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 concentrate 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.
Drew Brees benefits in terms of his probability of being the captain in this game because of the absence of Michael Thomas. With Thomas healthy, his commanding target share would make him a more likely captain. If you use Brees in the captain, you’re betting Brees has multiple touchdowns to multiple receivers, which is a distinct possibility. You would assume we might be able to sneak in a Saints pass-catcher into the captain and get a more balanced lineup, but DraftKings did a solid job of pricing up the secondary options. I don’t mind sprinkling in Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook into the captain on DraftKings. The other option that seems obvious is Alvin Kamara. Despite being inefficient last week, he looked much more explosive than his injury-laden season last year. The Saints may game plan to get the running backs more involved with the biggest piece of their passing game on the sideline. Kamara, Cook, and Sanders combined for almost 70% of the Saints targets in Week 1. On FanDuel, I think we can safely limit our Captain exposure to Brees and Kamara. The same goes for DraftKings, but we can take a shot or two with Sanders and Cook.
I’m finding it hard to like rostering any Raiders in the 1.5x spot. Josh Jacobs will have to face a difficult Saints’ run defense in a less-favorable game script than last week. He’ll be touchdown-dependent, as the yards will be harder to come by in this game. I do think he’s more viable on FanDuel than DraftKings. Derek Carr doesn’t get enough volume to warrant much captain/MVP consideration, either. I think our best bet on the Raiders may be the tight end Darren Waller. He’s likely to be the top target of Carr and has the athleticism to rip off some run after the catch. He played all but five snaps in Week 1, while being targeted eight times. If Henry Ruggs is active, he has the big-play ability in a negative game script. The fact that he is banged up and could draw Marshon Lattimore puts his captain ownership on the low end for me, though. Overall, I think it’s smart to lean Saints in the 1.5x spot this week.
Latavius Murray only played 23/66 snaps in Week 1, but they were purposeful snaps. Murray had 15 carries on those 23 snaps, so when he’s in the game the Saints won’t hesitate to give him carries. We can get some leverage by using Murray in lineups that don’t roster Kamara. We’ve all seen the goal line vulture backup crush value with a couple of scores. It’s possible that Murray and Kamara are in the optimal lineup together, but there’s a better chance they cannibalize one another. Murray and the Saints DST have some correlation in a blowout I’d expect Murray to see an increase in carries
The Saints pass-catchers will probably be where the slate is won. Tre’Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Taysom Hill, and Josh Hill all deserve flex consideration. Drew Brees and Tre’Quan Smith have won single-game slates before with Smith’s deep threat ability. Smith already played around 70% of snaps last week and that figures to see a bump. Deonte Harris is a shifty, smaller receiver that the Saints like to throw quick screens or end-around misdirection type plays. He also returns punts, which makes him stackable with Saints DST, but that’s more of a one-off in a chalkier lineup to get unique. We all know the gadget wizardry the Saints try with Taysom Hill. Though he can be stacked with Drew Brees because he is used as a pass-catcher, Hill has traditionally correlated negatively with Brees as he often vultures goal-line touchdowns. Josh Hill is a one or two lineup flier, but did play around half the Saints snaps last week. They often like to use play-action throwback type plays on the goal line in which Josh Hill could be the benefactor.
Devontae Booker and Jalen Richard weren’t very involved last week, but the game script this week could be a bit different. If the Saints get an early lead, Richard could get a bit more passing game work. His price is very reasonable, I think he can be added as a cheap piece in lineups that feature a Saints big win.
Bryan Edwards provides leverage over Nelson Agholor, who didn’t play as much as Edwards but looks better in the box score catching his lone pass for a touchdown. Hunter Renfrow is my favorite wide receiver from the Raiders, though you’ll have to pay for him. He will operate out of the slot and we’ve seen Carr lock onto him in the past. I can see this especially playing out in a hurry-up scenario while trailing late. He’s priced up and only saw two targets last week in a game that the Raiders controlled the game. A different game script should get Renfrow on the field and targeted more this week. Jason Witten needs to be mentioned because of his bare-bones price and a touchdown, which he nearly scored last week is all you’d need. I’m not rostering him with any confidence, but it may be worth a one or two lineup flier.
Lineup Stack Starters
Captain/MVP: Alvin Kamara
Flex: Drew Brees, Saints DST, Hunter Renfrow
Captain/MVP: Drew Brees
Flex: Tre’Quan Smith, Jared Cook, Darren Waller
Captain/MVP: Emmanuel Sanders
Flex: Alvin Kamara, Darren Waller, Will Lutz
Captain/MVP: Drew Brees
Flex: Emmanuel Sanders, Derek Carr, Henry Ruggs (if active)