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.
Josh Allen is always a favorite on showdown slates because of his ability to run the football, the Bills propensity to throw the ball a ton, and Allen’s knack for spreading the ball around. The Bills have enough affordable pass-catchers that you can slot him in and roster a few of his receivers and tight ends along with him. I think you can also roster a single pass-catcher in hopes he runs one or two in.
Stefon Diggs has looked better as the season has progressed. He’s the only Bills receiver that I trust to have a ceiling game. Diggs operates in this Bills offense as the alpha, commanding 37% of the air yards and 24% of the targets over the last month.
Kendrick Bourne isn’t the leading target getter, but he’s been the best wide receiver on the Patriots this season. He has two games of 24+ fantasy points in his last three and has a knack for the end zone. I would avoid Patriots running backs if Bourne is your captain because he’ll need touchdowns to get there which he’ll likely vulture from the backs.
Hunter Henry is my favorite unique cheap captain because he has multi-touchdown upside. If he’s your captain, Mac Jones in the flex is a must seeing as he’d be on the throwing end of those scores.
Mac Jones has been great, but I think the Bills’ defense in Buffalo is going to be a lot for him to handle. I’m creating lineups as if this will be a slugfest, which means Jones is going to have trouble hitting a ceiling lineup without rushing ability.
Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are the two main backs which I will like a lot more if Brandon Bolden is out and doesn’t see much of the passing down work. I don’t have a personal preference here so I would say fit them into lineups based on salary
Jakobi Meyers leads the team in air yards and targets, but hasn’t really produced as a receiver with that type of volume. I think it may be prudent to be overweight on his wide receiver teammates because he’s going to catch a lot of eyes during lineup building, but I don’t know if he has the ability to hit an optimal lineup. Potentially, if there is very little points scored in this game he could work out. I would pair him with kickers and DSTs
Nelson Agholor and Jonnu Smith don’t see the requisite volume for them to be standout plays, but can get into the end zone, especially Agholor. They make good pairings with Mac Jones as they’ll hit the optimal lineup if they hook up for touchdowns.
Cole Beasley is in line for some touchdown luck as his expected touchdown rate is a bit higher than his actual touchdown rate over the last month. He’s also the type of player that lands in optimals in a low-scoring contest because he sees a healthy 17% of targets but a low aDOT of 5.4 yards. He doesn’t necessarily need to be paired with Allen because his value doesn’t come from touchdowns.
Emmanuel Sanders on the other hand has an air yards share of 28% which means he’s get the deep targets in this offense. I would link he and Allen up pretty tightly as if Sanders gets there it’s probably on a deep touchdown or maybe even two. Gabe Davis is the Sanders-lite. He gets a discount in price and sees generally the same type of targets. I wouldn’t roster them together in too many lineups as they’ll both need touchdowns to get there. Dawson Knox is the end zone monster that could snipe these two from glory. If you’re projecting a Bills rout or a shootout you can add two of these guys to a lineup, however their reliance on touchdowns to hit optimal lineups makes it difficult unless the Bills
Devin Singletary, Matt Breida, and Zack Moss all being part of this offense makes it a bit maddening, similar to the Patriots backs all getting a little piece of the pie. If any of the three are inactive, namely Moss, it opens the door for more of a concentrated workload. Breida would be my favorite because of his home run potential.
Captain: Josh Allen
Flex: Stefon Diggs, Matt Breida, Kendrick Bourne
Captain: Josh Allen
Flex: Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, Nelson Agholor
Captain: Stefon Diggs
Flex: Josh Allen, Damien Harris, Hunter Henry
Captain: Kendrick Bourne
Flex: Mac Jones, Stefon Diggs, Tyler Bass
Captain: Hunter Henry
Flex: Mac Jones, Josh Allen, Gabe Davis