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.
Allen Robinson profiles as an elite captain play. He is an alpha WR1 that will command a massive target share. The one factor that could hinder his performance is Andy Dalton. But honestly, Andy Dalton will be one of the better quarterbacks Robinson has had in his NFL career. I could see Robinson racking up 12+ targets in a game the Bears play from behind. The game script doesn’t bode well for David Montgomery, but it could be a very contrarian build to roster Montomery in the captain and construct some lineups around a Bears win. Montgomery figures to continue being involved in the passing game like he was last season. I like constructing lineups with Montgomery, the Bears DST, and Rams pass catchers if you project a Bears win.
Darnell Mooney is the cheap flier that may end up as the optimal captain. Due to the fact that there are a fewer high priced studs that can all get there this week, having Mooney in the captain could be the only way to clear salary to get all the studs in your flex. He has home run hitting potential that is required of the 1.5x player.
Darrell Henderson had all the buzz until Sony Michel signed with the Rams late in the preseason and crushed that excitement. That could provide some leverage for us with Henderson at the captain spot. We can use the ambiguity of this backfield to our advantage. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we don’t know how much Henderson and Michel will be rotated. Sure the threat of Michel being a touch vulture is there, but it may just an irrational assumption we can take advantage of.
Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are 1A and 1B in this offense that has an upgrade at quarterback. The word out of training camp was that Woods and Stafford built the strongest connection, and I think Woods makes sense on DraftKings as he has more PPR value, while Kupp has more value on FanDuel with his touchdown upside. Oddly enough, these two have strong correlation with each other, so don’t worry about playing them both in the same lineup, even if one is the captain.
Both quarterbacks are in play as a flex for me, but not in the captain on DraftKings. Matthew Stafford has no rushing potential, which means he’d have to have a massive game through the air while spreading the ball around to multiple targets. Being that the Rams passing attack is projecting to be very concentrated, it will be difficult for Stafford to hit the optimal captain spot. The same goes for Andy Dalton his salary isn’t prohibitive and he can definitely land in the flex, but being that Allen Robinson projects for such a large target share. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Justin Fields gets in this game either due to poor performance or injury to Andy Dalton. I don’t mind playing Fields in a lineup or two in case he is called upon in this game.
Of the 2nd unit running backs, I think Damien Williams has more potential than Sony Michel. I’m just not sold that the Rams are going to use Michel in a significant way. While I am sold that Williams has some value as a pass-catcher in the Tarik Cohen role. I think Williams makes sense if you are projecting the Rams to be leading because it’d require him to be on the field in passing situations.
Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham can be fliers as last man into lineups. This season could be the passing of the torch for Graham as Kmet’s snaps and usage skyrocketed during the final games of last season. Rostering Kmet or Graham when Dalton is in your flex makes sense as they’ll rely on touchdowns for a good chunk of their scoring
Tyler Higbee is that same player for the Rams, though he has more standalone value. Higbee is capable of a volume reception game
There are tertiary pass-catchers that can be rotated through in the final flex spot. The best values include DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson, and Marquise Goodwin.
Captain/MVP: Allen Robinson
Flex: Matthew Stafford, Robert Woods, Rams DST
Captain/MVP: Cooper Kupp
Flex: Matthew Stafford, Cole Kmet, Andy Dalton
Captain/MVP: Darnell Mooney
Flex: Matthew Stafford, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp
Captain/MVP: Robert Woods
Flex: Matthew Stafford, Tyler Higbee, David Montgomery
Captain/MVP: Darrell Henderson
Flex: Rams DST, Allen Robinson, Damien Williams