Sunday Night is usually the more exciting of the two showdown slates each week. While the Vikings and Bears is a good matchup and has a lot on the line, it won't generate anywhere near the excitement that the 9-1 Chiefs and 9-1 Rams will generate in Los Angeles, with an over/under of 63. The sites are running increased prize pool contests for that game so take advantage.
I have teased this a little bit in these articles, and will tease it again in the Chiefs-Rams analysis, but I have been tracking all of the winning lineups in the $10, 150-Max primetime showdown slates (outside of the double Monday Night Games in Week One). For our premium subscribers, we have included this link in the main write-up analysis. For the rest of the season, our premium package is $49.99. Give it a look and take advantage of all the tools that are there, including my showdown slate analysis spreadsheet. Onto the analysis.
Regular prices used. Captain prices are 1.5 x regular price.
The image you see below are all of the games on these primetime showdown slates that have had games that finished with 60 points or more. Full version is part of premium content here at MyFantasyFix. A few things I notice: First, we need to be looking at 3x value for plays. Second, we will need to roster at least one QB, with both QBs being possible. Third, we need to pay up for the captain spot.
The Rams are 13th in DVOA vs the pass, but 29th against the run, giving up a league-high 5.2 yards per carry. Oddly, the Rams are bottom 10 against WR1, WR2, and other receivers. Yet, they are 11th against Tight Ends and 2nd against pass catching running backs. Patrick Mahomes (11,200) had his lowest fantasy output game of the season last week, scoring 20 points. I would think he will easily outscore that amount this week, as we have seen teams like the Vikings and Saints put up huge passing numbers against this Rams defense. A hidden part to Mahomes game is that he will run the ball, as evidenced by three games with at least 20 rushing yards. Outside of game theory reasons, I don't see a reason to fade Mahomes, especially since he has hit 30+ points four times (28 two other times).
Rashaad Penny ran for over 100 yards against the Rams last week. We could see similar production for Kareem Hunt (8,800) who is averaging 4.5 yards on the ground. Showdown pricing is usually much higher than normal slate pricing, and if this was a normal lineup, I think we would be considering Hunt at this price. There is always merit in a Mahomes/Hunt stack and hope to get all of the Chiefs TDs. Spencer Ware (1,600) is only seeing about 20% of the snaps, but has been used in the passing game and has put up eight fantasy points in three of the past four weeks. Depending on the health of Sammy Watkins, I could see Ware becoming one of the more popular punt plays this week. He's certainly viable at this price.
The big news will be the health of Sammy Watkins (5,600). He didn't practice on Friday and as of this writing on early Saturday afternoon (3:00 pm EST), he hadn't been seen at the start of practice on Saturday. If he plays, he's an upside play. If he misses, we would see Chris Conley (1,200) and DeMarcus Robinson (1,000) become relevant plays. Conley has seen 68% of the Chiefs' snaps this season, compared to 27% for Robinson. Conley is the safer play, but think Robinson would be the upside play among the two. Robinson should be lower owned if that matters. Of course, no Watkins would open up additional targets for Tyreek Hill (10,000) and Travis Kelce (7,400). Hill has had three games above 30 points, two right around 20, and five below 20 points. Upside is enormous and if he has a multi-TD game, you will have to have him in your lineups. I'm fine fading and fine making him a captain. Kelce is simlar to Hill: he has four games of 20+ points (two others at 19.9 and 18) and five under 15 points. At this price, I think he's definitely in play, as the Rams have been beat by opposing tight ends this season (Jared Cook week one comes to mind). Finally, Harrison Butker (3,200) has only missed one field goal and has no games under six points. We've seen kickers be on the winning lineup in these high scoring games. If you don't want to punt with anyone under 3k, Butker is a solid play who I think will get 10 or more points.
Possible Captains: Mahomes, Hunt, Kelce, and Hill. I put them in order of my preference.
Kansas City is 12th in DVOA vs the pass, but 32nd against the Rush. They are especially stingy against top flight receivers, ranking #2 in DVOA vs #1 wide receivers and #1 vs #2 Wide Receivers. They are 22nd vs the TE and 27th vs other WR and pass-catching Running Backs. Based on this and what we've seen this season, I think it's safe to say that Todd Gurley (11,800) is a must-play. The only reason to fade is game theory, but for as much as the Chiefs struggle against running backs, I think game theory plays are found elsewhere. I know getting up to 35 points (3x) may be a tough ask, but I don't see anyone else who carries a 20 point floor, with a 30 point average, and upside for more.
In the passing game, Jared Goff (9,600) has been phenomenal at home, averaging just under 29 fantasy points at home. The fewest amount of passing yards he has had at home was 295. Like I said for the Chiefs, there is merit to playing both Goff and Gurley and getting all of the touchdowns for the Rams. With the injury to Cooper Kupp, it sounds like Brandin Cooks (7,800) and Josh Reynolds (4,800) will be the outside receivers. Reynolds had two touchdowns vs the Packers in the last game Kupp missed. But that was on three catches. He's a fine value play, but is risky. Cooks has had back-to-back big games, having 100 yards and a TD in each of those games. He may see a couple of rushes, which would help his cause. But, I don't know if I'm going to force either of these outside receivers into my lineup with how good the Chiefs have been here. Where I may go is Robert Woods (8,000), who will move into the slot. Woods has had a nice 13-15 point floor lately, but hasn't scored any touchdowns since Week 4. But he has the best matchup of any of the Rams receivers and if he is able to find the end zone, he should easily get to 20 points. The other options are the Rams dual tight ends: Gerald Everett (2,400) and Tyler Higbee (2,200). Both have had seven targets the past two weeks, with Everett being around 9 points in each of those games, and Higbee having a 6 and 11 point game. The matchups are solid, so I think using either one is fine. But I don't think I have a preference as to which one I would rather have. Finally, Greg Zuerlein (3,400) has had double-digit points in four of his five games this year. I don't see him having a problem getting to 10 points in this shootout.
Possible Captains: Gurley, Goff, Woods, Cooks. I put them in order of my preference.
This is a tough spot for Minnesota, going onto the road against the #1 defense in football. The Bears are 4th in DVOA vs the pass and 2nd in DVOA vs the run. When I look at the DVOA vs positions, the Bears are Top 12 against all WRs and RBs, with a ranking of 20th vs TE the only statistical weakness. Kirk Cousins (9,800) is fine from a floor perspective, but I don't see him getting much higher than 20 fantasy points. He has failed to get to 20 in five of his last seven games. His best games were against the Saints, Rams, and Packers. None of those teams have as good of a defense as the Bears do.
My favorite play for the Vikings is Adam Thielen (11,800), as he has had 100 yards receiving in every game that Stefon Diggs (9,600) has played in. The Bears are 12th against #2 WR, and while Thielen is probably the top receiver for the Vikings, the fact that Thielen plays in the slot makes me think his matchup will be ok. We need 23.6 for him to hit 2x, and while I don't know how much higher he gets, I don't see this game shooting out, and taking the high floor of Thielen is the way to go. I don't mind Diggs either as the salary saver of the two. He is a little more boom/bust in the scoring, and with the Bears having success against outside receivers, I think I would rather go with Thielen, if I can afford it. From a pure 2x-3x value perspective, Laquon Treadwell (2,200) has exceeded his 2x value of 4.4 points in all but two games this year. If you like hometown narratives, Treadwell did grow up 45 minutes south of Chicago. He's my favorite value play on this slate. Finally, Kyle Rudolph (4,800) does have the best matchup of any of the Vikings. However, he hasn't hit 10+ points since Week 4. If you think he gets 5+ catches like he did earlier this season, he may be a key to winning lineups. But, I don't think it's guaranteed.
With Dalvin Cook (8,000) off the injury report and expected to get a majority of the snaps, he is fine from a floor perspective. I hate the matchup as the Bears have been stout against the run and allowing receptions to the running back. If I go here, it's because it's a talent greater than price play. Latavius Murray (4,200) may be higher owned if people are strictly looking at box scores and forget that Cook is back. Murray only saw 45% of the snaps with Cook's return two weeks ago, and while he could hit value if one of his snaps is around the goal line and he finds the end zone, it's too thin of a play for me. I have no interest in the Vikings Defense (3,000) against a Top 10 offense in the Bears, though Trubisky is capable of throwing an interception or two. Instead, I would rather go with Dan Bailey (3,200) who does have four games of 10+ fantasy points.
Possible Captains: Thielen and Diggs. Treadwell if you want to punt, but the punt captain has only shown up once this season.
While the Bears Defense will get a lot of attention here, the Vikings Defense hasn't been too bad either, ranking 4th in DVOA vs the Rush, and 10th vs the Pass. They are #1 vs the opposing team's #1 WR, but are 28th vs #2 WRs, 27th vs TE, and 30th vs pass-catching RBs. They haven't faced many rushing QBs like Mitchell Trubisky (10,600) but did allow some rushing yards to Carson Wentz earlier this season. Trubisky has only had three games this season where he has rushed for less than 20 yards, and does have three rushing touchdowns on the season. He also has six games where he has thrown for multiple touchdowns. He is my preferred QB of the two in this game, as the rushing upside gives him a higher floor than Cousins, along with improved passing this season.
Tarik Cohen (7,400) is too cheap in my opinion in this matchup. The Vikings ranking third worst against pass catching RB is a dream spot for Cohen, who has exceed 14.8 points (2x) in five of his past six games. Granted, one was a one catch, 70 yard TD vs the Jets: however, that upside and the fact he's averaging nearly 0.5 DK points per snap, where he will be on the field more than 50% of the time is impossible for me to ignore. Jordan Howard (5,400) has been very TD dependent lately, and his early season role in the passing game has disappeared. Minnesota allows 3.62 yards a carry, meaning I really don't want to go here with Howard.
In the passing game, Allen Robinson (8,400) is in the toughest spot of the week, as he should see Xavier Rhodes. If you are remembering Michael Thomas having the big game a few weeks ago on Sunday night vs the Vikings, Rhodes missed that game. Robinson is good enough that he could get a couple of good plays; I just think he's too expensive at this price. Instead, I will be looking at Anthony Miller (6,400) who has been seeing 6-7 targets in each of the past four games. I do worry about him getting to the 12.8 point total to get to 2x: But, I think the Bears are working him in more and more each week. I do like him better than Taylor Gabriel (5,000) who is losing targets to Miller. However, I think Gabriel does have the higher upside, but much lower floor. Trey Burton (5,800) is effiecent with his touches, and only has three games where he scored less than 10 fantasy points. Minnesota's weakness against the tight end is what has me interested in Burton. Cody Parkey (3,400) will be fine if he doesn't hit four goal posts like he did last week. I don't mind him, but think I would rather go Bailey at kicker. Finally, the Bears Defense (3,800) feels a little too cheap to me. Cousins has thrown only five interceptions all year, but has fumbled a lot. The Bears are top 5 in sacks, while Minnesota is league average in allowing sacks. I think the Bears are a fine salary saver, last player into your flex. However, I don't think they are a must play.
Possible Captains: Trubisky and Cohen. Miller or Burton if wanting to go cheap and play the matchups.