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NFL DFS Showdown SZN 2023: Bills vs. Bengals

Welcome to this edition of the NFL DFS Showdown SZN breakdown. The aim of this post is to look at the best players to build around and constructions to focus on for the night's NFL DFS showdown contests on Draftkings. We run the new Showdown Contest simulations to see what differences we can find in projected ownership and likely exposure. Likewise, we take into account the whole lineup's projection and ownership.

For conversation and game theory on the charts with updated ownership distributions as well as the top ownership lineups, jump in the Paydirt discord! Free with this link: https://discord.gg/mQ6u5dfawF

Captain ownership distributions

  • Ja’Marr Chase offers the most positive leverage at captain on the sate, with a 17% exposure rate at the position and around 15% projected ownership.
  • Evan McPherson offers the largest negative leverage here, with a projected ownership of 9% while being in just 2% of winning lineups, giving him a paltry -7% mark.

Overall, the margins in terms of positive value are pretty thin here. However, you can make up a lot of ground by simply not using Josh Allen or Evan McPherson in the slot. One other note, in a handful of runs I also found that Joe Burrow and Dalton Kincaid offered strong positive leverage while Josh Allen and McPherson were consistently negative.

FLEX ownership distributions

  • As is usually the case with Bills games in the showdown, Stefon Diggs is the best possible play in the FLEX in terms of leverage gained with an exposure rate of 67%.
  • Interestingly in this showdown, both Josh Allen and Joe Burrow are high positive leverage as well, both being 10%+ in terms of leverage gained over their projected ownerships.
  • The highest negative leverages here go to Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon, and Gabe Davis with between -13% and -14% leverage offerings.

What we are seeing with the FLEX plays is an obvious lean towards a specific kind of roster construction. The sims would prefer to use Diggs, Allen, and Joe as the main pay ups and punt down as far as possible to try to fit Ja’Marr Chase as well.

The only other note here is that Khalil Shakir is a neutral value and should be heavily considered in small field and SE contests, as his usage last week without Dawson Knox available was considerably better than the rest of the year.

Duplication projections and DFS lineups to avoid

Here is a sample of the lineups in terms of highest ownership from the contest simulations. To clarify, you should avoid playing these lineups in large field GPPs tonight:

Some notes on the above (bad) lineups:

  • That is a lot of Evan McPherson captain, no wonder the contest sims view him as a bad option in the slot!
  • Most common FLEX combo is Allen, Chase, and Diggs, with Burrow and Mixon mixed in a bit as well but not near as frequently.
  • The ownership levels here are about in line with a typical showdown slate, but I believe that the combos will be a bit more spread out since both of these teams can spread the ball out effectively and the field knows that.

I’m not overly concerned with duping this slate, but you do have to be careful if you use the combo of Alle, Diggs, and Chase in the FLEX. There are only so many versions of that combo that make sense to use tonight, and you’ll definitely be pigeon-holed into one of them if you aren’t cognizant of the risk.

One other thing worth mentioning is most people will be paying down for captain tonight, so paying up to Chase (as the sims suggest) is not only giving you upside but also helping to mitigate duplications.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

This should be a really fun game between two strong offenses. Don’t be scared to get a bit different with your punt options. When you have strong QBs involved, they are more able to improvise and make things happen to supporting cast members than QBs that can only work within the script. This kind of thing is always visible with Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Justin Herbert just to name a few.

I’m not sure that there’s a way to build in a good lean here, but onslaughts will be under owned tonight as people anticipate a good game and a shootout. Going with a 5-1 from either side is going to be unique and a way to directly leverage the way the field will be building.

The other angle here is using RBs and DST together, as that’s another way to leverage the field assuming a passing attack will be the winning strategy. Looking for Joe Mixon + CIN DST stacks with Chase as CPT might be a really strong play in large field is Josh Allen has one of his famous pumpkin games.

For the most part, I just think you should try to play optimal tonight but with a unique roster path. Going with Chase or Diggs at captain and playing around with the volatile punts is my preferred way to build. Based on the pricing structure, this is going to lead you to 4-2 BUF leans because of their WR3 situation.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • Evan McPherson (CPT)
  • Gabe Davis
  • Tyler Boyd

Some players that look undervalued:

  • Ja'Marr Chase (CPT)
  • Onslaught stacks
  • Joe Burrow (everywhere)

Good luck and bink a unique


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