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.
Until he popped up on the injury report, I was very interested in an Antonio Brown captain. As long as he suits up and there are no negative reports, I’ll probably still be interested. The entire offseason we’ve hear that Brady has peppered him in camp with targets. His middling salary allows for you to jam in more quality players on DraftKings as well. Tom Brady can definitely land as the optimal captain given the fact he spreads the ball around to elite receivers. Remember, if Brady hits as the optimal captain on DraftKings, it’s because he got everyone involved or had some goalline variance sneaking in touchdowns. Keep that in mind when creating Brady captain lineups.
I think the proper stance on Mike Evans is captain or bust. When you think about Evans’ output, it’s often a massive game or a lackluster game. Given his price, I don’t think we can afford to slot Evans into the flex and have him go 4-90. We need a 10-180-2 game like he had against the Lions last year, and in that case he’ll almost always be the optimal captain.
You can get a ton of leverage on the field by opting to roster Ronald Jones at captain. He’s inexpensive and directly eats into the workload of the Buccaneers’ passing game. The Cowboys are can definitely give up yards on the ground. It would just take some touchdown variance. Perhaps a few end zone pass interference calls that set Jones up for one-yard plunges.
Dak Prescott is the type of quarterback that can land in the optimal captain spot more often than the average quarterback because of his ability to scramble when the pocket collapses. He can also pull the ball at the goal line. If he does hit the optimal captain spot, he’ll likely bring along one receiver and potentially a cheaper option like a tight end or 4th receiver catches a touchdown as well. Believe it or not, the only other option that I like at captain for the Cowboys is Amari Cooper. He seems to be healthy for the first time in a long time and he has that Mike Evans-esque monster game type potential. You can argue CeeDee Lamb does too, but I think he’ll be over-rostered in the captain spot relative to his likelihood of landing there. Of note, Cooper and Dak are very correlated, so I would make sure to include both when one is your captain.
Giovani Bernard will probably be the highest rostered value player on DraftKings. He played every 3rd down snap with the first team in the preseason. I like rostering Bernard in shootout game scripts. Meaning if you have Brady as captain because you are projecting he is going to sling the rock all over the field, that’s a good spot for Bernard.
The pass-catching options not mentioned as captain picks are all viable in the flex as either a secondary receiving option to a skill player captain, or as one of the multiple pass-catchers you slot in with a quarterback captain lineup. Chris Godwin, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup can all be cycled through. Oddly enough, Gallup and Dak are actually negatively correlated, meaning his most productive games have come when Dak didn’t necessarily perform well. That could be an anomaly, but it’s something to think about.
Rotating tight ends through your quarterback captain lineups makes sense as tight ends rely heavily on touchdowns for fantasy production. I think many will assume that Blake Jarwin will be the tight end to own for the Cowboys, but I think Dalton Schultz has an equal, if not better, of meeting salary-based expectations in this game. Rob Gronkowski will probably carry a higher percent rostered than warranted just based on name value. He’s also a tad overpriced as well. I like being underweight on him on this slate. I don’t mind taking a flier on Cameron Brate or OJ Howard in a lineup or two if you are mass-entering.
One stand that I am going to take to try to be different in this game is to be underweight on Ezekiel Elliott. There is a good chance Zack Martin won’t play due to Covid-19, which would be a huge blow to the running game. The Buccaneers have a stout run defense as well. I’ll most likely pivot to the cheaper Tony Pollard hoping for some touchdown variance.
Captain/MVP: Mike Evans
Flex: Tom Brady, CeeDee Lamb, Giovani Bernard
Captain/MVP: Tom Brady
Flex: Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Michael Gallup
Captain/MVP: Antonio Brown
Flex: Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper
Captain/MVP: Ronald Jones
Flex: Buccaneers DST, CeeDee Lamb, Tony Pollard
Captain/MVP: Amari Cooper
Flex: Dak Prescott, Tom Brady, Antonio Brown
Captain MVP: Dak Prescott
Flex: Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz, Chris Godwin