You know what’s the strangest part of tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup? One team from the NFC North has to lose. Well, I guess that’s not technically true. As the Lions have already illustrated this season, you can tie after a scoreless overtime session; however, the fact remains that either Detroit or Green Bay will more than likely taste defeat this evening. Go look at the standings. That doesn’t happen all that often. The Packers, Lions, Vikings, and Bears all came into Week 6 with winning records and a legitimate shot at the playoffs. It’s been the best division in football in 2019 and, dare I say, it’s produced the most interest MNF tilt we’ve seen all year.

Let’s break it down from a Showdown perspective.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.

Betting Trends

– The Lions have won each of their past four road games after a bye week.

– The Packers have failed to cover the spread in seven of their past eight night games.

– Each of the past nine games between NFC North teams have gone UNDER the total points line.

– Marvin Jones Jr. has scored the first touchdown in each of the Lions’ past two Monday Night Football road games.

– Aaron Jones has scored at least one touchdown in each of his past six games at Lambeau Field.

Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook

EDITOR’S NOTE: Packers RB Jamaal Williams (concussion) and Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (concussion) are both active for tonight’s game.


Green Bay Packers

On first glance, it would appear that the lynchpin to tonight’s slate comes in the form of Aaron Jones ($11,400). How you feel about Jones dictates just about every aspect of your build. He’s coming off a contest where he touched the ball 26 times, played 66.7% of Green Bay’s offensive snaps, scored four touchdowns and finished with an eye-popping 52.2 DKFP. That’s all mighty impressive stuff. The matchup looks to be ideal, too. Detroit has surrendered the third-most fantasy points to opposing backfields so far this season; a product of the team allowing 4.8 yards per carry and the most receiving yards per game to the position of any squad in the NFC (69.8). It’s also a unit that will be without interior linemen Da’Shawn Hand and Mike Daniels. Yet, here’s the catch. After logging three full practices throughout the week, it is highly anticipated that Jamaal Williams ($5,200) will make his return to the Packers’ lineup. Not counting the night he suffered the concussion, the last time Williams took the field – Week 3 against Denver – he out-snapped Jones 33-to-21. It’s definitely a concern, but I’m still in the camp of trusting Jones. Simply put, he’s who Matt LaFleur turns to in high-leverage situations. Jones has actually seen 84.2% of Green Bay’s rushing attempts inside the red zone in 2019 – the largest volume share in that area of the field for any RB. On top of that, he’s been given all six of the Packers’ carries inside the opponents five-yard line. With Green Bay averaging 3.8 red zone scoring attempts per contest, Jones’ monopoly is a valuable one.

Of course, Jones garnering so many looks in scoring situations has had a trickle down effect on the rest of the roster, specifically Aaron Rodgers ($11,600). The veteran enters tonight’s battle mustering just 0.41 fantasy points per drop back through five games, a lower output than Marcus Mariota, Kyle Allen and Case Keenum to name a few underwhelming pivots. Really, his only DFS viable performance came in Week 4’s matchup with Philadelphia, a team that’s now allowed four different QBs to amass 300-plus yards. The Lions have proven to be a little more stout. They held Philip Rivers without a touchdown pass, they shut down Carson Wentz for three quarters, and they limited Patrick Mahomes to his lowest fantasy output of 2019. Additionally, some of this was without the services of stud corner Darius Slay, who appears on track to return to Detroit’s secondary this evening. Considering Rodgers has scored fewer than 16.0 DKFP in four of his five starts and will once again not be flanked by Davante Adams, I’m inclined to not spend up for the quarterback.

Rodgers’ pass distribution without Adams just seemed off last Sunday. Granted, Green Bay was up by multiple scores so quickly that the QB didn’t really ever need to press the issue, but a massive 42% of his targets went towards his running backs, leading to a minuscule 6.4 aDOT by game’s end. Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($7,800) played 94.4% of the Packers’ snaps in that 34-24 win over the Cowboys, but caught just one of his four targets. Geronimo Allison ($6,400) was in a similar boat, seeing the field on 86.1% of plays, yet hauling in a mere two of the six passes sent his way. Jake Kumerow ($2,800) was the lone other WR to earn significant snaps and his final line of one catch for nine yards was equally forgettable. I’m not sure any of this changes on Monday. No NFC team has surrendered fewer yards per pass attempt to wide receivers than the Lions (6.3) and Allison, in particular, draws a tough assignment in the form of Justin Coleman – who’s given up only 0.89 yards per route covered in the slot so far this season.

Honestly, if I’m going to roll with one of Rodgers’ non-RB targets, it would have to be Jimmy Graham ($7,000). The 32-year-old has logged at least 50 snaps in three of Green Bay’s past four contests and, if Detroit’s had a weakness defending the pass in 2019, it’s been tight ends. The Lions are one of five teams allowing more than 10 yards per target to the position. Heck, if you really want to go with a stars and scrubs approach, Marcedes Lewis ($600) is dirt cheap and has received at least two targets in three consecutive games. You won’t find a lower ceiling on the slate, but he could reach 5x value with a single reception.

Detroit Lions

Much like the aforementioned Jones, Kerryon Johnson ($8,600) appears to have a fantastic matchup tonight against a Packers’ defense that has struggled to contain running backs all year long. According to DVOA, while Green Bay possesses the fifth-best pass unit in the NFL through five weeks, their run D is the fifth-worst, which is great because natural symmetry like that is a writer’s dream. Anyway, these are the types of things that can happen when you’re surrendering a league-high 5.44 adjusted line yards per carry. In fact, going back to the beginning of Week 2, the Packers have allowed the primary running back of their opponent to average a jaw-dropping 27.4 DKFP per game. However, unlike Jones, Johnson doesn’t seem to have any direct level of competition for snaps. After Detroit parted ways with C.J. Anderson prior to Week 3, Johnson’s played 77.0% and 69.7% of his team’s offensive plays against the Eagles and Chiefs, respectively. He’s also attempted at least 20 rushes in both contests, something he did not do even once in his rookie campaign. Ty Johnson ($1,800) will occasionally pilfer a carry away, but this now appears to be a one-man show for Detroit. Knowing that, Johnson has to be given Captain’s Pick consideration even as a road underdog.

I’m not completely opposed to getting some Matthew Stafford ($9,600) exposure, either. Though, as previously mentioned, the Packers have been statistically impressive against the pass in 2019, you’d be right to question the secondary’s resume based on the opponents they’ve shut down. Sure, they nullified Mitch Trubisky, Kirk Cousins and Joe Flacco; but, in recent weeks, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott have had far more success. Green Bay’s actually allowed 7.6 passing yards per throw across its last three games – the seventh-highest mark in the NFL within that span. There’s the matter of Stafford’s own production, too. Before the Lions took their Week 5 bye, Stafford was sitting sixth in the league in fantasy points per drop back (0.54), with only the likes of Mahomes, Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, and DeShaun Watson stationed ahead of him. That’s some pretty decent company to be keeping.

The Packers’ two-week swoon has also impacted their numbers against wide receivers. Though the unit did come into Week 6 surrendering the fewest DKFP to opponent WRs so far this season, wideouts have averaged a massive 9.7 yards per target against Green Bay dating back to Week 4 – the fourth-highest figure in the NFL in that stretch. Yet, that doesn’t mean just anyone can be considered viable. Kenny Golladay ($9,400) and Marvin Jones Jr. ($6,800) are always big plays waiting to happen and possess high ceilings even in difficult matchups, but Danny Amendola ($4,600) and T.J. Hockenson ($5,400) are a different story. The Packers have allowed the fewest PPR points per game to slot receivers and they’ve been equally effective negating opposing TEs, giving up a microscopic 6.0 yards per target to the position – the third-lowest mark in football. On top of all that, it doesn’t help matters that Amendola is dealing with a chest injury and likely won’t be at 100% health even if he is active.


The Lions have been surprisingly good against the spread in this matchup as of late, while also seeing similar success on the road. However, more than trends, I simply like what I’ve seen from Detroit the past few weeks. With an extra week to prepare for Green Bay, I think they keep a game dominated by the running backs close. Make sure you’re using your Captain’s Pick on either Aaron Jones ($17,100 CP) or Kerryon Johnson ($12,900 CP), with the latter almost under-priced considering his recent role.

Final Score: Green Bay 24, Detroit 23

EDITOR’S NOTE: Packers RB Jamaal Williams (concussion) and Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (concussion) are both active for tonight’s game.

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