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NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Bengals vs. Browns

NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Bengals vs. Browns

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 optimize 5,000 lineups for the contest and look into the most common captains and FLEX. Likewise, we take into account the whole lineup's projection and ownership. Finally, we run the lineups through the tools found in the Theory of DFS: Advanced Players course (Buy it here) to see what combos are +EV.

Main Points:

  • Optimizations aren't finding a whole lot of over or undervalued plays, but Nick Chubb looks to be too highly valued for his boom or bust nature.
  • There will be a lot of highly duplicated lineups tonight, but you can get different with undervalued captains like Jacoby Brissett and Joe Mixon.
  • It’s important tonight to be reticent of your ownership as the dupes will be higher than usual, so build with some hard stands and don’t look back.

For conversation and game theory on the charts with updated ownership distributions as well as the top 20 predicted dupes, jump in the Paydirt discord! Free with this link:

Captain and FLEX ownership distributions

This may be the most equalized showdown slate we have run thus far this year. The optimization exposures are rather close to the predicted ownership, which means a couple things. The largest issue that causes is a drop in expected value. When all the best plays are appropriately highly owned, it means there is less edge to exploit. It’s worth noting this up front.

In terms of overvalued options, the largest difference we see is on Nick Chubb. His projected ownership as captain is 16% while his optimizations are around 3%. Likewise, his FLEX difference is 50% projected ownership and just 33.50% optimization exposure. Because of the way Chubb is able to find his ceiling, he is an inherently boom or bust player. He’s worth avoiding in your contests for the most part.

When it comes to undervalued spots, the best spot is Mike Thomas. His exposure as a FLEX in the optimizations is 34% while his projected ownership is just 11.63%. He should be filling into the main offense in 3-wide sets with no Ja’Marr Chase. Granted, a WR elevating to the main sets is always tricky, but at low ownership the risk is worth the upside in showdown.

A couple other notes on exposures and optimizations:

  • Evan McPherson and Hayden Hurst both look far overvalued based on their optimizations exposures.
  • Harrison Bryan and the Browns defense appear to be undervalued.

Duplication projections and DFS lineups to avoid

Here are the top 20 lineups in projected dupes. To clarify, you should avoid playing these lineups in large field GPPs tonight:

We see a lot of Tyler Boyd as captain in the highest predicted dupes which makes a lot of sense. He will be considered a strong value across the industry and makes a lot of things work. On the other hand, we have a lot of both kickers in the captains here as well. Interesting that with so much value we don’t see more Joe Mixon or Joe Burrow captains. They both make for a strong path as captain towards more unique builds.

At the FLEX spot we see where all the Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon end up. They are present in nearly every lineup as a FLEX option. Other options that we get a lot of are Tee Higgins, Jacoby Brissett, and Nick Chubb. A couple players we don’t see a lot of here are Harrison Bryant, Kareem Hunt, or Donovan Peoples-Jones. All three are solid options to consider at the FLEX when building for more unique constructions.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

Showdown slates with appropriate ownership are hard to win. And that doesn’t mean they are hard to figure out, it means that everyone has a lot of the answers. Trying to get off the beaten path on this slate and build lineups with enough relative value to have strong win equity will be more difficult than usual.

If you want to have strong win equity, you might want to consider some hard fades. The best spots to avoid tonight look to be Nick Chubb and Hayden Hurst. Likewise, building for a Browns win with Jacoby Brissett as captain instead of Chubb could be enough to differentiate you.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • Nick Chubb
  • Hayden Hurst
  • Evan McPherson

Some players that look undervalued:

  • Jacoby Brissett (captain)
  • Mike Thomas
  • Browns DST

Good luck and bink a unique!

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