Monday Night Football DFS Showdown: Week 9 Ravens vs Saints

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 Baltimore Ravens are heading to New Orleans to take on the Saints as 2-point favorites. The total is set at 47. We’ve got the longest injury report of the season with both sides working through multiple key injuries.

The Ravens have lost their top wide receiver for the year and are likely to be out their top overall target in this game. Fortunately for the Saints’ side of the ball, we’ve seen each injury scenario played out already. With Mark Ingram sidelined we can expect to see a heavy dosage of Taysom Hill paired with some added involvement for Dwayne Washington. The Ravens are down badly on offense, but when there’s a Lamar Jackson there’s a way.

The field is going to be extremely comfortable playing Jackson, but they may not be comfortable stacking him with multiple receivers. The Saints have a plethora of value to build around, but we can get unique by pairing Jackson with more than one of his pass-catchers. 

Injury Notes

Gus Edwards – Hamstring – Questionable
J.K. Dobbins – Knee – IR
Rashod Bateman – Foot – IR
Demarcus Robinson – Groin – Questionable
Mark Andrews – Knee/Shoulder – Questionable
Mark Ingram – Knee – Out
Michael Thomas – Foot – Out
Jarvis Landry – Ankle – Questionable
Demarcus Robinson – Groin – Questionable

Baltimore Ravens Offense


Lamar Jackson: $12,400

If the Ravens don’t pay Lamar Jackson after a win in this game, they may never pay him. His receiving corps was unbelievably thin to start the season, and now he’s left to pass to reserve-level talent in many cases. Jackson has completed 20 or more passes only once twice this season. He completed 27 passes just last week, but Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman were both in the lineup. While such low passing volume would typically be a concern, the Ravens now have such a condensed target tree that we should be able to project those receptions quite well. Jackson is the best Captain option on the slate and will be targeting Devin Duvernay and Isaiah Likely heavily. 

Running back

Kenyan Drake: $7,200

The Ravens haven’t had a consistent backfield all season. J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards have both returned for brief stints before getting reinjured. It appears Kenyan Drake is the preferred lead back with both out. He played 58% of the snaps last week resulting in seven rushes and four targets. With similar usage expected this week, Drake is a strong play, even paired with Jackson. 

Justice Hill: $2,200

Justice Hill is the clear backup to Drake, but he’s still getting reasonable usage at cost. He played 28% of the snaps last week and carried the ball four times. He has not been targeted since week four, but he is known to be decent back in the passing game. Hill is a bit too expensive given the other punt options we’ve got, but he is worth consideration in large field tournaments at low ownership.


Devin Duvernay: $6,800

Devin Duvernay would typically be an exciting third receiver to do some deceptive things with. He deserves a ton of credit for his production as one of Jackson’s top targets, but this is essentially malpractice by the Ravens’ front office. Nonetheless, we’ve seen Duvernay average nearly five targets per game over the last five games. His season high is seven, and he’s in a good spot to beat that this slate. He will be the second most popular pairing option with Jackon.

Isaiah Likely: $5,800

Isaiah Likely is the most likely pairing option with Jackson. He will also be one of the highest rostered players of the slate as much of the field is viewing him as a one-for-one swap for Andrews. He is not. Likely is a huge value and certainly worth getting exposure to but I am not willing to lock him in as he going to be extremely popular.

James Proche: $3,800

James Proche will be an every down player with Bateman out for the season and DeSean Jackson still getting acclimated to the team. Even with the increased snap share, he’s not a lock for a single target. He’s a unique pairing option with Jackson at low ownership, but Josh Oliver is the preferred option.  

Punt Plays

Josh Oliver: $1,200

With Likely slated to be one of the top two receivers, we’re going to see Josh Oliver functioning as essentially the team’s top tight end. The Ravens use three tight ends at one of the highest rates in the league, and Nick Boyle is predominantly a blocker, so Oliver could see something like five targets. 

Tylan Wallace: $200

Tylan Wallace is taking a step up in the receiver rotation due to the losses of Bateman and Andrews. He’ll only see about 20% of the snaps, but he’s had at least one target each of the past two weeks.

Favorite Stack

Lamar Jackson / Isaiah Likely / Josh Oliver / Alvin Kamara

Paring Lamar Jackson with both of his top tight ends allows us to uniquely stack Jackson while also saving enough salary to comfortably play the second-highest-priced player of the slate in Alvin Kamara.

New Orleans Saints Offense 


Andy Dalton: $10,200

Andy Dalton has performed admirably over the past two weeks. Two slates ago he carried 20% total rosterrship with only 2% at Captain when he passed for four touchdowns. I thought that performance was going to lead to more of the field rostering underdog quarterbacks, but it has not. With Dalton receiving a $400 price hike, I expect him to go overlooked once again so I will prioritize him over Alvin Kamara and pair him with multiple pass catchers.

Running back 

Alvin Kamara: $11,400

Alvin Kamara is coming in as the second highest-priced player on the slate. He projects comparably to Jackson but doesn’t correlate particularly well with any one build. He’s one of the rare instances where I must simply shrug and say he’s a great play because he’s a great play. He’s had three straight weeks with at least nine targets, so he can be paired with Dalton, Jackson, and two punt plays.  


Chris Olave: $8,600

Chris Olave is amongst the league leaders in target share as a rookie. Over the past three games, he’s been targeted 27 times with 14 targets in one game. If the Ravens can take a lead in this game, Olave will be relied on heavily in a catch-up effort. He’s far too cheap given his role and will be rostered slightly less than he should due to Kamara and Jackson eating up so much salary. 

Taysom Hill: $6,400

Taysom Hill is one of the most frustrating players in fantasy with a floor of zero involvement and a ceiling of three touchdowns. Despite his ridiculous tight end designation, he is more of a wildcat quarterback. When Mark Ingram is sidelined, we can expect to see Hill in the lineup more often. He isn’t a priority play but he’s certainly worth rostering in large field tournaments on the off chance that he accounts for multiple touchdowns.

Rashid Shaheed: $5,000

Rashid Shaheed has five targets in three games played. Two of them happened to go for long touchdowns. Somehow DraftKings took that for justification for a $5,000 price tag. Perhaps Shaheed can make some more magic with another huge touchdown but he’s only viable as a “so bad that he’s good” contrarian option. 

Marquez Callaway: $4,600

Marquez Callaway is the first of three options that can be used interchangeably. Callaway was playing the third most snaps at wide receiver with roughly 70% when Thomas and Landry were out but played just 33% last week. Some beat reporters have suggested that Callaway has lost his job to Kevin White. This play really depends on one why you believe Callaway played so few snaps last week. If you believe it was just an anomaly, Callaway will be a fantastic low-owned option. 

Juwan Johnson: $4,400

Juwan Johnson is the preferred receiving option outside of Olave. Over the last three games, he’s played over 70% of the snaps and averaged five targets per game. His price between Callaway and Smith could go slightly overlooked. 

 Tre’Quan Smith: $3,400

Tre’Quan Smith isn’t too far behind Johnson in the preferred plays pecking order. Smith appears to be safe regardless of your feelings on the Callaway and White situation. As a deep threat playing at least 60% of the snaps, Smith is another strong value to pair with Dalton.

Punt plays

Kevin White: $200

Kevin White is an extremely important punt play. Last week he played 47% of the snaps to Callaway’s 33% but he saw no targets. There has been no discussion as to why this happened. If you look at projections, Callaway is being treated as if it didn’t happen. Perhaps there is a reason behind the scenes that we don’t know about, but we have a minimum-priced play that has a range of outcomes that includes being the starting third wide receiver. That’s reason enough to include White in some large field contests. 

Favorite Stack

Chris Olave / Andy Dalton / Juwan Johnson / Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson deserves to be locked into most lineups unless they’re specifically built around him failing. In an instance where the Ravens take control of the game early and Jackson doesn’t find a ton of individual success, we could see a ceiling game from Olave in a come-from-behind effort.

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