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Sleeper captain picks for AFC Wild Card Showdown matchups

AFC wild card round DraftKings Showdown strategy with sleeper captain picks.

Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde runs for a touchdown during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Getting the captain’s spot correct in DraftKings Showdown games is half the battle, as you want to get that .5 boost and if you can pick a lower-rostered player that hits, your chances of winning go even higher. Of course, you don’t want to go too contrarian, as there are good reasons certain players are chalk, but veering onto the road less traveled can get you where you want to go and possibly with more cash in your pocket.

I’ll go through the two AFC wild card matchups this week and give you my choice for a “sleeper” captain in each.

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans

Carlos Hyde, RB Texans ($7,200)

Hyde is always a little off radar due to his lack of usage in the receiving game. That makes sense, as DraftKings scoring gives us one-point per reception, but we also know that Hyde can get 20+ touches and has averaged 16.7 touches and topped 18 on seven occasions. He’ll need to find the end zone a couple times, which would block other Texans from getting those touchdowns and likely keep the game slowed down because the rushing game would be working well. The Bills pass defense is better than their run defense and Bill O’Brien loves Hyde and controlling the clock when he can. If Hyde can get going, O’Brien will ride him.

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots ($9,400)

Edelman has been hurting and saw limited work last week in the Patriots loss to the Dolphins. Ke’s also had three down games in a row to finish the season. That makes him a risky play, but that also means he likely won’t be heavily rostered in the captain’s seat. Edelman is a gamer and steps up in the playoffs and this week he faces a Titans pass defense that has given up the sixth-most fantasy points to slot receivers and ranks 21st in DVOA against the pass. Maybe I’m underestimating the love for playoff Edelman, but an average of 35.7 yards and no touchdowns in his last three games won’t build much confidence and Derrick Henry should be captain chalk with Edelman mixed in with the rabble.

I am an avid fan and user (my username is cogresha) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.