Week 16 DraftKings Sunday Night Football Showdown: Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy Football news, rankings and screenings


Change DFS and fantasy football the landscape is shifting towards one-game contests. At DraftKings Sportsbook, the most important is their Showdown Captain Mode format. The format combines the ease of focusing on a single game with the ability to differentiate yourself from the competition by choosing six players.

The biggest difficulty of the format is the ability to choose a captain (CPT), which costs and is rated at 1.5 times the standard values. The CPT designation opens up another layer of strategy while exponentially increasing the number of possible programming combinations, which is important in reducing duplicate winners and split prizes. I wrote an alphabet book on reading this format, with details on historical position trends and salary usage.

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This season, I will analyze all of the NFL ‘island’ games (TNF, SNF and MNF) and playoff games, using The weekly projections of the PFF, current betting lines and millions of simulated historical combinations to identify the best and worst values ​​for an upcoming match.

There are five main components to this Showdown Slate Analysis which you will find below:

  • A breakdown of the methodology and historical comparison most similar to Dallas CowboysWashington football team as an illustration of the pairing process: 2021 Week 14 where these two teams faced off. Unsurprisingly, this was the closest match with all the corresponding players in their same roles.
  • Optimal roster allocations (CPT and full roster) for both teams are based on the results of similar historical clashes.
  • Comparison of player ownership projections for FLEX and CPT produced by a model trained on the 2018-2021 Showdown competition results at optimal allocations.
  • Recent trends in CPT ownership are illustrated for the two starting formations.
  • A table showing the most common players on optimal formations for each player. This allows you to see which other players are generally in the same optimal rosters as a player you want to register.


To analyze this specific Showdown list, I went through thousands of NFL games from 2014 to 2021 and found the closest analogies to this contest based on the following parameters: betting spread, fantasy points on / under and middle for the best ranked position players of the two lists (QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1).

I won’t go into every match that makes it into the top 100 for this game, but for illustration purposes, let’s look at the most similar match:

Historical Running
Player Pos Team Player Pos Team
Dak prescott QB DAL Dak prescott QB DAL
Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL Ezekiel Elliott RB DAL
CeeDee Lamb WR DAL CeeDee Lamb WR DAL
Dalton schultz YOU DAL Dalton schultz YOU DAL
Taylor heinicke QB HAS BEEN Taylor heinicke QB HAS BEEN
Antonio gibson RB HAS BEEN Antonio gibson RB HAS BEEN
Terry mclaurin WR HAS BEEN Terry mclaurin WR HAS BEEN
Ricky Seals-Jones YOU HAS BEEN Ricky Seals-Jones YOU HAS BEEN

the spread out and over / under are similar in these clashes (Cowboys -6.5, 48 O / U vs. this clash at Cowboys -10, 47 O / U). Not all players are perfect matches, but that’s why we use 100 similar matches and not just the most similar.

The optimal roster for this historic match, assuming positional wages equal what they are for this matchup roster, would have been:

Player Team Position Position on the list Fantasy Pts
cowboys DAL Summer time CPT 22.0
Amari Cooper DAL WR ARROW 16.1
CeeDee Lamb DAL WR ARROW 14.6
Football team HAS BEEN Summer time ARROW 14.0
Greg Zuerlein DAL K ARROW 13.0

For this game and 99 other similar matches, I calculated all the possible combinations that fit the Showdown rules (one CPT, at least one offensive player from each team) and would fall below the $ 50,000 salary threshold, assuming salaries for historical similar matches are the same as for this competition.


The most unique part of the format, and therefore the greatest opportunity for a competitive advantage, is choosing your CPT. Should you always pick a QB that typically has the highest absolute fantasy score? Are defenses and kickers viable options? RB vs. WR?

I went through the millions of possible line-up combinations for the 100 most similar matchups and found which were the CPT selections in the top five line-ups for each matchup. Here are the 500 CPT choices of these matches by position rank according to salary.


This graph illustrates the full range of allocations for the different positions to measure how many of the 500 optimal lists had exactly zero, one or two of the given positions.


the boxplot above shows CPT ownership ranges for each player new to contests since 2019.

Projected versus optimal property

This is where the analysis comes together and becomes actionable. The most important thing when viewing these numbers is to compare them to the optimal numbers taken from the above analysis for different positions. Then we see where the leverage can exist.

The two tables below compare the optimal allocations above, with adjustments for that particular match’s staff, to our property projections for CPT and FLEX.


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