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 Monday’s matchup that features the Ravens at Rams, we have a 35-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 35 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)
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-35 (60%) winning rosters , DST’s continue to be deserving of roster consideration. Through 35 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 15-of-35 (43%) 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
The Ravens head west to take on the Rams as 3-point road favorites in an interconference battle featuring a 46.5-point total. No one has been better at #EstablishingIt this season than the Ravens, who rank 1st in situation neutral run rate (54%). OC Greg Roman has shown some game script sensitivity, throwing on 57% of plays when trailing. Despite sub-par quarterback play, the Rams have been committed to throwing the ball, ranking 12th in pass rate (61%) when the game is within one score, that number skyrockets to 77% when they fall behind. With two offenses who demonstrate dramatic run/pass splits based off of game script it increases the importance of identifying players that are strongly correlated given an expected outcome.
Coming out of the week eight bye, Marquise Brown ($8000) continues to work in a limited role playing on just 50% of snaps and running a route on 64% of dropbacks. Owning a mediocre 17% target share to go along with a 15% share of the team’s air yards, we’ll theoretically need a patented Hollywood Brown home-run to pay off an elevated pricetag. Behind Brown, opportunities have been split between Willie Snead ($3200), Miles Boykin ($1600) and Seth Roberts ($1200). Snead owns a slight edge over both Boykin and Roberts in snaps and targets but all three are touchdown-or-bust options in a low volume pass offense. The Ravens pass attack starts and ends at the tight end position where Mark Andrews ($9200) and Nick Boyle ($3000) have combined for a 39% target share and 45% share of the team’s air yards following the bye week. Andrews has been the team’s best receiving option and now runs into a matchup against the Rams who have occasionally struggled against the tight end position. Mark Ingram II ($10200) leads the Ravens backfield handling a 39% share of the team’s rushing attempts. Ingram trails just Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook and David Montgomery with 12 carries inside the 5-yard line. He possesses rare 100-yard + 2TD upside. As Silva noted in matchups, Lamar Jackson ($13600) will face one of his toughest to date matchups against a Rams defense who has allowed the league’s fourth-fewest yards per pass attempt and a league-low 45 rushing yards. Jackson’s floor/ceiling combo is the best on the slate but we’ll need a big number for him to pay off his season-high price tag.
Cooper Kupp ($9800) headlines a now healthy Rams receiving group. Kupp has seen a team leading 25% target share and a 19% share of the team’s air yards. Against a tough to beat Ravens secondary, Kupp draws the best overall matchup. Due back after missing week 11 with a personal matter, Robert Woods ($7000) comes in with a season-low salary. Woods has commanded a 20% target share and a 17% share of the team’s air yards. He has been targeted 10 times in the red zone and failed to score, giving a sense of hope positive regression is coming. Brandin Cooks ($6600) will return from a concussion that cost him the last three games. Prior to the injury, Cooks managed a 16% target share and a 21% share of the team’s air yards. His 14.0 aDOT is ideal for the Showdown contest format. Gerald Everett’s ($4800) price plummeted after reaching a week 11 high of $8000. Everett’s reduced price tag coupled with an appearance as the No. 6 overall player on the week 12 buy-low model indicate he is prime for a bounce back. Todd Gurley ($8800) has handled 55% of the team’s rushing attempts and a 9% target share. With difficult matchups across the board for Rams receivers, Gurley’s matchup against an exploitable Ravens run defense stands out as a position to attack. As Silva noted in matchups, Jared Goff ($8400) will have his hands full with the Ravens pass defense that ranks 4th in QB hit rate. Our interest in Goff is limited to flex exposure in groups where we have a Rams pass catcher in the Captain position or in projected shootouts.
*Captain Lamar Jackson, Nick Boyle, Cooper Kupp – Jackson will be the highest owned Captain since Christian McCaffrey topped 45% in week two. It makes since to pair him with a lower owned Ravens pass catcher or go naked to differentiate.
*Captain Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Mark Andrews – The Ravens may be better than the 3-point spread indicates. If they dominate the Rams Sunday night, we can lock up as much touchdown equity as possible with the players most involved in the red zone.
*Captain Mark Ingram, Jared Goff, Robert Woods – As the lead back on the run-heaviest team in the league, Ingram has a clear path to a ceiling performance if the Ravens are working with a positive game script and acts as direct leverage off of Jackson.
*Captain Cooper Kupp, Jared Goff, Lamar Jackson – Kupp’s low aDOT targets coupled with his role in the red zone make him an intriguing Captain option in a game where we expect the Rams to trail forcing Goff into more dropbacks where the Ravens are comfortable letting him check down underneath.
*Captain Mark Andrews, Lamar Jackson, Gerald Everett – If Jackson scores with his arm instead of his legs, the likely recipient of those touchdowns would be his big 6’ 5” tight end.
*Captain Todd Gurley, Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown – In a contrarian game script where the Rams get ahead early and do their best to hide Goff, Gurley can parlay his undisputed lead back role into a Captain worthy performance.
*Captain Marquise Brown, Lamar Jackson, Brandin Cooks – Despite limited opportunities, Brown owns a skill set that makes him the perfect type of Captain option, particularly when he comes in at reduced ownership.
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.
Robert Woods/Brandin Cooks – Both Woods and Cooks are able to overcome difficult matchups on volume alone as we project increased pass attempts for the Rams offense.
Gerald Everett – We’re assuming the reduced snap count in week 11 was caused by a wrist injury that he’s no longer hindered by. Everett is the No. 6 overall player in the week 12 buy-low model. When factoring in price and ownership, he is our favorite Rams pass catcher.
Josh Reynolds – In games with Kupp, Woods and Cooks healthy, Reynolds has only played on 21% of snaps. He’s no longer priced near the minimum on DraftKings making it difficult to see a path where he pays off his salary.
Willie Snead IV – Snead leads the Ravens receivers in snap share (63%) and routes run per dropback (69%) but has just an 11% target share to show for it.
Nick Boyle – Regarded as more of a run blocker, Boyle has still managed to play on 66% of snaps and run a route on 43% of dropbacks. Boyle benefits from Lamar Jackson’s tendency to target the tight end position.
Gus Edwards – Edwards owns a 20% share of the team’s rushing attempts and has seven carries inside the 5-yard line with no touchdowns to show for it.
Malcom Brown – Brown has handled 22% of the team’s rushing attempts when both he and Gurley are active. He would need an unexpected usage spike or a flukey touchdown to be necessary Sunday night.
Miles Boykin/Seth Roberts – Roberts leads Boykin in snap share (51% to 38%), routes run per dropback (62% to 41%) and target share (8% to 7%), yet Boykin’s massive 16.1 aDOT keeps him in play as a true boom-or-bust option.
Tyler Higbee – Higbee has played on 52% of snaps and run a route on 25% of dropbacks keeping him in play as a touchdown-or-bust dart throw.
Hayden Hurst – Hurst has played on 41% of snaps and run a route on 40% of dropbacks, he’s playable at just $600 off the stone minimum at DraftKings.
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:
* Lamar Jackson
* Mark Ingram
* Cooper Kupp
* Mark Andrews
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* Brandin Cooks
* Gerald Everett
* Nick Boyle
* Gus Edwards