DraftKings Week 1 Thursday Night Football Showdown: Picks & DFS Lineups

TNF DraftKings Showdown Chiefs vs. Texans

Getty Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs.

DraftKings’ $3M NFL Kickoff Thursday Millionaire Showdown is open for entry now. The contest features the Kansas City Chiefs, who will kick off their title defense against the Houston Texans in Arrowhead Stadium.

The first place prize winner of the Showdown will receive a whopping $1M payout. Let’s see how to optimize our lineups below.

Rules & Scoring:

    • Six total players (one captain, five flex players)
    • Captain selection costs 1.5x standard salary
    • Captain scores 1.5x fantasy point values
    • Can choose from any position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DST)
    • You can use as many players at the same position as you’d like
    • $50,000 salary cap

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Roster Construction

  • Captain: David Johnson $11,400
  • FLEX: Patrick Mahomes $12,600
  • FLEX: Deshaun Watson $11,800
  • FLEX: C. Edwards-Helaire $8,800
  • FLEX: Ka’imi Fairbairn $3,600
  • FLEX: Darrel Williams $1,800

Why This Lineup?

While Clyde Edwards-Helaire (more on him later) is by far the most hyped running back in Thursday nights game, don’t be surprised if David Johnson leaves the game as the highest-scoring fantasy back. It’s become cool to bag on DJ, yet prior to his injury last season Johnson was the sixth-highest scoring RB in all of fantasy. Kansas City’s defense, on the other hand, surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs in 2019.

Not much to be said here, Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in football. Yet, if you still need a little push to pull the trigger, how about the fact that the Texans were one of just two defenses a season ago to allow 23-plus points per game to the quarterback position.

Deshaun Watson was the third-highest scoring fantasy player in football last season, regardless of position. The Texans QB topped 18 fantasy points on 10 separate occasions in 2019, including a 29.4 point outing against the Chiefs back in Week 6. QBs not named Nick Foles, Drew Lock, Jacoby Brissett or Joe Flacco averaged 19.24 fantasy points against K.C. last season.

Will Clyde Edwards-Helaire rival Kareem Hunt’s 246-yard debut back in 2017? Likely not. Still, CEH should be in your lineup, namely for his abilities out of the backfield. The single-season record holder for receptions by an LSU running back (55 in 2019) should see tons of volume through the air in Week 1. Opposing RBs saw a whopping 143 targets against the Texans last season, third-most in football.

It’s not the most welcoming of matchups, but Ka’imi Fairbairn did average 9.0 fantasy points over seven of his final nine games in 2019. At just $3,600, 2018’s leading point-getter at the kicker position is worth a flyer.

Speaking of flyers, we present you Mr. Darrel Williams, the running back who Chiefs GM Brett Veach stated “there’s a lot of trust in regards to his ability in all phases of the game – running and blocking, in particular, pass pro too.” His abilities in the later facet in particular should warrant a sizeable snap count. Also, don’t be surprised if Williams is featured as K.C.’s goal-line back.


Final Thoughts & Obvious Omissions

Thursday night’s tilt is very top-heavy, as the top-four priced players come in with an average salary of $11,000. While Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill would have certainly been nice, we opted to use the high-end of our budget on both Mahomes and Watson.

Will Fuller is another notable omission. However, his hit-or-miss play was too much of a risk when compared to his price ($8,000/6th-most). Fuller finished under double-digit points in seven of his 11 games last season. The matchup also doesn’t do him any favors, as Kansas City surrendered the second-fewest fantasy points to wideouts in 2019.

Reminder, Thursday night’s game kicks off at 8:20 pm ET. Be sure to set your lineups and good luck!


  1. *Check out our other Week 1 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
  2. Start-Sit [QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]
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