There’s one million dollars at stake tonight on DraftKings! That’s right, the widely popularized DFS app is once again giving away $1,000,000 to the first-place winner in tonight’s Monday Night Football Milly Maker. With fantasy glory and a million bucks on the line, it’s now more crucial than ever to assemble a winning DraftKings lineup that can dominate the competition. This article offers insights on who should take the coveted captain slot, which core player should anchor your player pool, a value gem that can boost your salary cap flexibility, a sleeper pick with breakout potential, and one player to steer clear of – the dreaded bust. Lock in, as we dive into the tactical decisions that could lead you to DFS victory in this MNF primetime game between the New York Giants and the visiting Seattle Seahawks.
*Disclaimer: These picks have been constructed with the mindset of building a single lineup. When building large field/multi-entry tournaments, if the player sees the field you’ll want to have a piece of him somewhere, my “busts” included.*
Monday Night Football DraftKings Showdown Picks
DraftKings Captain Salary- $12,000
Receptions are currency in DraftKings’ PPR scoring format. Currently, Tyler Lockett stands alone at the top of his team’s target leaderboard. His 21 targets lead all Seattle pass catchers, with DK Metcalf (19) a close second. After Metcalf is the rookie slot receiver Jaxon Smith-Njiba with just 14 targets through the first three weeks of play. Concentrated targets are a beautiful thing as it allows us to visualize just how large the gaps are between certain pass catchers. In this matchup, Lockett and Metcalf rank supreme.
Tyler Lockett 2 TDs today! pic.twitter.com/T27RNASnUY
— Fantasy Football Factory (@FFFpod) September 17, 2023
I don’t see this matchup being super competitive. I also don’t see the Seattle Seahawks completely blowing them out. At some point tonight, the Seahawks will need to rely on their aerial attack. Lockett has the boom potential to be the highest scorer on any given slate. That much is evidenced by his two-touchdown performance against the Lions in Week 2. Lockett and QB Geno Smith have also shown a great rapport with one another over the last couple of years. In 2022, Smith and Lockett went on a ridiculous 6-game touchdown streak. Just the 6th highest salaried player on MNF tonight, Lockett’s price in the captain slot leaves you with a ton of flexibility.
Captain to consider: DK Metcalf- $13,200
Kenneth Walker III
DraftKings Salary- $10,800
Back-to-back games with two touchdowns has Kenneth Walker III as the highest-salaried player in tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup. That’s not exactly true. Technically Saquon Barkley (doubtful) has the highest price but he is still nursing a bad ankle sprain. That “doubtful” might as well be an “out” designation.
Walker has been a workhorse for the Seahawks, recording at least 17 carries in each of the last two games. In last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers, Walker rushed the ball 18 times for 97 yards and a pair of scores. Walker, who last season had 5 games (including the playoffs) over 100 yards rushing, has yet to eclipse the century mark this season. A feat that he could get done tonight if the game script truly falls in his favor.
Walker has dominated the backfield thus far. Backup running backs Zach Charbonnet and DeeJay Dallas have combined for just 21 carries. Regardless of the game script, Walker should still be heavily featured. The second-year running back already has 10 targets on the young season. His involvement in the passing game is a much-welcomed component to his game. He has been very efficient with those looks as well, catching 4 of 5 targets in Week 1, and 3 of 3 in last week’s matchup. Doing it all for the Seahawks, Walker feels like a safe player to anchor your DraftKings lineup.
Core play to consider: Geno Smith- $10,000
DraftKings Salary- $7,000
Tonight marks Waller’s second appearance on primetime television this season after getting blown out by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. This season has not gone exactly how most thought it would for Darren Waller. It’s been three weeks and Waller is still without a touchdown. To make matters worse, the New York Giants starting tight end has yet to go over 80 yards receiving. His highest output (76 yards) came against a questionable Arizona Cardinals defense in Week 2. While Waller hasn’t gotten off to as hot of a start as many expected, there are reasons to like him on MNF tonight.
With the lack of production, we’ve got a slight drop in Waller’s price since his last DraftKings showdown appearance. His last primetime matchup saw his salary at $7,400. While the $400 isn’t severe, I’m excited about cashing in on this discount. Through all the ups (not many) and downs (plenty) Waller is still leading the Giants in targets. His 20 targets are ahead of Darius Slayton (17), Parris Campbell (16), and Saquon Barkley (11). No other pass catcher has reached double digits. As mentioned before, concentrated targets are exactly what we look for when selecting receivers. Waller’s big day could come on MNF tonight against a Seahawks DST that has given up 9 catches for 167 yards to tight ends this season.
Value to consider: Darius Slayton- $5,200
DraftKings Salary- $3,000
Making his debut last week against the San Francisco 49ers, Wan’Dale Robinson was involved right from the start. On the Giants’ first possession of the game, Daniel Jones connected with Robinson for a 7-yard gain. The pair linked up again on the Giants’ second drive for a gain of eight. His final stat line of 4-21-0 certainly won’t send DFS enthusiasts running his way. But once again, we’re going to focus on the targets.
In his first game action of the young season, Wan’Dale garnered 5 targets from Danny Dimes. In terms of targets, those five looks were enough to put him in T-6th place on his team for the year. It was clear to see that the Giants wanted to get Wan’Dale involved after spending a 43rd overall draft pick on him in 2022. This New York wide receiver corps has no clear leader. Everybody is looking to learn which Giants receiver can relied on. In truth, the answer might be none, but it appears it’s at least Wan’Dale’s turn to audition. He’ll look to make a bigger impression tonight on MNF.
Sleeper to consider: Zach Charbonnet- $3,400
DraftKings Salary- $5,000
Generally speaking, JSN’s DraftKings salary of only $5,000 should disqualify him from being able to be tagged with my “bust” label. However, I’ve got the nasty feeling that there are a ton of people who can’t wait to play him tonight. People are going to gravitate to the rookie for a couple of reasons. First, his price. As mentioned, 5k is not a ton of money at all. That price allows for a ton of maneuverability within your lineup. Second, the hype. All offseason we’ve heard about how talented Smith-Njiba is. There were even those who swore Smith-Njiba was the best Ohio State WR between him, Garrett Wilson, and Chris Olave. Blasphemy.
Believe me, at his price, I really wanted to make him my sleeper pick. Unfortunately, there is zero data to suggest that a MNF breakout is coming.
JAKE BOBO pic.twitter.com/mwhtgBl2W5
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) September 24, 2023
Ever heard of Jake Bobo? No? Yeah, me either. So tell me this. If Jaxon Smith-Njiba is primed for a breakout, how come Bobo was out there for 41% of the team’s snaps compared to JSN’s 44%? And answer this. Why does Bobo have a touchdown to his name, but Jaxon doesn’t? Smith-Njiba has yet to top 35 receiving yards in a game this season. His greatest production came in Week 2 when Geno Smith targeted him a season-high 6 times. The rather disappointing 5-34-0 stat line must not have sat well with Smith, as JSN was only targeted three times in last week’s win over the Carolina Panthers. You can take the “he’s due, he’s got to break out soon” approach if you’d like. But for my single MNF lineup, I’m staying away.
Bust to consider: Matt Breida- $6,400