The NFL has graced us with a Thursday Night Football matchup between two potential playoff teams in the Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers. This one has the potential to be a great game and could feature quite a few points as well. To go along with what should be a fun one to start Week 10, we also have the fantasy football aspect.
As we've seen in primetime matchups and multiple other NFL games, single-game fantasy slates are rapidly growing in popularity. And to start the NFL week, this format of game should be a nice way to kick off your weekend.
DraftKings offers showdown games which have become a staple for many fantasy football players. Thursday night's slate features the always-popular $10 option which has a prize pool with $1 million guaranteed and $250,000 to first place. There are also a variety of larger buy-in games and plenty of inexpensive options for those looking to build a few lineups for fun.
Ahead of the Thursday night game, I'll set up a few different lineups while offering picks and insight into the various options on DraftKings. This will include three unique lineups, one of which is the optimal (a well-rounded option), a 150-max line (high ceiling, boom-or-bust) and a single-entry/cash lineup (high floor).
Showdown games are quite a bit different than normal daily fantasy options, so be sure to lock in while constructing lines on this slate. Since they cover just one game, you'll select six players from any position you want, including both kickers and defenses. Before we get too deep into the lineups themselves, I'll lay out my favorite captains and explain them as we go.
Even before we get there, let's break down how showdown games actually work and explain the rules to make sure and offer up a full understanding of the unique format.
– Six total players (one captain, five flex players)
– Captain selection costs 1.5 times standard salary but scores 1.5 times the standard points
– Can choose from any position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DST)
– $50,000 salary cap
– You can use more than one quarterback
On some showdown slates, constructing lineups that are unique and different from the bulk of the field can be tough. While only selecting six players, you'll want to find a way to differentiate yourself from other players. The captain spot is a great way to do that, as the 1.5x points you earn there makes it an important choice. Deciding whether to spend up or pay down is no easy call, and that will likely just depend on the actual game.
Let's start off with the top captain choices for the Panthers vs. Steelers matchup and then roll into the lineups.