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NFL DFS Showdown SZN: 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 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:

  • You will likely have to fade one of the QBs tonight in large fields, and it’s Burrow that gets voted off the island.
  • Highest duplications are likely to be built around Isaiah McKenzie, but adding Gabe Davis can remedy that.
  • Don’t build bad lineups, focus on being different through roster construction rather than bad players.

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 slate, like most with the Bills, hinges on Josh Allen at captain. His projections in both the median and ceiling thresholds are just so much higher than the others available. Because of this, he makes for an undervalued captain and overvalued FLEX. Indeed, he will end up around 95% owned tonight across all slots and positions.

The most overvalued player tonight is looking like Joe Burrow. His captain exposures in the optimizations are just 3.81% against a projected ownership of 12.39%. While Burrow has an exceptional ceiling, it just doesn’t compare to that of Allen or even Ja’Marr Chase when taking price into consideration. Overall, you will likely have to make a choice to fade one of the QBs, and Burrow is the obvious odd man out.

Some other notes on optimization exposures and projected ownership:

  • Both James Cook and Semaj Perine appear in no optimizations as captain, but Perine looks like an appropriately valued FLEX option.
  • Tyler Boyd is well overvalued in both CPT and FLEX slots.
  • Isaiah McKenzie is probably the best cheap option at FLEX, and looks well undervalued overall.

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:

The vast majority of highly duplicated lineups look to have Isaiah McKenzie at captain. This is because of a modest price and his relatively high ceiling in the Bills offense. Indeed, 8 of the lineups you see above have him in the CPT slot. Joining him at captain here are both QBs, Ja’Marr Chase, and Joe Mixon. It’s worth noting that neither of Diggs or Davis end up in the highest dupes, which might be a nice place to get a bit different.

The main note on FLEX options above is that Gabe Davis is not used at all. With him being void of both captain and FLEX exposure in the high dupes, he makes for an obvious priority in larger field GPPs to induce differentiation. The only other note on dupes is that neither defense is used, which is a typical leak by the field in perceived shootouts.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

It is going to be very, very hard to win the main GPP tonight on Draftkings with the size of the contest and generally condensed offenses. People are going to build out weird lineups with bad plays just to be unique, and I think that’s mostly a mistake. While you should certainly be off the board, I think it’s much better to be off the board in a way that maintains upside rather than throwing darts. 

Be different with roster construction and captain usage instead of playing someone like Royce Gilliam or whoever the fuck is going to get touted as a sneaky value option. Use defenses and kickers in weird ways. Fade Joe Burrow. Run a 5-1 BUF onslaught. But build something that isn’t unique in a bad way.

Based on the optimizations, the main priorities tonight are Josh Allen CPT and Gabe Davis. Likewise, avoiding Joe Burrow is basically a must in the large field GPPs if you want to avoid heavily duplicated action. Finally, having the Bengals DST and hoping for some Josh Allen whoopsies is probably the best large field play you can make while being realistic.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • Joe Burrow
  • James Cook
  • Tyler Boyd

Some players that look undervalued:

  • Josh Allen (CPT)
  • Gabe Davis
  • Isaiah McKenzie

Good luck and bink a unique!

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