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.
Lamar Jackson remains the focal point of both the Ravens’ passing and rushing attack on offense. I write this every time the Ravens grace a prime time slot, Jackson is a lockable captain in showdown. With his ability to run the football, Jackson’s ceiling is massive. Couple that with the fact that the Ravens running backs have been decimated down to old veterans off the street and it makes the case for captain Lamar even stronger. Jackson ran for 120 yards last week and over the course of the season has tacked on 9 fantasy points per game with just rushing production. The Ravens have been throwing more than expected as well.
Lamar’s salary is extremely prohibitive which may bring a different captain into play. Marquise Brown has accounted for 26% of the Ravens’ targets and 36% of their air yards. He gets the deep shots that can produce massive ceiling games. In fact, his first ever game in the NFL, he dismantled the Dolphins on deep targets. His current depth of target is an average of 14.5 yards. Mark Andrews is second on the team in target share at 23%. We know Andrews can have a captain-esque ceiling game because we witnessed it in Week 5 against the Colts. The Dolphins have been allowing fantasy points to both wide receivers and tight ends generously, but you could make the case that Andrews has the bigger advantage.
Mike Gesicki is the viable captains from the Dolphins side of the ball. Davante Parker is on IR and Waddle and Gesicki have been the go to options. I actually prefer Gesicki as he has touchdown upside and the Ravens have been bad against the tight end position.
Jaylen Waddle sees a plethora of low aDot targets. He is a really safe bet to land in the optimal lineup because of how high his floor is week to week. However, the fact that he’s not much of a red zone target or deep threat caps his upside. I like him as a flex play more than a captain.
Mack Hollins and Preston Williams are the tertiary pieces that should be in lineups for this game. Preston Williams looks like he’s going to play in this game after being out, and he’s only $200 on DraftKings. He’s going to be in a lot of lineups with Lamar Jackson as captain because he’s a huge salary saver. Hollins is a great leverage play. Williams will be the go to because of the relief he offers, but Hollins could remain as the third option and despite the significant price difference can land in the optimal if Williams doesn’t get as much run as expected.
Adam Shaheen and Durham Smythe are direct leverage plays as they’re in the same price neighborhood. However they are extremely thin plays as they need a touchdown to hit the optimal lineup
Tua Tagovailoa and Jacoby Brissett aren’t much different in my opinion when talking about a one game slate. Whoever gets the start, they are in play in correlated lineups. Lineups that have a projected game script of the Dolphins scoring points should include Tua or Brissett. Gesicki captain lineup should also strongly consider Tua or Brissett at captain. With Lamar being a much better play, you will probably end up under rostered on them relative to the field.
Myles Gaskin is a player that I’m going to be low on. Gaskin gets a lot of steam, but has only had one game with more than 17 fantasy points. The Ravens are much more gettable through the air, so I’ll be creating lineups with pass-catchers in lieu of Gaskin. There is some merit to slotting him in when you aren’t rostering Lamar in the captain slot as that could be projecting more of a Dolphins’ controlled game. Though unlikely, it’s definitely a unique way to attack the slate
Salvon Ahmed and Patrick Laird can be sprinkled through multi-entry lineups as they are pass-catching backs that could be on the field in blowout scenarios. In Ravens heavy lineups projecting a Ravens’ big win, Ahmed and Laird could pick up a few receptions and potentially a luckbox touchdown
Devonta Freeman and LeVeon Bell are tough for me to get into lineups because of how much Lamar I am going to have. They could potentially score a receiving touchdown like Freeman did last week, but I think that’s a bit unlikely. In lineups that excludes Lamar or has him in the flex, Freeman and Bell make sense as they could be the reason he doesn’t hit a ceiling game by scoring rushing touchdowns.
Rashod Bateman has been solid in the absence of Sammy Watkins but it looks like he’ll return this week muddying the water. If it means that Bateman goes under rostered because they are afraid of Watkins, I like remaining firm on Bateman in hopes he’s earned the ability to stay in his current usage and role. Sammy Watkins and Devin Duvernay can be sprinkled through MME lineups, but I’m not too thrilled about playing them.
Captain/MVP: Lamar Jackson
Flex: Marquise Brown, Mike Gesicki, Preston Williams
Captain/MVP: Lamar Jackson
Flex: Mark Andrews, Jaylen Waddle, Mack Hollins
Captain/MVP: Lamar Jackson
Flex: Rashod Bateman, Devonta Freeman, Mike Gesicki
Captain/MVP: Marquise Brown
Flex: Lamar Jackson, Jaylen Waddle, Preston Williams
Captain/MVP: Mark Andrews
Flex: Lamar Jackson, Salvon Ahmed, Ravens DST
Captain/MVP: Mike Gesicki
Flex: Dolphins QB, Lamar Jackson, Rashod Bateman