News update 6:53pm ET: Demaryius Thomas is active. Rashard Higgins is inactive.
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 Browns at Jets, we have a 6-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 five games are as follows:
Packers at Bears: Captain Allen Robinson, Aaron Rodgers, Tarik Cohen, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Jimmy Graham, Packers DST
Steelers at Patriots: Captain Tom Brady, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Stephen Gostkowski, Rex Burkhead
Texans at Saints: Captain Deandre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., Kenny Stills, Will Lutz
Broncos at Raiders: Captain Josh Jacobs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cortland Sutton, Tyrell Williams, Darren Waller, Brandon McManus
Buccaneers at Panthers: Captain Chris Godwin, Cam Newton, Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, Greg Olsen, Joey Slye
Eagles at Falcons: Captain Julio Jones, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins
After Thursday’s showdown slate that saw what will likely be the highest owned captain of the year, things returned to normal with much flatter ownership at the position. Julio Jones led the way at 15% owned. As we look forward to Browns at Jets we should expect to see similar ownership distribution at Captain.
Kicker remains one of the most important decision points on the slate. At least one kicker has now been present on 4-of-6 winning lineups. An important part of this column will be to identify cheap players who have a path to outscore kickers. On Sunday’s slate we noted a few options we believed had an opportunity based off of usage to present a higher ceiling than the kickers. Darren Sproles, Nelson Agholor, Ito Smith and Dallas Goedert all received a mention, of the four players, only Agholor outscored the slate’s kickers but did so en route to a massive 27.7 point performance, the type of score we need to win a GPP.
Through six Showdown slates wide receivers have owned 19-of-30 total roster spots including 4-of-6 in the captain slot. League-wide pass rates are up through the first two weeks this season which could help explain why an even larger % of WR’s have been apart of winning lineups.
TEAM-SPECIFIC ANALYSIS & NOTABLE PRICE CONSIDERATIONS
The point distribution charts you’ve been accustomed to seeing in this section will not help inform our decisions for Monday’s contest. Both teams are dealing with key additions to multiple skill positions and coaching staffs, rendering 2018 results useless. With that said, we will identify players who have possessed a skill set that gives them access to a ceiling and use what we learned about each team in week one to construct our rosters.
As we can see above, WR’s are a staple in winning Showdown lineups. Odell Beckham ($11,800) earned his steep price tag even after a subpar week one performance. Beckham played on 100% of snaps, ran a route on 100% of drop backs, saw a 29% target share and accumulated 114 total air yards. As noted in Silva’s matchups Jets CB’s are going to have a tough time keeping Beckham in check Monday night. Jarvis Landry ($9,000) also saw 100% of snaps and routes/dropback in week one, seeing seven targets at a 12.0 aDOT. The $2,800 discount is worth noting. Rashard Higgins ($4,200) is currently questionable with a knee injury that has kept him limited in practice through Saturday. If he is able to go he is fairly priced as the Browns WR3 who had shown great rapport with Mayfield. Damion Ratley ($1,800) would become one of the slate’s best values in the event that Higgins is ruled out. The only other Browns WR to see the field, he ran a route on 52% of dropbacks and saw two targets. Taywan Taylor ($200) was acquired by the Browns on August 31st and was a healthy scratch in week one. We would need to get word that he is active and Higgins is ruled out first, but if that is the case he becomes playable at the stone minimum price.
Nick Chubb ($10,000) disappointed in week one but showed elite RB1 usage in the process seeing 70% of snaps, 85% of rushing attempts and four targets. Dontrell Hilliard has already been ruled out which would further secure Chubb’s role. If D’ernest Johnson ($200) sees the vacated Hilliard snaps, he could do enough to pay off his minimum price tag. David Njoku ($5,800) is slightly underpriced for his TE1 role in the Browns offense. He played on 92% of snaps, ran a route on 70% of snaps and drew four targets. Baker Mayfield ($11,200) is primed for a bounce back against this inept Jets secondary assuming his OL can keep him upright.
The Sam Darnold-less Jets are a mess coming into week two, nonetheless we’ll need to roster Jets players who can access a ceiling in order to be successful in GPP’s Monday night. Le’Veon Bell ($11,600) is one of the few remaining rosterable players on the Jets roster. He logged 100% snaps in week one, handled 81% of the rushing attempts and saw 6 targets. The workload puts him in play but as noted in matchups it’s possible the Browns sellout to stop Bell and force the Jets to beat them through the air. Note Bell (Shoulder) has been limited all week in practice and finds himself questionable in week one. Ty Montgomery ($1,600) would be virtually unplayable if Bell is active and sees his normal workload. Montgomery only played on 7% of snaps in week one but if Bell is limited due to his shoulder or ruled out entirely Montgomery would be a top value. There is certainly more contrarian value to Montgomery than the week 1 usage rate would indicate, but he is a risky pick. The Jets WR situation might be as messy as their QB situation. WR3 Quincy Enunwa was placed on IR after suffering a week one injury and the recently acquired Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) is questionable. He did not practice Saturday but is expected to play Monday night. Robby Anderson ($7,000) seems underpriced and could be relatively underowned due to the QB downgrade. He played on 95% of snaps, ran a route on 100% of dropbacks and saw seven targets on a massive 18.3 aDOT. If our opponents are concerned about recently promoted Trevor Siemian’s propensity to throw low aDOT checkdowns we can take advantage by rostering the boom-or-bust Anderson and hope he and Siemian can connect. Jamison Crowder ($8,000) was targeted a ridiculous 15 times for a laughable 31 total air yards. A chalk build will involve four Browns run back with Crowder and Bell, assuming they’ll benefit from a game script that sees the Browns manhandle the Jets and force Siemian into low aDOT throws.
The aforementioned Thomas ($3,800) sets up to take over the Enunwa role if active and healthy. Enunwa played on 92% of snaps, ran a route on 96% of dropbacks and saw three targets in week one. If Thomas sees similar usage he is mispriced on this slate. Josh Bellamy ($1,200) could work in regardless of Thomas’ health but is a tougher sell after playing just 8% of snaps in week one. Ryan Griffin ($800) is among the slate’s most mispriced players. Playing 94% of snaps, running a route on 91% of dropbacks Griffin is a full-time player who isn’t priced like one. If we are to assume Siemian is going to checkdown all night, Griffin will be a low-owned way to take advantage. Siemian ($8,200) isn’t priced like a QB1 nor should he be but QB’s consistently provide one of the safest floors in one-game Showdown slates and he could be underowned compared to QB’s on previous slates.
*Captain Robby Anderson, Trevor Siemian, 2+ Browns pass-catchers – The best part about one-game Showdown slates is the ability to build narrative based lineups. The public would expect Siemian to struggle in this spot and if he does succeed to do so by targeting low aDOT receivers. We can take leverage that thought process by rostering the Anderson as our Captain.
*Captain Le’Veon Bell, Odell Beckham, Damion Ratley – The Browns are currently favored by 6.5 on the road, if the Jets can get out to the lead on the shoulders of their workhorse RB they could ride him the entire game forcing the Browns to play catchup. Ratley can be subbed for Higgins if active.
*Captain Trevor Siemian, Ryan Griffin, Jamison Crowder, Browns receivers – As noted above, Siemian is underpriced as a starting QB regardless of his skill level. If we believe he will continue to throw short-area checkdowns we can take advantage by rostering him along with two of his low aDOT receivers. In order for him to pay off as our Captain he’ll need to connect for multiple TD’s forcing a pass-happy game script from the Browns.
*Captain Nick Chubb, 4 Browns – After week one we’re looking at a potentially highly concentrated Browns offense with Chubb, Beckham, Landry and Njoku all seeing a massive snap/usage share. If game script goes as projected and Siemian is as bad as advertised a Browns onslaught is in play.
*Captain Jarvis Landry, Baker Mayfield, Robby Anderson – The buy-low week two team of the night. Landry and Anderson rank #4 and #5 respectively in Josh Hermsmeyer’s buy-low model. The price and ownership discount on Landry as our Captain give us more possibilities with our roster construction.
*Captain Jamison Crowder, Jarvis Landry, Baker Mayfield – Taking advantage of Crowder’s ability to put up monster fantasy performances on an atrocious aDOT. As evident by his week one performance, Crowder can achieve a ceiling in a game where his QB is largely ineffective.
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. Note that the need to roster kickers and DST’s is tied directly to how many rosterable players we have in the same salary range. Below we have a number of players who have a path to outscoring both positions.
David Njoku – As noted above Njoku gets a great matchup Monday night. At $5,800 he’s priced slightly below where similarly projected TE’s have been priced in previous Showdown slates.
Rashard Higgins (if active) – Higgins was in line to receive a majority of the valuable WR3 snaps before going down with an injury week one. If he’s able to go we should assume he’s healthy enough to receive a full complement of snaps.
Demaryius Thomas (if active) – The presumed WR3 following Enunwa’s season ending neck injury. Despite his diminishing skill set and his QB play he’s underpriced for his role in this offense.
Damion Ratley – Due to his $1,800 price tag, Ratley would still be in play even if Higgins suits up as he projects to get what WR3 work Higgins does not but could vault to top value play status if Higgins is ruled out.
Ty Montgomery – Montgomery is a tough sell coming off a week where he barely played but it’s possible the Jets try to get him more involved this week as a receiver. If Bell has his snaps limited due to his injured shoulder, or is completely ruled out Montgomery becomes a great play.
Josh Bellamy (if Thomas is inactive) – If Thomas were to be a surprise inactive, Bellamy would be in line for a bulk of the WR3 snaps.
Ryan Griffin – The slates most mispriced player at $800. Griffin displayed true TE1 usage in week one. Talent and QB play aside, he should be priced closer to $5,000.
Taywan Taylor – Taylor gets a mention at the stone minimum price on DraftKings. He wasn’t even active in week one but if Higgins is ruled out and Taylor is active he would mop up the WR3 snaps that Ratley does not play.
D’ernest Johnson – With Hilliard out, Johnson will handle the Browns RB2 duties. If they prefer a 70/30 split between Chubb and his backup, Johnson will be on the field enough to wildly outproduce his $200 salary.
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:
* Odell Beckham
* Le’Veon Bell
* Baker Mayfield
* Nick Chubb
* Jamison Crowder
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* Trevor Siemian
* Robby Anderson
* Demaryius Thomas
* Damion Ratley
* Ryan Griffin