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NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Cardinals vs. Saints

NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Cardinals vs. Saints

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:

  • Chris Olave is a valuable option, but he looks like he’s being overvalued as a captain.
  • The main roster construction is going to be cheap or mid-price captains, so look to try to build with expensive options instead.
  • There are a lot of questions without answers tonight, so focus on the answers that you have instead.

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

Player ownerships for CPT and FLEX from Paydirt DFS optimizations along with their projected ownership (updated)
Player ownerships for CPT and FLEX from Paydirt DFS optimizations along with their projected ownership (updated)

UPDATE 7:12pm EST: With James Conner ruled out and Keith Kirkwood cut, it shook up the optimizations a bit. first off, Eno Benjamin jumps into the conversation for captain. Likewise, all the top guys are appropriately owned in the FLEX. The two main pieces of value at this point are Juwan Johnson and Keaontay Ingram, who are both notably undervalued.

The first observation to make on this data is that chris Olave appears to be pretty overvalued. His captain exposure in the optimizations is at a healthy 15.52%, but he is projected at nearly 30% ownership in large field GPPs. This is a combination of his price allowing the other big pieces and his usage being high with other options out of the game. However, his upside still isn’t enough to push Kamara and Murray out of the captain slot in most optimizations.

On the other hand, it’s fair to say that both Alvin Kamara and Kyler Murray are undervalued captains. Sure, they both project for around 18% captain ownership, but their exposures in the optimizations are 34.48% and 25.52% respectively. They both hold by far the highest ceilings in the contests, but people will likely struggle to fit them in lineups that feel comfortable. It’ll be important to leverage that with a good piece of your portfolio.

Some other notes:

  • In a gross turn of events, a defense (the Cardinals) is being undervalued at both captain and FLEX.
  • Tre’Quan Smith and Rondale Moore appear to be overvalued as WR2/3s in their offenses.
  • Nobody knows what to do with Taysom Hill but he will garner ownership and the optimizations don’t find him valuable.

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:

Top 20 DFS lineups in predicted dupes based on the large $15 contest on Draftkings
Top 20 DFS lineups in predicted dupes based on the large $15 contest on Draftkings

The highest exposure in these highly duplicated lineups looks to be Chris Olave, and that goes hand in hand with him being overvalued. Fading him as a captain is going to be a step towards lowering your duplication factors. After him, we have exposure to both defenses (Saints more than Cardinals) as well as Kyler Murray and Alvin Kamara. With all that said, using Andy Dalton or DeAndre Hopkins might be good ways to get different without bleeding upside.

When we take a look at FLEX exposure we find a lot of Kamara, Murray, and Olave along with Wil Lutz. This will likely be the main roster construction: Cheap to mid priced captain with both Murray and Kamara in the FLEX. As mentioned above, simply building with expensive captains on this slate is a good way to build in some uniqueness to otherwise highly duplicated combinations. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Juwan Johnson doesn’t show up in the highly duplicated combos at all and projects well for his price.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

There are a lot of question marks in this slate and honestly not a lot of good info to leverage with them. What will DeAndre Hopkins workload be? Exactly how large is Taysom Hill’s package? Will this finally be the game where Kliff Kingsbury stops coaching like a certified beta loser? Overall, we just don’t have those answers. So the best thing you can do is make good decisions with a lot of the known variables surrounding guys like Kamara, Murray, and Olave and be different elsewhere. 

In closing, building with expensive captains Murray or Kamara and avoiding Eno Benjamin, Tre’Quan Smith, and Taysom Hill is going to be a solid way to start. Adding in underowned pieces like Juwan Johnson or the Saints defense is another way to build upside and stave off duplications.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • Chris Olave (Captain)
  • Eno Benjamin Now appropriately valued after updates.
  • Taysom Hill

Some players that look undervalued:

  • Alvin Kamara (Captain)
  • Juwan Johnson
  • Saints DST Switching to Keaontay Ingram here.

Good luck and bink a unique!

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