Subscribers, for full access to the spreadsheet with all of the 2018 Showdown Slate information, click on the link below. It will download as an Excel Spreadsheet.
One of the biggest things to be introduced to DFS in 2018 was the new Showdown Slates. One game, six positions, with one player getting 1.5x points at 1.5x the salary. It was a new world for those of us in DFS. I will be writing a free article here each week on My Fantasy Fix with five points to consider for the Sunday Night game and Monday Night game from a showdown slate perspective. James Adams and I will provide some thoughts about the Thursday Night game during our weekly golf podcast that will be out by Tuesday night most weeks. I collected a lot of data on this, but first off, the reason why I did so:
October 7, 2018. I had a horrible day on the main slate and my only potential saving grace was a Sunday Night Showdown Slate between Dallas and Houston. I was in a hotel room watching the game, and casually watched in the first half. About halfway through the third quarter, I (and 250+ of my closest friends) had taken over the lead in the $10 showdown contest, a lead we would hold until an overtime field goal from Ka'imi Fairbairn dropped us a few hundred dollars into second place. But it was still good for just over $1,000 in that contest alone. I had played exactly $5.25 in other contests, winning a couple, netting me an extra $412. Altogether, a $15 investment landed me over $1,400.
From there, I started writing Showdown Slate articles and began tracking information about the winning lineups from the $10 showdown contests. It was something that didn't have a lot of content out there and I wanted to provide unique content while looking for patterns that we could use in 2019. I went back and researched the previous showdown slates and recorded information for the remaining ones of the 2018-2019 season. I used the $10, 150-max contest for this because this was the main contest for every Showdown Slate with an opportunity for a 6-figure payday for $10 if you were the solo winner and had the most entrants. I only did the featured game if there were more than one showdown games in a day (ATL-NO on Thanksgiving for example) and only tracked it for the regular season.
Based on the data (50 games), I'm going to list some key points to what I found. Included as part of the premium football subscription to My Fantasy Fix will be access to every single game from the 2018 showdown slates, so you can look for your own trends. I will be logging the same information for each primary 2019 showdown slate game as well, to further build information to see what trends from 2018 continue, and if any emerge. We do have to realize that this is only one year's worth of data, so while it should give us a lot of information, it's a small enough sample size to think that we could see some changes in results in 2019. But for now, I hope this gives you a decent starting point as you think about and start playing Showdown Slates in 2019.
Below is a sample of the showdown file from 2018 that will be on My Fantasy Fix. The actual file has every big primetime game through Week 17. But wanted to show everyone a sample of what I actually collected and what is in the spreadsheet.
The Captain Spot
This is where I, and probably a lot of people start our lineups at. It probably isn't surprising that RB and WR accounted for the captain in 34 of the 50 winning lineups. RB did edge out WR 18 to 16. Quarterbacks only were in the Captain spot nine times. Though it came close in the Chargers-Ravens Saturday night game in December, the kicker was never the captain in a winning lineup. Other facts about the Captain Spot:
- The average captain price throughout the 50 games was $12,486, ranging from a high of $18,600 (Gurley on Dec. 16 vs the Eagles) to a low of $3,900 (Bears on Dec. 9 vs the Rams).
- 32 times was the Captain the highest priced player on the winning team and only one time (Tyler Boyd on Sept. 13 vs the Ravens) was the Captain the lowest priced player on the winning team.
- The Captain averaged 42.8 points in this 50-game sample. The highest was Derrick Henry (76.2 on Dec. 6 vs the Jaguars), and the lowest was Antonio Callaway (14.5 on Dec. 15 vs the Broncos).
This was the unknown coming into 2018. After these 50 games, here was the average positional build for winning lineups: 1.2 QB, 1.5 RB, 2 WR, 0.4 TE, 0.5 K, 0.4 DEF. In summary, you needed to have at least 1 QB, 2 WR, and 1 RB. From there, it looks like a second RB and a kicker would round out the lineup. I think the kicker was an underutilized play. They may not have had the great upside of the other positions but would return 2-3x or more value as they were usually priced around 3k. As for some other trends:
- # of times a position was NOT used in the winning lineups; QB- 5 RB-7 WR-2 TE-31 K-30 DEF- 30
- The highest price spent on a non-captain was $13,000 (Tom Brady on Oct. 4 vs the Colts) and the lowest price spent on a non-captain was $200 (Five different times).
- Out of the 250 lineup spots for the regular flex positions, only 64 times (25.6%) was a player used in a flex spot with a price of 10k or higher. This comes out to an average of about 1.2 10k+ players per winning lineup.
- Out of the 250 lineup spots for the regular flex position, here are the # of times a player was used in each price tier: 0-800: 7 times (2.8%) 1,000-1,800: 10 times (4%) 2,000-2,800: 15 times (6%)
- # of times a position was used at a FLEX spot: QB-51 RB-55 WR-85 TE-17 K-24 DEF-18
- Average Salary Spent: $48,240. All $50,000 was spent three times. Lowest total salary spent: $38,600 (SF vs OAK on Nov. 1)
Does Ownership really matter? I tend to think people make a bigger deal of it than they should, as when you remove some of the outliers, team ownership percentage and individual ownership percentage tended to fall in a normal range. Here are some of the numbers:
- The player who was captain (not captain percentage, as DraftKings didn't release this) had an average of ownership of 48.6%. The lowest owned player at a captain spot was Tyler Boyd (Sept. 13 vs Ravens) at 10.6% ownership, and the highest owned player at a captain spot was Todd Gurley (Sept. 10 vs Raiders) at 89.9% ownership
- Four times was a player rostered at under 1% ownership. Only one time was a player rostered at above 90% ownership (Aaron Rodgers at 91.9 % on Oct. 15 vs the 49ers).
- When you add up the total percentage owned of each individual player, the average percent owned for a winning team was 242.9%. Only twice did the total ownership surpass 300% (Sept. 10 Rams-Raiders and Oct. 29 Bills-Patriots). There were only three times where total ownership was less than 200%, with the lowest being 155.6% (49ers-Raiders on Nov. 1)
- Of the 50 winning lineups, only 12 times was the captain the highest owned player on a winning team. Only 2 times was the captain the lowest owned player on a winning team.
- Out of the 300 possible lineup spots, only 22 times (7.3%) was a player rostered at less than 10% ownership. None of those times was that single-digit ownership player the captain.
- Out of the 300 possible lineup spots, only 30 times (10%) was a player rostered at an ownership of 70% or higher. 9 times (18%) did this happen at the captain spot.
- Average number of winners on a showdown slate: 34. There were 13 solo winners, and the highest number of winners in one slate was 427 on October 29 (Bills vs Patriots)
- Average winning score was 136.13 points, with the highest being 231.89 (Rams vs Chiefs on Nov. 19) and the lowest being 90.1 (Bears vs Rams on Dec. 9). Only two times did the winning score exceed 200 points. Only four times did the winning score end up being below 100 points.
- I did an average of the total points scored in a showdown slate and divided it by the total points scored in the actual game. (EX: If 180 points won the showdown slate and there were 60 points scored in the game, I would get 3). I chose easy numbers for the example, though it would be close to the actual calculation. When I did this calculation for all 50 games and averaged them out, it came out to 2.96. What does this mean? For every point that you expect to be scored in the actual game, you should be expecting a winning showdown slate score to be 3x that amount. If you are expecting 47 points to be scored in a game, your target score for showdown should be 141 points.
There is a lot of information to digest here. And if you subscribe to My Fantasy Fix, you can dig deeper into specific players and their performances, look at game totals, and common lineup builds with winning NFL teams and how many players from each team you should use. I hope this gives you something to think about when you build your showdown lineups for each slate, and gives you some guidance as to what to project and how to build them.