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 Sunday’s matchup that features the Packers at 49ers, we have a 34-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 34 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)
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 21-of-34 (62%) winning rosters , DST’s continue to be deserving of roster consideration. Through 34 slates DST’s are averaging 8.4 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 12% 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 15% and maintained a 7.9 median DraftKings score.
Kickers have been slightly less productive than DST’s from a raw points perspective but have found their way onto 14-of-34 (41%) winning rosters. Kickers remain one of the best points per dollar plays, scoring an impressive 7.6 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 features an important game for the NFC playoff picture that has the 49ers installed as 3-point home favorites over the visiting Packers with a 47.5-point total. We can expect to see contrasting offensive styles, Green Bay ranks 11th in situation neutral pass rate (61%) as opposed to an Establish The Run favorite, 49ers who rank 27th (53%). Unsurprisingly, San Francisco’s pass rate plummets to 41% when playing with a lead while the Packers jump to 69% when trailing, creating the opportunity to build highly correlated game script lineups.
Since returning from a four week absence, Davante Adams ($9400) has been a usage monster seeing a 34% target share to go along with a 43% share of the team’s air yards. As the No. 1 overall player in the week 12 buy-low model we can expect Adams, who has failed to score through six games, to run into some positive touchdown regression. Behind Adams the Packers WR group is an absolute nightmare. Geronimo Allison ($2800) has laid claim to the Packers WR2 role opposite Adams playing on 64% of snaps and running a route on 70% of dropbacks. Because of the uncertainty surrounding this situation as a whole, Allison was priced way down ahead of Thursday’s game. Allen Lazard ($3000) has earned the trust of his QB, taking over WR3 duties playing on 49% of snaps and running a route on 56% of dropbacks. Lazard has been more productive than Allison during his time on the field handling a 16% target share and a 25% share of the teams air yards in weeks 9-10. Jimmy Graham’s ($4400) diminished skill set and low aDOT (9.6) make it difficult for him to access a ceiling without scoring multiple touchdowns. At a depreciated price tag, Graham makes for a fine high floor/low ceiling flex option. Aaron Jones ($9600) leads a two-headed Green Bay backfield, toting 60% of the team’s rushing attempts to Jamaal Williams’ ($6600) 40%. As Silva noted in matchups, both Jones and Williams are in play regardless of script as San Francisco is allowing a league-high 24% of throws behind the line of scrimmage where Aaron Rodgers ($10000) has made a habit of finding his running backs. Rodgers stands to benefit from a handful of major injuries to the 49ers pass rush that should lead to cleaner pockets and more opportunities to push the ball down field.
The beat up 49ers offense expects to have Emmanuel Sanders ($8800) available Sunday night after a limited showing in week 11. Prior to the week 10 rib injury Sanders appeared to be in line for true WR1 duties with his new team handling a 23% target share and a 39% share of the team’s air yards. Deebo Samuel’s ($8200) recent spike in production coincides with injuries to two of the top San Francisco pass catchers. With both expected to be healthy Sunday night, Samuel will slip to third in the pecking order for targets. We’ll need another strong performance on reduced opportunities for him to pay off his now elevated price tag. Kendrick Bourne ($4600) has been the de facto WR3 since the team traded for Sanders, playing on 50% of snaps and running a route on 66% of dropbacks. If we get word that Sanders will once again be limited we can boost Bourne’s projection as he’s been the direct beneficiary when Sanders has missed time. George Kittle’s ($8400) return comes with a season-low salary to go along with one of the best possible matchups. As Silva noted, Green Bay has allowed a 57/628/5 line to tight ends. As one of the team’s best run-blockers, Kittle’s return also improves Tevin Coleman’s ($9000) outlook. With Matt Breida sidelined in week 11, Coleman handled 63% of the team’s rushing attempts. As noted in matchups, the Packers have been steamrolled on the ground to the tune of 232/1,144/11 and have given up the leagues tenth-most receptions to running backs. Normally limited by HC Kyle Shanahan’s desire to Establish The Run, Jimmy Garoppolo ($9800) proved he can access a ceiling when called upon by going for more than 30 DraftKings points in two of the last three weeks. Garoppolo is a game script dependent Captain option that we can use in projected shootouts.
*Captain Aaron Rodgers, 2+ Packers Pass Catchers, Tevin Coleman – We know Rodgers possesses 300-yard + 3TD upside. As our Captain we need Rodgers to spread the ball around to numerous pass catchers. Given Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams pass game usage we don’t need to exclude them from Rodgers stacks.
*Captain Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Aaron Jones – Like Rodgers, if Garoppolo is going to put up a Captain worthy performance, we’d expect him to spread the ball around to multiple pass catchers. With Kittle back the target distribution becomes easier to predict.
*Captain Aaron Jones, Jimmy Garoppolo, Emmanuel Sanders – Jones has the ability to reach his ceiling independent of game script due to his involvement as a pass catcher. The 49ers have been gashed by opposing running backs on the ground in recent weeks further increasing the chance Jones hits a ceiling.
*Captain Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, Tevin Coleman – As the No. 1 receiver on the week 12 buy-low model we can expect Adams to run into some positive touchdown regression.
*Captain Tevin Coleman, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones – In week 11 with Breida on the sideline, Coleman handled 63% of the rushing attempts for one of the run-heaviest teams in the league. As 3-point home favorites, game script sets up well for Coleman to be heavily involved in the 49ers offensive production.
*Captain Emmanuel Sanders, Jimmy Garoppolo, Allen Lazard – Ownership on Sanders may be suppressed due to recent limited performances. If we get word there are no limitations he is underpriced and will go overlooked relative to his role.
*Captain George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jamaal Williams – Prior to his injury, Kittle commanded a 26% target share to go along with a 28% share of the team’s air yards. Now $1000 underpriced, he gets a matchup against a Packers defense that has been eaten up by tight ends.
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 – Samuel has separated himself as the undoubted WR2 in San Francisco. However, back-to-back strong performances have come on the heels of injuries to Sanders and Kittle, leaving some doubt that he can sustain such usage with both healthy.
Jamaal Williams – Williams has handled nearly 40% of the running back carries to go along with an 11% target share and has out-touched Jones in 3-of-10 weeks where both were active.
Ross Dwelley – At an elevated price tag ($5200) Dwelley would need Kittle to be inactive or extremely limited.
Kendrick Bourne – Bourne has been the direct beneficiary when Sanders has missed time in the past two weeks with his rib injury. His opportunities figure to scale back if Sanders if fully healthy for week 12 but he’ll remain third in line for receiver opportunities regardless.
Jimmy Graham – Graham’s low aDOT and inability to rack up yards after catch make him a touchdown-or-bust option.
Raheem Mostert – With Breida inactive in week 11, Mostert handled 32% of the team’s rushing attempts and ran a route on 43% of dropbacks. His price surprisingly came down for week 12 as Breida once again expected to miss.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling/Jake Kumerow – Valdes-Scantling didn’t carry an injury designation into their week 10 game against Carolina so it’s tough to say how much of his 17% share of the team’s snaps is due to injury. We’re treating Valdes-Scantling and Kumerow as the fourth and fifth receivers heading into Sunday night’s game.
Allen Lazard – Despite playing on slightly fewer snaps and running fewer routes than Geronimo Allison, Lazard has been more productive seeing more targets and air yards. If that trend continues, he’s a cheap option capable of outscoring the kickers and defenses priced around him.
Geronimo Allison – Allison’s underlying usage is typically reserved for receivers priced in the $4000-$4500 range.
Jeff Wilson Jr. – Wilson made the most of his opportunity last week, turning one target into a 1/25/1 line. It’s difficult to project a path for him to outscore similarly priced options without scoring a flukey touchdown.
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:
* Aaron Rodgers
* Jimmy Garoppolo
* Davante Adams
* Tevin Coleman
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* Jamaal Williams
* Kendrick Bourne
* Raheem Mostert
* Allen Lazard