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Fantasy Football Picks: Rams vs. Seahawks DraftKings NFL DFS Wild Card Showdown Strategy

Zach Thompson preps you for Saturday’s 4:40 p.m. ET playoff matchup between the Rams and the Seahawks with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Whether you love or hate the idea of adding an extra team to the NFL playoffs, one thing is for sure — it sure sets up a great weekend of NFL action this week with six games on tap and juicy triple-headers on both Saturday and Sunday. The middle game of the Saturday trifecta is the focus of this post which features the Los Angeles Rams rolling into the Pacific Northwest to take on their divisional foe, the Seattle Seahawks.

The teams met twice during the regular season, splitting a pair of matchups with the home team winning each contest. The Rams won a 23-16 game in Week 10, and the Seahawks pulled out a 20-9 victory in Week 16. One of the main storylines which we won’t have a definite answer on until shortly before kickoff is who will start at QB for the Rams. Jared Goff ($10,000) broke his thumb in that earlier matchup with Seattle but has been able to return to practice after missing Week 17. Coach Sean McVay said he won’t name a starting QB until the inactive list is due, but it appears Goff has a chance to be available. If he’s limited or unavailable, John Wolford ($9,400) could get another chance after earning a win in his NFL debut in Week 17.

Regardless of who plays QB for the Rams, there are many interesting options and angles to consider for this matchup. Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $300K Showdown Special [$100K to 1st] (LAR vs SEA)



SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Russell Wilson ($16,500 CP) — Even though he is the most expensive Captain’s Pick on the slate, Russ deserves consideration since he comes with so much upside and past playoff success. Wilson got off to a great start to the season as coach Pete Carroll’s “Let Russ Cook” philosophy resulted in over 24 DKFP in each of Seattle’s first eight games and over 34 DKFP in four of those contests. However, the offense struggled in the second half of the season and Wilson didn’t hit 24 DKFP even one time and was held under 20 DKFP in all but two of those contests, including each of his two games against the Rams. He had only 12.92 DKFP in Seattle’s Week 10 loss in Los Angeles and 19.9 DKFP in the Seahawks win in Week 16. While he set a new career-high with 40 touchdown passes and finished just short of his best mark in passing yards, his second-half struggles are a cause for a little bit of concern. While part of his production drop is due to a smaller workload, he only averaged 4.5 fewer passing attempts per game in the second half of the season, so that doesn’t fully explain the dropoff. His efficiency also slipped alarmingly, and the team never produced more than 236 net passing yards in a game after Week 8.

Still, when it comes to playoff time, I think Russ will be able to dial it up a notch. He had a solid 7.0 yards-per-attempt in that Week 16 game against the Rams and has produced over 18 DKFP in three of his past four games. He may not have a monster game as we saw from him early in the season, but he should remain at the focus of everything Seattle does on offense and has both a high floor and a high ceiling as a result.

Jason Myers ($5,400 CP) — If you think it’s going to be a low-scoring contest, there is actually some nice potential to play one of the kickers in the Captain’s Pick spot and stack up star options in your flex positions. Both Myers and Matt Gay ($3,400) have been solid lately, but I have more confidence in the Seahawks’ offense setting up Myers to score. In his 16 games this season, Myers is producing 8.6 DKFP per game, that’s more than Tyler Higbee ($5,400) or Josh Reynolds ($6,600) and almost as much as Cam Akers ($8,600). Although all those options have higher ceilings than Myers as a kicker, Myers has a very reliable floor with at least 8.0 DKFP in 10 of his past 11 contests. He had 12.0 DKFP in his first matchup with the Rams and 10.0 DKFP in his most recent contest against them in Week 16.

Captaining Myers isn’t a flashy play, for sure, but if you think this game ends up with a total of under 40 points like each of the past two contests, it could end up being a play that makes a ton of sense. With Myers in your Captain’s slot, you have an average of almost $9K to spend in each flex spot, making a stack of Russ and both star WRs or multiple top options from the Rams very realistic possibilities.


FLEX Plays

Tyler Lockett ($9,600) Lockett has been a boom-or-bust play throughout the season but finished with a monster game against the 49ers, hauling in 12-of-14 targets for 90 yards, two touchdowns and 33.0 DKFP. He had three catches for 44 yards and 7.4 DKFP against the Rams in Week 16 after posting 11.6 DKFP against them in Week 10. While the DK Metcalf ($9,800) matchup with Jalen Ramsey will get plenty of attention and will be fun to watch, I actually think Lockett is a safer play and comes with really good upside.

Over the course of the whole season, Lockett had 132 targets to 129 for Metcalf and each had 12 total targets in the two matchups with the Rams. Lockett’s average depth of target in those two matchups was further down the field, although Metcalf had the advantage in that stat all season. They also had the exact same number of red-zone targets (16) and touchdowns (10) this season, as Wilson kept both heavily involved all over the field. Because I think Wilson will look to avoid Ramsey, I’ll lean toward Lockett in this contest but both have high enough ceilings to be strong considerations.

Cam Akers ($8,600) — I know: I compared him to a kicker above, and now I like him as a FLEX play. I love the explosiveness the rookie brings and think he’ll be the featured option with Darrell Henderson (ankle) on IR. Akers was limited by injuries at several points during his rookie season and missed Week 16 with a high ankle sprain after winning the job in Weeks 13 through 15. He returned with 21 carries and four catches in last week’s must-win victory and managed just 11.6 DKFP since the Cardinals were able to key in on him without Goff in the game.

This will be the first time he has been the primary option against the Seahawks, whose defense against the run definitely improved over the final few weeks of the season. That wasn’t against an RB as dynamic as Akers, though, and I think the rookie will be a great source of PPR production even if he doesn’t manage to find his way into the end zone.

Rams DST ($4,400) — Whether they’ll be able to do enough to carry the team to a win or not, the Rams’ defense is definitely legit and should be able to put up fantasy points in this matchup. They totaled 11 sacks against Wilson in their two previous meetings, posting 13.0 DKFP in Week 10 and 6.0 DKFP in Week 16. They also are coming off a dominant performance against the Cardinals, who they held to just seven points while scoring a defensive touchdown and producing 20.0 DKFP. On the season, they’re averaging 9.4 DKFP per contest and have hit double-digit DKFP in four of their past six games. The Rams will be a solid and affordable flex play if they hit for that average in this contest, which will likely be another low-scoring game.


Fades

Cooper Kupp ($7,800) — The whole Rams passing game is pretty much a fade for me in this contest, but there are even more risk factors with Kupp than the rest of the group. Not only could he be playing with a limited QB or a backup QB, but he also could still be dealing with the effects of having COVID-19. Kupp did have eight catches for 66 yards and 14.6 DKFP in Week 16 against Seattle and has a high ceiling due to his potential PPR production. However, Kupp has only scored three touchdowns all season and has only found the end zone one time since Week 5. His salary is attractive under $8K but he comes with too much risk for me even at this price.

Tyler Higbee ($5,400) - Higbee did have a monster game that broke the slate in Week 2 when he had three touchdowns and 28.4 DKFP, but that was a very long time ago. Despite having multiple catches in five straight games, he has only reached double-digit DKFP in two of his 13 games since that Week 2 explosion. Higbee has also been losing some playing time to Gerald Everett ($1,600), who has matched Higbee’s 17 targets over the past four weeks.


THE OUTCOME

While the Rams’ defense is the strongest unit in this contest, I’m not confident enough in their offense to see them going into Seattle and knocking off the Seahawks. I do think this will be a low-scoring contest, which means the kickers and DST should be solid sources of fantasy production. The safer play is to build around Russell Wilson ($16,500 CP) and save money in some flex spots, but there is also some boom-or-bust potential in rolling with either the Rams DST ($6,600 CP), Jason Myers ($5,400 CP) or Matt Gay ($5,100 CP) while loading up stars in the flex spots. That strategy is riskier, but it has enough upside to be worth a shot for GPP contests.

Seattle’s defense has improved enough to slow down the Rams, especially with their QB situation, and in the end, I think Russ will cook up just enough magic with his playmaking WRs to move the NFC West champions on to the next round.

Final Score: Seattle 16, Los Angeles 10

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $300K Showdown Special [$100K to 1st] (LAR vs SEA)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.