General Rules 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 spreads 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 Chiefs’ big three should be the bulk of your captain pool. Patrick Mahomes can torch this Bengals’ defense through the air, but we’ve also witnessed over the last few weeks that he’s been using his legs a bit more. Strategy in the playoffs always changes to “by any means necessary” and while during the season he may not have run as much, he’s been tucking the ball and taking off in the playoffs.
Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are going to eat up the majority of the target share in this game. While Kelce can get there on volume, Tyreek needs one play similar to the one we saw against Buffalo to break the slate. It’s definitely difficult to fit them together unless you leave Mahomes out which doesn’t make much sense correlation wise.
On the other side of the ball, Joe Burrow has five really good options he can target in the pass game which makes him a solid Captain player in hopes he spreads the ball around. The Chiefs defense has a relentless pass rush, so it’s conceivable the Bengals try to at least establish some type of balance with Joe Mixon. He’s a good enough pass catcher to boost his upside into captain territory as well.
Jamar Chase has an eye-popping 90 air yards per game, good for nearly 40% of the Bengals total air yards. He’s the boom or bust type of receiver that lands in the captain spot. If he doesn’t get there, Tee Higgins has flashed in games when Chase was quiet. I don’t think both of them landing in the optimal lineup with one at captain is not inconceivable, but it’s also not very likely. I would keep them separate in most lineups.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon are impossible to handicap and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. No one knows how Andy Reid is going to deploy his backs. I think we saw CEH have some success late in the game last week which could lead to him starting and retaking his role this week. I also wouldn’t be surprised if McKinnon remained in his primary starting role. They both can be cycled through lineups. I do think McKinnon makes more sense as a pass-catching stack piece and Edwards-Helaire makes more sense as a contrarian piece in a lineup light on the Chiefs.
Byron Pringle has been a dog in the later half of the season and especially the playoffs seeing three straight games of at least seven targets. He’s probably my favorite play on the slate. I like him as the second piece of Chiefs’ stacks with Kelce or Hill. Of course he will probably be a popular choice as from the masses. Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson can be contrarian pieces as they’ll be less rostered. Robinson is the touchdown upside play who would probably negatively correlate with Kelce while Hardman, who often replaces Hill, correlates negatively with Tyreek.
The top flex plays not already mentioned from the Bengals are definitely Tyler Boyd and CJ Uzomah. Given the already mentioned ferocious pass rush of the Chiefs, I think they Bengals are going to scheme to get the ball out quick in obvious passing situations. This means Boyd and Uzomah being peppered with targets over the middle throughout the game, they are great additions to Chief-heavy stacks.
There are some dart throws that can be the last player in like Noah Gray or Samaje Perine, but the best low dollar options in a pass-heavy high scoring affair will be the kickers and believe it or not the defenses. Burrow was sacked nine times last week and all the drop backs from both sides creates a ton of turnover opportunities.
Captain: Patrick Mahomes
Flex: Joe Burrow, Tyler Boyd, Byron Pringle
Captain: Travis Kelce
Flex: Patrick Mahomes, Jamar Chase, CJ Uzomah
Captain: Tyreek Hill
Flex: Patrick Mahomes, Byron Pringle, Tee Higgins
Captain: Joe Mixon
Flex: Joe Burrow, Tyler Boyd, Travis Kelce
Captain: Joe Burrow
Flex: Jamar Chase, CJ Uzomah, Tyreek Hill
Captain: Jamar Chase
Flex: Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Byron Pringle