Well actually we should consider this Monday Afternoon/Night Football if you are living on the West Coast. I don't believe I have ever seen an NFL game start so early on a weekday with exception to holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas or the NFL Playoffs. If there is a good thing COVID-19 has brought to sports, it's these fun mini slates on Mondays for us DFS junkies!
When I ran my QB and RB models for Monday, Andy Dalton popped up as the best value for DraftKings (DK) while Josh Allen was the best value for FanDuel (FD). I will be building just one lineup for FD while doing three lineups for DK. The best way to build your lineups is to pair your QB with a player who has a strong correlation with him. Then grab the top pass catcher on the other side. Usually the top lineup in most GPPs follow this format.
However, we must dig a bit deeper. In order to truly separate yourself from the pack, you need to leverage. That means you need to select a stack that goes counter to what a plurality/majority of DFS players are going to do. Low ownership is key but of course your contrarian stack must also perform. No doubt Kansas City will be very popular and for good reason. The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl Champions and have not skipped a beat so far this season. Plus they have the half-billion dollar arm on their team.
Still, the Chiefs are travelling to Buffalo and the Bills have not hosted a Monday game in quite some time. They should be amped up for this one. The Chiefs will still get their points and you woul dbe foolish to not roster any Chiefs players. However, can be calculating about who we play? Yes, we can! This is where I will resort to some of the tools on the Advanced Sports Analytics (ASA) site. Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman correlate well with each other and with no Sammy Watkins, QB Patrick Mahomes should be looking their way often. Of course there is also Travis Kelce. Keep in mind that Hill and Kelce do not correlate well with each other so they will cancel each other out. If you stick with a Hill/Hardman stack, then pick up the Chiefs DST. Both Hill and Hardman return punt and kickoffs. Should either of them take it to the house, you will get double the points. That kind of lightning strike is what will make you very, very wealth when playing DFS.
I plan on running a lineup with each QB since what if Josh Allen or Andy Dalton (or both) falls flat on his face. Pair Allen with Diggs. Dalton will be tricky but you can't go wrong with any of the options. He did lean on the run game while with the Bengals and would throw to a big, experienced WR like AJ Green or a reliable tight end like Tyler Eifert. A Dalton/Zeke/Cooper/Dalton stack is in play. Of course CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup are also viable. If you go with Lamb, consider the Cowboys DST. Lamb returns punts for the Cowboys.
Pairing Kyler Murray with DeAndre Hopkins is a no brainer. You would be crazy to play Murray without Hopkins. However, also consider Chase Edmonds who is a nice receiver out of the backfield. Just don't roster Murray and Drake since they don't correlate well with each other. FYI, Edmonds returns kickoffs for Arizona so pairing Edmonds with the Cardinals DST would be a wise move. It will be hard to pinpoint the highest scoring DST tonight with both point totals at 55 so you might as well roll the dice by paring your DST with a special team player who will also see a high numbers of snaps as a RB or WR.
Of course Mahomes will cost you a lot of money and should get high ownership. He is not my best value according to my models but he is expected to score the most points. If you are dead set on rolling with Mahomes, build a few lineups with him: at least one with Kelce and one with Hill.
For RBs, Zeke is a must start. He will see 60+ snaps and 20+ touches. After that, you can mix and match with Devin Singletary, Kenyan Drake, CEH (I won't bother typing his whole name out), or Chase Edmonds. Even combining Drake with Edmonds could be a smart move. Their combined salary on DK is $9,700 and they have combined for 28 - 30 DK points twice already this season.
Here are some sample lineups. Good luck and enjoy this mini slate of football!!