Conference weekend is here and another 2023 DraftKings showdown slate this time Detroit @San Francisco. The Lions have been a great storyline this season, and come into this one in good form, and equaled the 49ers 12-5 regular season record. But, playing on the road against this 49ers team that looks like it is going to end. The status of Samuel seems like it’s no longer in doubt, and he is expected to play. The O/U has been set at 51.5, with the 49ers around an 8-point favorite.
DraftKings Conference Showdown 2023 – Detroit @San Francisco Captain Picks
Amon-Ra St. Brown ($16,500 Capt/ $11,000 Flex)
The fact that you can look at St. Brown’s box score from last week (8 catches for 77 yards and a TD) and feel a little disappointed shows you how important he is to the Lions offense. Led the team in targets, and he should do the same thing this week. If the Lions are to cause an upset here, it’ll be down to his play- especially if they struggle to move the ball on the ground. Great CPT choice with his floor and ceiling here.
Brandon Aiyuk ($12,900 Capt/ $8,600 Flex)
Even after Samuel left the field with a shoulder injury, Aiyuk struggled to make an impact. But the Packers allowed the 49ers to run effectively, and use CMC and Kittle well through the air. The Lions secondary hasn’t been a strong unit though and gave up plenty to Evans through the air last week. Nice CPT option at the price, leaving plenty to use in your flex positions.
George Kittle ($10,200 Capt/ $6,800 Flex)
Kittle is the classic showdown ruiner. Can do it either way too. Could finish this game with 3 catches for 30 yards, or have nine for 100 and a score. Think his appeal here is linked to Samuel. If Samuel doesn’t suit up, then he has a better floor, making him a decent flex play. If Samuel does end up playing, then he feels like a CPT or nothing play on the slate.
DraftKings Conference Showdown 2023 – Detroit @San Francisco Flex Picks
Christian McCaffrey ($12,600 Flex)
Last week I looked to avoid CMC as a leverage play. I honestly didn’t think that he would be able to hit value with his price tag being so high. And he found the endzone twice, had seven receptions and had 128 yards from scrimmage. I’ve not learnt my lesson, and have him not hitting value again here. The Lions defensive line is the best at limiting production to the RB position, with an average of 15.7 DKPts. Again, his ability makes this massively risky (especially with Samuel struggling with a shoulder injury), but I’ll have him as a flex play more than a CPT play.
Brock Purdy ($10,000 Flex)
Purdy gets downplayed by many as a game manager. But he is an effective fantasy QB. Takes what he is offered by the defense and gets the ball out to his playmakers. With the strength of the Lions on the ground, combined with their struggling secondary, think Purdy has a good game here with the volume the team likely have through the air. Great flex play with a stack with his receivers
Jared Goff ($9,600 Flex)
Goff has been fine this season, better at home, but he has found a groove in this offense. Gets the ball out quickly from his hands and into the hands of his playmakers. The thing is, the 49ers defense are going to be bringing constant pressure, which has historically meant turnovers. Think he still gets to value at this price with the volume that the Lions are going to need to throw it, but his ceiling feels capped in this one.
Deebo Samuel ($9,200 Flex)
All eyes are going to be on Samuel’s status this week. He didn’t practice on Wednesday, but there are plenty of reports that say that they expect him to play here. If he does, then he is a decent flex option on the slate. If he is fully a go then I’d be tempted to put him in as a CPT play. Gets decent mixed usage and is used well in the redzone. With how much this Lions secondary has struggled this season, you can go with Samuel and Aiyuk in the same lineup here. **UPDATE: Samuel has been cleared to play. Still think I’d keep him as a mainly flex option, but some CPT lineups mixed in. He has said he is not needing to protect anything heading into this, which is a great sign.
Jahmyr Gibbs ($8,800 Flex)
Gibbs might not be the Lions starter, but he is the more dynamic and effective fantasy option. Gets good usage on the ground and through the air, especially near the redzone. The Lions are going to try and establish the run with Montgomery, but think they are going to need to bring in Gibbs early to keep pace. With the pressure that the 49ers are going to bring Gibbs should see plenty of check-downs for a safe floor, and has a good ceiling with his scoring ability.
Sam LaPorta ($7,000 Flex)
LaPorta has quickly established himself as one of the better-receiving TEs in the league. Gets plenty of targets in the offense, with 120 targets in the regular season along with 11 targets last week. With his involvement in the offense, he should have a decent floor here. And has shown that he can catch multiple TDs, with two games with multiple TDs (one where he caught 3 TDs). Should hit value here at this price.
David Montgomery ($5,600 Flex)
Montgomery is the early-down back for the Lions, and although he had four targets last week, he isn’t overly involved in the passing game with only one other game with 4 or more targets. Could find the endzone, but against this 49ers defense, feels like he is going to struggle to hit value if he doesn’t.
Jauan Jennings ($5,200 Flex)
Jennings is a decent role receiver in this offense, mainly working as the WR3 (and 4th/ 5th read in the offense). If Samuel isn’t able to play here, or is limited, then Jennings could be an interesting selection. Otherwise, he is going to struggle to hit value at this price. **UPDATE: With Samuel ready to play, Jennings holds little value in his role in the offense.
Josh Reynolds ($4,400 Flex)
Reynolds has been working well as the WR2 for the Lions, catching an early TD in the win over Tampa Bay. The game before he caught 5 of 7 targets for 80 yards, and should continue to be involved in this game too. With the Lions likely chasing the game, and needing to pass the ball Reynolds should see more volume.
Dart Throw Plays (Various)
Instead of writing up a line for a few options with their own sections, thought I’d list out a few in one area. Not really worth considering these as core plays, only in multi-entry GPPs:
- Jameson Williams (WR, DET) $3,800 Flex – At some point Williams talent has to show up. Hasn’t managed to do that consistently this season, or really at all, with only one game with over 60 yards. Good deep-threat, which could pay off, but only a GPP option with his lack of floor.
- Elijah Mitchell (RB, SF) $2,200 Flex – Mitchell has been playing second fiddle to CMC all season, with spotty usage throughout the season. Even if there was an injury though, I can’t see him hitting value without a TD here. The Lions defensive front has just been too effective at stopping the run this season.
- Ray-Ray McCloud III/ Chris Conley (WR, SF) $3,800/ $1,000 Flex – There could be value for one of these, but it’s going to need Samuel to be ruled out. Neither of them has seen much involvement in the offense on the season. Far more likely to dud than anything else. In particular, McCloud feels oddly priced given he has only had
- Craig Reynolds (RB, DET) $1,600 Flex – Little to no value here. Would need multiple players ahead of him to be injured to get on the field. Then you have to consider the matchup being difficult too. Really can’t see him hitting value here outside of a series of unlikely events
- Zach Ertz (TE, DET) $1,400 Flex – The veteran TE signed with the Lions and he might not even play here. Brock Wright has been added to IR, so they definitely need him. He hasn’t played a snap since the end of October, so there is going to be plenty of rust to shake off. I’d really temper expectations here. Likely to be a TD or bust option with the targets that St. Brown and LaPorta have in the offense.
- Kyle Juszczyk (WR, DET) $3,800 Flex – Juszczyk hasn’t had a target in his last two games, but before that had 7 in three games. Has a knack of finding the endzone in games like this, so you can’t ignore him completely on the slate. Nice GPP option.=,
DraftKings Conference Showdown 2023 – Detroit @San Francisco Kickers and DSTs
Playoff games often come down to the performance of the kickers, and they could make a difference here. Michael Badgley ($5,000) has only missed two PATs for the Lions since joining them mid-season, hitting a new season-long of 54 against the Rams. If the Lions decide to go for a FG, then he has a great chance of hitting it. The thing is, with this coach who loves to go for it on 4th down, they might not be able to settle for FG attempts.
Jake Moody ($4,800) has been a decent kicker for the 49ers this season, hitting 21 of his 25 attempts in the regular season, missing one of two in the playoffs. Hit a 57-yard long on the season too. The issue for Moody with his fantasy outlook, is that the 49ers offense is too effective. Typically meaning that they their kicker attempts points after TDs instead of FG attempts. If the Lions force some stops, then Moody will convert. But that doesn’t seem overly likely here.
The 49ers DST ($4,200) falls into that category of being a very good real-life defense, but one that doesn’t turn that into fantasy points. For all of the talent on their defensive line, they only had 48 sacks in the regular season. They did force 32 turnovers though, and that is the appeal here. If they bring the pressure as they normally do, Goff could struggle with poor decisions and turnovers.
The Lions DST ($3,200) hold GPP-only value on this slate. This offense is too highly powered. The Lions do have some playmakers that can capitalize on turnovers, and should be able to get a few sacks here. But, they could struggle to hit value here with the number of points they are going to give up.
So, there are our DraftKings selections for the Conference Showdown 2023 – Detroit @San Francisco! Remember any DFS questions, you can check out our articles here. Or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Image Credit: Raj Mehta – USA TODAY Sports