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 Packers have a great matchup with the Falcons, who rank near the bottom against every position relative to fantasy points allowed. Aaron Jones, especially with Davante Adams is out, will be one to consider. Jones’ snaps are trending up as he played 75% last week. He’s also uber involved in the passing game when Adams is out, so don’t be gun shy on Aaron Rodgers/Aaron Jones correlation. I like using Rodgers as captain too, just make sure you correlate your lineups correctly and add a few pass-catchers. If the Packers passing attack unleashes, but most of it is to one player, like Adams, he would most likely end up as the captain. The Packers’ offense will most likely be concentrated on Adams and Jones if Adams is active, if he isn’t then I think Rodgers spreads the ball around. It seems like a smart idea to use Rodgers more in the captain if Adams is inactive. The only other player I’d take a flier on in captain is Marquez Valdes-Scantling who will operate as the WR2 with Allen Lazard out of the lineup. MVS ranks top 15 in air yards per game, so he is absolutely seeing enough chances to wind up as the optimal captain.
Speaking of air yards, both Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley rank first and second in the league in air yards. It looks as though both will be on the field, and if you look at their correlation with each other it’s basically exactly 0, meaning they have no impact on each others’ production. They’ve had games in which they’ve correlated negatively and positively. If we take a look at the matchups they are likely to face, the smaller Ridley should draw Jaire Alexander with Julio getting the bigger Kevin King. In previous matchups, the Packers have gone with size matchup and not necessarily WR1 versus CB1. Because of this I may lean Julio a bit more at captain especially since he should be less owned as well. Matt Ryan at captain would indicate that either Julio or Ridley had a dud of a game and he hit ancillary targets like Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst, so make sure you’re lineups correlate in that regard. I think you could consider Gage at captain because it allows for an extra stud in your lineup.
I’ll probably be underweight on Todd Gurley relative to the field as it looks like they are trending toward more of a true split with him and Brian Hill. For that reason, I like the idea of getting Hill in lineups for leverage. Hill was more active in the passing game and if you, like me, think that the Packers are going to put some points on this Falcons’ defense, I could see Hill getting more run than we anticipate. If you foresee a game script playing out where the Falcons build and keep a lead, I think those are the lineups where Gurley fits best, but given his salary, declining usage, and the odds that game script occurs, I’m siding with Hill
Falcons’ pass-catchers outside of the big two will be important. Both Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst have been popular targets of Matt Ryan. Of Hursts’ 5.7 targets per game, 1.7 of them have been either deep or end zone targets, so he’s getting some high value looks in each game. I think Gage will be super popular given his cheap salary. If you have Gage in lineups, I’d suggest being unique in one or two other spots to differentiate yourself. Olamide Zaccheus is worth a flier, but don’t get too excited about him or Brandon Powell’s solid outing last week as he won’t get too many snaps this week with Jones, Ridley, and Gage healthy.
I can’t see AJ Dillon being a factor, but I do expect Jamaal Williams to play around 20-25% of snaps. I wouldn’t get too crazy with Williams’ lineups, but he does offer some leverage against what should be massive ownership on Aaron Jones. As we saw with the Saints on Sunday, two running backs can hit in a shootout as well. Using two running backs from the same team should be used sparingly, but it’s viable in maybe one or two lineups if you are making 20-plus.
The ancillary pass-catchers for the Packers will be crucial, especially if Adams doesn’t play. Robert Tonyan came out of his shell along with Jace Sternberger last week. Both are viable plays, but I think Sternberger’s stock rises if Adams is out because the Packers will run more 12 personnel. Darius Shepard is a nice salary saved in Packers’ onslaughts that feature Rodgers at captain, he’s probably not going to have a monster game, but at his bare minimum salary, a 4-40 game could be good enough to be in the optimal lineup.
As always, both kickers and defenses are in play. I like the Packers side in both instances a bit more because I could see Matt Ryan needing to play from behind creating a host of passing attempts, resulting in some sacks and turnovers. Also, Mason Crosby, the veteran, is much safer than the Falcons’ newly called up kicker, but both are in play.
Lineup Starter Ideas
Captain/MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Flex: Julio Jones, MVS, Robert Tonyan
Captain/MVP: Calvin Ridley
Flex: Matt Ryan, Aaron Jones, Russell Gage
Captain/MVP: Julio Jones
Flex: Matt Ryan, Brian Hill, MVS
Captain/MVP: Aaron Jones
Flex: Aaron Rodgers, Packers DST, Calvin Ridley
Vegas Projected Game Script
Captain/MVP: Aaron Jones
Flex: Russell Gage, Matt Ryan, Mason Crosby