NFL

FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Wild Card Monday (Cardinals at Rams)

The Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals meet up at 8:15 p.m. EST on Monday night, and it'll be their third game this season. The road team won each of the first two matchups, with Arizona winning by 17 in LA in October and the Rams returning the favor with a seven-point win in the desert in December.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Rams are 4.0-point favorites in a game with a 49.0-point total. That makes the implied score 26.50-22.50.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

Our model has Kyler Murray ($17,000 on FanDuel), Matthew Stafford ($15,500) and Cooper Kupp ($16,000) in their own tier, and it's miles clear of the pack, projecting each for at least 19.8 FanDuel points. No other player has a projection of more than 12.0. The vast majority of lineups will have one of these three at MVP.

Kyler's appeal is obvious. As one of the game's elite dual-threat quarterbacks, he's capable of racking up points in a hurry. His running prowess gives him a stellar floor/ceiling combination, and he got to the Rams for 19.42 and 22.62 FanDuel points in the regular season. According to our algorithm, Murray's projection of 19.8 FanDuel points makes him the worst point-per-dollar play among this trio, but he's capable of a ceiling game in any spot.

Kupp is coming off an otherworldly season and has gone for at least 90 receiving yards in 13 straight games. He's displayed the kind of high floor that is unheard of for a wideout. In two meetings with Arizona this campaign, Kupp had 8.9 and 24.8 FanDuel points. The 8.9-point outing was his lowest output of the season, and with the Cards permitting the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to receivers (31.8), there's no reason to expect anything other than a good game from Kupp. We peg him to total 19.9 FanDuel points.

It's Stafford who rates out at the top in our model as we forecast him to score 20.1 FanDuel points. On the negative, he hasn't topped 20 FanDuel points in any of his past four games, and the ceiling just hasn't been there as he hasn't bested 24 FanDuel points since October 31st. He's my least favorite MVP pick of this trio, because he likely needs huge volume or touchdown luck to go for 25-plus points -- and with the Rams favored, the volume may not be there.

Sony Michel ($12,000) is the only other guy I'll use at MVP, and I think he's a sneaky-good play. I'll have a lot of him, even if it's just as a flex play. It's not a given Cam Akers ($7,500) eats into Michel's role all that much, and although he dudded a week ago, Miche; was in on 80% of the snaps got 21 carries with four targets. That's fantastic usage, and LA could deploy a ground-heavy attack if they jump out to a lead. We have Michel projected for 12.0 FanDuel points.

Flex Breakdown

Other than Kyler being super good at football, one of the great things about using him is that you know who to stack with him -- Christian Kirk ($11,000) and Zach Ertz ($9,000). Between the two, I prefer Ertz, and I would even if they were the same salary.

At a projection of 8.9 FanDuel points, Ertz checks in as our model's co-best point-per-dollar play among anyone with a salary below $11,000. Over the last four weeks, he paces Arizona in target share (25%) and is second in air yards share (28%) by one percentage point. Despite not scoring a tud in that span, he's tallied at least 7.6 FanDuel points in each of the four games. The only blemish is that he'll likely be a chalky play at this modest salary.

As for Kirk, the Rams are allowing the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to wideouts (30.0), and he's seen an 18% target share and 29% air yards share over the last four weeks. He's plenty viable, and the fear of Jalen Ramsey and Ertz's friendly salary could push some people off him. Our projections have him at 10.5 FanDuel points.

A.J. Green ($8,000), Rondale Moore ($6,500) and Antoine Wesley ($7,000) are dart throws. AJG does have a 25% air yards share in the recent four-game split, so that's something, but he hasn't made more that four grabs in any of those outings. Moore is a gadget player who is questionable. He has the juice to bust a long one. While Wesley would be more appealing if Moore sat, he's played at least 75% of the snaps in three of the last four games.

In the Cards' backfield, both James Conner ($13,000) and Chase Edmonds ($11,000) look likely to suit up, though that's not a 100% lock. Obviously, if one of them sits, the other becomes an excellent play and should be considered for the MVP slot. If they both play, it's hard to get too jazzed about either as they'll probably split work. We project Conner and Edmonds for 10.1 and 9.8 FanDuel points, respectively.

Switching to the Rams, Tyler Higbee ($8,500), Van Jefferson ($8,000) and Odell Beckham ($10,500) have some things going for them as secondary pass-game pieces.

OBJ has a 19% target share and 27% air yards share over the last four games. However, he's topped out at 2.8 FanDuel points in games in which he hasn't scored a touchdown, and even with five scores in eight games with the Rams, Beckham's highest single-game score is 16.7 FanDuel points. Our algorithm projects him for 8.8 FanDuel points.

Higbee has come on strong of late after not doing much for most of the second half of the year. In the past two weeks, Higbee has put up 9.9 and 20.5 FanDuel points while totaling a combined 17 targets, 12 catches, 124 yards and two tuddies. Will that kind of usage continue? We'll see. We have him projected for 7.5 FanDuel points.

Jefferson is a prayer for a bomb as his role has shrunk. He played just 53% and 69% of the snaps the last two games after logging a snap rate of at least 90% in six of his previous nine games. In the past four games, he has just a 12% target share but a 23% air yards share. You're hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with him.

The aforementioned Akers ($7,500) is a total wild card. It's pretty crazy that he's back at all, and he was in on 20% of the snaps last week, his first game back. Common sense says he'll still be a clear backup to Michel, but with Michel struggling a week ago, Akers could work his way into a bigger role Monday if he starts well and Sean McVay is willing to ride the hot hand. He's risky, but the salary savings are nice. Our model has him at 7.0 FanDuel points.

Kickers Matt Gay ($9,500) and Matt Prater ($9,000) are worth a look. The game being indoors helps both. Our numbers are into Gay, projecting him for 9.3 FanDuel points. He's tied with Ertz as the top point-per-dollar play among those with a salary under $11,000.