The Sunday Night Football matchup between the Buccaneers and Patriots might go down as the most anticipated game this season not called the Super Bowl. Matchups with this much hype often disappoint, but casual fans and NFL DFS players alike can appreciate the excitement surrounding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick going toe-to-toe for the first time. Speaking of Brady, we’re keeping it simple and naming him Captain for DraftKings Showdown lineup. With Rob Gronkowski (ribs) and Giovani Bernard (knee) ruled out this week, there’s enough value available to allow us to splurge in this top spot.
Here are the key DraftKings Showdown rules: It’s full-point PPR, and there are three-point bonuses for 300 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, and 100 receiving yards. The Captain pick costs 1.5 times a player’s original price, but he also gets his point total multiplied by 1.5.
MORE DK SHOWDOWN: How to win a Showdown contest
DraftKings Showdown Picks: Buccaneers vs. Patriots
$50,000 budget, need at least one player from each team.
Captain (1.5x value, 1.5x points): QB Tom Brady, Buccaneers ($19,200)
Even with such a financial hit, we’re assuming Brady will be named Captain by an overwhelming majority of the field. He’s averaging 31.5 DraftKings points through three contests. We’d rather roll with the majority here and allow the rest of our lineup to provide the necessary differentiation.
MORE SNF DFS: FD single game lineup
FLEX: WR Chris Godwin, Buccaneers ($11,200)
Godwin is the Bucs’ co-target leader with 25, and he’s given us a glimpse of what we expected from him in 2020. With Rob Gronkowski (ribs) and Giovani Bernard (knee) slated to miss Sunday’s contest, there will be a larger piece of the pie into which Godwin can sink his teeth.
FLEX: TE Mike Evans, Buccaneers ($10,400)
Evans is sharing the “WR1” label and should see plenty of opportunities to rack up fantasy points in this contest. We know the Patriots like to take away the opposition’s top weapon(s), but with Godwin in the mix, executing that task won’t be as straightforward as it has been in other instances.
FLEX: TE Cameron Brate, Buccaneers ($4,200)
Brate will be asked to shoulder more responsibility this week with Gronkowski absent. Gronk has commanded 20 targets through three games, and while that may serve as the exception to Bruce Arians’ reluctance to feature tight ends, Brate will find himself atop the positional depth chart in this matchup. He’s out-targeted O.J. Howard six to two and out-snapped him 72 to 31.
FLEX: WR Tyler Johnson, Buccaneers ($1,600)
The opportunities left behind this week could certainly trickle down to the second-year receiver. He’s coming off a season-high in targets (6), and snaps (34). Antonio Brown (COVID) will return this week, but Johnson may still be called upon to pick up some of the slack on Sunday night.
FLEX: RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots ($800)
Stevenson is truly a wild card, but we’re required to include a Patriot, and he affords us the budget we need to name Brady our Captain. Stevenson found himself in the doghouse after a forgettable Week 1, but the season-ending injury to James White (hip) may force him back into the fold. Running backs coach Ivan Fears shared his optimism with the rookie’s progress: “We had to get him right. We had to get him to understand the entire game and everything that goes with it. And he’s made great strides in that area, he really has. I’m kind of happy with the kid, I really am.”