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Fantasy Football Picks: Raiders vs. Saints DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

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Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Raiders and the Saints with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints scores a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

It’s going to take quite the football game to outshine the Sunday Night nail-biter between the Seahawks and the Patriots, but Monday does gift us with a fun matchup between the Saints and the Raiders in Las Vegas. That’s right: Vegas. It’ll be the first time that we’ve seen an NFL game in the newly constructed Allegiant Stadium and — though there won’t be any fans permitted — it should still be an interesting look in to the future of the Raiders.

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

Set your DraftKings Showdown lineups here: NFL $1.75M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (NO vs LV)


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SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Alvin Kamara ($17,100 CP) - While selecting the most expensive player on the slate as a Captain’s pick is the definition of basic, it’s hard to ignore the type of volume the running back is in line to see on Monday. Though it is somewhat concerning that Latavius Murray ($3,400) was as involved as he was in Week 1 — leading the Saints in carries with 15 — it was Kamara that led all New Orleans skill position players in targets with eight. The 25-year-old also logged a respectable 66.2% of the team’s offensive snaps, in addition to garnering four red zone carries and two red zone receiving opportunities. With Michael Thomas (ankle) out, I truly wouldn’t be shocked if Kamara sees double-digit targets, especially with Drew Brees ($10,600) seemingly so reluctant to throw downfield last Sunday. The veteran finished with a mere 135 air yards on 30 throws. That’s check-down city.

Josh Jacobs ($14,400 CP) - Let’s keep things just as simple on the Raiders’ side of the ledger. Jacobs was an absolute beast in Vegas’ 34-30 win over Carolina, touching the ball 29 times and racking up three touchdowns. However, the performance wasn’t simply all about volume, as Jacobs also finished the week averaging 0.73 PPR points per snap played — the highest rate of any running back in the league. Pure rushing success will likely be harder to come by on Monday, as the Saints sit in the top five dating back to the beginning of 2019 in fewest adjusted line yards allowed per carry; but that’s where the sophomore’s emergence in the passing attack becomes so crucial. In fact, Jacobs set career-highs in targets (6), catches (4) and receiving yards (46) against the Panthers. One game isn’t quite a trend, yet it’s telling that someone like Jalen Richard ($1,400) only appeared on the field for 11.1% of Las Vegas’ snaps in Week 1 after playing 29.2% of team snaps last season. Jacobs’ role is clearly expanding.


Value Plays

Emmanuel Sanders ($8,800) - Sanders is certainly stretching the idea of what a “value” play is, but I do think that there’s a good opportunity for the veteran to exceed expectation on Monday. Touchdown aside, Sanders’ New Orleans debut was a little underwhelming in Week 1, as the wideout ended the contest with just three receptions for 14 yards. Obviously, there’s some room for improvement and the loss of the aforementioned Thomas should translate into some serious target volume. Still, Sanders’ viability is about more than simply stepping into a vacant role, it’s also about matchup. Last season, no team surrendered more yards per target to opposing WRs than the Raiders (9.6). Actually, no team surrendered more opponent passing plays of over 40 yards, either (16).

Bryan Edwards ($4,800) - New Orleans isn’t the only team missing their No. 1 wide receiver. With Tyrell Williams (shoulder) out for the season, Vegas has been forced to skew young in its receiving corps, turning things over to rookies Henry Ruggs III ($6,800) and Edwards. So, while Edwards didn’t have an overly productive first game as a professional, there was still some things to like from a workload perspective. Edwards played the most snaps (47) of any Raiders wideout and his 20 routes were second at his position to only Ruggs. Sure, he’s probably below the first-rounder and Darren Waller ($7,400) in the team’s pecking order, but that’s a lot of playing time for an asset priced below $5K. Edwards deserves some exposure, especially if Ruggs is unable to play through his questionable tag.

Taysom Hill ($2,200) - Look, you don’t have to be happy about the experience, but I’ve played enough of these primetime Showdown slates with the Saints to know that Hill can’t be ignored. In New Orleans’ win over Tampa Bay last weekend, Hill was on the field for 25.0% of the squad’s offensive snaps, finishing up with three carries, one reception and one attempted pass — a 38-yard completion. More importantly, Hill tends to find himself in high-leverage situations, as evidenced by the fact that the 30-year-old registered six carries and six targets in the red zone in 2019. I wouldn’t go out of my way to stuff Hill into a majority of my lineups, but his microscopic price tag will help some higher salaries to fit in certain builds.


Fades

Derek Carr ($9,200) - To be blunt, history has made it difficult to expect too much from Carr. While the QB did actually rank inside the top 10 in adjusted net yards per pass attempt in 2019 (7.1), Carr’s only averaged 1.3 passing touchdowns per game dating back to the start of 2017 — a sample of 48 starts. Along the same lines, the former second-round pick mustered just one three touchdown performance last season, the direct result of exceeding the 35-pass plateau on merely three occasions. Without his top receiver — and with the prospect of facing the Saints’ ferocious pass rush looming — it’s impossible to get excited about a DFS asset that possesses almost zero ceiling.


THE OUTCOME

To me, it was telling that the Saints put out a C+ effort in Week 1 and still walked away with an 11-point victory over a much-hyped Buccaneers squad. There really isn’t a depth chart that’s as deep as the one Sean Payton has at his disposal and I think that’ll continue to pay off in a season where home field advantage is almost completely negated. New Orleans is also 4-0 ATS in its past four contests as a road favorite, so even in a vacuum, I wouldn’t get too nervous about the Saints outside the dome.

Final Score: New Orleans 31, Las Vegas 17

Set your DraftKings Showdown lineups here: NFL $1.75M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (NO vs LV)


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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.