The NFL can’t get enough of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in primetime games. The league opted to flex the Chiefs’ Week 7 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals to Sunday night, moving the Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers to the afternoon slot.
So, we now have Mahomes and the 5-1 Chiefs against Andy Dalton and the 4-2 Cincinnati Bengals. While the game will be a fun one to watch, it also provides us with a strong DraftKings showdown slate. There are some huge daily fantasy games for this showdown matchup and plenty of players worth considering on both teams.
I’ll break down the game and give out an optimal lineup, but before we dive in, let’s lay out the rules for showdown games for those who haven’t played one.
- 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
Before I explain my optimal lineup, I’ll first offer up some of my favorite choices at the captain spot, featuring both expensive and salary-saving options.
Favorite Captains for Bengals vs. Chiefs Showdown
These are the main players I’ll target for the captain spot in Week 7 (with captain pricing of 1.5x more). To note, I will use other players quite a bit, but it all just depends on what works best when building.
- Patrick Mahomes ($18,000)
- Joe Mixon ($13,200)
- Travis Kelce ($11,400)
- Tyler Boyd ($11,100)
- Sammy Watkins ($8,400)
- C.J. Uzomah ($6,600)
Favorite expensive captains: Joe Mixon, Travis Kelce (Mahomes too expensive)
Top value-saving captain: Sammy Watkins
Bengals vs. Chiefs DraftKings Showdown Optimal Lineup
- CAPTAIN: Sammy Watkins ($8,400)
- Patrick Mahomes ($12,000)
- Joe Mixon ($8,800)
- Travis Kelce ($7,600)
- Tyler Boyd ($7,400)
- C.J. Uzomah ($4,400)
Sammy Watkins burnt me bad last week, but I’m going to do my best to let bygones be bygones. While he was unable to get much going, Watkins played 100 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, per Football Outsiders. That’s a huge deal and he now heads home for what will be the Chiefs’ third game at Arrowhead this season, and he’s seen a combined 16 targets over the first two.
Watkins has tremendous upside and I truly believe his floor is safe this week against a Bengals defense who’s struggled against opposing wide receivers. The upside he possesses is a big part of my reason behind putting him in the captain spot, and if you watched last week’s game, Watkins was open quite a few times.
Speaking of elite matchups, let’s flip to the other side of the ball briefly. Bengals running back Joe Mixon is in as close to a smash spot as I’ve ever seen. Even when he’s mediocre, he posts fine numbers for the most part. But this game against the Chiefs is an incredible matchup for his skillset.
The Chiefs have allowed 649 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 122 carries to running backs, but even beyond that, they’ve given up 46 catches for 510 yards and three additional scores. I’ll have Mixon all over lineups and specifically as my captain in quite a few places.
Before circling back to the Chiefs, I’ll give some love to the other two Bengals players I chose in Tyler Boyd and C.J. Uzomah. For Boyd, he faces a Chiefs defense who’s allowed 89 receptions for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. Over the span of this season, the young wideout has either scored or totaled 90 receiving yards in four of six games while hauling in 31 targets over the past three games.
The Bengals are essentially out of options at tight end, and Uzomah is just fine with that. He stepped in during Week 6 and played 92 percent of the offensive snaps while catching 6-of-7 targets for 54 yards. His floor is high and his ceiling looks good as well considering the Chiefs have allowed 550 receiving yards to tight ends on just 36 receptions this year.
Pairing up Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce is something I plan to do in quite a few lineups. The Bengals can’t stop tight ends and have given up 409 yards and three scores to the position. Considering Kelce is Mahomes’ favorite weapon and has seen eight-plus targets in the past five games, and the Chiefs quarterback being a near-lock for 25 DraftKings points, this is an easy call.
This game should feature a ton of points, and there’s enough value to get plenty of big names in while leaving money on the table to differentiate your lineups.