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 SlateIQ Showdown: Week 15 TNF (Chiefs/Chargers)

There are three main components to each Showdown slate analysis that you’ll find below:

  • Optimal lineup allocations (CPT and total roster) for both team based on the results of similar historical matchups.
  • Comparison of player ownership projections for FLEX and CPT produced by a model trained on 2018 Showdown contest results to optimal allocations.
  • Year-to-date Showdown contest positional allocations for winning (top 0.1%) entries and the field.

Before you dig into this writeup specifically geared towards this week’s Thursday Night Football matchup between the Chiefs and Chargers, you may want to take a look at a few articles that serve as primers for Showdown strategy:

Editor’s Note: Be sure to watch BigT and Chop’s video and then use LineupHQ to build optimal lineups for the prime-time game!

1) Walking through a Showdown slate that gives a specific plan for comparing optimal allocation and ownership projections to find high leverage plays

2) A synopsis of the Showdown format and early season results

3) Optimal total roster construction based on historical matchups in different game scripts

4) Optimal Captain (CPT) selections based on historical matchups in different game scripts


To analyze this specific Showdown slate, I looked through thousands of NFL matchups from 2008-2017 and found the closest analogies to the KCC-LAC matchup according to the following parameters: Betting spread, over/under, average fantasy points scoring for the top-ranked positional players of both rosters (QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1).

I won’t detail every matchup that falls into the top-100, but for illustration let’s look at the most similar matchup: 2013 NFC Wild Card, Eagles-Saints.

The spread and over/under are exactly the same as this matchup (Eagles -2.5, 53.5 O/U versus Chiefs -3.5, 53.5 O/U).

All the players aren’t perfect matches, but that’s why we use 100 similar matchups and not just the single most similar.

For this game and 99 other similar matchups, I calculated every possible combination that fits with Showdown rules (one CPT, at least one offensive player from each team) and would fall under the $50K salary threshold assuming the salaries for the historical similar matchups are the same as those for this contest.

Optimal lineups based on similar historical matchups

Choosing the right Captain

The most unique part of the format, and therefore the biggest opportunity for competitive advantage, is choosing your CPT. Should you always choose a QB who typically has the highest absolute fantasy scoring? Are defenses and kickers viable options? RB vs WR?

I went through the millions of possible lineup combinations for the 100 most similar matchups and found who the CPT selections were on the top-5 scoring lineups for each matchup. Here are the 500 CPT from those matchups by position rank according to salary.

Breaking down total optimal rosters

This graph illustrates the full range of allocations for the different positions to measure how many of the 500 optimal rosters had exactly zero, one or two of the given positions.

Optimal stacks

Here are how the team stacking composition worked out for the 100 most similar matchups.

Projected ownership versus optimal

This is where the analysis comes together and becomes actionable.

What’s most important when viewing these numbers is to contrast them to the optimal numbers taken from the analysis above for different positions and see where the leverage may exist.

The two tables below compare the optimal allocations above to our ownership projections for CPT and FLEX.



YTD results

The tables below have the YTD results for 60 Showdown slates broken down by the top-0.1% entries (“Winners”) and the field in the biggest contests from 2018 NFL Showdown slates.


Total roster

Columns with “Two” include entries that had that position from both teams in the lineup. “One” columns include entries that only had that position from one team in the lineup.



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