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Fantasy Football Picks: Saints vs. Buccaneers DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

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

On the surface, this a primetime contest between two bad teams. Obviously the New Orleans Saints have not had a good season to this point in 2022, yet their struggles don’t hold a candle to the disappointment of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, by law, someone has to win the NFC South. Someone gets to host a playoff game and, by night’s end, Tom Brady ($10,400) and friends will either have a commanding lead or be up just half a game.

It’s compelling, but only if you think really hard about it. ...Hooray? Let’s dive into it.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (NO vs TB)


Captain’s Picks

Chris Godwin ($15,900 CP) - This isn’t a game that I expect to be defined by touchdowns. In other words, projecting sheer volume is probably a better strategy than predicting who finds the end zone, as I think points will be at a premium with two above-average defensive units. Godwin certainly hasn’t been lacking for opportunities as of late. Going back to the beginning of Week 6, the wideout is sixth in the NFL in both targets (62) and receptions (44), with Godwin seeing double-digit targets in all but one contest within that span. Godwin isn’t going to be an asset that blows you away with his air yards share and he’s behind Mike Evans ($9,600) when it comes to high-leverage targets within the 20 yard-line; yet in a full-point PPR setting, no one has a higher floor. It isn’t even particularly close.

Rachaad White ($10,500 CP) - It almost goes without saying, but White’s viability is tied directly to the status of Leonard Fournette ($7,400; hip). The veteran back hasn’t seen the field since injuring his hip in Germany, which meant White was left to fill the void in last weekend’s tilt with the Browns. A trip to OT helped inflate some of the raw numbers, yet White would finish that contest with an 89.9% snap share, nine targets, 23 touches and 19.9 DKFP. Basically, with Fournette unavailable, White shouldered a role that’s unmatched by any other running back in the league. Whether he’ll be given that chance for a second straight game is unclear — and Fournette could play through his questionable tag — however, if White is starting, his price tag is about $2,000 too low given the circumstances. Again, 90% snap rates for RBs are about as rare as a dodo bird these days.

FLEX Plays

Chris Olave ($8,400) - In a general sense, Olave’s ceiling is limited by his surroundings. That isn’t just a subtle knock on Andy Dalton ($9,000), it’s a simple admission that the Saints rank middle-of-the-pack in terms of both pass rate and pass rate over expectation. Heck, Dalton’s thrown fewer than 30 passes in each of his last four starts. Still, despite all the limiting factors, Olave has put together a glorious rookie campaign, entering Week 13 sitting 10th among all wideouts in receiving yards (822). To be blunt, Olave is really, really talented and really, really good. Olave’s also accounted for at least 44% of New Orleans’ air yards in three of his last four games. If you’re going to be a low-volume asset, you’d better be doing it efficiently, right?

Adam Trautman ($1,200) - We’re going back to the Showdown fundamentals with this play. You know who always has at least a little bit of value on these slates? Back-up tight ends. However, in this specific case, Trautman is no longer the back-up, as Juwan Johnson (ankle) has already been ruled out for tonight’s contest. While that should also mean more snaps for Taysom Hill ($6,400) — everything somehow always means more opportunity for Hill when it comes to the Saints — Trautman will be on the field quite a bit out of necessity. With New Orleans squarely in the category of road underdogs on Monday, there’s a decent chance the team finds itself playing from behind. That pass-heavy environment would just be another boost for Trautman’s value.


Alvin Kamara ($10,000) - It’s been a strange season for Kamara. While the running back still easily finds himself sitting towards the top of the league leaderboard in touches (180), he’s been a bit of an afterthought in the Saints’ rushing attack in recent weeks, registering fewer than 10 carries in three of his last four games. Also, though Kamara has found the end zone three times in 2022, all three came in the same contest, leaving his fantasy production relatively underwhelming for most of the year. Kamara’s actually failed to produce 10.0 DKFP more often than he’s managed to exceed 15.0 DKFP. With Mark Ingram ($4,400) back and the aforementioned Hill always looming, I don’t expect these usage trends to change suddenly in Tampa Bay. The fact that the Buccaneers are surrendering the third-fewest DKFP per game to opposing backfields doesn’t help Kamara’s case too much, either.


The trends for this matchup are peak NFC South. The Saints have failed to cover in any of their five road games so far this season, while the Buccaneers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven contests played in Tampa. The Buccaneers are also 0-3-1 ATS in their past four games against opponents with a losing record. Still, Tampa has the better roster, the better quarterback and home field advantage. I certainly wouldn’t have backed the Buccaneers when this line opened at 6.5 points, but at this point, give me the favorites.

Final Score: Tampa Bay 23, New Orleans 17

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.5M Monday Night Showdown [$500K to 1st] (NO vs TB)

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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.