NFL DFS – Week 1 Thursday Showdown Slate (GPP Picks)

Joey Ricotta | September 5th, 2019 

DraftKings really outdid themselves for this opening Thursday showdown slate. As soon as I went to the lobby, I saw, right at the very top of the page, the $10 entry $2.5 Million Kickoff Thursday Millionaire Tournament. It’s a 150 Entries Max Multi-Entry Tournament. The contest pays out the top 62,500 lineups with the top prize winning $1 million. What better way to kickoff the NFL season than a Chicago Bears versus Green Bay Packers rivalry game and a whole bunch of money up for grabs. So, as we will be doing all season long here at The Scorecrow, let’s dive into some of my favorite options for tonight’s game.

Disclaimer: The pricing included is for DraftKings.

Captain/MVP

David Montgomery ($12,300)

Many will be all over using Aaron Rodgers or Davante Adams in the Captain or MVP slot. While that’s not a terrible strategy, the fact that everyone will be doing it doesn’t help in tournaments. I’ll be damned if I have the perfect lineup, finishing in first place, and tie with hundreds of others to split the top prize. A good way to get different will be to play some of the Bears expected to get some decent usage. Montgomery should get the majority of the workload in the backfield for the Bears.

Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis will be in the mix as well, but Montgomery could easily find himself getting the majority of carries down the stretch, especially if the Bears happen to pull out in front early. He could also easily find himself getting into the endzone. Using him at the captain or MVP spot will allow you to save money to cram in some more expensive players into flex spots. Montgomery looked great in limited preseason action and I’m thinking Matt Nagy wants to try out his shiny new toy.

Flex Spots

K – Mason Crosby ($3,200 on DK)

A kicker in the flex spot? Yes. You need to save salary somewhere. Why not do it with a position that’s guaranteed to get points? Crosby has a long history of kicking at Soldier Field in Chicago. Last December, in the Windy City of Chicago, in Week 15, Crosby was a perfect 3-3. The freshly turned 35-year old had a decent year in 2018. He converted 30-37 field goals last year. Good enough for an 81.1% field goal percentage. A modest field goal percentage, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. I’m sure Crosby felt solely responsible for their 31-23 loss to the Detroit Lions, a year ago at Ford Field. Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point in that game.

An absolutely awful game for him, and one that should be looked at as simply an off day. If you take away that game, Crosby was 29-32 (90.6%) for the season in field goal tries. The Bears defense is more than good enough to stall out at least a couple of Rodgers’ drives. Forcing them to settle for field goals benefits Crosby. And of course, if Rodgers and the Packers get into the end zone, the extra point kicks will count as well. At this cheap price tag, just lock in the points.

QB – Aaron Rodgers ($12,400)

What more can we say about this guy that hasn’t already been said? Rodgers is consistently one of the best quarterbacks in the league every year. Even last year which many would consider a down year because of the lack of touchdown passes thrown and overall offensive output by the Packers, Rodgers still threw only two interceptions all year. This is one of, if not the, toughest defense in the league, led by All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack. Rodgers won’t have an easy time trying to navigate through it.

WR – Davante Adams ($12,600)

Rodgers’ favorite receiver gets a consistent diet of targets every game. In his career against the Bears, Adams has 44 catches for 568 yards. Adams had a monstrous 2018 season, racking up 111 catches and 1,386 yards. If it hadn’t been for a knee injury causing him to sit out Week 17, Adams likely would’ve shattered Sterling Sharpe‘s franchise single-season receptions record (112). He also had an outside shot at breaking Jordy Nelson‘s franchise record for most receiving yards in a single season (1,519). He’ll likely be matched up with the Bears’ top corner, Kyle Fuller for the majority of the game. Not the best match-up for Adams as Fuller had a league-leading seven interception last season, but the way Rodgers force-feeds him and their undeniable connection makes Adams viable in all formats.

TE – Adam Shaheen ($400)

With Trey Burton listed as questionable with a mild groin strain, there is a strong possibility that he sits out. If he’s held out, that would open the door for backup tight end Shaheen to have an increased role in the offense. The price is way too cheap not to take a flier on a potential starting tight end. More than likely, Shaheen will get at least a couple of targets, and if one of those happens to be in the red zone, he could pay off in a huge way. Even if Burton plays, it may be in a limited fashion. Only in a showdown style contest will you ever hear the words “Adam Shaheen the slate-breaker” but you just never know.

Other Targets: Bears D/ST, Mitchell Trubisky, Allen Robinson

Final Thoughts/Game Theory

Ultimately, I expect the Bears to take advantage of their extremely packed and loud home field tonight. Rodgers has had a ton of success against the Bears in the past, but the Bears won the last meeting against them 24-17 in Week 15 last year, and if it hadn’t been for a second-half collapse against them in the opener a year ago, the Bears would’ve gone 2-0 against them.

I think we’re going to see a coming-out party of sorts for Montgomery. If that winds up being the case, he’ll be pounding the rock late to grind out the clock, racking up more yards and points. The Rodgers to Adams connection won’t be there all game for huge chunks, but they will force-feed it enough to pay off. If they are playing from behind at all, garbage time points will certainly help. Stacking the Bears D/ST with Montgomery and Rodgers with Adams is a tournament strategy I’ll be using.

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