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Fantasy Football Picks: Buccaneers vs. Saints DraftKings NFL DFS Showdown Strategy for the Divisional Round

Garion Thorne preps you for Sunday’s 6:40 p.m. ET contest between the Buccaneers and the Saints with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

You’ve heard all the jokes. You’ve seen all the History Channel memes. It’s time to play the actual game. For the third time this season and maybe the final time in their careers, Drew Brees ($9,800) and the New Orleans Saints will take on Tom Brady ($11,000) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Which elderly QB will punch their ticket to the NFC Championship Game? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (TB vs NO)



SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Tom Brady ($16,500 CP) - I don’t know if there’s a way to accurately illustrate how poorly Brady fared in his first two matchups this season against the Saints without swearing, so let me just regurgitate the raw numbers. The future Hall of Fame QB averaged a paltry 6.1 yards per attempt, while throwing five interceptions. Now, this wasn’t simply a Brady issue. New Orleans’ defense is incredibly stout, surrendering the fifth-fewest DKFP to opposing quarterbacks and ranking third versus the pass according to DVOA. Still, I sort of like Brady’s chances to be fantasy relevant in Round 3. Since his last meeting with the Saints in Week 9, the 43-year-old has taken his play to another level. Brady leads the NFL in passing yards (2,616) and 300-yard passing games (6) since the embarrassing loss, while he’s also registered a well above-average 0.61 fantasy points per drop back within this span. New Orleans’ defensive line is daunting — particularly with Trey Hendrickson healthy once again — but in a script where I see the Buccaneers trailing, Brady is viable.

Alvin Kamara ($15,300 CP) - While opposing RBs have failed to do much of anything against the Buccaneers D/ST ($4,000) so far this season, Kamara doesn’t fall into the standard running back archetype. Specifically, Kamara isn’t an asset that relies on the accumulation of rushing yards to reach value — a strategy that generally falls flat considering Tampa Bay conceded more than 60 yards rushing to just two RBs in 2020. Instead, Kamara uses his elite pass-catching abilities to stuff the stat sheet, particularly in full-point PPR formats. He’s also a touchdown machine, having led the entire NFL with 21 total trips to the end zone during the regular season. What makes that last part especially interesting is that Kamara doesn’t usually have anything close to a monopoly on goal line touches or snaps. In fact, he’s garnered a mere 40.4% of the Saints’ red zone carries, with Latavius Murray ($4,800; quad) and Taysom Hill ($6,000; knee) each also seeing about a 25% share. Well, both are questionable to play on Sunday, which could open up a huge opportunity for Kamara to truly reach his massive upside.


FLEX Plays

Chris Godwin ($8,200) - It’s far from an easy task to figure out who Tampa Bay’s top wide receiver will be in a given game, but it really does seem like Godwin is peaking at the right time. The WR is finally healthy after dealing with an assortment of injuries throughout the regular season, and he’s averaged 9.3 targets, 98.7 receiving yards and 23.9 DKFP over the Buccaneers’ past three games. With Marshon Lattimore expected to shadow Mike Evans ($9,000) — in a one-on-one matchup that Lattimore has dominated for years — I’d anticipate more volume in the direction of Godwin and, to some extent, Antonio Brown ($7,800). However, Brown’s been the clear No. 3 option among the receivers since the beginning of December, aside from a Week 17 contest where Brady miiiiiiight have been trying to activate a couple of bonuses in his best friend’s contract. Regardless, give me all the Godwin shares.

Leonard Fournette ($6,800) - This isn’t a great matchup on paper and we’ve all seen how sideways trusting a Buccaneers RB can go in 2020, but it feels like Fournette is going to get too much volume to ignore on Sunday. While Ronald Jones ($7,000; quad) remains a game-time decision, Bruce Arians has already announced that Fournette will be his starting running back this weekend, coming off a contest where the LSU product scored 23.2 DKFP on 23 touches in an equally difficult spot versus Washington. It was the fifth time this season Fournette’s received at least 15 touches and he’s averaging 20.2 DKFP when he reaches that threshold. Even if Jones ends up being active, I think he gets there.

Tre’Quan Smith ($400) - We’ll have to wait and see if Smith is deemed health enough to play in Sunday’s game, but the wideout was designated to return from the IR earlier this week and was able to get in a few practices. Owning tertiary weapons in the Saints’ offense is always a rollercoaster. Take last week’s win over the Bears as a perfect example. While Lil’Jordan Humphrey ($800) saw an impressive 45 snaps, it was Deonte Harris ($5,600) who was somehow targeted on half of his 14 total routes run. It can be frustrating. Still, Smith is a fraction of the price of Harris and, if he’s active, they’ll likely have similar roles.


Fades

Deonte Harris ($5,600) - Harris’ Wild Card performance is a great story, but this price adjustment is insane. Not only was Harris targeted on a wholly unstable 50% of his routes last weekend, but he caught all seven of those targets to lead the Saints in receptions (7) and receiving yards (83). The man went from a minimum salary versus Chicago to being just $200 less expensive than Emmanuel Sanders ($5,800). What is going on? Even if the aforementioned Smith doesn’t come back for Sunday’s tilt, Harris is a natural regression candidate. He could easily not even catch a pass, while someone like Marquez Callaway ($600) or Adam Trautman ($200) become this week’s notable Saints scrub. Easy pass.


THE OUTCOME

I’m not sold on the Buccaneers. Obviously they possess a ton of top-flight talent, but they’ve been mostly awful this season when presented with a competent opponent. Putting aside a 38-10 victory against the Packers, Tampa Bay doesn’t have a single win versus a team with a winning record this season — including their Wild Card triumph over Washington. They’ve lost twice to the Saints, they’ve lost to the Rams, heck, they even lost to the Bears. Meanwhile, New Orleans is 7-1 ATS in its past eight contests as a favorite and 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games overall. The Saints are the better squad.

Final Score: New Orleans 27, Tampa Bay 21

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (TB vs NO)


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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.