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.
Diontae Johnson is my favorite captain in this projected slugfest. If there isn’t going to a ton of points, which is what the majority of what my lineups will reflect, Johnson and his massive 29% target share and a 31% air yards share. Because Johnson works mostly in the short to intermediate part of the field, he has not correlated well with Pat Freiermuth or Ray-Ray McCloud throughout the course of this season.
Najee Harris has an insanely high floor with the 20+ combined carries and targets that he is a lock for on Monday Night Football. One thing I would keep in mind with Harris is that he usually has performed his best when the game is close or from behind. That’s most likely because he isn’t super effective in the run game, but needs the 5-7 catches to hit the optimal lineup. He correlates poorly with the Steelers’ DST believe it or not.
Nick Chubb can take advantage of a poor Steelers’ run defense. They’ve allowed running backs to rack up an average of 142 yards per game which translates to a bottom five fantasy run defense. I can’t imagine Baker slings the ball all over the yard in this game, but rather they feed Chubb often against a beatable front seven.
Jarvis Landry owns a 27% target share, the largest on the Browns. This recommendation is a bit more narrative based though because Landry hasn’t really been a ceiling fantasy receiver in his career. Landry seems to always come up big in big moments however. I won’t have a ton of Landry, but he’s worth a flier in the captain spot.
Ben Roethlisberger and Baker Mayfield will most likely need to be in your flex spots, however I’m probably going to cross them out of captain consideration. The nature of each offense and the style of quarterback just isn’t conducive to the captain spot. I would pair each with their receivers when they are captained.
Chase Claypool and James Washington are the two pass-catchers that will be getting the deep shots in the offense. I wouldn’t roster them together, but the high aDOTs of both players make them flex viable with one or two deep receptions, especially if one hits for a touchdown.
Ray-Ray McCloud has become an integral part of the Steelers’ offense. Basically he is working the underneath routes and seeing upwards of 70% of snaps. He’s one of my favorite plays on the slate because of his high floor and cheaper price. I can see him going 7-70 and landing in the optimal lineup given a slugfest game script.
Pat Freirmuth will probably need a touchdown so, as I mentioned above, I would avoid too much Najee/Freiermuth lineups. They’ve not had useable games together this season and it makes sense with Freiermuth relying on touchdowns.
Donovan Peoples-Jones has led all receivers in snap share last week which bodes well for his floor at the very least. He also owns a 38% air yards share over the last month of the season with a 16 yard aDOT. Rashard Higgins is just behind Landry and DPJ in terms of snaps and usage and he’s a tad cheaper so I think he’s a great mid-tier play as well.
Austin Hooper, David Njoku, and Harrison Bryant will all be involved in the offense. Hooper will most likely play the most snaps and see the most targets, but he’s priced as the top tight end as well. Njoku may be my favorite because of how athletic he is. He can turn a quick slant into a touchdown and Hooper nor Bryant can do that. Bryant will probably only play half the snaps of Hooper and Njoku, but he’s an end zone threat. I like pairing him with Baker.
Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson eat into each others snaps, but if Kareem Hunt can’t go Johnson becomes a more viable last man in. Anthony Schwartz is a track athlete than can turn on the burners. The Browns have used him as somewhat of a gadget type player on jet sweeps and screens. He’s cheap enough to be the last man in if you have a bit of a stud heavy lineup.
Kicker and DST will be a bit more of a fixture in my MME runs in this game given the projected slugfest. You can relax the constraints on the amount of kicker and DSTs you normally set.
Captain: Diontae Johnson
Flex: Ben Roesthlisberger, Ray-Ray McCloud, Jarvis Landry
Captain: Diontae Johnson
Flex: Baker Mayfield, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Nick Chubb
Captain: Nick Chubb
Flex: Donate Johnson, Rashard Higgins, Chris Boswell
Captain: Najee Harris
Flex: Ben Roethlisberger, Jarvis Landry, Steelers DST
Captain: Nick Chubb
Flex: Browns DST, David Njoku, Ray-Ray McCloud,
Captain: Jarvis Landry
Flex: Baker Mayfield, Diontae Johnson, Chris Boswell