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Fantasy Football Picks: Lions vs. Packers DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

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

Some might argue that the best part of sports are the traditions. There’s a certain peace of mind that comes with the familiar, a comfort in what we know. Well, unless you’re on the losing side of one of these traditions, I suppose. For his career, Aaron Rodgers ($11,400) is 17-5 against the Detroit Lions. It is tradition that Rodgers absolutely embarrasses his division rival off the field twice a season. However, after a shaky Green Bay Packers loss in Week 1, is there change on the horizon?

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.5M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (DET vs GB)


Captain’s Picks

Aaron Rodgers ($17,100 CP) - Obviously, Rodgers looked terrible in Week 1 against the Saints and those struggles only amplified the concern of what was a very strange offseason for the reigning NFL MVP. But that’s the thing: Rodgers won the award for being the best player in football less 12 months ago. I don’t think a few dates with Shailene Woodley and a guest-hosting gig on Jeopardy! made Rodgers suddenly forget how to play the game. Green Bay’s pivot finished 2020 averaging 0.71 DKFP per drop back — a mark that trailed only Lamar Jackson among all qualified QBs. Rodgers also led the NFL in passing touchdowns (48) and adjusted completion percentage (81.3), so, you know, it was a pretty good season. He should get back on track in primetime, especially as he’s opposed by a Lions D/ST ($2,800) that surrendered a nightmarish 12.0 yards per pass attempt last Sunday.

T.J. Hockenson ($9,600 CP) - While I doubt we’ll see too many games this season where Detroit logs 92 offensive snaps and passes at a 71.4% clip, I think we can all assume that a through line of the Lions’ 2021 season will be playing from behind. That’s going to benefit the pass-catching options on the team’s roster, likely none more so than Hockenson. In Week 1’s loss to the 49ers, the former first-round pick led Detroit in targets (11), receptions (8) and receiving yards (97), while Hockenson’s 84.8% snap share was also the highest of any skill-position player on the team. He is, without question, the No. 1 receiving threat on the Lions on a week-to-week basis. Considering the Packers surrendered a pair of touchdowns to the tight end position in their own loss to New Orleans, Hockenson appears to be in a great matchup on Monday evening.

FLEX Plays

Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,600) - He’s maybe the most polarizing asset in Showdown the past half-decade, but I generally find myself among those seduced by Valdes-Scantling’s massive upside. Take last weekend’s performance against the Saints as a perfect example of just how confounding MVS can be. Though the wideout finished the loss with just three receptions for 17 yards, he was also able to rack up 156 air yards in just 36 offensive snaps — the fourth-highest of any WR in Week 1. Davante Adams ($11,800) is sure to wind up with a better performance, but if the aforementioned Rodgers is going to hit his peak fantasy output on Monday, it’s likely Valdes-Scantling played a role. The fact that the Lions’ secondary conceded five passing plays of at least 20 yards in Week 1 and lost corner Jeff Okudah to an Achilles injury doesn’t hurt, either.

Amon-Ra St. Brown ($2,400) - There are many different ways you could go when attempting to find a value option in Detroit’s WR corps. Much of it comes down to the health of Kalif Raymond ($4,400; thigh), who is questionable for tonight’s contest after leading the Lions’ wideouts with a 75.0% snap share in Week 1. If he’s unable to go, he’ll join Tyrell Williams (concussion) on the sideline, leaving the likes of St. Brown, Quintez Cephus ($3,800) and Trinty Benson ($1,000) on the team’s active depth chart. So, why am I leaning towards the rookie out of USC? Because St. Brown played a whopping 90% of his snaps in the slot against San Francisco and that should keep him far away from Jaire Alexander, fresh off of shutting down Marquez Callaway last Sunday. Simply put, Alexander remains one of the best corners in the league.


Jamaal Williams ($7,200) - As I stated above, we’re just not going to get too many weeks where the Lions get to run 92 offensive plays. As such, dreams of Williams and D’Andre Swift ($8,400) each being able to consistently crest 24.0 DKFP in the same game are fool’s gold. However, it wasn’t just efficiency propelling Williams to a huge Week 1, it was unsustainable volume, as the former Packers RB touched the ball on over half of his 32 snaps. There are no doubts that Williams is a proficient pass-catcher and is valuable in pass protection, but there’s simply no outcome where the 26-year-old is that much of a focal point once again. So, when push comes to shove, I have to side with the back that finished the contest against the 49ers with nearly twice as many snaps logged.


While I can certainly see Green Bay coming out and answering its Week 1 critics with a dominating blowout victory over Detroit, Dan Campbell’s squad has me questioning the size of this spread. Will the Lions be able to make every 30-point deficit a respectable one-score loss? Of course not, but I get the sense they’ll be hanging around for the backdoor cover quite a bit in 2021. That’s just their vibe. The fact that Detroit is 7-1 ATS the past eight games these two teams have played doesn’t hurt that feeling, either.

Final Score: Green Bay 35, Detroit 24

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.5M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (DET vs GB)

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