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.
The most obvious candidate for captain in this game is Aaron Jones with Davante Adams likely to miss. Jones splits with and without Adams have been massive. Last year when Adams missed time, the Packers often lined Jones up as a wide receiver. I’d expect that to be in the game plan for the Saints as well. It makes Jones pairable with Aaron Rodgers who could also find himself in the optimal captain lineup. Though I think Jones has the highest probability of being the optimal captain on this slate, Rodgers will undoubtedly spread the ball around without Adams in the lineup, creating the possibility he could hit multiple receivers for touchdowns capping everyone else's upside except his own. The Packers top two targets, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard, are worth taking a shot at the captain on DraftKings if you’re MMEing, because they allow for a balanced lineup that allows you to fit an extra stud. I prefer MVS to Lazard. MVS is leading Lazard in two very important tournament-related opportunity categories through two games, air yards 214 to 102, and deep targets 5 to 1.
Alvin Kamara obliterated Latavius Murray in playing time and opportunity in Week 2, something many did not expect to happen. Kamara had nearly a 40% usage rate and outsnapped Murray 41 to 16. With Kamara fully healthy, it seems as though they are going to let him be a workhorse. Ty Montgomery was placed on IR, so the few snaps and targets he normally would see should fall back on Kamara as well. Murray will probably work in more in games that the Saints have control. Drew Brees can of course be the captain in this game, but I think his probability of finishing as the optimal captain in a game with Jones, Kamara, and Rodgers is lower than the rate at which he will be owned as the captain. Tre’Quan Smith received a big price bump after his seven target outing against the Raiders. I think that makes him a tough captain pick as Brees would really have to lock on to him or he’d need to luckbox two touchdowns to pay off his current salary.
Even though I mentioned him in the 1.5x considerations, I really like MVS considering he gets high-value targets from Rodgers. He has five deep targets over two weeks and you can expect him to get a couple more in this game. No one success correlates more significantly with Rodgers. If Rodgers smashes, MVS would be the first player I’d guess had a productive game. Lazard is also in play, obviously, I think he’s a better play if you think the Saints jump out to an early lead and there will be some garbage time for Green Bay, as he relies on lower aDOT volume type targets.
The super-cheap Packers pass-catchers to target will be Robert Tonyan and Malik Turner. Tonyan has tripled up the preseason darling Jace Sternberger in snaps and is clearly running as the TE1. He’ll probably need a touchdown to hit value because he’s not someone who is going to get a ton of volume, but it’s definitely a possibility. Turner should run as the WR3, as he entered the game last week when Adams exited and played almost 20 snaps. He’s the minimum and allows you to work in an extra mid-priced player as well as make your lineup unique
Jamaal Williams could be used as leverage to Aaron Jones’ inevitable massive ownership. Williams is cheap enough you can play him with Jones, but if Williams happens to steal a goal-line carry or two, it provides massive leverage against Jones lineups. I would use that lineup construction sparingly, though. Jones is still my favorite player on the slate.
Deonte Harris was targeted five times last week and is my favorite cheap Saint again this week. He returns punts so it’s definitely smart to pair him with the Saints DST in some lineups. The Saints love to get him involved with quick screens or reverses. Manufacturing touches isn’t something you see for a player under $2,000, so I’ll be overweight on Harris. The Saints gave Taysom Hill a chance at the goal line last week again, so you can’t ignore him at his price tag. If he scores and adds a few yards and catches at $1,800, he’ll be in the optimal lineup.
Tre’Quan Smith, Jared Cook, and Emmanuel Sanders should be used as one-offs. I think there is potential for all of them to be in the optimal lineup, but at their price and at the rate Brees spreads the ball around, it will be hard for two or more of them to make the optimal lineup. Smith will see the most targets and has the speed to rip off a big play, so he’s my favorite of the three. While Cook probably has the highest touchdown equity, I’d rank him second. Sanders is the ultimate low-owned pivot to those two as he has been fairly quiet outside of a touchdown in Week 1. His cheaper price on DraftKings is nice too, but he won’t be part of my core, just a flier on a few builds.
Lineup Stack Starters
Captain/MVP: Aaron Jones
Flex: Aaron Rodgers, MVS, Alvin Kamara
Captain/MVP: Alvin Kamara
Flex: Drew Brees, Aaron Jones, Deonte Harris
Captain/MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Flex: Aaron Jones, Packers DST, TreQuan Smith
Captain/MVP: Alvin Kamara
Flex: Drew Brees, Jared Cook, Allen Lazard
Captain/MVP: Aaron Jones
Flex: Packers DST, Mason Crosby, Alvin Kamara