Week 8 SNF Showdown

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Week 8 SNF 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.

Captain

The production on the Vikings’ offense is very concentrated. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen account for half of the their targets and 70% of their air yards. When we have a target dispersion like this on a team it does two things. The first is it reduces the chances that statue quarterback Kirk Cousins will land in the captain spot. Remember quarterbacks either need to spread the ball around or having some rushing production to outproduce their pass-catchers. Jefferson is probably my favorite captain on the slate. He accounts for 40% of the Vikings air yards. Sure Trevon Diggs will be lurking in the secondary, but his aggressive style has resulted in him giving up huge plays despite also reeling in a ton of interceptions. Thielen would be the leverage play at captain as I think Jefferson will be the one to catch the ownership. Thielen has touchdown upside. So I think it makes sense to make sure he’s paired with Cousins. Jefferson could potentially get there without Cousins in the optimal on a 10/120 type line.

Dalvin Cook is obviously the other option that we can captain on this slate. He isn’t on the injury report, which is a minor miracle in itself. Dalvin has hit the 100-yard mark in two of the three games he has finished this season. He has an impact in the passing game as well. He doesn’t see massive volume like Alvin Kamara, but the Vikings often design screens for him that can rip off chunk yards. Because of the concentration of the targets and rushing production in this offense, you can roster Cook and Jefferson in the same lineup is fine, but Thielen being dependent on touchdowns lowers the probability he and Cook make the same optimal

We’ll have to see if Dak Prescott is good to go around inactive time. If he is, I have no qualms about slotting him in as captain. If it was a regular slate of games, I’d be weary, but anything can happen on a single game slate. Dak has the multitude of pass-catchers he can spread the ball around to and also the ability to rack up some rushing production, as long as he’s healthy.

CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper both sport a 30% air yard share for the Cowboys, so you would think that would lend itself to playing the far cheaper Cooper. He just hasn’t done much with the air yards that he’s seen. I’d much rather Lamb in the captain as he has a bit higher target share than Cooper. Both are in play in a mass multi-entry approach. If Cooper Rush were to suit up, I do think I would lean a heavy Vikings captain pool.

The Vikings are a run funnel defense, meaning their secondary is stronger than their front seven and it has led to teams running the football with more success than throwing. Ezekiel Elliott provides some leverage as I think captain percentage will lean toward each teams’ wide receivers. Elliott has quietly been really good over the last four weeks averaging 24 fantasy points per game. He’s hit the 100-yard mark twice in his last three and caught seven balls in their last game against the Patriots. Zeke is a really good option at the 1.5x spot on both sites.

Flex

Kirk Cousins makes for an excellent flex play. I think the Vikings and Cowboys put points on the board, so someone like Cousins has a really high median projection. He hits the 300-yard bonus often, and with the skill he has at receiver, throwing multiple touchdowns is also common. The issue is he will have a difficult time landing in the captain because of the condensed target share. Jefferson and Thielen will almost always outperform him in DraftKings scoring. FanDuel he has more 1.5x equity.

Tyler Conklin and KJ Osborn are nice adds to Vikings heavy lineups. They both see between 10-15% of the teams air yards and targets on any given week. When creating correlated lineups, I think Conklin takes away from Thielen and Cook as they all rely on touchdowns. So I wouldn’t play all three in any one lineup. Osborn can be slotted in without much thought as he can get there on receptions and yards.

Alexander Mattison is extremely cheap. He could land in the optimal if he spells Cook at just the right time and luckboxes into a touchdown. While I don’t like to project for it, if Cook were to re-aggravate his injury, Mattison in your lineup would be a slate breaker.

Dede Westbrook has been earning a few targets per week and makes sense if you only have a few hundred dollars remaining on DraftKings. He detracts from all the tertiary options like Conklin and Osborn. I think having more than one of the Vikings third and fourth options isn’t smart since there usually isn’t a ton of targets to go around after Jefferson and Thielen.

Cooper Rush, believe it or not, is a solid flex play if he gets the start. Having a quarterback that cheap with a decently high floor and median projection provides some salary relief and some guaranteed points that you normally don’t get at that price range.

Tony Pollard is the obvious Zeke pivot. I do think you can play them both if you are mass multi-entering. There is a non-zero chance they both score and have some success in this game, especially if Cooper Rush is under center. I can envision a game script with lots of checkdowns and called runs.

Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin have both been involved in the Cowboys’ offense this year, though Schultz has surpassed Jarwin as the alpha at tight end. Schultz will see a meaningful role with 15-20% of the targets and air yards thrown his way, while Jarwin needs a touchdown to land in the optimal lineup.

Cedric Wilson and Noah Brown can be sprinkled in as well. They make sense in Dak captain lineups as he’ll need to spread the ball around to land in the 1.5x spot.

Lineup Starters

Captain/MVP: Dalvin Cook

Flex: Dak Prescott, Dalton Schultz, KJ Osborn

Captain/MVP: Justin Jefferson

Flex: Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott, Dalton Schultz

Captain/MVP: Adam Thielen

Flex: Kirk Cousins, Amari Cooper, Greg Zeurlein

Captain/MVP: Ezekiel Elliott

Flex: Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, KJ Osborn

Captain/MVP: CeeDee Lamb

Flex: Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Tony Pollard

Captain/MVP: Dak Prescott

Flex: Amari Cooper, Cedric Wilson, Justin Jefferson

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.