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Best lineup strategy for Saints vs. Panthers in DraftKings SNF Showdown

Christian McCaffrey is at the top of the food chain in this matchup. We took a look at who else could make some noise in this Sunday night showdown.

The New Orleans Saints travel to face the Carolina Panthers with a first round bye up for grabs in Week 17. If the Saints win and either the San Francisco 49ers or Green Bay Packers lose, New Orleans gets the No. 2 seed. If both the 49ers and Packers lose, the Saints can claim the No. 1 seed. New Orleans is favored by 13 points and this could end up turning into a shootout. Let’s check out some of the best plays for Sunday night’s DraftKings Showdown.

Captain Obvious

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers ($12,800)

The Panthers’ season will be over after Week 17, but that doesn’t mean McCaffrey won’t continue to tear it up. Carolina’s star running back has been one of the most dynamic players in fantasy football all year and has scored more than 35 DKFP in each of his last two games. McCaffrey totaled a season-high 15 receptions with Will Grier at quarterback in Week 16, and that indicates his usage won’t be straying from the usual against the Saints. He already dominated them in New Orleans earlier this year.

Captain Courageous

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints ($12,600)

Thomas has been an absolute monster for the past three weeks. While he might not be as much of a focal point as he was when he broke the NFL’s single-season reception record last week, he’ll get his fair share of balls. In his last three contests, Thomas has eclipsed 33 DKFP while averaging nearly 15 targets per game. He should be a priority for New Orleans in the first half of this game, but could fall off in the second half. There’s a bit of risk involved, but he could still put up big numbers.

Flex Men

Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints ($11,000)

If New Orleans wins this game, the shaping of the the playoff picture will be out of its hands. Because of this Brees and Thomas might be pulled from the contest if things get out of hand early. After all, Carolina was just blown out by the Colts in Week 16. Should this be the case again, the Saints are more likely to throw in Teddy Bridgewater and run some clock through the ground game. That means more Kamara, who scored two touchdowns and tallied 29 DKFP in Week 16.

Jared Cook, TE, Saints ($8,200)

This might seem like a stretch because of his lower target volume, but Cook has reached double-digit DKFP in six of his last seven games. He finished with a season-high 23.5 DKFP against Tennessee last Sunday, scoring two touchdowns on three receptions. Cook is second on the team in receiving yards — just head of Kamara. If Thomas leaves the game early it could make Cook the offenses top aerial target.