If the Week 8 NFL action wasn’t quite exciting enough for you, then Sunday Night Football should get the job done. In a rematch of one of the most memorable playoff games in years, the New Orleans Saints will take on the Minnesota Vikings. This matchup was the one which ended on the infamous Stefon Diggs last-second 61-yard touchdown.
As you likely could have guessed, DraftKings is offering plenty of showdown fantasy football options for this game. And with the potential for this to turn into a shootout, it should be an enjoyable nightcap to the action Sunday. I’m going to break down the slate by offering my top optimal lineup as well as a few other names I’ll target in this game.
Before diving into it, here’s a look at the showdown rules for those who haven’t played before.
- 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
Favorite Captains for Saints vs. Vikings
These are the main players I’ll target for the captain spot in Week 8 (with captain pricing of 1.5x more). I will use other players aside from these names, but much of this comes down to how the actual building of lineups works out.
- Adam Thielen ($17,700)
- Kirk Cousins ($16,800)
- Alvin Kamara ($13,800)
- Stefon Diggs ($13,500)
- Ben Watson ($6,600)
- Dan Bailey ($5,100)
Let’s dive in and look at the top optimal lineup for this showdown slate, as well as a few additional targets I’ll consider.
Top Optimal DraftKings Showdown Lineup: Saints vs. Vikings
- CAPTAIN: Dan Bailey ($5,100)
- Adam Thielen ($11,800)
- Kirk Cousins ($11,200)
- Stefon Diggs ($9,000)
- Mark Ingram ($7,200)
- Ben Watson ($4,400)
I’ll be honest when stating that I wanted to get to Alvin Kamara over Mark Ingram, but I’ll take the savings in order to fit in both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Both the Saints and Vikings are great against opposing running backs, so it’s going to be tough sledding. I do believe the Saints will try to keep the Vikings offense off the field a bit, which is where Ingram would come into play in a big way. He’ll also be lower-owned than Kamara.
As far as the Thielen/Diggs stack with Kirk Cousins, it was a focus for me and I wasn’t all that interested in moving off it. The Saints have allowed the most fantasy points per game (per ESPN) to opposing wideouts while giving up 94 receptions for 1,384 yards and 11 touchdowns. I’m having a tough time buying into the Saints secondary managing to turn the corner in front of a rowdy Vikings home crowd and a fired up Minnesota team.
Speaking of where the Saints struggle, they’ve also intercepted just two passes all season and allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw 13 touchdowns and rush for three more. Cousins has an incredibly safe fantasy floor, topping at least 17.5 DraftKiings points in all but one game this season. His ceiling is tremendous as well, considering he topped 35 fantasy points twice.
The play of Ben Watson is one that I hope will be a bit different since Tre’Quan Smith is just $1,000 more in salary. The Vikings have been destroyed by tight ends in recent weeks, allowing Zach Ertz to post 10 catches for 110 yards and one score, Jimmy Graham totaled 95 yards, George Kittle 90 yards and Chris Herndon 42 yards and one touchdown. Watson is Mr. Reliable for Drew Brees and the Saints, and if the team is playing from behind, he could see a few more targets than usual.
Last but not least, my captain, Dan Bailey. Yes, I’m rolling with the Vikings kicker in the captain spot. Bailey has finished with double-digit DraftKings points in each of his first four weeks as a member of the Vikings and playing him at captain allows me free up space across the board. I debated putting Watson in the captain spot, but I don’t think many will use Bailey here, and if he manages 12-15 regular fantasy points, with the multiplier, I’ll be more than happy.
Additional targets: Drew Brees ($10,600), Michael Thomas ($9,800), Alvin Kamara ($9,200), Tre’Quan Smith ($5,400), Laquon Treadwell ($2,600)
*Note: With Xavier Rhodes inactive for this game, Michael Thomas becomes an elite play.