NFL Showdown can be a fickle beast. These contests do not rely on median projections so much as leverage and uniqueness. Fading the highest-rostered plays can be a risky proposition. Typically, your edge is going to come by identifying the best low-rostered plays and finding clever ways to pair them with the juggernauts of the slate.
This article will have a heavy DraftKings lean simply because the decision-making process is more interesting, given the salary premium attached to the Captain spot. FanDuel's pricing is the same for both MVP and Flex spots. You will usually need the slate’s top scorer at MVP, so FanDuel strategy revolves around unique Flex builds.
Advice in this article will pertain predominantly to tournament lineups and strategy. For cash lineups, build around median projections. For head-to-head contests, continue to lean into the median projections, but if two options project closely, give the nod to the lowest rostered player.
The Baltimore Ravens are heading to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers as 1.5-point favorites. The game total is set at 45. We have a unique situation where the field will be heavily invested in the underdog, which should allow us to play the favored Baltimore Ravens at lower-than-normal roster percentages. The issue here is that we have far less viable stacking options to pair with Lamar Jackson, who is priced at his ceiling. We’ll need to get creative with our roster construction to make up for the chalky nature of our Ravens stacks. Tampa Bay put up just three points last week, yet optimizers are going to project them just like any old Tom Brady offense. We’ll be in a great spot stacking Jackson if the Buccaneers struggle once again.
- Mark Andrews – Knee – DNP
- Gus Edwards – Knee – LP
- Rashod Bateman – Foot – LP
- Russell Gage – Hamstring – Out
- Julio Jones – Knee – GTD
Lamar Jackson $11,800 – Captain or Flex
Lamar Jackson has been in a bit of a lull as of late after starting the season looking like an MVP candidate once again. He’s scored less than two touchdowns each of the last four weeks. He’s also passed for over 200 yards just once in that span. The important piece to this puzzle is that his rushing has remained consistent. He’s averaged 10 rushing attempts per game over the past four games, which keeps him firmly in contention for the 100-yard-bonus. Aside from last week’s outlier of just 16 passes, Jackson is averaging a respectable 30 attempts a game to tack on with his rushing upside. With Jackson sitting at an elevated price tag after four weeks of relatively mediocre production, we’re in a great position to play him at a lower roster percentage than we’ll see all year.
Gus Edwards $7,600 – Flex
In Gus Edward’s first game of the season, he split the backfield touches evenly three ways. In that time, he did handle most of the touches. He carried the ball 16 times, scoring two touchdowns but was not targeted. He reached his absolute ceiling in terms of usage and is unlikely to score two touchdowns again. Edwards’ price is reasonable, and his snap share may increase a touch, but he does not correlate well with Jackson and is not a priority in Ravens stacks.
Kenyan Drake $4,600 – Flex
Kenyan Drake finished week six with 119 yards on 10 rushes to go along with 2 targets. Last week he came crashing back to earth with just five yards on 11 carries. He’s in a grey area where he’s getting work, but he is not getting goal-line touches, and he’s not getting targeted, so we’re really begging him to make something special happen if we’re playing him. Anyone receiving 12 opportunities is in play at $4,600, but I’d prefer to go with either team’s kicker or defense.
Mark Andrews $9,200 - Captain or Flex
Mark Andrews was targeted twice in week seven and put up a goose egg in the box scores. When asked about Andrews’ concerning usage after the game, Jackson explained that the Browns had schemed to take Andrews away. It seems odd that the focal point of their offense could be so easily removed, but at least Andrews graced us with a sweet pitch to Jackson from under center. Nonetheless, Andrews is still the 13th most targeted player in the NFL and is best paired with Jackson in Ravens stacks.
Rashod Bateman $7,000 – Flex
Rashod Bateman returned to action after two missed games and turned five targets into four receptions for 42 yards. He missed the first two practices of the week but should be good to go for Thursday. His $7,000 salary is a bit rich for a player averaging just five targets, but we’ve seen Bateman hit the 100-yard-bonus with a touchdown this year. Bateman is a talented receiver with a reasonable ceiling now two weeks removed from injury. His price tag makes him a poor point-per-dollar play so he should go largely overlooked by the field.
Devin Duvernay $6,400 – Flex
Devin Duvernay has performed admirably in Bateman’s absence. The Ravens are asking him to do far more than I’m sure he expected heading into the year. We’re used to playing Duvernay in the $3,000 range and hoping for a gimmicky touchdown near the goal line. This season we’ve got a true second wide receiver averaging four targets a game. With Bateman at just $600 more, I’ll lean in his direction, but I’m not out on playing Duvernay and Bateman with Jackson for a unique lineup.
Demarcus Robinson $2,800 – Flex
Demarcus Robinson was an exciting signing for the Ravens, who seemed like the perfect fit for him. His production hasn’t quite panned out, but he’s been targeted a reasonable amount, given his cost. Robinson is liable to get you a zero in-the-box score, but he also has five-target upside at less than $3,000.
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