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Fantasy Football Picks: Browns vs. Giants DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

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

Beyond the insanity that is having a Cleveland Browns game flexed into primetime over the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday’s matchup with the New York Giants is also strangely impactful in the respective conference playoff races. The Browns could have basically sealed up a Wild Card spot with a victory over the Ravens on Monday, but are now still fighting for their seed; while the Giants remain in the hunt with the Washington Football Team for the NFC East crown.

How will all these factors impact Sunday’s Showdown slate? Let’s dive in and break it all down.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (CLE vs NYG)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Nick Chubb ($16,800 CP) - On a slate like this — where points could legitimately be at a premium — there’s certainly something to be said for the consistency of an asset such as Chubb. Maybe his snap share isn’t elite and maybe he isn’t as involved in the passing game as other expensive RBs, but you know exactly what you’re getting each and every time you put him into a lineup. Since returning from the IR back in Week 10, Chubb’s averaged 18.6 carries, 109.2 rushing yards and 21.5 DFKP per game, doing his work behind an offensive line that ranks first in the NFL in second-level rushing yards (1.53) and fourth in the league in adjusted line yards (4.85). Yes, the Giants are by no means an easy team to run the football against, however, I truly believe we’re at the point where the Browns’ rushing attack is matchup proof; especially with how positive a script this contest could end up being for Cleveland. Chubb may have a hefty price tag, yet it’s one that he’s earned.

Browns D/ST ($8,400 CP) - Speaking of a positive game script for the Browns, the team’s defense could end up being one of the better dollar-for-dollar plays on this slate. In most circumstances, the fact that we don’t yet know who’s actually starting at QB for the Giants would be cause for concern; however, in this case, either option is good news for Cleveland. With Daniel Jones ($10,200) under center for most of the season, New York’s ranked third-worst in yards per drive (29.7) and fourth-worst in points per drive (1.72), while also turning the ball over on an eye-popping 14.6% of their total drives. As for Colt McCoy ($8,600), he’s averaging fewer than 5.0 yards per pass attempt in the four contests he’s appeared in since the beginning of 2019. Both of these quarterbacks are underwhelming and, on top of that, whoever does start will be playing behind an offensive line that has the seventh-worst adjusted sack rate (7.8%) and could be missing Kevin Zeitler. Add in the likelihood that the Browns will be getting Denzel Ward back from injury and it’s difficult not to like this defense’s prospects.


FLEX Plays

Rashard Higgins ($8,200) - Part of Higgins’ success on Monday was Kevin Stefanski’s unrelenting need to pick on Ravens CB Davontae Harris, and there’s a chance we see something similar this week with the Giants’ stud corner James Bradberry on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Now, I do think it’s exceedingly unlikely that we see Baker Mayfield ($10,600) drop back and throw 47 times for a second-straight week — which means Higgins is probably not going to repeat his 10 target performance — but the fact that the former fifth-round pick is leading the Browns in target share (25.5%) and air yard share (39.5%) going back to Week 13 is intriguing. If you have the salary to fit the wideout in, I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on his upside.

Kareem Hunt ($7,000) - If you don’t think I’m willing to stuff both Cleveland RBs into a single build, you’re dead wrong. This is probably a strategy better deployed with Browns D/ST in the Captain’s slot instead of Chubb — from a logic and salary perspective — but Hunt’s been seeing his usual 50% snap share in recent weeks and, despite Chubb scoring so many rushing touchdowns, Hunt’s seen 12 red zone carries in his past four games. Between his opportunity to find the end zone and his reliability as a pass-catcher, Hunt is fairly priced and extremely viable on this slate.

Evan Engram ($5,000) - Popping up on the injury report super late in the week is never a positive sign, yet if Engram does end up playing through his questionable tag on Sunday, I believe he’ll prove to be a pretty decent value. Not only does the Ole Miss product come into Week 15 leading New York in targets (88), red zone targets (11) and overall receptions (50), but Cleveland has definitely had its issues covering opposing TEs in 2020. In fact, the Browns have conceded the fifth-most targets to the position so far this season, while they’ve specifically allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in their past five games. Heck, it’s such a juicy matchup that in the event Engram and Kaden Smith ($400; knee) get ruled out, I might even take my chances with Levine Toilolo ($200) as a punt.


Fades

Baker Mayfield ($10,600) - I’ve listed a lot of Browns assets I like on this slate, but I draw the line at Mayfield. Yes, the former first-overall pick has managed to exceed 33.0 DKFP in each of his past two starts, yet I simply don’t think that this will be a script that’s conducive to that sort of performance. While the Giants D/ST ($4,000) will be without a couple major pieces on Sunday, this is still a unit that’s surrendering a microscopic 5.3 yards per opponent pass attempt across the past three weeks. They’ve also allowed the fifth-fewest DKFP to opposing QBs for the season as a whole. I’m just not expecting a shootout and that should equate to Cleveland leaning on their talented offensive line and rushing attack, while Mayfield takes a backseat. That’s bad news for his DFS viability, as the QB has averaged a putrid 9.8 DKFP in the six contests where he’s thrown the ball 25 times or less. Not to mention, we could be in line for some rain or snow in New York this weekend.


THE OUTCOME

Though it might shock some people to find out that the Browns are 5-8 ATS so far this season and the Giants are 8-5 ATS, I’m still taking Cleveland to cover in this spot. Kevin Stefanski’s play calling has really found a groove in recent weeks and I just have my doubts that the Giants will be able to put up much of a fight without James Bradberry — let alone doing so with Colt McCoy possibly starting at QB.

Final Score: Cleveland 24, New York 10

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (CLE vs NYG)


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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.