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.
Christian McCaffrey will be the biggest decision that we have to make because of all the salary he takes up. He has the highest ceiling on the slate and there is enough cheap value to slot him into the captain. If the Panthers were playing a team like the Chiefs or the Steelers that have several high priced options it would be more difficult. However, the Texans have several mid-to-low priced players that we can cycle through in our CMC lineups. Something of note is that the Carolina DST and McCaffrey don’t have a positive correlation, in fact they’re pretty negatively correlated. That probably has something to do with McCaffrey getting extra targets in the passing game when the Panthers are trailing. So that’s something to think about when making correlated lineups. You can pair him with the DST, but it’s not a pairing that you have to lock into every lineup
Sam Darnold just needed to get out of the grasp of Adam Gase to start lighting up secondaries. He’s a viable captain paired with multiple pass-catchers. DJ Moore is the only other Panther receiver that makes a viable captain. He has seen 19 targets through two weeks and is running an expanded route tree. There’s no reason to spread captain exposure too thin on this slate as I think there are only a few that can land in that slot.
Brandin Cooks is averaging 100 yards a game through two weeks on a healthy 10.5 targets. He’s my second favorite option at captain as he is dominating the Texans’ usage to this point, seeing almost 40% of the team's targets. Cooks is the only Texan that piques my interest at captain.
The Texans running back stable is an interesting one. It’s obvious that Mark Ingram is the 1A, he has 40 carries through two weeks. However, I think what we saw last week is how they are going to move forward. Instead of Ingram being run into the ground, they divided those touches up a little bit more in week two. Ingram had 14 carries, while Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson combined for 11. Given their pricing on DraftKings, David Johnson makes a lot of sense given that he will see the most targets out of the backfield in the PPR format. Ingram and Lindsay fit lineup builds that don’t have the Texans trailing, like a slugfest or the unlikely event of a Texans blowout.
There is a good amount of value in the Texans secondary pass-catchers. Pharaoh Brown is extremely cheap despite being second on the team in target share. He was dinged up a bit in Week 2 so we’ll have to monitor his health, but his five targets in Week 1 definitely caught my eye. Chris Conley should be in line for an increased target share with Nico Collins and Danny Amendola on IR. The true sleeper of the evening could be Anthony Miller. Miller hasn’t suited up yet for the Texans, but now with all the injuries at the position, if he is active, I am going to be slotting him in as the “last man in” a good bit. Obviously Davis Mills will be under center, but it’s going to be hard to use him at his price and given the other options on this slate.
The Panthers pass-catchers outside of DJ Moore are difficult because they haven’t been seeing the requisite volume to support their pricing. However, on a one-game slate anything can happen and one play is good enough to put a player in the optimal lineup. Robby Anderson, Terrace Marshall, and Dan Arnold are the main secondary options we have to choose from. Obviously Robby Anderson is the most expensive here, but I think he’s the most likely to have the most production, despite being a clear second to Moore through two weeks. Terrace Marshall and Dan Arnold are more touchdown luckbox hopefuls as I don’t think you’ll get there on yards alone.
Captain/MVP: Christian McCaffrey
Flex: Sam Darnold, Dan Arnold, Brandin Cooks
Captain/MVP: Christian McCaffrey
Flex: Robby Anderson, Panthers DST, David Johnson
Captain/MVP: Sam Darnold
Flex: DJ Moore, Terrace Marshall, Brandin Cooks
Captain/MVP: Brandin Cooks
Flex: Christian McCaffrey, Sam Darnold, Anthony Miller