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Thursday Night Football DFS Preview: How to build your lineup for LA at Seattle

Credit: @DangeRuss (Instagram)

Welcome back to Week 5 of the Thursday Night Football Showdown Build here at Aaron Torres Online. For the first time since Week 1, we have a matchup to be excited about with a ton of potential points. Lots of points means lots of fantasy production, and we certainly have plenty of players we could use in our showdown contests. I hope you have been able to use the information in these articles to build out a winning lineup and cash in so far. Let’s do it again!

As you know, I will be coming to you weekly with a column specifically focused on one type of DFS contest, the Showdown style on DraftKings. I will be here every Thursday, specifically giving you players and strategy for the Thursday Night Football Showdown contests. Showdown Style is a DFS contests, also referred to as Captain Mode contests, where your roster consists of only 6 players and must include players from both teams. The positions in this type of contest are a “Captain” and 5 “Flex” players. This means that you can play a QB, RB, WR, TE, K or Defense in any of those roster spots with no minimum or maximum at any position. The player you select as the captain will score 1.5 time the standard fantasy point value for every statistic but drafting a player in the captain spot will also cost you more salary than if you were to draft them in a flex spot.

Before we get started, remember to check out my “DFS Flash” podcast, a quick whip around DFS show, that’s only 15-20 minutes and gets you ready for the full Sunday DFS slate ahead. Make sure to subscribe here or listen below.

With that, let’s build out our Week 5 Thursday Night Football Showdown Slate Lineup!

The Captain Spot

As I mentioned, the player you use in this spot is going to cost you more salary by being the captain, but it will also score you 1.5 times the standard point value earned. There are a lot of stars in this game, and we’re going to want to get several of the big names in our lineup. The problem with paying up at captain is that it limits the salary you have for your flex spots so we’re going to have to be strategic this week. Trying to build with one of the QBs in the captain will leave you with some undesirable flexes. This game is very top heavy and there aren’t a lot of viable low salary options.

Matthew Stafford is my favorite option and will probably be the favorite pick at captain for this one. I’m going to be a little different with this build and go down to the 6th highest salary option on the slate and use Darrell Henderson Jr. as my captain. After sitting out Week 3 with a rib injury, Henderson came back and led the backfield with a nice performance against Arizona. He had 19 touches, including 5 receptions, for a total of 116 yards.

He scored 16.6 fantasy points on DraftKings which is right at his season average. Henderson is the unquestioned lead back with Sony Michel only getting three carries last week, and Henderson gets a great matchup against Seattle this week. Seattle is one of the worst defenses against the run this season and is allowing 4.4 yards per carry and well over 100 rushing yards per game. Henderson could be in for a multi-TD game against this defense so I’ll make him my captain.

Flex Spots with high salaries

This is where we are going to see the bulk of the fantasy production in this game.

Both teams are similarly structured with a top-heavy production distribution. Both Seattle and Los Angeles have upper echelon quarterbacks and two top wide receivers that account for most of the team production. Both teams also have starting running backs considered in the “RB2” range on a weekly basis. Chris Carson was limited last week and didn’t practice on Tuesday, so I won’t be considering him here. Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson are both attractive options with Stafford being my favorite option against the Seattle defense that ranks 25th in the league against opposing QBs. All four top wide receivers are flex options, but DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett will have to deal with Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams and the solid Los Angeles secondary. Ramsey has been playing a lot of snaps in the slot this season, so I like Metcalf best as he runs most of his routes on the outside.

On the LA side, Cooper Kupp has been a machine and clearly is Stafford’s favorite target. Robert Woods has been underwhelming but we know he;s a talented receiver and is due for a good game. I'm willing to give Woods one more chance in a good matchup against Seattle and hope he and Stafford can get on track in this one. Both Kupp and Woods are viable flex options against the Seattle defense. If you didn’t use Henderson as a captain, make sure you get him in here as a flex at least.

Flex Spots with value

Most of the options we want to use in this contest carry a salary over $10,000. There are a few options that fall below that mark and we will have to consider a couple of them in our lineups to get a group of those higher salary players in our build. The Los Angeles 3rd and 4th receiving options are here where we see Van Jefferson and Desean Jackson at $7,200 and $6,600 respectively. Jackson is a true boom -or-bust option that can be used in tournaments, but I wouldn’t use in my 50/50 lineups. Jefferson had a big game last week, but only had 8.2 and 2.4 fantasy points in the 2 games before that. He could be stepping into a larger role with Woods’ struggles, but its too risky for me at this salary. I like Gerald Everett at $6,000 but his status is still uncertain coming off a Covid related inactive last week.

To get a bunch of those higher salary players into our lineup, were going to need a couple deeper dives at lower salaries. Matt Gay at $5,400 is enticing and is one of the highest rated kickers of the week on kicker guru @lindellions weekly kicker chart. Alex Collins would be in line for an increased workload if Carson is limited or doesn’t play with the neck injury that kept him out of Tuesday’s practice. He played 36 offensive snaps last week and scored a touchdown. He could be a great pay down option this week but expect high rostership if Carson doesn’t play. Th

e Los Angeles defense is also an option as Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, Jalen Ramsey and company are always doing something on the field. They have 12 sacks on the season and have sacked the quarterback 3 times in each of their first 4 games. Seattle has a shaky offensive line so there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue this week.

Final Build Thoughts

I started trying to build with Stafford as captain, but once I put Russ and Henderson in my lineup, I was left with an average of about $4,200 to fill three spots. Even using a combination of two from the LA Defense, Collins and Gay, my last spot would have had to be the other one or Van Jefferson. I moved Henderson into my captain, Stafford into my flex alongside Russ, used Collins and the LA Defense and was able to get Robert Woods into the last spot. Id love to get Kupp in here, but hes just way too expensive and I’m not going to sacrifice my lineup to get him in. If you really want to use Kupp, you can replace Wilson with Kupp and bring Woods down to Jefferson.

Week 5 Thursday Night Football Showdown Style Lineup

Captain – Darrell Henderson Jr

Flex – Matthew Stafford

Flex – Russell Wilson

Flex – Robert Woods

Flex – Los Angeles Defense

Flex – Alex Collins

For all your DFS advice, make sure to follow JB on Twitter


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