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.
- Derrick Henry looks to be popular but still undervalued, as people worry about his gamescript.
- Most of the highly projected duplications have both Mahomes and Henry, so avoiding playing both together is an easy way to build in some differentiation.
- Focusing on a Titans winning game scenario is the easiest way to build with both ceiling and EV.
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Captain and FLEX ownership distributions
Surprisingly, it looks like Derrick Henry is the most undervalued player on the slate. His captain and FLEX exposures in the optimizations are considerably higher than his ownership projections. Sure, he doesn’t quite catch up to Mahomes in value, but his 28.63% captain exposures are a very solid mark and over 20 points above the next highest. The lower ownership projection on him is likely a matter of gamescript, which lends itself well to building for a Titans win.
The most overvalued player on this slate is looking to be Robert Woods. His captain exposures in optimizations are just .77% while he is projected at 7.51% in the slot. Likewise, his FLEX exposures are at 15.31% which is less than half his projected ownership. With Malik Willis in at QB you just can’t count on efficiency in the passing game, which will hurt Woods. Granted, if Tannehill plays, this is a different story.
A couple other notes on exposures and optimizations:
- A lot of the midrange players are valued appropriately by the field, which tells us a lot of this slate comes down to the captain choice and punts.
- The Chiefs defense is getting a lot of attention, but it’s the Titans defense that looks better in optimizations.
- Cody Hollister, who has a very small forehead, looks like a worthwhile punt for the Titans.
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 can see a whole lot of Patrick Mahomes and Derrick Henry captains here. 35% of the lineups above have a Henry CPT while another 30% have Mahomes. This makes sense because the pricing appears to be on the softer side and you can fit a lot of the quality options without much issue. Because of this, you are going to have to work harder to differentiate yourself at FLEX. Either that, or you can make it easy on yourself and fade Mahomes at captain and keep him at FLEX. That route of course is much higher variance and harder to stomach.
Speaking of Henry and Mahomes, where they aren’t used as captains they fit into the FLEX. Both players have 100% exposure on tonight’s slate in the highest dupes. Once again, the difficult way to be different tonight is by figuring out how to be different with both of them in your lineup. The easier way is to fade one of them and play the other. Outside of those two, we see plenty of Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Isaih Pacheco in the FLEX exposures of highly projected duplications.
DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts
We have the luxury of a highly popular, newly acquired player on a public team tonight. Kadarius Toney should get a bit of excess ownership tonight simply due to name recognition and touts holding out hope he has a large role. Typically, that’s a bad bet to make, and those hopes lead to despair. The more likely outcome here is he gets eased into a role on a championship caliber roster and doesn’t make waves in his first game.
Frankly, tonight looks like a tough slate to play. There are a couple acceptable routes to build around involving Mahomes and Henry but outside of them it gets thin. It’s worthwhile to look at Willis as a captain (if he plays) or to use Kelce instead of Mahomes, but the support players for both teams below them don’t have much ceiling.
In sum, the best path towards building high EV lineups tonight is to start with a Henry captain and build for a Titans win. Building 4-2 Titans with the Titans defense is probably the best way to not only be different but maintain a ceiling as well.
Some players that look overvalued:
- Kadarius Toney
- Robert Woods
- Chiefs DST
Some players that look undervalued:
- Derrick Henry
- Titans DST
- Cody Hollister (FLEX)
Good luck and bink a unique!
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