Your weekly guide to Thursday night’s Showdown slate on DraftKings. Ryan Clifford breaks down the top options at CAPT & FLEX, optimal stacking rules, and all of the slate-specific strategy you’ll need to get yourself atop the leaderboards!
If you missed last week’s Showdown strategy article, be sure to give it a once-over before diving into this write-up, as I’ll be referencing and implementing all of those rules for our building process throughout the season.
This will be the most in-depth write-up of the season. There is a lot to digest here as I teach you guys how to set groups and implement all of these rules in our optimizer. Once we learn the basics though, these write-ups will be much shorter and to the point.
Some of you are single-entry players and some are multi-entry players. I will let you know that I believe MME to be best method for tackling these Showdown slates. It is the optimal lineup that’s winning these big GPP’s on DraftKings, and the odds of you landing on that optimal lineup with one or just a few lineups is slim to none.
If you’re a beginner playing very low stakes, I’d suggest you play as many lineups as your bankroll allows in the $0.10, $0.25, and $1 contests…don’t overextend yourself.
Mid-stakes players: DraftKings offers the $0.50 “mini-MAX” which let’s you enter 150 lineups for just $75. You can combine this with some of the lower stakes contests to get in even more than 150. DK even releases additional mini-MAX contests once the initial one fills most weeks.
High stakes guys: I’m not going to tell you not to play the $180 Deep Threat, or $444 Four-Point Stance, but the people playing those contests are not what these write-ups are meant for.
Point is, we are “hunting” for the optimal lineup here, and the more entries you have, the better the odds of you finding that lineup will be. We will have some massive winners throughout the course of the season here at EliteFantasy.com – I promise you that – you just need to trust the process and it could very well be you!
With all of that being said, we are not trying to project a game script here. If you think you know how this game plays out, head to the Sportsbook and place your wagers there. I am not interested in the probable outcome. What we are trying to do, is to leverage playing multiple lineups to cover the many possible outcomes.
Setting Up the Optimizer
You’ll want to jump into our optimizer, which has been preloaded with my projections for the entire week. You’ll see a little DraftKings logo in the top left corner of the opto, click on it and select “DraftKings Showdown” from the drop down list. Click on “Game Filter” just above that, and make sure you have the correct game picked.
Our first step is to clear the player pool. To the left of the player search box, you’ll see a little drop down box. Select “None” and it will clear all players from your pool.
Once the player pool is cleared out, we’ll start by building some basic groups. Click on “Advanced Options”, then on “Groups”, then on “Create New Group”.
First group we’ll set is to include at least one quarterback in every lineup. Add Mahomes and Watson (both CAPT and FLEX), and set to use at least one player from the group.
Next, we’ll set the opto to use at most one kicker and at most 1 DST.
Next, we’ll want to make sure all of our CAPT’s are stacked with at least two of their teammates. For this, head to “Position Stacks” and “Stack CAPT with at least 2 QB/RB/WR/TE/K/DST from same team”. Remember to click on “Add Stacking Rule” to enable it.
Building the Punt Pool
Next up, we need to put our “punts” into the player pool, as we’ll be building a group with them.
You must pay attention to the inactive list that is announced 60-90 minutes before kickoff. Make sure none of these guys are on that list. Some of them will probably be, and you’ll need to adjust your pool at that point.
Here are the punts you should add to your player pool at this point.
Chiefs: Darwin Thompson, Anthony Sherman, Byron Pringle, Nick Keizer, Ricky Seals-Jones, Deon Yelder
Texans: Buddy Howell, Cullen Gillaspia, DeAndre Carter, Keke Coutee, Kahale Warring
Click on the little dropdown box again, and then on “Add Selected to Group” and then “Create New Group”.
From there, you’ll set the group that pops up to “use at most 1 player from this group”.
Interesting stat: Patrick Mahomes appeared in 10 optimal Showdown lineups last season. Out of those 10, he was the CAPT in just 1.
This may come as a surprise, but there are two reasons for this. 1) Mahomes has two superstars that he is throwing the ball to. More often than not, one of those guys (Hill or Kelce) is going to outscore him. 2) Mahomes doesn’t offer much rushing ability. He averaged just 15 yards rushing per game in 2019, and scored just 2 touchdowns. When you look at someone like Deshaun Watson, he was the optimal CAPT in 50% of the perfect lineups he appeared in. Well, he’s averaging 30 rushing yards per game, and scored 7 touchdowns on the ground last season.
You have to look for that rushing upside when judging if a quarterback should be used as a CAPT. Quarterbacks are notoriously over-owned in the CAPT spot relative to how often they actually are the optimal CAPT. Tonight, Watson makes it for me, but I’ll be fading Mahomes in CAPT.
At running back, I generally will only include RB1’s in my pool, but I’m not sure how the Chiefs situation is going to shake out, so I’ll have both Edwards-Helaire and Williams in there tonight.
At wide receiver, I need to see how the Texans situation shakes out with Brandin Cooks. If he plays, I probably withhold Stills from my pool – although there is some talk about Cooks being used as a decoy if he does suit up. If Cooks is out, Stills is definitely in.
At tight end, I only use the premier pass-catching guys as potential CAPT’s. Obviously, Kelce fits that billing, so he’s in, too.
Here’s a look at my full CAPT pool for tonight:
Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Travis Kelce
Texans: Deshaun Watson, David Johnson, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, Kenny Stills
We need to set up some groups for our CAPT’s. Make sure to include those players into the pool, and then head back to the groups tab under “Advanced Options”.
When using Deshaun Watson as CAPT, we want him to have at least two of his pass-catchers in the lineup with him. To set Watson is the “key player”, you’ll click the little key icon to the left of his name. The group should look like this:
For all of the pass-catchers, if they are the CAPT, their quarterback or their team’s RB1 must be in a FLEX spot. I go into more detail as to the why in last week’s strategy article (rule #8). Here are the groups you’ll want for this week:
NOTE: With Edwards-Helaire and Williams slated to split carries tonight, I’m not sure I see either of them outscoring Mahomes in the event that one of these WR’s is the optimal CAPT. Therefore, my KC WR groups are set to just use Mahomes.
Filling the FLEX Pool
The last step is to fill in the FLEX pool with all of the remaining players that will appear. Again, you may need to adjust when inactives are released, but for now, you should have 42 or 43 total players in your pool (depending on if Stills is in your CAPT pool).
We’re ready to build! Head back into “Advanced Options” and use the following settings:
- 3 unique players
- $43,000 minimum salary (90% of 2019 optimal lineups were $43,000 or greater)
- max 3 offensive players vs. defense
- 15% randomness
- .01 minimum projection included in calculation
We’re ready to go. Click on “Calculate 50 Lineups” (or less depending on how many you are building) and your first 50 lineups will be built. If you’re like me, and you’re building more than that, click that same button again and spit out 50 more. With the randomness set to 15% and 3 unique players, you shouldn’t get too many duplicate lineups.
When you have your second set of 50 lineups, click on “select lineups” and “move 50 selected” from the drop down menu, and it will move all of the non-duplicated lineups over to your first batch. Keep repeating the process until you have your desired number of lineups.
Click on “export lineups”, make sure to select to proper slate, and your lineups are ready to upload into DK!
We made it! This was very in-depth. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely learned a whole lot that will be implemented throughout the season. I’ll have write-ups for every Thursday night, Sunday night, and Monday night Showdown slate this season. Good luck to everyone tonight, hopefully we’ll have some of you sharing that million bucks!
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