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Early DFS lineup thoughts for Packers-49ers in DraftKings Showdown

The NFC Championship Game gets going later this week and we’ll see the first Packers and 49ers injury reports Wednesday afternoon. In advance, we break down some options for your Showdown matchups.

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle celebrates after the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC favorites held on in the Divisional Round, setting up a battle between the 1-seed 49ers and the 2-seed Packers in San Francisco Sunday. Both teams finished the season 13-3 and on top of two of the best divisions in the NFL. The NFC Championship game will be a rematch of Week 12, when the 49ers won 37-8 at home. Back in San Francisco again, the Packers will try to flip the script. How should we approach this game as DFS managers? This article aims to take an early look at what some of the best options for Sunday’s DraftKings Showdown might be.

Captain options

George Kittle, TE, 49ers ($14,100)

One strategy for picking your captain is to simply identify the most talented player available. And, with all due apologies to those who think Aaron Rogers is still the same guy he was in 2016, the best overall player in this game is Kittle. The 49ers barely had to throw the ball during their 27-10 dismantling of the Vikings last weekend, but Kittle dominated this team’s passing game this season, with 26 more targets and 251 more yards than top WR Deebo Samuel — despite playing in one fewer game. We don’t want to rely too heavily on defense versus positional data, but it’s worth noting that the Packers were one of the more favorable matchups for TEs this season. Before last weekend, Kittle had scored at least 16 DKFP in four straight.

Davante Adams, WR, Packers ($17,000)

I expect the 49ers to win this game. I also expect their stout run defense to cause Green Bay a lot of problems. That would mean that the Packers will have to throw a lot, and Aaron Rodgers has a tendency to focus in on his favorite targets. Since Adams returned from an injury in Week 9, he’s seen double-digit targets all but once. He’s averaging 13.3 targets over his last four games. Over that run, he has at least seven receptions and 93 yards in each, and he’s caught four touchdowns. During last week’s win, Adams was the only Packers’ WR on the field for more than half of the offensive snaps, and staying on the field for 92% of the game. Adams will probably be a popular pick, but he’s one of the safest options available.

Flex options

Allen Lazard, WR, Packers ($5,600)

Speaking of Aaron Rodgers’ preferred receiving options, after Adams, Lazard is probably his next favorite. Lazard certainly earned that role during Adams’ four-week absence earlier in the season, quickly rising above Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Lazard was barely used in the Divisional Round, but the Packers ran a very run-and-Adams-focused offense. He was second among Packers’ WRs in snaps over the final three weeks of the season, and saw 17 targets over the final two games. If anyone other than Adams is going to have a good receiving day for the Packers, it’s probably Lazard.

49ers DST ($5,000)

Maybe I’m getting too cute here, but we’ve seen these teams play already – the 49ers walloped the Packers! Three sacks, a fumble recovery, and they allowed just eight points and under 250 yards of offense. The 49ers’ defense is excellent, and for much of the season they were on track to be all-time great. The Packers have scored more than 24 points just twice since Week 8. Aaron Rodgers spends most of the game pretending that Davante Adams is the only eligible receiver and is having one of the worst seasons of his (albeit Hall of Fame worthy) career. Maybe I’ll move away from this play by the time the game actually starts but the 49ers are favored here primarily because of their defense – I feel like we have to at least consider playing that unit.

I am an avid fan and user (my username is arikleen) 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.