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Fantasy Football Picks: Bears vs. Saints DraftKings NFL DFS Wild Card Showdown Strategy

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

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Sunday brings another great triple-header of NFL Playoff action with the Chicago Bears visiting the New Orleans Saints in the middle matchup. These two teams faced off in Week 8 when the Saints pulled out a 26-23 victory in overtime in Chicago. This rematch will take place in the Superdome, and the Bears will have a different QB than they did in that first contest with Mitchell Trubisky ($9,200) reclaiming his starting job for the past six games.

The Saints still have some question marks on offense with Alvin Kamara ($11,200) returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list and Michael Thomas ($10,000; ankle) activated off of IR. Both seem to be on track to play on Sunday, but you’ll want to confirm before kickoff since there would be value potential for those stepping into more work if they’re unable to return.

Even though this game is the only double-digit point spread on the board on DraftKings SportsBook, there is still some intrigue here as the Saints try to get back to 100% and ready for an extended playoff run and the Bears try to show they really belong in the postseason. Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $300K Showdown Special [$100K to 1st] (CHI vs NO)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Drew Brees ($15,600 CP) — Brees has played well since returning from his significant rib injuries despite not having his best pass-catchers available. He has thrown for over 200 yards in each of his three games back and posted over 20 DKFP in two of his three games back. He threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns for 20.04 DKFP last week without both Kamara and Thomas against the Panthers. If he gets those top receiving options back, he’ll have even more potential for yards after the catch.

Back in Week 8, Brees picked apart the Bears’ defense, completing 31-of-41 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns on his way to 19.6 DKFP. Aside from the game he left at halftime due to his ribs, he has at least 19 DKFP in six of his past seven, with the other exception being Kamara’s Christmas Day masterpiece against the Vikings. Since Kamara will be just returning from COVID-19, the Saints will likely manage his workload to some degree and put the ball in the hands of their veteran signal-caller. Brees will also be playing at home rather than outdoors in the elements, where the offense does have a tendency to bog down at times. There’s a whole narrative angle to it being a “last ride” for Brees as well, but that just adds another layer on top of all the stats that point to him being a good Captain’s play.

Emmanuel Sanders ($12,300 CP) — Even with Thomas and Kamara likely to play, I actually think Sanders will be the better Captain’s option on a per-dollar basis since New Orleans may limit their workload if possible. Sanders has shown a strong connection with Brees over the past three weeks and was targeted a season-high 13 times in Week 17 against the Panthers. He caught nine of those passes for 63 yards, a touchdown and 21.3 DKFP and has now posted double-digit DKFP in four straight contests.

Thomas will surely get plenty of targets, and I don’t think Manny will get double-digit looks with Thomas and Kamara back. However, the defense will also have to account for those other options which will leave more work for Sanders out of the slot. He missed the first game against the Bears with his own COVID-19 issues, but he comes into this one in a nice rhythm with Brees and what should be a reliable workload against the Bears.


FLEX Plays

Allen Robinson II ($9,600) The Bears will have a tough time running the ball against a very tough Saints front seven, and they may be playing from behind which will force them to take shots down the field. With Darnell Mooney (ankle) ruled out, the Bears will have to rely heavily on Robinson, who earned 43.5% of the WR targets this season and a 25.4% target share overall. Robinson had at least nine targets 11 of his 16 games and found the end zone six times. He had one of those touchdowns and 87 yards for 20.7 DKFP against the Saints in the teams’ first meeting. Since he’ll be the focus of so much of what the Bears do through the air, I’d rather pay up for him than for Mitch Trubisky ($9,200) in a flex spot.

Jared Cook ($6,800) — Cook has a great matchup against the Bears, who allowed the third-most DKFP to TEs this season. Cook had one of his seven touchdowns this season in his first game against Chicago and finished with 16.1 DKFP in that contest. He finished the season with over 11 DFKP in three of his final four contests and helped pick up some of the work with Thomas out. Even with Thomas back, he’s a solid play under $7K based on the matchup.

Cole Kmet ($5,400) — Kmet has taken over from Jimmy Graham as the Bears’ top TE down the stretch and gotten at least six targets in four of his past five games and has played 85% of offensive snaps or more in four straight contests. He only had one catch for two yards in his first game against the Saints, but he has stepped into a much larger role since then. He finished the regular season with a seven-catch, 41-yard game against the Packers and should be very involved this time around against the Saints, how have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing TEs this season.

Saints DST ($4,400) — The Saints have built a defense that has kept them stable through all the upheaval of losing Kamara, Thomas, Brees, Sanders and even coach Sean Payton at different times throughout this COVID-19 crisis. Depending on how this postseason plays out, we may look at this defense as carrying Brees to another Super Bowl a lot like Peyton Manning’s Broncos. They finished the year as No. 4 in total defense ad No. 5 in scoring defense and didn’t allow a single QB to get to 300 yards against them. They typically bring a ton of pressure off the edge and should still be able to get to Trubisky even without Trey Hendrickson (neck). The Saints finished the season with a ridiculous five interceptions against the Panthers for 17.0 DKFP and have multiple sacks in four of the last five games of the regular season. They also produced at least 14 DKFP in five of their past nine games since posting 7.0 DFKP in their first meeting with the Bears.


Fades

Alvin Kamara ($11,200) — Kamara obviously can go off and shatter any slate as he showed everyone with his Christmas Day legendary performance that resulted in 59.2 DKFP. However, coming back from COVID-19 and the game potentially getting one-sided, I think the Saints will probably be getting Latavius Murray ($4,000) a little more work than normal. There’s no arguing that Kamara has an extremely high ceiling, but I don’t think he’s worth paying all the way up for, given all the risk factors in this contest.

Mitchell Trubisky ($9,200) — He has definitely been much better since coming back to a starting role, but this Saints’ defense is too good to pay this much for Mitch. Trubisky did put up some solid fantasy games, with over 24 DKFP in two of his past four games. However, those games were against the Jaguars and the Texans while the Packers, Vikings and even the Lions all held Trubisky under 15 DKFP.


THE OUTCOME

The Bears were able to turn their season around enough to probably save Matt Nagy’s job after some rough games from Trubisky and Nick Foles. However, I don’t think they have enough on offense to keep up with the Saints. Drew Brees ($15,600 CP) is getting a little overlooked with all the hype to the rest of the QBs in the playoffs. He looks healthy and will be at home, so I think he’ll be able to get his team the win at home even if his options as pass-catchers are less than 100%. I’m also a big believer in this Saints’ defense, and I think as long as they’re indoors they’ll be a tough team to knock out of the playoffs.

Final Score: New Orleans 30, Chicago 13

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $300K Showdown Special [$100K to 1st] (CHI vs NO)


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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.