Finishing Week 3, in the second game on Monday, the 2023 DraftKings showdown slate- Los Angeles @Cincinnati. This game has one massive question mark over it- who is throwing the ball for the Bengals? Joe Burrow is looking like he will play, but he could end up being a late scratch or pulled during the game. At the moment the O/U is 44, with the Bengals marginally preferred.
DraftKings MNF Showdown 2023 – Los Angeles @Cincinnati Captain Picks
Ja’Marr Chase ($16,500 Capt/ $11,000 Flex)
Chase is an elite talent, but hasn’t had one of his ‘big games’ yet. But in a great matchup, he has a great chance to have a statement performance. His ceiling is impacted by the availability of Burrow throwing the ball. Signs are that Burrow is going to play at the moment, but that could obviously change. With that uncertainty, Chase could be a decent CPT pivot from the RBs on the slate.
Kyren Williams ($13,500 Capt/ $9,000 Flex)
Despite the Rams offensive line not being a strong unit, Williams is getting it done on the field. Williams has made this backfield his, so much so that the Rams allowed Cam Akers to leave the team. That volume, combined with redzone opportunity makes him a nice play on the slate. I’ll have a split of Williams and Mixon across my lineups tonight.
Joe Mixon ($12,600 Capt/ $8,400 Flex)
Mixon’s pricing is great. If Burrow is limited on his feet, then Mixon is going to be given more volume in the offense in checkdowns. Should Burrow be able to play, it gives an overall lift to the offense. There is no impact of Samaje Perine stealing goal-line carries. Should see a return to previous production soon.
DraftKings MNF Showdown 2023 – Los Angeles @Cincinnati Flex Picks
Joe Burrow/ Jake Browning ($11,400/ $8,000 Flex)
This is the big question for the game tonight- who is going to be throwing the ball for the Bengals? Burrow has looked a shadow of himself from previous seasons, and has suffered another flare-up of his calf injury. The pricing really discounts Burrow from consideration for me, as we could see a case where Burrow is pulled from action- even if he does suit up. Facing a defensive line that contains Aaron Donald, will need a QB that is light on his feet, not something that Burrow is at the moment.
Browning is yet to actually throw a pass in the NFL, despite being in the league from 2019. To face Donald in his (potential) first start? It’s a big ask for him to hit value for me here. Could see a lot of stalled drives and turnovers.
Matthew Stafford ($10,200 Flex)
Stafford has managed to look like he did in the Rams Super Bowl run, but without star receiver Cooper Kupp. Despite the struggles of the offensive line, Stafford has managed to find a tempo in the offense that suits this young receiving duo of Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell nicely. The Bengals defense has limited yards through the air so far this season, but it’s worth noting they have played against Cleveland in poor weather and a still run-first Baltimore.
Puka Nacua ($10,000 Flex)
A few weeks ago, Nacua was a player only spoken about in dynasty leagues. Yet after the opening two weeks, he has broken NFL records for rookie targets to start the season. Nacua hasn’t get scored a TD, but he has eclipsed 100 yards in each game with an average of 12 receptions in each game. Has a good opportunity to be one of the higher scorers on the slate. Going to be a popular play on the slate, even with his name appearing on the injury report this week.
Tee Higgins ($8,600 Flex)
Higgins blew up last week with 89 yards and 2 TDs, after struggling to catch a single pass in Week 1. Feels cheap on the slate given his talent. Obviously, the ceiling of Higgins is impacted directly by the availability of Burrow, but he should be a good flex option regardless.
Tutu Atwell ($7,000 Flex)
Atwell has started this season out strongly with the absence of Cooper Kupp. Has a great target share in the offense, but isn’t getting attention to the same level as Nacua. With Nacua popping up on the injury report, and a chunky salary saving, I’m leaning towards Atwell as a nice pivot on the slate.
Tyler Higbee ($6,200 Flex)
Higbee hasn’t really gotten started this season, with only 10 targets over two weeks (with 7 of those coming in the defeat to the 49ers last week). The emergence of Nacua and Atwell has really hurt the available targets in the offense, and the role that Williams has carved out of the backfield takes out even more. Worth some consideration, but I have cheaper plays I prefer.
Tyler Boyd ($5,200 Flex)
Boyd is one of those cheaper plays I prefer. There is no doubt that Boyd is the WR3 in the offense, but he is on the field for a huge amount of snaps. If the team are forced to simplify the playbook, then Boyd has a good opportunity of getting plenty of check-downs out of the slot. Had a much better Week 2 against the Ravens, with 6 receptions for 52 yards.
Van Jefferson/ Ben Skowronek ($4,400/ $600 Flex)
The WR3 for the Rams is in the air a little. The clear leading duo are clearly Nacua and Atwell, then it’s a little tough. Jefferson has the clear advantage in snaps, but isn’t getting the ball very often with only 5 receptions out of the opening two weeks. Skowronek isn’t getting on the field as often, but is being used in different ways- through the air and on the ground. Ultimately, I think it’s hard to feel comfortable with either of them. Jefferson feels like an expensive dud, and Skowronek (while significantly cheaper) isn’t going to get enough work to make an impact.
Trayveon Williams/ Chris Evans ($3,800/ $200 Flex)
The backup options for the Bengals RBs!? Wouldn’t really consider them much at all on the slate. The running backs not named Joe Mixon have combined for 5 carries for 21 yards on the ground, with 3 targets, 3 receptions for 3 yards. That just isn’t going to get it done. If I were to go for one, it would be Evans as a min-price option. It’s really burning salary if you select Williams here.
Ronnie Rivers ($2,400 Flex)
Rivers should get some work in this offense with Akers. It’s hard to really know what Rivers is on the field, with very limited touches in his career. Has some flex appeal, but it’s limited. Last week the Rams made Akers a healthy scratch, and Rivers only managed to get on the field for just four snaps on offense.
Drew Sample ($200 Flex)
Sample has a good chance of seeing a starting role, with Irv Smith doubtful to play in this one. He is going to be massively popular on the slate, providing an easy opportunity for a min-price play. As a result, it might be worth pivoting to Tanner Hudson ($200 Flex) as a pivot. There isn’t alot of targets left in this offense once you deal with the ones removed with Chase, Higgins, Boyd, and Mixon. But at this pricing, you don’t need much to hit value.
DraftKings MNF Showdown 2023 – Los Angeles @Cincinnati Kickers and DSTs
Not really sure I want either DST on this slate. The Bengals DST ($3,600) have struggled to make big plays on defense, with two turnovers and 3 sacks through two weeks. Stafford is a great vet though, and can protect the ball, as well as get the ball out to avoid being sacked. I’m more inclined to select Rams DST ($3,400) who have similar stats on the year, but have more playmakers on defense. If Burrow does play, he won’t be 100% mobile with his calf and if he doesn’t we have a QB making his first start
The kickers are both viable on the slate with decent floors and ceilings. Evan McPherson ($4,200) has only missed a single kick, from long distance this season. He was fine last year, and could be called upon at home if the offense stalls out. Brett Maher ($4,000) has been given far more volume, with the steady hand of Stafford getting the Rams downfield regularly. Maher has kicked 6 of 8 FG attempts, with the two missed kicks coming from distance. My preference is Maher on the slate as a result of a better floor, but it’s not a huge gap between the two.
So, there are our DraftKings selections for the 2023 Showdown of Los Angeles @Cincinnati! Remember any DFS questions, you can check out our articles here. Or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Image Credit: Joe Maiorana – USA TODAY Sports