My last crack at the FanDuel NFL DFS showdown contest was a disgrace. Then again, so were the Arizona Cardinals in the last installment of Thursday Night Football.
David Johnson had a better than advertised matchup ahead of him, but his rookie quarterback had other plans. Josh Rosen tossed three picks (two went for touchdowns) and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy proceeded to misuse DJ just like he’d been doing all year.
McCoy’s ineptitude got him fired, but not before Johnson spared his way into oblivion. Needless to say, I had too many shares in the Arizona offense and my NFL DFS picks fell flat for that contest.
The hope is to get a better feel for Monday’s Falcons vs. Giants clash. Let’s get to it:
MVP (1.5x points): Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants ($17k)
Barkley went absolutely nuts in his last game and has now churned out 17+ fantasy points in every single game he’s played. That’s impressive for anyone, but a rookie running back on a bad team? Yeah, this Barkley kid is good.
His matchup with the Falcons actually isn’t amazing, but they’ve given up a ton of production to pass-catching backs in 2018. Barkley seems matchup proof at this point, though, and I’m not sure anyone has more upside than him in this game.
FLEX: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($14)
Is this the game where Jones finally (gulp) actually scores a touchdown? I can’t know for sure, but he’s certainly been a yardage fiend and it’s hard to not be impressed with the fact that this guy has topped 19+ fantasy points three different times despite having zero scores on the year.
The time is coming soon and it can’t hurt that Jones is at home in a game the Falcons absolutely have to win. That, and New York just got slapped around by Alshon Jeffery a week ago.
FLEX: Mohamed Sanu – Atlanta Falcons ($10.5k)
If Jones isn’t to score touchdowns and he’s just going to get a bunch of yards, then be sure to roster Sanu or Calvin Ridley. Sanu is the cheaper of the two and has reached pay-dirt three times in his last four games. Given the way things have gone in the ATL offense, he makes a ton of sense in this spot.
FLEX: Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons ($8.5k)
Another situation to monitor is the Falcons’ offensive backfield. Devonta Freeman is on injured reserve, which theoretically opens the door for Tevin Coleman to pop off. He just might do that, but he hasn’t been amazing so far in 2018 and it’s actually been Smith (TD in three straight games) who has been vulturing goal-line work.
Smith is a low percentage play, but with Freeman out you know he’s going to get some touches. Let’s cross our fingers they come in scoring opportunities.
FLEX: Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants (9.5k)
I want Odell Beckham Jr. just like everyone else, but let’s face it; the dude has been more talk than production this year. I also don’t particularly trust Eli Manning, so I’d much rather confide in Giants pass-catchers that are more safety blanket than down-field threats.
Manning has been Captain Checkdown this year, so don’t be surprised if that trend continues even in an amazing matchup. Engram could be low-owned as he works his way back from a knee injury, too, but I’m not ignoring Atlanta’s struggles (23rd) against the tight end position.
I’m stacking two studs and then playing the numbers game, albeit in the reverse order. There are a lot of guys to covet tonight, as neither defense has performed very well and this is desperation time for both teams. I favor the Falcons, but you can’t go wrong with a lot of options at FanDuel tonight.
This is my personal favorite Monday Night Football showdown lineup. Use this team as it stands or mix my NFL DFS picks in with your own. Either way, I wish you luck tonight. Enjoy the game!