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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 Tampa Bay Buccaneers have seemingly hit the peak of the Tom Brady era, with every offensive starter functioning near the top of their respective positions. This will lead to a very condensed player pool, with Brady being essentially a requirement. Slates with such a massive lean towards one offense make it very difficult to get unique, while still succeeding. Finding one or two Buccaneers to outperform Godwin, or Fournette will provide leverage over the field. Starting lineups with both Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara will force lineups to be unique with the hope that they can outscore their near-price peers. Taysom Hill is more likely to expand on his week 14 performance, where he only attempted 21 passes, as opposed to his week 13 performance where he attempted 41 passes.
Taysom Hill $10,400 - Captain or Flex
The underdog Quarterback has been a major point of leverage this season in Showdown. Hill is on the expensive side this week, however, that could keep his ownership reasonable. He has had two very different games since taking over as the starter in week 13. In his first game, he attempted 41 passes with 2 touchdowns to go along with 4 picks. In his second game, it appeared as though Sean Payton reigned Hill in, as he only attempted 21 passes, and rushed for 2 touchdowns. Expect the last game to be the trend going forward, which will make Hill productive without necessarily elevating fantasy producers around him.
Alvin Kamara $11,400 – Captain or Flex
In years past, Hill becoming the starter meant a proverbial death sentence for Alvin Kamara’s production. Fortunately, that has not been the case through Hill’s most recent starts. Kamara has been targeted 12 times in the last 2 weeks, to go along with 40 carries, and 2 touchdowns. With Hill struggling mightily through the air, Kamara is likely to be even more involved as a pass-catcher as the Saints try to keep pace with the Buccaneers' explosive offense. With so much ownership around the Buccaneers, Kamara could be a great leverage point.
TreQuan Smith $5,800 – Flex
In Hill’s first game as the starter, TreQuan Smith was targeted 7 times. In Hill’s second start, Smith was targeted only 3 times. The decrease was a result of Hill attempting only 21 passes, which is likely to be the case going forward. There are not many targets to go around for the Saints receivers. Smith is the most expensive of the bunch, and although he is technically the primary receiver, he played roughly the same number of snaps as Marquez Callaway the past two weeks.
Marquez Callaway $4,800 – Flex
Marquez Callaway has played a couple more snaps than Smith over the past two weeks. He is also $1,000 less than Smith. Getting the correct Saints receiver paired with Hill would provide massive leverage. Given that neither receiver stands out over the other, defer to ownership. Whichever receiver is less owned is slightly more appealing to roster. If the ownership is close, take the $1,000 discount on Callaway.
Adam Trautman $200 - Flex
Adam Trautman at $200 is simply absurd. Given his 14 targets over his last 2 starts, he is one of the most mispriced players of the season. Unfortunately, his last two games prior to injury were not with Hill. While Hill is expected to pass far less than Jameis Winston, or Trevor Siemian, he is still likely to find Trautman a few times to pay off his minimum price tag. When playing Trautman at Captain be sure to leave an above-average amount of salary on the table to avoid being too chalky.
Tom Brady $12,200 – Captain or Flex
Tom Brady is leading one of the league’s hottest offenses. At times during his tenure in Tampa Bay, he has struggled to support multiple receivers. That has not been the case of late, as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, and even Leonard Fournette have been thriving in the passing game. While Tampa Bay onslaughts will be popular, it may be the only way to go in this game. Sometimes you’ve got to bite the bullet and split first place with 1,000 of your friends.
Leonard Fournette $9,200 – Captain or Flex
Leonard Fournette and Brady are likely to be the most popular captains on the slate. Fournette is the best option of the two because he doesn’t require a full Tampa Bay onslaught. Ownership can be saved by playing Fournette at Captain with two or three more Buccaneers paired with Hill, and Trautman. Kamara and Trautman can be played in the same way, and both lineups allow for fading Brady yet still stacking Tampa Bay while staying relatively close to optimal median projection.
Chris Godwin $10,000 - Captain or Flex
Chris Godwin has been targeted an egregious 32 times over the past 2 games. His salary should be equivalent to Cooper Kupp, or Davante Adams, yet he is only $10,000. He is going to be extremely popular, but he is worth the price. If he were more expensive perhaps he would warrant fading for the sake of avoiding massive ownership, but his price is just too low.
Mike Evans $8,600 – Captain or Flex
Mike Evans is in a great position to come in under-owned, as Fournette, Brady, and Godwin all seem like must-plays. Evans is always a threat for multiple touchdowns, as he has done three times on the year. While Godwin’s market share over the past two games has been astronomical, Evans has still gotten a respectable 16 looks. If making multiple lineups, it is worth subbing Evans in for Fournette, or Godwin, and leaving the salary on the table as to remain unique from others who would’ve sought to upgrade from Evans.
Rob Gronkowski $7,800 – Captain or Flex
Somehow Rob Gronkowski has managed to average 8.5 targets per game while both Evans and Godwin soak up respectable market shares. Much of the same advice for Evans applies to Gronkowski. Since Godwin, Brady, and Fournette are going to be so popular it will be important to save ownership by hitting on one of the other options in the offense. The same strategy can be used with Gronkowski to substitute him for Godwin or Fournette, and leave the salary on the table.
Other Targets -
Tyler Johnson $1,600 – Flex
With Antonio Brown still suspended, and perhaps not returning, Tyler Johnson has been the primary beneficiary. Johnson caught all 3 of his targets last week for only 16 yards. Trautman is a much stronger punt play but will be much higher owned. If looking to fade Trautman’s ownership, Johnson would be the player to look to. Fading Godwin in favor of Johnson, while also playing Trautman, affords the opportunity to play both Kamara, and Hill in a Buccaneers heavy lineup.
|Captain or Flex
|Mark Ingram II
|Ronald Jones II II