Football fans and NFL DFS players will be treated to a showdown between two AFC juggernauts when the Ravens host the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. The Ravens opened as 2.5-point underdogs with a 55.5 over/under, so Las Vegas is implying a tightly contested shootout. Still, with a total like that, there is no shortage of high-upside picks for FanDuel single-game lineup.
It’s tempting — and possible — to jam the Chiefs’ three-headed monster into a lineup, but we’re going to opt for a little more balance in this build. However, we’ll provide a little bonus strategy advice for those who want to play the “all-or-nothing” game with a few lineups this week.
A reminder of FanDuel’s scoring system for single-game contests: The point total for the “MVP” is multiplied by 1.5, but he doesn’t cost any additional money like the “Captain” in DraftKings Showdown contests. FanDuel’s default scoring is half-point PPR and four-point passing TDs, and there are no bonuses for 300-yard/100-yard games like on DraftKings.
FanDuel Single Game DFS Picks: Chiefs vs. Ravens
$60,000 budget, need at least one player from each team
MVP (1.5x points): QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs ($17,000)
The Ravens defense is tough on most quarterbacks. Mahomes, however, has fared progressively better in his three meetings with them, scoring 21.8 FanDuel points in their 2018 tilt before following up with 27.9 and 40.0-point outbursts. The Ravens are already depleted defensively while the Chiefs appear to be clicking on all cylinders once again.
FLEX: WR Tyreek Hill, Chiefs ($14,000)
Hill has eclipsed 15 targets on three occasions since 2018 and has received double-digit looks 15 times over that span. Combining Hill’s ability with that degree of volume makes for an explosive recipe. Hill is coming off of a 31.6-point outburst and is always a threat to deliver something similar. Of course, Hill and Travis Kelce ($13,500) will share the lead role throughout the season, so it’s worth entering a second lineup with Kelce in this spot.
FLEX: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs ($10,500)
The Ravens are rarely a team that makes it easy to run the ball, but sometimes price, role, and volume take precedent in the decision-making process. Edwards-Helaire’s 17 Week 1 touches weren’t eye-popping, but Mahomes was the only other Chief to see more than one carry. Edwards-Helaire, however, did turn 25 touches into 134 total yards in last season’s trip to Baltimore.
FLEX: TE Mark Andrews, Ravens ($10,500)
Andrews was quiet in the Ravens’ Week 1 loss to the Raiders, and he’s combined for a 6-37 line with zero touchdowns on 15 targets in his past two meetings with the Chiefs. It’s been ugly, but the Ravens aren’t going to phase him out of the weekly game plan anytime soon. Andrews’ strength is big plays (13.4 YPC) and touchdowns (17 since 2019). He’ll have opportunities to demonstrate his proficiency in these departments on Sunday night.
FLEX: WR Sammy Watkins, Ravens ($8,500)
We know about Watkins’ tendency to turn into a pumpkin after a solid Week 1 showing. Perhaps his new digs will encourage him to stick around a little longer this time around. Watkins led the Ravens in targets (eight) and yards (94) last week, and Baltimore will have no choice but to lean on him again, especially with Marquise Brown nursing an ankle sprain.
Alternate considerations: If featuring Mahomes, Hill, and Kelce in the same lineup is your preference, you can do so with Mecole Hardman ($8,000) and Latavius Murray ($7,500) occupying your final two spots. Hardman went 4-81-1 — good for 16.1 FD points — on six targets in last season’s meeting in Baltimore. His three targets in last week’s win over the Browns may turn people off, but opportunities will present themselves to tertiary players thanks to the attention Hill and Kelce command. Murray is touchdown dependent, but he found his way into the paint last week, and his 10 carries were second only to Lamar Jackson’s 12. The backfield equation gets murkier by the day — Devonta Freeman is being promoted to the active roster this week — but those who take this route are looking for cheap, dirty points anyway.
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