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Fantasy Football Picks: Saints vs. Buccaneers DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Sunday’s 8:20 p.m. ET contest between the Saints and the Buccaneers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

If last week’s Sunday night matchup between Carson Wentz and Ben DiNucci was a masterclass in how not to play quarterback at the NFL level, things should go a little bit smoother this weekend. In fact, there’s a decent chance we see the league’s career passing touchdowns record change hands a couple of time throughout the course of the evening, as Tom Brady ($10,600) and Drew Brees ($10,000) are set to square off in an NFC South battle.

Let’s dive in and break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (NO vs TB)


Bet $50-plus on either New Orleans or Tampa Bay and get a $10 Free Bet if your QB is the first to 270 passing yards! See more here.


Captain’s Picks

Tom Brady ($15,900 CP) - For a QB that’s thrown 20 touchdowns to only four interceptions through eight games, Brady’s had a bit of a strange season as a DFS asset. To wit, the veteran has failed to score at least 15.0 DKFP more times (3) than he’s managed to exceed 25.0 DKFP (2) so far in 2020. While that’s clearly the product of a ceiling lowered by immobility, this matchup appears to set up pretty well for someone of the pocket passer archetype. Not only does New Orleans rank in the bottom-half of football in yards allowed per opponent pass attempt (6.9), but the Saints are also surrendering a whopping 2.7 opponent passing touchdowns per contest — easily the highest mark of any team. With Brady putting up a well above-average 0.55 fantasy points per drop back, you have to like him in this spot; especially with all the weapons he’ll likely have at his disposal in Week 9.

Michael Thomas ($14,700 CP) - Look, there’s almost nothing from the past two months that can justify this play; but if you’ve been playing Showdown slates for awhile, you’re aware of how rare it is to see Thomas’ salary dip below $10K in the FLEX. Now, that doesn’t automatically make him a good selection — he’s still technically listed as questionable with a pair of nagging leg injuries — however, we know what Thomas’ ceiling and volume share can be in this Saints’ offensive attack. The wideout led the NFL in targets (180), receptions (149), receiving yards (1,725) and PPR fantasy points (374.6) in 2019. In fact, for that last category, the margin between Thomas and the second place WR, Chris Godwin ($7,600), was more than 100 points. Obviously there are some concerns about the sort of workload Thomas can handle after not being active since Week 1, yet I’m willing to take a little risk with his price tag as depressed as it is.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Drew Brees (shoulder), Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring) and Chris Godwin (finger) will be active for tonight’s game.

FLEX Plays

Leonard Fournette ($6,800) - Remember two weeks ago when Bruce Arians said that Fournette was ready to return to his normal role and, collectively, we were all like “what was his normal role?” Well, in the two games since that statement was made, it appears that “normal role” was code for “lead back” in Tampa Bay. In wins over the Raiders and Giants, the former first-round pick has out-snapped Ronald Jones ($6,600) 91-to-48, while he’s out-touched his teammate 35-to-25. Fournette’s also truly established himself in the passing attack, as he’s registered a massive 13 targets in this span of time. If this is actually going to be his workload going forward — which is always in question with this backfield — it’s not just a matter of Fournette being so similarly priced to Jones on this slate, it’s that Fournette should be carrying a salary well over $8K.

Emmanuel Sanders ($5,800) - It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Sanders — and his volume will clearly be affected by the presence of the aforementioned Thomas — but the veteran was doing some serious damage the last three times he was able to take the field. Sanders averaged 19.4 DKFP from Week 3 to Week 5, with a performance of 12 catches for 122 yards representing the lasting image of the wideout we all currently possess. It would likely be wise to temper expectations with Sanders coming off the Reserve/COVID-19 list and New Orleans back at full strength in its receiving corps; yet there are some interesting and high-leverage aspects of the 33-year-old’s tenure with the Saints. Namely, despite missing the team’s past two contests, Sanders still leads all New Orleans skill position players in red zone targets (8). That’s definitely a good way to counter-balance losing a few routes.

Wil Lutz ($4,000) - I don’t usually recommend kickers in these articles, but with so many high-priced options on this slate, you might have to turn to someone like Lutz for a little relief. Still, in terms of actually analysis, here’s why I prefer Lutz to his counterpart Ryan Succop ($4,200). While Tampa Bay has done an incredible job at converting their red zone opportunities into touchdowns — they’ve found the end zone on a massive 77.4% of their trips inside the 20-yard line — New Orleans has been far less efficient. In fact, 20.8% of Saints drives have ended in a field goal, which stands as the seventh-highest rate in the NFL. It also doesn’t hurt that Lutz has made 91.5% of his 82 field goal attempts dating back to the beginning of 2018.


Alvin Kamara ($11,200) - Alright, this “fade” should come with an asterisk. In no way am I suggesting that Kamara isn’t viable on this slate; however, I am saying that I don’t think I’d be using him in the Captain’s slot. To be perfectly frank, it’s just impossible to gain any traction running the football against this Buccaneers D/ST ($4,600). Tampa Bay is surrendering a minuscule 3.18 adjusted line yards per opponent carry — the lowest mark in the league — while its also yet to concede even 60 yards rushing to a single RB this season. Obviously Kamara is a player that doesn’t necessarily need rushing yards to thrive in fantasy, yet it seems pretty safe to wager that his target share will shrink with the return of both Thomas and Sanders to the mix. Kamara will probably still find his way to 20.0 DKFP, but that isn’t enough to warrant him at 1.5x value.


While it’s certainly impressive how well the Saints stack up in the advanced statistics for this matchup despite their injury woes, I’m having a hard time trusting what has been a slightly underwhelming offense against the league’s No. 1 defense by DVOA. Tampa Bay survived its Monday night trap game against the Giants and it should be ready to even the season series with New Orleans in primetime on Sunday.

Final Score: Tampa Bay 28, New Orleans 23

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (NO vs TB)

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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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.