Here’s a breakdown of the Sunday Night Football one-game DFS slate featuring the Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings that kicks at 8:15 p.m. ET on NBC.
Green Bay Packers
- Aaron Jones played a season-high 92% of the snaps last week. The Vikings defense is no pushover — it ranks fourth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA vs. the run — but Jones can offset the tough matchup in the passing game, as the Vikings are 31st in DVOA on passes to running backs.
- If Jimmy Graham (thumb) suits up, he’ll have a top-three Projected Plus/Minus in a matchup with a Vikings defense ranked 26th in DVOA vs. tight ends but may see depressed GPP ownership due to the injury.
- Against a Packers defense that will be without Mike Daniels, Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen have the top median projections on the slate. Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs has posted averages of 19.95 DraftKings points, a +7.64 Plus/Minus and 83% Consistency Rating in six career meetings with Green Bay, according to our NFL Trends tool.
- Like Jones, Dalvin Cook set a season-high with 88% of snaps played his last time out. Green Bay’s defense has had trouble stopping the run (24th in DVOA) and containing backs out of the backfield (23rd).
Roster Construction Notes
- Rodgers and Adams’ Plus/Minuses have a near-perfect correlation (0.90), according our NFL Correlations Dashboard. Rodgers’ correlation with his other pass catchers is more in line with league norms (WR2, 0.28; TE1, 0.39).
- Rodgers’ Plus/Minus has a strong negative correlation with the opposing No. 1 running back (-0.64).
- There’s been no correlation between Rodgers and the opposing defense’s Plus/Minus (0.0), but Rodgers and his own defense have been negatively correlated (-0.43). Cousins has an even stronger negative correlation with his own defense (-0.78) and a slight negative correlation to the opposing defense (-0.10).
- Going back to the start of last season, Minnesota’s WR1 and WR2 have had little correlation (-0.05 in raw points, -0.02 in Plus/Minus).
- Minnesota’s WR1 and WR2 have also both had a positive correlation with the team’s RB1 over that span.
- After being targeted on 22.0% of his routes in 2016 and 19.0% in 2017, Kyle Rudolph is fourth in routes run among tight ends this season but has seen the ball come his way just 12.5% of the time. Still, a one-game slate merits noting that Rudolph’s production has had a stronger than average correlation with not only his QB (0.51), but also his WR2 (0.70), RB2 (0.30) and WR1 (0.25).
Cash Game Strategy
You’re essentially trying to account for as much of the scoring as possible in cash games on a one-game slate, usually by playing layers at the highest-floor positions: Quarterback and running back.
On DraftKings you can play both quarterbacks, both running backs and both kickers with Cousins in the Captain spot. FanDuel lets you fit in both quarterbacks and running backs so long as you punt with the last spot with a min-priced player. The top projected player at that price point is Lance Kendricks.
The winning DraftKings Showdown lineup tends to be one of the following three, depending on the number of quarterbacks used:
- 2 QB: 0-1 RB, 2-4 WR/TE, 0-1 K/DST. This type of lineup usually ends up being optimal in games that are high-scoring, close or in which one or both teams struggle to run.
- 1 QB: 1-2 RB, 2-4 WR/TE, 0-1 K/DST. This tends to be optimal in one-sided games or games where multiple pass-catchers go off.
- 0 QB: 1-2 RB, 2-4 WR/TE, 1-3 K/DST. This will usually be most optimal in gams that are low-scoring games, or in which both teams run the ball well.
This projects to be a close game — Minnesota is favored by 3.5 points as of writing (see live odds here) — in which one or both teams could struggle to run. Minnesota’s run defense ranks fourth in DVOA, Cook has been under 3.0 yards per carry in three of five games, which sets up best for Rodgers-Cousins stacks.
The top 1 QB build is Cousins with Adams as the lone Packers receiver. Adams has always gotten the best of Xavier Rhodes, but the tough matchup still creates leverage in pivoting off of Adams with one of the cheaper Packer pass catchers. If both Graham and Randall Cobb (questionable, hamstring) are active, there’s leverage in pairing them with Rodgers; their injuries drive down the odds that they appear together in many lineups. Cook-Vikings D/ST stacks work well in 0 QB lineups.
Laquon Treadwell and Aldrick Robinson lost snaps to Chad Beebe last week but are the top dart throws on the Minnesota side with Beebe (hamstring) ruled out. On the Green Bay side, Equanimeous St. Brown tends to see the most passing-game usage among Green Bay’s backups, and Kendricks will likely be in line for increased snaps if Graham doesn’t play his usual allotment.
Rudolph leads the Vikings in targets inside the 10 (6) and is a great leverage play not only in the FLEX, but also the 1.5x slot. Rudolph and Graham are the cheapest players with a realistic shot of scoring multiple touchdowns.
Let’s get this shmoney!
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Chris Raybon is a Senior Editor at the Action Network and a co-host of “I’ll Take That Bet” on ESPN+. He has watched every snap of every NFL game since 2010 — even the kneel downs. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRaybon and read about how he quit his accounting job and got paid to watch sports.
Pictured above: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19)
Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports