BreweryMark and Chris E-Sports will be bringing you all their showdown tips for Sunday night, Monday night, and Thursday night games.
One of the things I like about doing the MNF content is the ability to talk a bit about the previous day. I certainly wish it was a day that I was able to look back and talk about wins and the right calls with pride. It wasn’t that for me yesterday. Not that the plays from building blocks didn’t go off, because they mostly did. It was more what else you needed to put in your lineup, and those didn’t go off. Over the latter part of the week, I found my way onto a few plays that were on the cheaper side of things that just did so poorly. These two were good decisions, but David Johnson and Josh Jackson barely made it into the game before they were both ruled out for the remainder. Their backups played well in their absence, only adding to what could have been. My main targets in terms of game stacks both put up 60+, but just had the wrong secondary parts. James Conner…. what the fuck happened to him? Or that entire Pittsburgh team for that matter? The Cardinals put up points, but we had to sweat that…. well except the primary player on my rosters being Edmonds. I think it just goes to show that sometimes you don’t know anything. The teams and players are all professionals and they are all very good. With that said, let’s talk about two teams full of professionals that will undoubtedly give us some top-notch football tonight.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets (+7.5)
The Jet’s offense has been awful, like really bad. Thankfully for them in this match, the Patriots defense is a shell of its former self. What they have done, is limit fantasy points on the opposition. The same can’t be said the other way. Sure, the Patriots offense has, outside of a few games, been pretty bad, but the Jets’ defense has given up tons of points to offenses. With that said, let’s look at who we can play from each.
From the Jets side of things we have only one question mark that we’re waiting on and that’s Jamison Crowder. He’s super expensive though at 11,200 and without Darnold playing to feed him I’m not sure I want to pay that price even if he is active.
The larger question is what type of point total is going to win today and how do we get there. Flacco being on the expensive side of things doesn’t thrill me. We haven’t seen him have a good game in years and my concern is that we could better use the salary elsewhere…. but where?
Assuming 2.5x being the number here in a low scoring game. Could we look to Perine? Berrios? Mims? With any of the receivers, part of it is getting balls they can catch and I don’t think Flacco will be throwing many of those to them.
I believe the Jets lose, and they lose by more than the 7 here. So my builds are going to be more centered around 4 Patriots and 2 Jets. My pool for Jets players will be as follows:
The question mark here is Damien Harris, for the purpose of this article we’re going to assume that he is playing. If not, it elevates guys like Burkhead.
With all the salary savings we get from the Jets side of things it seems like there are two obvious plays. One being Cam and the other being Harris. Beyond that how do we fill out this lineup?
Jakobi Meyers stands out as one of my favorite flex plays, and going into this article I thought James White would be the other guy. That would leave me with 2300 per player which on today’s slate is more than enough. He’s a play that if you’re going 3/3 and think this is close, or if you somehow think the Jets get ahead I’d want in my lineup.
But in the games that Pats have been in the lead or super close to it we see hits in his production.
The Pats’ defense seems like a good play right? But they’re 7400, and we saw last week how well that can go.
At the end of the day, there aren’t a lot of good plays in the game overall. Here are my favorite plays for each team:
Cam Newton / Damien Harris / Jakobi Meyers – I know went out on a limb here
James White / Rex / Byrd / Folk – 2nd Tier
Defense / Oszewski / Zuber / Izzo – No thanks, but they’re there
Berrios / Smith my favorite plays from New York. But they’re all pretty similar in their upside. Play who fits.
What a game we have on our hands! I can’t say that this has been one of the most exciting primetime duos that we’ve had in a while. The game itself isn’t so bad, it’s more so the teams and their current situations. You have a 49ers team dealing with both injuries and Covid concerns. Decimating the only positions we really look at for DFS. The same has happened to every level of the Packers team resulting in us considering a practice squad running back.
I would be lying if I said that I had a wonderful feel on this game, and as such I’m going to be building pretty light. I’m going to break down some of my thoughts on players and let you take it from there.
Davante Adams- He’s expensive but it doesn’t matter. Not only because he’s a stud and can pay off that price, but because there are a ton of cheap players that we can use for salary relief. Those players that we will talk about later are going to have starting roles and as such, I’d have almost 100% exposure to Adams. You can take a few stabs at other builds if you’re making a bunch of lineups, but even a bad game here for Adams projects better than others. My favorite Cash Captain.
Aaron Rodgers- For Adams to get those points he’s going to need Aaron to toss him the ball. There doesn’t need to be much explanation on why Rodgers is a good play, he always is. In single-game formats that is going to be true almost all the time. This 49ers defense isn’t what it was last year. Don’t get me wrong it’s still good, but that won’t deter me from putting Rodgers in almost every lineup along with Adams. I like him a bit more for the CPT slot in GPP’s, but it’s super close. If Aaron Jones plays Rodgers elevates above Adams to me in all formats.
Nick Mullens- One of the better backups in the league, he stands out with a decent median projection. Again, as discussed earlier we’re looking for raw points tonight, almost any build is going to stay under the cap, and finding that from a QB is typically a bit easier than from other positions. The QB gets his hands on the ball every play after all. Two years ago as the starter he had a large range of outcomes form 8 point stinkers to 22 point games that you’d love to see tonight.
San Francisco Running Backs- Between McKinnon and Hasty tonight I much prefer McKinnon if we knew they’d at least split snaps. We don’t and if the last few games are any indication with Mckinnon healthy as far as we know… he hasn’t really seen the field much. I’m going to have one of these two in every lineup as that Packers run defense is something we’ve targeted as a weakness for a while now. Doing so has been very profitable. With both of them being the same price we can almost make 2 lineups with these players being the only difference.
The bigger questions
Aaron Jones- If Jones plays, I’ll play him. If that does indeed happen I would think it rules out the usage of Tyler Ervin. Even if he was out I was leaning towards Dexter Williams as being the play that I liked more if you made me pick one or the other. However, a role share was likely to occur, and being that their combined salary was 400 playing them both would have been viable. Watch for news here.
Lazard- The Packers won’t be activating Lazard so that leaves us with MVS or ESB as secondary options on the Packers WR core or we could go to Darrius Shepherd. If you’re building a Rodgers CPT lineup I’d rotate exposure to one of these three guys.
Jordan Reed- Why not? He’ll be activated and we’ve seen him be used in the Red Zone when healthy this year. They’re down a ton of weapons and I can see an outcome where Reed catches 3 balls for 2 touchdowns and a concussion.
Packers Defense- Missing SO MANY players. The defense makes sense. It’s a bit pricey and I wouldn’t dream of putting it in my CPT slot.
Trent Taylor- It’s hard to get excited for a guy that has 3 touchdowns in 3 years. He does have 9 for 77 this year, but that’s the whole year…. If he could somehow double that today I’m sure he would make a lot of people happy. If he’s going to be the main guy and he’s going to draw a lot of attention from Alexander I don’t see this ending well.
Kevin White- I don’t even know what to write about Kevin White. The guy had a great collegiate career in WV. Never really was able to put it together in the pros. Part of that was being on the Bears, part was an injury, and part is that he’s probably just not very good. He’s cheap and if you wanna have some weird build with Mullens CPT I think Mullens/Taylor/White/Reed is fine… but I don’t think it’s needed.
Some of these Island games have just been really bad. We get yet another Primetime contest that consists of the Giants. No offense meant if they’re your team, but everyone knew they would be bad right? Sure having Barkley and some maturation of Jones would lead you to believe they’d be better than what we see now, but man I don’t like their chances tonight.
TB currently sits as 13-point favorites with a 29.25 implied total versus the 16.25 for the Giants. The Bucs’ defense has been scary good. Ranked 1 in DVOA, Ranked 1st against the pass, and 2nd against the rush. They don’t give up a lot of points to opposing offenses, even when they’re playing good offenses, which these Giants are not. They’re 30th in offensive DVA, 25th rushing, and 28th in passing. To paint an even grimmer picture here their Adjusted Line Yards is league-worst for offenses and they’re going against the 2nd best defense in Adj Line Yards. All this is to say load up on the Buc’s today.
We’ve talked about in past showdown articles that there are two popular winning builds. One of which is the 4-2, and then there is the 5-1. Tonight feels a lot like a 5-1 type of night.
One way I plan on being a little different is putting both Fournette and Ronald Jones into lineups together. It’s a strategy that I’ve seen win multiple times over the last few years and if you’ve read all of these I recommended it way back in week two when Karem Hunt and Nick Chubb both had huge games against the Bengals.
Mike Evans- I wonder if he goes overlooked this week. I’m certain many people will want to play Gronk as he’s seemed to find his form recently. The connection with Brady is there, and I’ll want to have some shares. But Mike Evans is still running more routes and out there for 90% snaps almost every week. Looking back over the last two games he’s only been targeted twice in each leading to some disappointing fantasy numbers. Everything else still checks out, he just hasn’t seen the targets.
Beyond that, put just about anyone in from the Bucs, their defense should be considered as well. I think it’s almost a Lock Button situation for TB12.
The format forces you to play some Giants, so who to play then?
Daniel Jones- 9200 is a steep price tag for someone that we don’t think will do very well. He’s never scored less than 8 fantasy points, so that’s kind of your floor.
Slayton- Always one big play away. In 4-2 builds I do like pairing Jones w/ Slayton as your two.
Sterling Shepard- When the guy plays, Jones tends to target him. I’m expecting 6 targets today which should be good for about 7 fantasy points. But at 6600 that might not be the return on value that we need.
Wayne Gallman-5200 that’s getting better, but against this Buc’s defense I’m not sure this is where I want to go.
Golden Tate-Okay I told myself I’d never play Tate again. That was of course talking about classic slates though right? Today at 3000 it won’t take much to get that return. We just have to hope he gets some targets. Over the last two games he’s only seen 3, he was able to make the most of one and get in the endzone, I’m not confident that happens here tonight.
Look, you can play anyone from the Giants that makes it feel good when jamming in all the Bucs players. I expect him to be popular, but my favorite play is Kaden Smith. 400 dollars doesn’t need to do much. Plays 50% of the snaps, we need one catch, just one. Kaden can you get it done for us tonight?
We’re back with another showdown tonight and this is one of the first in a while that I can say I’m somewhat excited about? Not since I got my new TV’s and the majestic Fitzmagic was squaring off against the lion that is Minshew have I felt like we had some must-see TV. The weather in Carolina isn’t as bad as it could have been, but still, it’s going to have an impact on this game to an extent. Of course, the biggest single thing we’re monitoring is whether or not CMAC is playing this week.
First, on that point. Even if he does play I’d have to suspect his workload would be reduced for at least this week and quite possibly moving forward to a lesser extent. I’m pretty confident in running out Mike Davis in my flex if CMAC is playing and bumping him up into my CPT if he isn’t.
Second, the focus again is to look at this game as a puzzle. The theory behind building a winning lineup goes deeper than just picking the right plays. What does the pricing allow? How does this single game showdown tend to work? We’re trying to crack the formula. There seem to be 3 different equations that end up paying out and two of them are far more prevalent.
The least of which is the 3-3 build. This is a build we’re aiming for if we think the game is going to be close. Tonight’s game is an example of one of those games. Vegas has this game at less than 3 points which as you may know is typically what’s given to a home team as a straight home-field advantage. I’m not sure without fans that it’s viewed the same, but regardless it’s a close game.
But if this is how people are going to build is it the right way to go about things? More often we’ve seen builds of 4-2 or 5-1 end up in the top .01% of lineups. While that’s occurred the 4-2 has been the far more popular build for people. Meaning I kind of like the leverage a 5-1 brings. In most cases, I’d also want to build a 5-1 with the public dog being the main part of my build. Remember, the first thing you land on is likely to be the first thing others land on. With all the variance that can occur, I’d prefer to take the leverage on a popular play or combination busting and my unique lineup propelling me into first.
Through almost all the median projection simulations I’ve run it appears Mike Davis is the most popular CPT. Teddy Bridgewater is the most popular flex. Brian Hill is super popular and ends up in a lot of the lineups.
Take that information for what it’s worth and it’s simply based on projections.
What if the Falcons defense is a little better though? Aren’t those projections going to take into account this team before Dan Quinn was dismissed? Could we see some of these projections thinking that this Falcons offense would look more like the hobbled group we’ve seen at times? Absolutely, and a way to get different is to be on the other side of those assumptions.
I’m going heavy on the falcons, likely most of my builds will end up as 5-1 or 4-2 stacks in the Falcons favor. Running it back on the Panthers side with Mike Davis (If CMC is out) and Teddy or Sly or something on that side.
Unlikely things happen seemingly every week. Those are what get you the mega payday. If you have a chalk lineup and it hits, you might be splitting with 70 people. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a 30k payday, but I’m hunting that 1 million tonight.
Monday Night NFL Showdown!
Hey Friends, Jonny Danger here filling in for Emrick.
Getting the game script right is the key to locking down single-game slates in Showdown Mode. You have to tell yourself the story of the game and then let the players work themselves out. Of course there are always multiple ways games can pan out so there are not many “Wrong Plays”, what you want to be avoiding are “Wrong Builds”. Just make sure whatever narrative you build to make the lineup correlate and be conscious of the style of contest you entered.
Let’s look at contest selection. There is a stark difference in how you approach a 50/50 style cash game, single entry, or multi entry events. If you are trying for cash games you want the highest possible combined floor. Single entry you need to be right on how the game flow plays out and have a part of the highest scoring side or group of players. For Multi-entry you are going to need to correlate a bunch of players in weird or one off situations that are maybe a bit out there but not totally random. In all circumstances don’t get cute just to be cute. It might work one time but it just won’t be winning ROI for you.
Looking at Vegas to get an idea on where the betting public thinks the game will go is always a good step to get a feeling for the story of the game.
This has potential to be maybe one of the lowest scoring games of the week. Bears Defense has been very very good, but so have the Rams! Bears give up yardage to the RBs and some numbers to slot and TEs in the middle of the field but very little scoring. Rams have been equally stout, have locked down top receivers with Ramsey and also slightly give up more to tight ends.
I hate both QBs tonight, I can see a path to a winning build having one or three other DEF in there and a game where picking the right Rams RB and TE could make the difference.
I’m having a hard time building a GPP lineup I like that’s fading enough chalk to not have around 3-4k left in salary so don’t stress about using up your whole budget.
I’m feeling a 20-17 style game.
For a cash build you could look at Monty and Henderson as the highest floor plays followed by either defense, either kicker and Jimmy Graham. Those are my core cash games players. I’m fading Robinson and Woods and both QBs.
As you can see you tell yourself a story and build your entry accordingly.
Here are my favorite players to target.
Feels strange talking about Chicago and not recommending Allen Robinson. The talent is there for sure. However the Rams have Ramsey and are top 5 against opposing WR fantasy scoring. For this reason I’m out, unless you are building 20 lineups or more. I love the usage Monty has seen since losing Cohen. You are going to get just shy of 20 carries, and 4-5 targets in the passing game minimum. He is really the only stud I am confident to go 100% on in builds.
I like the slight edge teams have against LA with the TE’s so I am in on Jimmy Graham and even a bit of Demetrius Harris if you want to get different in big field tournaments. Harris is seeing 1-3 targets a game consistently and might see the top end of that range tonight.
In low scoring defensive games it’s never a bad idea to see who returns punts. That is especially relevant when that guy is Cordarrelle Patterson. He is the 4th WR, basically the back up running back, and has all the talent to return a punt to the house on any given attempt. He is going to see 2-4 carries and see 3-4 targets as well. Love him in showdowns.
Not even Brady, Stafford or Ryan have beat up on the Bears secondary. I don’t really see Goff stepping up more than those guys. You have to like the RB spot as the Bears are giving up almost 100 a game but very little scoring. The problem is will Henderson have the full workload? He only has in half the games and Brown and Akers are healthy. I hate trying to figure out these kinds of splits. If you get the right guy and even more so if you choose right if it happens to be Malcolm or Cam that leads the way then you are going to be in a GOOD spot.
I like the TE spot here again but you have a split in Higbee and Everett. I tend to lean Everett but this will be a choice you have to make. Kupp will get the best matchup against Buster Screen and I am off Woods on the outside. Interesting guy that sees about 4-5 targets a game is Josh Reynolds. He has TD potential in a sneaky play while all the studs are covered. It’s low-percentage, high-rewards plays like that that will help you take down a big GPP if it hits.
Lineup construction by team also matters. For best cash lineups the better floor of the 3/3 (3 players from each team) usually makes sense, but for more of an edge in larger fields, the 4/2 lineups have more upside if you get the right side of the story correct and if you can find the right one-off guy that scores at extremely low ownership, pairing them up with 4 other guys from the same team in a 5/1 build can boost you to the top of large field GPPs. I personally don’t get too cute in the CPT spot. Looking for the highest possible ceiling guy at a reasonable price and not crazy ownership is where I look. I tend to avoid QBs, #1 WR and #1 projected RBs.
Tonight I’m looking at RB1 for either side, TE1 for either side and the DEF of either side in my CPT spots.
My Favorite targets for CPT tonight in order are Montgomery/Graham/Bears DEF/Rams DEF/Henderson/Everett(or Higbee if that floats your boat more)/Kupp
Good luck everyone!
Thursday Night NFL Showdown! 10/22
Hey Friends, Jonny Danger here filling in for Emrick while he is traveling. Hopefully I can live up to the standards of our high-scoring partners here at FFB and help YOU win big tonight!
Getting the game script right is the key to locking down single-game slates in Showdown Mode. You have to tell yourself the story of the game and then let the players work themselves out. Of course, there are always multiple ways games can pan out so there are not many “Wrong Plays”, what you want to be avoiding are “Wrong Builds”. Just make sure whatever narrative you’re trying to tell, that your lineup correlates and you’re conscious of the style of contest you entered.
Let’s look at contest selection. There is a stark difference in how you approach a 50/50 style cash game, single entry, or multi-entry events. If you are trying for cash games you want the highest possible combined floor. Single entry you need to be right on how the game flow plays out and have a part of the highest scoring side or group of players. For multi-entry you are going to need to correlate a bunch of players in weird or one-off situations that are maybe a bit out there but not totally random. In all circumstances, don’t get cute just to be cute. It might work one time but it just won’t be winning ROI for you.
Looking at Vegas to get an idea on where the betting public thinks the game will go is always a good step to get a feeling for the story of the game.
Eagles are favored in a game between two teams that have 2 combined wins. Vegas has set this total very low. I actually kinda like these games in showdown as there are no obvious sources of scoring. Both of these offenses are sporadic and inept in their own ways and neither of these defenses are blatantly awful. Therefore, there are a bunch of different directions you can take.
For instance, do you think NYG just stinks and the Eagles at home will turn the corner tonight and make a run at this AWFUL division? The Giants give up more production to the RB positions so maybe you line up Scott with the Philly DEF and Kicker with Fulgham and run back with Slayton and Engram as they have the best shot to make a big TD play.(Note this will not be a unique lineup, so plays like this need to be used for Cash aka 50/50 games more than tournaments…)
As you can see, you tell yourself a story and build your lineup accordingly.
Here are my favorite players to target.
Freeman has been getting better and more used to this offense, but I don’t believe in his upside for hitting value for his salary and projected ownership. In big GPPs you need to hit that back-up right that might get the breakaway TD or increased usage out of nowhere. Dion Lewis is the guy that most people look at but the usage and snaps actually indicate that Wayne Gallman is more likely to see more opportunity, and, if injury strikes, to be the first chance at lead-back carries.
I have zero love for Tate and Daniel Jones just won’t throw the ball enough to hit a ceiling worth his price.
Gano is probably the most consistent player on this team?! When you have a team struggling with TD conversions (25% – 31st rank) in the end zone you turn to that kicker who is averaging 10 DK points a game!
Though the Giants on paper are good against the TE, the Eagles run their TE’s like WRs throughout the game. Philly also runs 2 TE sets 43% of the time! For reference only 12 teams are at more than 20% and the next closest team in frequency only runs 2 TE 30% of the time. For this reason Rodgers and Croom are glaringly underpriced. In big GPPs Croom might even get CPT attention from me if I’m building 20 lineups. Scott is also not a full blown workhorse and Clement will get a good chance for some looks.
Wentz is fine, Fulgham will be crazy popular and same with Scott. Where I am completely off of is DeSean Jackson. I’m not convinced he has the gas left for those deep routes or is even fully healthy from a nagging hamstring injury. The guy I want to differentiate that has had a few of those looks that just haven’t paid off, because Wentz is a subpar barely average QB, is John Hightower. He has the 9th highest Average Depth of Target on the year at 21.75 yards!! That’s insanely high and only needs 1 or 2 catches over that yardage to pay off big!
Lineup construction by team also matters. For best cash lineups the better floor of the 3/3 (3 players from each team) usually makes sense, but for more of an edge in larger fields, the 4/2 lineups have more upside if you get the right side of the story correct and if you can find the right one-off guy that scores at extremely low ownership (hint… Hightower or Croom for me this week) pairing them up with 4 other guys from the same team in a 5/1 build can boost you to the top of large field GPPs. I personally don’t get too cute in the CPT spot.
Looking for the highest possible ceiling guy at a reasonable price and not crazy ownership is where I look. I tend to avoid QBs, #1 WR and #1 projected RBs.
My Favorite targets for CPT tonight are Slayton/Fulgham/Ward/Rodgers/Gano
Good luck everyone!
Update: No Lev Bell, making CEH an even better play. Brown is active. Kroft a good salary-saver at TE with Knox out.
If there is one good thing that has come from the inability of the NFL to keep its players from testing positive for COVID-19 it’s that we get more of these two-game slates. Throughout my career, I’ve always tended to excel in these types of formats, so it’s natural that I enjoy them. For whatever reason, that hasn’t translated fully into showdown only furthering my enjoyment of these slates over just a showdown game. The games start early today at 5 pm so I’m going to get right into it.
Kansas City @ Buffalo +5.5
This line has moved two points since it opened as it appears there has been both sharp and public bets coming in on the Chiefs side. You have to think this line and the betting looks a lot different one week ago if we hadn’t just watched the Bills get manhandled in Primetime. To be fair the Titans are undefeated and look pretty legit. So can we fault the Bills all that much for that loss? I still like KC and I’ll have pieces of the offense as this is a 55 total that opened at 57.5. Don’t forget this Chiefs team lost to the Raiders who look improved but not quite to the level of the Titans.
I love taking Bills pieces in this game. Allen and Diggs are obvious on the board plays but don’t sleep on John Brown and Cole Beasley. Additionally, Zack Moss is back and could resume stealing some of those goal-line runs. At 4k he helps fit in a lot of studs elsewhere.
On the Chiefs side, there is no Le’Veon Bell for the purposes of DFS. The perception this will have an impact on CEH’s role is somewhat overstated in my opinion and even more so this week. This might be a great time to roster him at or near what his role has been thus far this year. The other piece of this offense that we don’t conventionally look at is Mecole Hardmen. We tend to mention him in passing as a Large GPP play, but with Sammy Watkins out you’ll see increased usage and an ownership uptick to go along with that. I expect Hardman to remain primarily in the slot which is a great spot opposite Taron Johnson. Even if he does go out wide Josh Norman isn’t someone we worry about these days.
It’s hard to not like everything in this game. It will be super popular as a result. Both defenses have given up points in bunches.
Arizona @ Dallas -1
More significant line movement here. Dallas opened at +2.5 and has turned into a -1. Bets are split 50/50 on both sides so there’s been some significant money coming in on Dallas.
What is there really to say about these teams? Both had significantly higher expectations coming into the year. Dallas has had it’s hopes checked a bit with a devastating injury to Dak. Andy Dalton is one of the better backups in the league and should be able to guide this offense just fine. He isn’t Dak, but at the same time, the weapons Dallas has are really unlike anything he’s ever had before. It’s a matter of figuring out who he’s going to have the rapport with and where to target. There are two obvious plays from this game Hopkins/Zeke. But beyond that, it’s trying to land on the right WR.
Ceedee Lamb has looked phenomenal. It helps to have guys like Cooper and Gallup out there to help make coverage beatable. Now being the highest priced of the trio makes ya kind of wonder. Will people go back to him at this price when you can get both Cooper and Gallup at discounts?
For me, this overall slate is interesting in the sense that you have defenses that can’t stop anyone going against offenses that seemingly can score on anyone. It’s not a something has to break type situation… it’s everything is going to get destroyed. Playing some of the lower-owned pieces or the players the public is off of is the way to win large GPP’s.
Favorite High-Risk Plays
Moss, CEH, Hardman
Favorite Cowboys WR
Gallup (Always is though right?) Seriously his price is the most attractive piece of the equation.
Also-If John Brown is out I’m for sure firing up Gabe Davis.
I’ll have more Kenyan Drake in my lineups than I’d be willing to openly admit to anyone.
Bonus Content – Tuesday Night Showdown.
The Titans finally return to the field after their bout with Covid-19. They’re still missing several of those players, notably Corey Davis and Adam Humphries. It’s assumed AJ Brown will play, but if he does he likely gets the Tre’Davius White treatment. If he doesn’t, it opens up a ton of options in the Titans passing game, none of which are exactly all that exciting if we’re being honest.
Opposite the Titans, we have a red hot bills team that’s produced some major fantasy numbers. This team is built around Josh Allen and, as such, we’ve seen some pretty disappointing performances from Devin Singletary. With Zach Moss questionable we have to decide on whether or not we can trust Singletary to actually cash in on some of the chances he’s gotten around the goal line. In his last two games, in the backfield alone, he put up admirable numbers but they could have been huge pop off games. The other stop to monitor is going to be whether or not John Brown plays. If he doesn’t, and maybe even if he does, we have some Gabriel Davis decisions to make.
So the top plays seem rather obvious in terms of Allen/Diggs and then either Tannehill or Henry on the other side but here are a few guys that I like outside of them
Devin Singletary- He’s done alright since Moss has been out; as discussed earlier we’ve seen situations where he gets one shot to make it in the end zone and if he can’t do it, Allen will get the call after. On a single-game slate like this though, Allen is going to be mega owned and we need to find ways that we can distance from his chalkiness but still capitalize on what should be a Bills win. That might be the key to the takedown.
Jonnu Smith- I suspect Smith will have a ton of ownership but he’s in a great spot if AJ Brown plays or even if he doesn’t. The coverage he’ll see will likely be easier to beat and he has a massive Red Zone role. I explore playing Smith more with Tannehill and less with Henry
Kalif Raymond- This isn’t going to surprise anyone, he’s going to be owned. The pass-catching core for the Titans is super thin. Look for Kalif to play a role and score some points. If by nothing else than sheer volume.
Gabriel Davis- Less of a role in the offense currently, but if Brown is out I think he’s a bit sneakier of a play than Raymond.
Isaiah McKenzie and Anthony Firkser- I’m not looking at either of these guys breaking the slate. But they provide the obvious salary relief when you’re trying to stuff the expensive guys in. For this to work the other guys that you put in need to smash. The entire offensive production from the two teams really would need to be funneled through the other players in your lineup, which is totally possible.
A new week, a new format. You know the deal.
As discussed last Thursday close games seem to be leaning towards 3-3 builds for these showdown slates. That makes sense, we saw it then and again yesterday with a 3-3 stack taking it down on a 1-point game. Tonight we have a -7 point spread so it would indicate that Vegas doesn’t think this will be close. The other part of it though is not just how close the game is but how many points are scored. Both teams have totals over 20 and thus we need to account for 5-7 touchdowns.
Some Quick Picks For tonight
Key Injuries/Suspensions- Michael Thomas and Austin Ekeler.
Lock-Button Building Blocks- Alvin Kamara /Keenan Allen
Second Tier Plays- Josh Kelley, Justin Herbert, Hunter Henry, Tre’Quan Smith
Third Tier- Drew Brees, Emmanuel Sanders, Latavius Murray
Tipsy Picks- Trautman (if Cook is out), Marquez Callaway, Justin Jackson, Taysom Hill
The Chargers have the 20th Ranked Defense DVOA overall with rankings of 13 and 18 for Rush and Pass Respectively. They Give up the 23rd most points to RB’s and 17th to WR. Yet are 3rd to QB’s.
4.94% Sack Rate and only 1% Takeaway
The Saints have the 8th Overall DVOA Defense with ranks of 4 and 11 for Rush and Pass. They allow the 28th most points to WR, 15th to RB, and the most to opposing TE’s (His name is Robert Tonyon)
7.87% Sack Rate with a 1.55 Take away.
Prediction 29-27 Saints. Take the points on the Chargers. This is a prime time game with a Rookie QB. The Saints don’t scare me but they are better at home.
It’s Thursday and you know what the means. It’s time to talk about the Showdown slate. There are some juicy tournaments posted on DK with some fantastic top prizes up for grabs. As we know these tournaments are lotteries in the sense that they’re almost impossible to win. To have a chance to win these tournaments we need to do more than just pick the right plays. Look if you were able to do that, you’d win all the time. Putting together the right combination is difficult but as we’ve talked about at length in the past it’s all about the game theory behind putting these lineups together.
First, let’s look at the last 4 major showdown GPP’s, the game score, and the roster construction that won.
KC 26-10 NE
4- KC pieces and 2 New England. The lowest owned piece was the defense at 20%, and the lowest-priced player was Bird.
This lineup makes a good amount of sense when we look at the matchup. New England had been stronger against the run and Mahomes is always in play. Pairing him with Hill made a ton of sense in that case and the double-stack with Hardman works. I’m sure more people went to one of the other 3 players but Kelce was expensive and Watkins was certainly pricier than Hardman who had been getting a ton of action in the Red Zone. Bird was a cheap piece of the offense for New England that was getting great usage in comparison to his price and James White is always viable in a losing game script for New England. – We will come back to some of the other take-aways here in a bit.
GB 30 – ATL 16
4 GB and 2 ATL- Interesting lineup with 3 Running Backs and the lowest owned player being 3%. I think the idea behind Jamal Williams at least was that they’d need to utilize the running back passing game more with Adams and Lazard both sidelined. That could also lead you to Tonyan as a Red Zone Target, which he certainly was. This lineup only used 45,600 and edged out a lineup that used almost the entire cap. That one used Tonyan as the CPT and used Matt Ryan instead of Jamal Williams. More on this later.
Eagles 25 – 49ers 20
3-3 build here, with a defense on the opposite side of the captain. This lineup did in fact use all the salary cap, well except 100, and had it’s lowest owned player at 4% which was in fact that defense. There were a few other lineups that almost took this down, but couldn’t quite eclipse this score. They all had similar compositions but one key point to note was they were all 3-3 builds.
Denver 37- NYJ 28
Another 3-3 build. Here we see two kickers become relevant for the first time this year. We had two offenses that haven’t been playing well for different reasons. Nevertheless both did have a hard time moving the ball all the way down the field and converting into touchdowns. As a result, we saw both kickers find their way into a lineup that was duplicated 309 times.
There are a couple of observations I want to make briefly before going into some thoughts on the game. I have more on this topic but we’re going to cover just the basics today and in coming weeks we will add more and more to it. I’m not totally sure how much of these things are actionable and thus I want to do some further testing prior to giving you all information that may or may not be good.
The first thing we see is there are two popular build structures that seem to win. 4-2 and 3-3. There will be times that a 5-1 wins as well. The theme I’m noticing is the closer the game, the more likely the 3-3 is to be the viable play The games that were a bit more out of hand during the game or towards the end, all ended with 4-2’s. If you go back a bit further to the Miami/Jax game that was a 5-1. As you recall that game was out of hand very quickly.
In every one of these games, one of the starting running backs was in the optimal lineup. In the case of the NE/KC game it was only the back from the losing team, but Mahomes rushing the ball in for a score early and Hardman later both hurt CEH’s ceiling. Heck, both those guys are in the optimal. Am I saying that you need a running back in your lineup? Maybe, but I’m not sure yet. Just an observation.
So with what we now know, how do we think this game is going to go? Currently, the books have this game as the Bucs being -3.5 point favorites on the road. It didn’t open that way, they started as -5.5 favorites. To me, I think this game will be a bit closer than that, and I actually like the Bears to win. I think the game being super close though leads me to more 3-3 builds as opposed to the 4-2 or 5-1.
Running Backs- Ronald Jones and David Montgomery both stand to get a lot of work tonight. I think both of these guys will be very popular and I’m not opposed to having both in your lineup. Montgomery is interesting as he’s basically the only guy they use in the position right now and he runs a ton of routes. While the Bears haven’t passed to the backs much this year (26th) the only real weakness the Bucs have had on D is allowing receptions to running backs. That hasn’t translated to a ton of points, but it’s something to think about it for sure.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn filled in as the backup for TB. Played 21.9% of the snaps and was able to get a few targets and rushes, plus a touchdown for good measure. At 1500 he’s one of the cheaper viable options for tonight.
Kickers- It’s a Thursday game, the total is kind of low at 44. You have a Bucs team that’s been devastated by injury and a Bears team that had a tough time moving the ball last week. This is certainly a viable strategy to have one or both in your lineup if you think this will look like last week’s game. I tend to think one or the other is the way to go. Same thing with defenses which we kind of look at the same way.
Cairo Santos- 8/8 XP 5/7 FG – Hasn’t hit anything beyond 40 yards yet this season. He was 3-6 last year from those distances and is currently 0-2 this year
Ryan Succop 13/14 XP 5/7 FG – 1-2 40-49 and 0-1 50+ – Last year he couldn’t hit any field goals and went 1-6
Fun fact, Santos replaced Succop last year in Tennessee when Succop went on IR. Santos had previously played in Tampa….
QB’s- The floor on QB’s always makes them viable. Putting two into your lineup can end up being super chalky as many people are going to be doing the same thing. The high price does mean it gives you some chances to be different. Go two high-priced guys and then fill out your lineup leaving money on the table to try and get a unique build.
Game Script / Line Movement
We’ve talked about in the past trying to get away from what the public thinks this game is going to do. That seems to have worked more than it hasn’t. So what’s the public thinking about this game? 56% of the bets are coming in on the over, yet the line has dropped from 45 to 44…. wait what? When those are the numbers it means the bets coming in on the under are larger amounts and typically more seasoned betters. What we like to call “Sharps” or “Sharks” so the smart money is on the under, the public is on the over… Maybe those two kickers aren’t so bad after all.
Ronald Jones/ David Montgomery
Bears 19- TB 17
Well if there was a silver lining to the Covid-19 football crisis over the weekend, it’s that everything looks like it’s going to be alright (except the Titans) and that we get two games tonight. You know if there’s a million-dollar contest we have to have some content right?
This is where all the questions start creeping in. There can be cases made for almost everyone at each position and the context of prior matchups simply makes this more difficult.
In the case of Mahomes, you have one of the best, if not the best, Quarterbacks in the league but he’s going up against an elite defense with one of the better secondaries in the league. That said, the same secondary has been getting torched by opposing teams so far and it’s been in fact their running defense that has been the better of the two. We all saw what Darren Waller did to the Chiefs and it’s not hard to believe that could what we see tonight with Kelce.
Rodgers would be, to me, the obvious play. He doesn’t quite have the ceiling, game in and game out, that Mahomes does but he has a great floor and exceeds value most of the time… lately. It wasn’t too long ago that his real-life numbers were fine but his fantasy output wasn’t something you wanted in your lineup. The concern for me here, of course, is that he’s got some really limited weapons on the outside, but he’s going against one of the worst defenses over the last few years.
Ryan is the third option here. Much like Rodgers, his weapons are banged up, but by all accounts they look like they’ll be out there. Part of this pick is getting the right guy to go with him, then hoping that the Packers offense still operates in such a fashion that they can get a lead and push this Falcons unit to keep their attack in the air.
I’m running multiple lineups, but as of now, it looks like it will Be Mahomes/Rodgers/Ryan in that order for exposure. I want nothing to do with Brian Hoyer…. I’m a full fade.
I’m thinking most people are going to just put in Aaron Jones and Edwards-Helaire. There isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s probably the right play to make, to be honest. Most of my lineups will have this combination. If you’re playing a small tournament or cash games then lock these two guys in and move along. However, that may not be the ideal play in a larger GPP. I’ll give you an example of what I mean. Darrel Henderson was the better play on the Rams yesterday by all accounts. However, if I had swapped out Henderson for Brown in one of my afternoon lineups I would have cashed for 135k. Instead, that lineup got me 40 dollars. The raw projection is nice, but it doesn’t matter what that is. All that matters is production and anything can happen. On these small slates, you need to build for the anything.
Gurley can score two touchdowns. He’s absolutely viable and at a discount. Despite Brian Hill vulturing a touchdown on a long run Gurley still doubled his snap count and ran just as many routes. Brian Hill could do it again, even though Gurley was involved more, Hill still ran the ball 9 times and had 13 routes. Depending on the game flow those could be some valuable snaps that end up with targets.
James White returns and I have him projected just below Gurley. The top-end game doesn’t exist in the same way that it does for Gurley but a 12-16 point showing will 3-4x his value. He’s viable in tournament formats and has a safer floor than some of these receivers.
Jones/Helaire are fine… sprinkle in a few Gurley/Hill/White shares for large GPPs.
For me, this comes down to who you have at Quarterback and how you’re going to run it back. My top projected points in order are:
Mahomes-Hill (Unless you go Kelce)-Watkins (Played the most snaps of any Chiefs WR last week.-Hardman (Almost broke the slate last week by almost scoring a second touchdown.)
Rodgers-MVS-Sheperd-Taylor – This stack almost feels better including Jones and then running it back with two Falcons.
Ryan-Ridley-Julio-Gage- This is pretty straight forward.
This is most likely where the contests will be won and lost. Nailing all three of your WR’s will put you ahead. There are quite a few nice options and most of them come with enough risk that it makes sense to deviate a bit. Especially if you’re going chalky with your running backs.
Ridley or Jones-One or the other if not both.
MVS/Watkins top “sneaky” plays for me.
Hill/Hardman – slate breaking potential – Hill in more ways than one.
Play who you want but this is the way I’m looking at it.
If I have Hill, I’m looking to either Hurst or Tonyan. If I don’t have Hill, Kelce will likely be in that lineup unless I’m thinking that game is lower scoring. What I mean by this is that when making multiple lineups you have to make each lineup tell a story. The story of how you think those games will play out. The players fit into that story and if you think it will be a 20-14 game, Kelce might not fit into that. Or maybe he does because you see them throwing a lot of short passes. That’s up to you.
Favorite Mock Line Up
Then fill in the other spots
Let me tell you, this sure isn’t the Monday night game. As we said on the broadcast last night this game wasn’t one that anyone was really excited about. Then DraftKings goes out and gives me a few tickets for it and here I am writing an article. In the past showdowns, some of the things that have worked were going against the conventional wisdom of that game. Last week it was that Jax should beat Miami, well that didn’t exactly happen. Monday was along the lines of… Baltimore has a great defense… well that didn’t matter. Today it’s that this game shouldn’t end up being a high scoring affair with a super low O/U total at 40.5.
So what do we do with that information? Obviously, both of these offensives are without some of the best weapons and even with them, we had pretty low expectations of them to begin with. At the same time, the best defensive players from both these teams from last year are gone. Von Miller, hurt. Jamal Adams shipped off to Seattle. Chris Harris? He’s gone too. So what if, maybe… and I know this is crazy, this game ends up being a bit higher scoring than people think it will?
Tailor your lineup to tell a story, to follow what you believe the outcome will be.
NY Jets Offensive comes alive –
Darnold, Herndon, Crowder – This three-man stack along with a kicker or maybe Braxton Berrios will likely be a large part of a high octane attack… if the Jets can muster one.
Run it back with one or two guys like Fant/Patrick/Jeudy.
If you think they find themselves near the end zone, it doesn’t hurt to take a stab at Frank Gore. If the Jets are protecting a lead late they’re going to run the ball. In fact, they’re likely to run the ball on first down regardless, so Gore is always in play.
What if you see it the other way? The Bronco’s come out energized by their new QB Brett Rypien. Well, he’s likely to find his success throwing some easier passes right? That falls into the wheelhouse of guys like Fant and Patrick. Jeudy is the obvious down-field threat, but he’s going to be popular. If the team finds success, and he isn’t part of it, the leverage you’ll have is immense. That isn’t to say fade him completely, we’re just talking scenarios here.
In this case, the Jet’s are playing catch up and the guy I’d want is Ballage. Gore, Kalen, and Perine split work into thirds last week but Ballage is the best pass-catching back. Hauling in all 5 of his targets. He’s the perfect player for the run back.
In any event, this isn’t super exciting, but there is a showdown with 300k up top. Anything goes but try to keep your roster construction to 4-2 or 5-1.
Predictions and Props:
Jets win 27-13 – Herndon scores 2 TD’s
Gordon to score first touchdown +450
Herndon to score first touchdown +1400
@EmrickD4U on Twitter with any questions. I’ll be happy to discuss the game at more length if anyone has questions.
What a Monday night game we have on our hands. On the surface, we have two of the league’s best offenses facing off in what everyone seems to expect to be a shootout. That may indeed be the case, but this Baltimore defense is a lot better than people give it credit for. It isn’t to say that people don’t give them credit either, because they do. That’s the point, this defense is fantastic. The offense for KC is going to be put to the test, but they’re equally fantastic. It has all the makings for a great game.
We know the usual characters:
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. You’ll want one, or both, in your lineup and either as captain viable.
The rest of the guys? Let’s take a closer look at some of the cheap options and see where we can save some salary to fit the studs in the lineups.
DraftKings has a ton of low-end guys listed as roster options. Many of these guys haven’t seen the field yet this year and this game isn’t going to change that. I’m simply going to highlight guys that are playable and hopefully that assists in whittling it down.
|Player||Price||Snaps Week 1||Snaps Week 2||Projection||Upside|
As you can see from the chart above none of these plays really stand out. Boykin/Boyle both have Red Zone Targets, Boyle is a short-range pass catcher, and Edwards has an at-times decent role in the offense. Everyone has some Touchdown upside and the D can certainly create turnovers.
Boykin/Edwards/Defense/Boyle would be my top 4 in order here. Although I’m looking to limit my exposure to the players at this level.
The Chiefs’ options down here are pretty slim. Butker is a fine play as kickers are options that give you a safe floor. Darwin Thompson saw action last week at 1k, but his involvement in the offense leaves me disinterested. 15/70 with 4 carries and no targets.
Demarcus Robinson at 3k isn’t cheap but he has seen 10 targets through 2 weeks and was targeted inside the Red Zone twice.
The Kansas City Defense is an interesting play if you want to pair them with Mecole Hardman and attempt to get a double-dip special teams TD.
If you can figure out the Baltimore running game more power to you. The two running backs and Willie Snead make up the options on the Raven’s side of things, while we have Mecole Hardman on the other. I like Snead and Hardman as they both have roles in their offenses.
Snead has played 67% of the snaps this year, running routes on 68% of those. That’s resulted in only 6 targets but he was able to convert all 6 of those into catches, one of which was a touchdown.
Hardman saw his workload explode in week two in terms of snaps played. 20/67 up to 50/70. The targets only increased from 1 to 3, but he was second in the team in Air Yards, ran 29 routes as opposed to 10, and possesses the upside of returning kicks. Hardman isn’t a lock by any means but I’ll have a few shares sprinkled in.
|Mark Ingram||21 / 27||0 / 3||(10) and (9)|
|JK Dobbins||23 / 20||0 / 1||(7) and (2)|
|Guss Edwards||15 / 20||0||(4) and (10)|
As you can see the workload is split up. Ingram is the most expensive and it’s justified by his Red Zone involvement – 7 Touches where the other two guys only have two combined (they’re both Dobbins).
I can get behind any of these guys. I like Dobbins from a leverage spot, but Ingram’s projection and upside are undeniably the highest.
For Baltimore at the top, there are three guys that are clear plays. Jackson/Andrews/Brown. I don’t think there’s much explanation here. Jackson is obviously the safest play as he runs the offense and runs on offense. Get it? Andrews can at times be a huge part of this offense and at other times he seems like he’s just along for the ride. On his good games, he tends to score touchdowns and in fact, he’s had 12 touchdowns in 18 games, 3 times finding the end zone twice in one game. The upside is certainly there for a guy like Andrews. On the other side of that, he has 8 games where he had less than 10 fantasy points and has only eclipsed 100 yards twice and those were Week 1 and 2 of last year.
Brown is similar. 19 games, 7 touchdowns, and 8 games under 10 points. 3 games over 100 yards, but this year he has increased his snap % and currently has 47% of the team’s air yards. At 8400 versus Andrew’s 800 I think I lean Andrews if I can’t have both.
Mahomes is an obvious play as previously mentioned. What about their other big three?
Kelce- Plays almost every snap. Has similar Touchdown upside that Andrews does but comes with a better floor. He only has 3 games under 10 points in his last 19. While he also doesn’t tend to exceed 100 yards he consistently is above 60 missing that mark only 6 times in the last 19.
Hill- Ran 43 routes last week, is the focal point of this offense and you’re getting him at a discount. His matchup isn’t easy. While I like playing Andrews/Brown together I won’t have any Kelce/Hill. They don’t tend to have good games together and they’re too expensive to be wasting salary capital.
Helaire- If you’re banking on the KC offense and you follow my advice by only playing one of either Kelce or Hill, then throw Helaire in. He didn’t see the same type of workload in Week 2 running the ball but still had the majority of the runs (10 of 14.) His target numbers came up from 2 to 8 and we can firmly believe he receives the bulk of the work while healthy.
Mahomes/Kelce/Helaire – Robinson or Hardman
Mahomes / Kelce/ Helaire/ Hill – In that order
Lamar/ Andrews / Brown – In that Order
Tonight’s showdown features two teams, in New Orleans and Green Bay, averaging 24+ points each. The over/under is currently at 52 points, but each team is down their top wide receivers.
Tre’Quan Smith will be my highest owned player tonight and will be the Captain in my main lineup. He has taken over the slot with Michael Thomas out and it’s looking like a great fit. Last week, on the road in Vegas, he caught 5 of 7 targets for 86 yards, making him second in receptions to Kamara. Emanuel Sanders disappointed again and with Smith knowing the system and being familiar with Brees, I see a big day for Tre’Quan.
Aaron Jones – With Davante Adams out of the lineup, Green Bay focused on Jones out of the backfield with 18 carries and 8 targets. The Lions gave up in the 3rd quarter, but Jones is the most talented player on the Green Bay roster and I expect him to be heavily used in the dome. Jones is the 2nd highest salary tonight, so it’s difficult to play him as Captain, but I am going to squeeze him in. You may have to play a kicker in your lineup or take a look at Lat Murray, who plays better at home.
Alvin Kamara – The highest priced player is in the same situation as Aaron Jones above, and the same analysis. Play him as Captain if you can but you will have to sacrifice a flex to a kicker or Jamal Wiliams.
Both Quarterbacks are in play, but I lean towards Drew Brees having a slightly bigger game at home. I think New Orleans will win in a high scoring game with a fourth quarter drive.
Value plays are tough to come by if you plan on a stars and scrubs lineup. I like both kickers and I like Latavius Murray. Jamal Williams seems to be an afterthought in Green Bay but at $2000 might be worth a flyer if you are submitting multiple lineups.
That’s all for now. If you have any questions hit me up on Twitter @brewerymark.
This Jags/Dolphins game wasn’t something that had me excited at the start of the season, I admit this. I’d be surprised if anyone outside of the respective fan bases for either team had much of an expectation for the game to be honest. Yet here we are; while I’ve seen many people clowning this game we have an O/U that’s moved 5 points, massive move here. Let’s look at some showdown options to try and ship this 300k!
DJ Chark, Out- make sure if you played the 2-gamer from Monday that you swap Chark out if you had him in your lineup.
DeVante Parker, In- No mention of Parker on the injury report.
Jags- Captain Considerations.
Gardner Minshew- The Stache has been fantastic so far to start the season posting back to back fantasy games over 20 points, throwing 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He’ll be missing his best receiver tonight but will be facing off against the weakest defensive secondary he’s seen this year.
James Robinson- The Running Backs are always in play on showdowns. We want someone that can find their way into the end zone not just once, but hopefully twice. As a home favorite the proposed game script favors the Jags more so than in the first two match-ups. Robinson had 16 carries and a handful of targets in both games as well as finding the end zone once. In week two we did see Chris Thompson double the number of routes run compared to Robinson. That said, Robinson himself increased his routes from 11 to 13. This is something you want to take into account if you believe Miami takes this game or at least has the lead for much of it. If they’re down and forced to pass it’s safe to assume Chris Thompson’s role would be more valuable than that of Robinson.
Keelan Cole- Even before the news that Chark was out we saw Cole being the primary target despite having a slightly reduced snap count and routes run number. With Chark out those numbers should only go up. I’d feel safe in assuming his role at a minimum wouldn’t change. Cole was a target I had on my radar on Monday and with the news of Chark out I’m expecting a decent game from Cole.
Laviska Shenault- The hot name right now on Twitter. A lot of people will be plugging in Shenault. I think that’s a fair assumption but among the 4 guys I’ve mentioned, he probably falls into 3rd/4th in my tiers of captains depending on how you see this game going. Worth a flex, but I’ll probably skip in the captain slot.
The Other Guys
My other exposures will be to the earlier mentioned Chris Thompson, some Chris Conley, and certainly some Tyler Eifert. To me Eifert is also a worthy captain consideration, just don’t expect a game like Waller had on Monday night out of Tyler. His upside would come completely from catching touchdowns. Those are harder to predict and getting 2 or more is exceedingly rare and unlikely. Again, finding these unexpected scenarios is the type of thing that wins you that big money.
Kickers/Defense- For both teams these positions are always in play. I rarely want to play 2 of either in any lineup and will almost never have either in a Captain slot.
Miami- Captain Considerations
Fitzpatrick- Quarterbacks will always have a spot here. They have the highest floor, but the price to match. In Fitz, you have a guy that can be utterly brilliant and put up huge fantasy numbers. Or you have a guy that will make my earlier comment about not rostering a defense as a captain look silly as he throws 3 pick-6’s in a game. That said, we’ve seen both versions this year. Last week against the Bills, and a decent secondary at that, he threw for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns. The week prior of course it was the opposite with 191 yards and 3 interceptions. The Jags defense has been generous to opposing Quarterback’s and isn’t anywhere near as good as the Patriots unit that gave Fitz trouble. I’m good with rostering him regardless of how you see this game going.
DeVante Parker- Not on the injury report, but hamstring injuries are always concerning due to the chance of aggravation. I’m not worried too much as these are the last few stat lines for Parker when he plays the entire game, which if you have him on your team you believe that he will.
That’s the upside we want to see!
Mike Gesicki- He’s listed as a Tight End but 90% of the time he’s lined up as a receiver. He will see anywhere from 5-12 targets and has shown the ability to score multiple touchdowns. 3 Targets inside the 10, 1 inside the 5, and 4 in the end zone last week. I’m going to have quite a few shares of Gesicki in both the flex and Captain slots.
The Other Guys
Isaiah Ford- Huge game last week, 9 Targets puts him into a playable spot. I don’t totally trust the role and almost prefer Preston Williams to bounce back. Williams ran more routes than Ford in both weeks (32 to 29 and 45 to 38) The box score watchers and public will lean Ford and he’s a fine play, but I prefer Preston for the leverage.
Gaskin/Breida/Howard- Gaskin seems to be the lead back and he’s getting the targets out of the backfield but Howard is getting most of the high-value opportunities. Makes it hard to pick between either of them and limits their upside to a degree that they can’t be used in the captain slot. – Breida’s role just isn’t there. I’m a full fade despite having drafted him in many season-long / best-ball leagues.
My take- I think the Jag’s win, but there will be scoring on both sides. That seems to be where the public is and for that reason, I’m going to be a bit heavier on the Dolphins side. If we learned anything from Monday’s game we can’t just assume one team is better and stack them hoping it goes off. The competition in the NFL is too close and even in a game like this with the Jag’s winning the Dolphins players will have pop-off potential. This game reminds more of the Sunday night game as opposed to the Monday night game.
9/21 Primetime and 2-Game Slates.
There are very clear biases people possess when playing these two-game slates. First, there’s usually one game that stands out and hence the ownership tends to learn toward that game. This Mon/Thursday slate is definitely one of those. For me when I look at this I want to be all over the Saints. An offense that, when it’s working the way it should, is one that can put up a lot of points. And it’s an offense that we can focus on a smaller pool of fantasy assets due to injuries. The same can be said on the other side of the ball, to some extent. No one is going to confuse this Raiders offense with that of the Saints, that’s not what I’m saying. But a receiving core that’s missing Tyrell Williams and will likely also be without Henry Ruggs. I’m avoiding most of the spots here and instead looking to the Thursday night game.
To start off one of the influencing factors for ownership in these multi-day slates is the game people get to watch. The first one aired tends to have higher ownership because people want to watch their players in the game tonight. They’ll play showdown for those Miami/Jax players.
A few targets I have interest in that might be off the beaten path a bit.
First Chark is a fine play, but Keelan Cole has emerged as another guy we have to pay attention to. Admittedly Cole burned me bad several years back in best-ball and season-long. I don’t think I’ve ever been as exposed to a player as I was to him that year. He proceeded to bust and while he’s shown flashes of being fantasy relevant at times he’s never been consistent enough to consider. With back to back weeks, a competent QB, and not being relied on as the top WR on the team. I think we can go to Cole in another place that I think he’ll be lower owned than he should be given his production.
In Terms of Miami, I’m looking towards Mike Gesicki for my TE spot. He was split out running routes on 90% of dropbacks in the last two weeks. Coming off a week where he saw double-digit targets I believe his ownership won’t be nearly what it should be.
NO/LV – 9/21
Chris: Look, I’m a competitive guy; I’m sure all of you are as well. We don’t get into this without a desire to win. There’s something about beating other people that gives me a rush and when I can win money at the same time it’s amazing. A large part of what attracted me to this world was the rush of beating someone else strictly by being smarter than them.
Now, that’s a generalization for sure, as a huge part of what happens week to week is going to be luck. We can look back at what happened here in week 2, with all the injuries and all the lineups ruined as a result. There’s simply no way to look back and say I saw that coming. Sure, we can look at the Titans and say “Well if Henry fails to hit value and they still manage to win it’s likely Ryan Tannehill plus his pass-catchers are a great play.” But there simply is no way to project Barkley, Campbell, and so many others having injuries that take them out of games.
The biggest and most important thing is that we move forward. Did we think our reads on the games were correct? For me, I look back and believe that I was close to being right in a lot of places. Losing bothers me though and I always want to get better. It’s 1:20am eastern time when I’m writing this and I’m up looking through game logs because I can’t accept the results this weekend yielded. I loved Diggs and Allen today. That was a great play, but I also loved Herndon instead of Reed. While I’m fine with avoiding Reed for his lack of production the last few years and the massive injury risk, I overestimated what Herndon could do in an offense piloted by Adam Gase. Context is everything when considering limited information, it just is.
Part of what I want you to learn with this membership is the ability to break down games and to understand how to look at players to figure out where you want to put your money. With that said, let’s take a look at the Monday night showdown and even take a peek at the Thursday game for those of you degenerates playing the 2-game slate.
New Orleans opens as a 5-point favorite on the road in Vegas without their top receiving threat. If this were the NBA it would be easier to figure out who to play instead of Thomas – we could see exactly what the Saints do when their star player is on the bench resting and project that over an entire game. Alas that’s not the situation we have in front of us and things aren’t so cut and dry. To try to win this $500k we need to think outside the box and think about what the stats would tell us if this was in fact an NBA game. Where is this offense going to go without MT? Is it going to be as effective? How can we exploit the bias we all have and, as such, the public will have?
Heads up, I’m not going to break down every player. However, the hope is that with these play breakdowns as a guide you can do your own with some of the additional participants in this game. We’re not trying to give you the fish, we’re trying to teach you how to fish.
The Case for Kamara. At his peak, Kamara was an ultra-efficient transcendent talent. He was the guy that you hated playing every week because “There’s no way he can keep this up! Right?” But for weeks and even a year or so he was able to do exactly that. At some point, everyone and everything is going to regress and AK was no different. Whether that occurs by nature or injury it really doesn’t matter. It’s going to happen and that’s the point. With that considered though, we have to look at what he can do as the undisputed focal point of this offense. The absence of Michal Thomas leaves a huge hole, tons of market share, and plenty of underneath passes to gobble up. In terms of what’s out there, it’s almost 40% of the Saints offense that needs to be redistributed and most certainly some of that will come to the most talented member of the offense that’s still out there. That’s Alvin, he’s going to be what we all wanted CMC to be last week when we rostered him at 10k. He’s going to be the guy we had winning us weeks and winning us heaps of money years ago when he burst onto the scene. It’s not just obvious to me that he’s clearly the favorite to top out the scoring on this slate, it’s DK’s belief as well. He’s the most expensive player on the slate. That being the case, there are still so many ways to make good lineups without moving him into a flex spot. 12 Runs, 8 Targets (Only Emmanuel Sanders had more) makes him a slam dunk to have in your lineup. If you’re fading him, I can only imagine you’re thinking is “what if he gets hurt?” If you’re trying to project your lineup from injuries, you’re asking to go broke.
So you want to be a bit more balanced? Do you think that playing the highest priced guy on the slate at the CPT slate is a bit too chalky for you? I get it, and I dig it. Sanders offers you an interesting pivot from AK in a guy that has WR1 talent, was brought to NO as a WR2 but now finds himself in a role that he can still thrive in. Make no mistake about it, this isn’t the same Emmanuel Sanders that was around back when AK was starting out. That said, he’s still light years ahead of anyone else on this roster in terms of talent. When you couple that with the double-digit target upside that he has, you can confidently put him in your captain slot. Both of the mentioned players, Kamara and Sanders, are assets that you should roster in the 2-gamer. No question about it.
Quarterbacks have less importance the more of them that there are. But when it comes to showdown there are only two. If the line of thinking is that AK and ES are going to smash their expectations and, in some ways, they’re going to do that via passes that they catch, it’s only logical to also look to the person that’s throwing the ball. When we talk about the additional afforded opportunities that these other players have because of Michael Thomas’ absence we simply cannot gloss over the fact that it actually hurts Brees more than anyone in the offense. As a whole, if the team cannot move the ball in the same way, it’s going to hamper each piece of the offense. The hope is that each of these pieces plays an increased role and in turn offsets that some, but that still doesn’t apply to the QB. This would be the only reason, beyond salary restrictions, that I keep Drew in a flex position instead of my CPT slot.
The Other Guys
Cook, Tre’Quan Smith, T. Hill, Deonte Harris, Murray, Montgomery
Each of these guys can make a case for being in your lineup as a flex player, but as a captain? I’m just not seeing the need to put this type of value there. They are however listed above in the order that I’m interested in rostering them.
The two best weapons the Raiders have, both in real life and fantasy, are Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller. Last year the Saints were excellent, in the top 10% of the league in fact, at limiting fantasy production against those positions. It’s true that outside of Kittle they didn’t have to face anyone that was as good as Waller or who had his significant role in the offense. It’s also true that, despite that, they only gave up 5 touchdowns to the position. Even more impressive is that they only allowed 4 rushing touchdowns all year while playing CMC(2x), Carson, Fournette, Freeman, Elliot, Mostert, and Gurley. At no point did they give up a 100-yard rusher and outside of CMC, no one had more than 40 yards receiving against them, not that Josh Jacobs grades out as a player that can accomplish these things anyway.
If you’re looking to be different, everything I just told you is exactly why you should get on the Raiders. They’re missing their top WR, possibly top two. Their TE and RB are in awful matchups and these aren’t things that I had to dig very hard to find. The Saints should still crush this matchup and line despite missing their biggest offensive piece, but if they don’t (like I mentioned about Henry and Tannehill) then you’ve got a very unique lineup if you focus on the Raiders.
My game plan:
Smash the NO spread at -5.
Roster all the Saints.
Sprinkle in a few Raiders.
SEA/NE – 9/20
Mark: This week’s Sunday Night Showdown is tough. I like both teams, but so does DraftKings as their pricing is high and tight. We have to find value without sacrificing the Captain Slot.
This week, more than ever, I think you need to take a stance on the game script. For me, Seattle is going to take a lead and hold on to it with their passing game, but Cam Newton will keep it close. Since New England will be behind, James White becomes a great value in the Captain Slot and allows you to roster the Seattle passing game. My other favorite play is Greg Olsen in the Captain slot to stack the Seattle passing game.
I expect this to be a back and forth affair and I am taking the over. With that said I am fading defense in most cases.
Player Pool (Bold = Cash Viable)
Captain – James White, Greg Olsen
1st Tier – Russel Wilson, Cam Newton, Tyler Locket
2nd Tier – Dk Metcalf, Chris Carson, James White, Greg Olsen
3rd Tier – Sony Michel, Nick Folk, Jason Meyers
Take a flier/Super value – David Moore (If Phillip Dorsett is out)
Chris: Cam and Russ are the focal points of both of these offenses. You need to find a away to have one or both in your lineup. The challenge on the Seattle side is how do they handle their touches in the running game? Carson is still the probably the top guy in the pecking order but his uncertain role makes him nothing more than a flex. This game doesn’t appear to be a defensive battle but rather a semi-shootout. I’d like to get as many parts of each offense as I can without limiting my upside