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Fantasy Football Picks: Rams vs. 49ers DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Rams and the 49ers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Though it initially seemed like the NFC West was going to easily be the best division in football, things have changed the past couple of months. The Los Angeles Rams have stayed the course — despite an underwhelming loss to the Titans last weekend — while the San Francisco 49ers have battled injury on their way to a 3-5 start. If Kyle Shanahan’s team is going to make a final push, it’ll almost have to begin on Monday night.

Let’s break down this Week 10 matchup from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (LAR vs SF)




SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Matthew Stafford ($16,200 CP) - There are 28 QBs who have thrown at least 200 passes so far in 2021. Of that group, Stafford is averaging the third-most DKFP per drop back at 0.63. The only two players ahead of him? Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson. That’s how good Stafford’s right arm has been under the watch of Sean McVay. The former first-overall pick has been able to keep pace with the best two dual-threat quarterbacks in the league, thanks to his robust passing statistics from the first nine weeks of the season. In fact, entering Week 10, Stafford led the NFL in passing yards (2,771) and 300-yard passing games (5), while also registering the second-most touchdown passes (23). The loss of Robert Woods (knee) will hurt, though it’s not often you’re able to bring in a replacement like Odell Beckham Jr. ($7,400) for free. I doubt Stafford will miss a beat, especially in a matchup with a 49ers secondary that has been torched all year long. San Francisco has allowed the second-most DFKP per contest to opposing pivots, and conceded an insane 10.1 yards per attempt to Colt McCoy just seven days ago. Yikes.

George Kittle ($11,700 CP) - When you consider how strong the Rams are at cornerback, it shouldn’t be overly surprising that Los Angeles is a team that has been funneling pass attempts towards opponent TEs all season long. In fact, the Rams have surrendered the third-most targets overall to tight ends, despite having not exactly faced a murderer’s row at the position through the first nine weeks. That talent level changes on Monday evening. Kittle is back from short-term injured reserve and is looking as healthy as ever, at least that’s what a 24.1 DKFP performance against the Cardinals in Week 9 would suggest. The former All-Pro led the Niners in receptions (6) and receiving yards (101) in the 31-17 loss, all while logging a respectable 72.9% snap share. I’d expect that figure to increase another seven days removed from his ailment, as Kittle missed only nine offensive snaps in San Francisco’s first four games of 2021. You also won’t often see the 28-year-old with a salary below $8K. I’d recommend taking advantage.


FLEX Plays

Eli Mitchell ($6,400) - While I will admit that I’m terrified to ever completely trust a 49ers RB — I’ve been hurt before — I’m at a loss when staring at Mitchell’s salary. For every game that Mitchell’s been active so far this season, he’s seen at least a 60% snap share and double-digit touches. In fact, the rookie’s received at least 17 carries in four of his six career starts. That, my friends, is what we call a lead back. It’s also worth noting that JaMycal Hasty (ankle) will be sidelined for tonight’s festivities. Hasty was the only other San Francisco running back to see an offensive snap in Week 9. There’s always a chance that Jeff Wilson Jr. ($1,200) vultures a few of Mitchell’s opportunities in the red zone, but the sixth-round pick should have little issue paying off this modest price tag if his role remains consistent.

Van Jefferson Jr. ($5,400) - I’m really curious to see how the Rams divide their wide receiver snaps in tonight’s contest. Obviously Cooper Kupp ($12,000) is a known quantity and is deserving of being the most expensive asset on this slate, but after that, there are certainly some questions. Chief among them: How often will McVay use three-WR sets? Though a 21-3 halftime deficit definitely had some say in the matter, Los Angeles used 11 personnel on 75 of it’s 78 offensive snaps in Week 9’s loss to Tennessee. However, if we’re to believe that Beckham’s on a pitch count, will the Rams be as apt to use their favorite personnel grouping? Will someone like Ben Skowronek ($200; thigh) or J.J. Koski ($200) be the beneficiary of Beckham’s inexperience within Los Angeles’ system? I don’t mind using Skowronek as a flier if he ends up playing through his questionable tag, but the obvious value option here is Jefferson. The sophomore has seen 20 targets dating back to the beginning of Week 7 and he’s almost assuredly locked into at least a 90% snap share this evening. Jefferson’s ceiling also correlates well with Stafford in the Captain’s slot, so there’s really no reason to fade the Florida product.


Fades

Jimmy Garoppolo ($10,000) - Garoppolo has posted back-to-back strong DFS performances, yet I’m a little worried about sustainability. Against the Bears, Garoppolo used two rushing touchdowns to crest the 30 DKFP plateau — just the fourth and fifth rushing TDs of his lengthy career. Then, versus the Cardinals, Garoppolo was able to save face with a couple of second-half scoring drives in a script that had already gotten away from the 49ers. I’m far more inclined to view Garoppolo as the QB who failed to score even 20.0 DFKP in any of his first five starts in 2021, a span where the former second-round pick averaged a paltry 0.48 DKFP per drop back. The Rams D/ST ($4,600) has been fantastic at limiting the fantasy success of opposing quarterbacks all season and the unit also ranks fifth in pass defense DVOA. I just don’t see Garoppolo overcoming this matchup.


THE OUTCOME

We’ve got some really crazy home/road splits for tonight’s contest. The Rams come into Week 10 undefeated on the road, while the 49ers have somehow yet to win at home in 2021. Heck, the away team in 5-2 ATS the past seven times these two squads have met up. In the end, I think Los Angeles will be motivated after a shaky performance in prime time last weekend, and that they get the job done in a matchup with a poor San Francisco secondary.

Final Score: Los Angeles 27, San Francisco 20

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (LAR vs SF)


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