While Monday Night Football doesn’t quite deliver the same quality matchup as Sunday Night Football did, we look forward to it as an opportunity to build our bankroll. The Green Bay Packers travel to Sin City for a primetime matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders have lost three straight games and really need a “get right” performance if they have any hope of keeping pace with the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West. The Green Bay Packers are 2-2 in the new era sans Aaron Rodgers and they’ve been competitive in each of their first four games. Perhaps no narrative will loom larger than the “revenge” aspect in this matchup as Davante Adams will face the Packers for the first time since he was traded to Vegas following eight seasons in Green Bay. Let’s take a look at the top plays and strategies for Monday’s NFL DFS Showdown slate featuring the Packers and Raiders.
Spread: Las Vegas Raiders (-2)
Over/Under: 45.5 points
Weather: Allegiant Stadium’s roof will likely be closed for this game.
- Zayne Anderson, Safety – OUT (Hamstring)
- De’Vondre Campbell, Linebacker – OUT (Ankle)
- Jaire Alexander, Defensive Back – Questionable (Back)
- Aaron Jones, Running Back – Questionable (Hamstring)
- Eric Stokes, Defensive Back – Questionable (Foot)
- Rudy Ford, Safety – Questionable (Oblique)
- Elgton Jenkins, Guard – Questionable (Knee)
- Zach Tom, Offensive Tackle – Questionable (Knee)
- Jon Runyan, Guard – Questionable (Groin/Ankle)
- Davante Adams, Wide Receiver – Questionable (Shoulder)
- Jakorian Bennett, Defensive Back – Questionable (Hamstring/Shoulder)
- Maxx Crosby, Defensive End – Questionable (Knee)
- Jimmy Garoppolo, Quarterback – Probable (Concussion)
- Nate Hobbs, Defensive Back – OUT (Ankle)
- David Long, Defensive Back – Questionable (Ankle)
- Malcolm Koonce, Defensive End – Probable (Groin)
- Marcus Epps, Safety – Probable (N/A)
NFL DFS Showdown MVP/Captain
I’m not sure how much analysis is needed. We know that if he’s on the field he’s going to be peppered with targets. Adams has a 55% first-read target share and 51% air yards share per Jacob Gibbs of CBS Sports. We’re only four games into the season and he’s already seen 50 targets… F-I-F-T-Y targets. And 33 of those have come in the last two games. There is significant slate-breaking potential with Adams, but that’s not necessarily news. Now Adams is Questionable with a shoulder injury, but he’s likely going to play regardless. If Jaire Alexander is active he’ll probably shadow Adams in this matchup. If Alexander’s inactive that’s a bonus for Adams, but he’s already matchup proof to begin with.
Jacobs hasn’t been very efficient to start the year (2.7 YPC) but the volume has been there despite the holdout in training camp. Despite reporting to camp late he’s still touched the ball at least 14 times through each of the team’s first four games. He should be up to speed right now. He found the end zone last week while touching the ball 25 times, eight of which were receptions. The Packers have shown that you can run on them. Last week the Detroit Lions (mostly David Montgomery) went for over 150 yards on the ground with three touchdowns. In Week 2 a combination of Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier ran for over 150 yards as well. The Raiders are slight favorites at home and their star wide receiver is a little hobbled. It’s the perfect matchup to potentially lean on their run game a little more.
Doubs has been a player I’ve struggled to get a read on every single week. But to his credit, in full PPR formats (like DraftKings) he’s gone for over 18 fantasy points in three of his four games this year. Additionally, he has 25 targets over the last two games. Doubs is one of just six players in the NFL with at least five end zone targets so far this year. Even if Christian Watson is active, he might still be a little bit limited similar to last week. Either way you have to like how the chemistry has developed between Jordan Love and Romeo Doubs, but for him to really break the slate we’ll need more than just 18 fantasy points Monday night.
Watson comes in cheaper than Doubs, which is nice because from a pure talent perspective, Watson probably bests Doubs. But Doubs still has great hands and likely finishes as the leader in receptions for Green Bay. Watson was limited in frustrating fashion in his return last week. He had just two receptions on four targets but fortunately for those who started him, he found the end zone. The great news for Watson is that he carries no injury designation heading into this matchup so for Showdown purposes I’m ready to load up with him at Captain if most of the field is flocking Adams/Jacobs or perhaps they’re just afraid Watson will be limited again.
Mid-Tier & DFS Value Plays
Unlike Christian Watson, Jones is Questionable once again heading into this primetime matchup. Jones was very limited and while reports are that he’s trending in the right direction it’s very possible his workload is limited similar to last week. The Raiders are a friendly matchup to opposing running backs even if they haven’t been beaten terribly on the ground. Opposing running backs have found just two touchdowns on the ground but at full health, Jones can score with ease. I would say the approach with Aaron Jones should be you either play him at Captain or don’t play him at all. It’s entirely possible that he’s eased back into his full-time role. If that’s the case, then he’s limited and you fade him. Or he potentially breaks the slate and he’s in a leverage spot at Captain if everyone’s afraid he’ll be limited. The Packers do have their Bye week looming so it’s possible they wait to “unleash” Jones in Week 7. Update: I'm adjusting my stance on Jones simply because I'm keeping a very consolidated player pool. I'm okay with Jones in the Flex so we can ditch the notion of “Play him at Captain or don't play him at all.” Jones, like Watson, still carries risk with the Bye week looming. But since I have such a narrow player pool on the Vegas side, in order to provide my lineups more variety, I have plugged Jones in at Flex in several builds. Another Update: Around 1:30pm ET there were rumors on Twitter that Aaron Jones may not play now. Fortunately we'll know 90 minutes before kickoff if this is the case.
Love has cooled off a bit after throwing six touchdowns in the first two weeks, but he’s still provided a pretty good floor for fantasy purposes. He’s completing just 56% of his pass attempts through four games, but they’ve been letting him air it out more with 80 pass attempts in his last two games and he’s found the end zone with his legs in each of his last two outings. The Raiders allow on average 20 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and so far they’ve allowed multiple touchdown passes to three of the four quarterbacks they’ve faced. Las Vegas doesn’t have the most formidable secondary so this could be the kind of game where Love has a floor of 250 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air.
The numbers for opposing quarterbacks against the Green Bay Packers aren’t outstanding, but remember you can run on Green Bay. Justin Fields, Desmond Ridder, Derek Carr/Jameis Winston, and Jared Goff have combined for just 867 passing yards and four touchdowns against the Green Bay defense. So it really doesn’t line up as an explosive opportunity for Jimmy G. He needed 44 pass attempts two weeks ago to put up 23.66 fantasy points on DraftKings against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The ceiling for Jimmy G is not very high. Even the floor can be called into question, but you can obviously stack him if you have either Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, or Jakobi Meyers at Captain.
Speak of the devil! Jakobi Meyers you’re up next for the Monday Night Showdown Playbook! We know the Raiders run a very consolidated offensive game plan. It’s probably more consolidated than any other team in the league. When healthy, the offensive options are Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, and Jakobi Meyers. Davante Adams has 10 red zone targets through four games. Jakobi Meyers isn’t at 10 but he does have six which is still pretty solid considering he missed a game.
The downside to Jayden Reed is that he likely comes off the field in two-wide receiver sets when Christian Watson is at full health. That’s a bummer. And the $6,200 price tag is tough to commit to with those circumstances. However, he is wildly efficient when the ball is in his hands. Entering Week 5 he was fourth among rookie wide receivers with 33% of the Packers’ receiving yards, and remember how we praised Jakobi Meyers for his six red zone targets through four games? Reed has seven. Now maybe we get another useful week from Jayden Reed. The bye week is looming for Green Bay and Reed did run 29 routes last week compared to Watson’s 20. So if they limit Watson like last week then Reed has some value and we might be looking at an opportunity to pounce if leverage is low because of Christian Watson not carrying an injury designation.
Musgrave left last week’s game with a concussion which is a bummer because it was a smash spot for the rookie tight end. Musgrave is actually fifth all-time in receptions by a rookie tight end through four games, and keep in mind he left very early in Week 4 with just one catch. The good news is that he practiced in full all week and doesn’t carry an injury designation. Through the first three games he ran 82% of the team’s tight end routes. Now he’ll likely carry more exposure than Jayden Reed. He’s much cheaper and is presumably a safer option so keep that in mind when building lineups.
I have zero interest in playing the Raiders D/ST. They just don’t do anything well. Pressure and sacks? They have seven through four games. That’s kind of just “ehh okay, but what else?” Well “what else” would be just one takeaway and that came last week. I’ve also been taking firm Showdown stances on D/ST’s lately and haven’t played them at all in about a week. I might consider a full fade of the Raiders since they’ve up six total fantasy points through four games. On the Green Bay side, their D/ST has been okay. Nothing spectacular but they at least have 11 sacks and four takeaways through the first four weeks. After not allowing a sack through the first two games of the season, the Raiders offensive line has allowed 11 over their last two games. If playing a D/ST it’s easily Green Bay’s but I do expect Vegas to put points on the board and they do have a 24-point implied total in this game.
On paper, I do think both kickers are viable. Definitely more than the Raiders D/ST at least. The struggle with both these players is that they’ve combined for just one game with double-digit fantasy points through four weeks. Volume has not been a luxury for the Brothers Carlson. I’m certain they aren’t related but I couldn’t resist. Dan Carlson has just four field goal attempts and six extra-point attempts through four games. Anders Carlson has just five field goal attempts and nine extra-point attempts but five of those came in Week 1. There really isn’t a ton of confidence in either player getting much volume or opportunities in this matchup. But again, this is a position that is dependent on offenses stalling in the red zone. This is usually a spot where we pay $4,000-$4,500 on DraftKings and hope for double-digit points, but in this spot I feel less confident with these two. I wouldn’t play either at Captain and if you do play a kicker, I’d probably go with just one and avoid playing both in the same lineup.
NFL DFS Dart Throw Bargains
For what it’s worth, the bargain dart throws for this game are horrendous. It’s so hard to make an argument for anyone but this is where I’m looking if you find yourself shopping for value in this range.
I’m probably not getting much exposure here. $3,200 is a lot for a player that may rush for just 15 yards. It’ll take an injury to Josh Jacobs for him to have any impact on this game. Ameer Abdullah is a little interesting at just $1,000 because he’s caught four passes the last two weeks and he might be a better safety net than Zamir White.
If I’m gambling on anyone down here it might be Renfrow. He hasn’t posted much over the last three games, but he saw four targets last week. He hasn’t been a “squeaky wheel” like Dallas Goedert was prior to Week 5, but he did have this to indicate he's not sure why he's being used in limited fashion but he'll work hard at every opportunity he gets. I doubt there’s a heavy emphasis to get him into the end zone, but he’s only $2,200 and if the Carlson kickers don’t have an impact then I’d rather allocate money to Renfrow.
Not a slam dunk, but he’s just $600 on DraftKings as a Flex play. The problem for Hooper and Max Mayer is that the Raiders just don’t get their tight ends involved with a sub-10% target share among the two. But Hooper is just $600 and Mayer is $200 so you just need a few catches for value if you’re playing either option.
Wicks certainly takes a backseat with Christian Watson back. The funny thing is that in Week 4, Wicks was $5,000 for the Showdown slate in the game against the Detroit Lions. After not getting a single target, he’s all the way down to $200. He probably isn’t getting six targets like he did in Week 3. But he’s incredibly cheap and similar to Hooper and Mayer, we just need a couple catches. We can live with three or four fantasy points from a $200 player on a Showdown slate.