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

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

Remember last season when we all thought we were going to see an AFC Championship battle between Lamar Jackson ($13,000) and Patrick Mahomes ($12,000), but, instead, we got to see more Ryan Tannehill than anyone had really anticipated? Well, Monday’s meeting between the Chiefs and the Ravens won’t exactly make up for that, yet it is a matchup we’ve been salivating over for some time now.

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st]


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SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Lamar Jackson ($19,500 CP) - Here’s the sort of crazy thing about Jackson and the perception he’s built up around the league: Even though it doesn’t feel like the QB has done much through two weeks of action, he’s still averaging 0.74 fantasy points per drop back. Coming into this Sunday, that’s the same figure as Josh Allen, who’s play is currently blowing people’s minds. It’s also a figure that, when prorated across the entirety of 2019, would be good enough to lead the league. Jackson remains the lone aspect of Baltimore’s offense that’s easy to predict. He’s the asset with a higher ceiling than anyone and a floor that’s twice as high as his next-closest teammate. It’s a tough salary to swallow, however, with Kansas City having allowed an opposing QB to scramble for a touchdown in two-straight games, Jackson has to be a viable option.

Travis Kelce ($15,000 CP) - While it might be a little early to take recent game trends as concrete evidence, it does make sense that a defense like Baltimore’s would induce a funnelling effect to the tight end position. I mean, after just a quick glance at the team’s depth chart, it’s pretty easy to understand why quarterbacks might be hesitant to test the Ravens’ corners. So, the fact that opposing TEs currently own a whopping 28% target share through two weeks doesn’t seem like all that unusual a statistic. Especially when you consider that Baltimore is currently top five in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per target to both RBs and WRs. Kelce, who entered the week leading all AFC tight ends in routes run (83), doesn’t need a pristine matchup to thrive, but it’s certainly welcomed.


Flex Plays

Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($7,800) - Edwards-Helaire had a bit of a letdown performance after seamlessly running through the Texans on opening night, but there’s still many positives to take from the rookie’s game log against the Chargers. First and foremost, CEH once again registered a snap share above 60%, which makes him one of just 10 RBs that have been on the field for at least 64% of their team’s offensive plays through two weeks. Edwards-Helaire also racked up eight targets and six receptions after being held without a catch in his first NFL game, proving that the LSU product has the skill set to be script proof moving forward. While the matchup on Monday is far from ideal, it’s rare to get a running back with this amount of implied volume at less than $8K.

Sammy Watkins ($5,000) - Despite technically carrying a questionable tag into Monday’s contest due to a concussion suffered last weekend, Watkins was able to practice in full on Friday and it seems likely he’ll be active against the Ravens. While the veteran is frustratingly inconsistent, it’s undeniable that he possesses an exceedingly high amount of upside — an archetype that becomes even more important in a single-game setting. Watkins is also an asset that appears to be slightly undervalued on this slate, at least when you consider who he’s juxtaposed with. For instance, Mecole Hardman ($4,600) played only 29.0% of the Chiefs’ snaps in Week 1 with Watkins healthy, and I doubt he sees even half of the former first-round pick’s workload this evening barring another setback.

Gus Edwards ($1,600) - On a slate with so much expensive talent, there’s a case to be made that punting a FLEX spot might not be the worst strategy. Still, instead of paying all the way down and hoping that Anthony Sherman ($200) might luck his way into a catch, Edwards has the potential to serve as both a salary-saver and an enticing DFS piece. While nothing about Baltimore’s RB committee is simple, Edwards was very effective in Week 2, rushing for 73 yards on 10 carries — which was more attempts than either Mark Ingram ($6,800) or J.K. Dobbins ($5,800) received against Houston. Sure, Edwards could easily go back to the four-carry workload he saw in Week 1, but it’s worth noting that no Ravens’ RB currently has a snap share of even 40%. This is a three-headed attack — four-headed if you include Jackson — and there’s no reason for Edwards to be this cheap in direct comparison.


Fades

Mark Ingram ($6,800) - It was probably pretty clear from the paragraph above that I’m not too thrilled about the prospect of owning Ingram on this slate. While it’s not like the veteran was playing every snap for Baltimore last season — Ingram only eclipsed a 50% snap share in seven of his 15 starts — there’s just too many mouths to feed and too many ways for the goal line work to be split in 2020. The 31-year-old is also due for some serious touchdown regression coming out of 2019, as Ingram managed to find the end zone on an insane 17.2% of his targets. That’s obviously an unstable figure, almost as unstable as Ingram’s grasp on the No. 1 RB role in Baltimore.


THE OUTCOME

This is a matchup between two of the best teams in the league and while I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised by any particular result, I do think the Ravens have the upper hand. Baltimore comes into this clash of titans leading the NFL in Football Outsider’s DVOA metric by a wide margin, while they’ve also been scoring more points per drive than Kansas City’s mighty offense. The Ravens are the more complete team and I believe they’ll win this game.

Final Score: Baltimore 31, Kansas City 24

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st]


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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.