We’ve got an unexpected doubleheader tonight and Ryan Clifford give you his thoughts and top plays for the two-game DFS slate.
With no positive COVID tests again this morning, it’s game on for the Patriots and Chiefs tonight. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:05 pm, so we’ll have a bit of overlap between this one and the Falcons-Packers, but it’s always a great Monday when we get double the NFL action, and it’s even better when there’s a chance at a million bucks!
Time: 7:05 pm ET | Line: Chiefs -11 | O/U: 49.0
The Patriots at going to be shorthanded tonight, missing both starting quarterback Cam Newton, as well as their leading rusher Sony Michel.
James White is back in the lineup. Damien Harris is likely going to be activated from I.R. With Rex Burkhead running hot of late, and J.J. Taylor still in the mix; this backfield has the looks of an absolute fantasy nightmare. If we look to the past as an indicator of how the roles will shake out, James White will probably take back a majority of passing down work, while Burkhead and Damien Harris probably split time in Michel’s role.
The Chiefs defense has impressed thus far, so the Pats passing game may be in trouble tonight with Brian Hoyer at the helm. New England has a couple of nice targets for the journeyman backup, but I’d be hesitant to roster Julian Edelman or N’Keal Harry.
For the Chiefs, we know Bill Belichick likes to remove the opposition’s best skill player from the equation…but who is that, exactly? If you double Travis Kelce like you did Waller last week, Tyreek Hill will get a really nice matchup with Jonathan Jones in the slot. If you bracket Hill (as they did in the 2019 divisional playoffs), Kelce is going to rule the roost against linebackers all night, and they’ll also open up Demarcus Robinson, Sammy Watkins, and potentially Mecole Hardman for downfield throws versus 1-on-1 coverage. Mahomes is good enough to take advantage of that situation, which is why I’m anticipating Kelce to get the special treatment tonight.
That being said, I think you should build multiple lineups for both possibilities. Either Hill is going to have a monster game with Kelce getting locked up, or Kelce and one of those secondary receivers could each rack up yardage while Hill pulls one of the safeties out of coverage.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire could be a popular target in the passing game for Mahomes, no matter which one of those situations presents itself tonight. He’s one of my favorite running back options on the slate.
Top Plays: Patrick Mahomes (KC), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC), Chiefs DST
GPP Options: Rex Burkhead (NE), James White (NE), Tyreek Hill (KC), Demarcus Robinson (KC), Travis Kelce (KC)
Note: I wouldn’t recommend stacking both Hill and Kelce together. One of them is likely to be taken out of this game.
Time: 8:15 pm ET | Line: Packers -6 | O/U: 57.0
The Packers have literally broken my model this week. I have this total going way over, and both Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones having slate-breaking performances against this defense. While my expectations are being tempered a bit with no Davante Adams, this team still scored about 40 points per game over their last two – last week was without Adams, while week two featured a hobbled Adams that caught just 3 passes for 36 yards.
Meanwhile, the Falcons have allowed 38 to Seattle, 40 to Dallas, and 30 to a mediocre Bears offense last week. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is in line for the most work tonight, as the clear WR1 with Allen Lazard on I.R. Darrius Shepherd should be the No. 2, as he was the clear WR3 behind MVS and Lazard last week. Shepherd is one of my favorite sneaky WR plays on the DFS slate, as it seems most still think of Malik Taylor as the WR3 for some reason…Taylor played just 4 snaps, and ran just 2 route last Sunday.
Robert Tonyan should also see some more work, with the vacated targets from Adams and Lazard, as well as a doubtful status for fellow tight end Marcedes Lewis.
On the Falcons side, it’s a bit hard to gauge how effective the offense will be with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage all seemingly entering Monday’s game with lingering health issues. Of the three, Gage is probably the healthiest, as he was only dealing with concussion symptoms, of which he’s been cleared. If you aren’t scared of the risk of in-game injury setbacks, a case could be made for either Jones or Ridley. I’ve been adamant since August that Ridley was going to take over as the team’s unquestioned WR1 in 2020, so he’s my lean again tonight.
As I’m expecting the Packers to put up a plethora of points, I’m not very high on Todd Gurley in this spot. Matt Ryan, on the other hand, should be forced to throw the ball all night long. If you want exposure to this Falcons pass game, he may be the safest bet for cash games.
Don’t forget about Hayden Hurst. Although it’s been an up-and-down-again season for Hurst, he is out there running a ton of routes, and you could make a case for him being the top tight end on the slate if you think Kelce gets doubled by the Patriots.
Top Plays: Matt Ryan (ATL), Aaron Rodgers (GB), Aaron Jones (GB), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB), Darrius Shepherd (GB)
GPP Plays: Calvin Ridley (ATL), Julio Jones (ATL), Russell Gage (ATL), Hayden Hurst (ATL), Robert Tonyan (GB)