defense ($11,100)

The third piece of the game script is a suffocating defense that has no reason whatsoever to respect the Cardinals’ running game, which definitely won’t feature Chase Edmonds and probably will be without David Johnson. That leaves newly-acquired Kenyan Drake and a bunch of nobodies. We love Kyler Murray’s ability to move in the pocket, but he’s a sitting duck in this one. Sacks and turnovers could come aplenty here.

FLEX MEN

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, San Francisco ($8,600)

Sanders looked to fit right in with his new team last week, and by running most of his routes in the slot, he should avoid the defense of Patrick Peterson. If, as often has been the case this season, the Thursday Night Curse upends the obvious game script one more time, then Jimmy G might be taking more shots to his receivers and Sanders would be the top beneficiary of a more wide-open style of game.

Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals, ($7,200)

If the Cardinals are going to have any legit success moving the ball, it’s going to be Kirk on the receiving end of Murray’s improvisations in the backfield. Now healthy, Kirk has been a reliable and productive element of the Arizona attack and is really the only skill player on the Cardinals offense besides Murray worth investing in.

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.