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Fantasy Football Picks: Patriots vs. Cardinals DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Patriots and the Cardinals with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

While I can’t sit here and say I’ve agreed with every decision Bill Belichick has made this season, tonight’s contest between the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals might be the most lopsided coaching matchup in the NFL. Still, at the end of the day, I’d rather be Kliff Kingsbury. Remember how nice his living room is? I’ll take my quarterback starting a coup to live in that kind of luxury. No question at all.

Let’s dive into the final game of Week 14.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (NE vs ARI)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Kyler Murray ($16,800 CP) - At this point, I think it’s safe to say Murray is a better fantasy asset than real-life QB. But for our purposes, that’s perfectly fine. Though the former Heisman winner has seen his efficiency fall off slightly from last season — Murray’s DKFP per snap rate has dropped from 0.61 in 2021 to 0.48 in 2022 — the 25-year-old’s dual-threat ability has still translated into at least 16.0 DKFP in every start he’s made. Murray’s also surpassed 20.0 DKFP in six of his 10 games. To put it bluntly: Murray’s DFS floor is exceedingly high. The Patriots have struggled to contain good quarterbacks throughout the season, particularly those with elite scrambling skills, as showcased by huge performances from Lamar Jackson in Week 3 and Justin Fields in Week 7. With both DeAndre Hopkins ($11,600) and Marquise Brown ($7,600) finally healthy and active, there’s no reason to think Murray can’t have a similar level of success.

Rhamondre Stevenson ($13,200 CP) - Here’s what analysts mean when they talk about process versus results. Last Thursday against the Bills, Stevenson had an average showing, finishing the loss with 13.8 DKFP. However, when you dig a little deeper, the sophomore RB’s role was truly breathtaking. With Damien Harris ($7,400; thigh) sidelined, Stevenson logged a 98.1% offensive snap share, sitting out on just one of New England’s 54 plays. Stevenson also led his team in both targets (8) and receptions (6) by a pretty hefty margin. He was, for all intents and purposes, the Patriots’ entire game plan. Well, with Harris doubtful to suit up this evening, I don’t suspect anything is about to change. Stevenson is script-proof. He’s New England’s bruising goal line back, while he entered the week 10th in the league in receptions since the beginning of Week 7 (39). No running back in the NFL can tout this type of involvement or volume, which makes it shocking that Stevenson’s price tag is below $10K. Take advantage.


FLEX Plays

Greg Dortch ($2,200) - As things currently stand, this will be the first game this season where Hopkins, Brown and Dortch are all available to play. So, needless to say, we don’t really have a template for how things might shake out. I wouldn’t expect Dortch to see anywhere near the volume that resulted in a career-high 103 receiving yards the last time he took the field in Week 11 — Brown was inactive for that contest — yet the Cardinals do tend to favor their wideouts when it comes to the aerial attack. To wit, Arizona QBs have targeted WRs on 63.9% of passes this season, a figure that stands as a the eighth-largest in the league. With Rondale Moore (groin) and Zach Ertz (knee) out, Dortch also fills a very-specific role as a short-yardage, possession-type option for Murray to use as a checkdown. Dortch’s aDOT of 3.7 yards might seem underwhelming, but a high catch rate never hurt anyone in a full-point PPR setting.

Tyquan Thornton ($1,400) - As we all know by now, Bill Belichick does not care about your fantasy team. The hoodie-loving septuagenarian took that concept to a new level in Week 13, with the Patriots’ team-leader in receiving yards being Marcus Jones — a cornerback. With Jakobi Meyers (concussion) sidelined for tonight’s festivities, I expect Jones will be once again involved as a pass-catcher, which is really just a microcosm for New England’s passing attack as a whole. Against Buffalo, seven different players registered at least two receptions and that doesn’t even include Kendrick Bourne ($5,400), who finished with two targets. Everyone sees the field. Everyone gets an opportunity. With that being the case, I’d recommend simply using the cheapest option of the bunch. It just so happens Thornton can run a 40-yard dash in under 4.3 seconds, so his big-play ability doesn’t hurt, either.


Fades

Mac Jones ($9,600) - While the Cardinals’ pass defense is far from intimidating, there are just other places I’d rather spend up than Jones on this slate. In his nine starts in 2022, Jones has only managed to exceed 14.0 DKFP two times. The first came in Week 3 against a Baltimore secondary that was decimated by injury. The second came in Week 12 against a Vikings secondary that has surrendered the most yards per pass attempt of any team in the NFL (7.6). Do you see the pattern? In general, a 2.6% touchdown rate and 0.39 DKFP per drop back simply do not cut it.


THE OUTCOME

I’m not fully convinced either of these teams is very good, but I will lean towards the Patriots. Most of the Cardinals’ bye-week rest advantage is negated by the fact New England played on Thursday in Week 13 and Arizona is a putrid 3-9 ATS in its last 12 home games. Like I said off the top, in a battle between Belichick and Kingsbury, I’m taking the former.

Final Score: New England 24, Arizona 21

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (NE vs ARI)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.