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 made 10-100-1 stat lines the norm for his 2021 season.Over the last month he’s seen 30% of the Ram’s air yards and 32% of the total targets. At this point, I don’t think I have to convince anyone to play Kupp in their captain. The one downside is that he is extremely expensive and prohibits what you can do in the rest of your lineup. There isn’t many options below $4,000 on DraftKings, so it may be more prudent to spread captain exposure to different options.
Sony Michel is an excellent leverage captain. He has been given 20+ opportunities in every game since Week 13. The results in those weeks have come with a wide range of results. Sometimes it results in 80 total yards and that’s it, some games it’s 120 yards with a score and some receiving production. If it’s the latter, There’s a good chance Michel lands in the optimal captain especially since his fantasy ceiling is negatively correlated with the Rams’ passing attack.
Kyler Murray can land in the captain with a mediocre passing game and a decent game on the ground. His current prop on sportsbooks is reaching 40 yards, that’s like adding an extra passing touchdown to his bottom line. In the postseason, I have a theory that quarterbacks tend to run a bit more than in the regular season. When a quarterback knows it could be his last game, I think he’s more apt to pull the ball and run than throw a speculative pass in the direction of Antoine Wesley. `
Chase Edmonds is very reasonably priced on DraftKings especially if James Conner is inactive. If they are both active I think you can rotate them through your lineups at the flex position. However if Conner sits, Edmonds getting a full workload out of the backfield is very appealing. He’ll get the rushing work obviously, but Edmonds is averaging five receptions per game over the last month and that’s where his value will come in.
Matthew Stafford can surely land in the captain spot, but I think his rostered percentage in the 1.5x spot on DraftKings will be inflated relative to his actual odds of landing in that spot. If he throws for three touchdowns and spreads the ball around it could happen, but with Cooper Kupp dominating the offensive production, it’s more likely he lands in the captain spot given the ppr format. It’s a different story on FanDuel however.
Tyler Higbee is the second leading target getter for the Rams over the last month. I’m not sure if he’ll be popular, I think he should be, but he deserves to be a heavy part of your player pool given his usage over the last month, especially near the end zone.
Odell Beckham and Van Jefferson are the ancillary pieces. Jefferson makes a good pairing with Stafford as he’s the deep shot artist that could catch a 60-yard bomb so they correlate extremely well. Odell works more of the intermediate range, but can get a deep shot of his own. I like rostering these two separately because Kupp and Higbee should get a large combined target share and it leaves Beckham and Jefferson to rely on the big play or the score. Ben Skowronek can be thrown in as a flier piece if you have just a few bucks left in an otherwise strong lineup. He should see a stray target or two.
A.J. Green is my favorite play from the Cardinals wide receiver group. He has had success against them in both meetings this season and usually does well against zone coverage, which the Rams play at a high rate. Christian Kirk has been a disappointment in relief of DeAndre Hopkins despite receiving the opportunity. He should obviously be in your player pool if you are mass multi-entering. He’s done just enough over the last six weeks or so to be popular on this showdown slate for the box score watchers, but I think I’ll be underweight given his salary.
Zach Ertz has been the most trusted target for Murray, which means double tight end lineups are squarely in play on this slate. He has 27% of the targets and 30% of the air yards over the last four weeks. Antoine Wesley isn’t a bad dart either as he’s the Hopkins replacement, which makes him valuable as an attachment to Kyler.
Cam Akers could see an uptick in work being an extra week removed from breaking into game shape.
Given that there aren’t many or really any appealing cheap options like we had with Juju last night, you will probably have to include kickers in this game a bit more than usual, which is fine because they usually pop in high scoring affairs anyway. You can also pull captains from the mid-range and keep the lineup as a whole a bit more balanced.
Captain: Cooper Kupp
Flex: Matthew Stafford, Matt Gay, Chase Edmonds
Captain: Sony Michel
Flex: Rams DST, Zach Ertz, A.J. Green
Captain: Kyler Murray
Flex: A.J. Green, Tyler Higbee, Odell Beckham
Captain: Kyler Murray
Flex: Zach Ertz, Antoine Wesley, Tyler Higbee
Captain: Chase Edmonds
Flex: Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford, Zach Ertz