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 concentrates 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 1.5x spot is going to be tricky in this game with both teams have a slew of skill players that could fit the bill. Carson Wentz has turned in two ceiling games in a row, relying on rushing production in one game and a 350-yard passing effort in another. I have no doubt that he’ll be able to rack up fantasy points in this game and think on FanDuel he’s overwhelmingly the best bet to end up as the optimal captain. On DraftKings, the salary may be a bit prohibitive. I do worry that an Eagles lopsided win would result in the Eagles trying to preserve Wentz a bit as he’s been pressured and hit often to start the season. Boston Scott will get the nod again as the Eagles’ starting running back. He’ll be faced with the league's worst run defense in terms of yards allowed. The Cowboys cede 178 yards per game on the ground. Scott saw 17 opportunities last week, five being targets, so he’s definitely in play at the 1.5x spot. During a time when the Eagles pass-catching group desperately needs reinforcements, Dallas Goedert will suit up in this game. If you are mass multi-entering, Goedert, and newly minted WR1 Travis Fulgham can all be cycled through at captain, but Wentz makes more sense to me with his rushing upside and propensity to spread the ball around when he has a full complement of weapons.
The Eagles DST is an intriguing pick for captain as well. Rarely do I recommend a DST as the captain spot (this applies only for DraftKings), but there are always a couple slates per year when the DST sneaks into the optimal captain spot. Ben DiNucci gets the start behind a battered offensive line. We saw last week exactly how this Cowboys’ offense is going to fare going forward and it’s not promising. If the Eagles can get a bunch of sacks and turn that pressure into a score, that could be enough to get the job done.
The Cowboys side of the ball is in trouble. I have a hard time envisioning a lineup in which the Cowboys get more than two players into the optimal lineup. In fact, I may make a rule when running lineups to max out each lineup with two Cowboys. When thinking about how the Cowboys may attack this game, you’d expect them to attempt to establish Ezekiel Elliott and throw the ball quick and short. Despite not giving up a ton of fantasy points to running backs, the Eagles have given up a lot of yards (130 per game). Elliott works in lineups that you add multiple cheap Eagles’ pass-catchers.
If you’re projecting a game script in which the Cowboys have offensive success, by all means slot other players into the captain spot, but as I built lineups, it just made more sense to me to slot them into the flex spots. Amari Cooper in the limited action with Ben DiNucci last week looked like his favorite target. In a lopsided Eagles’ win, there will probably be one pass-catcher from the Cowboys who racks up the most receptions in the optimal lineup. CeeDee Lamb could benefit from the game plan to get the ball out of DiNucci’s hands and into the hands of their playmakers quickly. I could see Lamb getting multiple slants and smoke screens on three-step drops to alleviate the Eagles’ defensive line pressure. He’s got the ability to take one to the house on any play. I’m a bit lower on Michael Gallup because he’s more of a higher aDOT deep target receiver that I don’t think DiNucci will have the time or ability to complete often in this game. Dalton Schultz could be a security blanket for DiNucci as well. This issue with projecting DiNucci’s tendencies or the offensive play-calling in this game is that we have no previous samples. We can only do just that, project. I’ll probably create a core of Eagles’ heavy lineups and rotate the Cowboys pass-catchers through fairly evenly.
If you’re creating lineups that project a blowout Eagles’ win, it may behoove you to add a second-string player like Tony Pollard, Noah Brown, or Cedrick Wilson. McCarthy may rotate in his backups a bit more in a blowout like he did last week on the last few series of the game against the Redskins.
Greg Ward and Jalen Reagor could be key contributors for the Eagles’ passing attack, especially in Wentz 1.5x lineups. We don’t necessarily know how much Raegor will be used in his first game back, and because of this it may be a sharper move to pivot to Greg Ward. I think the masses will lean to the flashier Reagor, but Ward has proven to be a steady short-to-intermediate target for Wentz. If Reagor is active, but they ease him back, a player like John Hightower at bare minimum price could sneak into the optimal with one of his patented long catches. Richard Rodgers is priced up like Dallas Goedert is still out so he’ll be very low-owned, though I’m not sure he sees a target share equivalent to his hefty price. Corey Clement can be thrown in as a flier especially in blowout scenarios
Obviously, I think the Eagles DST is in play if we are considering them at captain, I am trending in the opposite direction for the Cowboys defense. In Eagles’ lopsided game scripts, there isn’t much room for a second DST, so I’ll be underweight on the Cowboys DST. I like Jake Elliott a good bit as the Cowboys actually give up lots of kicker fantasy points, probably because they give up lots of points in general.
Captain/MVP: Carson Wentz
Flex: Dallas Goedert, Eagles DST, Ezekiel Elliott
Captain/MVP: Boston Scott
Flex: Carson Wentz, Eagles DST, Amari Cooper
Captain/MVP: Eagles DST
Flex: Carson Wentz, Boston Scott, CeeDee Lamb
Captain/MVP: Travis Fulgham
Flex: Carson Wentz, Jake Elliott, Tony Pollard