The most extensive College Football DFS Breakdown in the industry. Every Game. Every Slate. All the top players and positional rankings – sorted by slate and value.
Monday January 13, 8:00 pm (1 game)
*Note: Player salaries are listed as their DraftKings price
DK Showdown Tips: Rules Based on Optimal Lineups
If you missed September’s strategy session on Optimal Showdown Lineups, you can either follow the link to go back and read it, or I’ll drop some cliff notes here.
I broke down 92 CFB Showdown slates to find trends that could help us build better lineups. Based on the optimal lineups from each slate, I came up with a set of rules to follow that would help us cover the most important bases in building lineups that made sense. If you need explanations on these, follow the link above, but here are the actual rules I follow when putting together my DK Showdown lineups:
RULE #1:Set minimum salary to $43,000, maximum to $50,000 (92.4% of optimals)
RULE #2: Use no more than 4 players for one team (84.8% of optimals)
RULE #3:Don’t play a kicker as Captain (100.0% of optimals)
RULE #4:Do not play any kickers (83.7% of optimals)
RULE #5:Play at least 1 QB, RB, and WR (87.2% of optimals)
RULE #6:Play at least 1 WR from each team (84.8% of optimals)
RULE #7:Stack all QB’s with at least 1, but no more than 2 of their pass-catchers (84.5% of optimals)
OPTIONAL RULE: Do not use QB as Captain unless they are a dual-threat
National Championship: Clemson vs LSU (1/13 8:00 pm Kickoff)
Spread: Clemson -6 | Total: 69.5
Something unexpected is guaranteed to happen on Monday night.
This is a dream matchup for college football fans. How will what is arguably the top defense in the country match up against what is likely the nation’s top offense? Justin Fields threw just one interception in all of 2019…until Clemson got ahold of him. The Tigers picked off two of Fields passes, en route to a stunning, come from behind win in the Fiesta Bowl.
Joe Burrow ($12,800) has thrown six picks, but he’s also completing nearly 80% of his passes, for over 5,000 yards and 55 touchdowns. How will he fare against the country’s No. 1 ranked defense? Clemson opponents average an FBS-low 11.5 points, 151.5 passing yards, 0.6 passing touchdowns, and 13.6 first downs per game.
Burrow will be fine. This team has a great offensive line, a run game averaging nearly 5 yards per carry, and the Heisman Trophy winner has targets aplenty in the passing game.
Ja’Marr Chase ($8,600) had his worst statistical game of the season against Oklahoma, which was the follow-up to his second-lowest fantasy output of 2019 against Georgia in the SEC Championship. His ownership will probably take a hit with the game log gobblers, but he’s still a grade-A fantasy option in my eyes. Chase has five games of 34+ fantasy points on DraftKings this season. With more attention likely being given to Jefferson after his performance two weeks ago, Chase could fly under the radar a bit, with both DFS players and Clemson defensive backs.
Terrace Marshall ($6,800) catches just about everything thrown at him. He’s become the forgotten man, however, overshadowed by Chase and Jefferson. You’re not paying up for Burrow and his two top receivers, so you’re almost forced to consider Marshall if putting together an LSU stack.
Justin Jefferson ($9,800) will be NFL-bound following Monday night’s matchup – and he’s going to be a good one. The 6-foot-2 pass catcher had what could’ve been the best fantasy performance in college football history in the CFP Semifinal against Oklahoma – going off for 14 catches, 227 yards, and 4 touchdowns…think he’s going to get some ownership here? I hate to say this again, because it bit me in the ass last time, but I’m leaning towards fading Jefferson here. Chase has showcased a similar ceiling, comes with a $1,200 discount, probably a 15-20% ownership discount, and probably now receives less attention from the Clemson secondary than he would have gotten a month ago.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($9,000) is reportedly 100% healthy after an injured hamstring hamstrung him before the Oklahoma game. I was very surprised to see what J.K. Dobbins managed to do against the Clemson defense and it has me a lot more interested in CEH for DFS purposes here. The biggest reason I like Edwards-Helaire, though, is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. The junior running back caught 38 balls in his last six games of the season. In what should be a close game, the DK points could pile up quick for Edwards-Helaire.
We’re going to need some value on this Showdown slate, so tight end Thaddeus Moss ($4,200) comes into play here as a punt option. He’s averaging nearly 10 DK points per game since week 6 – finishing with double-digit fantasy points in six of ten games.
On the other side of the ball, the Clemson Tigers seem to have a little easier path towards putting up fantasy points. The ACC powerhouse has the country’s No. 3 ranked overall offense, and LSU has struggled at times on defense. The Tigers from Baton Rouge rank just 55th against the pass and are No. 20 against the run. Trevor Lawrence ($10,800) should be lower-owned than Burrow, is $2,000 cheaper, and has a better matchup. Interpret that information how you’d like. Personally, if I’m playing a single entry, I’m going Lawrence over Burrow.
He may not have the Biletnikoff Award winner to throw the ball to, but Tee Higgins ($8,000) is probably going to be a first-round NFL pick in April. He’s gone over 20 DK points in just 6 of 14 games in 2019, but he was also dealing with injuries to his hamstring and back for a few weeks earlier in the season. Since getting himself healthy, he’s averaging nearly 25 DK points per game – and that includes his 7-point performance against Ohio State, in which he sat out most of the game.
Higgins is my preferred stacking option with Lawrence, but the 6-foot-4 sophomore Justyn Ross ($7,400) can certainly get it done, too. Ross was probably Clemson’s most valuable player in last year’s College Football Playoffs, going off for 12 catches, 301 yards, and 3 touchdowns against Notre Dame and Alabama. He couldn’t quite put up those numbers against Ohio State, but Lawrence was also running for his life against Chase Young and that ridiculously good Buckeye defensive line. Ohio State ranks No. 2 against the pass…remember – LSU ranks No. 55.
LSU has been better against the run, but they also haven’t faced a running back that’s even close to as good as Travis Etienne ($9,400) is. D’Andre Swift left the game after 2 carries. Go look at LSU’s schedule – who else did they face? Kylin Hill? Najee Harris? Ke’Shawn Vaughn was terrible in 2019, but he had the best game of his season against the LSU defensive line. I feel like Etienne will go overlooked with all of the focus on these passing games – and he could explode. He can pile up points in so many ways, too, as he showcased against Ohio State. In that game, Etienne only handled 10 carries, but he still went for 3 rushing scores, he caught 3 balls for 98 yards, and was even back returning kicks. The Louisiana native is going back home to the Superdome, where I think he’s going to cap off his college career in a big way.
You won’t find many value options on this offense. My favorite, and probably the only cheap guy I’ll have any exposure to from Clemson is Amari Rodgers ($4,800). He’s the third option for Lawrence and caught five touchdowns on the season, eclipsing 10 DK points in 5 of 13 games played.
Positional Rankings (ranked by value)
- Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
- Joe Burrow, LSU
- Travis Etienne, Clemson
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
- Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
- Tee Higgins, Clemson
- Justin Jefferson, LSU
- Justyn Ross, Clemson
- Terrace Marshall, LSU
- Thaddeus Moss, LSU
- Amari Rodgers, Clemson