NOTABLE INACTIVES (Will be updated after official inactives): George Kittle (knee/ankle) is doubtful.
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 Seahawks at 49ers, we have a 30-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 30 games are as follows:
Packers at Bears: Captain Allen Robinson, Aaron Rodgers, Tarik Cohen, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Jimmy Graham, Packers DST
Steelers at Patriots: Captain Tom Brady, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Stephen Gostkowski, Rex Burkhead
Texans at Saints: Captain Deandre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., Kenny Stills, Will Lutz
Broncos at Raiders: Captain Josh Jacobs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cortland Sutton, Tyrell Williams, Darren Waller, Brandon McManus
Buccaneers at Panthers: Captain Chris Godwin, Cam Newton, Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, Greg Olsen, Joey Slye
Eagles at Falcons: Captain Julio Jones, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins
Browns at Jets: Captain Odell Beckham Jr., Nick Chubb, Le’Veon Bell, Browns DST, Austin Seibert, D’ernest Johnson
Titans at Jaguars: Captain Marcus Mariota, Leonard Fournette, Gardner Minshew, D.J. Chark Jr., Jaguars DST, Adam Humphries
Rams at Browns: Captain Cooper Kupp, Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks, Nick Chubb, Browns DST, Greg Zuerlein
Bears at Redskins: Captain Mitchell Trubisky, Case Keenum, Terry McLaurin, Bears DST, Paul Richardson Jr., Taylor Gabriel
Eagles at Packers: Captain Jordan Howard, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Carson Wentz, Jimmy Graham, Geronimo Allison
Cowboys at Saints: Captain Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliot, Cowboys DST, Will Lutz, Saints DST
Bengals at Steelers: Captain James Conner, Mason Rudolph, Joe Mixon, Diontae Johnson, Steelers DST, Jaylen Samuels
Rams at Seahawks: Captain Cooper Kupp, Chris Carson, Gerald Everett, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Greg Zuerlein
Colts at Chiefs: Captain Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Jacoby Brissett, Marlon Mack, Colts DST, Byron Pringle
Browns at 49ers: Captain Matt Breida, Jarvis Landry, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Tevin Coleman, 49ers DST
Giants at Patriots: Captain Patriots DST, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Golden Tate, James White, Brandon Bolden
Steelers at Chargers: Captain James Conner, Phillip Rivers, Hunter Henry, Mike Williams, Benny Snell Jr., Steelers DST
Lions at Packers: Captain Matt Prater, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Kerryon Johnson, Jamaal Williams
Chiefs at Broncos: Captain Chief DST, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton, Royce Freeman
Eagles at Cowboys: Captain Ezekiel Elliot, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Cowboys DST, Dallas Goedert, Brett Maher
Patriots at Jets: Captain Patriots DST, Julian Edelman, Sony Michel, James White, Phillip Dorsett, Demaryius Thomas
Redskins at Vikings: Captain Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, Vikings DST, Adrian Peterson, Dan Bailey, Dustin Hopkins
Packers at Chiefs: Captain Aaron Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Moore, Jamaal Williams, Damien Williams, Mecole Hardman
Dolphins at Steelers: Captain JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Diontae Johnson, Allen Hurns, Chris Boswell
49ers at Cardinals: Captain Kenyan Drake, Jimmy Garappolo, Kyler Murray, George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, Andy Isabella
Patriots at Ravens: Captain Julian Edelman, Lamar Jackson, James White, Mark Ingram III, Mohamed Sanu, Nick Boyle
Cowboys at Giants: Captain Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Daniel Jones, Cowboys DST, Jason Witten, Brett Maher
Chargers at Raiders: Captain Melvin Gordon III, Phillip Rivers, Josh Jacobs, Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, Raiders DST
Vikings at Cowboys: Captain Randall Cobb, Dalvin Cook, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith Jr.
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 18-of-30 (60%) winning rosters , DST’s continue to be deserving of roster consideration. Through 30 slates DST’s are averaging 8.5 DraftKings points at a $4200 average salary and 20% ownership. If we break this down further by favorites versus underdogs, we see favorites priced up to $5200 and owned at a 29% clip as opposed to just $3200 and 11% 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 7.8 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-30 (47%) winning rosters. Kickers remain one of the best points per dollar plays, scoring an impressive 8.0 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
Monday night’s one-game Showdown slate features a 47.5-point total with the 49ers listed as 6.5-point home favorites. Co-Presidents of Team Establish The Run, the 49ers (52%) and Seahawks (48%) rank 2nd and 4th respectively in situation neutral run rate. Neither team has shown a willingness to abandon the run when falling behind, setting us up for plenty of rushing attempts on less than ideal overall play volume.
Tyler Lockett ($10400) will once again take the field as the Seahawks top receiving threat. Lockett is commanding WR1 type usage with a 24% target share and a 29% share of the team’s air yards. He has shown big spikes in each category in past games, presenting a clear path to a ceiling if the Seahawks are forced into more dropbacks Monday night. DK Metcalf ($7800) will continue to operate opposite Lockett and has seen the team’s highest share of air yards in 4-of-9 games, giving us a second Seattle pass catcher with a reasonable chance to end as the slate’s top overall scorer. Over the past three weeks, David Moore ($1200) and Jaron Brown ($2200) have been next in line for WR opportunities. Moore (48%) and Brown (37%) both figure to see a reduced snap count as the newly acquired Josh Gordon ($5400) works his way into the lineup. Per Jeremy Fowler, one source is expecting Gordon to play a fairly significant amount. If building groups for the Seahawks receivers it makes sense to set a group to limit your lineups to just one of Gordon, Brown and Moore. Since Will Dissly’s season ending injury in week six, opportunities have been split between Jacob Hollister ($4600) and Luke Willson ($200) with snaps (56% to 48%), target share (13% to 4%) and share of air yards (9% to 2%) all favoring Hollister. In a low volume pass offense Hollister sets up as a fine touchdown-or-bust GPP play. Since Rashaad Penny ($3000) returned from injury in week seven, Chris Carson ($8600) has been the Seahawks undisputed RB1, playing on 81% of snaps and handling 71% of the team’s rushing attempts to go along with a serviceable 8% target share. In what is one of the highest volume roles on the slate, Carson sets up as one of the top Captain options. As Silva noted in matchups, Russell Wilson ($11400) will face one of his toughest matchups to date in a 49ers defense that leads the league in sack rate (11.7%) and is top five in QB hit rate (18.4%). Fortunately, Wilson owns the league’s highest passer rating when pressured (112.1) by way of an 8:0 TD-to-INT ratio and 9.01 YPA under duress. He wasn’t discounted for the matchup or the Seahawks typically low pass volume meaning we’ll need MVP Russ to pay off the steep price tag.
The recently acquired Emmanuel Sanders ($10400) has stepped right into a feature role in the 49ers offense playing on 88% of snaps and seeing a 23% target share and 39% share of the team’s air yards. With George Kittle’s ($9200) status in serious doubt opportunities should only increase for San Francisco’s new WR1. In the two games following Sanders arrival, Deebo Samuel ($4800) has played on 67% of snaps and handled a 16% target share to go along with a 14% share of the team’s air yards. Behind Samuel, Kendrick Bourne ($1000), Dante Pettis ($3400) and Richie James ($200) have seen snap counts of 36%, 31% and 20% respectively over the past two weeks. Kittle’s absence would open the door for Ross Dwelley ($2000) who had already seen a sizeable increase in his snap share over the previous two games. If Kittle were to miss, Dwelley would slide into a full-time role and likely end up fourth in the pecking order for targets. Since Tevin Coleman ($8200) returned from an early season ankle injury, he and Matt Breida ($6200) have split snaps (51% to 33%) and share of rushing attempts (41% to 31%). It’s worth paying up for Coleman in what has been a safer role with an increased likelihood of multiple touchdowns as the preferred goalline back. Coming off a week nine performance where he torched the Cardinals, Jimmy Garoppolo ($11000) will face another soft pass defense. As Silva noted in matchups, the Seahawks rank 29th in sack rate and dead last in QB hit rate. In a favorable environment Garoppolo is capable of achieving his ceiling, even on less than ideal volume.
*Captain Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, Deebo Samuel – Despite a difficult matchup, Wilson offers the state’s highest ceiling and presents multiple paths to getting there as evidenced by his 44/203/3 rushing line through nine games.
*Captain Jimmy Garoppolo, Emmanuel Sanders, Tevin Coleman – As 6.5-point home favorites, if we expect the 49ers to handle the Seahawks with relative ease, it’s likely the highest volume pieces of the offense were involved.
*Captain Tyler Lockett, Russell Wilson, Matt Breida – If the game leans more toward a shootout, a Lockett + Wilson combination has unmatched upside in the passing game.
*Captain Emmanuel Sanders, Rusell Wilson, Josh Gordon – We can capture the 49ers pass game upside by Captaining Sanders as more targets will flow his direction without Kittle.
*Captain Chris Carson, Russell Wilson, Tevin Coleman – As Silva mentioned in matchups, the 49ers have been gashed on the ground in recent games making Carson one of the best volume + matchup plays on the slate.
*Captain Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Russell Wilson – We’ve already seen games where both 49ers RB’s are capable of ending up on the winning Showdown roster. Coleman and Breida are capable of handling 15+ touches each making them fine to roster together.
*Captain DK Metcalf, Rusell Wilson, Ross Dwelley – Metcalf’s high variance style of play is ideal for this format, especially if he comes in at reduced ownership. If he and Wilson connect on a few deep throws it could propel him to a Captain worthy performance.
*Captain Deebo Samuel, Jimmy Garoppolo, Chris Carson – Samuel is the cheapest viable Captain option as he should see an uptick in opportunities and has been the easiest to project receiver behind Sanders.
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.
Matt Breida – As the RB2 in one of the league’s run heaviest offenses, Breida offers ideal volume at a reduced price tag.
Josh Gordon – It’s often difficult for receivers to perform right out of the gates in a new offense with a new QB but Gordon offers immense upside if we’re to believe the report that he’ll play fairly significant snaps.
Jacob Hollister – Hollister undoubtedly benefited from fellow TE Luke Willson’s in-game absence in week nine but he has separated himself as Russell Wilson’s preferred pass game option.
Dante Pettis/Kendrick Bourne/Richie James Jr. – It stands to reason that the 49ers WR’s will see more opportunities sans Kittle. It makes sense to create a group limiting our lineups to no more than one WR from this group as they’re all a clear tier below Sanders and Samuel.
Rashaad Penny – Penny has handled 21% of the team’s rushing attempts over the past two weeks. At $3000 it’s difficult to envision a scenario where he outscores the Kickers without scoring a touchdown.
Jeff Wilson Jr. – Raheem Mostert (knee) is currently questionable, if he were to miss Wilson would slide in as the 49ers third RB behind Breida.
Jaron Brown/David Moore – If we expect little playing time for Josh Gordon, one of Brown or Moore could capitalize in what figures to be their last chance as the WR3 in Seattle.
Ross Dwelley – While far from the athlete Kittle is, Dwelley figures to play an every down role with a QB who favors the TE position. He is one of the slate’s top values.
Levine Toilolo – Toilolo will play on 2TE sets and offers touchdown-or-bust appeal.
Luke Willson – Now healthy after a week nine rib injury, Willson is capable of regaining a larger role in the Seahawks offense but sets up as more of a GPP dart throw.
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:
* Russell Wilson/Jimmy Garoppolo
* Tyler Lockett
* Emmanuel Sanders
* Chris Carson
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* Matt Breida
* Josh Gordon
* Deebo Samuel
* Jacob Hollister
* Ross Dwelley