Week 3 kicks off with a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Panthers and Texans. The Panthers have unleashed an intimidating defense and have a 3-0 start in their crosshairs. Meanwhile, thanks to the Jaguars, the Texans don’t look like the most poorly run organization in the sport. Carolina will lean on its superstar, Christian McCaffrey, to lead it to another victory — as will the majority of the field in DraftKings Showdown contests. It’s tough to put together a competitive DFS lineup with one pick occupying so much of your salary cap, but we like some of the value options at our disposal.
Before we get into the lineup picks, here are the most notable scoring settings for DraftKings Showdowns: It’s full-point PPR, and there are three-point bonuses for 300 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, and 100 receiving yards. The Captain pick costs 1.5 times a player’s original price, but he also gets his point total multiplied by 1.5.
MORE DK SHOWDOWN: How to win a Showdown contest
DraftKings Showdown Picks: Panthers vs. Texans
$50,000 budget, need at least one player from each team.
Captain (1.5x value, 1.5x points): RB Christian McCaffrey, Panthers ($21,000)
We have to pay out of the you-know-what to name CMC our captain, but we’re not willing to consider other options — not when he’s eclipsed 40 DraftKings points on four occasions since 2018.
MORE TNF: FanDuel single game lineup | Start ’em, sit ’em (link coming soon)
FLEX: QB Sam Darnold, Panthers ($11,200)
Darnold has played at a high level through two games as a Panther. He needs to clean up the soft turnovers, but he’s on his way to becoming another post-Adam Gase success story. The offense has distributed its three passing touchdowns to three different receivers, so we’re only going to stack Darnold with McCaffrey in this build instead of rolling the dice on any individual pass-catcher.
FLEX: QB Davis Mills, Texans ($8,400)
All signs point to a long night for Mills, but football doesn’t always follow the script. In the event the Texans turn this into a respectable contest, Mills will likely be responsible for much of the offensive production. With this play, we’re also asking how much a road trip on a short week will slow down the Panthers defense.
FLEX: RB David Johnson, Texans ($5,400)
Running-back-by-committee can be a lot like closer-by-committee in baseball. It sounds good in theory, but eventually someone takes the reins and forces the team to commit to more defined roles. Both Johnson and Phillip Lindsay are tied for second behind Mark Ingram with 14 touches. Johnson’s 5.4 yards-per-touch outpaces his running mates by a comfortable margin, though. It’s not too difficult to imagine a scenario in which Johnson gradually usurps more of the backfield load, perhaps starting Thursday night.
FLEX: K Zane Gonzalez, Panthers ($3,800)
The Panthers have had moments on offense, but a number of gaffes through the first two weeks tells us they’re not clicking on all cylinders yet. Until that happens, we’re probably going to see healthy doses of Gonzalez.
FLEX: WR Anthony Miller, Texans ($1,000)
The Texans are down Nico Collins (shoulder) and Danny Amendola (hamstring), and conventional wisdom suggests the Panthers will make sure to dedicate resources to containing Brandin Cooks. That means Miller — making his 2021 debut — could be called upon to handle some of the heavy lifting out of the slot. He’s scored double-digit DK points 15 times in his career, and the necessary volume for a 16th could be present.
Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.