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 Browns are only 3.5-point underdogs heading to Baltimore. The game total is a lowly 47 which can easily go over if these two offenses are clicking. This game features two of the leagues best rushing offenses, with four viable plays at running back. Stacking running backs from the same team, and playing three running backs in the same lineup are both sound strategies to employ. Even with a running back at Captain, do not be afraid to play their running mate in the flex. Nick Chubb has been the optimal Captain with Kareem Hunt in the flex in the past, and vice versa. The same can work out for Devonta Freeman, and Latavius Murray. Much of the ownership will center around the receiving options, leaving the running backs under owned.
Baker Mayfield - Captain or Flex
Baker Mayfield is apparently healthy for the first time in weeks. After the departure of Odell Beckham Jr Jr., Mayfield will have to spread the ball to more receiving options. Pairing the Beckham Jr. departure with the return of Kareem Hunt could mean a more balanced approach for the Browns. Mayfield is on pace for his fewest attempts in his career through his ten starts this season. He has been reasonably efficient on said attempts. Unfortunately, Mayfield is projected nearly 10 points less than Lamar Jackson, and is still a far worse point per dollar play at $2,600 less on Draftkings. On the plus side, there will be so much ownership on Jackson and his receivers, that stacks with four or five Browns players will be virtually unowned.
Nick Chubb – Captain or Flex
Nick Chubb is set to make his second start after returning from Covid-19 protocols. He capped off his return last week with 22 carries for 130 yards, and a receiving touchdown. His performance should indicate he is fully healthy after his positive test result. This will be his first week sharing the backfield with Hunt since October 10th, when he carried the ball 21 times to Hunt's 12. Expect Chubb to double Hunt’s attempts, at least in the run game.
Kareem Hunt – Flex
While Chubb has been the more reliable rusher of these two backs, Hunt has had consistent production in the passing game. He is averaging 4 targets a game with his season high of 7 coming in a blowout against Chicago. He will be involved in both the rushing, and passing game regardless of game-script assuming he is fully healthy. He is not as cheap as he should be with the fear that he could have a pitch count, so it will be important to pay attention to any news on him prior to kickoff.
Jarvis Landry - Flex
Jarvis Landry played on only 65% of the snaps in week 11. He was targeted 8 times, and scored a rushing touchdown. With Beckham Jr. gone, there is no doubt that Landry is the primary option in this passing offense. He is charged with keeping the offense on schedule as indicated by his lowly 5.8 yards per target. He is being projected for only 10 points, making him a significantly worse play than Mark Andrews, Devonta Freeman, and Hunt, who are all in his price range.
Donovan Peoples-Jones - Captain or Flex
Donovan Peoples-Jones was out in week 11, but played 85% of the snaps in week 10, where he had 5 targets. Peoples-Jones is $2,800 cheaper than Landry, with a similar median projection, and likely less ownership. He frees up some salary for lineups to include Mayfield, Chubb, Hunt, Jackson, and a sub-$2,000 punt play. Pay attention to his game status as he is still questionable coming off a groin injury. If he is out, expect Ja’Marcus Bradley to take over his role once again.
Austin Hooper – Flex
Austin Hooper played on 65% of the offensive snaps in week 11, which is only 1% more than David Njoku. He had 7 targets to Njoku’s 4, but he is also $1,200 more. All three Cleveland tight ends are viable at their respective prices, and involvement, so it is difficult to recommend Hooper as he is the most expensive, and likely most rostered.
David Njoku - Flex
David Njoku has been seeing his snap share increase this season as he finally seems to be becoming a regular part of this offense. At $4,000 he is more expensive that he should be relative to his target opportunity, however, he will likely go overlooked in terms of ownership. Hooper will be the favorite tight end play at $5,800 while Harrison Bryant will be a favorite punt play at $1,000. That leaves an ultra-athletic Njoku right in the middle with low ownership, and at least some opportunity.
Lamar Jackson – Captain or Flex
Lamar Jackson is in a similar position as was Josh Allen on Thursday night. He will be in essentially every lineup as he is projected roughly 10 points more than the next highest projected player. The entire slate comes down to how lineups are built around Jackson. Placing Jackson at Captain is a simple start to getting a leg up on some of the field, however, it narrows the remaining contrarian options in the flex, and increases the chances of getting duplicated. The best option for being contrarian will likely be pairing Jackson with a lesser owned member of the Ravens offense in the flex while rostering a Browns running back at Captain, and playing 4 Browns total.
Devonta Freeman – Captain or Flex
Devonta Freeman played on 58% of the snaps for the past three weeks. The return of Latavius Murray made no difference to Freeman’s workload. Freeman is being used as a legitimate workhorse, as he was given 16 carries, and 6 targets last week. He is a significantly better point-per-dollar play than Chubb, with likely similar ownership. Stacking Jackson with Freeman will add at least a little variation against lineups that want to stack Jackson with Andrews, and Brown.
Marquise Brown - Captain or Flex
Marquise Brown missed last week with injury, and has been limited in practice this week. If he is able to go, he will likely be the second most rostered player behind Jackson. The Ravens offensive weapons project so much better than the Browns weapons that it will be difficult to get away from Jackson, and Brown. If Brown misses the game, the field will open more, but with Brown playing it will likely come down to getting the right cheap Browns player in your Ravens stacks.
Rashod Bateman – Flex
Rashod Bateman played a season high 70% of the snaps in week 11, however, Sammy Watkins played 74% with Brown sidelined. It will be difficult to say which receiver will take a back seat with Brown returning to the lineup, but it will likely be Bateman who continues to start. Watkins played 32% of the snaps to Bateman’s 55% the last time all 3 receivers were healthy. Bateman projects slightly better than Peoples-Jones, but with a higher price tag.
Mark Andrews – Captain or Flex
Mark Andrews is too cheap given his target opportunity, especially in the Redzone. Andrews is the better stack option than Brown for Jackson lineups as he will likely carry less ownership on similar snaps. Even with Nick Boyle returning, Andrews held on to a 72% snap share. He has averaged 7 targets a game on the year, with multiple 10 target games over the past 3 weeks.
Other Targets -
Latavius Murray – Flex
Latavius Murray returned to the lineup last week, and played 37% of the snaps. Even with Freeman receiving his largest workload of the year, Murray still had 10 rushing attempts, and 2 targets. Murray is only $3,600, and fits well in lineups with, and without Freeman. One great build option would be starting with Jackson, Andrews, Freeman, and Murray, while cycling through Browns option for the last two flex spots.
Devin Duvernay – Flex
Devin Duvernay has managed to hover around 50% of the snaps all season, but is often overlooked. He is given at least one manufactured touch a game, and it is often near the goal line. Last week he matched his season high in targets with 6, and he caught a touchdown the week prior. The team considers him as an important offensive weapon but his ownership never reflects that.
|Position||Name||Salary||Projection||H-Value||Point/$||Captain or Flex|
|TE||Harrison Bryant||1000||2.9||12.6||2.9||Captain Only|