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Fantasy Football Picks: Raiders vs. Rams DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

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

It is literally impossible for me to feel sympathy for a billionaire. However, I can at least understand Jeff Bezos’ frustration looking at this Thursday night matchup. Four months ago? Buddy. You’ve got the reigning Super Bowl Champions going up against an AFC playoff squad from last season that, on paper, improved during the summer. What’s could possibly go wrong?

Well, a lot. Neither the Los Angeles Rams nor the Las Vegas Raiders are very good. Yet, I’m still contractually obligated to dive deep into this tilt. Let’s do it.

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


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Davante Adams ($19,200 CP) - The biggest decision you’ll make on this slate is choosing between Adams and Josh Jacobs ($12,400) in the Captain’s slot. Despite the latter winning back-to-back FedEx Ground Player of the Week awards in Las Vegas’ past two games, my lean here is to go with Adams. The reasoning is two-fold. First and foremost, Adams has been an absolute machine as of late, exceeding 30.0 DKFP in four of his last five starts and five times in total since Week 5. In fact, dating back to Week 9, Adams leads the league in targets (62), receptions (41), receiving yards (662), receiving touchdowns (7) and DKFP (161.4). In that same span he’s also averaging 0.50 DKFP per snap logged — a rate that only trails Tyreek Hill among wideouts. This isn’t just about Adams, though. The Rams have been vulnerable to WR1s throughout 2022. Stefon Diggs, Drake London, Marquise Brown, Chris Olave, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and DeAndre Hopkins have all managed at least 19.0 DKFP in this matchup, while both Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf went for over 125 yards with a touchdown last Sunday. Adams is going to eat.

Cam Akers ($11,700 CP) - I’m pretty nervous to fully commit to any part of Los Angeles’ offensive attack, yet I’ll make an exception in the case of Akers. The former second-round pick logged a season-high 71.9% snap share in the Rams’ loss to the Seahawks in Week 13, with Akers translating that opportunity into 18 touches, two touchdowns and 19.0 DKFP. Generally speaking, that’s a level of workload that not many running backs have access to anymore, and if Akers sees anything like it again on Thursday, he’s woefully underpriced. The matchup is great, too. The Raiders’ defense ranks 31st in the NFL by total DVOA and, to this point in the schedule, they’re conceded the sixth-most DKFP per game to opposing backfields. Look for Kyren Williams ($5,400) to steal a few carries here and there, but this is clearly Akers time to prove something to the coaching staff after a bumpy start to the season.


FLEX Plays

Raiders D/ST ($5,200) - I know. I literally just listed some statistics about how terrible Las Vegas has been on this side of the ball this season. Well, that’s how poorly Los Angeles has been playing on offense as of late — it somehow makes even the Raiders defense viable. I mean, as of writing, we still don’t even know who’s going to be starting at quarterback for the Rams. John Wolford ($8,800; neck) is questionable with an injury and threw two interceptions last week; Bryce Perkins ($6,000) managed just 100 yards passing with two picks in his chance to start in Week 12; and, worse than all that, Baker Mayfield ($9,000) has an outside shot at playing on Thursday, despite being on the roster for less than 72 hours. This seems destined to go terribly wrong. Plus, Las Vegas has looked slightly better in recent games, registering 11 sacks since Week 11. For context, that’s more sacks than the Raiders collected in their first nine contests combined.

Ben Skowronek ($4,800) - Skowronek is not exactly a sexy DFS asset, but in a contest I could certainly see getting lopsided in Las Vegas’ favor, the wideout could be looking at an increase in targets. That was really the only thing lacking in Skowronek’s Week 13 performance — a couple more opportunities with the ball in his hands. Aside from that, Skowronek posted a 96.9% snap share and an 84% route participation rate. It’s difficult to ask for much more from a wideout priced below $5K. Tutu Atwell ($4,400) is also someone to look at in this range, as he is clearly the Rams’ big play threat at the moment.


Fades

Baker Mayfield ($9,000)/John Wolford ($8,800) - You’ll notice Perkins isn’t listed with his teammates. That isn’t an oversight. If it is the rookie pivot who ends up drawing the start against the Raiders, I almost think you have to use Perkins. Not only is it incredibly rare that a starting QB would be priced below $8K on a Showdown slate, but Perkins’ ability to scramble at least gives him a solid floor in DFS. Other than that scenario? It’s a complete stay-away for me. I don’t trust Mayfield with two days to study the playbook. I don’t trust a banged up Wolford. Heck, I don’t trust this team. In 2022, the Rams have had a quarterback exceed 20.0 DKFP just a single time: Matthew Stafford in Week 2 versus the Falcons. That’s it. The position has been underwhelming for months, even with Cooper Kupp (ankle) and Allen Robinson (foot) active. Why would things change now?


THE OUTCOME

The smart thing to do tonight would be to just take the points with the home underdog. Does Los Angeles know who its quarterback is? No. But at the same time, this is a Las Vegas squad that lost to Jeff Saturday in his head coaching debut. The Raiders have seen worse and still managed to disappoint. However, I am not a smart man. The Rams have lost six in a row and everyone that matters is injured. They’re a team with zero juice. I think Vegas tramples them.

Final Score: Las Vegas 31, Los Angeles 14

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


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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.