This is a breakdown of one-game DFS contests for the Monday Night Football matchup featuring the Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. Be sure to check our Models up until kickoff for up-to-date projections that reflect the latest breaking news.
Cash Game Strategy
Whereas Sunday night’s Bills-Steelers slate set up as a low-scoring, smashmouth affair that would have been better suited if it were IDP DFS, Saint-Colts provides a surplus of offensive firepower to build around.
Our DraftKings Showdown Models peg Drew Brees‘ floor all the way up at 13.1 — only three points higher than Jacoby Brissett’s median (16.4). And with Marlon Mack in danger of getting out-snapped by passing-down back Nyheim Hines for the second week in a row with the Colts as 9-point underdogs, the best bet on this slate is to go with a full-on Saints onslaught in cash. With Brees in the Captain spot, you can also fit in Michael Thomas (16-plus DraftKings points in 12-of-13 games), Alvin Kamara and Wil Lutz (10-plus DraftKings points in five straight and 9-of-13 overall) if you go with Colts kicker Chase McLaughlin (top-six in projected floor) and Taysom Hill (top-six in Projected Plus/Minus) in the last two slots.
On FanDuel, Brees, Kamara and Thomas fit with Hines if you go with either Ted Ginn or Tre’Quan Smith at $7,500 in the last slot. Ginn has a slight edge in median projection over Smith thanks to the former’s more frequent downfield usage, but they’re within a half-point of each other, so splitting exposure between them makes the most sense if you’re going to enter more than one contest.
Core GPP Plays
Note: These are in addition to the players already mentioned in the cash write-up and generally has a focus on pass-catchers, though sometimes players from the cash section will be re-highlighted as appropriate. On FanDuel, QBs generally make for the top plays in the 1.5x slot because the half PPR format creates a wider gap in scoring between QB and RB/WR/TE; on DraftKings, a RB/WR/TE who hits the 100-yard bonus is the ideal play.
WR Michael Thomas, Saints: No explanation necessary.
RB Alvin Kamara, Saints: Second-highest projected ceiling on the slate against a Colts defense that’s ranked 20th in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA.
Saints DST: Posted 16-plus twice in the past four and the offense should force the Colts into more passing situations than they’re comfortable with.
TE Jack Doyle, Colts: Has run 91% and 75% of the routes the past two weeks with Eric Ebron (ankles) on IR.
Note: Individual player correlations can be found in the player cards in our NFL Player Models. Team positional correlations can be found in our NFL Correlations Dashboard. Unless otherwise noted, all player correlation data is from the past 12 months and team correlation data is from the start of 2019.
- Brees-Cook +0.67
- Brees-Thomas +0.58
- Thomas-Cook +0.54
- Brees-Ginn +0.52
- Brees-Murray +0.51
- Brees-Smith +0.43
- Thomas-Ginn +0.34
- Kamara-Saints DST +0.33
- Ginn-Smith +0.15
- Brees-Kamara -0.02
- Kamara-Murray -0.14
- Kamara-Thomas -0.15
- Murray-Saints DST -0.16
- Brees-T. Hill -0.26
- Thomas-Smith -0.29
- Brees-Saints DST -0.30
- Kamara-Cook -0.37
- Kamara-Lutz -0.58
Thomas, Cook and Kamara have combined to account for 66% of the targets and 60% of the air yards for New Orleans, with Kamara’s production the most liable to suffer if the passing game is humming.
- Brissett-Johnson +0.93
- Brissett-Hilton +0.67
- Brissett-Pascal +0.55
- Mack-Colts DST +0.35
- Hines-Doyle +0.29
- Mack-Hines +0.07
- Mack-Hilton -0.07
- Brissett-Doyle -0.12
- Brissett-Colts DST -0.12
- Brissett-Hines -0.13
- Hines-Pascal -0.14
- Hines-Colts DST -0.18
- Brissett-Mack -0.26
- Hines-Johnson -0.28
- Mack-Pascal -0.51
- Mack-Doyle -0.55
Zach Pascal is the only receiver on the Colts roster with an average depth of target in the double digits and stands to benefit if T.Y. Hilton (calf) suits up, which would shift the priorities of Marcus Lattimore and Co. If Hilton is out, Pascal will be the highest-upside play based on sheer volume, but Marcus Johnson becomes a lot more viable because Lattimore is capable of blanketing Pascal.
UPDATE: Hilton is active, making him the highest-upside WR to stack with Brissett, followed by Pascal. All the other Colts are either low-aDOT or low-volume players, or both, and thus don’t profile as must-stacks with Brissett.
Mack-Colts DST is merely a contrarian game-flow stack, as the Saints have allowed just 67.5 rushing yards and 0.38 touchdowns per game to opposing backs.
Players whose production would benefit owners more than expensive or highly-owned players. Kickers and D/STs generally make for strong leverage plays, but those who stand out will be highlighted below.
RB Latavius Murray, Saints: Has out-gained Kamara on the ground in two of the past three weeks and has a 2-1 edge in rushing TDs over Kamara when both have been active.
RB Nyheim Hines, Colts: Led the backfield in snaps last week and has negative correlations to all Colts wide receiver except for Hilton.
Dart Throw Rankings
Ranking the low-cost, complementary players not already discussed in the leverage section by likelihood of having a worthwhile fantasy stat line.
- WR Tre’Quan Smith, Saints: Has run 70% of the routes over the past two weeks, out-sapping Ted Ginn 93-69 over that span. In the past, the zone scheme of Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus has caused them to be vulnerable to tight ends underneath, but they’v shored that up with rookie linebacker Bobby Okereke and second-yea Pro Bowler Darius Leonard both grading out top-18 in coverage fro Pro Football Focus. Instead, Indianapolis has been most vulnerable to sub-package wide receivers, ranking 26th in DVOA.
- WR Ted Ginn, Saints: Leads the Saints in average depth of target (15.4) and trails only Thomas in air-yard share (29%).
- QB Taysom Hill, Saints: Sean Payton’s version of Kordell Stewart has gone 21-140-1 on the ground, caught 14-of-17 passes for140 yards and four touchdowns through the air, and attempted four passes this season.
- RB Jordan Wilkins, Colts: Usually plays a half-dozen to a dozen snaps as the No. 3 back.
- WR Deonte Harris, Saints: Lightning-fast return man who saw seven snaps and a target last week and could be a part of the game plan again this week with the Colts banged up at corner.
- WR Dontrelle Inman, Colts: Just signed but knows the scheme from his time last season and should immediately rotate in as the No. 4 receiver with upside for a near full-time role if Hilton’s calf doesn’t cooperate.
- TE Josh Hill, Saints: Averaging only 1.7/11.6/0.11 in nine games with Cook in the lineup.
- TE Mo-Alie Cox, Colts: Cox posted back-to-back games with a touchdown last season but has not been heard from much since. However, he did out-snap Ross Travis 15-5 last week.
- FB Zach Line, Saints: Slated to return from a knee injury. Saw at least one target in each of his past four games prior to going down and is averaging 1.0 targets, 0.5 carries, and 0.1 goal-line looks per game on the season.
- WR Krishawn Hogan, Saints: Different spelling, but just as invisible in the box score as the other Chris Hogan despite seeing a few snaps on offense over the past few games. Still, he’s a receiver running routes for Brees with plays being called by Sean Payton, so his chances aren’t completely nil.
- WR Ashton Dulin, Colts: Has been running as the slot receiver but could be rendered a non-factor with Inman signed and Hilton tentatively expected to go.
- RB Jonathan Williams, Colts: Lost his spot to Wilkins but should be active for special teams.
- RB Dwayne Washington, Saints: Special-teamer who never plays offense unless one of the top two runners gets hurt.
- TE Ross Travis, Colts: Posted 2-31 two weeks ago but played only five snaps last week as the No. 3 tight end behind Cox. UPDATE: Travis is INACTIVE.
- WR Chad Williams, Colts: Likely done for if Inman is active. UPDATE: Williams is INACTIVE.
Pictured above: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13)
Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports