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NFL MNF Preview: DraftKings Fantasy Football Picks, Fades for Monday Night Football on October 19

Matt Meiselman gives his fantasy football picks and fades for Monday’s two-game DraftKings NFL DFS slate, which starts at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Much of the 2020 NFL season has been spent reshuffling schedules and rescheduling games, and because of that we get to have slates like tonight with a Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills were originally supposed to play this past Thursday, but the game will take place at 5:00 p.m. ET today instead to kick off a two-game DraftKings Millionaire slate. The originally scheduled Monday Night game between the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys will follow at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + $100K 1st TD Bonus]

DraftKings MNF Slate Overview

Aside from this being an unusual two-game slate on a Monday, there are some quirks to the contests that should make for interesting DraftKings lineup decisions. In last week’s win over the Giants, the Cowboys lost their quarterback Dak Prescott to a severe ankle injury, and Andy Dalton ($5,200) will step in as their starter for the foreseeable future. Dalton has plenty of NFL experience, but he struggled in 2019 with the Bengals and it remains to be seen how he’ll play in what is objectively a much better situation with the Cowboys.

The other substantial factor on the table is the elements, as the Bills vs. Chiefs game will have some significant weather to contend with. While the Cowboys and Cardinals are playing in a dome, the Bills and Chiefs will be looking at temperatures around 50 degrees and a decent chance of rain throughout the game. These two teams have been among the league’s best passing offenses so far this season, but there’s at least some chance that the conditions make for a lower scoring game than we might otherwise expect.

Top Plays

Quarterback - Kyler Murray ($7,300)

Even before considering the potential difficulties that the QBs in the outdoor game may face, there’s plenty of reason to view Murray as the top QB on tonight’s slate. Murray draws what is probably the best matchup of the four quarterbacks, facing a Cowboys defense that has been significantly below average this season. The Cowboys have probably been overly criticized, ranking 20th in pass defense DVOA, but the added benefit for Murray is that his own team’s pass defense ranks 26th. There’s a better chance than people realize that the Cardinals will be trailing and needing offense tonight, and Murray should have plenty of opportunities to score points.

Running Back - Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,000)

Edwards-Helaire has been a significant disappointment for fantasy owners, at least since Week 1, going four consecutive games without a touchdown after recording one on opening night. The Chiefs also just added Le’Veon Bell to their roster, which is bad news for Edwards-Helaire’s future outlook, but Bell isn’t yet cleared to play and that won’t be a relevant factor for tonight’s game. CEH’s rushing attempts have been on a downward trajectory since Week 1, but his involvement in the passing game has been steady and he should be able to break the touchdown spell sooner rather than later.

Wide Receiver - DeAndre Hopkins ($7,900)

Hopkins has been arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL to this point in 2020, and like his quarterback, the matchup tonight sets up very well for him. The slate dynamics for Hopkins are also interesting, as he’s priced up to a point at $7,900 where his ownership is unlikely to be overwhelming. There are plenty of high-end WRs on the other teams, all of whom are significantly cheaper, so while Hopkins isn’t going to be low-owned, he shouldn’t be overly chalky either. If you can make his salary work in a sensible manner, Hopkins should be a better bet than the other WR1s on this slate.

Tight End - Travis Kelce ($6,900)

Kelce is a pretty obvious pick here, as there isn’t another tight end with close to a similar baseline on any of the other teams. He’s definitely going to be popular, but it’s for good reason and he’s probably the safest pick out of anyone playing tonight, just given how little competition he has at his position. Kelce could be hard to fit in with his salary, but much like Hopkins he’s very likely to be worth the price.

Top Fades

Quarterback - Patrick Mahomes ($7,500)

Mahomes actually has a pretty good matchup against the Bills tonight, who have a highly regarded defense that doesn't appear to be very deserving of those merits. The Bills are currently outside the top 20 in both rush and pass defense DVOA, but the weather conditions in Buffalo are still a concern. It’s not that Mahomes is likely to struggle, but Murray looks like a better option for slightly cheaper while Mahomes should also carry more ownership. There are four strong quarterback options in these two games and Mahomes is probably just less necessary to pay up for than usual.

Running Back - Devin Singletary ($5,100)

Singletary theoretically has a great matchup against the Chiefs’ struggling run defense, but the more significant variables are that the Bills’ running game hasn’t been good, and Singletary himself appears to be losing playing time. Even though they’re facing the 28th ranked run defense by DVOA, the Bills have actually been dead last to this point in rushing offense efficiency. This is despite the fact that they have one of the best running quarterbacks in the NFL in Josh Allen ($6,800), so clearly there are serious problems occurring on their traditional running plays. Singletary was significantly outplayed by T.J. Yeldon ($4,000) in the Bills’ last game, and Zack Moss ($4,000) is also expected to be active tonight after a multi-week absence. Singletary has a chance to do well if he can start the game strong and solidify his playing time, but there’s just too much that can go wrong for a guy that should be one of the more popular players on the slate.

Wide Receiver - Mecole Hardman ($4,200)

The Chiefs will be playing tonight’s game without starting receiver Sammy Watkins ($4,100), who injured his hamstring in last week’s game. Hardman figures to be a primary beneficiary of Watkins’ absence, and he should be a pretty popular play tonight as well. That popularity definitely makes him less appealing, but as mentioned above, this is also probably a night to be down on the Chiefs’ passing game in general. There are simply better plays in this price range, specifically cheap receivers in the other game like Michael Gallup ($4,700) and Christian Kirk ($4,500).

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.