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. Closing out the Divisional Round with a matchup that features the Seahawks at Packers, we have a 49-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 49 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)
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, DK Metcalf, Travis Homer, Kyle Juszczyk
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 25-of-49 (51%) winning rosters, DST’s continue to be deserving of roster consideration. Through 49 slates DST’s are averaging 7.8 DraftKings points at a $4200 average salary and 20.8% ownership. If we break this down further by favorites versus underdogs, we see favorites priced up to $5000 and owned at a 28.9% clip as opposed to just $3400 and 12.7% 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 16.3% and maintained a 7.3 median DraftKings score.
Kickers have been just slightly less productive than DST’s from a raw points perspective and have found their way onto 19-of-49 (39%) winning rosters. Kickers remain one of the best points per dollar plays, scoring an impressive 7.5 DraftKings points on average at $3600 and 22.4% 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
Divisional Round weekend is capped off with a battle between the Seahawks and Packers, with Green Bay installed as 4-point home favorites in a 45.5-point total. The Seahawks come in riding a new offensive identity over the previous three weeks, owning a 61% situation-neutral pass rate since losing Rashaad Penny and Chis Carson, up 10% over the previous 14 games. On the opposite side of the ball, Green Bay has maintained the league’s 12th-ranked situation-neutral pass rate (60%) this season.
In last week’s Wild Card Showdown we noted that prices between Seahawks WR’s DK Metcalf ($9600) and Tyler Lockett ($8600) were narrowing where Lockett was priced as the team’s WR1, $800 more expensive than Metcalf. After Metcalf erupted for 7/160/1 against the Eagles inept secondary, DraftKings basically flipped the salaries. Through 17 games opportunities have been virtually even, Locket leads slightly in target share (21% to 19%) and share of the team’s air yards (28% to 26%) while Metcalf owns a big end zone target lead (18 to 13). Though not nearly as favorable as last week’s matchup, both Metcalf and Lockett are in favorable spots against a Packers defense that has allowed the league’s tenth-most receptions of 20-plus yards. After beating the drum for David Moore ($4200) in consecutive weeks, he’ll now have to contend with Malik Turner ($2000) and Jaron Brown ($200) for playing time as both are due back from injury. Moore may still get the start but the elevated price tag is a tough sell in what should be a three-man rotation at the WR3 spot. We’ll be setting groups to limit our lineups to no more than one of Moore, Turner, Brown. Jacob Hollister ($5400) survived Luke Willson’s ($200) return, maintaining an 88% snap share, running a route on 72% of dropbacks. Hollister’s post bye week 20% target share coupled with a matchup against the Packers who allowed 77/865/6 to opposing tight ends this season keeps him firmly in flex consideration. Showdown slate prices on Seahawks RB’s Marshawn Lynch ($6800) and Travis Homer ($6600) are opposite their main slate salaries ($4800 to $5100) after HC Pete Carroll announced that Lynch is ready for an increased role. In their two weeks together, Homer edges Lynch in snaps (68% to 29%), share of the team’s rushing attempts (38% to 32%) and routes run per dropback (57% to 18%), while Lynch has handled the team’s only rushing attempts inside the five yard line. Ultimately, we should set a group to have no more than one of Lynch or Homer and make sure our lineup correlates with the preferred skill set of each RB. As Silva noted in matchups, the Packers rank top 12 in both sack rate and QB hit rate and should have no issue causing a depleted Seahawks OL fits. While it’s an obvious concern for Russell Wilson ($11000) he’s able to overcome it on what we expect to be increased volume.
Davante Adams ($10800) remains the slate’s safest bet for target volume handling a 29% target share to go along with a 33% share of the team’s air yards. Adam’s has topped ten targets in 8-of-12 games played and seen 11 end zone targets in that same span, giving him a direct path to 100-yards and a touchdown. Behind Adams, Allen Lazard ($6000) has been the only other projectable Packers receiver with a 12% target share and 20% share of the team’s air yards since the week 11 bye. Lazard’s wide range of outcomes and healthy 15.1 aDOT keep him in play in this format where we’re able to embrace some variance on lower owned guys. The Packers lack of a true WR3 has kept old man Jimmy Graham ($4800) in play as the team’s fourth receiving option with a 10% target share to go along with eight end zone targets. Graham’s floor/ceiling combo is boosted by a matchup against the Seahawks who allowed 106/1216/6 to opposing tight ends on a league-leading 152 targets. As is the case with almost all Packers Showdown slate’s, one of the biggest decision points is how we handle Aaron Jones ($10000) and Jamaal Williams ($5800). In games where they’ve both played, Jones holds an edge in snaps (56% to 45%), share of the team’s rushing attempts (54% to 32%) and target share (11% to 10%). These splits would have you think the RB situation in Green Bay is much less one sided than the fantasy output (334.8 to 149.3) would indicate. Because Jones has such a massive edge in goal line opportunities (17 to 2) he’s much more likely to spike a ceiling but the presence of a healthy Williams means he’s less likely to get there on volume alone. As noted in matchups, it should be all systems go for Aaron Rodgers ($10400) who is on the right side of his home/road splits where he averages 8.0 yards per attempt at Lambeau and should be able to carve up a Seahawks defense that ranked bottom three in sack rate and dead last in QB hit rate.
*Captain Russell Wilson, Two Seahawks Pass Catchers, Allen Lazard – The OL/DL matchup is a major concern as Wilson could be under pressure all game. We think OC Brian Schottenheimer’s newfound willingness to let Russ cook will offset any of those concerns and he can produce a Captain worthy performance on increased volume.
*Captain Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, Jacob Hollister – In twelve games this season, Adams has averaged 10.6 attempts, with a ceiling of 16. Firmly capable of putting up a Michael Thomas-esque 10/100/1 receiving line against an overmatched Seahawks secondary, Adams is one of our favorite Captain options.
*Captain Aaron Rodgers, 2-3 Packers Pass Catchers, Travis Homer – The spot couldn’t get much better for Rodgers as a home favorite against a defense that struggles to generate pressure and lacks talent in the secondary to contain his top target. Finding a third receiving option to pair with our Captain Rodgers lineups will help differentiate a high owned stack.
*Captain Aaron Jones, Packers DST, Tyler Lockett – With Williams back healthy and capable of stealing 35%-40% of the work, we need Jones to continue scoring touchdowns at a ridiculous rate. With 17 carries inside the five yard line + 2 end zone targets, multiple touchdowns is firmly within his range of outcomes.
*Captain DK Metcalf, Russell Wilson, Davante Adams – After dusting up the Eagles secondary in the Wild Card round, Metcalf finally got priced ahead of Lockett. In the current DFS climate, price + projection impact ownership more than recent performance. Being slightly more expensive with a worse pt/$ projection than Lockett should bring with it reduced ownership on Metcalf in the Captain.
*Captain Tyler Lockett, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham – Like Metcalf, Lockett possess an equally wide range of outcomes with an increased chance to access a ceiling in a pass heavy offensive game plan.
*Captain Jamaal Williams, Aaron Rodgers, DK Metcalf – Williams is off the board enough at the Captain position that the rest of our roster can be pretty chalky and he offers direct leverage off of one of the slate’s highest owned players.
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.
Marshawn Lynch – If we believe Carroll’s comments, Lynch is likely to approach 15 touches and handle any potential goal line work. The Packers defense has been comfortable ceding yardage on the ground (4.66 YPC) making Lynch a viable option.
Travis Homer – Homer has severely outsnapped Lynch in weeks 17-18 and utilized more as a pass catcher. If we believe this script leans more pass heavy he is the preferred option over Lynch.
Allen Lazard – Since the bye week Lazard has seen fewer than three targets in 4-of-6 games making him extremely volatile. The type of receiver we’re comfortable rostering when we’re getting reduced ownership.
Jacob Hollister – The inability to accurately project the Seahawks WR3 situation makes Hollister the third best Seattle pass catcher behind Metcalf and Lockett.
Jimmy Graham – A ghost of his former self, the spots won’t get much better for Graham to try and turn back the hands of time. He makes for a great 2nd or 3rd option in Captain Rodgers stacks or as a standalone flex play betting on a touchdown.
David Moore/Malik Turner/Jaron Brown – The last time all three were healthy, it was Malik Turner who led the trio in playing time. It’s feasible Moore gets the first crack at WR3 duties but likely its a fairly even three-headed committee.
Packers DST – The Packers DL vs Seahawks OL is Brandon Thorn’s biggest Divisional Round mismatch. Underpriced at $3600, the Packers ability to generate pressure and force potential turnovers makes them playable as a flex regardless of roster construction.
Geronimo Allison – Allison has been the de facto WR3 beind Adams and Lazard playing on 58% of snaps and running a route on 65% of dropbacks since the bye week. Despite strong underlying usage he owns an abysmal 8% target share.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Valdes-Scantling is playing on just 21% of snaps but has managed to earn a 15% share of the team’s air yards since the bye week on a massive 19.4 aDOT.
Jake Kumerow – Like Vlades-Scantling, Kumerow is playing sparingly but offers large field GPP dart throw appeal at $2200.
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
* Davante Adams
* Aaron Rodgers
* Aaron Jones
* Marshawn Lynch
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* Travis Homer
* Marshawn Lynch
* Jamaal Williams
* Marquez Valdes-Scantling