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.
Sensory overload is a good way to describe trying to pick a captain in this matchup. I will say I don’t think there is much of a choice on the Ravens’ side of the ball. The combination of spreading the ball around and half of his fantasy points coming from rushing production, make Lamar Jackson the easy pick from the Ravens. Patrick Mahomes is a bit trickier because he has targets that he can lock onto in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce who could be used as the captain on DraftKings. A Tyreek Hill captain team really limits the upside of his teammates outside of Patrick Mahomes. When Hill has monster games, it’s usually because he has hit a few long touchdown passes. When that happens they are drive enders and his teammates don’t get to benefit from an offensive possession. So on Hill captain teams, I’d limit the amount of other Chiefs pass-catchers to two total. If Kelce is the captain it will usually be a touchdown heavy contest for him like we saw in the 2019 postseason when he went for three touchdowns. Kelce sucking up touchdown equity would make me wary of Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Speaking of CEH, he’s squarely in play as a captain or MVP, as well. We saw him get a ton of targets last week in the passing game which is important to note as he becomes a stackable option with the Chiefs passing game. With Mahomes at captain, there will probably be multiple Chiefs pass-catchers, including one of the cheaper pieces that contributed. The only other Raven I would consider at captain, and sparingly, is Marquise Brown. He is almost like Tyreek light where if he is the optimal captain, he probably caught a couple of deep touchdowns and limited his teammates’ upside.
The Ravens rushing attack is paralyzing, both to defenses and DFS players trying to choose who to roster. I’m not going to pretend to know who is going to score the touchdown this week. They’ve basically split things 40/30/30 between Mark Ingram, JK Dobbins, and Gus Edwards. Ingram has the best chance for a multiple touchdown down, but he’s also the most expensive. Dobbins had the two-touchdown day in Week 1, but only saw three touches last week. Edwards seems like a long shot to be in the optimal lineup, but is cheap enough that he could be your last man in if you like the rest of your lineup. I’m not taking a stand on the Ravens’ backs,
Mark Andrews and the aforementioned Marquise Brown have the most touchdown equity. Their price will make it tough to get both into the same lineup. They have a slightly negative correlation so it may be best to roster them separately, anyway. Miles Boykin is cheap and has out-targeted Willie Snead through two games. Both make sense in Lamar captain lineups as he’ll be the optimal captain if he goes off, but doesn’t feed one pass-catcher, meaning guys like Boykin and Snead got involved. If you really need to punt, Nick Boyle plays a ton of snaps--he just blocks a lot--but could slip out on a play-action at the goal line. Devin Duvernay has a catch in the first two games and could also be a one or two lineup flier when you want to differentiate a chalky lineup.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire will lead the Chiefs’ backfield. CEH is much cheaper than I expected. His involvement in the passing game has me very interested in him in the flex and even a bit in the captain. Darrell Williams and Darwin Thompson will split back up duties. I’d lean Williams as the preferred flier option as when he was healthy saw a solid amount of snaps and usage.
The Chiefs’ pass-catchers could be the key to the entire slate. Sammy Watkins is questionable and if he doesn’t play we’ll probably see ownership shift heavily to Mecole Hardman. While that’s a solid idea, DeMarcus Robinson will also benefit and be at much less ownership so I think he’s a solid pivot in chalky lineups. Robinson ran ahead of Hardman in the Week 1 opener, out snapping him 33/20, but they both played nearly identical snaps with Watkins not in the lineup in Week 2. The Chiefs haven’t used many tertiary options after Robinson at wide receiver or after Kelce at tight end, so that’s where I’d cap my exposure to the Chief’s pass catchers.
Even if you think this game will be a shootout, both kickers and defenses are in play. We often see even in a shootout, the increased possessions provide more opportunity pass attempts, increasing the chance for sacks, interceptions, and fumbles. Likewise, the more possessions, the more chances for field goals and extra points as well.
Lineup Stack Starters
Captain/MVP: Tyreek Hill
Flex: Patrick Mahomes, Demarcus Robinson, Marquise Brown
Captain/MVP: Lamar Jackson
Flex: Mark Andrews, Miles Boykin, Travis Kelce
Captain/MVP: Patrick Mahomes
Flex: Marquise Brown, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mecole Hardman
Captain/MVP: Travis Kelce
Flex: Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Demarcus Robinson