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Fantasy Football Picks: Rams vs. 49ers DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Monday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Rams and the 49ers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

We’re getting another divisional on Monday Night Football, as the Los Angeles Rams are set to square off with the San Francisco 49ers in primetime. You already know the storylines for this one. It’s a battle for the NFC West crown. It’s a battle between branches of the Mike Shanahan coaching tree. It’s a battle littered with star power.

Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (LAR vs SF)


Captain’s Picks

Cooper Kupp ($18,000 CP) - It’s a basic approach, but in my opinion, there’s just no way to fade Kupp on a Showdown slate. His role is far too secure. Consider his Week 3 performance against Arizona. Kupp finished the contest with just four catches on six targets, yet that was still a 24% target share in a script where Los Angeles registered a paltry 48 offensive snaps and Matthew Stafford ($10,600) only dropped back 27 times. Kupp was also able to finish that game with 16.4 DKFP thanks to a 20-yard touchdown run on one of Sean McVay’s patented jet motion looks. For the season as a whole, Kupp’s been on the field for 99.4% of his team’s snaps. He’s run a route on 100% of Stafford’s passing attempts. He’s in possession of a 36% target rate and a 33% red zone target rate. What more could you possibly want?

George Kittle ($9,900 CP) - This feels like a rare opportunity to utilize an underpriced Kittle. I mean, how often have you been able to Captain the 49ers’ star TE the past three seasons for less than $10K? I’m going to assume the answer is never. Kittle didn’t have an explosive return to action in last weekend’s 11-10 loss to Denver, finishing with four receptions for 28 yards, yet that seems slightly symptomatic of San Francisco’s overall inability to move the football that evening. In general, a 91.1% snap share and an 80% route participation rate are positive signs moving forward with Kittle now healthy. I’d also anticipate more raw volume in a matchup against Los Angeles. Rams D/ST ($3,600) entered Week 4 ranking second in rush defense DVOA, but 23rd in pass defense DVOA. Despite Kyle Shanahan’s inclination to run, the way to attack Los Angeles is clearly through the air.

FLEX Plays

Brandon Aiyuk ($7,600) - If you really need to save some dough, Kyle Juszczyk ($1,000) is the asset that could bring a lineup together, but otherwise, Aiyuk is the perfect mid-tier value. Since Jimmy Garoppolo ($10,000) took over the reigns of the 49ers offense in Week 2, it’s been Aiyuk, not Deebo Samuel ($10,200), who leads San Francisco in targets (16). In fact, Aiyuk’s target share is well over 30% within that span of time, which is even more important when you consider he also easily leads the team in air yards. Combine all that with the knowledge that the Rams are currently surrendering the most DKFP per game to opposing wideouts, and you’ve got a situation where Aiyuk should thrive.

Ben Skowronek ($4,400) - We all have traditions. McVay’s is using 11 personnel — something he’s done on 97% of offensive snaps through three weeks — and mine is knowing that McVay uses 11 personnel, and then spamming the Rams’ WR3 in Showdown settings. The Notre Dame product has been on the field for at least 85% of Los Angeles’ offensive snaps in every game in 2022 and he’s coming of a season-high 66 receiving yard performance against the Cardinals. Skowronek’s even occasionally lined up in the Rams’ backfield as a faux fullback, which certainly says something about how much Los Angeles’ coaching staff wants to get the wideout into the action.


Darrell Henderson Jr. ($6,800) - To be completely honest, I’m not thrilled about the fantasy prospects of Cam Akers ($7,000), either, but at least he’s trending in a the right direction. Since logging an 82.1% snap share in Week 1, Henderson’s seen his role shrink in each passing game, which came to a head when the RB garnered just four touches in last Sunday’s victory over Arizona. As we expected all summer long — the briefly panicked about for 10 days following the Rams’ loss to Buffalo — Akers is the No. 1 back on this roster. That harsh reality, in addition to a terrible matchup, makes Henderson the furthest thing from viable on tonight’s slate. 49ers D/ST ($4,200) is conceding a league-low 2.91 adjusted line yards per opponent rushing attempt in 2022. It’s like running into a brick wall for 60 minutes.


Sean McVay is 0-6 in his last six meetings against his old friend Kyle Shanahan. The Rams are 0-5 ATS in their past five games against the 49ers. If you’re into the trends, you probably don’t want to back Los Angeles this evening. However, in a contest featuring a pair of stout run defenses, I think this tilt comes down to quarterback play — a situation where I have to back Matthew Stafford over Jimmy Garoppolo. McVay will get a little revenge on Monday.

Final Score: Los Angeles 24, San Francisco 17

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (LAR vs SF)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.