Week 9 MNF Showdown


We hope you're enjoying this old content for FREE. You can view more current content marked with a FREE banner, but you'll have to sign up in order to access our other articles and content!

Week 9 MNF 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.


I should start by saying this game has slugfest written all over it. Which means I will concentrate on pass-catching players. With that said Diontae Johnson has a 50% air yards share since Juju was injured. He also has more than one-third of the team targets in that time as well. Johnson is my favorite captain on the slate in low-scoring contests and that’s what I think we can predict to have highest probability of occurring.

Najee Harris will undoubtedly see a ton of touches, both on the ground and through the air. He projects better in games where the Steelers win easily. There would be more touchdown upside in that scenario. Of course, he could rack up catches in any game script which makes him an excellent play in all scenarios.

To get contrarian, Chase Claypool as captain will immediately vault you to the top of the leaderboard if he happens to have a smash day. Claypool hasn’t had great fantasy output lately, but it’s not for lack of usage. Claypool has 25% of the Steelers’ air yard in games without Juju. I wouldn’t have a massive percentage of Claypool in the captain, but in a MME player pool, he provides solid leverage.

There isn’t much on the Bears side of the ball worth captaining in my opinion. Justin Fields ran the ball really well last week against the 49ers. If that’s something the Bears continue to work into their offense, Fields can land in the optimal captain with some touchdown luck.


Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t hit 20 fantasy points yet this season, and I don’t expect it to happen this week against the Bears, either. Big Ben is a flex play only and honestly I’ll probably be underweight on him because of his high salary.

Pat Freiermuth was going to be my salary saver until I saw that he was incredibly expensive as well. Don’t get me wrong, he’s in a great spot with Ebron out. He may even be more valuable now that he is so pricey on DraftKings because he will not be rostered as much. The Steelers don’t have a ton of options outside of the big two wide receivers and Freiermuth.

Zach Gentry and James Washington can be worthwhile dart throws as last men in your lineup. Gentry actually has a respectful five targets in his last two games. While that doesn’t seem exciting, on a showdown slate where we may need just a few points out of a cheap player it can go a long way. Ray-Ray McCloud could also be that dart throw as he gets a lot of work around the line of scrimmage. The Steelers like to cook up a reverse or screen for McCloud at some point in the game and maybe he can convert one against the Bears

David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert are tough to handicap. Montgomery was activated off the IR this week and Nagy said he’s got a great chance to play. So what we’ll probably see is a timeshare between these two that results in neither hitting their ceiling. Especially against the Steelers defense, I’m not excited about slotting either Herbert or Montgomery in. However, if Montgomery isn’t active that makes Herbert a bit more appealing.

Darnell Mooney is questionable so make sure to check before lock if he is playing. He’s currently my favorite Bears player on this showdown slate. He’s affordable and he is seeing a respectable target and air yard share, 27% and 39% respectively. In a slugfest type game, a 6 catch, 60 yard performance may be the best we can get from a player on the Bears and Mooney is the leading candidate for that type of stat line.

Allen Robinson is broken. He’s barely eclipsed the 10 fantasy point mark this season and it’s probably not going to happen again tonight unless he lucks into some touchdown variance. His price has come down to a point where it doesn’t physically hurt to slot him in your roster. On the season he is second in target share and air yard share, but over the last three weeks Cole Kmet has outperformed him in those stat categories. I think Kmet is more likely to land in the optimal than Robinson and that’s saying something.

The Bears list of dart throws is not extensive. Jesse James has gotten some love from Field recently so he is an option, he even caught a touchdown last week. If he can repeat that he’ll almost assuredly be in the optimal lineup. Jesper Horstead has 1-1-1 stat line potential, that is one catch for one yard and one touchdown. If you are MMEing having him in a small percentage of lineups is fine. Marquise Goodwin the track star has been seeing 2-3 targets over the last three weeks and can also be slotted in as a dart throw. He’s got olympic medal speed, or at least had olympic medal speed.

Steelers and Bears DST as well as both Kickers are more in play than on any other slate give the type of game script that figures to play out here. I normally limit my exposure to at most one of the four, but I think that can be bumped to two or maybe even three (but don’t get to carried away)

Lineup Starters

Captain/MVP: Diontae Johnson

Flex: Pat Freiermuth, Darrell Mooney, Steelers DST

Captain/MVP: Chase Claypool

Flex: Ben Roethlisberger, Cole Kmet, Chris Boswell

Captain/MVP: Najee Harris

Flex: Steelers DST, Darnell Mooney, Cairo Santos

Captain/MVP: Diontae Johnson

Flex: Khalil Herbert, Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers DST

Captain/MVP: Justin Fields

Flex: Bears DST, Chase Claypool, Jesse James

Captain/MVP: Najee Harris

Flex: Steelers DST, Diontae Johnson, Marquise Goodwin

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.