NOTABLE INACTIVES (Will be updated after official inactives):
Editor’s Note: For Evan Silva’s breakdown on every player in this game, click here. That is the best analysis on the game you will find. This article’s focus is to highlight specific strategies for this Showdown slate, not the game itself.
Editor’s Note 2: To review our thoughts on general Showdown strategy, review the top portion of this article.
SHOWDOWN STRATEGY & 2019 TRENDS
The most important part to being successful in one-game Showdown contests is constructing a highly correlated lineup built around how we think the game will be played. As we head into Monday’s matchup that features the 49ers at Seahawks, we have a 48-game sample that we can analyze for winning roster construction and look at any meaningful trends to apply moving forward. The winning lineups for the first 48 games are as follows:
Packers at Bears ($47700 Salary Used) (191.66% Total Ownership): Captain Allen Robinson, Aaron Rodgers, Tarik Cohen, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Jimmy Graham, Packers DST – Lineup entered (3) times
Steelers at Patriots ($46100) (223.0%): Captain Tom Brady, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Stephen Gostkowski, Rex Burkhead – (1)
Texans at Saints ($49900) (244.79%): Captain Deandre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., Kenny Stills, Will Lutz – (13)
Broncos at Raiders ($49000) (240.32%): Captain Josh Jacobs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cortland Sutton, Tyrell Williams, Darren Waller, Brandon McManus – (1)
Buccaneers at Panthers ($48500) (225.70%): Captain Chris Godwin, Cam Newton, Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, Greg Olsen, Joey Slye – (1)
Eagles at Falcons ($49300) (253.86%): Captain Julio Jones, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins
Browns at Jets ($48300) (237.27%): Captain Odell Beckham Jr., Nick Chubb, Le’Veon Bell, Browns DST, Austin Seibert, D’ernest Johnson – (4)
Titans at Jaguars ($48600) (258.3%): Captain Marcus Mariota, Leonard Fournette, Gardner Minshew, D.J. Chark Jr., Jaguars DST, Adam Humphries – (1)
Rams at Browns ($49700) (238.92%): Captain Cooper Kupp, Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks, Nick Chubb, Browns DST, Greg Zuerlein –
Bears at Redskins ($50000) (235.64%): Captain Mitchell Trubisky, Case Keenum, Terry McLaurin, Bears DST, Paul Richardson Jr., Taylor Gabriel – (11)
Eagles at Packers ($47300) (245.93%): Captain Jordan Howard, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Carson Wentz, Jimmy Graham, Geronimo Allison – (4)
Cowboys at Saints ($47800) (231.88%): Captain Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliot, Cowboys DST, Will Lutz, Saints DST – (3)
Bengals at Steelers ($48700) (198.22%): Captain James Conner, Mason Rudolph, Joe Mixon, Diontae Johnson, Steelers DST, Jaylen Samuels – (1)
Rams at Seahawks ($50000) (273.06%): Captain Cooper Kupp, Chris Carson, Gerald Everett, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Greg Zuerlein – (748)
Colts at Chiefs ($47200) (241.73%): Captain Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Jacoby Brissett, Marlon Mack, Colts DST, Byron Pringle – (1)
Browns at 49ers ($46400) (239.74%): Captain Matt Breida, Jarvis Landry, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Tevin Coleman, 49ers DST – (4)
Giants at Patriots ($46700) (322.95%): Captain Patriots DST, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Golden Tate, James White, Brandon Bolden – (53)
Steelers at Chargers ($44700) (198.69%): Captain James Conner, Phillip Rivers, Hunter Henry, Mike Williams, Benny Snell Jr., Steelers DST – (1)
Lions at Packers ($49800) (265.43%): Captain Matt Prater, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Kerryon Johnson, Jamaal Williams – (23)
Chiefs at Broncos ($47000) (225.37%): Captain Chief DST, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton, Royce Freeman – (1)
Eagles at Cowboys ($46300) (231.89%): Captain Ezekiel Elliot, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Cowboys DST, Dallas Goedert, Brett Maher – (4)
Patriots at Jets ($48800) (242.5%): Captain Patriots DST, Julian Edelman, Sony Michel, James White, Phillip Dorsett, Demaryius Thomas – (73)
Redskins at Vikings ($49900) (262.92%): Captain Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, Vikings DST, Adrian Peterson, Dan Bailey, Dustin Hopkins – (343)
Packers at Chiefs ($49600) (244.78%): Captain Aaron Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Moore, Jamaal Williams, Damien Williams, Mecole Hardman – (2)
Dolphins at Steelers ($49700) (259.67%): Captain JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Diontae Johnson, Allen Hurns, Chris Boswell – (8)
49ers at Cardinals ($48800) (252.12%): Captain Kenyan Drake, Jimmy Garappolo, Kyler Murray, George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, Andy Isabella – (2)
Patriots at Ravens ($49600) (236.43%): Captain Julian Edelman, Lamar Jackson, James White, Mark Ingram III, Mohamed Sanu, Nick Boyle – (1)
Cowboys at Giants ($48200) (215.3%): Captain Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Daniel Jones, Cowboys DST, Jason Witten, Brett Maher – (3)
Chargers at Raiders ($49600) (284.1%): Captain Melvin Gordon III, Phillip Rivers, Josh Jacobs, Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, Raiders DST – (12)
Vikings at Cowboys ($49600) (215.38%): Captain Randall Cobb, Dalvin Cook, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith Jr. – (3)
Seahawks at 49ers ($49900) (240.23%): Captain Chris Carson, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers DST, Deebo Samuel, Jacob Hollister – (24)
Steelers at Browns ($49100) (219.24%): Captain Baker Mayfield, Jaylen Samuels, Mason Rudolph, Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt, Browns DST – (2)
Bears at Rams ($49800) (290.15%): Captain Todd Gurley II, Cooper Kupp, Mitchell Trubisky, Taylor Gabriel, Rams DST, Tarik Cohen – (59)
Chiefs at Chargers ($49500) (182.25%): Captain Austin Ekeler, Travis Kelce, Keenan Allen, Phillip Rivers, Hunter Henry, LeSean McCoy – (14)
Colts at Texans ($49900) (258.29%): Captain DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller, Jonathan Williams, Eric Ebron, Ka’imi Fairbairn – (144)
Packers at 49ers ($46200) (217.84%): Captain George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo, Davante Adams, Jamaal Williams, Raheem Mostert, Chase McLaughlin – (1)
Ravens at Rams ($49800) (196.98%): Captain Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram II, Marquise Brown, Robert Woods, Willie Snead IV, Tyler Higbee – (15)
Saints at Falcons: Captain Matt Ryan, Saints DST, Russell Gage, Alvin Kamara, Will Lutz, Calvin Ridley – (1)
Patriots at Texans ($49400) (256.39%): Captain Duke Johnson, Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, Julian Edelman, James White, Kenny Stills – (74)
Vikings at Seahawks ($49700) (251.83%): Captain Rashaad Penny, Russell Wilson, Dalvin Cook, Chris Carson, Kirk Cousins, David Moore – (22)
Cowboys at Bears ($49400) (232.33%): Captain Mitchell Trubisky, Ezekiel Elliot, Allen Robinson II, Michael Gallup, Anthony Miller, J.P. Holtz – (2)
Giants at Eagles ($47000) (200.3%): Captain Darius Slayton, Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard, Boston Scott – (1)
Jets at Ravens ($49300) (212.82%): Captain Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram II, Mark Andrews, Jamison Crowder, Seth Roberts, Miles Boykin – (15)
Bills at Steelers ($47100) (262.26%): Captain Bills DST, Josh Allen, James Conner, John Brown, James Washington, Nick Vannett – (4)
Colts at Saints ($47500) (248.77%): Captain Michael Thomas, Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Will Lutz, Taysom Hill, Jordan Wilkins – (1)
Rams at 49ers ($49600) (241.43%): Captain Tyler Higbee, Jared Goff, George Kittle, Robert Woods, Deebo Samuel, Brandin Cooks – (4)
Chiefs at Bears ($49400) (252.12%): Captain Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Allen Robinson, Damien Williams, Harrison Butker, Javon Wims – (7)
Packers at Vikings ($47600) (202.83%): Captain Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, Packers DST, Mason Crosby, Ameer Abdullah
When we review winning lineups we can think backwards and determine what game script ideas and correlations went into constructing each roster. In the week nine MNF matchup, we knew it would be contrarian to build a lineup assuming Dallas scored only through the air and fade Ezekiel Elliot, who projected to be the highest owned player on the slate. With Prescott at Captain and multiple Dallas pass catchers in the FLEX spots, it made sense to get a piece of the Giants pass game as there would be increased pass volume in a come from behind effort. After the core was locked in it was all about maximizing points. We had very little appealing value on this slate and we know as dropbacks increase so do the opportunities for defenses to produce fantasy points via strip sacks and interceptions making the Dallas DST an exceptional play. A flukey late game defensive touchdown was the icing on the cake for the winning lineup Monday night. While it’s impossible to do on full-slates, building rosters or setting groups around an expected outcome is often the optimal strategy on one-game Showdown slates. We encourage you to look through the other winning rosters listed above and think through the process that would lead to each construction.
DST & KICKER STRATEGY
Now on 25-of-48 (52%) winning rosters, DST’s continue to be deserving of roster consideration. Through 48 slates DST’s are averaging 8.3 DraftKings points at a $4200 average salary and 21% ownership. If we break this down further by favorites versus underdogs, we see favorites priced up to $5100 and owned at a 29% clip as opposed to just $3300 and 13% ownership for underdogs. To this point, the highest owned DST’s (Bears, Patriots, Vikings and Steelers) have paid off by finding their way onto the winning roster but because DST scoring is extremely high variance and scoring events like turnovers and defensive touchdowns are largely unpredictable, we may be able to leverage the field by rostering the cheaper, lesser owned option. It’s worth further noting that DST’s in higher total games are underowned relative to their probability of ending up on winning lineups. DST’s on Showdown slates featuring a total greater than 45 have been owned on average 16% and maintained a 7.7 median DraftKings score.
Kickers have been slightly less productive than DST’s from a raw points perspective but have found their way onto 19-of-48 (40%) winning rosters. Kickers remain one of the best points per dollar plays, scoring an impressive 7.7 DraftKings points on average at $3500 and 24% ownership. If we look at all fantasy performances through seven weeks we see that DST’s offer a wider range of outcomes and a higher ceiling than kickers due to the ability to score points via touchdowns. Thus far kickers have been priced “reasonably” by DraftKings, resulting in adequate or better point per dollar median projections. If prices start to rise, or if ownerships rise, these options become less viable GPP picks. Conversely, DraftKings has shown a willingness to aggressively change pricing based on matchup and opposing team total for DST’s. Whether we’re MME players or building just a single lineup, the ability of similarly priced players to outscore both kickers and DST’s will determine how often we need to roster either position. Read through our ‘notable players’ section for more slate specific thoughts on kickers and DST’s.
TEAM-SPECIFIC ANALYSIS & NOTABLE PRICE CONSIDERATIONS
The final regular season Showdown slate features a battle between NFC West division rivals with plenty of playoff implications on the line. The 49ers visit the Seahawks as 3.5-point favorites in a game with a middling 45.5-point total. Both the Seahawks (51%) and 49ers (54%) rank near the bottom of the league in situation-neutral pass rate, 31st and 27th respectively. Assuming this game stays close we should see plenty of opportunities for members of each backfield. It’s worth noting that even in builds where we project one team to fall behind early or the game to shootout, neither offense has shown major game script sensitivity, maintaining well below league-average pass rates when trailing.
Though the box score production doesn’t show it, Emmanuel Sanders ($9200) has been the 49ers preferred wide receiver over Deebo Samuel ($9000). Since week eight, in games where Sanders has played over 50% of snaps, he leads in target share (20% to 17%) and share of the team’s air yards (36% to 16%). Sanders has also out-targeted Samuel in 5-of-7 such games making him the likelier option to spike a ceiling game Sunday night. Kendrick Bourne ($3200) remains slightly underpriced for his role as the team’s undisputed third wide receiver playing on 50% of snaps and running a route on 59% of dropbacks since the Sanders trade. He’s a touchdown-or-bust flex option in a low volume pass offense. San Francisco’s top receiving option, George Kittle ($10400) leads the team with a massive 29% target share since week eight to go along with a strong 25% share of the team’s air yards. Kittle catches a matchup against a Seattle defense that has allowed a 90/1013/6 line to opposing tight ends, making a Kittle ceiling game more likely. Since Raheem Mostert ($8800) earned RB1 duties in week 13 he’s handled 51.7% of the team’s rushing attempts to go along with an uninspiring 6% target share. His usage in one of the league’s most run-heavy offenses gives him a 16-18 touch projection with a path to a ceiling if HC Kyle Shanahan rides him closer to a 60-65% share of the team’s rushing attempts as he did in week 13. Jimmy Garropolo ($9600) offers upside if we project this game to shootout, keeping him in Captain consideration but most likely pass volume will be minimal and he’ll land closer to the lower end of his median projection.
Tyler Lockett ($9400) followed up a strong 8/120/1 line in week 15 with a disappointing 1/12/0 performance in week 16. However, his 22 targets and 378 air yards over the previous three weeks landed him on the week 17 air yards buy-low model. With a full-season average 22% target share and a 28% share of the team’s air yards, Lockett is our top overall wide receiver with added upside if the Seahawks turn to their passing game given the lack of viable running back talent. Second on the team in both target share (18%) and share of air yards (25%), D.K. Metcalf ($8400) earns his keep with a league-leading 15 end zone targets. As one of the slate’s most likely candidates for multiple receiving touchdowns, it’s worth being overweight on Metcalf in large field tournaments. With Josh Gordon no longer in the picture and Malik Turner (concussion) already ruled out, there should be plenty of playing time available for David Moore. Tight end Jacob Hollister ($5000) owns a 13% target share to go along with a 21% share of the team’s air yards since taking over as the TE1 in week nine. With Jaquiski Tartt doubtful, Hollister should see slightly softer coverage keeping him in play as a low ceiling flex option. After losing RB’s Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise, the Seahawks intend to run a three-headed RBBC featuring the ghost of Marshawn Lynch ($4200), Robert Turbin ($2200) and Travis Homer ($7400). We expect Lynch to get the first crack at early down work, spelled by Turbin while Homer should handle a majority of the passing game work and split a bulk of the carries with Lynch. DraftKings preemptively boosted the price on Homer but he remains firmly in play if Lynch finds it difficult to get going in his first game action in over a year. With San Francisco’s defense struggling and the Seahawks backfield a mess, Seattle would be wise to put their hopes of clinching the NFC West into Russell Wilson’s ($10000) hands. Like Garoppolo, a lack of volume is Wilson’s biggest drawback. Should he be forced into more dropbacks, his elite efficiency keeps him live for 300 yards + 3TD upside.
*Captain George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tyler Lockett – Kittle at Captain is the culmination of talent + opportunity + a matchup against the Seattle secondary that has allowed 15.2 PPR-points per game this season.
*Captain Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, David Moore – Assuming rational coaching, we can expect more passing volume for Wilson and company as the team is down to sixth round rookie and Marshawn Lynch at running back. With Wilson at Captain we can cycle through at least two of (Lockett, Moore, D.K. Metcalf, Jacob Hollister and Jaron Brown).
*Captain Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle – In the weeks 9, 11 and 14 shootouts where Garoppolo reached a 30+ point ceiling, he dropped back 42 times on average. If the Seahawks can turn this game into a track meet, Garoppolo can turn in a Captain worthy performance.
*Captain Tyler Lockett, Russell Wilson, Raheem Mostert – Lockett draws the best possible matchup of the Seahawks wide receivers running 71% of his routes from the slot where the 49ers have allowed .32 PPR-points per route as opposed to just .23 for outside receivers. An appearance on the week 17 buy-low model boosts our confidence that Lockett can access a ceiling.
*Captain Emmanuel Sanders, Jimmy Garoppolo, Travis Homer – With a 20% target share and 36% share of the team’s air yards, Sanders is capable of sniffing an upside on volume alone. Add in is team-leading 7 end zone targets and he presents a clear path to a ceiling performance.
*Captain Raheem Mostert, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett – Though the 49ers backfield has been difficult to project for what feels like all season, we know Mostert is the lead back in a run first offense. Shanahan has shown a willingness to ride him as evidenced by his 66% share of the rushing attempts in week 13. If he gets out to a hot start Sunday night we should see him approach the 20-touch mark.
*Captain Travis Homer, Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel – Seattle was reduced to signing two running backs off the street in Lynch and Turbin. While Lynch could eat into early down work, if he’s ineffective the Seahawks may have no choice but to turn to the rookie. Homer has flashed as a pass catcher and is capable of taking over a backfield that averages 30 rushing attempts per game.
Notable Players not already listed as Captain above:
If a player is listed above as a Captain option or as part of a stack they are worth rostering as a stand alone flex as well. As discussed above the need to roster kickers and DST’s is tied to how many rosterable players we have in the same salary range. Because DraftKings is unwilling to price up kickers to a level that would reflect their median projections, we’re left with very few players who are priced around them that present the opportunity to outscore them. Pricing on DST’s has been slightly more fluid based on the matchup and opposing team’s total but they too remain underpriced relative to their median projections. While constructing rosters, consider the game environment/outcome necessary for these cheap players to beat the kickers and/or DST’s.
Deebo Samuel – We have no arguments for exposure to Samuel at Captain but consider him a tier below Sanders given the near identical price tags and less than ideal volume. An appearance on the week 17 buy-low model + his recent involvement on the ground keep him firmly in play.
D.K. Metcalf – Like Samuel, Metcalf makes for a fine Captain option, especially if the ownership gap between he and Lockett widens. Metcalf leads the entire league 15 end zone targets.
Jacob Hollister – Hollister is a high floor/low ceiling flex option who generally lacks upside without falling into the end zone.
Marshawn Lynch – If our expectation that Lynch leads the Seahawks backfield comes to fruition we could be looking at 14-16 touches at a cheap $4400 price tag.
Kendrick Bourne – Since Sanders arrived, Bourne has played on 50% of snaps and ran a route on 59% of dropbacks en route to a 10% target share and 12% share of the team’s air yards. He’s a touchdown-or-bust flex option who presents a path to outscoring similarly priced DST’s and Kickers.
Tevin Coleman – With teammate Matt Breida either injured or falling out of favor with the coaching staff, Coleman was left to handle mop up duty in week 16 handling 22% of the team’s rushing attempts. For Coleman to land in optimal lineups we’d ideally see him creep closer to a 30-35% share of the team’s rushing attempts but he’s capable of paying off a $2600 price tag on limited touches.
Robert Turbin – Seemingly behind Lynch for rushing opportunities and Homer for pass down work, Turbin is nothing more than a dart throw in large field tournaments.
David Moore – Moore gets a chance to work as the Seahawks WR3 at a dirt cheap price tag. He’s been surprisingly involved when it counts seeing eight end zone targets this season, more than; Kittle, Sanders and Samuel.
Jaron Brown – Brown figures to see a playing time bump in the absence of Josh Gordon and Malik Turner. He makes our player pool as a low owned option in GPP’s.
Matt Breida – Rostering Breida is simply a bet on talent and an assumption that last weeks zero touch performance was merely a fluke. At an elite 5.1 YPC, Breida would need just a handful of touches to be in play.
Again, roster construction and correlation are the most important factors for GPP success in the Showdown format. But understanding who will be popular helps. A rough guide to who we think will be the most owned:
Higher projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* George Kittle
* Russell Wilson
* Jimmy Garoppolo
* Tyler Lockett
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* Jacob Hollister
* Marshawn Lynch
* Kendrick Bourne
* Tevin Coleman
* David Moore