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.
**Note** - There is a good bit of news that we are waiting on at the time of this writing. The status of key pieces on both sides of the ball are in doubt. Pay careful attention to who is active and inactive and make adjustments accordingly.
Jerry Jones has been quoted as saying Ezekiel Elliott is in for a serious load on Thursday. Presuming he’s talking about football, it’s an odd statement seeing as reports were suggesting they were set to dial back his touches to let his knee rest up. Tony Pollard shined on Thanksgiving and looks like the better back at the moment. This is difficult to handicap, however I think both players have merit on Thursday night. Pollard makes for an interesting pivot if the “Feed Zeke” narrative takes off. At the same time, if Jerry Jones wants Zeke to eat, they are going to get him the ball. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities both players land in the optimal lineup.
Dak Prescott has a massive ceiling any time he steps on the field given the Cowboys ability to put up points, coupled with the fact that sometimes he calls his own number at the goal line. If Dak is your captain, you’ll want a few pass-catchers in your flex. I think Pollard even works in that spot as well because he is dynamic in the screen game.
CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup could again be running without Amari Cooper in the lineup. Cooper is currently in the facility, but not feeling great and hasn’t been removed from the Covid list yet. Gallup has an expected touchdown rate of .37 in the four games he has played, yet has not scored in 2021. I don’t mind going to Gallup even if Cooper plays. The same thing goes for CeeDee Lamb. In fact it may even be a better idea to load up on Lamb and Gallup if Cooper plays as it may lower their ownership. Even if Cooper is cleared, they may not send him out there for a full workload.
Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Taysom Hill all have value, but their ceilings and their odds of landing as the optimal captain rely on each other’s availability. Currently Mark Ingram is good to go. He’s practicing in full and will be available. Kamara is a limited participant but his status is up in the air. Hill is also practicing, but Payton wants to wait to see how he feels after a week of practice before naming him the starter. Obviously if Ingram is the only player of these two active, he’s a popular and solid captain option, just make sure to get unique in the flex spot. Kamara is going to be a tough play for me in the flex, but I may have some of him at captain. I will definitely be underweight on the field in both spots. If Hill is the starting quarterback he’s an excellent captain, especially at his price and skillset. He torpedoes the value of Kamara and Ingram. I think you can play he and Ingram together, but sparingly.
Dalton Schultz should take a hit in terms of target share with the big three all back on the field. However, it’s possible that Amari Cooper doesn’t play a full complement of snaps given that he’s only logged one limited practice since November 19th. I think each other’s upside is somewhat negatively correlated. I wouldn’t go as far as saying to rule out rostering them together, but I think it’s smart to drastically limit the amount of lineups that have both Schultz and Cooper.
Noah Brown and Sean McKeon are decent dart throws. McKeon hasn’t completely taken over the Blake Jarwin role, but as we saw on Thanksgiving he will be targeted near the goal line. He’s most likely a one or two target player with a hope for a score. Brown will be the WR4 with Cedric Wilson out. Similarly to Schultz, Brown’s upside correlates with how much Cooper will be on the field. I think it’s smart to pay attention to what the beats are saying about Cooper’s snaps as kickoff approaches. Often times they’ll get some insight from the team and divulge.
Trequan Smith and Lil’Jordan Humphrey are my favorite targets of the Saints pass-catching group. Smith can get there on one or two deep shots which is what he’ll need if the Saints turn to the run-centric Taysom Hill game plan. Humphrey is a big-bodied target that has touchdown scoring potential and is relatively inexpensive.
Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris are the two pass-catchers that I’m not too interested in. Callaway is expensive for a guy only seeing four targets a game over his last three outings. He’s basically the expensive version of Humphrey. Check Harris’ status before the game as he’s on the hook for a suspension that is going through the appeals process. Harris makes for a decent pairing with the Saints defense as he plays a lot in the return game.
Nick Vannett can be a 5% add to lineups if you are mass multi-entering as he probably earned some playing time with his touchdown grab on Thanksgiving.
Captain: Taysom Hill
Flex: Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Noah Brown
Captain: Ezekiel Elliott
Flex: Taysom Hill, Mark Ingram, Lil’Jordan Humphrey
Captain: CeeDee Lamb
Flex: Dak Prescott, TreQuan Smith, Tony Pollard
Captain: Michael Gallup
Flex: Dak Prescott, Alvin Kamara, Nick Vannett
Captain: Mark Ingram
Flex: Dak Prescott, Dalton Schultz, TreQuan Smith