General Rule for Creating Showdown/MVP Lineups
- Correlate with your Captain/MVP - Make sure you are creating a roster that makes sense with your 1.5x player.
- On DraftKings, lean RB/WR in the captain. Though QB can finish as the optimal captain, it’s often overused by the field relative to its success rate. When you are using a QB in the captain, I like to use a lot of his pass-catchers. Because the likely scenario if a QB ends up as the captain on DK is he spread his touchdowns around to multiple receivers and not one skill player had a ceiling game.
- On FanDuel the MVP spot doesn’t cost you 1.5x salary which means you’re just trying to get the highest-scoring player in that spot. Contrary to DK, it’s often the QB because of the scoring system. I would lean QB/RB on FD, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
- Leave salary on the table - I’m not just talking about a few hundred. Don’t be afraid to leave a few thousand on the table. In a slate that has an extremely limited number of viable options, there is a much greater chance for lineup duplication. It may not seem like much of an issue, but it can decimate your expected value to put in lineups that are going to split with 500 other people.
- Multi-enter if you can. Single-game slates have so much variance that the first play of the game can take you completely out of contention if you only have one lineup. It’s best to build a bunch of lineups (you don’t have to max enter) that concentrates on different game scripts and a handful of different correlated captains.
- DST and Kickers, while not very exciting usually offer a solid floor for cheap. Especially in game scripts that go under expected point totals. I would only use at most two per lineup.
- When creating single-game lineups, the most important part is creating correlated lineups according to a projected game script, and not pinpointing the exact five or six players who will score the most fantasy points on the slate.
Ezekiel Elliott grades out well as the 1.5x player on both sites. We know that the Cowboys like to feed Zeke in the run game, but Jerry Jones made mention recently that the one thing the Cowboys prioritized in the offseason was getting him targets in the passing game. The Cowboys are favorites and projected for a 27-point implied total. If Zeke ends up being the optimal captain, it’s probably best to go lighter on Cowboys’ pass-catchers. A monster game from Zeke will make it tough for multiple pass-catchers to hit value. I like Dak Prescott as an MVP on FanDuel and will likely have a sprinkle of him on DraftKings. The Rams lost a ton of key parts on defense and outside of Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, don’t have many playmakers. If Dak is in your captain slot on DraftKings, it likely means that multiple receivers got involved. I like to build out stacks of 3 pass-catchers with a QB captain. I would also consider not rostering Zeke on a portion of those Dak captain lineups on DK, as that could mean he stole some rushing work from him. With PPR scoring on DraftKings, I like to target WR captains more than the field. I think both teams’ top two receivers are in play as captains. As I tried to build lineups, the salary relief of Michael Gallup and Robert Woods made it a bit easier to build around. In taking a look back at previously played games from both receiving corps, Amari Cooper and Gallup have had no trouble hitting value in the same game, but Woods and Cooper Kupp often eat into each other's production. Keep that in mind when creating lineups, but all four are viable 1.5x players.
This includes everyone mentioned in the caption section as well.
This slate may come down to rostering the correct tight end(s). Despite the fact Tyler Higbee dominated the last few weeks of the 2019 season, Gerald Everett is still lurking and is extremely cheap. I’m seeing a lot of assumptions that the Rams will return to 11 personnel (1RB, 1TE) sets and that either Josh Reynolds or Van Jefferson will be on the field. That’s an assumption we could potentially take advantage of seeing as Everett has mentioned he thinks he’ll still have a big role in the offense. A big part of succeeding at DFS is realizing the assumptions of the masses will often be very wrong. That said, Higbee is surely in play as he’s flashed his receiving ability last season. The same goes for Blake Jarwin. He has been hyped up all offseason and will now be able to showcase his athleticism as the top tight end. I even think Dalton Schultz has a place in lineups, though he’s a dart throw I’d use sparingly. There has been mention that he gets on the field as a fullback/hybrid type player, which could always lead to some play-action opportunities on the goal line. With Schultz. you’re just hoping for a touchdown and that the optimal lineup required a near min salary dart. It can happen, as I earned a ticket to the DraftKings King of the Beach with an $800 Allen Hurns who caught one 12-yard pass for a touchdown.
Outside of Zeke, running back is a mystery on this slate. I think Zeke takes more of a passing game role judging from recent reports and quotes from the team, so I don’t love Tony Pollard. I’d rather take a flier on the Rams’ running backs as the uncertainty surrounding their playing time could be something to leverage. According to the depth chart, the order is Malcolm Brown/Darrell Henderson/Cam Akers. I’m guessing most will ignore that and play Akers based on season-long buzz, so I’ll most likely have a higher share of Brown and Henderson.
CeeDee Lamb will be involved in the offense, as Kellen Moore has mentioned they’ll try to manufacture touches for him. I don’t think Lamb has the ceiling to be a captain, but his price does make him a flex play on DraftKings. I wouldn’t fault you for trying him out in the flex because it allows you to do a lot with the five flex positions, but it’s not for me.
Game Script Lineup Idea Starters
Captain: Ezekiel Elliott
Flex: Cowboys DST, Michael Gallup, Robert Woods
Captain: Amari Cooper (Flip Amari/Dak on FD)
Flex: Dak Prescott, Cooper Kupp, Greg Zuerlein
Captain: Cooper Kupp (Flip Kupp/Goff on FD)
Flex: Jared Goff, Cam Akers, Amari Cooper
Captain: Michael Gallup (Flip Dak/Gallup on FD)
Flex: Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee, Cowboys DST