Hopefully, Patriots-Rams on Thursday Night Football is more entertaining than the last time they met, New England’s 13-3 win in Super Bowl 53. Cam Newton at least provides the opportunity for some spontaneity, if nothing else. Our DraftKings Showdown lineup will also be hoping for more points to start Week 14 on a high note, as we’ve loaded up on high-caliber offensive players.
The key to our DK lineup is Damiere Byrd. He’s super cheap, and we’ve made him our captain. The logic behind Byrd is pretty simple, and you can read it below, but the best part of that choice is we can use five of the six highest-priced offensive players in the FLEX spots. In a game where the production should be somewhat predictable, that’s a huge opportunity.
MORE DK SHOWDOWN: How to win a Showdown contest
DraftKings Showdown Picks: Patriots vs. Rams
Captain (1.5x price, 1.5x points): WR Damiere Byrd, Patriots ($1,200)
We’ve been down this path with Byrd before, and it’s worked out OK. He continues to be a heavily snapped receiver for New England, with his targets depending on game flow. Since New England’s running game might be stifled and the Pats might fall behind, Byrd should see a decent target total that will work out nicely in DK’s PPR scoring at a supreme value price. Before Week 13’s bloodbath, Byrd had seen at least seven targets in three straight games.
FLEX: QB Jared Goff, Rams ($11,000)
Goff gets a lot of hate — and some of it is warranted — but he produces big numbers. In four of L.A.’s last five games, Goff has surpassed 300 yards passing. We can’t pass up the potential for such big production at home in prime time.
FLEX: QB Cam Newton, Patriots ($10,600)
Newton’s far from a good passer at this stage of his career, and everyone knows that. But he’s being called on to run, run and run some more, and that will work from a DFS perspective. Ensure that he’s active as he deals with late-season bumps and bruises, and if he is, plug him in your lineup. His two rushing TDs last week remind us that the best bet for a rushing score from New England is in fact the quarterback.
FLEX: WR Cooper Kupp, Rams ($9,600)
If we had played a more expensive captain, we’d have to choose between Kupp and Robert Woods. There would be consideration of who Stephon Gilmore would focus on, and it would pretty much be a toss-up. But in this lineup construction, we can have both. Kupp has proven with three double-digit catch games this season that a monster outing is always just around the corner for him.
FLEX: WR Robert Woods, Rams ($9,200)
Woods has seen double-digit targets in each of the Rams’ past three games. That’s a recipe for a great DFS floor. Factor in the jet sweep runs he occasionally gets, which are really frustrating if you don’t play him but really fun if you do, and it should be a solid Thursday for Woods.
FLEX: RB Cam Akers, Rams ($8,000)
Akers is dealing with a shoulder injury, but Sean McVay told reporters he expects the rookie running back to play. There’s still some risk using him in a three-headed backfield, but Akers just received 21 carries and dominated in Week 13. He’s the best use of our remaining salary here.