The Three Question Showdown Breakdown Series: (NE @ LAR) NFL 12/10

Here are the three questions I think you should always ask yourself every single time you put in a showdown lineup:

1. Who are the mispriced players, if any?

2. How can I position my lineup to be duplicated as LITTLE as possible?

3. Does my lineup make sense?

The first question helps you look for the relative value in individual players in this matchup. Of course, you can use the projections to identify strong point per dollar options from a median perspective, but don’t be afraid to manually change a player’s projection if you feel they are overpriced or vice versa.

The second question refers to lineup construction and what you believe the field will do. This could arguably be the most important question you ask when making a showdown lineup. Avoiding duplication is just as important, if not more so, than the plays themselves.

The reason is fairly simple, it is -EV (Negative Expected Value) over the long term to split first place several ways. Basically, your probability * payoff isn’t high enough to justify playing those types of lineups and over a long sample size you are more likely to lose money.

Anyways, the best way to avoid duplication is to run 150 lineups without changing anything in the lineup building settings to see what the optimal median projection builds are. After you see what the optimizer spits out, build player groups to avoid those types of lineup constructions. For example, if you see two QB’s appear in the same lineup in every single optimal build, just make a group saying, “play at most one QB” and you’ve already drastically changed how your lineups will look.

Lastly, the third question seems relatively intuitive, but I believe a lot of people ignore it and just try to galaxy brain their entire lineup to be different from the field. The most obvious example would be placing a running back who doesn’t catch balls in the Captain spot and then using the QB from that same team.

The reason this is wrong is because you want your player in the Captain spot to hit their ceiling. So, for a RB who doesn’t catch passes to hit their ceiling, you probably want three rushing touchdowns which is not only bad for that same team’s QB, it also takes points away from that QB making them negatively correlated.

The Showdown Breakdown

Good afternoon DFS world. We have a low total on tap tonight (44) with the Rams being solid favorites -4.5 against the Patriots. The biggest injury concern on the slate if Cam Newton as he is questionable with an abdominal injury, if he can’t go this entire slate will be flipped on its head (S/O Peter Overzet).

The first thing I’d like to mention is the massive home/road splits that each QB has in this game. Whether you want to read into it or not, it is Week 13 and Goff is averaging 12.1 FPPG at home while Cam is averaging 25.7 FPPG on the road. While this can be noisy, I think it’s dramatic enough to at least consider it when making lineups tonight

Here are a few interesting stats before we get into the questions!

1. Cam Akers has scored a touchdown in each of the last three games.

2. Jared Goff has thrown only 3 touchdowns in 5 home games this season and is averaging 12.1 DKPTS.

3. Damiere Byrd has recorded 65+ receiving yards in each of the last three night road games.

4. Robert Woods has 80+ receiving yards in four of the last 5 Rams’ games.

5. Cam Newton has scored multiple rushing touchdowns in 3 of 5 road games this year.

Let’s get into the questions!

Who are the mispriced players, if any?

These teams are looking to run the ball first and it’s no secret. The Patriots run the ball 52.5% of the time (2nd highest in the league) and the Rams at 43.4% (9th highest). Using that logic, why in God’s name would I pay $400 more for Jared Goff, a stationary QB, over Cam Newton, one of the best rushing QB’s in the league. Throw in the home/road splits and I think Cam Newton is vastly underpriced relative to his role + he’ll come with similar ownership to Goff which in my opinion is a massive mistake.

Anyone who puts Goff into a lineup tonight is starting from behind in my personal opinion and that is where I’m going to focus my leverage on. By the way, he’s projected for almost 70% ownership tonight which is just music to my ears. I will be making lineups based on a poor Goff showing and will build lineups to reflect that. This doesn’t even necessarily mean the Rams will do bad, I will just be very low on the passing attack for the Rams offense in general.

You can of course disagree with me and go another direction. My advice is just to find the leverage point that makes the most sense to you and build for that scenario because it is one game after all and many things can happen. Just try to be right about one thing and have your lineups backup your logic.

How can I position my lineup to be duplicated as LITTLE as possible?

Cam Newton is probably the only QB in the league that I will consider for the CPT spot. QB’s are generally over owned in the CPT spot and do not provide enough leverage to justify playing them at CPT usually. Tonight I will make the exception and only for Cam but I will make sure to get unique as possible with the rest of my lineup.

One way I plan to get different is to be extremely underweight on the Rams’ passing attack. Most people will look to jam in at least one pass catcher from the Rams and will also play a decent amount of Goff based on recent performance. I think being able to figure out the Rams running back situation tonight will pay dividends. While it looked murky before, it seems Cam Akers has ascended to the top back in this offense.

Darrel Henderson Jr. had a very long touchdown last week that broke great for him so I won’t be weighing last week’s result for him too much. Cam Akers is slightly expensive, but I think people will have trouble clicking his name because of that very reason. Also having three running backs will always scare people off the top option. The best part is that Akers is only $600 more than Henderson and people will see the FPTS from last week and potentially take the discount off Akers.

Give me all the Akers tonight.

Does my lineup make sense?

Well look at that. When you run 150 lineups with no changes, you get Jared Goff as the highest owned FLEX player and Robert Woods as the highest owned CPT. I’m starting to love this slate. It’s making more and more sense to be underweight on the Rams passing attack from an ownership perspective.

This question is a little unique for tonight. Cam Newton in the CPT spot would be interesting because you could still play the running game and other pieces from the Patriot’s passing attack and hope that Newton spreads the ball out. Don’t even be afraid to put Akers at the CPT spot and build 4 other Patriots in that lineup in hopes that Akers is the one scoring for the Rams and the Pats’ offense is playing catchup.

However you intend to build, try to make sure your lineup makes sense for the contest that you’re in. For the extremely large contest on DK, it can even make sense for your lineup to not make sense in efforts to be different. Single entry contests I would recommend a little more correlation in the lineup as the duplication risk isn’t as high with people only getting a single bullet in the contest.

That just about does it! If you are enjoying this series feel free to leave a comment or hit the thumbs-up at the top of the article. You can also follow me on twitter. Or you can do neither of those three things and do whatever you want, just like in showdown. Let’s fire up these leverage plays and take down some tourneys and as always, may the football gods have mercy on your souls.

About the Author


  • FitFantasyGod

    Let me know what type of game script you’re building for tonight!

  • easternmh

    • x3

      Blogger of the Month

    Good stuff fit- think I’m riding with Byrd tonight

  • FitFantasyGod

    @easternmh said...

    Good stuff fit- think I’m riding with Byrd tonight

    Byrd is our guy tonight $800 is too CHEAP LETS GO EASTERN

  • ifthethunder

    I agree with the CPT Cam (Newton) idea. I am going 3-max, so 1 CPT Cam, 1 Cam in flex (both of them actually), 1 Rams win and only James White from N.E. in flex.

    Good luck!

  • FitFantasyGod

    @ifthethunder said...

    I agree with the CPT Cam (Newton) idea. I am going 3-max, so 1 CPT Cam, 1 Cam in flex (both of them actually), 1 Rams win and only James White from N.E. in flex.

    Good luck!

    Love it man, I’m all over James white too! Thanks for the comment!

  • ghost3490

    Hey you saved my ass in Thu-Mon entry. I switched out Goff and Woods because of this. Thank you.

  • FitFantasyGod

    @ghost3490 said...

    Hey you saved my ass in Thu-Mon entry. I switched out Goff and Woods because of this. Thank you.

    Happy to help my friend! Good luck out there!

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