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.
Adam Thielen isn’t the first player that comes to mind when dissecting this game from a 1.5x player standpoint, but I think there is a ton of leverage to be had by rostering him there on DraftKings. The game flow in this game should allow for the Vikings to throw the ball more than they want to. If it was up to the Vikings, they’d establish Dalvin Cook and take shots with the passing game, but they probably won’t have that luxury. Thielen is averaging 124 air yards per game through one month of the season, he’s also seen six end zone targets in that time span as well. There is some buzz around Thielen’s WR teammate and of course Dalvin Cook is going to pull ownership as well. I’ll take Thielen’s 33% target share in a game script in which the Vikings should be trailing. The teammate I referenced is obviously Justin Jefferson who has surpassed Olabisi Johnson as the WR2 in Minnesota. Jefferson is a fine captain on DraftKings as well. He’s hit the 100-yard bonus in two straight games while seeing 14 targets. Dalvin Cook is obviously a stud, however, these two teams allow the first and second most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to wide receivers. Cook crushes in games where the Vikings can control the game and he racks up tons of yardage, especially since his involvement in the passing game is usually minimal. He always has the ability to rip off a monster run or two, so I wouldn’t completely shut him out of your captain exposure. Especially on FanDuel where running backs are a bit more valuable than wide receivers. Kirk Cousins is always good for a few blow-up games per year and this could very well be the spot. He’s should be forced to throw a bit more against a vulnerable Seahawks’ secondary, the only issue is his targets are so concentrated if the Vikings do score a lot, it’s probably Thielen or Jefferson as the captain
Tyler Lockett burned about 30% of people who have a daily fantasy account last week, so recency bias may shift some people to DK Metcalf. There really isn’t a matchup to exploit as the Vikings’ top corner “Hold Me Closer” Cameron Dantzler isn’t someone who we actively try to avoid. I’ll have more Lockett personally, just because I think he’ll be a bit lower owned and I think they both equally have a shot to smash in this game. The two combine for nearly 65% of the Seahawks targets, which renders pretty much every other pass-catcher a non-consideration at captain. Russell Wilson is super expensive and makes things tough in the rest of our lineups so I think he can be locked into the flex spot, but he’s a very tough sell with how he puts serious constraints on the rest of your lineup. If Wilson does end up as the optimal captain, it probably means he rushed for a touchdown or two, or some tertiary pieces like David Moore or Greg Olsen caught touchdowns and not Locket or Metcalf. So if you do slot Wilson into the captain on DraftKings, I’d make sure I got some of the cheaper Seahawks’ pieces. Chris Carson is cheap enough that I think we can put him into the 1.5x spot, especially on FanDuel. He’s also involved enough in the passing game that I think he can hit a ceiling greater the other Seahawks’ pieces in terms of salary-based expectations. If there isn’t an absolute punt that hits, Carson could end up being the optimal captain based on the fact he allows you to create a lineup construction that avoids dropping all the way to the bottom of the player pool.
Other than the players who are mentioned above for the Vikings, there aren’t many other flex considerations on the offensive side of the ball. Their offense is super concentrated to those three players right now. Alexander Mattison could luck into some touchdown variance at his cheap price. Oftentimes, Dalvin Cook gets so much work on a drive that Mattison spells him at just the right time to snipe a touchdown from him. He’s good for 6-8 carries so he isn’t a priority, but if he steals a touchdown he very well could be in the optimal. I don’t think it’s an Aaron Jones/Jamaal Williams situation from last week where we played both together. Cook and Mattison eat directly into each other’s workloads, where are Williams and Jones are sometimes on the field together and Williams is on the field enough to be a stand-alone play.
Chad Beebe has overtaken Olabisi Johnson as the WR3, so keep that in mind. He’ll probably play about a quarter of the snaps and see a couple of targets. Johnson isn’t on my radar much at all because the Vikings play a lot of two tight end sets. Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. see the field far more often than Beebe and Johnson, so I would lean on them as ancillary pieces over the depth at receiver. Rudolph is expensive relative to his output, but he has a good amount of touchdown upside. Cousins loves lofting the ball in his direction and Rudolph has a keen ability to pull in 50/50 balls in the end zone. With that said, I think Smith has a ton more promise in this game because of his min salary. He can immediately put himself into the optimal lineup with a touchdown or long catch, whereas Rudolph needs a handful of catches and yards on top of a touchdown.
The status of Carlos Hyde is up in the air, but he did practice on a limited basis in the last few days. He’s been a non-contact participant so that’s not an optimistic sign. If he’s active, he’s cheap enough that I like his prospects. If he’s inactive, Travis Homer and DJ Dallas will get run at RB2. The problem is just that, they’ll both get run. I like Homer and Dallas as pass-catchers, but they eat into each other’s ceiling.
David Moore has always been my go-to on these single-game slates, because he’s usually underpriced and is good for a few receptions. Unfortunately for us, he’s coming off 95 yards and a touchdown last week so he’s priced up higher than Greg Olsen and only a little less than Carson. The dilemma here is that Moore will be overlooked because he is in a no-mans land price-wise. I’m assuming most people will not click on Moore in those first few roster spots, then never have enough salary remaining to click on him in the last one. Because of that I definitely want a piece of Moore. Olsen has a solid floor as well, he’s seen five receptions in his last two games. The problem with Olsen is he’s a catch-and-fall-down tight end at this stage of his career, so he also needs a touchdown to hit value. The sneakiest of plays may be Freddie Swain who we played the last time the Seahawks were on a single-game slate. Swain’s snaps played have rivaled Moore’s so I think he has an equal chance to be the tertiary skill player that lands in the optimal lineup. Virtually no one has ever heard his name, so he’ll catch very little ownership. I don’t think I’ll be getting to Will Dissly or Jacob Hollister. There’s nothing to suggest they’ll see an uptick in usage, so I’ll take my chances that one of them don’t luckbox a touchdown. I’ll shift my ownership in this range to Irv Smith and Swain.
As always the kickers and defenses are in play, especially the kickers in a game that should feature a lot of back and forth. I don’t mind the Seahawks defense either. Even though they’ve been pretty bad, forcing Kirk Cousins into throwing a ton more than he’s used to could result in some sacks and turnovers.
Lineup Stack Starters
Captain/MVP: Adam Thielen
Flex: Kirk Cousins, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson
Captain/MVP: DK Metcalf
Flex: Russell Wilson, Justin Jefferson, Greg Olsen
Captain/MVP: Dalvin Cook
Flex: Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain
Lopsided Seahawks Win
Captain/MVP: Russell Wilson
Flex: Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett, Justin Jefferson
Captain/MVP: Chris Carson
Flex: Seahawks DST, DK Metcalf, Adam Thielen