NOTABLE INACTIVES (Will be updated after official inactives): Dalvin Cook (chest) has been ruled out. Alexander Mattison (ankle) remains a game-time decision.
UPDATE 7:00 PM EST: Alexander Mattison has officially been ruled out. Fire up Mike Boone in abundance.
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 Packers at Vikings, we have a 47-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 47 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)
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-47 (51%) 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 but have found their way onto 18-of-47 (38%) 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
We cap off week 16 with a Monday night Showdown slate between NFC North divisional rivals featuring the Packers and Vikings with Minnesota installed as 5.5-point home favorites over Green Bay in a 47-point total. The Packers rank near the middle of the pack with a 60% situation-neutral pass rate while the Vikings are near the bottom of the pack in the same category (55%). When playing from ahead the Vikings pass rate plummets to a measly 39% while the Packers pass rate jumps to 67% when playing from behind. If we’re building for a contrarian game script that sees the Vikings fall behind early, it’s worth noting their pass rate increases just 4% to a still-below league average 64% rate.
With few capable receivers around him, Davante Adams ($11400) has been forced to soak up massive opportunities following his return from an early season toe injury. Since week nine, Adams has seen a league-leading 32% target share to go along with a 37% share of the team’s air yards. Against a Vikings secondary that has been torched by wide receivers all year, Adams is a no-doubt Captain option as a player with Michael Thompson-esque 10/100/1 type upside. Behind Adams is a misfit group of receivers, headlined by Allen Lazard ($5400). Since Adams’ return, Lazard has played on 58% of snaps and run a route on 61% of dropbacks en route to an 11% target share and 18% share of the team’s air yards, usage numbers we typically see from $4000-$4500 players. Geronimo Allison ($2600) is priced well below Lazard though he’s played on 61% of snaps and run a route on 69% of dropbacks. The underlying usage for Allison is strong at a cheap price tag but the Vikings have been dusted by outside receivers where he runs just 27% of his routes, making a box score spike less likely. Jimmy Graham’s ($3200) snap share (52%) and routes run per dropback (61%) have been inconsistent in recent weeks drawing more risk to him as a flex play Monday night. However, he’s priced $2300 below his season average and ranks second on the team with seven end zone targets, keeping him in our player pool as a touchdown-or-bust option. The Packers continue to employ a frightening, two-headed RBBC led by Aaron Jones ($10800) who is handling 54% of the team’s rushing attempts to go along with a modest 9% target share. Jamaal Williams ($5200) is a not-so-distant second option behind Jones, seeing 34% of the team’s rushing attempts and an 11% target share. Jones has been able to separate from Williams near the goalline with 17 carries inside the 5-yard line to just two for Williams. Both make for fine flex plays but Jones is the most likely to rack up 100-yards + multiple touchdowns on his way to a Captain worthy performance. As Silva noted in matchups, Monday’s matchup presents a risky spot for Aaron Rodgers ($10400) who suffers from a 1.7 yards per attempt decrease in road games. We’d consider coming in underweight on Rodger’s Captain exposure as we can access any upside he presents by being overweight on Adams in the Captain position.
Once again fully healthy, the Vikings wide receiver corps, led by Stefon Diggs ($9600) and Adam Thielen ($8600) looks to get back to early season form. In weeks 1-6 with both healthy, Thielen led Diggs in target share (25% to 22%) while Diggs led in share of the team’s air yards (45% to 36%). Now practicing in full and entirely removed from the injury report we expect Thielen to creep closer to full-time status at a price tag that’s nearly $2000 below where it would be if there were no injury concerns. With Thielen back to steal opportunities, it’s going to be difficult to find enough targets for Kyle Rudolph ($6400) to pay off his steep price tag. In weeks 1-6 with Thielen active, Rudolph managed a horrendous 7% target share compared to 14% with him out of the lineup. The biggest piece of news on this slate is Dalvin Cook (chest) has been ruled out and Alexander Mattison (ankle) appears unlikely to play, leaving the Vikings backfield to #TeamPreseason HOF’er Mike Boone ($9000). Credit to DraftKings for preemptively pricing Boone to an appropriate level to avoid near 100% ownership but even at $9000, he is a bit underpriced. Assuming Mattison is ruled out, the Vikings backfield lacks the depth to steal meaningful carries, making Boone a safe bet for 60% or more of the team’s rushing attempts as a 5.5-point home favorite against a Packers defense that has allowed 4.76 YPC on the season. We can hope our opponents experience some sticker shock on a guy they may not have heard of prior to week 16, priced near the slate’s top options. We’ll be comfortably overweight on both his Captain and flex ownership. As Silva noted in matchups, this is a good bounce back spot for Kirk Cousins ($10200) who gets his top target back in Thielen and is on the right side of his stark home/road splits. With Rodgers and the Packers offense capable of turning this game into a shootout, Cousins is accessing a ceiling on increased pass volume.
*Captain Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, Mike Boone – Adams has the best combination of volume + talent + matchup on the slate. Adams is in line for plenty of Xavier Rhodes coverage, who has allowed .38 PPR-points per route this season.
*Captain Aaron Jones, Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen – The split with Jamaal Williams is not ideal and lowers Jones’ floor but as the Packers undoubted goalline back, Jones has a clear path to 100-yards + 2 TD’s.
*Captain Aaron Rodgers, 2-3 Packers Pass Catchers, Mike Boone – Captain Rodgers lineups remain in play given his inherent ability to throw for 300-yards + 3 TDs. The receiving options to pair with him behind Adams are unappealing but we’d rank them as they’re priced; Lazard, Graham, Allison, Kumerow.
*Captain Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs – If Thielen isn’t limited the gap between he and Diggs is razor thin, making Captain Cousins lineups appealing. We can capture the upside of both star receivers and bank on Cousins spreading the ball around to his two top targets.
*Captain Stefon Diggs, Kirk Cousins, Jamaal Williams – As noted in matchups, Diggs’ massive 14.9 aDOT plays perfectly against a Vikings defense that has given up the league’s seventh-most 20-plus-yard completions (53) and second-most 40-plus-yard completions (14). We can boost his projection if we think Thielen is limited in any way.
*Captain Mike Boone, Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard – If Dalvin Cook was priced at $9000 as a 5.5-point home favorite with very little backfield competition, we’d play him 100% of the time. While there are ways to try and ding Boone’s touch projection, he’s a strong candidate for 20+ touches, assuming Mattison is ruled out.
*Captain Adam Thielen, Kirk Cousins, Geronimo Allison – The team’s target leader prior to his injury, Thielen is underpriced if he’s able to return to his weeks 1-6 role as the Vikings WR1A.
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.
Kyle Rudolph – In weeks 1-6 with Thielen healthy, Rudolph saw just a 7% target share and a 2% share of the team’s air yards. He’s now priced for his weeks 7-15 role making him an easy fade.
Allen Lazard – In a matchup that has been fruitful for outside receivers, we find it likely that Lazard continues to see safer volume over Geronimo Allison making him our favorite Packers receiver behind Adams.
Jamaal Williams – Williams’ 34% share of the team’s rushing attempts and 11% target share make him one of the safer flex options.
Jimmy Graham – Finally getting a discount that makes him playable, Graham gets a matchup against a Vikings defense that has allowed the NFL’s sixth-most catches to tight ends.
Irv Smith Jr. – As Silva noted in matchups, only five teams have allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than the Packers. Smith has surprisingly run a route on more dropbacks than Rudolph since week nine (76% to 72%).
Geronimo Allison – Though he’s played on more snaps and run more routes than Allen Lazard since Davante Adams’ return, he’s seeing fewer targets. With another good matchup for outside receivers on deck, it’s tough to project a big usage spike for Allison. He remains a touchdown-or-bust option.
Ameer Abdullah – Abdullah presents the biggest threat to Boone’s workload as he managed five carries to Boone’s 13 after Cook exited week 15’s game.
Olabisi Johnson – In four games played with Chad Beebee on IR and Adam Thielen healthy, Johnson has played on 43% of snaps and run a route on 42% of dropbacks, giving us interest as a large field tournament dart throw.
Jake Kumerow – There are rumblings that Kumerow may become more involved in the Packers offense. He’s worth a sprinkle on the off chance the news is correct.
C.J. Ham – Despite playing on 35% of snaps, Ham has seen no more than one rushing attempt in any game all season. He is a threat to syphon a couple targets from Boone.
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:
* Davante Adams
* Aaron Jones
* Aaron Rodgers
* Kirk Cousins
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* Allen Lazard
* Irv Smith Jr.
* Geronimo Allison
* Ameer Abdullah