Week 4 TNF Showdown


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Week 4 TNF Showdown

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.


This is a week that I think we can spread our captain exposure out a bit and get tighter in the core of flex players. Which is a bit contrary to what we did on Monday with a tight captain pool and more fliers in the flex spot due to the nature of team usage for the Cowboys and Eagles.

Joe Mixon makes for a really solid optimal captain on Thursday Night. He’s produced well against some tough opponents to this point in the season, but it’’s his usage that makes him an excellent 1.5x player candidate. Mixon has a stranglehold on the Bengals’ backfield touches, seeing more than 75% of team RB touches. He also has seen more than 30% of the Bengals total touches in all three games to this point. The game script also suits him well, being a seven point home favorite to the visiting Jaguars defense.

Through three weeks the Jaguars have given up the third most passes of 15+ yards downfield. That bodes well for Ja’mar Chase. He has the highest average depth of target on the Bengals roster to complement his four touchdowns to date. Chase is averaging a 23% target share but has two weeks with more than 25% of the looks. Tyler Boyd is interesting, but to a lesser extent. With Tee Higgins sidelined again, he should see an uptick in targets, but his slot role lends itself to more short to intermediate routes. When running multiple lineups, you can have Boyd in the captain spot in a small percentage of lineups, but I prefer Chase’s big play potential.

Marvin Jones has been fed an average of 9.3 targets per game through three weeks. And that isn’t the result of an outlier week, as he has at least eight targets in every game played. It’s fairly clear that Jones is Trevor Lawrence’s number one guy. That doesn’t mean Jones will be the target leader every week, though. DJ Chark has found the end zone twice in three games. He has the potential for a big game given the type of targets he sees from Lawrence. Jones is more likely to land in the optimal captain spot with volume, whereas Chark can get there with a big play or two.

Both Quarterbacks have a chance to sneak into the optimal captain as well. I don’t think it’s as good of a chance that Dak Prescott and Jalen Hurts had this past Monday, but they have a chance nonetheless. Because Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow have a plethora of weapons at their disposal, it’s conceivable that no one skill player goes absolutely bonkers. If either Lawrence or Burrow throw three or four touchdowns to multiple receivers that will land them in the optimal captain over their skill player teammates. Both Lawrence and Burrow have some mobility as well. Even Burrow, despite the injury last year, has taken off from the pocket this year. He hasn’t produced many yards when doing so, but at least we know the possibility exists. I would still prefer the skill players listed above, it makes lineups a bit easier to build. Plus, quarterback is always overowned in the captain


You may be surprised that Laviska Shenault is not a captain option for me tonight. Basically it’s a game theory move. There is always a big buzz around Viska, probably because he’s somewhat of a gadget player. He sometimes gets reverses and jet sweeps in lieu of traditional targets. I personally think he’ll be over-owned in the captain spot relative to his odds of landing there. I think he has a nice floor so he is a definite flex play.

James Robinson and Carlos Hyde split work fairly evenly in Week One, but Robinson took over the brunt of the workload last week, racking up 25 DraftKings points on 21 touches. The Bengals rank 19th against running backs and if Robinson receives similar usage to last week he will definitely be a viable flex play. Hyde’s price is his lone advantage on this slate because a fluke goal line touchdown with minimal yards can get him into the optimal lineup.

Tight end leaves a lot to be desired on this slate. CJ Uzomah and Jacob Hollister are the two options we have to choose from. Hollister saw 6 targets last week, so his usage may be on the uptick. Uzomah only has five total targets for the entire season. Where they could be useful is with quarterback captain lineups. If Lawrence or Burrow hit the optimal captain spot, it’s likely some off the radar pass-catchers reel in their touchdown passes. Dan Arnold was just traded to the Jaguars, but I don’t think he’ll unseat Hollister in just his third day on the team.

A few dart throws at wide receiver exist down the Bengals depth chart that can be used in a similar fashion to Hollister and Uzomah, in quarterback captain lineups. Auden Tate and Mike Thomas will see the field in three wide receiver sets with Tee Higgins out of the lineup. They played 27 and 10 snaps respectively.

I don’t have much interest in Samaje Perine or Chris Evans as you read above Joe Mixon has dominated snaps and touches from the running back position for the Bengals.

Lineup Starters

Captain: Joe Mixon

Flex: Trevor Lawrence, DJ Chark, James Robinson

Captain: Ja’mar Chase

Flex: Joe Burrow, Marvin Jones, Jacob Hollister

Captain: Joe Burrow

Flex: Ja’mar Chase, CJ Uzomah, Laviska Shenault

Captain: Marvin Jones

Flex: Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, Tyler Boyd

Captain: Trevor Lawrence

Flex: DJ Chark, Jacob Hollister, Ja’mar Chase

Pat began playing fantasy football 20 years ago. In 2012 he started the fantasy football site FantasyCouncil.com which opened the door for him to become a DFS contributor at several sites and is the newest DFS Contributor for Fantasy Points.