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 14 - Monday Night Football - Giants at Eagles

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 14 SlateIQ 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.

Tonight the lowly New York Giants travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles on Monday Night Football. The Eagles are large home favorites as they’re currently favored by 9 points, and the game total sits at a relatively neutral 45 points. If we use this as our guide and expect a pretty one-sided game with moderate scoring where the Eagles cruise to a win, 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:

Captain Usage in Easy Eagles Win

Interestingly, while we’ve seen the QB1, RB1 and WR1 in pricing as the most popular captains on similar historical slates, those have not been the highest leveraged spots. The spot that jumps out the most here is the RB2, with the highest leverage on the slate at 64%, and also makes a ton of sense tonight with Miles Sanders in the RB2 spot. Sanders has been playing essentially a workhorse role for the Eagles with Jordan Howard sidelined, and while I do expect him to be a bit more popular than these historical slates show, the savings off the most expensive players and potential leverage is a great way to start your GPP teams. The TE1 (Zach Ertz) and WR2 (Golden Tate) have also shown positive leverage here at low captain ownership and make for intriguing plays in this game script. Coming off a down game, Ertz should see depressed ownership, but remains a focal point of this Eagles offense that should score plenty of points tonight, and Golden Tate should have the opportunity to rack up plenty of catches as the Giants try to keep pace.

Positional Breakdown

Two main takeaways we see here from the positional breakdown of the field vs. the top lineups. First, top lineups are NOT playing both RB1s from each team, whereas 20% of the field has rostered both. Playing both Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders may feel enticing considering their workhorse roles and pass-catching chops, but top lineups have only utilized one, or even faded both (~ 30% of the time) in favor of other passing game options, likely envisioning a scenario in which the Eagles dominate through the air while the Giants have to go to a pass-heavy script to play catch up. And second, top lineups are quite a bit lower on the ever popular kickers tonight. Almost no top lineups have 2 kickers, while these successful lineups have been lower on kickers as a whole. Logically this makes sense, considering the expectation is the winning team being able to score with relative ease, while the opponent struggles to score and is playing from behind meaning they likely need to forego field goal opportunities in favor of touchdowns to keep pace.

Team Allocation

In terms of leverage, there isn’t anything that really jumps out from a team allocation standpoint. The balanced builds of 3-3 and 4-2 have been the builds that provide a small amount of positive leverage, but the ROI on the different roster constructions tells a very different, and interesting, story. You may not be able to gain massive leverage with any one individual build tonight, but the 5-1 build has had a massive ROI on similar slates. So, what does this really even mean? While the field is playing the Eagles onslaught lineups about as much as they should in terms of raw exposure to top finishing lineups (13.3%), when that 5-1 build hits, it hits BIG, and you find yourself at the top of the leaderboards like RotoGrinders’ own BigT is on essentially every showdown slate. So, a full Eagles onslaught that you run back with someone like Saquon (where you likely forego Miles Sanders) or Golden Tate (possibly using Tate in captain as referenced above) are really interesting builds tonight and allow you to blend each of these different data points we see here in Showdown SlateIQ to create the highest leveraged/greatest upside lineups to give yourself a shot at a tournament bink.

As you can see, depending upon how the game plays out, the optimal way to build your showdown lineups can drastically change. We are continuing work to build this Showdown SlateIQ out even further with new insights, so please don’t hesitate to drop any feedback in the comments, on twitter or in my DMs here on RG on things you might be interested in seeing.

Good luck!


  • maaron83

    Is Miles Sanders an RB1 or a RB2? Captain Usage section says Miles Sanders is in RB2 spot but Positional Breakdown says both Barkley and Sanders are RB1 for their teams. Just trying to understand.

  • ebeimfohr

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    @maaron83 said...

    Is Miles Sanders an RB1 or a RB2? Captain Usage section says Miles Sanders is in RB2 spot but Positional Breakdown says both Barkley and Sanders are RB1 for their teams. Just trying to understand.

    Good question, I understand how it’s a bit confusing. In captain usage, the positions are listed based on their ranking in the total player pool. So, Saquon is the RB1, Miles is the RB2, etc. In the positional breakdown, since we have to factor in the ability to use the same positions from both teams, the players are listed in their order based on their individual team. So, Saquon and Miles are both RB1’s. Alshon and Tate are both WR1’s, etc.

  • maaron83

    I figured that might be but wanted to confirm. Thanks!

  • bobelyk

    Great stuff and great GPP opportunity for minimal ties. I taking it down tonight! Eat dust the rest of you!

  • FitFantasyGod

    This is HANDS-DOWN the best article for showdown slates. I wish it were available for each of the three Thursday Night, Sunday Night, and Monday Night Showdown slates every week! The only reason I’m profiting from Showdown is because of these articles. Thanks for the work Erik, I’m sure it isn’t easy.

  • wondafresh

    I am*

  • LinkSinc

    I also wish this ran for all 3 primetime games during the week, hopefully that’s in the works for the future at some point (especially for the playoffs). It’s a huge help for planning out how to attack the game and has some contrarian gems each week. Thanks for producing this, it’s clearly a lot of work and very much appreciated!

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