Happy Thanksgiving! This week as we spend time with friends and family we get to watch three football games on Thursday. For those of us that like to play DFS this gives us several options to play contest during this holiday. We are going to focus on the showdown slates on DraftKings.
I started playing these showdown contests this season and they can be really fun. For those who are not familiar with this type of contest, the showdown focus on one marquee game of the day. You then draft a team of 6 players from the single-game player pool using a $50,000 salary cap. The lineup consists of 1 captain spot and 5 flex spots. The captain will score 1.5x the standard fantasy point value for each statistic, but drafting a player as captain will cost more salary. As you can imagine getting the top score will require a unique build. Because the player pool is so limited, it is very common for the top prize to be split among several people with the same player combination.
Rostering the best players are not easy because the salaries are set so that it is difficult to fit all of the studs. Often you will have to seek salary relief by rostering tight ends, kickers and defenses. Sometimes using a player who sees a small amount of value can open up a ton of salary. If that player has a big game, you find yourself at an advantage over the field. For instance back in Week 5 when the Saints played the Redskins on Monday night. I rostered wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith of the Saints in the captain spot. He was near minimum salary and was a good play because he was expected to fill in for Ted Ginn Jr. who was injured. Rostering Smith allowed me to add a number of players into my lineup. It was a big risk verse reward play because Smith had just 1 catch for 18 yards on 4 targets the previous 4 games combined. He ended up with 3 targets which were good for 3 receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Using players that are near minimum salary isn’t a key building strategy as most nights these players are non-factors.
NFL Showdown Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
All the games today are division rival games so they should all be competitive. However, this first one carries a ton of injuries. For the Bears, Mitchell Trubisky is unlikely to play as he’s dealing with a shoulder injury. The Bears will likely start Chase Daniel who owns a career 6.2 yards per attempt and 65.4 percent completion rate since coming into the league in 2010. On the Lions side, they are banged up from both sides of the ball. Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones Jr. have already been ruled out. Bruce Ellington who filled in last week is questionable. On the defensive side Darius Slay is questionable with a knee injury. He would be the one covering Allen Robinson if he plays. Damon Harrison is also questionable who is a good run stopper.
There are several ways to build this lineup. You could bank on the Bears defense as your captain. These teams just played 2 weeks ago where the Bears won 34-22. In that game the Bears defense scored 12 DK points. You could see them getting a few more today with Johnson and Jones jr. out of this game.
If you look back at which players did well in that matchup, Mitchell Trubisky was the top scorer with 39 DK points. He connected with Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller for 3 touchdowns combined. Jordan Howard and Taylor Gabriel were non-factors in that game. On the Lions side Kerryon Johnson and Kenny Golladay lead the team.
With Trubisky out, Kenny Golladay becomes the most expensive player in this game at $15,900 for the captain spot and $10,600 in the flex. The Lions are going to need to lean on him and Theo Riddick heavily so those are the Lions I want to use. On the Bears side I think it makes sense to use Allen Robinson and Tarik Cohen though rostering all 4 will be tough if you use Golladay at captain.