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Best lineup strategy for Buccaneers-Cowboys on Thursday night

the Bucs and Cowboys kick off the season on Thursday night. We take a look at the best plays for the DK Showdown

 Antonio Brown #81 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The NFL season starts tonight and that means that regular season DFS starts with it. These are exciting times! And we also get a game with a bunch of fantasy football stars, as the Cowboys and Buccaneers are filled to the brim with high-end fantasy plays. Of course, we can’t use all the studs in our Showdown lineups, so we need to take a closer look.


Zach Martin, OT, Cowboys

Martin is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss the game. This hurts Ezekiel Elliott’s upside somewhat.

Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers

Godwin was limited in practice on Tuesday with a quad injury, but was taken off the injury report and should be good to go.

Giovani Bernard, RB, Buccaneers

Bernard has been dealing with an ankle sprain, but returned to practice this week and should be fine for this matchup.

Captain’s Chair

Dal Prescott, QB, Cowboys

If you’re playing Prescott as the captain, we’re looking for the Bucs to get off to a quick lead and force the Cowboys to throw the ball 40+ times. But with the Bucs as 8.5-point favorites with a 51.5 points total, this game seems destined to have Prescott chucking the ball early and often to CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, among others.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys

Tom Brady is probably the safest play in the Captain’s slot for this Showdown, but I love that the Cowboys will be pushed to throw the ball and that Lamb could have 10-15 targets funneled his way. Lamb is a big play waiting to happen and has the highest upside of all the players going.

Value Plays

Giovani Bernard, RB, Buccaneers — $2,000

Bernard isn’t going to get heavy usage, as he will only play on third downs, but at just $2k to roster, he has the potential to grab enough receptions in DraftKings’ PPR format to be worth his price.

Antonio Brown, WR, Buccaneers — $5,600

Brown, by all accounts, has been back to his old self this training camp. Bruce Arians has said as much and Arians isn’t one to sugar coat anything. That could put the trio of Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Brown way ahead of the pack, but also might make picking the “right” fantasy receiver from the group more difficult. The good news, at least to start the season, is that the price to roster Brown is at a discount.