Monday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Strategy: Bears-Vikings (November 27)

For nearly two years now, I have been hosting the High Stakes podcast for Stokastic, interviewing DFS pros on a range of topics. There have been a lot of recurring themes on the show, but the most relevant for this article: DFS pros love MNF Showdown.

That is because a lot of casual NFL fans enter the Showdown fray to have some action on island games. As a result, DraftKings and FanDuel offer enormous contests with generous prize pools. The contests become more difficult to win, too, when there are hundreds of thousands of entrants, but with a large portion of the new players being casual, the increase in difficulty pales in comparison to the increase in prize pools. It is a tradeoff DFS pros will gladly make.

My goal with these Showdown articles — which I will be writing for each Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football NFL DFS slate this season — is to help you attack the largest-field DraftKings GPP like a pro. There are three main components to discuss when it comes to Showdown, and I will break them down accordingly: Projection, Correlation and Differentiation.

Week 12 Bears-Vikings MNF Showdown: NFL DFS Strategy

Projection

The goal in DFS is to make the lineup that puts up the most points, so a natural starting point is looking at individual players who are likely to put up high scores or high point-per-dollar scores. I rely on Stokastic’s NFL DFS projections and tools to determine which players should be core pieces of my lineups. I primarily look at the base projections and the Top NFL DFS Showdown Plays Tool, which publishes results of thousands of advanced simulations run by the Stokastic team.

React App

Studs

These are the top-projected players on the slate. I’d recommend having at least three of these players in just about every lineup you make tonight, either as captain or in a flex spot.

  • Joshua Dobbs ($10,000) has a middling matchup with a Bears defense that has given up the 18th-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the past five weeks, per Fantasy Points. Dobbs has a greater-than-80% chance of making the optimal lineup, according to Stokastic’s Top NFL DFS Showdown Plays Tool.
  • Justin Fields ($11,200) has a tough matchup with a Vikings defense that has given up the 27th-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the past five weeks. Fields has better than a 75% chance of optimality.
  • T.J. Hockenson ($9,000) is tied for second among active Vikings in route participation this season and leads the group in target share — 78.1% and 24.5%, respectively. Hockenson has a middling matchup with a Bears defense that has given up the 16th-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to tight ends over the past five weeks, and he has a greater-than-60% chance of optimality.
  • D.J. Moore ($10,400) leads the Bears in route participation and target share at 90.4% and 24.1%, respectively. Moore has a middling matchup with a Vikings defense that has given up the 15th-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the past five weeks, and he has around a 40% chance of optimality.
  • Khalil Herbert ($6,800) returned from injured reserve in Week 11 and played 43% of snaps, but with D’Onta Foreman out, Herbert is expected to return to the lead back status he had prior to his injury. Herbert has a tough matchup with a Vikings defense that has given up the 27th-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to running backs over the past five weeks, and he has around a 40% chance of optimality.
  • Alexander Mattison ($7,400) played 64% of snaps in Week 11, had 18 of the Vikings’ 28 running back carries and ran routes on 56.2% of dropbacks. Mattison has a nice matchup with a Bears defense that has given up the ninth-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to running backs over the past five weeks, and he has around a 35% chance of optimality.
  • Jordan Addison ($8,200) leads active Vikings in route participation at 78.4% and is second in target share at 17.0%. Addison leads the team with nine end zone targets, per Fantasy Points. He faces a Bears defense giving up the 21st-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the past five weeks, and he has a greater-than-30% chance of optimality.

bet365

Top Point-Per-Dollar Plays

These are just a few players who will be featured throughout my lineups due to their high points-per-dollar projection. At the same time, because I will typically have at least three studs in each lineup, the top points-per-dollar plays are often players I will be pivoting away from in some lineups in favor of players who project a bit worse but who will also garner lower ownership. I am also excluding any player with a projection below 3 fantasy points from this list.

  • Brandon Powell ($2,000) ran routes on 71.1% of dropbacks in Week 11 and was tied for third on the Vikings with four targets.
  • Roschon Johnson ($3,000) played 32.4% of snaps in Week 11, getting six carries and running routes on 24.1% of dropbacks but seeing no targets. Johnson is likely to see an expanded role with Foreman out.
  • Cole Kmet ($6,200) is third on the Bears in route participation at 66.8% and second in target share at 17.7%. Kmet faces a Vikings defense that has given up the 15th-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to tight ends over the past five weeks. Kmet is tied for second on the team with five end zone targets, converting four.
  • K.J. Osborn ($5,600) is tied for second among active Vikings in route participation at 78.1% and third in target share at 13.1%. Osborn is second on the team with five end zone targets.
  • Ty Chandler ($5,800) has taken on a bigger role for the Vikings over the past two games, playing 37.7% of snaps, getting 25 carries (to Mattison’s 26), and seeing five targets despite running routes on just 17.7% of dropbacks.
  • Darnell Mooney ($4,800) is second on the Bears in route participation at 73.4% and third in target share at 11.0%. Mooney is tied for second on the team with five end zone targets, though he has converted just one.
  • As usual, kickers and defenses are among the top point-per-dollar plays on the slate.

Correlation

In NFL DFS, correlations are endless, both positive and negative. Most are minor enough that they do not necessarily need to be factored into lineups. If you want to give a boost to your running back’s defense, for example, that is great; but running backs will frequently be optimal without the defense also being optimal, even in NFL DFS Showdown.

The only correlations that are almost mandatory to consider on NFL DFS Showdown slates involve quarterbacks — particularly non-rushing quarterbacks. That is because of the scoring dynamics on DraftKings. On each passing play, the pass catcher scores more fantasy points than the quarterback. For example, if a quarterback throws a pass for 5 yards, he will get 0.2 fantasy points — 1 fantasy point per 25 yards passing, divided by five. The receiver will get 1.5 fantasy points — 1 point per reception, plus half a point for 5 yards receiving. The quarterback also only gets four points per passing touchdown, while the receiver gets six points for a receiving touchdown.

The quarterback is also generally one of the most expensive players on his team. Thus, he will often need to be his team’s highest fantasy point scorer to be the optimal captain. Outside of rare occasions where the quarterback scores fantasy points by passing to a player who is not in the DraftKings player pool or gets points as a receiver on a trick play, there are essentially just two ways for the quarterback to be the highest-scoring player on his team: adding fantasy points via rushing or spreading the ball around to multiple pass catchers.

betmgm bonus code

Some General Thoughts

  • If you play a quarterback at captain, and he does not have rushing upside, and he is the most expensive player on his team, you will almost always want to have multiple of his team’s pass catchers in the flex. This is also largely true if the quarterback is only slightly less expensive than the most expensive pass catcher on his team.
  • If you play a quarterback at captain, and he has moderate rushing upside, you can consider playing just one of his pass catchers in the flex — but multiple may still be preferred, depending on the extent of that rushing upside. The quarterback’s price may also come into play here; the more expensive he is, the more likely you will need to have multiple pass catchers in the flex.
  • If you play a quarterback at captain, and he has major rushing upside, you do not necessarily need to play any pass catchers in the flex. This is relatively uncommon, and only applies to a few quarterbacks.
  • If you play a quarterback in the flex, and he does not have rushing upside, you will generally want to have at least one of his pass catchers elsewhere in the lineup, either at captain or in another flex spot.
  • If you play a quarterback in the flex, and he has moderate to high rushing upside, you do not necessarily need to include one of his pass catchers elsewhere in the lineup. But there will always be positive correlation there between a quarterback and his pass catchers.

Some Bears-Vikings Game-Specific Thoughts

  • If you play Fields: Fields had nearly 400 more rushing yards than any other quarterback in 2022. He can be played anywhere in your lineup without any stacking partners.
  • If you play Dobbs: Since joining the Vikings, Dobbs is averaging 43.7 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown per game. He can be played in the flex without any stacking partners but should generally be paired with at least one pass catcher when used at captain.

Differentiation

Making highly projected lineups with smart correlations will separate you from the lowest level Showdown players, but there are many very smart casual players as well. Differentiation is the last step to separating pros from Joes.

In just about any DFS GPP, finding low-owned gems is key because lower ownership reduces the field of lineups you are competing against when the player has a 99th-percentile outcome. Taking it to the extreme, just as a thought exercise, let’s say that Chandler scores 100 fantasy points tonight. You are not just going to need him; you will need him in the captain spot (150 fantasy points). If 20,000 lineups in your contest have Chandler in the captain spot, you have essentially reduced the field of lineups you are competing with to 20,000. If only 200 lineups have Chandler at captain, now we are talking.

On NFL DFS Showdown slates, there is an additional factor for large-field GPPs. We do not just want to find seldomly used players; we want to find seldomly used LINEUPS. Why? Well, I will give you two examples from 2021:

  • On Sept. 20, 2021, DraftKings had a Milly Maker for the Packers-Lions tilt, but the top lineup was duplicated 231 times. Rather than winning $1 million, the users who entered those 231 lineups had to split the top 231 prizes, for just a bit over $6,000 each. That is despite having everything go their way, which requires an extreme amount of luck.
  • On Oct. 11, 2021, we saw the other end of the spectrum: User rcoho1984 played a unique lineup in the Ravens-Colts Milly Maker, taking home not just a million dollars but a ticket to the Tournament of Champions.

If you are going to win — which takes a lot of luck, regardless of how well your lineup projects — I would suggest making it count. I am not necessarily concerned with making an entirely unique lineup like rcoho1984 did every single time, but I aim to be a lot closer to their unique lineup than those that were duplicated 231 times.

underdog fantasy promo code

Some Easy Tricks

Low-owned players. Even if you are using other tricks to get unique, it is still a good idea to play a few players in some of your lineups who will not be getting much ownership. Some low-owned players to consider:

  • Equanimeous St. Brown ($1,600) ran routes on 41.4% of dropbacks in Week 11, while Tyler Scott ($1,200) ran routes on 31.0% of dropbacks. St. Brown and Scott each saw two targets in the game, tied for third on the team.
  • Josh Oliver ($2,600) ran routes on 21.1% of dropbacks in Week 11 but managed to see four targets on just eight routes run, catching all four for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Embrace lineups missing some correlation pieces or even with some negative correlation. Generally, highly correlated lineups will be over-owned, whereas the field will avoid negative correlation at all costs.

  • Quarterback against opposing defense.
  • Pass catcher at captain without including the quarterback at flex.
  • Multiple running backs from the same team in a lineup.

Leave salary on the table. This is the easiest way to lower your duplicates. Casual players assume that if they have salary left over, they should upgrade. The problem with this approach is that it almost inevitably leads to highly duplicated lineups. How much salary should you leave on the table? That is up to you. If it is less than $800 and you have not gotten extremely unique with player selections and weird correlations, it is likely you will have to split any winnings with many other entries.

Neil Orfield
Author
Neil Orfield has been playing DFS regularly since 2013, but his success really started taking off in 2019 when he had a six figure payday with a hand built NFL lineup. The next day, he signed up for a Stokastic+ subscription with FantasyCruncher. Since then he has won an NFL milly and added six figure wins in XFL, MLB, and NBA. He has recently excelled at NFL Showdown, with many five- and six-figure wins since 2021.

Stokastic +

Premium Data and Tools
PREMIUM TOOLS
Lineup Generator
Stokastic Sims MLB
PREMIUM DATA
Projections
Top Stack %s
MLB Data Central
FREE DATA
SoRare MLB Rankings
DraftKings Night Owl
FANTASY CRUNCHER (ADD-ON)
MLB Lineup Study
COMMUNITY
MLB Discord Server
PREMIUM DATA
Projections
Ownership Projections
PREMIUM TOOLS
Fantasy Cruncher (ADD-ON)
NHL Lineup Study
COMMUNITY
NHL Discord Server
PREMIUM TOOLS
Lineup Generator
Stokastic Sims PGA
PREMIUM DATA
Ownership Projections
Top Golfers Tool
PGA Tournament Models
FANTASY CRUNCHER (ADD-ON)
PGA Lineup Study
COMMUNITY
PGA Discord Server
Ownership Projections
Top Drivers Tool
NASCAR Discord Server
NASCAR Fantasy Cruncher
USFL Projections
USFL Discord Server
Ownership Projections
Top Fighters Tool
MMA Discord Server
MMA Fantasy Cruncher
NFL Betting Tools
Stokastic Discord Server
Best Ball
Best Ball Rankings
Best Ball Stat Projections
Stokastic Discord Server
Season Long Fantasy (Coming Soon)

Premium Data

DFS Winners from the Stokastic Community

Subscribe to the Stokastic newsletter

DFS advice, exciting promos, and the best bets straight to your inbox

Stokastic.com - Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting Data, Tools, & Analytics

Please play responsibly. Only customers 21 and over are permitted to play. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.