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 many 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. The one exception to this rule is if the quarterback is mobile (think Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray) and can accrue points with their legs without bringing pass-catchers along for the ride.
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, but usually one or fewer.
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.
ALSO VIABLE AS FLEX PLAYS — LISTED IN PREFERENTIAL ORDER
Jalen Hurts and Daniel Jones are both excellent captain candidates. Normally, we’d shy away from captain quarterbacks who only throw to two or three pass-catchers like these two, but the fact they both can rip off 50+ yards and a touchdown in any given game makes them supremely valuable in the 1.5x spot. Jones and Hurts have both surpassed 700 yards rushing this season and should make up a good chunk of your captain spot, given their ability to rack up fantasy points without bringing any other player along for the ride
Saquon Barkley was shut down pretty well the last time he was on the field against the Eagles. The Eagles run defense is solid, but Barkley should see better usage on divisional weekend. In addition, the game script got away from the Giants in the last game, and Barkley didn’t play as much as he would have in a closer game. I expect lots of runs and especially targets for Barkley in this game.
AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith make up 56% of the Eagles' targets. That’s one of the larger shares from the first two pass-catchers in the league. There haven’t been many games where both have dominated from a fantasy point standpoint, so if you have one in the captain, I’d say you should shy away from having the other in the flex. It’s possible you can fit both in the flex and hope they both have solid games, but someone else hits harder like Daniel Jones, or maybe a cheap option like one of the Giants’ receivers.
Miles Sanders isn’t a player that makes me excited to roster in the captain spot, but it’s important to have lineups that leverage what everyone else is thinking, and the players listed above will all be the top options in the captain spot. The Giants have been susceptible to giving up fantasy points on the ground. While I don’t think the Eagles are going to pound Sanders or have the game plan revolve around him, it’s possible he lucks into some touchdown variance at the goal line or breaks a long run or two.
Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, and Richie James have combined for nearly 70% of Daniel Jones’ targets over the last month. Outside of Saquon and a few random passes to Daniel Bellinger, these three are the only receivers on the field seeing any targets. It makes it a bit easier to trust that they’ll see the usage to be captain. Each have their own strengths. Hodgins has turned into more of a WR1 type receiver that plays on the outside and gets targeted in the end zone. Slayton is the deep shot artist, and James is the slot receiver. The Eagles are strong on the outside, so I like Richie James' prospects of approaching ten targets in this game, but all deserve consideration when you’re rotating through cheap captains and trying to get a balanced lineup all the way through,
Dallas Goedert is basically the only other pass-catcher outside of Brown and Smith and sees any targets for the Eagles. He’s a really solid flex play and even a borderline captain play, but I do think there are just better options in and around his price range, as the volume probably won’t be there.
Daniel Bellinger has fallen off a bit over the last few weeks, but the fact that I like Richie James on the inside makes me like Bellinger a bit too. The Eagles are strong at corner and that could force Jones into running and throwing inside. Stacks with Jones, Barkley, James, and Bellinger make sense.
Both teams keep a pretty tight rotation of players across the board and we don’t normally see the Giants or the Eagles have many random breakout players in a game. Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell will spell Miles Sanders in certain situations, but their success is often random. If you’re creating a ton of lineups, you can sneak them in in hopes they are in the game at the goal line, which has happened from time to time especially with Scott. Gainwell has had some success in the passing game down the stretch. Quez Watkins may get a deep shot during this game but his usage has really fallen off. In the absolute lottery ticket contests with 100,000 entries you can rotate him through your player pool a little bit. For the Giants, there really isn’t a pass-catcher or running back outside of maybe Matt Breida that will spell Barkley and get a few touches. If you’re looking to add cheap pieces I think it’s smart to include the kickers and defenses.
Captain: Jalen Hurts
Flex: DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, Darius Slayton
Captain: Daniel Jones
Flex: Richie James, Saquon Barkley, AJ Brown
Captain: Saquon Barkley
Flex: Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, Daniel Bellinger
Captain: AJ Brown or DeVonta Smith
Flex: Jalen Hurts, Daniel Jones, Isaiah Hodgins
Captain: Miles Sanders
Flex: Eagles DST, DeVonta Smith, Daniel Jones
Captain: Richie James
Flex: Daniel Jones, Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown