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Fantasy Football Picks: Ravens vs. Patriots DraftKings NFL DFS SNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Sunday’s 8:20 p.m. ET contest between the Ravens and the Patriots with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

In theory, nine weeks ago, this had the makings of a really nice matchup between two AFC powerhouses. However, now in the direct aftermath of Masters Sunday and an amazing 4:00 p.m. ET slate of NFL games, a clash between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens sort of leaves me with a bit of an empty feeling. Still, we’ll get to see Lamar Jackson ($12,400) do his thing and we’ve all got a shot at $1 million. At the end of the day, that’s more than enough to get excited about.

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Sunday Night Showdown [$1M to 1st] (BAL vs NE)


Captain’s Picks

Cam Newton ($16,200 CP) - There’s a case to be made that you just shouldn’t be Captaining a Patriots player to begin with; however, if you’re looking to get some exposure to what is surely going to be lesser-owned side of this matchup, I think Newton is your guy. Yes, the Ravens have only surrendered an AFC-best 1.2 opponent passing touchdowns per game so far this season, but guess what? Newton doesn’t throw for any TDs, anyway. In fact, that’s specifically why I side with Cam over someone like Jakobi Meyers ($9,600) in this spot. Baltimore’s secondary is ridiculously talented and it’ll be getting top corner Marlon Humphrey back from the Reserve/COVID list this weekend. The Ravens have held opposing wideouts to the sixth-fewest DKFP per contest and to just 7.5 yards per target. Newton, on the other hand, doesn’t need to worry about any of that. His value is as New England’s No. 1 goal line option. In fact, Newton handles 71.4% of the Patriots’ carries inside the five-yard line — a higher rate than the likes of Dalvin Cook and Aaron Jones. If New England finds the end zone on Sunday, there’s a very good chance it’ll be on the legs of their QB.

Ravens D/ST ($8,100 CP) - As mentioned above, the talent level on this unit — even with Calais Campbell ruled out — is absolutely insane. Baltimore comes into this game with the No. 1 rush defense in the league according to DVOA and its the fifth-ranked unit overall. Still, being a good real-life defense doesn’t always mean you’re a great fantasy defense. This is surely not the case with the Ravens, who enter Week 10 forcing the highest rate of fumbles per drive (11.2%), allowing the second-fewest points per drive (1.52) and generating the eight-highest adjusted sack rate (7.6%). Heck, this is D/ST that’s scored 14.0 DKFP in half of its opportunities so far in 2020. Considering Jackson isn’t quite playing well enough to justify spending over $18K in the Captain’s spot, give me the floor and ceiling combination of Baltimore’s defense; especially with the Patriots turning the ball over on an AFC-high 20.0% of their drives this season. Not to mention the 17 New England players currently listed as questionable to suit up. That could mean some serious offensive line issues.

Value FLEX Plays

Damiere Byrd ($4,400) - While Meyers has clearly emerged as the WR1 on the Patriots’ roster, Byrd has shown the archetype of a useful DFS asset with a decent amount of upside. The wideout’s per game averages aren’t incredible by any means, yet he does technically lead New England in most major receiving categories, including catches (26), receiving yards (337), yards per reception (13.0) and total air yards (497). Basically, he has the speed and the route tree to break off a big play at any time. It hasn’t really happened yet this season, but Byrd does have three games with at least nine targets to his name. That’s a more than respectable volume ceiling and, in a script where the Patriots could be trailing, it seems like the sort of scenario where it might come to fruition.

Gus Edwards ($2,400) - Speaking of useful players well below $5K, it’s going to be difficult to pass on the sturdy floor of an asset like Edwards. While it’s easy to sit here and poke holes in the running back’s role — he’s been out-snapped 90-to-50 by J.K. Dobbins ($8,400) in the Ravens’ past two games and doesn’t possess nearly the same raw potential as the rookie — at the end of the day, in that exact span, Edwards has 25.1 DKFP while Dobbins has registered 21.6 DKFP. The key is where Edwards is getting his touches. Though Dobbins clearly has more burst and skill than the 25-year-old, it’s Edwards out-carrying the Ohio State product 9-to-3 inside the opponent’s 10-yard line. If you want to know why Edwards has a touchdown in three-straight contests, look no further. There’s a chance Mark Ingram ($7,000) returns and makes all this irrelevant, but if not, there’s simply no reason for Dobbins to be $6K more expensive than his teammate.


Marquise Brown ($10,000) - Look, I completely understand what an unenviable task pricing this Showdown slate must have been. I mean, you’ve got two teams that primarily play through their respective quarterbacks’ ability to scramble, yet neither has actually performed all that well so far in 2020. Somebody has to carry a five-digit salary. That’s just how this works. Yet, after saying all that, there’s just no way I’d ever get caught spending this much on Brown. We’re discussing an asset that’s scored fewer than 10.0 DKFP in five of his last seven game. We’re discussing a wide receiver that has eight total catches in his past three starts. We’re discussing a player that didn’t see a significant increase in volume in Week 9, despite a public outcry for more targets. Obviously this isn’t all Brown’s fault, as he suits up for a team that currently sits dead-last in the AFC in passing attempts per contest (27.0); however, if I’m going to be able to afford both QBs in a single lineup, I’ll gladly pass on the former first-round pick.


When I sit down and think about this matchup, I just don’t know how the Patriots will be able to keep pace. Say what you will about Baltimore’s somewhat underwhelming offensive attack in 2020, but the team in still averaging 28.4 points per game, while the lone AFC team scoring less often than New England is the Jets. With the Ravens 4-0 on the road this season — and 7-2 ATS away from from home in their last nine opportunities — I think they’re able to get this thing done.

Final Score: Baltimore 27, New England 13

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Sunday Night Showdown [$1M to 1st] (BAL vs NE)

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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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.