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NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Chiefs vs. Raiders

NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Chiefs vs. Raiders

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:

  • Juju Smith-Schuster looks like one of the most undervalued plays that we have had so far this year, he is a priority based on the optimizations.
  • Focusing on Raiders centered builds may be a more profitable strategy tonight even if the win percentages are lower.
  • Fading Patrick Mahomes is always a scary proposition, but it might be the best way to build high EV lineups on this slate.

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

The most glaring note here is going to be Juju Smith-Schuster being grossly undervalued by the field. His optimization captain exposure is 25.73% while his projected captain ownership is only 4.24%. Likewise, his FLEX exposure is a whopping 61.35% against the field’s projected ownership of just 26.04%. He makes for one of the biggest stands on a mid-tier player we have seen in this article.

On the other hand, Patrick Mahomes appears to be overvalued by a similar amount. His captain exposures sit at 2.25% while his projected ownership is up towards the 19% range. In terms of FLEX, he is in the optimizations just 25.62% of the time while the field looks to have him 54% owned. Granted, this is Mahomes, and he can go wild in any given environment. But give his price and his projection against the other high priority players, he appears to be the odd man out.

Some other notes on the exposures and projected ownerships:

  • Noah Gray at just $600 makes for a great punt today, and his involvement in the offense has been consistent all year.
  • Hunter Renfrow appears notably overvalued by the field coming off of the concussion he suffered a few weeks back.
  • The Raiders defense looks appropriately valued while the Chiefs defense looks overvalued.

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

When we look at the most frequent captains in this list we mostly see Chiefs. There are a lot of Juju, Wright, MVS and CEH lineups and only a couple Raiders captains. This is a clear trend created by the Chiefs being the public favorite and people betting on them to win. Because of this, an obvious and easy way to be different is to put more focus on the Raiders than the chiefs at captain. 

At FLEX, however, things are very different. The spread is very wide on who gets used, with the highest frequencies going to Wright and juju at 65% and 60% respectively. It’s worth saying that neither Darren Waller nor Mack Hollins are used in the FLEX position of these specific lineups. Likewise, neither defense is used either. People will be betting on scoring, so defenses will be undervalued across the board.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

This is a very “public perception” kind of showdown. The general assumption is that the Chiefs roll the Raiders because Patrick Mahomes = good and Derek Carr = bad. Whether or not you think that way, it’s important to realize the benefits of fading that way of thinking. Building a Raiders centered lineup can give you similar projections with a good drop in both ownership and duplication equity. In general, these are the slates where waying the upside of a losing proposition is most important.

Putting all of this together, the optimizations want to build tonight with Juju as captain along with an emphasis on Carr, Adams, and Kelce. This doesn’t mean a full fade of Mahomes, but having him in less lineups seems like the way to go.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • Patrick Mahomes
  • Hunter Renfrow
  • Chiefs DST

Some players that look undervalued:

  • Juju Smith-Schuster (captain)
  • Noah Gray
  • Derek Carr

Good luck and bink a unique!

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