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Best lineup strategy for Patriots-Texans in Week 13 SNF Showdown

Houston’s high-powered offense takes on New England’s top-ranked defense. Where do we find the scorers to win this slate?

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman makes the catch against the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

With just five weeks left in the regular season, we have what feels like an AFC divisional playoff preview on Sunday night between the 10-1 Patriots and 7-4 Texans. It’s DeAndre Hopkins vs. Stephon Gilmore in one of the best head-to-head individual matchups of the season. Let’s look at some players to target in DraftKings’ $888,888 six-man Showdown slate — with an entry fee of $10 and a first-place prize of $200,000 — and who to use in the critical Captain slot.

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS

Julian Edelman, WR, New England ($16,200)

Apparently, there is a flu bug of some sort taking down half the Patriots’ locker room this week, powerful enough for 17 players to be listed as questionable, including Gilmore. But there’s no indication these guys are going to miss this game, and as much as we love Hopkins, if Gilmore is playing, DeAndre is going to have a quiet night. I will turn instead to Edelman, who quietly has been getting double-digit targets and DK points week in and week out. The Texans’ secondary is nothing special, so Edelman should be able to soak up receptions and yards. If he finds the end zone, he smashes his Captain salary. He’s probably the safest play on the board.

CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS

Will Fuller, WR, Houston ($12,600)

If Gilmore is out there and he’s shadowing Hopkins, as expected, then Deshaun Watson is going to look toward Fuller and his big-play ability. Fuller retuned from a multi-week absence last week and gashed Indianapolis for a 7-140 line on 11 targets. The Patriots obviously did a masterful job shutting down the Cowboys offense, which had been riding high before they hit Foxboro, but there are no weather concerns this time, and Hopkins-Fuller is far better than Cooper-Gallup. Someone is going to hit here, and Fuller is probably that guy.

FLEX MEN

Mohamed Sanu, WR, New England ($7,400)

Sanu appears to be on track to return to the Patriots’ lineup after missing last week with an injured ankle. Before Sanu got hurt against the Eagles in Week 11, he put up a monster game in Week 8 against Baltimore, with a 10-81-1 line on 14 targets. That is the kind of production Tom Brady and offense has to have entering the final stretch of the season, and if Sanu is a full go, Brady will be looking for him.

Duke Johnson, RB, Houston Texans ($3,200)

Johnson has not been much of a factor the past two weeks, but if we presume the Texans will struggle to run the ball between the tackles with Carlos Hyde, and that the Texans will be playing much of the game from behind, Johnson should be thrust back into a critical role as the pass-catching back. With his price depressed, his potential usage makes him an intriguing value option.

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.