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NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Eagles vs. Commanders

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:

  • With no JD McKissic, Antonio Gibson looks like one of the best options at captain and overall.
  • Jalen Hurts and AJ Brown are used in every highly duplicated lineup, so fading one of them might be a strong way to build optimally with the rest of your lineup.
  • Focusing on the Commanders side of the game is an easy way to be different while staying optimal.

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

Jalen Hurts is the best captain from the optimizations tonight. His 30% optimization exposure at the spot is over 10% higher than any other player and his projections justify that. He will likely be around 95% owned overall in all formats tonight, so he’s about as close to a free square as you can find.

The most undervalued captain, on the other hand, is Antonio Gibson. His optimizations exposure is 19% at the spot while he’s only projected at 6.50%. His FLEX projected ownership is closer to his optimizations but still not high enough. With no JD McKissic and a continued rise in utilization (read this report for more) he should have massive potential. He projects much better than Brian Robinson in the same backfield.

The most overvalued captain looks like the Eagles DST. While both Heinicke and DeVonta Smith project higher in ownership, I’m going to call out the defense here. It shows up in 0% of optimizations as a captain and has a higher projected ownership there than Terry McLaurin! That’s an obvious spot to avoid, especially when the game betting model has this game relatively close.

Some other notes on the exposures and projected ownership:

  • While the Eagles DST is overvalued, the Commanders appear rather undervalued for similar reasons.
  • Jake Elliot and Joey Slye both look more valuable than their projected ownership from the field.
  • Boston Scott looks like a worthwhile punt in large fields.

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 highest exposures at captain in the above lineups is Antonio Gibon, followed by Brian Robinson and Joey Slye. The name of the game here is obviously finding value to fit Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown. That being said, utilizing the heavy hitter at captain might be a way to find some easy differentiation in larger fields. Just make sure you don’t run an optimal with Jalen Hurts captain as it will surely end up with serious duplication issues.

When we look at the FLEX options, Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown are obviously highly utilized. You can make the assumption that one or both of these players will be in the vast majority of lineups with a cheap captain. Therefore, if you build with a cheap captain, simply leaving out one of these two will help you build towards lower dupes. Likewise, we don’t see a lot of the Commanders defense at all here. Use those pieces of info to help you maintain relative value.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

Slates with a large favorite are a showdown player’s dream. The field will be disproportionately exposed to lineups with 4-2 or 5-1 Eagles here because of the spread, which makes it easy to build for the other side. You can build in a semi-optimal fashion and not worry about cutting EV if you just build heavy on Commanders. On the other hand, you can build with heavy Eagles but have to have some thoughts on how to be different while doing it. Both ways work depending on your goals as a player and the contests you are playing!

All of that being said, Antonio Gibson is one of the best captains you can use. Pairing him with Terry McLaurin and Jake Elliott help build in even more differentiation, and then you make a choice of fading either Hurts or AJ Brown. If you are feeling really spicy, playing both of them in a lineup with the Commanders defense has the right amount of upside and uniqueness to do well in large field stuff.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • DeVonta Smith
  • Eagles DST
  • Taylor Heinicke

Some players that look undervalued:

  • Antonio Gibson (Captain)
  • Terry McLaurin
  • Jake Elliott

Good luck and bink a unique!

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