Select Page

Save on our NFL Bundle, now available!

NOTABLE INACTIVES

 

 

 

 

SHOWDOWN STRATEGY & TRENDS

Nearly 3/4 of the way through the 2020 season, we’re gathering a large enough sample to confidently review contests through the first 12 weeks and identify where we have an edge and how we can improve our overall process. It’s important to keep in mind, that while it’s growing, we’re still working with a relatively small sample. We recommend reviewing this article before building lineups. You’ll find our thoughts on proper captain selection, optimal roster construction and some ideas on how to ensure your lineups are unique. Like most DFS lineups, the best showdown lineups are created where uniqueness + optimal correlation + max projected points meet. Below you can review winning lineups to better familiarize yourself with optimal construction.

 

DST & Kickers

After being a major talking point in 2019, we’ve seen DSTs and kickers have mostly gone overlooked through Week 12. The average ownership for DSTs in 2019 was 20.69% at an average salary of $4100. Over half way through the 2020 season and DST ownership has dropped to just 11.98% at an average salary of $3900. We know from the work Levitan did in the offseason, projecting DST fantasy scoring is not an easy task. If the field continues to underown defenses, there’s an edge in taking an overweight stance in large-field tournaments.

DraftKings finally priced up kickers following a full 2019 season where they consistently projected as the top PT/$ options on any given slate. Now averaging $4000 compared to $3700 in 2019, they no longer project as positive value plays on every slate and thus have carried lower ownership; 22.32% last season compared to just 15.94% through 12 weeks in 2020.

Salary

46.3% of the field used less than or equal to $49,500 when building lineups. The average number of duplicates per lineup for all lineups at or under $49,500 was 4.86 compared to 23.68 average duplicates for lineups that used greater than $49,500. In a format that rewards uniqueness, it’s important to consider the context of the slate and the size of the contest we’re playing if setting caps on total salary used. In some cases it’s acceptable to play lineups well below $49,500 in an attempt to be different.

Stars and Scrubs

A lot of showdown decision-making revolves around whether we should be considering ‘punt’ plays paired with higher-priced players or a more balanced approach. Defined as all players priced $2000 and below, the field has been slightly overusing ‘scrubs’ through 12 weeks as 32.27% of top 1% lineups used at least (1) such player compared to 38.3% of the total field. The stars and scrub approach is generally thought to bring with it a reduced amount of duplicates but that has not been the case this season. Top 1% lineups that rostered at least one sub-$2000 player were duplicated on average 26.01 times compared to 24.19 times for top 1% lineups that utilized a more balanced approach.

 

Using Ownership To Be Unique

Most discussions surrounding how to use ownership to build unique showdown lineups revolve around cumulative ownership. Cumulative ownership is easy to calculate, understand and is what lineup optimizers use when creating lineups. Unfortunately, the correlation between cumulative ownership and number of duplicates is pretty weak (.24 r-squared). We’re actually better off using ownership product, multiplying each roster spot’s ownership % together, to determine how unique our lineups will be. Ownership product has a much stronger correlation with number of duplicates (.56 r-squared) and isn’t extremely difficult to implement when building lineups. For example, a three-player group of 60% + 40% + 20% = 120% cumulative ownership, will generally be higher owned than a three-player group of 80% + 30% + 10% = 120% ownership.

 

 

Historical Winning Lineups

Note: ‘Total ownership’ is calculated using each players’ Total Ownership % (Flex+CPT) from the flagship GPP on DraftKings

Packers at Bears ($47700 Salary Used)  (191.66% Total Ownership): Captain Allen Robinson, Aaron Rodgers, Tarik Cohen, Marquez Valdes-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, Wil Lutz – (13)

Broncos at Raiders ($49000) (240.32%): Captain Josh Jacobs, Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland 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 Elliott, Cowboys DST, Wil 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, Philip 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 Elliott, 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 Garoppolo, 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, Philip 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, Philip 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, Wil 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 Elliott, 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, Wil 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

49ers at Seahawks ($49900) (198.36%): Captain Deebo Samuel, Russell Wilson, Raheem Mostert, D.K. Metcalf, Travis Homer, Kyle Juszczyk

Titans at Patriots ($49000) (218.14%): Captain Derrick Henry, Julian Edelman, James White, Rex Burkhead, Titans DST, Nick Folk – (1)

Seahawks at Eagles ($46400) (225.92%): Captain D.K. Metcalf, Russell Wilson, Dallas Goedert, Marshawn Lynch, Jake Elliot, Seahawks DST

Titans at Ravens ($50000) (225.02%): Captain Marquise Brown, Lamar Jackson, Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill, Hayden Hurst, Kalif Raymond – (9)

Seahawks at Packers ($49800) (240.48%): Captain Davante Adams, Russell Wilson, Aaron Jones, Tyler Lockett, Jason Myers, Luke Willson – (3)

Packers at 49ers ($49600) (257.82%): Captain Raheem Mostert, Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, 49ers DST, Robbie Gould – (30)

2020:

Texans at Chiefs ($49600) (205.03%): Captain Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller V, David Johnson, Sammy Watkins, Jordan Akins- (36)

Cowboys at Rams ($49200) (242.03%): Captain Malcom Brown, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Robert Woods, Sam Sloman – (2)

Steelers at Giants ($49600) (282.00%): Captain Darius Slayton, Saquon Barkley, Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Daniel Jones, Benny Snell – (16)

Titans at Broncos ($47000) (268.48%): Captain Corey Davis, Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill, Melvin Gordon III, Noah Fant, Adam Humphries – (1)

Bengals at Browns ($49800) (284.59%): Captain Nick Chubb, Joe Burrow, Odell Beckham, Kareem Hunt, Tyler Boyd, C.J. Uzomah – (248)

Patriots at Seahawks ($49200) (249.63%): Captain Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Damiere Byrd, David Moore – (37)

Saints at Raiders ($49500) (249.99%): Captain Alvin Kamara, Drew Brees, Darren Waller, Daniel Carlson, Jalen Richard – (23)

Dolphins at Jaguars ($48300) (237.04%): Captain James Robinson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, DeVante Parker, Myles Gaskin, Preston Williams, Dolphins DST – (2)

Packers at Saints ($48300) (257.44%): Captain Alvin Kamara, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis – (2)

Chiefs at Ravens ($50000) (213.05%): Captain Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mecole Hardman, Devin Duvernay – (71)

Broncos at Jets ($49300) (242.83%): Captain Melvin Gordon III, Sam Darnold, Jamison Crowder, Tim Patrick, Brandon McManus, Sam Ficken – (46)

Eagles at 49ers ($49900) (255.58%): Captain George Kittle, Carson Wentz, Jerick McKinnon, Brandon Aiyuk, Greg Ward, Eagles DST – (1)

Falcons at Packers ($45600) (235.72%): Captain Aaron Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Todd Gurley II, Robert Tonyan, Jamaal Williams, Olamide Zaccheus – (1)

Buccaneers at Bears ($49900) (260.24%): Captain Ronald Jones, Allen Robinson, David Montgomery, Mike Evans, Jimmy Graham, Ryan Succop – (179)

Vikings at Seahawks ($48500) (237.22%): Captain Adam Thielen, Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, Chris Carson, Alexander Mattison, Irv Smith – (8)

Chargers at Saints ($49700) (292.49%): Captain Mike Williams, Alvin Kamara, Drew Brees, Justin Herbert, Emmanuel Sanders, Wil Lutz – (157)

Bills at Titans ($48700) (205.34%): Captain Ryan Tannehill, Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown, Jonnu Smith, Cole Beasley, T.J. Yeldon – (7)

Rams at 49ers ($49800) (238.15%): Captain George Kittle, Jared Goff, Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Josh Reynolds – (42)

Chiefs at Bills ($49600) (220.4%): Captain Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, Demarcus Robinson, Darrel Williams (11)

Cardinals at Cowboys ($49300) (217.74%): Captain Kenyan Drake, Kyler Murray, Andy Dalton, Amari Cooper, Christian Kirk, Cardinals – (10)

Giants at Eagles ($47600) (234.85%): Captain Carson Wentz, Daniel Jones, Boston Scott, Sterling Shepard, Greg Ward, Wayne Gallman – (2)

Falcons at Panthers ($49700) (227.65%): Captain Curtis Samuel, Matt Ryan, Teddy Bridgewater, Julio Jones, Hayden Hurst, Younghoe Koo – (52)

Cowboys at Eagles ($46900) (296.95%): Captain Eagles DST, Carson Wentz, Travis Fulgham, Boston Scott, Jalen Reagor, Michael Gallup – (25)

Buccaneers at Giants ($49800) (254.73%): Captain Ryan Succop, Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Daniel Jones, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman

Packers at 49ers ($44300) (299.05%): Captain Richie James, Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, Nick Mullens, Jerick McKinnon, Marquez Valdes-Scantling – (2)

Saints at Buccaneers ($49400) (181.81%): Captain Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Mike Evans, Taysom Hill, Emmanuel Sanders, Saints – (2)

Patriots at Jets ($48700) (249.24%): Captain Jakobi Meyers, Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, Rex Burkhead, Breshad Perriman, Nick Folk – (25)

Colts at Titans ($46100) (230.92%): Captain Nyheim Hines, Derrick Henry, Philip Rivers, Corey Davis, Michael Pittman, Rodrigo Blankenship – (2)

Ravens at Patriots ($49500) (276.17%): Captain Willie Snead IV, Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, Jakobi Meyers, Rex Burkhead, Gus Edwards – (123)

Vikings at Bears ($44500) (165.67%): Captain Justin Jefferson, Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Bears, Vikings – (2)

Seahawks at Cardinals ($48500) (210.92%): Captain Tyler Lockett, Kyler Murray, Kenyan Drake, Chase Edmonds, Carlos Hyde, Larry Fitzgerald – (2)

Chiefs at Raiders ($49900) (226.19%): Captain Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darren Waller, Nelson Agholor, Le’Veon Bell – (15)

Rams at Buccaneers ($49300) (219.43%): Captain Robert Woods, Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Van Jefferson – (6)

Bears at Packers ($48000) (228.09%): Captain David Montgomery, Aaron Rodgers, Allen Robinson II, Robert Tonyan, Packers, Jamaal Williams – (2)

Seahawks at Eagles ($48700) (194.13%): Captain DK Metcalf, Carson Wentz, Chris Carson, Dallas Goedert, Jason Myers, Richard Rodgers – (1)

Ravens at Steelers ($49300) (234.65%): Captain Marquise Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Benny Snell, Steelers DST, Ravens DST – (6)

 

 

 

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 1 MNF matchup between the Titans and Broncos, pricing was incredibly soft and it was easy to lock in top projected player, Derrick Henry, into the captain spot without making additional sacrifices to the rest of our lineup. The field followed suit, owning Henry in the captain spot at a 31.4% rate. At elevated ownership, it made sense to look for paths where Henry could be outscored by another option; one such path was to assume the Titans had success through the air. Corey Davis at captain immediately provided leverage off of Henry and fellow WR A.J. Brown who was also highly owned. The winning lineup paired Davis with QB Ryan Tannehill and included Henry in the flex, locking up a majority of the team’s offensive production. Davis’ cheap $9000 captain salary and lack of high-priced options from the Broncos side kept the lineup’s total salary ($47000) well below the cap without sacrificing too many projected points and ensured it wouldn’t be duplicated despite high cumulative ownership (268.48%). These are the types of decisions we have to think through during showdown lineup construction in an effort to maximize correlation and uniqueness.

 

TEAM-SPECIFIC ANALYSIS & NOTABLE PRICE CONSIDERATIONS

 

Another wild week around the National Football League closes out on a Tuesday with an interconference battle as the Cowboys head to Baltimore to face the Ravens as 8-point road dogs in a game with a middling 45.5-point total. In Weeks 1-5 with Dak Prescott under center, Cowboys OC Kellen Moore led the league’s pass-heaviest offense when games were within one score (64%). Since the injury, Dallas’ situation-neutral pass rate has plummeted to just 54% since Week 6. Even while adjusting for QB talent, Moore has shown some sensitivity to game script cranking up the pass volume when trailing (64%). On the other side, OC Greg Roman is the mastermind behind the league’s run-heaviest offense when games are within one score (54%). Largely unfazed by game script, Roman’s play calling has stayed within +/- 5% of his situation-neutral average this season, meaning we aren’t overadjusting for projected game flow, at least on the Baltimore side.

 

Off since Thanksgiving, the Cowboys’ pass-catching corps comes in rested and fully healthy headlined by Amari Cooper ($9600). Since Dak went down in Week 5, the Cowboys’ receiving opportunities have been so evenly distributed it’s difficult to distinguish one receiver from the other. Cooper and CeeDee Lamb ($6600) are tied for the team lead in target share (20%) while Cooper holds a slight edge over Michael Gallup ($4400) and Lamb in Air Yards share (26% to 25% to 22%) and WOPR (.48 to .46 to .45). Cooper has easily been the most efficient of the group, converting his 43 targets into 32/424/2. Likely benefiting from the team’s ‘easiest’ WR/CB matchup, Cooper offers Tuesday night’s safest floor among the Dallas receivers. Gallup will run into plenty of Jimmy Smith coverage, who is allowing Week 13’s second-lowest yards per route covered (.38), but does offer low-owned upside as a member of the Hermsmeyer Week 13 Buy-Low Model and is the cheapest of the Cowboys’ trio. Landing between Lamb and Gallup on the pricing spectrum, Dalton Schultz ($5200) may wind up going overlooked despite a modest 16% target share and 14% Air Yards share. The matchup for TEs against Baltimore is completely neutral (0.0%), per our DvP tool, and the Ravens are getting targeted by the position at the league’s 11th-highest rate. Should Baltimore’s perimeter CBs lock down the Cowboys’ WRs, Schultz could run into a few additional targets at low ownership. Having gone under 10 DraftKings points in four of his last five games, Ezekiel Elliott‘s ($10200) ineffectiveness behind a makeshift offensive line could once again be exposed against a Ravens defense, that as Silva noted is due to get run-stuffers Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell back. Surprisingly, Elliott’s usage isn’t far off his 2019 averages, handling 65.5% of the team’s rushing attempts to go along with an 11.2% target share, good for the league’s eighth-highest total opportunity share (32.7%) through Week 12. Zeke has also remained the go-to back near the end zone handling 79.2% of the team’s carries inside the 5-yard line. As 8-point road dogs facing a Ravens defense that has allowed the league’s eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs, we tend to think Elliott once again struggles to get things going though paths exist for him to produce a slate-winning score on volume alone. Brandon Thorn’s 12th-ranked DL will face off against his 27th-ranked OL that will also be without LT Cameron Irving (knee) and Zack Martin (calf), making life difficult for Andy Dalton ($10000). With no rushing upside and quarterbacking a team with a paltry 18.5-point implied total, it’s difficult to get excited for Dalton outside of flex usage in Cowboys pass stacks. 

 

Nearly a week removed from their COVID outbreak, the Ravens’ offensive depth chart is slowly returning to full health but will still be without key pieces Tuesday night. We couldn’t dream up a better spot for Marquise Brown‘s ($7200) Week 12 4/85/1 encore than a matchup against the Dallas secondary that has allowed the league’s most fantasy points to WRs and grades out as the position’s seventh-softest matchup in Week 13 (+1.2%).  With Willie Snead (COVID) and Mark Andrews (COVID) still out, Brown’s competition for targets is thin, setting him up to dominate pass-catching volume Tuesday night. Behind Brown, Devin Duvernay ($800) appears to have taken firm control over the team’s WR2 role for as long as Snead is sidelined, playing on 77% of snaps and running a route on 95% of Week 12 dropbacks. Because of the collective dud the Ravens’ offense produced in their Week 12 matchup at Pittsburgh, the secondary pieces have been priced down leaving Duvernay as a screaming value against the Cowboys’ inept secondary. Dez Bryant ($1000) catches a Tuesday night revenge game against his former team operating as the Ravens’ WR3 playing on 60% of snaps and running a route on 72.7% of dropbacks. Comfortably ignoring Week 12’s RG3-induced stinker, the entire Ravens receiving corps is playable at their respective price tags in what looks like an obvious get-right spot. With Andrews out and Nick Boyle (knee) on IR, Luke Willson ($1800) filled in playing on 70% of Week 12 snaps, running a route on 81.8% of dropbacks. While the 6’5”, 251-lb TE is no Mark Andrews, he should run into plenty of opportunities as the every-down TE for a team that targets the position at the league’s fifth-highest rate (27%). With J.K. Dobbins ($8600) and Mark Ingram ($5600) activated off the COVID list, they’ll once again join Gus Edwards ($5400) to form Baltimore’s three-headed RBBC. With the trio active, we suspect the backfield will look a lot like it did in Week 11 where Dobbins led in snaps (63%), rushing share (50%) and target share (10.3%). As an 8-point home favorite on the league’s run-heaviest offense, we don’t even need Dobbins to see a bellcow share of the team’s rushing attempts in order to produce a slate-winning score; we just need him to outpace the other members of his own backfield. As Silva noted in matchups, enemy quarterbacks have tormented Dallas for a combined 24:4 TD-to-INT ratio and 7.3 yards per pass attempt, a bottom-10 clip across the league, setting up Lamar Jackson ($11600) to get the Ravens’ offense back on track. Far from the fantasy monster we became accustomed to last season, Jackson still offers unmatched upside. Since the Week 6 bye, he’s cranked up the rushing volume, turning 53 carries into 229/1 on the ground. Now we get an opportunity to roster him at his season’s low price tag in the best possible matchup.

 

TOP PLAYS

Given the importance of maximizing raw points, correlation, and uniqueness, we’ve grouped our top plays into three categories: top overall plays, top value plays and top leverage plays. Our top leverage plays are ones where we identify a player that has a higher chance to be a necessary piece of a winning lineup than ownership projections would indicate. 

 

Player Category Notes
Lamar Jackson Overall Jackson offers the slate’s best floor/ceiling combo facing a Cowboys defense that has been unable to limit production to opposing QBs. Rushing upside boosted since bye week, handling 36.6% of the team’s rushing attempts.
Ezekiel Elliott Overall Not generally excited to roster 8-point road dogs at the RB position, the slate is lacking players with locked-in volume. Elliott’s 65.5% share of the team’s rushing attempts and stranglehold on goal-line carries is enough to overcome a difficult on-paper matchup.
Amari Cooper Overall The target distribution between Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup is extremely narrow but Cooper has been the most efficient of the trio, showing the best rapport with Dalton.
Marquise Brown Overall Brown’s 23% target share and 40% Air Yards share earn him the league’s 11th-best WOPR (.63). Now without Willie Snead and Mark Andrews to compete with, Brown has a path to double-digit targets against an inept Cowboys secondary.
J.K. Dobbins Overall Trusting Week 11’s usage, Dobbins projects as the lead back for the league’s most run-heavy team in a game where they’re 8-point home favorites.
Devin Duvernay Value Sans Snead, Duvernay took over as the team’s clear WR2 in Week 12 playing on 77% of snaps, running a route on 95% of dropbacks. Following the Ravens’ lackluster performance against the Steelers, Duvernay’s price is just $600 off the DraftKings minimum. 
Dez Bryant Value #RevengeGame spot for Dez as the Ravens’ WR3. Like Duvernay, Bryant is too cheap for his current role.
Luke Willson Value Mark Andrews’ 1-for-1 replacement played on 70% of snaps and ran a route on 82% of dropbacks. Was targeted twice, including once in the end zone. 
Michael Gallup Value Gallup is the cheapest of the Cowboys Big Three WRs and popped on Hermsmeyer’s Week 13 Buy-Low Model
Justin Tucker Value Most of Tuesday night’s value is priced below $2000, leaving the $4000 range pretty bare. We like the kicker on the team with a 26.75-point implied total.
Tony Pollard Leverage Pollard’s role has remained steady in recent weeks, handling around 27% of the team’s rushing share. If he’s able to take a bigger piece of the backfield pie, he offers leverage off a popular Zeke and the value options priced around him.
Mark Ingram II Leverage With the Ravens’ backfield, we need to acknowledge there is some uncertainty with the projection inputs where we think Dobbins will reclaim a role similar to what we saw in Week 11 but it’s no guarantee.
CeeDee Lamb Leverage Lamb’s $6600 price tag where he falls between Cooper and Gallup may lead to naturally lower ownership as the field looks to get up to Cooper or save salary with Gallup.
Cedrick Wilson Dart Throw Easy to forget that Wilson has played on 21% of snaps and run a route on 23% of dropbacks. 

 

STACK IDEAS

*Captain Lamar Jackson + 2 Ravens Pass Catchers – Given how DraftKings priced the secondary pieces on the Ravens’ offense, the slate as a whole is fairly loosely priced, making it easier to build teams we like around CPT Lamar without making too many concessions. Because of this, we should be willing to leave more salary on the table than we’re generally comfortable with, by pairing Jackson with at least one of Duvernay, Bryant or Willson in an effort to be more unique.

*Captain Marquise Brown, Lamar Jackson, CeeDee Lamb – Last week Brown proved the talent was still there as he pantsed the Steelers’ secondary on his 70-yard touchdown catch and run. Now back with Jackson and still without Snead and Andrews, Brown has a clear path to double-digit targets. The rare perfect storm of price + talent + opportunity + matchup.

*Captain J.K. Dobbins, Andy Dalton, Michael Gallup – We’re less concerned about the downside risk here with Dobbins and more focused on what his box score would look like if he once again handles a lion’s share of the team’s backfield touches. If he, not Lamar, secures the carries near the goal line, there is legitimate 100-yard + TD upside.

*Captain Ezekiel Elliott, Lamar Jackson, Devin Duvernay – We don’t expect Zeke to go unowned but he does offer leverage off popular roster construction if we slot him in at CPT and build assuming a Cowboys victory. In these lineups, we’re unlikely to get the type of garbage time PPR production that can lift multiple pass catchers from the Ravens. Therefore, we should be heavy on the Cowboys to maximize our leverage should they pull off the upset. 

*Captain Amari Cooper, Andy Dalton, Mark Ingram – The most likely candidate from the Cowboys’ pass-catching corps to run into a captain-winning performance, Cooper leads the team in target share (22%) and Air Yards share (26%) since Dak went down. Even with Dalton under center, the Cowboys have been willing to air it out when trailing, offering PPR-specific paths even if the Cowboys’ offense struggles to put up points.

 

 

PROJECTIONS/OWNERSHIP

DK CIN-LAR Showdown Fantasy and Ownership Projections

NameTeamPositionSalaryProjectionTotal OwnCPT SalaryCPT ProjectionCPT OwnCeilingFLEX Value
Joe BurrowCINQB1140019.052.41710028.58.929.22.0
Ja'Marr ChaseCINWR1100019.557.71650029.213.534.95.7
Matthew StaffordLARQB1020016.445.61530024.55.925.70.7
Puka NacuaLARWR1000018.258.41500027.313.831.85.0
Kyren WilliamsLARRB900017.147.21350025.79.829.54.8
Tee HigginsCINWR860015.347.11290022.910.928.74.1
Joe MixonCINRB840018.460.51260027.612.231.47.3
Jake BrowningCINQB80000.00.0120000.00.00.0-17.0
Tutu AtwellLARWR700011.932.51050017.94.623.82.4
Tyler HigbeeLARTE62008.721.2930013.13.417.7-1.1
Will GrierCINQB60000.00.090000.00.00.0-14.0
Brett RypienLARQB60000.00.090000.00.00.0-14.0
Tyler BoydCINWR52008.628.6780012.94.517.70.4
Van JeffersonLARWR44008.021.3660012.02.817.51.1
Evan McPhersonCINK42008.420.2630012.60.811.2-1.5
Brett MaherLARK40008.019.2600012.00.711.2-1.4
Trayveon WilliamsCINRB38004.89.157007.20.511.0-2.8
BengalsCINDST36007.220.0540010.83.113.90.2
RamsLARDST34006.017.351008.92.313.4-0.4
Ronnie RiversLARRB24003.37.936005.00.58.3-2.8
Irv Smith Jr.CINTE18000.00.027000.00.00.0-7.7
Tyler JohnsonLARWR8000.00.012000.00.00.0-6.2
Ben SkowronekLARWR6001.84.29002.70.15.5-2.2
Chase BrownCINRB2000.50.03000.80.02.1-4.0
Stanley MorganCINWR2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Kwamie Lassiter IICINWR2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Nikola KalinicLARTE2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Charlie JonesCINWR2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Cooper KuppLARWR2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Hunter LongLARTE2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Zach GentryCINTE2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Trenton IrwinCINWR2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Shedrick JacksonCINWR2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Demarcus RobinsonLARWR2000.60.53000.90.02.2-3.9
Austin TrammellLARWR2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Andrei IosivasCINWR2001.60.03002.30.05.2-1.9
Tanner HudsonCINTE2001.75.33002.60.25.4-1.7
Miller ForristallLARTE2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Demetric FeltonCINRB2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Royce FreemanLARRB2000.10.53000.20.00.8-4.8
Chris EvansCINRB2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Brycen HopkinsLARTE2001.51.93002.20.05.0-2.1
Davis AllenLARTE2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Mitchell WilcoxCINTE2002.85.43004.20.17.5-0.1
Drew SampleCINTE2003.715.53005.61.19.31.2
Xavier SmithLARWR2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Cal AdomitisCINTE2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3
Zach EvansLARRB2000.00.03000.00.00.0-5.3