Monday Night Football DFS Showdown: Week 4 Rams 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 Los Angeles Rams are heading to San Francisco to take on the 49ers as 1.5-point favorites. The total is set at 42.5. The 49ers are ranked 31st in the league in terms of pass rate over expectation. The Rams rank ninth. This game sets up well for a run-heavy approach from the 49ers and a reasonable number of passing attempts for Matthew Stafford.

As with last year, this slate relies heavily on Cooper Kupp and Deebo Samuel. Kupp is the most likely Captain, especially given his manageable cost, but Samuel has the ceiling to make things interesting at $1,600 less. The field is likely going to feel more comfortably stacking the Rams so we will target 49ers heavy builds that can still capitalize on their run game. 

Injury Notes

Ross Dwelley – Rib – Questionable
Tyler Kroft – Knee – Out
Danny Gray – Hip – Doubtful
Tyrion Davis-Price – Ankle – Out

Los Angeles Rams Offense


Matthew Stafford: $10,600

Matthew Stafford attempted just 25 passes in Week 3’s win over the Arizona Cardinals. He still managed to pass for 240 yards. He’s a threat for the 300-yard bonus each week, but the issue with playing Stafford at Captain is that Kupp accounts for so many of his passing yards. The only way Stafford could finish as the optimal Captain would be if he threw multiple touchdowns to other receivers. Three of Stafford’s four touchdowns on the year have gone to Kupp. Instead, we will focus on playing Kupp at Captain with Stafford in the flex.

Running back

Cam Akers: $7,000

Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. arrived at a true 50/50 split in Week 3. Over the last two weeks, Akers has 29 touches to Henderson’s 14. It appears Akers is the lead back moving forward after taking a week to get over his apparent hesitation due to his Achilles injury. With so much attention being paid to Kupp and Stafford, we can look to the Rams’ run game to get creative. 

Darrell Henderson Jr.: $6,800 

Given the usage last week it is likely Akers takes over the backfield in Week 4, but that was a one-game sample size. Henderson’s price puts us in a unique situation where we can play Henderson in tournaments at minimal ownership with an outside chance to lead the backfield in touches as he did in week one. Akers is the much safer option, but Henderson provides a strong contrarian play. 


Cooper Kupp: $12,000

Cooper Kupp is likely to turn Showdown into a five-player contest as he will be rostered close to 100% of the time. Typically Kupp would be moving towards $14,000 at this point rather than taking a price cut, but last week he was targeted just six times. Stafford’s attempts were lower than they will be all season so there isn’t any cause for concern. Kupp still managed a respectable fantasy outing with a 20-yard rush for a touchdown. Fading Kupp is a surefire way to create leverage, but there are better ways to get unique.

Allen Robinson: $6,200

Allen Robinson has played on over 90% of the snaps each week. He had a tough first outing with the Rams but since then has averaged five targets a game. He had a promising Week 2 showing before disappearing again in Week 3. He’s pricey given his opportunity and forces us to invest heavily in the popular Rams stacks. If going with a second Rams option, Tyler Higbee is a better play for cheaper.

Ben Skowronek: $4,400

Ben Skowronek poses a similar issue to Robinson. He’s more expensive than the opportunity he is earning and would force us to stack the Rams’ passing game. In Week 3 he played on 85% of the snaps and caught all four of his targets for 66 yards. He is a better option than Robinson considering he will see similar opportunity at less cost, but Higbee is still the preferred play in this sort of build. 

Tyler Higbee: $5,200

Tyler Higbee makes a strong play regardless of build type. He can be a second passing option in Rams stacks or a single run-back option to 49ers stacks. His targets have decreased each week, but he is still producing at a reasonable rate for a tight end. He’s failed to reach pay dirt but has been targeted there multiple times. Higbee’s in-between pricing makes him the strongest Rams pass catcher outside of Kupp with a reasonable roster percentage.

Favorite Stack

Cooper Kupp / Matthew Stafford / Tyler Higbee / Jeff Wilson Jr.

Cooper Kupp is the most likely Captain by a large margin. He will account for much of Stafford’s production. If going with a Rams-heavy build, Tyler Higbee is the next best option. He is priced between Skowrenek and Robinson with a better projection than both. His roster percentage should be palatable. The 49ers are rushing at one of the highest rates in the league and if they can control the game with Jeff Wilson, the Rams would be forced to air it out more often. 

San Francisco 49ers Offense


Jimmy Garoppolo: $10,000

Jimmy Garappolo attempted 29 passes in his first full start. He targeted Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk eight times each while he targeted George Kittle five times. This passing offense is condensed, which is what we like to see when we’re stacking quarterbacks. Garoppolo won’t pass often, but we know who he will pass to. He doesn’t land in the Captain spot for similar reasons to Stafford, but he pairs well with any of his primary receivers.

Running back

Jeff Wilson Jr.: $8,200

Jeff Wilson Jr. handled 73% of the snaps in his lone start last week. He was given 15 touches. Until Elijah Mitchell returns, he is a prototypical workhorse running back but he is not priced as such. He’s dominating touches for a team that runs at the second highest rate in the league and is only $8,200. Wilson Jr. is the third strongest play on the slate. 


Deebo Samuel: $10,400

Deebo Samuel is likely to be used more often as a receiver with Garoppolo at the helm, but he has demonstrated the ability to produce massive fantasy outings either way. In Garoppolo’s first full start Samuel rushed five times and was targeted eight times. The team scored only 10 points so everyone’s counting stats were down. Samuel’s opportunity share makes him the second strongest play of the slate and the only true rival to Cooper Kupp’s ceiling. 

Brandon Aiyuk: $7,600

Brandon Aiyuk caught the team’s only touchdown last week as he rekindles his productive relationship with Garoppolo. He was targeted often on crucial downs and is the team’s true top wide receiver with Samuel playing a hybrid role. Aiyuk is an every down player with a sizeable market share albeit on a low volume passing offense. His roster percentage should be low given his price, making him a great option to add to 49ers-heavy builds.

George Kittle: $6,600

DraftKings was quick to bump Kittle’s price tag after seeing a healthy performance outing last week. He saw only five targets but played on 91% of the snaps and the 49ers will likely be with Ross Dwelley and Tyler Kroft. Kittle should benefit from an improved passing offense in Garoppolo’s second week and projects similarly to Aiyuk for a lower salary.

Punt plays

Jauan Jennings: $2,000

Jauan Jennings is a deep threat receiver playing on nearly 50% of the snaps due to Samuel’s backfield usage. He’s received multiple targets each week thus far. Jennings is the strongest punt play as his price should keep his roster percentage low and people won’t be looking to the 49ers’ passing attack.

Kyle Juszcyzk: $1,000

Kyle Juszcyzk has received little opportunity thus far but with such a thin running back corps, he has had to play on over 60% of the snaps. He has been known to catch passes and even has a goal-line presence. He is a great punt option on every 49ers Showdown slate. 

Favorite Stack

Deebo Samuel / Jimmy Garoppolo / Jauan Jennings / Cooper Kupp

If anyone is going to dethrone Cooper Kupp as the optimal Captain it is likely to be Deebo Samuel. Samuel does not have to outscore Kupp outright, rather he just needs to be in the same ballpark with a lower price tag. The field is going to be plenty comfortable playing Samuel without Garoppolo so we are looking to stack them, then add Jennings to lean into the 49ers passing offense.