General Rules for Creating Showdown/MVP Lineups
Correlate with your Captain/MVP - Make sure you are creating a roster that makes sense with your 1.5x player.
On DraftKings, lean RB/WR in the captain. Though QB can finish as the optimal captain, it’s often overused by the field relative to its success rate. When you are using a QB in the captain, I like to use a lot of his pass-catchers. Because the likely scenario if a QB ends up as the captain on DK is he spreads his touchdowns around to multiple receivers and not one skill player had a ceiling game.
On FanDuel the MVP spot doesn’t cost you 1.5x salary which means you’re just trying to get the highest scoring player in that spot. Contrary to DK, it’s often the QB because of the scoring system. I would lean QB/RB on FD, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
Leave salary on the table - I’m not just talking about a few hundred. Don’t be afraid to leave a few thousand on the table. In a slate that has an extremely limited number of viable options, there is a much greater chance for lineup duplication. It may not seem like much of an issue, but it can decimate your expected value to put in lineups that are going to split with 500 other people.
Multi-enter if you can. Single-game slates have so much variance that the first play of the game can take you completely out of contention if you only have one lineup. It’s best to build a bunch of lineups (you don’t have to max enter) that concentrate on different game scripts and a handful of different correlated captains.
DST and Kickers, while not very exciting usually offer a solid floor for cheap. Especially in game scripts that go under expected point totals. I would only use at most two per lineup.
When creating single-game lineups, the most important part is creating correlated lineups according to a projected game script, and not pinpointing the exact five or six players who will score the most fantasy points on the slate.
While I think there are viable captains all over the board, this could be a Josh Allen lock button captain slate especially if you are playing ten lineups or less. Obviously the more you multi-enter, the more your player portfolio should expand at captain and at flex. In must-win playoff games, the Bills are going to call Allen’s number more often then they did in the regular season. Think about it, 4th and goal from the two yard line. There’s no chance Josh Allen isn’t rolling out with a quick peek into the end zone then sprinting for the pylon. The rushing upside Allen brings could be the deal sealer on a slate where the temperature is going to be sub zero.
Stefon Diggs has been hit and miss throughout the season including the two games he played against the Patriots this season. One game he was pretty much shut down and the other he had 85 yards and a touchdown. I think there’s some merit to having a few Diggs captain lineups, but I also think fading him in lineups is a smart move as well. Allen has a plethora of weapons he can get the ball to.
Damien Harris has absolutely smashed the Bills in two games this year going for 200+ yards and four touchdowns. I think the Patriots try their hardest to control this game, run the football, and keep it to a slugfest much like they did in their 14-10 win. If you’re playing Harris in the captain, you’ll probably want to avoid players who are touchdown dependent like Hunter Henry.
Mac Jones won’t be a massive part of my player pool, but there are instances where you can jam him in. Those instances are when you’re projecting a high-scoring Bills win. Jones will be called on to throw the ball more often than the Patriots plan in that game. I would limit my expectations in for Mac Jones in his first playoff game on the road.
Devin Singletary is going to be over-rostered in my opinion. He’s had some amazing game scripts and matchups lately. He’s even had some egregious playcalling in his favor like throwing him a swing pass for touchdown in the Jets’ game when they could have kneeled the clock out. I expect his attempts to be down, but could see a decent amount of targets. He’s a solid flex in Allen captain lineups hoping they hook up for a touchdown, but I’m not rostering him expecting 100 yards and two touchdowns in this matchup.
Rhamondre Stevenson and Brandon Bolden will not be a big part of my player pool either. Bolden makes sense as a bring back in Bills stacks expecting the Patriots will be trailing and in a hurry-up pass situation for most of the fourth quarter. Stevenson could break one, but Damien Harris should get the bulk of the carries and all of the red zone work
Cole Beasley will be the low aDOT, move the sticks type receiver. If the Patriots deploy their “stop the star” gameplan and try to shut Diggs down, Beasley could see a good amount of short-to-intermediate stuff. He doesn’t have a ton of touchdown upside, so he could work in a slugfest-type build where 7-70 gets him in the optimal.
Emmanuel Sanders and Gabe Davis both being healthy probably limit each other’s upside, but I think the fact that Gabe Davis could only haul in three of his 14 targets last week opens the door for Sanders to be on the field and see some deep shots. I tend to lean towards Sanders as a flier because I think he’ll be rostered less than Davis who has gained some popularity over the last few weeks.
Jakobi Meyers is a bit banged up so check his status pre-game, but he’s dominated the target share and air yards share over the last month in the Patriots’ offense at 28% for each. Meyers makes sense across multiple formats, he can get there in a slugfest with his volume catches and also in a shootout.
Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne are the tertiary options. Bourne will probably see around five targets as has been the norm for him throughout the season, he’s a solid high-floor option. Agholor played 88% of snaps last week despite not much usage. Agholor makes a solid dart throw if he fits the salary structure of a lineup you like,
Dawson Knox works well in Josh Allen lineups as a pivot from Diggs. If Allen throws for multiple touchdowns, Knox has a high probability to be on the receiving end of one of those touchdowns.
Hunter Henry has been an integral part of the Patriots’ passing offense when it is clicking. He will probably see about 20% of targets and if Mac Jones is going to throw for multiple touchowns Henry is a good bet to score one. Jonnu Smith is more of a gadget player these days. He’s likely to have a carry or two which could come at the goal line as the Patriots always like to pull a trick or two out of their hat in the playoff.
Captain: Josh Allen
Flex: Stefon Diggs, Devin Singletary, Jakobi Meyers
Captain: Josh Allen
Flex: Dawson Knox, Mac Jones, Hunter Henry
Captain: Damien Harris
Flex: Jakobi Meyers, Patriots DST, Stefon Diggs
Captain: Damien Harris
Flex: Patriots DST, Cole Beasley, Devin Singletary
Captain: Stefon Diggs
Flex: Josh Allen, Kendrick Bourne, Brandon Bolden