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.
Raheem Mostert returned to the lineup last week and looked solid in a blowout loss. The Rams have allowed four fantasy points above their opponent’s average according to this chart from Mike Beers on Twitter. With the way Jimmy Garappolo played last week, I wouldn’t doubt if the 49ers try to get their running backs more touches this week, especially on the edge and in the short passing game to avoid Aaron Donald blowing things up inside. George Kittle is always an option with his ceiling being something in the neighborhood of what we saw two weeks ago in a monster 15 target performance. There really isn’t another player on the 49ers I feel confident will get enough of a workload to pay off their 1.5x salary. You can take one or two lineup fliers with Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, or Brandon Aiyuk in the hopes the optimal lineup requires more of a mid-level value because none of the cheap pieces hit. However, the 49ers spread the ball out pretty evenly aside from the games Kittle goes bonkers. The Rams are one of the best teams in the league to this point in the season at holding opposing wide receivers below their season averages. The vast majority of captain ownership should be on the two players with the highest ceilings on the 49ers, Mostert and Kittle.
The Rams also get a lot of pass-catchers involved, but Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp eat up around 45% of their target. They are both viable captains with that target share. They both have relatively average depth of target numbers and rely on yards after catch and touchdowns to pay off their salary in daily fantasy. While there have been games that both meet salary-based expectations, more often than not they negatively correlate. I would limit most of my lineups to one or the other, especially since the two of them plus Goff is a fairly prohibitive starting point in terms of salary remaining. Jared Goff’s can potentially be the optimal captain in this game if he spreads the ball around, so if you slot him into the 1.5x slot I would make it a 4-2 or even 5-1 Rams lineup with multiple pass-catchers. Aside from these three, there really isn’t a player on the Rams that gets enough volume for me to consider at captain.
Darrell Henderson is probably looked upon as the Rams’ lead back and rightfully so, but Malcom Brown has creeped close in usage. They played relatively even snaps last week and Cam Akers even approached double digit carries with some help from a blowout win. Henderson has doubled up Brown in red zone touches (10-5) the last two weeks, but the difference is their price. Brown is only $2400 on DraftKings and I like he makes a solid last man in with the amount of usage we can project. There is no doubt Henderson is currently the RB1 and will get the most carries and targets, but his price reflects that. Because of their price points, I think we play Henderson with the lineup idea of him providing leverage against the Rams’ passing game. Brown can be played in Rams’ passing stacks as he is so cheap and jacks up the average salary of your other five spots.
Josh Reynolds has a solid floor of a handful of catchers, but also has the potential for a chunk play touchdown as he has the highest average depth of target on the team at just over 11 yards, which is nearly double Woods and Kupp. At his price, he’s a smart value play with the floor and upside combination he provides. In a strange twist of events, the Rams’ tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett have been relatively quiet outside of one three touchdown game from Higbee against the Eagles in Week 2. Combined, Higbee and Everett only see around 18% of the Rams target share. I think this is a spot where we can find leverage in being underweight on Higbess. He’s priced a bit too steeply for his involvement. At his salary, he’ll need to find the end zone and that’s not something I think we can count on in this spot. Everett may see ownership too as he is coming off his best game of the year and costs a bit less than Higbee.
Parsing out which of the 49ers receivers will be the beneficiary of the most targets in this game is a bit of a fool’s errand, especially with how good the Rams have been at limiting wide receivers. Based on the Rams weakness to defend the run and their propensity to give up more production to opposing tight ends rather than receivers, it seems prudent to be underweight on the 49ers receivers in this game. Overall, Deebo Samuel would be my pick, as he looked pretty healthy last week and was targeted eight times. For whatever reason, Kendrick Bourne seems to always find himself open in the end zone, so I don’t mind him especially at his salary. Brandon Aiyuk rounds out the three wide receiver set, but is the only I’m least interested in. That could be because I’m high on Mostert and the 49ers rushing attack and Aiyuk correlates negatively with the running backs because part of his value comes from rushing attempts.
I’d be careful with Jimmy Garappolo in this one, he hasn’t played well at all and I think there is an outside chance we even see him get yanked again. For that reason, this is to be used sparingly, but I think we can actually put CJ Beathard into a lineup or two on the chance Garoppolo comes out cold again.
It was fairly evident that Mostert reclaimed his starting job upon his return as Jerick McKinnon saw just a couple touches as a spell back and Wilson got some mop up duty, Outside of having McKinnon as a flier lineup, I’m trusting Mostert to carry the load and not looking back. Kyle Juscyzk could be slotted into lineups that need a sub $1,000 player as he always has a slim shot at a goal line carry or play action flat pass that results in him 30xing value with a touchdown.
The defenses and kickers in this game are more relevant than most, in my opinion. Any time an offense spreads the ball to multiple pass-catchers and running backs like both teams do in this game, it makes the low ceiling kickers and defenses more relevant.
Lineup Starter Ideas
Captain/MVP: Jared Goff
Flex: Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Raheem Mostert
Captain/MVP: Raheem Mostert
Flex: Jared Goff, Kendrick Bourne, Cooper Kupp
Captain/MVP: Cooper Kupp
Flex: Jared Goff, Malcolm Brown, George Kittle
Captain/MVP: Robert Woods
Flex: George Kittle, Rams DST, Josh Reynolds
Captain/MVP: George Kittle
Flex: Cooper Kupp, Gerald Everett, Deebo Samuel