Fantasy Sports

DraftKings Showdown Rundown: Week 12

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Introduction/Recap

Welcome to the Sunday Edition of DraftKings Showdown Rundown! Thank you to all of you who checked out my Thanksgiving Edition. I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and hopefully many of you won some money. The first part of this article will always be my same general strategy when it comes to DraftKings Showdown. I will tweak it from time to time as my showdown strategy evolves. Without further ado, let’s dive into this Week 12 DraftKings Showdown. Due to time constraints and the number of games to cover on Sunday, the Sunday Edition of this article will be a little more abbreviated, but I will throw tidbits in to explain my thinking.

Lineup Construction

When it comes to DraftKings Showdown slates, roster construction is free and flexible. You can really paint any game script you’d like with the only parameters being the $50,000 salary budget and the rule that you have to pick at least one player from each team. Some of the titles and criteria below are interchangeable but are a guideline I like to follow when constructing my roster.

Captain

The captain spot may be the single most important spot on a DraftKings Showdown slate. If you don’t get this spot right, you can pretty much kiss your chances of winning any large prize in a GPP goodbye. I like to look for guys who play over 70% of snaps to start. Then, I like to look for higher and mid-priced options that have a realistic chance to get over 2x value. If I’m considering low-priced options in the captain spot, I like to see that they have a realistic chance to get 4x value or better. This is rare, but if I’m considering min-priced options in the captain, they have to really be able to reach double-digit points and allow you to get all the top options you want. This typically is considered in a shootout game script matchup.

Core Plays

The core plays are where I try to do two things. First, I try to grab as many yards and touchdowns that are going to be in the game as possible. Secondly, I try to do that through players who are projected 2x value or better. These are typically mid to high-priced options. The 70% snap count threshold is still a pretty good target here. The one exception I don’t mind is running backs that are in a true split committee. Therefore 45-55% snap threshold is fine.

Values

Value plays are where the money is made. I still like to keep a 50-70% snap share when looking for values. This is the level where you are searching for the guys who will outscore the kickers and defenses. I personally have never taken much interest in playing kickers or defenses. I find them extremely unpredictable so I typically fade them and try to find the value out of position player at a similar price point. However, there’s not always a good value option at that price point. This is very typical in concentrated or funnel offenses that are top-heavy talented. If this is the case, I almost always prefer kickers then defense.

Dart Throws

This is where millionaires are made. If you are using plays from this section, you have a good gut or have money to blow. These plays are typically touchdown-dependent plays, in-game injury-seeking plays, fumble doghouse plays, or garbage time while the starters sit plays. Plays from this section are awesome when they work out, but they rarely do. So touch these at your own risk but don’t blame me if they don’t work out. I simply saw a path, but I didn’t say it was a good path.

Fades

Fades are plays that I’m avoiding. There can be several reasons to fade a play. The most common reason is ownership through the field is going to be high so fading can be an effective strategy to differentiating a lineup. Another reason to fade can be to try and grab the points for a particular play another way. The most common example is getting points through the passing game through pass-catchers instead of the quarterback. Lastly, as mentioned above, I take a hard stance in DraftKings Showdowns and fade kickers and defenses almost every time. It’s one less option I have to worry about and they rarely end up optimal to win a tournament.

Buccaneers at Colts (TB -3, O/U 53)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady passes against the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 25.(Jamie Squire / Getty Images)

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. **Zach Pascal – He has played over 80% of snaps all season. Very cheap option in what could likely be a shootout.
  2. **Nyhiem Hines – He’s had some success when they are playing from behind. Only needs a few receptions to pay off.
  3. ***Leonard Fournette – These next four guys are all interchangeable. I expect this one to shootout so take your pick which one you like best. I have them ranked in the order that I prefer. However, do the best you can in order to get all of them in your lineup.
  4. ***Tom Brady – If you decide to go Brady in the captain, prioritize Gronkowski and Godwin.
  5. ***Rob Gronkowski – If you go with Gronkowski in the captain, prioritize pairing with Brady.
  6. ***Chris Godwin – Same as Gronk.
  7. Jonathan Taylor – He’s a solid play, but Tampa does have a stout run defense and he’s expensive, consider Hines and hope Indianapolis plays from behind.
  8. Michael Pittman – May be one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL. He could get some one-on-one looks if the Bucs try and stop Taylor in the run game.
  9. *Mo Alie-Cox – He always seems to be relevant in DraftKings Showdown. Worth an inexpensive shot.
  10. Ryan Succop/Michael Badgley – I prefer Succop because they are favored, but either is fine filling out a lineup.

Fades

  1. Carson Wentz – He’s pretty expensive and hard to fit with all the other options.
  2. Mike Evans – I think he ends up being the odd man left out here. However, he’s not a terrible play. I have him some in multi entry but significantly less than the plays above.
  3. T.Y. Hilton – He’s struggled to stay healthy and has struggled to be productive when he’s on the field.
  4. Tyler Johnson – Will likely be a pretty popular mid-priced option. Fading for ownership purposes.
  5. Jack Doyle – Fading because I will have Pascal, Alie-Cox, and Hines more.
  6. Ronald Jones – Not enough snaps to payoff.

Jets at Texans (HOU -2, O/U 44.5)

Houston Texans might opt to trade wide receiver Brandin Cooks if they decide to start rebuilding. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)AP

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. ***Brandin Cooks – My favorite captain for this matchup. He’s been playing well all year despite different quarterbacks and being on a bad team.
  2. ***Ty Johnson – Michael Carter is out, plug and play.
  3. ***David Johnson – Rex Burkhead has been wildly ineffective and Philip Lindsay is gone. He can run and catch making game script proof
  4. Tyrod Taylor – His rushing floor makes him a solid play.
  5. Corey Davis – Him and Elijah Moore are the only two who have shown any real life in the pass game.
  6. Zach Wilson – Playing him as a yardage grab because I don’t really trust any pass catcher.
  7. *Keelan Cole/Braxton Berrios – Both of these guys randomly emerge from time to time.
  8. Jamison Crowder – At times, becomes a PPR monster. Zach Wilson has been up and down, therefore trusting a Jets WR as theme continues.
  9. Elijah Moore – Same as all other Jets WRs except he’s expensive.
  10. Ryan Griffin – Hoping for a touchdown here.

Fades

  1. Kickers and Defenses – I’m not going to mention them in the fades every time. My stance on defenses and kickers is listed in the Lineup Construction tab at the top. If I don’t mention them in the Plays section for that particular game, you can assume I am fading them completely.

Eagles at Giants (PHI -3, O/U 45.5)

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley hasn’t been able to stay healthy. AP

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. **Quez Watkins – Lots of snaps and a good price, look for him to bounce back in this spot.
  2. **Jalen Reagor – Same as Watkins, but Watkins has played a little better this year. One of these guys should be optimal.
  3. ***Saquon Barkley – Total gut call but I think this is going to be Barkley’s best game of the year. He’s way too talented to not explode. Whoever calls plays this week is going to utilize him.
  4. ***Jalen Hurts – He accounts for so much of the offense that you pretty much have to him in DraftKings Showdown.
  5. DeVonta Smith – He’s been hot as of late I think he stays hot as Hurts’ number one option.
  6. Dallas Goedert – Going to feel odd to put him in with Smith and one of Reagor and/or Watkins but this would be a shootout play stacking all of them with Hurts.
  7. Daniel Jones – Only using him to grab yards. I’m not thrilled about using any of his receivers.
  8. *Kenneth Gainwell – With Jordan Howard, the Eagles may give him some change of pace run. Most will gravitate toward Boston Scott for that reason.
  9. Evan Engram – I will have Barkley and Jones for Giants mostly but I did want to list a few pass catchers.
  10. Kenny Golladay – Same as Engram.
  11. Miles Sanders – Odd man out and hasn’t really looked great all year.

Fades

  1. Devontae Booker – Not viable when Barkley plays at this price.
  2. Darius Slayton – He was very promising as a rookie and has faded since.

Panthers at Dolphins (CAR -2, O/U 42)

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. ***Miles Gaskin – Tons of volume, good price, and really the only bright spot in the offense this year.
  2. DJ Moore – He and Cam have had a good rapport when they’ve been together. He’s usually better when McCaffrey plays.
  3. Mike Gesicki – Usually get six or more targets. Pretty good volume play to try and grab the redzone points in this one.
  4. Jaylen Waddle – He’s been getting hotter as of late. He and Gesicki have been getting the majority of the target in the passing game.
  5. Tua Tagovailoa – Play Tua if you think all the Dolphins above go off. Don’t feel obligated to play him.
  6. Christian McCaffrey – Do I really need to talk anyone into playing Christian McCaffrey? I wouldn’t fade him though.
  7. Robby Anderson – You’re hoping for a deep ball with this play, which he has not hit this year except week one.
  8. Cam Newton – Rushing upside always make him viable. Curious to see if the honeymoon phase performance wears off this week.
  9. *Tommy Tremble – Pick one of the next three if you are looking for a dart throw. They all realistically could score around the same number of fantasy points. I like them in this order.
  10. *Preston Williams – See above.
  11. *Ian Thomas – See above.

Fades

  1. Duke Johnson – Gaskin owns this backfield.
  2. Salvon Ahmed – See Duke Johnson. He may even be a healthy inactive.
  3. Terrence Marshall and all other Carolina receivers not mentioned – Cam can’t support more than one or maybe two receivers, and I count McCaffrey as a receiver.

Titans at Patriots (NE -7, O/U 43.5)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill passes against the Indianapolis Colts in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. **Geoff Swaim – Everyone thought when Jonnu Smith moved to New England this year that Anthony Firkser would be the next good tight end in the Titans offense including me. Geoff Swaim has carved out a nice role week to week. He’s min-priced and my favorite play on this slate.
  2. **Jonnu Smith – This is a revenge game for Jonnu Smith. I think he’ll have a big impact in this one at a good price point.
  3. **Chester Rogers – The Titans WRs are decimated right now. I like him on sheer opportunity.
  4. ***Dontrell Hilliard – Since the loss of Derrick Henry, the Titans are trying to find their identity on offense. Hilliard stepped up in a big way last week and I think they give the first crack at it on Sunday.
  5. Jakobi Meyers – He’s the best pass catcher on this team. He’s always relevant in these DraftKings Showdowns.
  6. Ryan Tannehill – Since the loss of Henry, the Titan have had to lean on him a little more. Using him because I can grab a lot of total yards on the Titans side.
  7. Mac Jones – He really looks like he’s coming into his own. I like the idea of pairing him with Smith and Meyers in this one.
  8. *Titans Defense – Everyone will be looking at the Patriots Defense with all the injuries to the Titans. The Titans have some talented defensive players too. I don’t mind taking a stab here.
  9. *D’Onta Foreman – When they’ve given him the ball, he’s looked like the best pure runner on the team since the Henry injury.
  10. Nelson Agholor – Not thrilled about this play or Hunter Henry, but I wanted to rank the other two pass catchers I’m considering.
  11. Hunter Henry – See Agholor.
  12. *Anthony Firkser – Every time I play another Titans tight end, he seems to burn me so I just wanted to publicly acknowledge that here.

Fades

  1. Patriots Running Backs – If I had to choose one, it would be Damien Harris, but I don’t like it. There’s a possibility that Harris is ruled out. At that point, Rhamondre Stevenson becomes interesting to me. I would probably put him right below Meyers in my ranking above. I want no part of Brandon Bolden, J.J. Taylor, or Jakob Johnson.
  2. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine – He’s failed a few times in good opportunities, I think the Titans go elsewhere. A lot of people will play him.
  3. Kendrick Bourne – WR3 in this offense. No thanks.

Steelers at Bengals (CIN -3, O/U 44.5)

Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. ***Pat Freiermuth – He’s coming into his own. He’s a great checkdown option for Ben who has been using him a ton.
  2. ***Diontae Johnson – He’s having a great year and has been matchup proof. Plug and play.
  3. **James Washington – With Ray-Ray McCloud out, insert strange James Washington game here.
  4. ***Ben Roethlisberger – There should be plenty a pass attempts to go around. If you captain him, be sure to pair with at least two or three of his pass catchers. Don’t be afraid to pair him even if you don’t captain him.
  5. Tyler Boyd – He and Chase have been the better of the three headed monster. I’m going to run this one back with these two guys.
  6. JaMarr Chase – See Tyler Boyd. This game has a sneaky shootout potential.
  7. Najee Harris – Solid play, but I likely will be under exposed because of how much I like the Pittsburgh passing game.
  8. Joe Burrow – If you don’t want Chase and Boyd pair one of them with him.
  9. Chase Claypool – Odd man out of passing attack for me. Not a terrible play but I’ll be heavily pivoting to Washington and Freiermuth.
  10. Tee Higgins – See Tyler Boyd
  11. *Drew Sample – He’s on the field about half of the time. You’re really relying on a touchdown catch to pay off.

Fades

  1. Joe Mixon – Playing the passing games in this one. Therefore, it’s hard to roster him.
  2. C.J. Uzomah – I don’t see him having an impact. I’d rather take a dart on Sample.

Falcons at Jaguars (ATL -2, O/U 45.5)

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. ***Dan Arnold – Since coming over from Carolina he’s been rather impressive and he’s priced way too cheap. Playing him in the captain opens up the ability to roster Pitts, Lawrence, and Ryan in a game that I think has a sneaky shootout potential.
  2. **Mike Davis – This one has burnt me a few times in a row now. However, he’s still getting on the field a bunch, and he’s not that far removed from some decent outings.
  3. ***Marvin Jones – He’s due for a breakout game. I think the Jaguars open up the offense down the stretch run to see if Trevor Lawrence can make throws in a pass heavier scheme.
  4. Laviska Shenault – They seem to always find a way to get him touches. I like him in a college spread scheme that we see this week from these guys.
  5. Trevor Lawrence – Hasn’t had a huge game this year. Like I said above I think they open it up here on offense and take off the training wheels.
  6. Matt Ryan – It wouldn’t be a shootout without Matt Ryan.
  7. Kyle Pitts – He’s got to be the fastest TE in the league maybe only behind Darren Waller. Between him and Arnold lined up at Y Flex, look for a BIG12 style game.
  8. Cordarrelle Patterson – This man has played out of his mind this year. I don’t think he’s fully healthy, as a result I moved him down here. He probably needs one more week to heal.
  9. *Carlos Hyde – Min-priced, playing about 30% of snaps. Not a terrible dart.
  10. *Tavon Austin – Very possible he takes over the Jamal Agnew role with him out for the rest of the year. Pretty much min-priced.
  11. *Tajae Sharpe – He’s played 70% of snaps the three of the last four weeks. Pretty low-priced.

Fades

  1. Olamide Zaccheaus – Would much rather just play Sharpe.
  2. James Robinson – This may be the scariest fade that I’m going with on the day. It’s a total scheme fade. It easily could bite me. Proceed with caution.
  3. Russell Gage – Odd man out. I’ll have Pitts, Ryan, and some Sharpe. Mostly Jaguars after that.

Chargers at Broncos (LAC -2, O/U 47.5)

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.AP

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. ***Justin Herbert – He and Ekeler make up so much of this offense their both locks in my opinion.
  2. ***Austin Ekeler – Captain Ekeler instead of Herbert if you think his touchdowns come on the ground.
  3. ***Javonte Williams – Everyone and their mother is going to be all over the Melving Gordon revenge game play. Give me Williams. He’s been the better running back in my opinion and he has the better price in a virtual 50-50 split.
  4. Keenan Allen – He’s a target hog. Double digit targets in all but three games this year and two of them were eight and nine.
  5. Jared Cook – Playing Cook is an attempt to grab a redzone touchdown paired with Herbert
  6. Teddy Bridgewater – This is a pass yardage grab and pairing with Javonte Williams.
  7. Courtland Sutton – I think he or Patrick have a big game, but not both. Make a gut call here if you want a Broncos pass catcher.
  8. Tim Patrick – See Courtland Sutton.
  9. *Josh Palmer – Pick one of the next three if you are looking for a dart throw. They all realistically could score around the same number of fantasy points. I like them in this order.
  10. *Jalen Guyton – See above.
  11. *Donald Parham – See above.

Fades

  1. Mike Williams – You can’t play Herbert, Ekeler, and Allen, and get Williams too.
  2. Noah Fant – Great football player and receiver but for some reason the Broncos can’t get him the ball down the field.
  3. Melvin Gordon – See Javonte Williams.
  4. Jerry Jeudy – Targets, receptions, and yards are there, however the touchdowns are not.

Rams at Packers (LAR -1, O/U 47)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. ***Darrell Henderson – There’s so many flashy names in this matchup. Sean McVay has committed to him and he loves running the ball to set up his pass game. Good ownership captain.
  2. ***Tyler Higbee – I think the Odell experiment is really going to open up things for Higbee. He’s been quiet for most of the year, but he does have a history of getting hot late in the season.
  3. Davante Adams – It’s Davante Adams, play him. No one can cover him, not even Jalen Ramsey. I like the other two above him because of ownership.
  4. A.J. Dillon – If Aaron Jones plays, I’m fading him.
  5. **Allen Lazard – If he’s active, he’s one of the strongest plays in this game. I’m even considering him in the captain.
  6. Van Jefferson – Nice pivot to grab another piece of the Rams pass game if you decide to fade Kupp.
  7. Aaron Rodgers – I’ve always like playing Adams over Rodgers but if you can fit him play him. He typically carries pretty high ownership.
  8. Cooper Kupp – I think he’s coming back down to earth. Play him if he fits, but he’s not a priority.
  9. Matthew Stafford – Not an awful play, but he’s expensive and hard to fit with the better options.
  10. Josiah Deguara – Third round rookie that has fallen into some good opportunity playing with an elite quarterback. What’s not to like? He probably should be higher. He’s not a terrible pivot from Lazard.
  11. *Marcedes Lewis – Seems like he always finds a way to fall in the endzone on DraftKings Showdown.

Fades

  1. Sony Michel – I have no interest in Michel. Doesn’t play enough snaps.
  2. Odell Beckham – I’ll believe it when I see it. I think he’s getting dangerously close to ending up without a job in the NFL.
  3. Aaron Jones – The emergence of A.J. Dillon and his knee injury makes this an easy fade for me. I hope he plays so I can fade both him and Dillon.
  4. Randall Cobb – Fading because I like Lazard so much. Aaron Rodgers does trust him so I could be totally off base on this call.

Vikings at 49ers (SF -3, O/U 49)

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. ***Adam Thielen – I have a lot of viable captains in this game, but I easily like Thielen the most. He’s priced way too cheap for the targets he’s been receiving. Additionally, he makes building lineups much easier than the others.
  2. ***Jimmy Garoppolo – He’s played some good football of late and for some reason he’s always lower owned on DraftKings Showdown than he should be. I like him in this potential shootout.
  3. ***George Kittle – Pair him with Jimmy G and I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboard.
  4. ***Justin Jefferson – Most will be trying to decide which two of the three out of Conklin, Thielen, and Jefferson to take. Play all three.
  5. ***Tyler Conklin – Great price. Probably the best pivot off of Thielen in the captain. He will be even more interesting, if Eli Mitchell gets ruled out. Most will go to Jeff Wilson at this price point.
  6. Kirk Cousins – If you’re really feeling gutsy, pair all three pass catchers with Cousins.
  7. Brandon Aiyuk – He’s starting to get hot but his price is also starting to go up. I prefer Kittle
  8. Deebo Samuel – He’s been Mr. Do It All. Minnesota knows that and I think they find an answer to keep him under 2x value.
  9. K.J Osborn – Odd man out of the pass catchers’ group.
  10. Dalvin Cook – He’s not a terrible play. I prefer the pass game and I’m hoping he’s highly owned.
  11. *Kyle Juszczyk – He’s on the field about half of the snaps. This dart is hoping for a few receptions and/or a touchdown.

Fades

  1. Eli Mitchell – If he’s active, I’m fading him because I think he and Jeff Wilson split time, and I want to try and see if I can get Conklin to outscore these two at a similar price point. If he’s inactive, I like Jeff Wilson slotted right behind Conklin.

Browns at Ravens (BAL -3, O/U 47)

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Legend

*** indicates strong captain
** indicates strong value
* indicates dart throw

Plays

  1. ***Lamar Jackson – He’s their whole offense. There’s nothing more here.
  2. **Rashard Higgins – Cheap WR that played over 70% of snaps last week. He helps get Lamar into the captain spot.
  3. **David Njoku – I was torn between Njoku and Bryant, I think he’s the more athletic TE and has the higher upside. I am playing two Browns TEs in this game.
  4. ***Austin Hooper – He is my favorite TE play on Cleveland. He’s slowly emerged as a top pass catcher for them since OBJ was let go.
  5. Baker Mayfield – As you can see, I’m taking the Browns passing game. Therefore, I am trying to double up. The Ravens have been notorious for giving up huge plays in the pass game this year.
  6. Mark Andrews – Honestly, he’s the only Ravens pass catcher I want in this game.
  7. Kareem Hunt – Anytime Hunt is on a DraftKings Showdown slate with Chubb active, I almost always take Hunt. It burns me sometimes, but Chubb will likely be highly owned.
  8. Donovan Peoples-Jones – Big bodied WR that has made big plays down the field in this match up before. He likely won’t be owned much at all because of his questionable injury tag.
  9. *Harrison Bryant – I like him as dart throw. The Browns use a lot of two tight end sets, so he’ll have a chance to be on the field some. Don’t play him, Njoku, and Hooper all together. Pick two at most.
  10. Latavius Murray – If I had to pick a Baltimore running back it’s him.
  11. Marquise Brown – Divisional matchup. I think this is going to be a run and tight end type of game.
  12. Sammy Watkins – Odd man out. Until he shows some consistency, he stays down here.
  13. Devonta Freeman – Splits time with Murray so the upside isn’t really there.

Fades

  1. Jarvis Landry – He’ll likely be the most popular Browns pass catcher so I’m pivoting.
  2. Nick Chubb – See Kareem Hunt.
  3. Rashod Bateman – I really haven’t figured out what they are trying to do with him yet and there are so many mouths to feed.

Conclusion

If you made it this far down, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my article. I hope it helps you if you’re stuck between two plays, not really sure which way to pivot, not sure where to start, you were looking for another take on things, or just are learning to play DraftKings Showdown. And as always, play within your means, don’t chase your losses or get greedy with your winnings. Happy Sunday! Stay tuned for DraftKings Monday Night Showdown.

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