You will notice some things if you click on the link to see the winning showdown slate lineups in the month of November; specifically, the three slates since I last wrote this article. Take a look at the number of running backs used: Zero. Also, WR was the captain for all of those three lineups. There certainly is a case to building lineups in this way. However, I think others may take notice and just try to build all lineups based on this build. I still think running backs are quite viable and should be considered. Heck, you may even get them lower owned. Just something to keep in mind when building your showdown slates this week.
The Texans are ranked 2nd in DVOA vs the rush and 10th vs the pass. Against positions, the Texans are #9 vs WR1s, 28th vs WR2, 28th vs TE, and 1st against pass catching RBs.
I could write a few sentences why I don't like each of the highest priced players. However, I think the matchups are too tough to want to pay 8,400 for Corey Davis and 7,800 for Dion Lewis. I have a hard time seeing either one getting to 16 fantasy points (2x) or higher. Same with Marcus Mariota (10,000), who is still coming off an injury. He only has three games this season above 20 fantasy points, and this doesn't seem like a good spot. I don't like Derrick Henry (4,200) either; but if you want to bet on him finding the end zone and not completely stacking Houston, I don't mind the play.
So, where am I going if I don't like the Titans' primary QB, RB, and WR? I think the secondary WRs and TEs are viable here. Tajae Sharpe (4,800) did see 7 targets last week, and has a 9 target game in the game log. Taywan Taylor has already been ruled out and with Davis likely to see the extra attention from Houston, Sharpe is in line to benefit. If you want to punt, Cameron Baston (200) has seen over 50% of the snaps the past two weeks with Taylor out. He will exceed value most likely, but can he get 5-6 points to justify a roster spot is the question. The other play here is Jonnu Smith (4,000) who has seen at least two catches for 30 yards in each of the past three games with two touchdowns. Houston does struggle against the tight end so Smith looks like a nice value this week. Ryan Succop (3,000) is an ok play. I wouldn't be forcing him into my lineups, but is fine as a salary saver.
Possible Captains: I don't think I'll use a Titan as Captain. If I did, it's probably Tajae Sharpe.
The Titans rank 9th in DVOA vs the Rush and 24th against the pass. Against positions, Tennessee is last against #1 WR, 24th against WR2, 7th vs TE, and 7th vs pass-catching RB.
If only Houston had a true #1 WR to take advantage of Tennessee's weakness. If only they had a top 5 receiver with 8 touchdowns this season and 950 yards. Yes, they have all of this: It's DeAndre Hopkins (12,600). The only reason to fade him is game theory (which did work if you faded Gurley last Monday night): but that looks less than ideal, as he has historically destroyed this Titans defense. The other big play here would be Deshaun Watson (11,800), as he put up 26.8 against them back in Week 2. Also, Watson made himself known to fantasy football players with a five TD performance when the Titans came visiting Houston last year. I will be starting my lineup with these two, and probably one of them as my captain.
Lamar Miller (7,400) has been playing better as of late, and the price is fair. Miller has 80+ yards in three of his last four games and did see five targets a week ago. Keke Coutee (8,600) has become a useful piece of this Texans offense. He has slowed down after his first two games, but did see nine targets a week ago. The price just seems a little high for me; but I don't hate the play. Instead, I think I'll take a cheaper and what I think will be lower owned DeMaryius Thomas (7,200). After seeing only four targets total in his first two games as a Texan, head Coach Bill O'Brien says it's his fault that DT hasn't been more involved and will work on getting Thomas more involved. The matchup is friendly enough to get Thomas involved here. I don't have much interest in the tight ends, though if I had to go with one, it would be Jordan Akins (400). The Texans Defense (5,400) is expensive, but does have 28 sacks on the season, and we have seen Tennessee give up 10 sacks in a game recently. I don't know if you have to go here, but I don't mind it. Finally, Ka'imi Fairbairn (3,600) does have five games of 10+ fantasy points this season. I wouldn't force him into your lineups, but is a useful play if you need to round out a roster.
Possible Captains: Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. DeMaryius Thomas and Lamar Miller if you want to be a little contrarian at the position.
Minnesota ranks 6th in DVOA vs the Pass and 4th against the Rush. Against positions, Minnesota is 1st vs #1 WR, 25th vs #2 WR, 26th vs TE, and 31st vs pass-catching RBs.
Aaron Rodgers (10,200) only threw for one TD in the first meeting back in Week 2 and only has two games where he threw for 3 touchdowns. He also only has four games above 20.4 fantasy points (2x his salary). He is fine from a floor perspective, but maybe a rare time that you don't have to force him into your lineups. Aaron Jones (8,800) did catch five passes on six receptions last week with a receiving touchdown. The Vikings allow the third lowest yards per carry at 3.65. I don't think it's a bad spot for Jones, but like Rodgers, I don't know that you have to force him into your lineups. If you think he can catch 5-6 passes, I think he's playable, because that's the only way he's going to have a chance to get above 20.
Davante Adams (10,800) caught 8 passes for 64 yards and a TD in the first game on 12 targets. Like the others I've mentioned so far, he's fine from a floor perspective. But, does he get higher than 21.6? I'm not sure. Even with the tough matchup, he's probably the Packer I prefer at this higher price range. Minnesota can struggle against receivers that aren't shadowed by Xavier Rhodes. After a disappointing game last week, this could be a nice bounce back for Marquez Valdes-Scantling (6,800). I'm continuing to stay away from Randall Cobb (5,800) with his injury concerns and lack of production outside of week one. Equanimeous St. Brown (1,800) is a nice cheap punt play, especially if Cobb misses. He has seen 4 targets two of the past three weeks. If you want a total punt, there is some buzz around Jake Kumerow (200) this week. If he is activated off of IR and plays in this game, he should see some snaps and did impress in the preseason. He also would afford you whoever you wanted from the Packers or Vikings. I will avoid Jimmy Graham (2,400) with his broken thumb. But if you feel confident in him if active, talent is greater than price. If he doesn't go, Lance Kendricks (1,200) would get some extra looks and the Vikings do have some struggles against the TE. I expect the Vikings offense to return to form, so I have no interest in the Green Bay Defense (3,000). I'm fine with Mason Crosby (3,200) if you need to round out your roster. He did have 19 fantasy points in the first matchup.
Possible Captains: Aaron Jones and Davante Adams. Marquez Valdes-Scantling if feeling bold.
Green Bay is 15th in DVOA against the pass and 24th against the rush. Against positions, Green Bay is 18th against #1 WRs, 20th against #2 WRs, 23rd against TE, and 23rd against pass-catching RBs.
Kirk Cousins (10,400) had his best game of the season so far against Green Bay in Week 2, throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. He hasn't been great in the past couple of games, with all of his production coming in garbage time a week ago. The concern here is that he has only thrown more than two touchdowns twice this season. It is curious that he is priced 200 higher than Aaron Rodgers, but I think I like his ceiling more. I'll hope that people are more likely to click on Rodgers. Dalvin Cook (7,600) couldn't get anything going last week against the Bears. But, he did rush for 89 yards in the prior game against the Lions, who have a similar DVOA rush rank as the Packers do. Cook did has seen targets of 3 and 4 the past two games. I know the trend in recent showdowns has been no RB, but everything is lining up nicely for Cook here.
Green Bay is bottom half against a team's top 2 WR. Both Adam Thielen (11,200) and Stefon Diggs (10,600) went over 100 yards in the first matchup. Thielen is in a little "slump," failing to get to 100 yards receiving in two straight games. Diggs had 18 targets a week ago, most coming in catch-up mode. I prefer Thielen if I could only play one; however, I think I will be doing everything I can to play both. I don't have much interest in any other pass catcher, outside of potentially Aldrick Robinson (1,000) who is seeing 2-3 targets a game. He also has four touchdowns on the year, so it's not a horrible punt if you need to go here. Aaron Rodgers only has 1 INT all year, so while the Vikings Defense (3,600) may get a few sacks, I don't see the turnover upsided needed to roster them. Dan Bailey (3,600) is ok, but I think I prefer Crosby if taking a kicker in this game.
Possible Captains: Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Dalvin Cook