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.
Fireworks are on tap for this Sunday Night game between the Cardinals and Seahawks. Vegas currently has this as a 29.5-26 implied score in favor of the Seahawks. With two quarterbacks that run the football, we have a few extra options at the 1.5x spot on DraftKings (they’re always in play on FanDuel). If you are slotting Kyler Murray or Russell Wilson into the 1.5x spot, let’s analyze who they bring along with them, and who they may leave behind. I would separate my Kyler builds into run-heavy and pass-heavy. If Murray gets a lot of points from his legs, it caps the number of other players that he can support. In that case, I would get unique and possibly only roster one other pass-catcher with Murray. In those builds, Kenyan Drake would see less opportunity and upside as well. In pass-heavy builds, Murray can either spread it around to his ancillary pieces. Murray’s highest-scoring games actually correlate best with Andy Isabella and Chase Edmonds. If you are rostering Murray in the captain and DeAndre Hopkins in the flex, you are projecting Hopkins to get a massive workload and Murray to also get some rushing. Otherwise, Hopkins will most likely be the captain if he goes off. If we are looking to get a mid-level captain in order to have a more balanced lineup, Christian Kirk has smash spot capabilities here. With Hopkins’ availability uncertain, it’s reasonable to assume he isn’t 100% even if he plays. Kirk flashed on a big play from Murray last week against the Cowboys, but the offense in general didn’t need to keep their foot on the gas, as the Cowboys barely could muster up any fight. If the game is a shootout as Vegas projects, we can reasonably project more than the three targets Kirk saw last week.
The Seahawks side of the ball is a bit more straight-forward after Wilson. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have combined for 48% of Russell Wilson’s targets and 75% of his air yards. Though we may be drawn to Lockett because he is much cheaper and he appears to draw a better matchup by avoiding Patrick Peterson, I’m drawn to having a higher percentage of Metcalf captain teams at lower ownership. Metcalf sees more deep shots and the Cardinals have actually given up big games to WR1s despite Peterson’s presence. Chris Carson is the ultimate leverage play against the Seahawks passing attack. If you’re firing off multiple lineups, he deserves consideration, especially with his involvement in the passing game.
Maybe I just am biased against Kenyan Drake, but I will be underweight on him this week. He ended getting the nut spot last week with some goal line variance then a game script where it seemed the Cowboys defense basically gave up late. I can’t envision a game script unfolding where they feed Drake in this game. I’d much rather pair Chase Edmonds up with Kyler as they correlate much better. Edmonds is the most targeted player on the Cardinals right after the big three receivers.
The Cardinals’ tertiary pass-catchers can get hair-pulling with Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson, and the tight ends all flashing at some point during the season. Feel free to cycle any of them through as darts, but my favorite is Isabella with his correlation with Kyler. Larry Fitz gets the targets, but he’s reached the “catch and fall down” point of his career and it caps his upside. On the flip side, Isabella has an average depth of target of 16.3 yards, the same as Kirk. I’d expect them both to get their fair share of shots in an up-tempo back and forth game.
Carlos Hyde could be a sneaky punt as he’s not on the injury report. Casuals will see his box score stops at Week 3 and opt to not click on him. In the Weeks before his injury he was seeing about six touches a game. I don’t expect him to come right off the bus and get a workload worthy of him being a big piece of your player pool, but if he’s active, a flier in a few lineups is okay.
David Moore will probably be the popular Seahawks’ skill player not named Lockett, Metcalf, or Carson. He has flashed in the past and has a 95 yard and one touchdown game under his belt this year already. We’ve had luck pivoting to Freddie Swain in previous slates with the Seahawks and I’ll go back to him at his punt price. He’s not going to command more than three targets, but he has the ability to turn a crossing route upfield for a long touchdown. Greg Olsen had 13 targets in Weeks 3 and 4 before disappearing in Week 5, when Will Dissly caught a touchdown. Swain and Dissly are in the same bucket as the Cardinals ancillary pieces, you’re better off rotating them through a lineup of 4 or 5 core players rather than trying to take a stand on any of them given the variant nature of their usage.
I’m not too thrilled about the defenses in this game as I’ll be mostly targeting game scripts with points involved. That said, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for a defense to hit value in a shootout as excessive dropbacks invite sacks and turnovers. If the passing attacks are very concentrated on one or two receivers in each offense and none of the punt tertiary pieces hit, the defenses may sneak into optimal lineups.
Captain/MVP: Kyler Murray
Flex: Chase Edmonds, Christian Kirk, DK Metcalf
Captain/MVP: DK Metcalf
Flex: Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Andy Isabella
Captain/MVP: DeAndre Hopkins
Flex: Kyler Murray, Chase Edmonds, Tyler Lockett
Captain/MVP: Christian Kirk
Flex: Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett
Captain/MVP: Russell Wilson
Flex: DK Metcalf, David Moore, Christian Kirk