Slate IQ Showdown

Slate Advice and General Strategy Powered by Data from Previous Showdown Slates
Brought to you by multi-time Live Finalist and Top Grinder, Chris Gimino @ChrisGimino

Chris Gimino

DraftKings NFL Showdown SlateIQ - Week 11 - Monday Night Football

Welcome to the beta version of a new product here at RotoGrinders, DraftKings Showdown SlateIQ. For those not familiar, we offer a SlateIQ product for NFL, NBA and MLB main slates that uses our very own ResultsDB data to match the upcoming main slate to the historical DFS slates on DraftKings that are most similar based on several different characteristics at the slate, game and player level. You can take a look at the NFL Week 11 SlateIQ from the main slate here.

We are creating something a little bit different for NFL Showdown SlateIQ since, well, Showdown contests are quite a bit different than main slate contests. Instead of trying to match previous slates, we want to match previously similar games. So, in order to do that, we created Game Archetypes based on the total amount of scoring in a game, as well as the final point differential. That way if we think a game is going to be a close, low-scoring slugfest, we can see how we should be building our Showdown lineups based on what has been winning in Showdown lineups in other close, low-scoring slugfests.

We’ve typically been running our Showdown SlateIQ for Thursday Night Football, but we decided to pivot to Monday Night Football this week with the big divisional matchup of the Chiefs and the Chargers squaring off in Mexico City. The Chiefs are five-point favorites, and the game total sits at a lofty 53 (highest of the week & one of the highest of the year). Just based on the betting market, we should expect a reasonably close game with a bunch of scoring, so let’s take a look at where we can find leverage in both our Captain spot and our overall lineup construction on tonight’s showdown slate based on this type of game:

Captain for a Close, High Scoring Affair

Based on similar historical games, it’s pretty clear and obvious that two captains are far and away the best leverage opportunities for tonight’s game, the WR1 and the WR3. This makes sense logically as well, since we expect there to be plenty of points from both teams, and so these WRs should be racking up catches and yardage as the two teams go back and forth putting points on the board. It’s certainly more likely in a shootout that the WR1 is the highest scoring player on the slate, and thus an extremely ideal captain, despite relatively lower captain ownership historically. It also makes a ton of sense with Tyreek Hill playing with a now healthy Patrick Mahomes, who fed Tyreek a whopping 19 targets last week against Tennessee. The WR3 at captain also makes a ton of sense from a roster construction perspective. Since we expect plenty of scoring, we may need the savings from a WR3 in captain (something like Sammy Watkins or Mike Williams tonight) to jam in the studs from each team since there should be a lot of production to go around. In this type of game environment, those WRs are more apt to have a ceiling game while also allowing us to fit other more expensive players in.

Positional Breakdown

The top lineups seem to be much higher on QBs and WRs in games like tonight, while they are much lower on RBs and TEs. Don’t even think about fading the QBs because ZERO of the top lineups have had no QBs historically. The TE ownership is very interesting when you take into account that there are two stud TEs in tonight’s game, so being lower than the field on Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry could provide some interesting leverage. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the WR3s have provided probably the greatest leverage. It may not feel comfortable clicking in guys like Mecole Hardman and Andre Patton due to their overall low volume, but these big play dependent type players have been a staple of top lineups (56% having at least one, with 16% having 2) while they’re been more of an afterthought for the field (just 34% having at least one, 4% having two).

Team Allocation

Finally, we look at the leverage and ROI on the different roster builds in terms of how many players you should play from each team. Unsurprisingly, we see more balanced builds providing the greatest leverage. Interestingly though, the totally balanced 3-3 build has been the most popular, while not actually generating more top lineups than 4-2 or 2-4 lineups, so you can gain some nice leverage by getting just that one extra guy from either team. Maybe Patrick Mahomes has a big night, and you need to have access to each of the different skill players that he throws touchdowns too while bringing it back with the two Chargers pass catchers (or vice versa with Rivers & his weapons while bringing it back with two Chiefs). Or Mahomes has a big game but it’s almost entirely by pumping targets to Tyreek Hill, while the Chargers are playing catch up & spreading out a bunch of catches to multiple different players. These scenarios are just as likely as the totally balanced result, but they are lower owned in GPPs, which is a great opportunity for us.

As I mentioned last week, we are continuing to work on building this Showdown SlateIQ out even further with more flexibility for you to analyze different game types (and improve the image sizing), so be on the lookout for that coming soon!

Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images


  • LinkSinc

    This is one of my favorite articles on RG right now. It’s a great way to build “smart” contrarian showdown LUs. Glad to hear it’s being expanded upon, keep up the great work!

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