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Breaking Down the Rules for NFL DFS Showdowns




This article is a quick breakdown of the rules I generally use in the FTN LineupEDGE Optimizer for DraftKings and FanDuel NFL DFS showdowns. There are certainly times where some of these rules will not all be in place, such as “don’t use two running backs from the same team” or “pair your QB with two pass catchers,” but that will depend on each individual slate. When looking at salaries and team scheme it might make sense to change these rules from time to time. Make sure to check out my showdown team breakdowns to get the particular rules for that slate. 



General Rules I Use for Showdown

In large GPPs, never use your entire salary. If you win it will be a major letdown because the prize pool will be split between too many people. This is not to say a lineup using the entire salary can’t win — it can, and it does. But, when it does, a $100K top prize gets split up 1,000 ways, netting you a few hundred bucks if you are lucky as opposed to a big payday. Amateurs always use their entire salary, resulting in massive duplications. I will play every showdown slate this season, and I will never use the entire salary on one of them.

Classic mistake MME players make: If you can max 150, don’t adjust projections and take the best 150 lineups to Opto spits out. Pick the guys you like and run the FTN Opto to see how many combinations you get. I have found that most of my big wins come from when I maximize my core, mixing in low-rostered plays. If my players only make 100 lineups (out of 150), I love it. This means I have every combination of every guy that I like. The next 50 lineups I make (if I choose to do so), I can take bigger swings on, or I can filter in one guy I am not high on and hope to get lucky.

If you are trying to profit consistently, FanDuel is a much easier site for MMEing showdowns. You are only able to pick five guys as opposed to six on DraftKings, which limits the combinations you can make. The prices don’t change depending on who is the CPT, which limits the combinations you can make. There is a price floor on FanDuel of $5,000 as opposed to $100 on DraftKings, which limits the combinations.

General rules for showdown unless otherwise stated below the rankings:

  • Don’t use an RB and his backup in the same lineup. 
  • Don’t use a WR and his depth chart “backup” in the same lineup. They could both have a massive game, but it is unlikely, so I avoid it.
  • Don’t use two WRs off the bench in the same lineup
  • Don’t use a TE and his backup in the same lineup
  • Don’t use more than one TE total on FanDuel. This works more than 50% of the time. 
  • In most cases, I fade two quarterbacks in the same lineup on FanDuel, not on DraftKings because you have an additional roster spot and the DraftKings salaries allow more combinations
  • Don’t play more than two pass catchers from a team without rostering their QB. If two WRs exceed value, their QB is having a good game too.
  • Always pair a QB with two pass catchers from the same team (exceptions listed below)
  • The exceptions for pairing them with one pass-catcher is Lamar JacksonJosh Allen and Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields as of now.
  • Never play a QB naked. Could Lamar Jackson score every touchdown by himself? I suppose he could in a perfect scenario, but it is much more likely he does not. If you start playing QB’s naked after seeing him win a GPP once alone, you could get in a vicious cycle of trying to chase the improbable resulting in losing your bankroll fast.
  • Do not use more than half of your roster against your defense. I tend to keep it from 1-3 guys from the opposing offense.
  • Do not use the opposing defense from your CPT in your DraftKings lineups. It is not impossible the winning lineup has an offensive player at CPT and the opposing defense (with two defensive scores) but it is unlikely when you are starting in a hole.
  • If you play a WR or TE in the CPT or MVP spot, you have to roster their QB.
  • Don’t play backup QBs.
  • Don’t neglect your kickers. They are some of the most reliable options to consistently put-up fantasy points. Of course, you need to take into account extreme matchups and severe weather games.
  • Playing a QB and pairing him with only his RB (if he isn’t a pass catcher) without a WR or TE does not make sense. You are either going to have to add a pass-catcher (if the RB is not an elite pass-catcher) or lose the QB or RB.
  • Salaries are important. For example: If the Kansas City Chiefs are playing and Patrick MahomesTravis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are the three most expensive players, it is unlikely they all meet value. Play two of the three.
  • Having one “punt” player is usually enough. You don’t need to worry about choosing all low-owned guys.
  • Pair your kicker with at least one RB, WR or TE. Someone has to move the ball down the field to get the kicker in range. 

Check out the FTN LineupEDGE Optomizer. Use promo code SICKO for 20% off when you sign up. 

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