Monday Night Football DFS Showdown: Week 11 Cardinals vs 49ers

NFL Showdown is not about who you play as much as how you play them. Median projections are a tool in the toolbox, but they are to be trusted far less than they would be on the main slate. This is because of the ramifications associated with a single player underproducing or overproducing relative to their projection. 

If a wide receiver who was projected for nine points instead earns 22 points, then there is a strong likelihood that his performance came at the detriment of a teammate, or even a member of the opposing team. His running back likely received less opportunity, while the opposing team’s running back may have seen a boost. In this scenario, his quarterback may have also produced well.

The game theory is much more intricate than this one example, but it gets you down the path of thinking of showdown as an if/then rather than a raw projection. 

There may be times when Cooper Kupp finishes as the best play of the slate without Matthew Stafford, and other times Jonathan Taylor may rush for 200 yards while Matt Ryan and Michael Pittman still make the optimal lineup. Showdown is non-binary, but over time sound lineup construction will reign supreme.

Most important of all:

The likeliest outcome is only one of infinite outcomes. When rostership dictates that the field has the game figured out, lean into builds around a different scenario. The term “any given Sunday” should be the mantra for successfully building Showdown lineups.

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Slate Breakdown

The San Francisco 49ers are heading to Arizona to take on the Cardinals as 8-point favorites. The total is set at 43. 

Injury Notes

Kyler Murray – Hamstring – Questionable
Deandre Hopkins – Hamstring – Questionable
Marquise Brown – Foot – Questionable
Zach Ertz – Knee – I.R. 

San Francisco 49ers Offense 


Jimmy Garoppolo: $9,600 

Jimmy Garoppolo is the flex quarterback poster child. He’s typically going to pass just under 30 times, and his target distribution is consistent so he’s easily projectable. Garoppolo will be a staple of our lineups with one of his pass-catchers at Captain.

Running back

 Christian McCaffrey: $11,400

In Christian McCaffrey’s two full-time games with the 49ers, he’s handled 32 carries and 15 targets. He carries the highest projection of the slate and goes well at Captain paired with Garoppolo in the flex. 

Elijah Mitchell: $5,800

While McCaffrey is playing most of the snaps and handling a ton of touches, there has still been plenty of work to go around for Elijah Mitchell. In his first game back, he carried the ball 18 times and was targeted twice on just 35% of the snaps. Pairing Mitchell with McCaffrey is a unique way to capitalize on the 8-point spread. 


Deebo Samuel: $8,200

Deebo Samuel has seemed to have been relatively quiet after the trade for McCaffrey, but he also had an injury around the same time. Samuel’s price paired with multiple down weeks that some may consider the new norm with McCaffrey may keep Samuel’s roster percentage low. He’s my favorite play for the 49ers.

Brandon Aiyuk: $7,600

Brandon Aiyuk’s salary says as much about Samuel as it does about himself. He’s being priced as Samuel’s equal, and I don’t feel we’re there yet. Aiyuk’s targets have also been down for the past two weeks as well. He’s priced too close to Samuel to warrant consideration if their ownership is similar.

George Kittle: $7,000

George Kittle has been a tough play all season. He appeared to be back to himself in weeks six and seven, but the rest of his performances begged to differ. His ownership is always too high because he’s “due” but he’s my least favorite 49er at cost.

Jauan Jennings $4,400:

Jauan Jennings has seemingly taken over as the primary third receiver for the 49ers. He’s priced close enough to the kickers and defenses that he should go overlooked. 

Punt Plays

 Ray-Ray McCloud: $2,200

Ray-Ray McCloud has been relegated to the fourth wide receiver but he’s still a deep threat and should play around 15% of the snaps. He’s a large-field tournament dart throw. 

 Kyle Juszczyk: $600

It wouldn’t be a 49ers Showdown slate if I didn’t mention Kyle Juszczyk. He’s on the field over 40% of the time and has four target upside. 

Favorite Stack

Christian McCaffrey / Jimmy Garoppolo / Elijah Mitchell / Rondale Moore 

Christian McCaffrey is the highest projection on the slate by such a large margin that we’re better off eating the chalk in most cases and getting unique elsewhere. We do that by first pairing him with Garoppolo in hopes that the two connect for a receiving touchdown. Then we can pair him with Mitchell as many would consider that build negatively correlated. As 8-point favorites, I’m happy to play both backs. Moore makes the build as he has a high probability of being the Cardinals’ top wide receiver at just $6,600

Arizona Cardinals Offense


Kyler Murray: $11,200

Kyler Murray is a true game-time decision. If he does play, he is someone we’ll be comfortable fading based on his high salary and limited rushing upside with the hamstring injury. If Colt McCoy draws the start, we’re fine playing his receivers and may even want to include him at low exposure. 

Running back

James Conner: $8,600

James Conner retook that starting role two weeks ago. Last week was the first week he handled a workhorse role, which resulted in 21 carries and three targets. The Cardinals may not have much of a run game in this one, but Conner has touchdown equity and will be more involved in the passing game when warranted.


DeAndre Hopkins: $10,400

If DeAndre Hopkins starts, he’s one of the only players to rival McCaffrey’s upside even with McCoy. He’s especially viable as an 8-point underdog with the Cardinals expected to pass at a high rate. 

 Rondale Moore: $6,600

The Cardinals are optimistic about Hopkins and Murray but it’s a strong possibility that both sit. Over the last three weeks, Moore’s target share has been growing, resulting in a 13-target game in Week 10. We’d prefer Hopkins to be in to suppress Moore’s exposure but we’re happy to play him either way. I prefer him to Kittle and Aiyuk regardless of price.

A.J. Green: $4,800

A.J. Green has been priced up due to the injury status of Hopkins, Marquise Brown, and Zach Ertz but $4,800 is a bit rich. He could be a low-rostered large-field tournament play, but I prefer the kickers in his range.

Robbie Anderson: $4,000 

The same can be said for Robbie Anderson who has been even less involved than Green, but with a couple of egregious drops. He was targeted six times in his first two games for just one catch before being targeted zero times on 12% of the snaps last week. He can be avoided at cost.  

Punt plays

Trey McBride: $1,000

Trey McBride is taking over for Zach Ertz who just hit the I.R. with a season-ending knee injury. He played 91% of the snaps last week but was targeted just once. He was a high draft pick, and his quiet season thus far has been somewhat of a surprise, but he’s seeing the field far too often to be just $1,000. He will be one of the most popular plays. 

Favorite Stack 

Deebo Samuel / Jimmy Garoppolo / Colt McCoy / Rondale Moore 

When there is an option so far ahead of the rest like that of McCaffrey this week, it’s typically unique enough to just not play them. Samuel’s role should continue to develop as he returns from his injury, even with McCaffrey on the field. We can be a bit chalky with Moore because we’re not playing McCaffrey, and even stack him with McCoy. I’d consider adding Mitchell to this build for added leverage over McCaffrey.

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