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.
The Raiders side is pretty easy, Darren Waller has a massive 27% air yards share and a 28% target share. You can roster Waller as part of a Raiders heavy lineup, adding a few cheaper pieces and Carr around him, or you can captain Waller in a Chargers-heavy lineup in hopes he’s the only Raider that racks up receptions. I think we can also look to Henry Ruggs who has a 26% air yards share. Ruggs is pretty cheap in comparison to the other top options despite having about the same ceiling. Ruggs needs to be paired with Carr as a big day from him is directly correlated to Carr, unlike Waller who can go 10/130 and not help his quarterback much.
Mike Williams and Keenan Allen have combined for 65% of team air yards and 55% of team targets. I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities for one to land in the captain and one to land in the flex. Your lineup will be automatically unique because rationally you’d think if Williams or Allen explode enough to be the captain, the other won’t get there.
Austin Ekeler has 15 targets through the last two weeks after not receiving one in Week 1. The question when playing Ekeler will be which of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams do you leave out because it’s nearly impossible to play all three. I expected the answer to be leaving out Keenan Allen, but it seems as though Ekeler correlates well with both. I don’t have a strong lean on Williams or Allen in Ekeler lineups, I would split them pretty evenly.
With a relatively tight captain core we can spread out our flex exposures. You may be surprised that neither quarterback made the captain section. That’s not because I don’t like them on Monday night. It’s because both teams have very tight market share of touches and air yards. Quarterbacks are in play for the captain spot when the run the ball or they spread the ball around. Neither quarterback in this game does that to a large extent. Justin Herbert and Derek Carr should be overweight in your flex, but underweight in your captain.
The running back situation for the Raiders is a mess. Josh Jacobs looks like he will play, but I’m not sure he’s 100% healthy, but his presence makes Kenyan Drake and Peyton Barber tough to play. The Chargers are susceptible to the run so you can have a little exposure to these three, but it’s important to know what happens in the rest of the lineup if they hit. Jacobs, or Barber if he’s inactive, that takes away from the passing game. Drake can be added to passing stacks.
Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards are great flex plays. Renfrow will see volume targets in the short to intermediate portion of the field while Edwards will see a higher average depth of target, but most likely fewer of them. In terms of combining pass-catchers in your lineups, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller work in the same part of the field while Ruggs and Edwards should eat into each other's targets. Edwards is due for some touchdown luck as he hasn’t scored this season, but his usage dictates that he should have by now. On the Chargers side of the ball, Jared Cook has a solid 14% target share.
The dart throws, the cheap players you rotate through your lineups as the last man in, are plentiful in this game. Donald Parham and Foster Moreau have touchdown upside for bargain prices. In fact a touchdown on one reception is enough for each of them. Jalen Guyton has an expected touchdown rate this year of .22 despite not scoring this year.
Captain/MVP: Darren Waller
Flex: Justin Herbert, Mike Williams, Jaylen Guyton
Captain/MVP: Henry Ruggs
Flex: Derek Carr, Keenan Allen, Hunter Renfrow
Captain/MVP: Mike Willliams
Flex: Justin Herbert, Henry Ruggs, Austin Ekeler
Captain/MVP: Keenan Allen
Flex: Justin Herbert, Mike Williams, Bryan Edwards
Captain/MVP: Austin Ekeler
Flex: Justin Herbert, Darren Waller, Jared Cook