Monday Night Football DFS Showdown: Week 14 Cardinals vs Patriots

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 New England Patriots are heading to Arizona to take on the Cardinals as 1.5-point favorites. The total is set at 43.5.

Injury Notes

Damien Harris – Thigh – Doubtful
Jakobi Meyers – Head – Out
Rondale Moore – Groin – Out 

New England Patriots Offense


Mac Jones: $9,600

Mac Jones has attempted at least 36 passes over the last two games, but the results were vastly different. Against the Vikings’ high pass rate, Jones threw for 382 and two touchdowns. Against the Bills with an even higher pass rate, Jones threw for 195 yards and one touchdown. With Byron Murray out of the lineup, I expect Jones to perform similarly to Week 12. 

Running back

Rhamondre Stevenson: $8,800

Damien Harris is set to miss another game, but Rhamondre Stevenson’s role has not changed in his absence. Harris’s value is coming predominantly through the air. He’s caught at least six passes in each of the last three games. With his high reception floor paired with at least three carries, Stevenson should cost at least $2,000 more. He will be the most popular player on the slate, but he deserves it. Especially with Jakobi Meyers out. 


DeVante Parker: $5,800

DeVante Parker will benefit from the uptick in usage with Meyers out of the lineup as well as Byron Murphy missing from the Cardinals’ secondary. Parker showed his upside in Week 3 when he caught five passes for 156 yards with Meyers out. While that ceiling is unlikely, this game environment sets up well for Parker as the lead receiver.

Hunter Henry: $5,600

Hunter Henry has had a resurgence over the past two weeks after having a relatively underwhelming season. He’s been targeted five times in each of the last two games and should see more opportunity while operating in the part of the field that Meyers would typically operate.  

Kendrick Bourne: $5,400

Kendrick Bourne played just 37% of the snaps last week and caught only one pass for 15 yards. He deserves consideration as a contrarian option in an ambiguous receiving corps, but Agholor is the safer bet if choosing just one. 

Nelson Agholor: $5,000

Nelson Agholor played 56% of the snaps last week and was targeted three times. He was targeted eight times time the week prior. He should be in on nearly every down in a game environment conducive to an uptick in passing. 

Punt Plays

Tyquan Thornton: $1,400

Aside from Parker, no receiver’s usage is safe in this offense. While I believe Agholor will be the most involved of the bunch, Thornton played 49% of the snaps last week with three targets. Thornton will be popular but he makes a lot of sense as a salary saver to open room for some more expensive options.

Favorite Stack

Rhamondre Stevenson / Mac Jones / Marquise Brown / Tyquan Thornton

Stevenson is severely underpriced given his projected usage. His roster percentage is going to be astronomical, so we will need multiple low-rostered options to remain unique. Pairing Stevenson with Jones allows us to capitalize on a potential receiving touchdown. Adding Thornton gives us an additional pass catcher for Jones without being too negatively correlated with Stevenson’s production. Marquise Brown may go slightly overlooked with both James Conner and DeAndre Hopkins expected to carry heavy exposure.  

Arizona Cardinals Offense


Kyler Murray: $11,200

The Cardinals are passing at the fourth-highest rate in the league. Kyler Murray is averaging nearly 35 attempts over the last five games while adding at least six rushes per game over that span. His target distribution was already condensed, but with Rondale Moore out, we could see more than ten targets for both DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown. In Patriots stacks, Murray can be played in the flex alone or with one of his top two receivers. 

Running back

 James Conner: $10,000

James Conner is coming off 25 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown before the bye week. He played 97% of the offensive snaps. With Stevenson and Brown so cheap, and Hopkins at $11,600 Conner could go overlooked. 


DeAndre Hopkins: $11,600

DeAndre Hopkins is priced in a range typically reserved for the likes of Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase, but he’s earned it. Since returning in Week 7 he’s averaging over 10 targets per game. Even with Hopkins’s safe floor, I prefer Conner and Brown for the savings.

Marquise Brown: $7,600

Marquise Brown didn’t miss a beat when returning from injury in Week 12. Murray targeted him eight times resulting in six receptions for 46 yards. Hopkins will be drawing added attention, leaving Brown available to display his downfield rapport with Murray. 

Trey McBride: $2,400

Trey McBride has taken over for Zach Ertz since his Week 10 ACL injury. McBride has done next to nothing with his opportunities. He has been targeted at least three times each of the last two games, which is promising for his salary, but he’s managed just 15 yards on those opportunities. Greg Dortch offers more upside in this price range. 

Greg Dortch: $2,200

Greg Dortch will step up as a full-time starter in the absence of Moore. He excelled in his expanded role earlier in the year before fizzling out. Dortch is far too cheap for an every-down receiver in this offense. 

Punt plays

Robbie Anderson: $1,800

Due to the Cardinals’ four wide receiver usage, Robbie Anderson is seeing the field about 40% of the time, but he’s been a non-factor since being traded. He’s had a handful of ugly drops and appears to be on a different page from Murray. Even at his reasonable salary, Anderson is not an appealing play over the likes of Thornton or Dortch. 

Favorite Stack

Marquise Brown / Kyler Murray / Rhamondre Stevenson / Hunter Henry

Marquise Brown is $4,000 less than DeAndre Hopkins and is set up well to receive a similar or better opportunity. He pairs well with Murray in the flex. Stevenson will be a tough fade for any lineup but adding Brown’s lower Captain exposure should help. Hunter Henry should carry one of the lower roster percentages amongst Patriots receivers, but any of their second-tier options fit well with this build.  

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