DraftKings AFC Conference Championship Showdown: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals | Fantasy Football News, Rankings and Screenings

Change DFS and fantasy football the landscape is shifting towards single-game competitions. 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 format’s biggest flaw is the ability to pick a captain (CPT), which costs and is scored at 1.5 times the standard values. The CPT designation opens up another layer of strategy while exponentially increasing the number of possible range combinations, which is important for reducing duplicate winners and split prizes. I wrote a primer on reading this format, with details of historical position trends and salary usage.

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This season, I will be analyzing all of the NFL’s “island” games (TNF, SNF, and MNF) and playoff matchups, using PFF weekly screeningscurrent betting lines and millions of simulated historical combinations to identify the best and worst values ​​for an upcoming match.

There are five main elements to this conference championship playoff round Analysis of the Showdown slate you will find below:

  • A breakdown of the methodology and most similar historical correspondence to Kansas City Chiefs against the Cincinnati Bengals as an illustration of the pairing process: 2020 week 6 when the Kansas City Chiefs against the Buffalo Bills, with Patrick Mahomes in the same role and Stefan Diggs like Ja’Marr Chase.
  • The optimal composition allocations (CPT and total composition) for both teams are based on the results of similar historical matchups.
  • Comparison of player ownership projections for FLEX and CPT produced by a model trained on 2018-2021 Showdown contest results at optimal allocations.
  • Recent trends in CPT ownership are illustrated for both starting formations.
  • A table showing the most common players on the optimal comps for each player. This allows you to see which other players are usually on the same optimal lineups as a player you are interested in.


To analyze this specific Showdown list, I scoured thousands of NFL games from 2014 to 2021 and found the closest analogies to this contest based on the following metrics: Betting Spread, Over/Under Score, and average fantasy points for the highest ranked positional players on both lists (QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1).

I won’t detail every match that falls in the top 100 for this game, but for illustrative purposes, let’s look at the most similar match:

Historical Running
Player Pos Team Player Pos Team
Patrick Mahomes QC K.C. Patrick Mahomes QC K.C.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB K.C. Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB K.C.
Tyreek Hill WR K.C. Tyreek Hill WR K.C.
Travis Kelce AND K.C. Travis Kelce AND K.C.
Josh Allen QC BUF Joe Terrier QC RIC
Single diviner RB BUF Joe Mixon RB RIC
Stefan Diggs WR BUF Ja’Marr Chase WR RIC
Tyler Kroft AND BUF CJ Ouzomah AND RIC

the spread out and over/under are similar in those matchups (Chiefs -5.5, 54.5 O/U vs this game at Chiefs -7, 54.5 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 matchup, assuming position wages were equal to what they are for this showdown roster, would have been:

Player Team Position Post on the list Fancy stitches
Clyde Edwards-Helaire K.C. RB CPT 23.9
Travis Kelce K.C. AND FLEX 22.5
Patrick Mahomes K.C. QC FLEX 20.6
Stefan Diggs BUF WR FLEX 16.6
Josh Allen BUF QC FLEX 16.1
Cole Beasley BUF WR FLEX 14.5

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

Related content for you:

2022 NFL Conference Championship DFS Cheat Sheet: All Contests by Andrew Erickson


The most unique part of the format, and therefore the greatest opportunity for competitive advantage, is choosing your CPT. Should you always choose a QB who generally has the highest Absolute Fantasy score? Are defenses and kickers viable options? RB versus WR?

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