Our Lineup Optimizer is an incredibly powerful tool inside our Player Models, particularly when creating a large number of lineups. However, it’s just that — a tool. We still have to make decisions. Otherwise, everyone would have the same 150 lineups in each contest.
This is intended more as a teaching piece than a step-by-step guide. These rules are suggestions that can show you how to translate your read on this game into lineups.
Additionally, this piece focuses on DraftKings Showdown contests, but similar strategies are useful on FanDuel.
My Favorite NFL DFS Angle in Steelers vs. Browns Showdown
This week’s Thursday night matchup brings us the lowest total of the entire week. Low totals mean high variance, as singular big plays or touchdowns can instantly catapult a player into optimal status. George Pickens is someone who fits the mold of Showdown slate breaker with his massive 21.5 aDOT to start the season. With all this in mind, we have to be smart with our rules knowing that essentially anything can happen in these games where we expect offenses to struggle.
Lineup Optimizer Rules to Consider
- Max 3 players vs. opposing Defense
- Minimum salary cap 90%
The Steelers have surprisingly been pretty poor against the run this year, giving up the eighth-most rushing and fifth-most receiving yards to opposing running backs so far this season. Playing Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the same lineup appears viable this week.
I will be applying a negative correlation to Chubb in lineups that feature Kareem Hunt at Captain. This specific combination seems fairly unlikely as it would require Hunt to approach or surpass Chubb in raw points, with such little offensive output all-around that Chubb can still be optimal with his lofty price tag. Hunt at FLEX with Chubb in the Captain slot is an easier sell and doesn’t require a negative boost in my opinion.
In lineups that do include Chubb captain with Hunt in the flex, I would consider boosting the Browns defense as this build implies a scenario where the Browns dominate and are able to control the game on the ground with little resistance from the Steelers.
Pairing Captain wide receivers with their quarterbacks still makes sense.
The standard rule of max two kickers and defenses applies.
Max 1 of David Bell and Anthony Schwartz.
Captain Pool (from highest to lowest priority)
- Nick Chubb
- Diontae Johnson
- Kareem Hunt
- Amari Cooper
- Najee Harris
Large-Field GPP Fliers
- Chase Claypool
- George Pickens
- Donovan Peoples-Jones
- Mitch Trubisky