The DraftKings Sunday Night Football showdown slate offers a matchup between two teams capable of lighting up the scoreboard. One side features the New England Patriots led by an angry Tom Brady, as the team comes off a Week 2 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. On the other side is a potentially explosive Detroit Lions offense led by Matthew Stafford and his variety of weapons.
We’re going to dive in and offer up an optimal lineup for the showdown games on DraftKings, which features offerings of a variety of different-sized games. The massive $10 game features $800,000 guaranteed and $200,000 to first place. There are also games ranging from freebies up to high-dollar options, so Sunday Night Football offers us a bit of everything.
Before we dive into the lineup itself, though, here’s a quick look at how showdown games work.
- Six total players (one captain, five flex players)
- Captain selection costs 1.5 times standard salary but scores 1.5 times the standard points
- Can choose from any position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DST)
- $50,000 salary cap
- You can use more than one quarterback
Seahawks vs. Bears Monday Night Football Optimal Lineup
- CAPTAIN: Phillip Dorsett ($7,500)
- Tom Brady ($11,800)
- Matthew Stafford ($10,600)
- Golden Tate ($8,600)
- Kenny Golladay ($8,000)
- Stephen Gostkowski ($3,200)
This week features an incredibly tough showdown slate with multiple high-priced and high-upside players. In turn, if you’re creating multiple lineups, I highly recommend utilizing multiple unique stacks and spread exposure around a bit.
Before we get into anything, ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed newly-acquired wideout Josh Gordon is inactive for this game, meaning it’s one less tough call to deal with.
It was highly unlikely I was going to use Gordon in this spot, considering he’s been nursing a hamstring injury and had very little time to learn the Patriots’ playbook.
My hope is that while many of these players above will garnish high ownership, that using Phillip Dorsett in the captain spot will differentiate things a bit. Dorsett’s price is incredibly appealing and he should have high ownership, but I’m not sold that he’ll be in the captain spot all that much. Through two games, he’s seen 14 targets resulting in 12 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown.
Realistically, the main reason for choosing to go this route at captain is because I wanted to get Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Golden Tate all in my lineup. From there, the upside of Kenny Golladay is too much to pass up, especially considering Marvin Jones is banged up (but playing).
On the season, the Patriots have allowed 372 yards and four touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. With the Lions playing at home in a primetime matchup, I love the idea of stacking Stafford with two of his top wideouts. Tate (28) and Golladay (21) have been go-to targets for Stafford over the first two weeks and both are producing impressive numbers.
Speaking of Stafford, after a Week 1 dud in which he was banged up for much of the game, he bounced back in a big way last week. The signal-caller threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns, and I expect to see him and Brady get into a pretty intense duel in this game.
The Stephen Gostkowski play seems like just a filler decision, and it partially is, but he’s also scored nine DraftKings points in each of the first two weeks. Entering a matchup that will surely feature plenty of points and using a kicker on the same team as Brady works for me, especially considering the money it frees up for other players.
Additional Notes & Intriguing Pivots
Patriots running back James White will be in a large number of my lineups. This is simply due to the fact that he catches so many passes, making his floor incredibly high. Over the first two weeks, he’s totaled 15.6 and 15.4 DraftKings points while receiving 11 targets.
There’s no chance I’ll be able to fade Rob Gronkowski on this slate, and there’s a very real possibility he could light the Lions up. On paper, the matchup doesn’t look overly amazing, but that may keep ownership down a bit. When really diving into the numbers, though, Detroit has allowed 8-of-10 targets to tight ends to go for catches, resulting in 78 yards and one touchdown. I like Gronkowski quite a bit even at the $10,400 price tag.
Aside from these two, I’ll likely sprinkle in a bit of Marvin Jones with the hopes that the injury situation brings down his ownership. From there, Chris Hogan is a solid play with a good price tag, and the Lions have given up three touchdowns to receivers, so he could certainly find the end zone.
I don’t love Kerryon Johnson at $5,800 when his workload is unknown, but his pass-catching abilities make him an intriguing play in 150-max games. And as you can probably guess, since I’ll be using Gostkowski, I’m also on board with switching it up and going with Matt Prater (probably not in the same lineup).