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NFL DFS Showdown SZN 2023: Panthers vs. Bears

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:

Captain ownership distributions

  • The best positive leverage offered in the sims is Adam Thielen with around a 5% edge on the projected ownership in the captain slot
  • The largest negative leverage here is Eddy Pineiro, the kicker for the Bears, who comes in optimally just 1% of the time while being projected at 8%.

In a series of runs for this slate the main consistency was Eddy Pineiro as the biggest avoid at captain. He never saw a simulation with a positive leverage offered, so it feels safe to avoid that in most formats.

As far as positive value captains, Thielen is the easiest and most frequently optimal solution, but there were instances with Cole Kmet and DJ Moore as well. Essentially, you can feel free to run any of the alpha receivers at captain tonight.

FLEX ownership distributions

  • The highest positive leverage offered at the FLEX spot goes to Adam Thielen, with Bagent and DJ Moore as consistently viable options as well.
  • The highest negative leverage belongs to Chuba Hubbard in this run, with Darnell Mooney a consistently negative option as well.

I’m focusing on the term “consistently” here because I think it’s important to note that in none of the runs I did for the contest sims did the roles of these players change in regards to leverage. Darnell Mooney was a consistently bad play, so he makes for a strong fade candidate. Adam Thielen and Tyson Bagent were both consistently positive value options, so starting builds with them makes sense.

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:

  • And here we get a nice visualization of why Eddy Pineiro is such a bad option at captain, he will likely have the most dupes built around him!
  • Both kickers look to have some highly duplication lineup paths, so it’s easiest just to avoid both of them at the captain slot if you are aiming to mitigate dupes.
  • The highest used FLEX combo here is Thielen/Bagent/Moore by a longshot along with some Young and Kmet mixed in.
  • The Bears defense makes an appearance here, but you don’t see the Panthers defense, so using either just the Panthers or both DST in a lineup is a good path towards lowering dupes.

Paying down at captain to afford some combo Thielen/Bagent/Moore/Young/Kmet is going to be the most popular path. In general with low scoring games, you should be jamming in the studs for raw points as you don’t expect enough touchdowns or volume for the lower tier guys to get there. This spot certainly fits that bill, but we do have a couple interesting high upside options with Chark and Mooney that can unlock some routes towards avoiding one of the studs.

All that said, so long as you play a different captain I think eating the chalk is going to make the most sense. It’s just going to be one of those days.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

I find it hard to believe this game will be a high scoring affair, which means that raw points, not value, are going to be where you need to focus. Guys like Thielen and Bagent are just locks, I think.

  • Thielen is coming off his worst game of the season with just six targets for 8 fantasy points but has had 10+ targets in fives games this year and an endzone target in four straight games.
  • Bagent hasn’t looked like a world beater, but his accuracy is good, he doesn’t give up sacks, and he gets to throw to Moore and Kmet who can clean up lots of mistakes. Likewise he has had 1, 5, and 3 designed rushing attempts and had two rushing attempts inside the five in week 8, so his floor is pretty awesome.

After that, it’s really a question of what Bears receiving option do you want to use?

  • Cole Kmet has 0, 10, and 7 targets in the tree weeks with Bagent. Clearly the two touchdowns helped last week, but he looks like the “safety blanket” guy here.
  • DJ Moore has had 9, 5, and 3 targets but has maintained strong AYPRR of about 53% in the sample, so he’s the upside play.
  • Mooney has had 4, 3, and 6 targets and has had an aDOT of 11.5 in the sample along with 26% of the air yards, but the least redzone and endzone presence.

For whatever reason, Cole Kmet is the cheapest option of the three by a pretty considerable amount. He makes for the priority here simply because it allows you to easily fit Bagent and Thielen. DJ Moore is an interesting spot here, because it’s a revenge game and you gotta think that he’s going to get scripted the ball a bunch.

So this kind of comes down to how much you believe in that revenge narrative which is just such a fucking awful thing to write into existence. This slate sucks!

Other notes:

  • DJ Chark is doubtful along with Laviska Shenault already being ruled out. Terrace Marshall will be with WR3 while Ihmir Smith-Marsette will be the WR4 rotating in. ISM is free but hasn’t received a target, and Terrace Marshall is basically free and has had 6, 8, and 10 targets in games this year, so you should probably play him.
  • I am heavily leaning towards fading Bryce Young, because I just don’t think he has the same upside as DJ Moore and Cole Kmet. His median expectation is 14 fantasy points, and his ceiling is apparently 20. I think there’s a fair chance that he ends up scoring just 12 fantasy points or something and being outscored by nearly every position player frequenting the field even regardless of price.

This is the longest showdown SZN I have written I think ever? And it’s about a Bears/Panthers shitshow. Don’t ever say I don’t love DFS.

My main lean here is a 4-2 CHI side with a focus on Bagent and Cole Kmet. I don’t think this is a necessarily difficult showdown to play well, but I do think it’s a difficult showdown to be unique within expectation. Most people will be going DJ Moore captain, which I think is right, but if you can stomach either Bagent or Thielen captain I think you can limit your dupes enough to just play the chalk in smaller fields.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • Eddy Pineiro (CPT)
  • Darnell Mooney
  • Bears DST

Some players that look undervalued:

  • Adam Thielen (CPT)
  • Terrace Marshall (unless he gets major steam)
  • Tyson Bagent

Good luck and bink a unique

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