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 fullback 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 fullback. 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.
The NFL is a worse place without Derrick Henry in the Titan's lineup, but the show must go on. Tennessee elected to replace Henry's production with former MVP Adrian Peterson. Between Peterson, and Jeremy McNichols, the Titans are likely to maintain their run heavy approach. There is opportunity through the air against this Rams defense, even with Jalen Ramsey on the opposite side of the ball, as Ramsey has not been the shadow corner he once was. Raheem Morris has decided that he would prefer to have Ramsey around the line of scrimmage wrecking games rather than leaving him on an island against the opponent's best receiver. This has allowed multiple receivers to succeed throughout different portions of the game depending on scheme. The Rams are likely to do whatever it is they want to do on offense. Based on the Vegas spread, it may be more likely to see a heavy dosage of Darrell Henderson Jr. on the ground as a 7.5 point home favorite.
- Cooper Kupp
- Darrell Henderson Jr.
- A.J. Brown
- Robert Woods
- Matthew Stafford
- Adrian Peterson
- Julio Jones
Ryan Tannehill - Captain or Flex
The Titan's offense is the Tannehill show now. For better, or most likely worse, Tennessee will have to throw the ball at least slightly more often. With Julio Jones, and A.J. Brown both available for this game, the Titans are able to give it their best shot at keeping up with the high powered Rams offense. The biggest problem for the Tennessee offense is actually their lack of defense. Expect the Titan's to be down multiple touchdowns most of the game with Tannehill playing catch up. He has passed for over 300 yards only once this year, but for this game to stay close he will need to set a new season high.
Jeremy McNichols - Flex
Jeremy McNichols steps in as the incumbent Titans running back while being accompanied by Adrian Peterson. McNichols has been productive in his passing downs role all year, but has never carried a full workload while sharing a back field with Henry. Now the question becomes, how quickly can Peterson become an early down bruiser for the Titans? The most likely scenario is that McNichols maintains mostly the same role, with a handful of added carries while receiving an over-corrected price boost. At $7,800 on Draftkings, McNichols is solely a leverage play against receivers like Robert Woods, and Julio Jones. Unfortunately the price is too steep to recommend McNichols at Captain.
Adrian Peterson - Captain or Flex
There is always the chance that Peterson will take some time to get acclimated to the Titan's offense. If that were the case, the McNichols segment would've been more glowing. Peterson is more likely to settle in to an early down role with goal-line touches immediately. He may be a shell of his former self, but at 36 he still gives the Titans better burst than what McNichols has to offer between the tackles. Think Chase Edmonds, and James Conner, but if James Conner was only $3,000.
A.J. Brown - Captain or Flex
A.J. Brown has a few things working against him this week, which may keep his ownership at least reasonable. After a disappointing start to the year, Brown has averaged 126 yards a game over the past 3 games. He has had the same limited practice pattern in each of those weeks. Perhaps the injury tag paired with the Ramsey narrative can keep Brown's ownership out of "must fade" territory. As previously mentioned, Ramsey has been all over the field this year as opposed to locking down one receiver. Common misconception will still insist on downgrading receivers against the Rams in fear of Ramsey island.
Julio Jones - Captain or Flex
Ramsey is spending over 50% of his time in the slot. Neither Brown, nor Julio Jones are spending more than a quarter of their time in the slot. Notice no other Titans wide receiver is listed in this article. While one could make the argument that Ramsey isn't just going to sit around and cover Chester Rogers, he certainly isn't going to be locked on Jones or Brown. Jones is entering week 9 with no injury designation after suffering a hamstring strain. Similarly to McNichols, Jones settles in at a price range that makes him just right for leverage in this game. With three truly great options ahead of him, Jones could get lost in the mix.
Other Targets -
Randy Bullock - Flex
Bullock appearing in this article is truly a unicorn. Rarely will there be a kicker recommendation in a showdown article predicated mostly around tournaments. Bullock infiltrates the player pool simply because there is a realistic scenario that the Titans crumble without Henry. As far as running backs don't matter goes, Henry mattered the most of any running back in the NFL. If the Titans suffer an identity crisis against the best team in the league, they'll be settling for more field goals than they'd like.
Matthew Stafford - Captain or Flex
Stafford has hit the 300-yard-bonus 5 times thus far this season. Against the Titans, he should trot right through the bonus while having a chance to set a new season high in passing yards. He is expensive enough to fade in certain builds, but with every competitive lineup likely to feature Cooper Kupp, it will be difficult to exclude Stafford. Lineups without Stafford should feature Darrell Henderson Jr., especially at Captain.
Darrell Henderson Jr. - Captain or Flex
With so much ownership likely to fall on Stafford, and the Rams receivers, this is a great week to play Henderson at Captain while leaning heavily on the Titans side for the rest of the build. He has the fifth highest median projection on the slate, but the margin is small. With the Rams being 7.5 point favorites at home Henderson Jr. should see more opportunities while speeding up the game. Another two touchdown game from Henderson Jr. would make it difficult for Stafford, and Kupp to pay off their hefty price, and ownership.
Cooper Kupp - Captain or Flex
For weeks Cooper Kupp's target share should have inevitably regressed to a reasonable level. Here in week eight, Kupp is still sitting at an egregious 32% market share of the passing offense. With that said, Kupp is surprisingly not the highest priced player on the slate. That honor goes to Stafford. One way to play Kupp at his massive ownership while still remaining somewhat contrarian is to play he, and Henderson, without Stafford. So much of the Rams production goes through Henderson, and Kupp that they may be all you need to find the top of leader boards with the remaining four slots filled by Titans.
Robert Woods - Captain or Flex
Woods will have his ownership propped up by his two touchdown performance last week, though one came as a rusher. He is seeing enough opportunity to make himself viable at Captain but he is best served in lineups without Kupp. Of course Rams onslaughts will be viable, but they will be very highly owned. Woods at Captain with Stafford, Henderson, and either Van Jefferson or Tyler Higbee is a good way to gain leverage over Kupp lineups if going with a Rams onslaught that doesn't have quite so much ownership.
Van Jefferson - Flex
The Rams felt good enough about Van Jefferson that they were willing to release DeSean Jackson. With the Jackson release, and Jefferson's solid performance in week 8, his price has reached an unreasonable $6,800. In some cases, the unreasonable pricing provides an easy way to save some ownership. Jefferson is priced close enough to Jones, McNichols, and Woods that he may be the odd man out. He has the chance to become the Ram's primary deep ball receiver at low ownership against one of the league's worst pass defenses.
Tyler Higbee - Flex
Higbee is another ancillary option for the Ram's passing game that may go overlooked. He is reasonably priced at $5,400 relative to his opportunity. On a slate where ownership is so condensed around Kupp, and Woods, it is essential to find secondary pieces that have the opportunity to steal production from those primary options. Fading Kupp will undoubtedly be difficult, but it wouldn't be a surprise to have a 75% owned player miss the optimal lineup on a showdown slate.
|Position||Name||Salary||Projection||H-Value||Point/$||Captain or Flex|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||12800||21.7||32.3||1.7||Captain Only|
|WR||Cooper Kupp||12400||24.3||40.5||2.0||Flex Only|
|RB||Darrell Henderson Jr. Jr.||9200||17.9||32.2||1.9|
|WR||Van Jefferson Jr.||6800||10.7||17.8||1.6|