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.
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Captain ownership distributions
The highest positive leverage offered at captain tonight looks to be Chris Godwin. In other runs, both Rachaad White and Stefon Diggs offered the best edge, so it’s fair to assign any of them here. Godwin only projects for 10% ownership in the captain slot, which is 7% lower than his exposure in winning lineups from this simulation. On the flip side, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield have similarly low leverage numbers at around -8%. With so many quality receiving options and mostly condensed target trees, the QBs will typically be better FLEX plays thanks to their high floor and skinnier range of outcomes.
FLEX ownership distributions
When we shift focus to the FLEX slot, it is Stefon Diggs that offers the most positive leverage with a mark of +17.31%. His projected ownership in the slot is only 48%, which is high in a vacuum, but it’s far too low for a player like Diggs. After him we have a couple punt plays before finding Mike Evans at a +7% leverage point.
Looking at the largest negative leverage plays We have the Bills DST followed by Baker Mayfield. The defenses have been getting there all year, but that doesn’t magically make them more consistent as showdown plays, and when their ownership gets this high it’s hard to build +EV lineups with them. Baker is projected at 58% ownership which is just too high for a QB that lacks a reachable ceiling especially with so many high end receiving options to pay for.
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:
- Cade Otton and Dalton Kincaid look to be popular options in what we can assume to be highly duplicated lineups, so you should look to avoid them in the captain slot overall unless you are getting very different.
- The main FLEX combo you will see tonight is: Stefon Diggs, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, and Chris Godwin.
- Baker Mayfield was showing as a negative leverage in the contest sims, so it’s probably a good idea to avoid him if you are using Diggs/Allen/Godwin together.
- Worth noting that neither of Mike Evans or Gabe Davis show up in these lineups, so swapping them in can help to maintain upside while managing some duplicates on the high end
DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts
Showdowns like this with a big favorite are usually really easy to navigate. There are two ways to play this showdown in terms of macro play:
- Follow the market and aim for 4-2 and 5-1 builds of BUF stacks and look to create a strong floor while working hard to manage your duplicates
- Go against the market and aim for 3-3, 4-2, and 5-1 builds of TB stacks which introduce heavy volatility and a large range of outcomes which help you gain win equity at the expense of min cash rate
There were a lot of cool words there, I am very smart.
In general I prefer to work against the market for the most part and tonight is no different, but it’s hard when the contest sims don’t support it. If you build for BUF stacks, you can easily avoid Mayfield as negative leverage. If you go against the market it becomes much harder to avoid Mayfield outside of building lineups that assume a lame BUF offensive game and a strong defensive and rushing attack from TB.
That’s not to say you can’t build for a 4-2 TB win around White/TB DST combos, I think that’s sharp. But building for a 4-2 with an emphasis on Godwin/Baker/Otton and a fade of either Diggs or Allen feels like the more likely way to attack things in large fields.
All this said, this is a cool showdown with some fun macro theory. My lean will be towards 4-2 BUF stacks that avoid Baker Mayfield and focus on strong duplication management, but if you are playing large field GPPs I think a Rachaad White captain with the TB defense is very spicy and makes a lot of sense thematically.
Some players that look overvalued:
- Baker Mayfield
- Bills DST
- Dalton Kincaid (CPT)
Some players that look undervalued:
- Chris Godwin (CPT)
- Rachaad White and TB DST stacks
- Trent Sherfield
Good luck and bink a unique
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