clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantasy Football Picks: Rams vs. Buccaneers DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Julian Edlow preps you for Monday’s 8:20 p.m. ET NFL contest between the Rams and Buccaneers with game-script analysis and DraftKings Captain’s Picks.

The Rams and Buccaneers meet on MNF in a huge game in terms of playoff implications in the NFC. Los Angeles sits as a 4.5-points road dog, with the total at 48. Both teams have plenty of weapons on offense to target in this one, but we should expect some good defense to limit a few of those options.

Let’s break down Rams-Bucs from an MNF DraftKings Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: $2.25 Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (LAR vs TB)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Los Angeles Rams

This is going to be an intriguing matchup no matter who has the ball, as these defenses match up really well against the offenses. Tampa’s strong run defense should tell us the Rams will look to air it out, but a strong Bucs’ pass rush should get a lot of pressure on Jared Goff ($9,800), which he generally doesn’t do well with. Goff’s game log is pretty inconsistent, and all three of his 20-plus DKFP games came in very favorable matchups, all in the first five weeks of the season. Since then, Goff hasn’t scored more than 17.2 DKFP in a game. Proceed with caution.

Cooper Kupp ($9,200) was a very chalky play against Seattle last week, and let us down with just five grabs for 50 yards. A bad game would’ve been fine, but it was his usage that was alarming — seeing seven targets on just 53% of the snaps. I’m hesitant to pay up for him at this price. Robert Woods ($8,200) is a more justifiable play for $1,000 less, playing 80% of the snaps last week. While Woods didn’t play well against Seattle, either, I’ll take more volume for less.

Josh Reynolds ($6,800) was the big winner of Kupp’s disappearance, getting 80% of the snaps like Woods. Reynolds was a starter in Week 10, and was actually Goff’s go-to-guy — finishing with eight receptions for 94 yards on 10 targets. That was good for a season-high 17.4 DKFP for Reynolds, his third game in four outings with 12.5-plus DKFP. This is where the value sits in the Rams’ passing game.

If you want to go down to TE, Gerald Everett ($2,600) might be the better bargain. Everett’s posted a few solid games this season, and is averaging 7.3 DKFP. Considering the cost to pay up for Tyler Higbee ($4,800), I’d prefer the cheaper play. Outside of a massive game against the Eagles in Week 2, Higbee’s been slightly less effective in the passing game than Everett.

A tough passing game to figure out gets even more difficult when we get to the running game. The Rams just won’t commit to a back, making rostering one more of a guessing game in GPPs. Here’s the snap breakdown for the trio of backs last week — Malcolm Brown ($5,400) at 41%, Darrell Henderson ($5,800) at 33% and Cam Akers ($2,800) at 26%.

Brown was the biggest force in the red zone, finishing with six carries for 33 yards and two touchdowns, and he played a role in the passing game, catching both his targets for 18 yards. I’d lean to him as the best option, but Henderson also scored a rushing touchdown, despite a lousy 28 yards on seven carries. Somehow, Akers led the way with 10 carries, gaining 38 yards, but failed to score or record a reception. I’d consider the value on him as a punt play.

The Rams have a weird situation going on with injured kickers, but Rams D/ST ($3,000) is in play. The unit should get a lot of QB pressure in this one.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady ($11,000) is just too expensive in this game. We have the punt plays to fit him if you’re set on rostering him in a GPP — and I do think he’ll be the higher scoring QB — but if you’re playing cash, I don’t think he’s worth paying this much for. The Rams should get a ton of pressure on Brady, which has always been the recipe to beating him. TB12 is coming off nearly 35.0 DKFP against the Panthers, which likely contributes to his price set this high. Brady has three 35-plus DKFP games on the season, but also four duds with less than 15 DKFP. Wide range of outcomes here to pay $11K for.

The Rams have allowed the fewest DKFP to the WR position this season, but they can’t possibly shutdown all of Brady’s weapons. It’ll be about which ones they want to take away. Mike Evans ($9,000) will likely be a priority, and is already averaging only 51.4 yards per game. Evans will get his value in the red zone, with eight touchdowns thus far, but yardage could be a struggle in this one. I’d prefer paying for the touchdown upside of Evans versus going to Chris Godwin ($8,400). Godwin’s been more involved overall when he’s on the field, but has just two touchdowns.

All of the sudden Antonio Brown ($7,800) is priced right up with the rest of these guys, and I’m very torn on how to handle it. AB shouldn’t be priced this high this quickly, but his upside is intriguing. For some reason, Brady is obsessed with this guy, and it led to eight targets last week. Brown snagged seven of them for 69 yards and also got a touch in the run game. The Rams don’t have much film on him yet, either, leaving a ceiling worth considering. The rest of Tampa’s WRs are complete afterthoughts with its new top-three.

Speaking of targets Brady’s obsessed with, this one makes a little more sense. Rob Gronkowski ($6,200) now has four touchdowns in the last five games, getting red zone looks like he used to in New England. With the Rams ranking middle of the pack against TEs, this could be a good matchup Brady looks to, especially considering how his WRs could be limited. Cam Brate ($2,200) also mixed in for three targets and a touchdown last week, so consider him in this matchup, especially with no punt play at WR.

Despite some costly fumbles by Ronald Jones ($8,800), he seems to be trending as the Bucs’ featured back. While a 98-yard touchdown run helped contribute to a monster game against the Panthers, RoJo still finished with 23-192-1, compared to just eight carries for Leonard Fournette ($4,400). Fournette is certainly worth consideration as a leverage play, but with the Rams ranking 23rd in DKFP allowed, exposure to Tampa’s backfield makes sense.

Kicker and D/ST are both firmly on the table here.


THE OUTCOME

This should be a tight game with a lot of big plays on defense. In the end, I feel the Bucs just have enough of an edge to scrape this one out at home. Despite my lean to Tampa, I think the Rams have better value at captain. Josh Reynolds ($10,200 CP) and Malcolm Brown ($8,100 CP) both make a lot of sense.

Final Score: Los Angeles 20, Tampa Bay 24

Set your DraftKings lineups here: $2.25 Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (LAR vs TB)


Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.


For sports betting, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook or download the DK Sportsbook app.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.


If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA) or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789.21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/NH/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL/TN only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.