Each week I will be breaking down the DraftKings Showdown Slates on Monday, Thursday and Sunday night football. The DraftKings showdown slate is one of the more unique game styles that you can pick from on DraftKings.
When playing a showdown lineup you will notice that it is far different from a standard DraftKings contest. Instead of selecting a full roster of position players you have a Captain slot paired with five flex positions. The player you select as your Captain will score 1.5x the standard fantasy point value for each statistic but drafting a player as the Captain will cost you more salary than using them in your flex position. The DraftKings Showdown slate will consist of the same scoring as all other contests not counting the Captain bonus.
Some numbers to keep in mind when building lineups for your showdown slates. Last season the winning lineup had a running back or wide receiver in the Captain slot 71% of the time on the largest prize pool showdown contests.
All Captain selections are major flex considerations
DraftKings Showdown Slate GPP Builds: Chargers vs Steelers
Keenan Allen – $15,600
The last time Keenan Allen faced this Steeler defense he went for 14-148-1. He loves to work out of the slot and the Steelers are the worst slot defending team in the league. While I do not love the price-tag, he is the most likely candidate to go off in this game making him one of my higher owned Captains.
James Conner – $14,100
With a rookie quarterback getting his first career start, James Conner should see a heavy workload against this Chargers defense. Another boost to Conner’s value will be that backup running back Jaylen Samuels will be out this week, giving the full workload to Conner on all three downs. It is likely that he will see 20+ touches in this game, making him the most likely to score player on the slate and my highest owned Captain.
Other Captain options to differentiate your lineups and give you a chance at the 250k top prize.
Juju Smith-Schuster – $13,200
The rookie would be wise to target his top play-maker at receiver in Juju Smith-Schuster. While it is tough to get an idea of who Hodges will be most comfortable with throwing the football to, he did connect on all three of his targets to Smith-Schuster last Sunday. While he will just be in a couple of my lineups, Smith-Schuster’s game breaking ability is too much for me to completely fade him in Captain.
Mike Williams – $10,500
One player that will be a bit lower owned that has massive touchdown regression coming is Mike Williams. He has busted Showdown slates open before, see Chiefs vs Chargers last season and can do it again. If Joe Haden shadows Allen, Mike Williams will have some very favorable matchups that he should be able to exploit Sunday night.
DraftKings Showdown: Flex
Philip Rivers – $10,200
The expectation is for Hunter Henry to return in what would be a limited fashion Sunday night. This gives Rivers his full collection of talent offensively for the first time this season. Being that I want to utilize a couple of his pass-catchers as my Captain, Rivers will be in all lineups that I do so. While I will fade Rivers as my Captain, he will be in most Charger builds other than Gordon and Ekeler combos.
Austin Ekeler – $9,200
Unfortunately Melvin Gordon has returned from his holdout and will look to eat away at Ekeler’s fantastic PPR value moving forward. He is still going to be heavily featured on passing downs and with Rivers throwing to his running backs the second most of any quarterback in the league, Ekeler will be in a lot of my lineups.
Devlin Hodges – $8,400
The rookie is set to make his NFL debut against a tough Los Angeles Chargers defense. Based on both pre-season and last week, he often looks to Diontae Johnson and Juju Smith-Schuster’s direction. I would be looking to pair him with his pass-catchers that you use in Captain and for those Conner Captain built lineups. These showdown slates are all about correlation and the game script that you foresee shaking out.
Diontae Johnson – $6,400
While I am still debating using Johnson as my cheap high risk Captain play, he will be in my flex lineups. His volume has been consistent seeing six or more targets in three straight games. The quarterback and receiver duo also saw extensive time in the pre-season together which should help with on-field chemistry.
Vance McDonald – $5,400
The one area that this Charger defense has struggled against is tight end. While the production hasn’t been massive like the Cardinals. they do allow the 8th most points to the position making Vance McDonald an option at $5400. With excellent corners on the outside, I would expect the rookie to work the middle of the field and stay away from Casey Hayward and company with Smith-Schuster in the slot and McDonald at tight end.
DraftKings Showdown: Cheap Options
Benny Snell Jr – $4,400
With the injury to Jaylen Samuels, rookie Benny Snell is inline for increased work behind James Conner. While I do not believe that Snell will be running the wildcat like Samuel did, he should see some carries in the game as Conner is unlikely to play 100% of the snaps. I will have a sprinkle of Snell as his price is a bit high for someone who is unlikely to see 5+ touches in the game.
Travis Benjamin – $2,200
One field stretcher that you always have to be aware of for the Chargers in showdown is Travis Benjamin. With a career average of 15.2 yards per reception. Benjamin is on my radar at $2200 albeit just a sprinkle.
Virgil Green – $1,200
If Henry returns Sunday night, I am likely to only have a few shares of Green. If he is out, he becomes a salary saver for me in those Charger onslaught builds as he has run a route on 70% of plays but has zero production to show for it. Regardless that is a lot of routes for a tight end, especially for a quarterback that likes to check down as much as Rivers does.
DraftKings Showdown: Special Teams / Defensive Flex Options
Steelers – $3,400
The Steelers will actually be playing at home out in Los Angeles as they have one of the best traveling fan bases in the league. With such little interest in Los Angeles for the Chargers, I would expect to see a lot of terrible towels in the crowd. This defense has also been able to get to the quarterback, as they have the third most sacks in the league. I love the value at only $3400 for a defense that can disrupt Rivers and potentially force him into a defensive touchdown.
Chris Boswell – $3,600
The Steelers currently have the 29th ranked red-zone offense scoring touchdowns on only 41.67% of plays making Boswell a great lower priced option.
Chargers – $5,200
While I prefer the Steelers defense over the Chargers, I would be foolish to not look into this game script situation. The Steelers will be starting a rookie quarterback that is getting his first career start, putting the Chargers defense in play on this slate.
Chase McLaughlin – $3,800
While the Chargers are slightly more efficient than the Steelers they only score touchdowns on 47.06% of trips to the red-zone making McLaughlin viable Sunday night.
DraftKings Showdown: Game Script Thoughts
The Chargers opened up as a 5.5 point favorite with a total of 43.5. The line has since moved up to 6 while the total has dropped to 41.5 in some spots. The Chargers should be in control of this game from start to finish in what should be a lower scoring game out in Los Angeles. I think both offenses should have more success than this total indicates having me taking the over in this game. I would not be opposed to utilizing both Charger running backs as both should see a decent workload playing with a lead.
@JDEBUCH Showdown ATS 14-6