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.
On the Buccaneers side of the ball, Chris Godwin seems a bit cheap for his involvement when he’s been on the field. He leads the Bucs with a 21% target share and his salary allows a decent lineup to be created around him as the captain. He is coming off a finger injury so just make sure he is active, but he is trending towards playing. He makes a lot of sense on the full-PPR scoring DraftKings. Tom Brady hasn’t locked onto any one receiver specifically this year, which means he can land in the optimal captain spot if he spreads the ball around. He’s topped 30 DraftKings points this year already. If he hits the 300-yard bonus and gets to three touchdowns, he’ll be the optimal captain as long as the touchdowns are spread out to different receivers. So when you are building your Brady captain lineups remember, it’s most likely going to be a multiple receiver flex lineup. The rest of the Buccaneers offense have a solid shot of being the optimal captain, however Brady and Godwin will lead the way.
The Saints’ side of the ball can be narrowed down pretty easily as well. Alvin Kamara had a ton of trouble with the Buccaneers run defense in the first meeting. The Bucs run defense as a whole has been solid for two seasons now. They’ve become more of a pass funnel, so I would expect the Saints to come out throwing against the Bucs, who’ve allowed only 70 yards per game on the ground. As we know, Kamara gets a ton of targets each game. That could be hampered a bit with the probable return of Michael Thomas. Kamara has had a few floor games in a row, racking up 20+ fantasy points without scoring a touchdown. There will be a regression game at some point and Kamara’s usage hasn’t dipped, so I expect it to come soon. Thomas is probably too expensive to heavily roster him in the captain spot. He’s been banged up for what seems like an eternity at this point. I’m not sure he’ll return to the lineup and immediately see his massive 12 target role right off the bat. Emmanuel Sanders is cheap enough that he can sneak into the optimal captain spot if there are no punts that exceed value, making the optimal lineup construction a mid-tier captain and a more balanced approach.
Drew Brees hasn’t been the same quarterback we’re used to seeing sling the ball all over the field. He’s only surpassed 300 yards twice this season and only has one three-touchdown game. The Saints have been a bit more methodical and with his price, I’m guessing his captain ownership will be much greater than the odds of him ending up as the optimal captain. As a general rule, quarterbacks are usually over-rostered as captains and as a result under-rostered as flex play.
Latavius Murray has at least 11 touches in every game since Week 3. He’s currently priced in a way that a touchdown would be a smash game for him. He gets enough snaps and opportunities to be a solid flex play. To get unique, you can roster Kamara and Murray together, but I don’t think he’ll be too popular in general. The one lineup caveat I’ll make with Murray is that I wouldn’t roster him and Taysom Hill in the same lineup as they eat into each other’s goal-line opportunities. Hill is another player that can be a flex at a very cheap price, but I prefer Murray.
Some of the players we’ve rostered with confidence in the last few weeks will probably take a backseat to Thomas and Sanders as they return, but the fact that we don’t know exactly how much those two will be used, could provide us some leverage. It’s possible guys like Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway, and of course, TreQuan Smith get solid run in a split role type game amongst all the Saints pass-catchers. I like rotating these ancillaries pieces through your lineups as they all sit between a 9% and 15% target share. Jared Cook is priced a bit higher than the aforementioned tertiary pieces, but he’s my favorite by a good bit. He has a pretty safe floor, and did well against the Buccaneers in their first meeting. He has two games this year with seven targets, one being the first meeting between these two teams.
Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette are two backs that I don’t think can be played together like the Kamara and Murray. Fournette correlates better with the passing game and Jones correlates better with the Buccaneers’ defense. I would roster Jones in game flow scenarios in which it’s more of a Buccaneers lopsided win where Fournette would be more of a correlation play with Brady in a shootout. Fournette has 13 targets in the last two games, so it’s evident Brady looks for him in check down situations. I’d rather Fournette than Jones, especially on DraftKings, but both are in play.
Scotty Miller will be my most rostered player. Though he hasn’t always flashed it, he probably has the highest point-per-dollar ceiling on the slate which makes him a viable captain. Though he may not be involved as much with all the Bucs’ receivers healthy, in a shootout I could see Miller racking up near double-digit targets. Though he’s thought of as a short-to-intermediate receiver, he has the highest share of air yards on the team (24%). Mike Evans projected ownership will be a source of leverage for me as I’m going to be underweight. He’s priced like the Mike Evans of yesteryear. He just hasn’t had the usage and opportunities this season. While his touchdown equity is solid, he needs to do a heck of a lot more than that to wind up in the optimal lineup. In 6 of 8 games this season, he hasn’t surpassed 55 yards. In those other two contests, he hit the 100-yard bonus, however with it looking like all the Buccaneers pass-catchers will be healthy, I think he’ll underperform his salary-based expectations. The tertiary receivers on the Buccaneers outside of Rob Gronkowski don’t interest me with Godwin back. Gronk has the ability to score multiple touchdowns and he’s partially the reason I’m not interested in Mike Evans a ton. Gronk has surpassed Evans as Brady’s preferred end zone target.
Captain/MVP: Tom Brady
Flex: Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, Emmanuel Sanders
Captain/MVP: Alvin Kamara
Flex: Drew Brees, Chris Godwin, Jared Cook
Captain/MVP: Chris Godwin
Flex: Tom Brady, Scotty Miller, Alvin Kamara
Captain/MVP: Michael Thomas
Flex: Drew Brees, Tre’Quan Smith, Scotty Miller