The NFC North-leading Vikings host the Patriots in prime time to wrap up the NFL’s Thanksgiving schedule. The 8-2 Vikings are currently favored by 2.5-points, with the total set at 42.5, according to BetMGM. Both offenses need bounce-back performances after neither scored an offensive touchdown last week. While Thursday’s game might not feature a ton of scoring, we’re definitely in store for better offensive outputs from both teams considering some of the DFS stars who will be in action. That makes for multiple ways to approach putting together a DraftKings Showdown lineup, and our strategy involves a somewhat contrarian approach to the Pats’ offense while going chalk with the Vikings.
Before we get into our lineup and strategy, here are the key scoring settings for DraftKings Showdown contests: They’re 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
$50,000 budget, need at least one player from each team.
Captain (1.5x points, 1.5x salary): RB Dalvin Cook, Vikings ($15,000)
Even with the Patriots allowing the fewest fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs, we think Cook profiles as a worthwhile Captain, as he’s always a threat to accumulate 20-plus fantasy points regardless of matchup. He’s coming off his lowest fantasy point output of the season in last week’s 40-3 beatdown by the Cowboys, but given he sports the sixth-highest opportunity share among RBs (75.7 percent) Cook always has a reliable floor with “boom” potential. A 20-plus carry game is never out of the question along with his ability to reach paydirt, and we’re hoping he’s low-owned as a Captain because of the matchup.
MORE VIKINGS-PATRIOTS: Betting odds, pick
FLEX WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($11,600)
Jefferson is going to be a highly rostered Captain play, but instead up paying up for his $17,400 Captain salary, we’ll roster him at $11,600. Similar to Cook and the rest of the Vikings, Jefferson had one of his worst fantasy performances last week, scoring just 6.3 DK points. While the Patriots’ defense is one of the most well-rounded units in the league, Jefferson is always capable of popping off with at least 100-plus receiving yards and a TD. He’ll surely be the focal point of the Patriots’ defensive gameplan, but it’s tough to avoid rostering the league’s second-leading receiver (1,093 yards) who’s also seen 18 red-zone targets (first among WRs). Once again, we’re hoping a fair number of DFS players are fading Jefferson because of the matchup.
FLEX RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots ($9,600)
Stevenson is in line for a solid day on the ground, as Minnesota’s defense is susceptible to the run. The Vikings enter Week 12 allowing the ninth-most FPPG to RBs (21.6), so Stevenson has a shot to do damage as both a runner and receiver. He’s averaging 14.4 carries per game (12th) and remains a viable option in the receiving game (283 receiving yards).
FLEX RB Damien Harris, Patriots ($6,800)
While Stevenson’s asserted himself as the Patriots’ RB1, Harris is still a factor in New England’s offense. With Minnesota’s defense struggling to defend running backs, expect a heavy dose of rushing attempts for New England. Harris is a relatively cheap option with upside. Harris is still utilized in the red zone, accumulating 27 red-zone touches (11th among RBs), which gives him a shot to land in the end zone. It’s unlikely many lineups will feature both Pats’ RBs, so we’re hoping for some differentiation there.
FLEX K Greg Joseph, Vikings ($3,800)
We’re hoping Minnesota’s offense stalls out a few times, giving Joseph the chance to accumulate double-digit fantasy points. Joseph hasn’t been as efficient as last year, but he still gets to kick in favorable conditions at home in the dome. Joseph isn’t a flashy add by any means, but he should provide a stable enough floor to keep our lineup competitive.
FLEX TE Hunter Henry, Patriots ($3,000)
Henry is undervalued at $3,000 as he consistently logs a high snap count, giving him a chance to see a fair number of targets. He also draws a favorable matchup against a Vikings defense allowing 10.6 FPPG to TEs (10.6), and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him lead the Patriots in receiving.