LAR (24.75) @ ARI (26.75)
Here we have what might be the best matchup of the week for real-life football, with the Arizona Cardinals at home facing the Los Angeles Rams. This game has significant playoff implications, with the Cardinals and Rams vying for the NFC West. The total stands at a hefty 51.5, and the spread is tight at just 2 points. This one has a high potential for an offensive shootout. However, we also have a couple of solid defenses here, which could lead to less of a high-scoring game than expected. Let’s take a look at this one from a DFS perspective. Let’s look at how we might attack this game in DraftKings NFL showdown contests.
Los Angeles Rams Overview
Matthew Stafford will always be viable in this high-powered Rams passing attack. Still, the Cardinals have an excellent pass defense, ranking 3rd in pass DVOA. He’s currently projected for around 50% ownership through prominent industry sources, which is not terrible for a quarterback with his DFS scoring potential.
Stafford’s pass-catchers in Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, Odell Beckham Jr., and tight end Tyler Higbee are usable options on this showdown. Kupp will clearly take the cake as one of if not the top DFS WR performer of the year. He’s been unstoppable with Stafford under center all season, but he will likely come in at 50-70% ownership. We should consider this in GPPs, especially since Arizona will certainly have game-planned to neutralize the Rams’ top weapon.
Darrell Henderson is slated to miss this game due to the COVID-19 protocol. This will make LA running back Sony Michel a highly optimal play here at just $7,200. He should be highly-owned at around 50% based on industry ownership projections, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was higher. He’s clearly too cheap here for a workhorse role on a Rams offense that likes to run the football. Arizona’s run defense is also softer than their pass, which would likely lead the Rams to keep it on the ground.
You can always look at Rams kicker Matt Gay. He should be pretty low-owned because people tend not to like to roster kickers despite being among the best options in their price range. I would expect the Rams defense to be pretty low-owned here as well, and industry ownership projections agree. They are cheap at $3,600, and when they are cheap and low-owned, it is generally a good time to play defenses in NFL showdown contests. The field definitely expects a shootout here, and playing one or the other DST would be a contrarian move for GPPs.
I’m not seeing a lot of great ways to get different with exposure to LA outside of paying some of the lower-owned pieces like Van Jefferson, OBJ, Tyler Higbee, Matt Gay, and the Rams DST. Kupp/Stafford/Michel will all be very popular. Playing all three should result in a very chalky build. It is easy to fit them all with Kyler Murray and a couple of decent Arizona ancillary pieces with a feasible captain play.
Arizona Cardinals Overview
Kyler Murray is a high-powered double-threat DFS quarterback and should be the highest or second-highest owned player on the slate next to Cooper Kupp. There’s not much argument for fading him here outside of ownership and price. Due to the highly spread-out nature of the Cardinals passing attack, they are a team where you likely want the quarterback in your lineups to soak up all the passing scoring.
DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, and Rondale Moore make up that spread out receiving corps. Outside of DeAndre Hopkins, they all come at decent price tags that enable us to spend up elsewhere in our lineups. They should all appear in many showdown tournament lineups, and Rondale Moore really stands up for savings that just $2,000. His involvement in the offense is sporadic, but he is the kind of player who can break big plays when he does get the opportunity.
Despite all of these guys being popular, we should see spread-out ownership because there are four of them to choose from. DeAndre Hopkins may likely be a bit under-owned for what we know he is capable of. Yes, his current role in the Arizona offense is not what we’ve seen in the past, but he is still DeAndre Hopkins. Most of the field will opt to spend up on Kupp/Stafford/Murray, and Hopkins may be the odd man out. He’s a good GPP option.
Chase Edmonds is questionable and may or may not play in this game. James Conner becomes a top option as a workhorse back for the Cardinals if he doesn’t suit up. Otherwise, Conner is overpriced at $9,800 in a split backfield. However, this should serve to lower ownership, and he does have significant touchdown equity, even sharing touches with Edmonds.
Matt Prater is always in play at the kicker position at what should be reasonably low ownership. Like with the Rams, the Arizona DST is cheap and should go low-owned. They could be considered as a way to get different in large-field tournaments.
The most optimal way to build here will likely be to use an inexpensive captain and jam in all of Stafford/Kupp/Murray/Michel. Michel will be a popular captain choice to do this. Rondale Moore is perfect yet may not get a ton of captain ownership. Much of the field will captain Kupp or Murray. Yet, this does limit what you can do with the rest of your lineup due to salary constraints. This is an excellent slate to get very different with your lineup construction and leave salary on the table. It is too easy to fit the top options with Michel and Rondale Moore for savings, and this should be a very common build that is less than ideal for big GPPs.
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