NFL Showdown can be a fickle beast. These contests do not rely on median projections so much as leverage, and uniqueness. A swing pass to the third string full back can heavily alter the leader boards. Showdown can be a fun way to enjoy a Prime Time game, or it can be an entire DFS portfolio. No matter the reason for playing, fortune favors the bold, and this article will never tell you a player is off-limits; even the third string full back. There are some cases where a great play will be so highly owned that their upside isn't worth losing the opportunity to be contrarian by fading them.
This article is going to have a heavy DraftKings lean simply because the decision making process is more interesting with the Captain having a salary premium to correspond with the scoring premium. On FanDuel, the pricing is the same for both MVP and flex, so just play either a quarterback or running back in that spot. There are scenarios where a wide receiver can pay off, but it’s difficult with it being the 0.5 per reception.
Advice in this article will pertain predominantly to tournament lineups, and strategy. For cash lineups build around median projections. For head to head lineups use median projections but a little variation goes a long way towards not getting duplicated.
On a slate where Geno Smith is the starting Quarterback for the Seahawks, he may not actually be the worst QB in the game. If ownership swings to the Pittsburgh side of the ball due to fear of Smith starting, expect to capitalize. If Smith's ownership comes in low, he will bring DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett down with him. Expect Alex Collins and the Pittsburgh offense to be more owned than the Seahawks passing attack.
Quarterbacks inherently carry heavy ownership on every Showdown slate. This game may be an opportunity to take advantage by being less strict about including either QB in builds. Roethlisberger is the second most expensive player on the slate behind only Najee Harris. This is an incredible spot against the Seattle defense which ranks bottom five in every statistical category, but that doesn't mean Roethlisberger is the best way to take advantage. He has a decent shot at being outscored by three of his pass catchers.
Najee Harris - Captain or Flex
Najee Harris is one of those aforementioned pass catchers who should outscore Roethlisberger. Harris is the most expensive player on the slate and he will be the most owned. Unfortunately this is not one of those times that fading the highest owned player is viable. Harris is averaging 7 targets a game, which includes a 19 target game that ranks 2nd all time. He is also getting opportunities in the Redzone, with 4 touchdowns already this season. This article could easily turn into a love letter, but the bottom line is that Harris is a great play.
Diontae Johnson - Captain or Flex
Prior to last week Diontae Johnson was targeted at least 10 times a game. According to Johnson, he was open all game against the Broncos as well, despite only 2 targets. Both targets were catches, and one was a long touchdown. Johnson has shattered the drop-prone narrative, and is perhaps adding the squeaky wheel narrative to the week 6 Showdown fold. Expect Johnson to get back to his elite market share against the lackluster Seattle secondary.
Chase Claypool - Captain or Flex
Chase Claypool finally exploded in week 5 with 130 yards, and his first touchdown of the season, but the targets have been there all year. It would have been nice for Claypool to stay quiet in the box score just one more week, for this slate, but he's still a great play at his elevated ownership. In week 4 Claypool recorded his highest target share of the season with 15. In the same game Johnson had 13 targets. Without Juju available, Johnson and Claypool can both thrive, but they will come at high ownership. A lineup including Johnson, Claypool, Roethlisberger, and Harris with two Seattle punt plays will make a big Steelers stack work while still being at least slightly contrarian.
James Washington - Flex
James Washington is going to be an essential piece to success on Sunday. With so much ownership surrounding Johnson and Claypool, there are two paths to getting contrarian with Washington. One path would be to stack the Seahawks heavily with Washington as the lone Steeler. This would give you leverage by taking the Seattle ownership over the Pittsburgh ownership as well as leverage over the Johnson and Claypool ownership. Another path to success would be to play Roethlisberger with Washington, Harris, and an ancillary player like Pat Freiermuth, while paying up on two Seahawks players. Washington has 5 targets in the past 2 games and is always a threat for a deep shot. His rapport with Roethlisberger is evident every time he starts.
Other Targets -
Pat Freiermuth - Flex
Pat Freiermuth has out-snapped Eric Ebron every week but one thus far and is $600 cheaper on a slate where every dollar helps. While both players average similar targets, Freiermuth is more likely to see a spike week. Freiermuth's usage as a receiver should see a boost with Juju Smith-Schuster sidelined, while Ebron's usage remains consistent.
Geno Smith- Captain or Flex
Geno Smith is in Captain consideration while Roethlisberger is not purely due to ownership purposes. With the Steelers likely to be the higher owned group and Najee Harris likely to be the highest owned player, stacking the Seahawks will be strong leverage. After Russell Wilson was lost to a finger injury, Smith led a heroic touchdown drive. The game sealing interception was a fine pass to Tyler Lockett in which Lockett was tripped on the route. Smith finished the game with 131 yards and a touchdown on only three drives. It is fair to say that Smith looked better in his one touchdown drive than any drive from Roethlisberger this season. While one could argue that statement, the point remains that there is no reason to fade a Smith lead passing attack in favor of a passing attack lead by Roethlisberger. Smith's target distribution in week 5 was as follows:
DK Metcalf - 3/4
Will Dissly - 2/3
Tyler Lockett - 1/4
Alex Collins - 2/2
Freddie Swain - 0/2
DeeJay Dallas - 1/1
Alex Collins - Captain or Flex
Alex Collins gets his second start in a row due to a Chris Carson ailment. Last week Collins was heavily involved in both the running game and the passing game. He was on the field for most of Smith's snaps after Wilson exited the game. He finished with 47 yards on 15 carries and 2 catches on 3 targets. Collins is reasonably priced at $6,800, but he is likely to be the most owned Seahawk. This article has been centered around stacking the Seattle receiving game, and will highlight salary relief options outside of Collins at running back. This is one of those cases where Collins is a fine play but likely one worth fading in at least some builds for the sake of gaining leverage.
DK Metcalf - Captain or Flex
Last week was a DK Metcalf week. Every Seahawks Showdown slate is a great opportunity to go against the grain and play both Seattle receivers. This slate is no different; especially in hopes that Smith scares some ownership off them both. Common conception says either DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett will go nuclear each game, but never both. On main slates that conception is often true, however, the nuclear option is not required for both receivers to land in the optimal lineup on a single game slate. This Steelers defense is not the once frightening defense they were in 2020 and even Smith can exploit them with a receiving option like Metcalf. Metcalf was the more successful option for Smith last week, though he and Lockett had the same amount of targets after Wilson went down.
Tyler Lockett - Captain or Flex
The narrative on last week's game would likely be much different had Lockett not tripped on the game sealing interception. Exploiting narratives is one great way to gain leverage on Showdown slates. Most people will see Metcalf's success with Smith, and naturally gravitate towards that option. Any time Lockett is the less owned receiver in Seattle, play him. This slate makes that rule tricky because Lockett is $1,400 less than Metcalf which may close the ownership gap. Both receivers are great plays at their respective price, and ownership. The best way to gain the most leverage between the two receivers is to play them both with Smith at Captain. Otherwise, the decision between Metcalf and Lockett at Captain is a coin flip with a slight lean to Lockett for the savings, and hope a few percentage points less ownership.
Other Targets -
Gerald Everett - Flex
Gerald Everett is back from two weeks on the Covid-19 list. In his last game active he had 5 receptions for 54 yards. His price tag is fair, at $4,600, but it's high enough for others to want to go with Will Dissly for one more week. While Dissly is a good play at only $1,600, Everett's ceiling makes him worth consideration at lower ownership.
Freddie Swain - Flex
Freddie Swain is another salary relief option for Seattle. At least two players mentioned in this section will be needed in builds that stack Roethlisberger, Harris, Johnson, and Claypool. Swain has had multiple targets each game since week 2. He received 2 targets in Smith's handful of drives.
DeeJay Dallas - Flex
The big question for last week's Seattle Showdown slate was what the split would look like between DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer. The split leaned heavily in Dallas's favor with Homer getting only a couple touches. Dallas was given 4 carries and had 2 receptions. Dallas is a great option for Seattle stacks and a salary saving run-back option for expensive Steelers stacks.
|Position||Name||Salary||Projection||H-Value||Point/$||Captain or Flex|
|RB||Najee Harris||11800||21.0||33.1||1.8||Captain Only|
|QB||Ben Roethlisberger||11000||17.2||25.0||1.6||Flex Only|
|WR||Ray-Ray McCloud III||2000||2.3||4.1||1.1|
|RB||Benny Snell Jr.||400||1.6||10.7||3.9|