NOTABLE INACTIVES (Will be updated after official inactives):
UPDATE 7:00 PM EST: LeSean McCoy is a healthy scratch, narrowing the touch projection in the Chiefs backfield. As the only running back HC Andy Reid has shown any interest in giving extended run, Damien Williams becomes a strong low owned option. In weeks 9-10 prior to his injury, Williams handled 71% of the team’s rushing attempts. McCoy’s absence also boosts the likelihood of a ceiling game from one of Darwin Thompson or Spencer Ware.
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 Sunday’s matchup that features the Chiefs at Bears, we have a 46-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 46 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 ($47500) (248.77%): Captain Michael Thomas, Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Will Lutz, Taysom Hill, Jordan Wilkins – (1)
Rams at 49ers ($) (%): Captain Tyler Higbee, Jared Goff, George Kittle, Robert Woods, Deebo Samuel, Brandin Cooks – (4)
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 24-of-46 (52%) winning rosters, DST’s continue to be deserving of roster consideration. Through 45 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 and have found their way onto 17-of-46 (37%) 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
Sunday night’s one-game Showdown slate highlights an interconference battle between the Chiefs and Bears with Kansas City listed as 6-point road favorites over Chicago in a middling 44.5-point total. Despite the uninspiring total, Sunday’s matchup should feature plenty of opportunities for fantasy production with the Chiefs (66%) and the Bears (63%) ranked first and third respectively in situation-neutral pass rate. The Chiefs are less game script sensitive than many teams in the league as they maintain a 57% pass rate with a lead and jump to 69% when trailing. If we’re building for a contrarian game script that has the Bears leading, it’s worth noting Chicago’s pass rate has plummeted to a league-average 50% when playing from ahead.
In games where Tyreek Hill ($11000) has played greater than 50% of the snaps, he’s commanded a 26% target share to go along with a massive 43% share of the team’s air yards on a 12.8 aDOT. Coupled with his elite WR1 usage is a matchup with the exploitable Bears secondary and an appearance on the week 16 air yards buy-low model, boosting confidence Hill can turn in a ceiling performance Sunday night. Behind Hill, perennial disappointment, Sammy Watkins ($5600) looks to turn modest target share (20%) and share of air yards (22%) numbers into a rare fantasy viable performance. Though he’s failed to produce much of anything since week one, his six end zone targets offer a glimmer of hope that he could land in optimal builds at a reduced ownership. A distant third option amongst the Chiefs receiving corps, Demarcus Robinson ($2000) comes with a significantly lower price tag. In games with both Hill and Watkins healthy, Robinson has seen matching 7% target and air yard shares, leaving him as nothing more than a touchdown-or-bust dart throw in large field tournaments. Travis Kelce ($10800) enters week 16 as the Chiefs most productive pass catcher on a 24% target share and a 25% share of the team’s air yards. His team leading 29 red zone targets and eight end zone targets highlight his importance when the Chiefs get into scoring position. While trying to project volume in this four-headed Chiefs RBBC is a fool’s errand, it’s possible, as touchdown favorites, that one of them lands in the optimal lineup. Because no one ran away with the job in Damien Williams’ ($6200) absence it is possible he reclaims a role that saw him handle 71% of the team’s rushing attempts in weeks 9-10 before going down with an injury. It’s best to create a group, limiting lineups to no more than one of the Chiefs RB’s. With plus matchups across the board for Chiefs pass catchers, Patrick Mahomes ($12000) as a Captain option, even as the slate’s highest priced player, is a no-brainer. Now boasting a full arsenal of weapons and clear from midseason injuries, Mahomes looks like a clear candidate for 300-yards + 3TDs.
On the other side of the ball, Allen Robinson’s ($9800) stretch run has been nothing short of spectacular, going for 26/390/4 over his last four games. With a 26% target share and 37% share of the team’s air yards, Robinson has the talent + volume upside to outscore everyone on this slate. Taylor Gabriel will miss his fourth straight game, leaving Anthony Miller ($8200) to work opposite Robinson. Since Gabriel went down, Miller has seen a healthy 26% target share and 34% share of the team’s air yards, numbers that are more in line with players priced closer to $10000. With the lack of a true pass catching threat at tight end and a rookie WR3 who has only been targeted three times all year, both Robinson and Miller stand out as strong volume-based options. Since week nine, David Montgomery ($7400) has handled 63% of the team’s rushing attempts to go along with a less-than-ideal 6% target share. In game scripts that favor the running game, Montgomery can be counted on, facing a Chiefs defense that has allowed 4.93 YPC to opposing running backs. With 16 carries inside the 5-yard line, Montgomery trails just Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliot and Aaron Jones, presenting an outside shot at 100-yards + a touchdown if the Bears opt to feed him. If they can’t keep things close, Tarik Cohen ($7200) should see ample opportunities as the Bears primary pass catching back. As we do with game script sensitive running backs, we should create a group to limit our lineups to no more than one of Montgomery and Cohen. With so much of the Bears pass game production going to their two receivers, it would take a very specific game for Mitchell Trubisky ($8800) to not only outscore his top targets but also the explosive options on the Chiefs side. Trubisky’s main appeal is as a flex option in builds where we Captain one of his receivers, however, he’s started to use his legs more as evidenced by a 23/114/2 rushing line over his last four games.
* Captain Patrick Mahomes, 2-3 Chiefs Pass Catchers, Anthony Miller – Mahomes + Chiefs pass catchers is going to be the chalkiest construction Sunday night. Differentiating lineups by leaving salary on the table or rostering lower owned receivers like Sammy Watkins or Demarcus Robinson is suggested to avoid heavily duplicated teams.
* Captain Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes, Tarik Cohen – Handling nearly half of the team’s air yards, Hill is capable of a Captain worthy performance every time he steps foot on the field. With Prince Amukamara coverage on deck, he should have plenty of opportunities to get behind the Bears shaky secondary.
* Captain Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes, Allen Robinson – Despite a recent string of strong performances, Kelce is still likely due for some positive touchdown regression, scoring just four touchdowns on 122 targets compared to 10 on 150 in 2018.
* Captain Allen Robinson, Mitchell Trubisky, Sammy Watkins – Chiefs Showdown slates bring with it lower Captain ownership on the opposing team’s best options. We can take advantage of a low owned Captain Robinson and get the slate’s second best receiver in the process.
* Captain Anthony Miller, Mitchell Trubisky, Tyreek Hill – Removing the name, Miller’s usage has been more in line with the league’s top receivers since Gabriel went down. At a slight discount, Miller makes it easier to fit the high priced options on the other side of the ball.
* Captain David Montgomery, Patrick Mahomes, Sammy Watkins – Captain Montgomery is a bet on positive game script for the Bears. If they’re able to grab an early lead at home we could see 20+ touches and multiple opportunities near the goalline.
* Captain Damien Williams, Mitchell Trubisky, Allen Robinson – Not something we would do in single entry but a perfect off the board play for max multi entries. Of the four healthy running backs, Williams is the most likely to see a feature role. As touchdown favorites the Chiefs could lean on him after building an early lead.
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.
Mitchell Trubisky – As mentioned above, Trubisky raises his floor/ceiling combo with his rushing ability. A necessary flex play in Captain Robinson/Miller groups, Trubisky also offers some appeal as a stand alone play in groups with a Chiefs player at Captain.
Tarik Cohen – Entirely game script dependent as the Bears are willing to ride Montgomery in close contests. His 18% target share coupled with a 19% share of the team’s rushing attempts fits DraftKings PPR-friendly format if we expect the Bears to abandon the run.
Sammy Watkins – DraftKings has Watkins priced $2000 below his season average making him an intriguing touchdown-or-bust option at what should be incredibly low ownership.
LeSean McCoy/Darwin Thompson/Spencer Ware –
Mecole Hardman – Despite playing on just 22% of snaps with the Chiefs receiving corps healthy, Hardman has remained relevant scoring six touchdowns on just 40 targets.
Demarcus Robinson – Playing on 60% of snaps and running a route on 69% of dropbacks, Robinson is the Chiefs clear WR3. Although he’s managed just a 10% target share he’s underpriced for his role in the offense.
Jesper Horsted/J.P. Holtz – Horsted appears to be the receiving option ahead of Holtz running 35 routes to Holtz’ 17 in week 15.
Cordarelle Patterson – Since week eight, Patterson has played on 26% of snaps and run a route on 26% of dropbacks. Always a candidate for designed trick plays and one of the league’s best kick returners Patterson draws dart throw consideration.
Riley Ridley – Ridley leapfrogged Javon Wims playing on 49% of week 15 snaps compared to just 10% for Wims. Ridley also ran a route on 51% of dropbacks.
Javon Wims – In Wims’ defense he was returning from a knee injury that cost him a majority of practice leading up to week 15. Now entirely removed from the injury report, it’s possible the Bears go back to him this week.
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:
* Patrick Mahomes
* Tyreek Hill
* Travis Kelce
* Allen Robinson
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* David Montgomery
* Damien Williams
* Sammy Watkins
* Mecole Hardman
* Demarcus Robinson