Wildcard weekend is here and another 2023 DraftKings showdown slate this time Cleveland @Houston. A decent game to start what should be a good weekend of football. The AFC South-winning Texans struggled last time these teams met a few weeks ago, when Cooper lit the secondary up for a historical game. The O/U here has been set at around 44 points, with the Browns less than a FG favorite here.
DraftKings Wildcard Showdown 2023 – Cleveland @Houston Captain Picks
Amari Cooper ($16,200 Capt/ $10,800 Flex)
Cooper’s last game was his blowup against the Texans where he just torched the secondary for 265 yards and 2 TDs with 11 receptions. Has been on the sidelines with a heel injury, and has a questionable status at the time of writing, but is expected to play in this one. The Texans defense has been relatively decent this season, which could put off some of the field (along with the injury risk). Great CPT choice.
Nico Collins ($15,900 Capt/ $10,600 Flex)
Collins has been great this season as the leading target for rookie C.J. Stroud. Should be the target leader for the Texans again in this one. Has great upside, with 5 games of 100+ yards and another 3 with 80+. His big body gives him decent redzone opportunity too, which can save his fantasy outlook if needed. A great example of that was in the game against the Browns a few weeks ago. He caught four passes for just 18 yards- but managed to get into the endzone.
David Njoku ($12,900 Capt/ $8,600 Flex)
Njoku has been an important part of the Browns passing attack, and the Texans have struggled to limit production to the season, giving up an average of 14.1 DKPts to the position this season. Njoku had 123 targets in the regular season for 81 receptions, 882 yards, and 6 scores. Feels like a great pivot away from Cooper, and offers decent savings on the slate too.
DraftKings Wildcard Showdown 2023 – Cleveland @Houston Flex Picks
C.J. Stroud ($11,000 Flex)
Stroud has been great this season, even when his passing options have been restricted with injury. Not a CPT option with his ceiling impacted with his receiving option limited, but a solid flex option. The Browns defense is a tough unit to pass on, only giving up an average of 14.90DKPts to the position this season. But, if the Texans are to win here, it would most likely mean an effective game from Stroud- good stacking option with Collins as a flex.
Joe Flacco ($10,000 Flex)
Flacco came off the couch, and in the five games he has played leads the Browns in yards, TDs and has led the team to the playoffs. Has thrown for over 300 yards in 4 of his 5 games, and multiple TDs in each game. He had a great game, in combination with Cooper, last time out against the Texans. I’d be tempted to put him in as a CPT in some lineups, but more likely a flex option with Cooper/ Njoku as my CPT.
Devin Singletary ($9,000 Flex)
Singletary has taken over the Texans backfield, with targets in the offense too. The Browns defensive line is a tough unit to run on though, and restricted Singletary to 44 yards on the ground, combined with another 19 yards through the air. Not sure he will be able to hit value with this price tag though. Not sure the Texans will get out to enough of a lead to allow him to just pound the ball.
Jerome Ford ($7,600 Flex)
Ford has established himself as the lead back for the Browns. That hasn’t always led to fantasy production, as he has only had over 100 scrimmage yards in a few games, and only had the bonus 100+ in two games this season. The volume is there, but with Hunt vulturing him at the goal-line, the ceiling is capped. Still a decent flex option.
Noah Brown ($7,000 Flex)
Brown has been an effective stand-in option for the Texans this season. Has had two games with over 100 yards and has gound the endzone a few times too. Working as the WR2, he should be inline for 6/7 targets. The issue will be that the Browns secondary has been great in limiting production to the position. If you have Collins in your lineup, I don’t think Brown will be able to hit value too.
Dalton Schultz ($6,200 Flex)
Schultz is an important part of the Texans offense, keeping the chains moving on offense. Has a larger target share in the offense that gives him a solid floor. The question will be how high his ceiling will be. The Browns are the best team at defending the position, giving up an average of just 9.2 DKPts to the position- feels like a better cash game play than GPP.
Elijah Moore ($5,400 Flex)
Moore was able to suit up for the Browns to finish the season, after suffering an awful injury against the Jets. Has been working well as the WR2 in the offense, with Flacco more than happy to air the ball out. Moore is a little bit of a boom/ bust on the slate, especially against this secondary. But, at the price he is a decent flex option.
Robert Woods ($5,200 Flex)
Woods has been back at practice, after being inactive with a hip injury (although still officially questionable). Was more involved in the comfortable victory over the Titans than he had been the weeks before, with 58 yards through the air.
Kareem Hunt ($4,000 Flex)
Hunt was struggling with a groin injury to end the season, and is officially still questionable heading into this game. That injury has clearly impacted his volume of touches in the offense. But, he is getting touches near the goal-line and vulturing Ford. With his lack of passing game involvement, you are likely to need him to find the endzone here. If he doesn’t, then he could really struggle to hit value on the slate. Nice GPP option as a flex.
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:
- Cedric Tillman (WR, CLE) $3,800 Flex – Tillman hasn’t been on the field yet this week as he remains in concussion protocol. Not a positive sign for his involvement for this game. Has been operating as the WR3 for the Browns, with mixed results. Has only had over 50 yards twice this season, and yet to score. Feels like he is far more important to the offense overall than being a fantasy productive option. **UPDATE: Tillman has been ruled out**
- David Bell (WR, CLE) $3,600 Flex – Bell had a big game last week against the Bengals, catching all four of his targets for 68 yards and 2 TDs. With the Browns receivers back for the playoffs, Bell is likely to return being on the sideline for the majority of the game. He could be worth a GPP punt if Tillman is unable to play, as Bell could step in as the WR3. **UPDATE: Bell should be the WR3, so could see more targets, but still feels like a GPP punt**
- John Metchie III (WR, HOU) $3,000 Flex – Despite the Texans struggling for health with their receivers, Metchie has really struggled to get any type of production this season. His best game was when he caught two passes for 25 yards against the Bengals in mid-November.
- Dameon Pierce (RB, HOU) $2,600 Flex – Pierce started the season well, but this looks like it’s really Singletary’s backfield now. Has only had 16 carries in total in his last 5 games (although really 4 as he had minimal involvement against the Colts). Can’t really see this paying off at this price with his current usage.
- Pierre Strong Jr. (RB, CLE) $2,200 Flex – RB3 in the offense. Not really seeing many carries, or targets. Only found the endzone once this season, and that was way back in September. Would need injury (potentially injuries) to have any value here.
- Brevin Jordan (TE, HOU) $1,800 Flex – Jordan has had an inconsistent season, but has mainly struggled to be productive. Unless he finds the endzone, he is likely to see around two receptions for 20-ish yards. Not sure you can expect too much more than that.
- Harrison Bryant/ Jordan Akins (TE, CLE) $1,000/ $600 Flex – I don’t really mind taking a punt on a Browns TE here. The Texans have really struggled to defend the position this season, and the Browns have been fine to use their TEs near the goal line historically. The pricing for both means they don’t really have to do much to hit value. Bryant has scored 3 TDs this season, all short yardage, so he would be my pick between them.
DraftKings Wildcard Showdown 2023 – Cleveland @Houston Kickers and DSTs
The kickers are both worth considering here, given the game is being played in a dome so we don’t need to worry about weather. Riley Patterson ($5,000) is going to be the Browns kicker this week, with Dustin Hopkins ruled out again. In the two games he has played he has only missed a single PAT attempt. The issue has been that the Browns have been able to move the ball effectively and finish drives, meaning he has only had a single FG attempt. Ka’imi Fairbairn ($4,800) has been great this season, with his only FG miss coming from 50+ yards. The Texans offense has called on him plenty of times this season when their offense has stalled. With Stroud’s limited receiving options, and the effectiveness of the Browns defense, we could see Fairbairn called upon a decent amount here. As the home kicker, and cheaper, he is my preferred option.
The Browns DST ($4,600) have given up points, but they have made plays on defense. Myles Garrett has led their push rush to get 49 sacks on the season, as well as forcing 32 turnovers. Stroud has been good at protecting the ball, but has been sacked 38 times in the 15 games he has played this season. Don’t hate the pick, and I’ll have some exposure, but don’t go crazy. The Texans DST ($4,200) have been a solid, not great, defense this season. Have generally played better at home too, which makes them an interesting GPP selection. Their pass rush has been effective too with 46 sacks, and the defense as a whole has forced 29 turnovers on the season. The Browns have struggled with pass-protection this season, and Flacco has thrown 8 INTs in the 5 games he has played this season.
So, there are our DraftKings selections for the Wildcard Showdown 2023 – Cleveland @Houston! Remember any DFS questions, you can check out our articles here. Or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Image Credit: Ken Blaze – USA TODAY Sports