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.
Cooper Kupp has been dominant for the Rams earning 31% of the team’s air yards and 33% of the total targets. Kupp is running routes at every depth which makes him even more dangerous. The Titans defense can be carved up through the air. The Rams have thrown deep into blowouts as well, so I wouldn’t worry too much about them reverting to a run heavy offense if they take a lead.
Darrell Henderson is a good leverage captain. If the touchdown variance swings towards the running game in this contest, you can have a huge advantage on the field Henderson gets the bulk of the snaps and carries in this offense, so it’s unlikely someone like Sony Michel takes those high value touches away. There is enough offense to go around that Henderson can be included in lineups with Kupp. He’s also involved in the passing game enough that he can get there concurrently as well. You’ll just need to find some darts that hit as well.
AJ Brown shouldn’t see a ton of Jalen Ramsey, at least not a full games worth. So I’m not super worried about him being shut down. Brown’s stat lines are highly volatile, so there is worry that he just doesn’t get the volume in this game to smash, but I don’t think it will be because of Ramsey. The absence of Derrick Henry makes him more likely to see an uptick in targets as the Titans probably won’t run the ball 35 times.
Jeremy McNichols and Adrian Peterson are both in play because of their salaries and their projected workload. McNichols is my favorite of the two. He is going to be involved in the passing game in a game that projects to be a catch-up game script. McNichols could rack up 5-8 catches in a game in which the Titans trail for the majority of the game. Peterson isn’t a captain recommendation
Ryan Tannehill can get there as a captain due to his ability to run the football. Without Henry on the field he may even have a tendency to pull the ball on option runs at the goal line. Outside of Brown, the Titans don’t really have a receiver that can light up the box score. So we often see a slew of receivers catching passes which also helps Tannehill’s captaincy.
Matt Stafford is the most expensive player on the slate, couple with the fact that Cooper Kupp sees more than one-third of his targets makes me lean towards not captaining him on this slate. There just isn’t a great deal of cheap options and if you captain Stafford you’re going to need him to not include Cooper Kupp as often as he normally would in the offense. I don’t think that’s a viable scenario. He is a solid flex because of his high floor.
Robert Woods and Van Jefferson are incredibly strong flex plays because the Rams don’t employ many tertiary pass-catchers in a rotational manner like most teams. Woods and Jefferson will be on the field a lot. I prefer Jefferson as he’s a bit cheaper and has, in my opinion equal touchdown upside.
Tyler Higbee hasn’t been involved as much as we’d thought to start the season, but he’s still out there on the field, so that has to count for something. He’s currently playing 88% of snaps on the year, though that dropped to 69% in their last matchup. If you are captaining Stafford, Higbee makes sense as maybe he steals a touchdown or two from Kupp.
Adrian Peterson makes a lot of sense in the flex because he is super cheap, so all he needs is a few yards and a luckbox touchdown to find the optimal lineup. I don’t think they are going to run him out there for a full complement of snaps and touches in his first game back, but I could see 8-10 carries which could result in 50 yards a score type stat line.
Julio Jones coming off an injury is always a worry. He is cheap and I think he’ll be over rostered relative to his percentage chance to land in the optimal lineup. He makes sense when you have Tannehill in the captain the most, but I am going to be easy on Jones as rostering him when he’s coming off injury scares me.
Titans Dart Throws
These two teams couldn’t be any different. You can count on one hand the number of Rams that get on the field and in turn are viable fantasy options in a showdown slate. The Titans have a stable of pass-catchers to sort through after their top two. If you are multi-entering, rotating through some of these viable options from the Titans instead of trying to nail the correct one would be my advice
Geoff Swaim, Mycole Pruitt, and Anthony Firkser are the tight ends that will get on the field for the Titans. Despite what we all though at the beginning of the year. Pruitt and Swaim have been the better options in terms of fantasy output as of late. Firkser has taken somewhat of a backseat in target share. Pruitt is probably my favorite value based on price here.
Chester Rogers, Marcus Johnson, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Josh Reynolds are all viable options provided they are active. Johnson has played the most snaps and seen the most targets lately, but that could have been because Julio was out and they play the same WR spot. For me, I’d play Johnson in lineups that don’t have Julio. Westbrook Ikhine has had the most success from a fantasy output perspective, scoring two touchdowns one coming last week. Rogers played will with Brown and Jones on the field earlier in the year. Reynolds hasn’t been getting on the field much, he’s only in play if one of the other three are a surprise inactive.
Captain/MVP: Cooper Kupp
Flex: Matthew Stafford, Jeremy McNichols, Van Jefferson
Captain/MVP: Darrell Henderson
Flex: Robert Woods, Ryan Tannehill, Mycole Pruitt
Captain/MVP: Ryan Tannehill
Flex: Julio Jones, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee
Captain/MVP: AJ Brown
Flex: Ryan Tannehill, Matthew Stafford, Robert Woods
Captain/MVP: Jeremy McNichols
Flex: Matthew Stafford Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson