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

Matt Meiselman preps you for Monday’s 7:05 p.m. ET contest between the Patriots and the Chiefs with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Monday Night Football has become a doubleheader for Week 4 after the Patriots-Chiefs game was moved back a day due to COVID-related precautions. Cam Newton won’t be on the field after his positive test, but there’s still a game to be played and a showdown contest to get ready for! The original Monday Night game between the Falcons and the Packers has been moved back to 8:50 p.m. ET, while the Patriots and Chiefs will get underway at 7:05 p.m. E.T.

Set your DraftKings Showdown lineups here: NFL $200K Showdown Special [$50K to 1st] (NE vs KC)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Tyreek Hill ($16,500 CP) - With Cam Newton out for tonight’s game, the common expectation will be for the Chiefs to be playing with larger leads and with less urgency, as the Patriots’ offense poses a far smaller threat with Brian Hoyer ($8,200) under center. While that’s probably true, the Chiefs’ offense is still set up extremely well in this spot against a fairly overrated Patriots defense. Newton being out is the story, but New England ranks just 19th in total defense DVOA and 27th against the pass in 2020. Game flow could reduce his opportunities, but this is likely a much better matchup for Hill than most people will realize.

Travis Kelce ($15,000 CP) - The logic for Kelce in the captain slot is similar to that of Hill and using one of these two pass-catchers could be a key differentiator over lineups that put Patrick Mahomes ($18,900 CP) in the captain slot. Mahomes is coming off of an extremely strong primetime performance last week against the Ravens when he spread the ball around evenly to his playmakers and wound up being the high scorer for the game as a result. Mahomes at captain should be a common strategy, especially after last week, and going with Hill or especially Kelce makes for a cheaper and probably lower-owned way to focus on the Chiefs’ elite passing game.


Value Plays

N’Keal Harry ($4,600) - Julian Edelman ($7,800) is the Patriots’ No. 1 receiver and while he’s pacing the team in receiving yards to this point, Harry has been right there with him in terms of targets (22 compared to Edelman’s 24) and receptions (both have 15). Harry is also substantially cheaper than Edelman for this game and is actually priced in the same tier as the Chiefs’ third and fourth wide receivers. This should be a game where the Patriots spend a significant amount of time trailing and Harry figures to be one of the beneficiaries of increased passing attempts.

Damiere Byrd ($2,400) - Byrd should benefit from the expected game script in the same way as Harry, but he may actually be a more reliable option on his own merits as well. Byrd actually leads the Patriots this year, ahead of both Edelman and Harry, in snap count at nearly 90% and he’s simply far too cheap for a receiver who’s on the field this much. The other thing that could help Byrd (as well as Harry and Edelman) is that Cam Newton is obviously much more of a running quarterback than Brian Hoyer and the Patriots may be passing more in this game too even without considering the score.


Fades

Rex Burkhead ($7,000) - Burkhead had a dominant fantasy game last week against the Raiders, with nearly 100 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. He did this even with Sony Michel and Cam Newton combining for 18 rushing attempts, so without both of them playing tonight (Michel has been ruled out with a quad injury) it only makes sense that Burkhead would continue to dominate the opportunities in the Patriots’ backfield. Burkhead figures to be a popular play after that epic performance but there are reasons to look elsewhere especially if his ownership is overly high.

In last week’s game, J.J. Taylor ($200) got 11 carries, so that’s still someone Burkhead will have to contend with for playing time. The other, and much more relevant teammate to Burkhead’s opportunities, is James White ($6,400). White was out for the past two games, but he’s expected back tonight and figures to reclaim his usual role as the Patriots’ passing down back. This is particularly impactful to Burkhead, who had seven receptions on 10 targets in his massive game last week and with White there it’s unlikely he’ll get anywhere close to that much opportunity in the passing game.


THE OUTCOME

The Chiefs are at home tonight against a struggling Patriots defense, and then they’ll only have to solve Brian Hoyer rather than Cam Newton. This could set up well for a blowout, but the Patriots do still have enough talent on offense (plus Bill Belichick) that they should be able to keep the game within reach, even if they don’t stand much chance of actually winning. Even after the Chiefs’ tremendous offensive showing against the Ravens last week, they still only rank 10th in total offense DVOA for the season. They should do well tonight, but a total rout doesn’t seem all that likely.

Final Score: Chiefs 27, Patriots 20

Set your DraftKings Showdown lineups here: NFL $200K Showdown Special [$50K to 1st] (NE vs KC)


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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.