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.
Two really good secondaries will give both passing attacks in this game. The Saints give up the 4th fewest schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing WRs and the Chargers aren’t too far behind at the 7th fewest. They also both rank top five in fewest fantasy points allowed to running backs. With that said, Alvin Kamara remains the top option at the 1.5x spot. We’ve seen the Saints use him in two different capacities over the last two weeks. In Week 3 he saw 15 targets and was the main part of the passing game against the Packers, but then only saw four targets in Week 4 against the Lions. It seems as though it’s game plan and game script dependent whether he gets extra passing game usage. Either way, he’s the best play on the slate due to usage. One thing to note is when Kamara has a monster game, he usually sucks the life out of everyone else. So when making your Kamara lineups, I wouldn’t make it a complete Saints onslaught. Drew Brees has been great at completing his passes, but the Saints have not been cutting him loose like we are used to. He’s only topped 300 yards once hasn’t attempted more than 38 passes in a game yet this season. I can’t see this being the game where he throws 50 times for 350 yards. With Michael Thomas out, I think we can leave the rest of the Saints out of consideration with the exception of maybe Tre’Quan Smith. He has the big-play ability, scoring two touchdowns last week. The way Smith gets into the captain slot is if there isn’t an absolute punt that accrues fantasy points. In that case, Smith allows you to fit in an extra mid-priced player.
Keenan Allen has been Justin Herbert’s favorite target. Allen will probably get Lattimore if he plays, and honestly I’m okay with ignoring that in this game. Allen moves all over the formation and is so shifty that he often can produce despite the matchup. He also has an insane 40 targets in Herbert’s three games. Allen is much more of a play in the 1.5x spot on DraftKings than he is on FanDuel. Herbert is in play on both sites, but we have to remember that both defenses in this game are above average. I think it’s also important to remember that Herbert doesn’t have his safety valve in Austin Ekeler that extended a lot of drives with checkdowns. The only other option I would consider is having a few lineups with Joshua Kelley. With how awful Kelley played last week, there may be some leverage to be had with super low ownership on Kelley.
Though there are a handful of players I can see ending up as the optimal captain, this could be a slate where we use one captain from each team and call it a day.
Latavius Murray is the obvious leverage play off the massive Kamara ownership. The Saints cook up a game plan and stick with it based on opponent weaknesses, that’s why you see them feed a certain player or come up with a formation you rarely see in a certain game. Last game, it was getting Kamara and Murray on the field. Because that’s the case, I think we can play Murray as a pivot, hoping he scoops the touchdowns and Kamara has a dud, or play them both hoping for an outcome like last week in which they both have solid games.
The Saints’ pass-catchers can always be tricky because Brees likes to spread the ball around. Smith, who we mentioned as a potential captain, has the highest ceiling because of his big-play ability. Emmanuel Sanders is super cheap, but that will probably make him super popular. I like pivoting off him in a majority of lineups with Smith or Jared Cook provided he plays. The Chargers have had a bit more trouble covering tight ends than they have with receivers. I think we can even go back to Adam Trautman who burned everyone in Week 4, you only need a few catches or a touchdown out of him at his salary. The bagel from last week should keep everyone off him as well. With Deonte Harris out, it makes some of the Saints’ punts a bit more playable as well. Marquez Callaway, Josh Hill, and Taysom Hill, along with Trautman, can all be sprinkled in as fliers. Your best bet is to include a similar percentage of each in your MME player pool.
Justin Jackson makes for a nice pivot from what should be a higher owned Kelley. He received just as much usage in the last outing against the Buccaneers, so I don’t think we can safely assume that Kelley is going to get the majority of the snaps usage in this backfield, though it is more likely. I like using Jackson in game scripts in which we project the Saints to have the lead, because Jackson may see an uptick in targets.
Hunter Henry saw a season-low four targets last week, but this week he gets a defense that has been funneling action to the tight ends on teams they’ve faced. Despite being a great team against the pass, the Chargers have allowed the second most raw fantasy points to opposing tight ends. He’s my second favorite piece of this offense outside of Allen. Mike Williams remains questionable, but if he plays and Janoris Jenkins doesn’t I think we can exploit that matchup. Williams provides the big body end zone target, but also gets run deep in the Chargers’ offense as well. If he can’t go, Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson can be slotted in as pieces around a Chargers heavy stack. I wouldn’t get too excited about Donald Parham as he only saw one snap last week despite scoring a touchdown on it.
I think a game script we can exploit in this game is a slugfest. The Saints and Chargers invoke shootout ideations just seeing the two teams on paper, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see both offenses struggle. If we think about what happens when a slugfest ensues, usually pass-catchers, defenses, and kickers benefit. It’s somewhat rare that a QB doesn’t end up in the optimal even in low-scoring games, so I’d have at least one as well. But bumping up the percentages of the DSTs and Kickers in this game is a nice way to get unique against the type of lineups that everyone likes to build.
Lineup Starter Ideas
Captain/MVP: Alvin Kamara
Flex: Keenan Allen, Saints DST, Will Lutz
Captain/MVP: Keenan Allen
Flex: Chargers DST, Alvin Kamara, Hunter Henry
Captain/MVP: Alvin Kamara
Flex: Keenan Allen, Drew Brees, TreQuan Smith
Captain/MVP: Justin Herbert
Flex: Mike Williams (or Jaylen Guyton if out), Hunter Henry, TreQuan Smith
Captain/MVP: Latavius Murray
Flex: Saints DST, Keenan Allen, Drew Brees