NFL Preseason Showdown guide and slate breakdown
Niche sports in DFS are interesting. They take a new age, statistics heavy approached numbers game back to the stone age. Before everyone had good projections and optimal builds. NFL Preseason requires a lot of attention to beat reports, a lot of deciphering coach speak and even more game theory. The winners of these contests understand chalk, leverage and ceiling more than the rest. Each position requires a different approach and takes different things into contests. Today I'm going to go over a preseason showdown slate to talk about how it differentiates from a regular season NFL showdown.
This post will utilize plays from David Hess' Cheat sheet pinned to the NFL channel in the Community Discord (Join for free right here).
In showdowns usually sharp players are focusing on stacking and correlating and then hoping for the best. In preseason, stacking means almost nothing except for games where starters are playing heavy minutes. Stacking is a fools errand and instead you should be spending your time focusing how each player can amass the most points. Showdowns in my opinion is the best bankroll builder in preseason so take advantage and use this guide!
For most of preseason the QB's you focus on should have rushing upside. Ideally you can get 4-6 extra points from rushing and if you're lucky a rushing touchdown. Pocket passers. even the one's who play a lot have limited upside because they have to throw for multiple touchdowns and have almost 0 hope of getting the 300 yard bonus.
In sum, captain Rushing QB's and prioritize them over everything else and play as many QB's as you can as they're the only clear high ceiling options with a good bet to get a touchdown.
In preseason the running back position is probably easily the highest floor but lowest ceiling. Focusing strictly on playing time and pass catching ability is the correct way to approach the position. Outside of that there's nothing concrete to bet on seeing as how 15-20 players will be sharing 2-3 touchdowns. That part is just luck, so try not to focus on it that much.
This is another position that is playing time based and finding the guys that will play with 2 units. Later round rookies usually fit nicely here, Khalil Shakir was a great example of that in week one. A 4th round rookie who played with both the 2nd and 3rd string and racked up 5 catches for 92 yards. Likewise, finding connections through beat writers is nice but not needed. As long as you understand the risk of playing a wide receiver that's what matters most.
Receivers can easily get you 0, but also have the opportunity to catch long touchdowns and flip a DFS contest. I would advise against using more than 1 receiver in preseason showdowns unless starters play a ton.
Do not play unless there are abnormal circumstances
Kickers are viable and great options as long as there's only one per team. Only QBs have a more predictable range of outcomes and most of the time kickers can outscore most skill position players.
High floor and high ceiling options are always viable. However, avoid playing them in captain unless it's a small field.
NFL DFS Optimal Lineup Builds:
Large Field GPP – Rushing QB Captain, 1-2 other QB's. both defenses, 1 kicker, RB or WR.
Small Contests – Defense at captain, other defense in flex, 2-3 QBs, both kickers, a RB if you have to
For all of the players I like be sure to check out the player pool posted in the discord daily (Join for free here!). Remember that when you're playing large field contests like these it's better to try to figure out what happens when the chalk fails and benefit than to run out the same safe plays as everyone else. Don't worry about stacking and instead find ways to keep a decent ceiling while not leaving your lineup at 0. The difference between Preseason showdowns and regular showdowns leaves a lot of edge.
Use a combination of strategies to gain leverage on the field and maximize for ceiling, preseason is no different than other DFS sports, you just have less tools to rely on. Good luck on your lineups!