A look at who to pick in the NFL Showdown primetime matchups.
I give much love to the NFL main slate, and probably a bit too much love. So, I want to start providing you with some insight into the prime time matchups on Sunday and Monday nights. DFS sites have started offering “Showdown” contests this season. What is a showdown? It’s a salary based contest, much like your standard classic contests, except it’s focused on just a single game. Where in a classic contest, you pick a QB/RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/TE/FLEX/DST, a showdown allows you to pick six FLEX (including kickers) positions. The other twist of a showdown is the Captain position (represented by a crown).
The Captain of your lineup will cost 1.5x more than their standard salary, but will also reward you with 1.5x their standard score. For example, Drew Brees is priced at $15,900 as a Captain, but $10,600 as a standard FLEX player.
That also means if he scores 20 points in the FLEX, he would score 30 points as your Captain. Got it? Good. The key to selecting your Captain is to figure out whom you feel will have the most upside, without blowing your budget on one player.
The last thing I want to mention is ownership. Since it’s just a single game, you’re going to have the same players as almost everyone else in the contest so you want to diversify your picks by selecting players that not many others might, and then mixing those guys in with more popular/predictable options. Now that I’ve gone over the general basis for a Showdown let’s pick out some contrarian plays that should help you to gain an edge over the field.
Disclaimer: Do not fill up your entire roster with these players, but sprinkle them throughout your lineups for diversification.
Mark Ingram - $7,200: Over the last two games, Ingram has out-touched Kamara, 33 to 29.x Now, Kamara is still the guy in New Orleans, but I like Ingram as a pivot off of Kamara. Ingram has also been used in the red zone, with five carries inside the ten, which he has converted two of those carries into scores.y
Roc Thomas - $400: Who? Exactly! Houston, meet Roc Thomas. A UDFA (undrafted free agent) out of Jacksonville State, Thomas is a compact RB that can make plays happen in the passing game out of the backfield. With Dalvin Cook out this week, Thomas should see some opportunities behind Latavius Murray. He only has eight touches this season, but he has seen two targets in the red zone.y
Tre’Quan Smith - $5,400: Smith hasn’t seen a lot of targets (13), as he’s been fighting for playing time with Cameron Meredith.y With Ted Ginn Jr on IR, Smith should see more opportunities. The last two games that Smith has played with Ginn out, he’s been second on the team in targets and had a 111 yard/2TD performance against the Redskins in Week 5.y With Xavier Rhodes out this week, that potentially leaves Mackensie Alexander or Marcus Sherels with the task of covering Smith. I’ll take Smith every day of the week, and twice on Sundays.
Laquon Treadwell - $2,600: Laquon Treadwell, the man that caused me so much pain in Dynasty Football drafts in 2016, has now started to show signs of life. He has already met or exceeded almost every stat this season than he had all of last year. Treadwell has a 76 percent catch rate and is averaging about five targets per game.z With Thielen, Diggs, and Rudolph occupying most of the attention, give Treadwell a look in what should be a high scoring game.
Will Lutz - $3,200/Dan Bailey - $3,400: Yeah, I’m throwing kickers into the mix. So what if I kind of wants to throw up a little. Lutz and Bailey both average as many or more Draft Kings points per game than both of their team’s TEs. Lutz is in the top ten in XP made, and just outside of the top ten (11th) in FG made.w Bailey, since he joined the Vikings in Week 4, has averaged 2.75 XP and FG per game.y Need to save $1,000 or so? Grab a kicker and ditch the TE.
Stat Source Reference: w = ESPN,x = 4for4, y = Pro Football Reference, z = Pro Football Focus