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NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Cardinals vs. 49ers

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:

  • Deandre Hopkins is the most undervalued captain, but George Kittle is more notable as he is such a bad play he doesn’t make it into the optimizations at all.
  • The highest duplicated lineups will be built around cheaper options like kickers and Rondale Moore, so focusing on Hopkins and Deebo at captain makes sense in large field contests.
  • People continue to waste captain equity on Jimmy Garoppolo, so make sure you leverage that mistake tonight and avoid that roster construction.

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

The first thing to note with the optimization exposures is the complete lack of George Kittle. This is the first time this has happened this season, but he doesn’t make it in a single optimization lineup. This is because of a projection/price combo so bad that he isn’t really a viable play at all. Granted, the last few times I said this about a player, they scored the first touchdown of the game. So you know what to do!

The most undervalued captain option tonight is DeAndre Hopkins. He ends up in the optimizations around 18% of the time but is only projected at the slot in 9.56% of lineups. He’s undervalued in the FLEX as well. His exposure at 52% is well over his projected ownership of 39%. It’s likely that the field is undervaluing his projections based on Colt McCoy starting, but he has shown to be effective with literally every level of QB play through his career.

Speaking of bad QB play, the most overvalued captain looks like Colt McCoy! His optimizations exposures are .64% at the captain spot and just around 14% in the FLEX. On the other hand, his projected ownership at the spots at 6.69% and 32.75% respectively. While McCoy should do well enough to force feed Hopkins, it’s unlikely his ceiling is better than the other expensive plays.

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:

Most of the highest predicted dupes above are built around cheaper captain options. Rondale Moore, both kickers, and some James Conner make up the majority of the captains used. This makes sense, especially since some of those options (Rondale and Conner) actually project well and have good ceilings. Interestingly we see only a couple Trey McBride lineups, even though he’s an industry darling.

When looking at FLEX exposures, it’s mostly Christian McCaffrey and Deandre Hopkins. Likewise, we see a bunch of Jimmy G and a couple Deebo Samuel exposures. One thing of note here is a lot of 49ers DST but not much Cardinals DST. Likewise, we don’t see very much Eli Mitchell and sparse amounts of Brandon Aiyuk. Both of these players have decent touchdown equity in an offense that likes to spread the ball around.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

This is a super interesting slate because people seem to be forcing an idea of volume onto McCaffrey. The 49ers are a team that likes to spread the ball around and get a lot of guys involved. They also have one of the deepest rosters in the league from a talent perspective. Eli Mitchell could very well out-touch CMC tonight and it wouldn’t be a surprise (it happened last week). Brandon Aiyuk has had a 20%+ targetshare for the majority of the season and will be under 30% owned. There are so many strong plays on the 49ers that you can justify fading CMC chalk pretty easily.

With all that said, the optimizations prefer to have a focus on Hopkins first and foremost. You’ll also be better off avoiding George Kittle, who is overpriced. A good way to attack large field GPPs is with a focus on either Aiyuk/Mitchell with Hopkins as the spend up. Through in some McBride or Rondale and you are looking good.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • George Kittle
  • Colt McCoy
  • Jimmy G

Some players that look undervalued:

  • DeAndre Hopkins (captain)
  • Brandon Aiyuk
  • Eli Mitchell

Good luck and bink a unique!

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