NOTABLE INACTIVES: Will be updated after official inactives are released around 7:30pm ET.
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 tournament contests is constructing a highly correlated lineup built around how we think the game could play out. As we head into Thursday’s matchup that features the Titans at Jaguars, we have a 7-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 seven 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
WR’s continue to dominate the captain position early in the 2019 season showing up in that slot on 5-of-7 (71%) winning rosters. While trying to build a unique lineup, it can be tempting to go extremely contrarian at the Captain position. But because we often need to roster the highest overall scorer in the game, it’s more valuable to select the type of player who consistently demonstrates the upside we need and those players tend to carry with them higher ownership. Average overall ownership of Captains in winning lineups through seven slates is 52.65% meaning we don’t need to make poor decisions just in the name of being contrarian.
We’re seeing a trend developing with DST’s on Showdown slates, favorites have been rostered at an average 26% clip as opposed to 10% for DST’s who are underdogs. Favorites have averaged 7.5 DraftKings points through seven games at an average price of $4,600 while underdogs have averaged 6 DraftKings points at $3,300. Like kickers, the necessity to roster DST’s is heavily based on how many players near them in salary we believe have a reasonable path to outscoring them. It depends on the slate, but an underdog DST on a team that has a reasonable shot to win the game could have some contrarian value.
TEAM-SPECIFIC ANALYSIS & NOTABLE PRICE CONSIDERATIONS
Early in the 2019 season, the Titans haven’t featured a lot of full-time skill players, rotating four capable WR’s while running 1-2 or 1-3 personnel on 49% of their offensive snaps. This has led to fewer opportunities for pass catchers and given Derrick Henry access to a high ceiling as the guy carrying the load. Speaking of those pass catchers, Corey Davis ($6,000) is the most expensive of the WR group and has seen the most consistent usage; 78% snaps, 78% routes/dropback and a modest 15% target share. Davis is still the WR1 in Tennessee and we may be able to take advantage of his depressed price in a game where the Titans may be forced to pass at a higher rate. A.J. Brown ($5,600) has looked as good as advertised in his limited role through two weeks. While he’s been targeted more often than Davis, it’s difficult to assume he can consistently outproduce him playing less than 50% of the snaps. Adam Humphries ($3,200) has seen inconsistent playing time through two weeks as well, both kickers are priced within $400 and it seems the only path for Humphries to outscore them would involve a pass-happy game script where Tennessee is forced to abandon 1-2 personnel allowing Humphries more slot opportunities. Tajae Sharpe ($800) could be in play at his near minimum salary. He’s seen more snaps and targets than Humphries through two weeks and is rosterable if we find the salary relief necessary.
Delanie Walker ($8,200) has been the best Tennessee pass catcher in the early going. Even though the Titans are running an absurd amount of two and three TE sets, Walker has only played on 51% of snaps as he rotates with Jonnu Smith and MyCole Pruitt. Walker’s 66% routes/dropback dwarfs his fellow TE’s but his price tag may be a bit prohibitive. Average DraftKings pricing for TE1’s through seven slates has been $6,000 and Walker’s $8,200 price trails only Zach Ertz as the highest overall. Smith ($600) deserves a mention but would only hit his ceiling by catching a touchdown as he’s not seeing enough volume to do so without scoring.
Through two weeks Derrick Henry ($10,600) has seen only neutral/positive game scripts. In those games he’s split snaps almost evenly with Dion Lewis ($4,200). As noted in Silva’s matchups even with the split snap share, Henry has dominated Lewis in touches; 20 and 17 versus 6 and 4. Henry’s touch upside gives him one of the highest ceilings on a slate that lacks a ton of offense. Silva noted his concern with Marcus Mariota ($10,000) who may have a hard time paying off his price tag on low pass volume and a bum quad.
The Jaguars options offer access to a more concentrated offense on Thursday. D.J. Chark Jr. ($7,600) has surprisingly been the Jaguars most productive WR through two weeks and is priced as such on Thursday’s slate. Leading the team in targets and air yards, Chark has the ability to pay off his salary. Dede Westbrook ($7,400) was expected to be the Jags top receiving option but has disappointed thus far. Still playing on 84% of snaps and running a route on 94% of dropbacks. As noted in matchups, Gardner Minshew’s short-area passing style should marry well with Westbrook’s low aDOT in the slot. Chris Conley ($7,000) is currently questionable with a hip injury that has kept him limited in practice. If able to play, he offers a similar style of play to Chark and could come in at lower ownership. Marqise Lee ($6,600) is worth monitoring heading into Thursday’s game. He was held out week two and played only 21% of snaps in week one. If Conley is ruled out and Lee, who practiced in full Tuesday, is active he becomes playable. James O’Shaughnessy ($2,600) has seen relatively strong usage given his price tag, running a route on over half of Minshew’s dropbacks and seeing 9 targets through two weeks, he offers a path to outscore kickers and an even higher upside if he lands in the endzone. Geoff Swaim ($1,400) has been outscored by O’Shaugnessy in both contests but is not far behind in playing time.
Even as the third highest priced option on the slate, Leonard Fournette ($9,800) looks slightly underpriced given his role. Fournette is playing on 92% of snaps, handling virtually every rushing attempt and seeing an 18% target share. As Silva noted in matchups, the Titans defense has been vulnerable on the ground giving up 46/234/1 (5.09 YPC). If Minshew ($9,200) continues to be as efficient as he’s been through two weeks, even his low aDOT won’t stop him from putting up productive fantasy games.
*Captain Leonard Fournette, Dion Lewis, Corey Davis – We have yet to see a game script where the Titans are forced to abandon the run and turn to Lewis. Even in positive scripts Lewis is seeing 45% of the snaps. If the Jags get out to an early lead we could see Lewis’ opportunities rise.
*Captain Dede Westbrook, Gardner Minshew, Corey Davis – Given the 39-point total, slow pace and low play volume, the expectation is this game will lack offense, especially through the air. We want to build stacks that give us a chance to take down a GPP if the unexpected happens.
*Captain Corey Davis, Marcus Mariota, Leonard Fournette – Davis will have his hands full with one of the league’s best CB’s but we should expect that to be reflected in his ownership. As the only true full-time receiving option for the Titans we should weigh his price and opportunity against his matchup.
*Captain Gardner Minshew, 2 Jaguars WR’s – As noted above, Minshew’s style benefits his receivers who can rack up PPR points on short targets, in this scenario we would expect him to also be able to connect with each of his top receiving options for touchdowns.
*Captain Marcus Mariota, Delanie Walker, Corey Davis – It’s not pretty, but taking a shot at the Tennessee passing game could be relatively contrarian given how they have been playing.
*Captain Delanie Walker, Marcus Mariota, D.J. Chark – Walker has been Mariota’s most heavily targeted pass catcher. If Mariota and Walker connect early, it could force the Jags into a script that favors Chark and his big play upside.
*Captain Derrick Henry, Cairo Santos, D.J. Chark – As noted in the team analysis, there are very few cheap options who present a path to outscoring kickers. If Henry is able to do his damage between the 20s but the Titans fail to convert in the redzone, Santos could rack up points in a field goal heavy, low scoring game.
*Captain D.J. Chark/Chris Conley, Gardner Minshew, A.J. Brown – While Chark and Conley don’t fit Minshew’s preferred style of play, they inherently carry more upside with their much higher aDOT. They require less volume to reach their ceiling.
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. The need to roster kickers and DST’s is tied directly to how many rosterable players we have in the same salary range. As noted throughout, this game has an incredibly low 39-point total and features two slow paced teams who prefer to keep the ball on the ground. Because of the game environment and the lack of cheap players who project to see reasonable volume, we’re left with very few options that have a clear path to outscoring DST’s or Kickers. This is worth keeping in mind while constructing rosters.
Marqise Lee (if active and Chris Conley ruled out) – His unclear role makes him risky at his elevated salary. If Conley is out it’s likely he takes over a vast majority of the WR3 work.
A.J. Brown – As Silva noted, between Brown and Davis, Brown should see the better matchup. He flashed his upside in week one but there are some underlying concerns with his playing time.
Dion Lewis – Lewis has seen a respectable 45% snap share through two games but the touches have not followed. He could rack up targets in a game script that favors his skill set.
Adam Humphries – Like Lewis, Humphries benefits from a pass-happy script. Playing 45% of the snaps in an offense that isn’t running a lot of plays makes reaching a ceiling difficult.
James O’Shaugnessy – O’Shaugnessy is one of the few cheap options who is seeing enough usage to outscore Kickers on volume alone and has bigger upside if he’s on the receiving end of a Minshew touchdown.
Geoff Swaim – Swaim is seeing less opportunities than O’Shaugnessy but has seen 4 targets in back-to-back games.
Tajae Sharpe – Sharpe is running a route on fewer dropbacks than Humphries but has seen more targets and air yards. His $800 price stands out but it may not be necessary on a slate that lacks a lot at the top end.
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:
* Derrick Henry
* Leonard Fournette
* Delanie Walker
* Both DST’s and Kickers
Lower projected ownership, in order of descending salary:
* Dede Westbrook
* Corey Davis
* James O’Shaugnessy