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NFL DFS Showdown SZN: Ravens 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:

  • Both Lamar Jackson and Alvin Kamara are appropriately valued, but be careful with your ownership and dupe count when building around them.
  • There are a lot of super heavily duplicated lineups, But building with Kenyan Drake and the defenses could help make you different.
  • This is a tough showdown slate to build for, so if you feel comfortable with your build it's probably going to be -EV. Get weird!

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 main two options for captain tonight are appropriately valued, which represents some issues. Both Lamar Jackson and Alvin Kamara are pretty much perfectly in line between optimization exposures and projected captain ownership. This makes plenty of sense, because they are by far the most worthy of the slot. Both have optimizations above 30% here with the next closest being Kenyan Drake. Overall making one of them a priority at captain is the first decision you make tonight.

The most undervalued captain based on optimizations is Kenyan Drake. His exposures at the slot at 12%, while his projected ownership there is just 2%. Likewise, he is undervalued at FLEX as well. His optimizations place him there 49% of the time while the field is valuing him at less than 20%. This is a pretty large discrepancy, so you’ll want to take advantage of it.

The most overvalued captain appears to be Isaiah Likely. His .46% optimization exposures at captain are much lower than the 8.66% projected ownership there. Granted, this is a volatile situation with a lot of assumptions made. He could very well break the slate or fail to live up to expectations. When the field is overvaluing a situation like this, it’s usually better to be on the side of caution.

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:

As you can see above, this slate is looking to have some very heavy duplications. Any lineup projected at over 100 dupes is usually terrible, and we have a couple lineups projected over 250! Make sure you are reticent of your lineups overall exposures tonight.

The most frequent captain in the heavily duped builds is DeSean Jackson, but it’s pretty spread out. Lamar Jackson, Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave and Devin Duvernay all take part as well. Because of the pricing on this slate, it makes a lot of decisions pretty easy to make, thus leading to these large dupe numbers. One note at captain is that we don’t see Andy Dalton or Kenyan Drake being heavily duplicated at all.

When it comes to FLEX plays, Kamara and Jackson round out the highest exposures. Chris Olave is next up in 70% of the above lineups, and then we have Dalton at 50%. Once again, Kenyan Drake is nowhere to be found here, which sticks with the trend of the field significantly undervaluing him in this contest. A final note: Neither defense is used in the highly duplicated builds, so that’s another way to differentiate.

DFS Showdown SZN: Final Thoughts

This is likely going to be a heavily duplicated contest, so be aware of that. Typically with fields like this, the best way to be different is with the captain position or roster construction in general, not necessarily by fading the best options. Utilizing both Lamar and Alvin Kamara is smart, but fading Kamara could be an interesting way to build relative value. If you assume the Ravens stomp the Saints, playing just Olave or Olave and Dalton could be a strong option in large fields.

Overall, building with Kenyan Drake, Lamar Jackson, and Alvin Kamara is the priority. Utilizing one or both defenses is fully in play as well, since they are undervalued.

Some players that look overvalued:

  • Isaiah Likely (captain)
  • Taysom Hill
  • DeMarcus Robinson

Some players that look undervalued:

  • Kenyan Drake
  • Both Defenses
  • Ravens 5-1 builds

Good luck and bink a unique!

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