General Rules 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 spreads 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.
They aren’t many slates where both quarterbacks land in the captain recommendations, but both Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes have the skillset and mobility to get there. Allen will have a bunch of runs called for him especially near the goal line and Mahomes is mobile enough to rack up points on the ground himself also. For Allen, you can stack him with multiple pass catchers or you can stack him with just one pass catcher if you think he is going to accrue a bunch of points with his legs. Mahomes, though he can end up with 20 yards on the ground isn’t called upon to run enough to single stack him. If he’s the captain he’ll probably bring at least two pass-catchers along with him
Travis Kelce and Dawson Knox are both integral parts of their team’s offense and can also be captained. In a high scoring game, you’d project that there would be an above average amount of touchdowns scored and these two are their quarterbacks favorite end zone option. We saw this manifest last week with Knox catching multiple touchdowns against the Patriots. I wouldn’t have a massive portion of my captain allotment in these two, but they are definitely worthy
Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs are the top wide receiver options on their respective receiving units. Both has double digit target upside, but have struggled to hit their ceilings as of late. I think they’ll each be under-represented in the captain spot relative to their chance of landing there. I prefer Tyreek because I think Allen will run the ball a bit more as well as spread the ball around to ancillary pieces a bit more too.
If you’re trying to be contrarian, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Devin Singletary could be sprinkled in as well. Any time the game is a projected shootout, the running backs have a chance to land in the optimal captain spot. Singletary has grown on me over the last few days, as I was initially planning on being light, but I think I’ll be using him in the captain a bit and the flex. Edwards-Helaire is a bit harder to swallow as he’s been super ineffective and the Chiefs’ backfield has been in flux.
Darrell Williams and Jerick McKinnon are in a tough situation to handicap. Williams looks like he may be active, yet we don’t know how healthy he is and if McKinnon will assume his role like last week and get some work in the passing game. When situations like this present itself, I don’t think it’s a good idea to plant a flag, but rather spread your percentages to each player somewhat evenly. I’d rather plant a flag in a decision that will be decided by the players (for example Gabe Davis over Cole Beasley because of the game flow or matchup) rather than a coaching decision we have no knowledge of.
Byron Pringle and Mecole Hardman has been won by Pringle as of late and it’s clear that Pringle is running ahead of Hardman and is a bit more trusted by Mahomes at this point. Outside of Week 18, Hardman hasn’t topped five targets in a while, whereas Pringle is routinely hitting seven targets. Demarcus Robinson has the highest aDOT of the pass-catchers that will be in action against the Bills so he makes for a decent dart throw when you have Mahomes captain lineups.
Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie are my favorite pieces from the Bills tertiary options. Davis has supreme touchdown potential and also will play on the outside unbothered by the rotation for most of the game. McKenzie is getting involved a bit more in the slot and as a gadget player with jet sweeps and other behind the line of scrimmage usage.
Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley will be used sparingly in my player pool. McKenzie is usurping Beasley a bit in the rotation. I just have more faith in Davis than I do in Manny. Of course, the more lineups you are creating the more you should branch out in terms of your player portfolio.
There aren’t a ton of low-rostered darts, especially in the playoffs and on these two specific teams. I also think the defensives are at a disadvantage in their respective matchups. You could make a case for kickers to be included a bit more because of the high scoring nature.
Captain: Josh Allen
Flex: Stefon Diggs, Devin Singletary, Byron Pringle
Captain: Josh Allen
Flex: Dawson Knox, Travis Kelce, Tyler Bass
Captain: Patrick Mahomes
Flex: Travis Kelce, Byron Pringle, Gabe Davis
Captain: Travis Kelce
Flex: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Isaiah McKenzie
Captain: Stefon Diggs
Flex: Josh Allen, Tyreek Hill, Isaiah McKenzie
Captain: Tyreek Hill
Flex: Patrick Mahomes, Jerick McKinnon, Dawson Knox