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.
Cooper Kupp doesn’t need any introduction. He’s a double digit reception, hundred-plus yard, and a touchdown machine. If you are creating multiple showdown lineups for this game, he should definitely be a large part of your captain pool. His price is a bit prohibitive and I’m not sure how often he’ll land in the flex at his salary. It may be a captain or bust approach for me.
George Kittle will probably need a decent game for the 49ers to have a chance. He has been stifled for the most part against this Rams team this year, but has scored a touchdown. Despite that, we know he has the run after catch ability to have a huge game unlike most catch and fall down tight ends. He’s already produced two 37+ fantasy point games this season.
Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel are in direct competition for running back fantasy points. I would play them separate of each other because both of their ceilings require rushing touchdowns and I’m not sure there is a ton of those to go around. I actually think I may be underweight on Deebo as he isn’t as massive a part of the passing game as you’d expect.
Cam Akers has racked up almost 50 opportunities in two full playoff games for the Rams, which makes him a solid contrarian captain pick. I don’t know maybe he won’t even be contrarian, either way he will have all the opportunity he can handle against a 49ers run defense that has allowed 100 yards per game to opponents.
Odell Beckham Jr. has been targeted at a massive rate down the stretch and is my favorite mid-tier captain pick. Since Week 12, he has scored in all but two games. He hasn’t had massive volume, meaning his most likely outcome even if he scored a touchdown is something like 5-60-1. However in this game, one big catch or a second touchdown could be enough to slot him into the optimal captain spot, especially if you need the salary for an extra stud that Kupp won’t allow.
The quarterbacks should be rostered based on the captain you’ve chosen for each lineup in this game. I can’t see Matt Stafford or Jimmy Garoppolo landing in the optimal captain spot given the game flow and lack of mobility. I’ll be pairing one with my captain and probably leaving it at that.
Brandon Aiyuk will most likely be my top flex player in terms of percent rostered. He has become the top pass-catching option in terms of actually being a receiver, though Deebo is the top “weapon”, he is getting there with a lot of rushing volume. Aiyuk didn’t catch a pass last week and I think that may turn some people away, but this game flow will be different and I think he’ll have many more opportunities
Jauan Jennings could catch some ownership as he’s cheap and has some seven target games in his recent game logs. If you need the salary, he’s absolutely a great option. I like rotating two 49ers pass-catchers with one of them being Deebo/Kittle and Aiyuk/Jennings.
Kyle Juszcyk is always the classic salary saver that can catch a few passes in the flat including maybe a touchdown. We’ve seen the 49ers give him the ball at the goal line as well. I wouldn’t go overboard on rostering Juice, but he can be added as last man in of a stud heavy lineup in a few spots of a larger player pool.
Tyler Higbee is my favorite flex play from the Rams. He has taken over for Van Jefferson as the third option. He has massive touchdown upside since the top options on the Rams aren’t necessarily 50/50 ball types. Jefferson can be used sparingly as well, but he has really fallen off aside from a deep shot or two.
Sony Michel has been phased out of the game plan aside from spelling Akers here and there, but there is always the scenario that Akers needs a spell inside the 20 and Michel ends up catching a screen pass or breaking a run for a score. I wouldn’t use him more than 5 or 10 percent, but there is definitely a path to him getting there.
As always, you can rotate kickers and DSTs through when they correlate with the lineups you’re building.
Captain: Cooper Kupp
Flex: Matthew Stafford, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle
Captain: Odell Beckham Jr.
Flex: Matt Stafford, Tyler Higbee, Deebo Samuel
Captain: Deebo Samuel
Flex:Jimmy Garoppolo, Tyler Higbee, Odell Beckham
Captain: Elijah Mitchell
Flex: Matt Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee
Captain: Cam Akers
Flex: Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, Jauan Jennings