DFS Thursday Night Football: DraftKings Showdown for Week 4

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Before we get into the specifics of this matchup and how to approach it for the DraftKings showdown slate, I want to point people back to a few pieces of evergreen content that I think are extremely valuable if you’re serious about winning showdown all season. I’d recommend reading/listening to this content before proceeding, especially if you’re new to showdown.

1. How to Win Showdown Contests: A detailed article looking at the data and strategy behind winning showdown lineups.

2. DFS Showdown Strategy PodcastA thorough discussion on how to beat showdown, looking at the game theory and how to leverage the field.

DraftKings Sportsbook Lines

Spread: Cincinnati -7.0
Total: 45.5
Team Totals: Cincinnati (26.3), Jacksonville (19.3)

Game Outlook

We get a battle of former #1 overall NFL Draft picks when Trevor Lawrence and the 0-3 Jaguars travel to Cincinnati to take on Joe Burrow and the 2-1 Bengals. Cincinnati is favored by a full TD with a healthy 26.3 implied total compared to the team “lead” by Urban Meyer featuring a lowly 19.3 total. All things told, through three games, the Jaguars’ offense has been stuck in the mud. Not including their Week 3 special teams return TD that came off a missed FG attempt, the Jags have scored just 17.7 points per game on offense, which ranks 27th in the NFL.

As for Cincy, they aren’t playing with the pace nor the passing rate that we saw last year with Joe Burrow under center. Through three weeks, the Bengals rank 3rd in neutral situation run rate behind only the Saints and the Ravens. In Mike Leone’s pass rate over expectation metric, they rank dead last in the league. They’re playing slow and running a ton, yet they’ve managed to hang 22.7 points per game on their opponents thus far. Vegas expects the Bengals to take advantage of a bad Jaguars defense, giving them the benefit of the doubt with an implied total north of their season-long average.

Through three weeks, the Jaguars have struggled on defense, surrendering an average 30.3 points per game to their opponents, notable as the Jaguars have been willing to completely abandon the run when trailing. In negative game scripts, the Jags pass rate skyrockets from 54% to 72% when trailing by 7+ points. As 7-point underdogs, it makes sense to build some lineups correlated around the Bengals rushing attack with Jaguars pass catchers based on the tendencies we’ve seen from both teams thus far.

Pace Stats

Plays per game: Cincinnati: 31st, Jacksonville: 22nd

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Neutral Situation Pace: Cincinnati: 31st, Jacksonville: 2nd

Injury Outlook


  • WR Tee Higgins: Shoulder (OUT)
  • RG Xavier Su’a-Filo (DOUBTFUL)
  • CB Chidobe Owuzie: Groin (DOUBTFUL)
  • S Jessie Bates: Neck (OUT)


  • DE Roy Robertson Harris: Ankle (OUT)
  • K Josh Lambo: Personal (OUT)
Captain Selections

Joe Mixon $16,500
Joe Mixon‘s touch totals in three games thus far: 33, 21, 19. Seeing true bell-cow treatment, Joe Mixon figures to be the focal point of the Bengals’ attack on Thursday Night. With Cincy playing as home favorites, Mixon should see no shortage of opportunities, especially considering his career splits in Bengals wins. In Mixon’s career, he averages 22.6 opportunities, 108.3 yards from scrimmage, and 0.9 TD per game in Bengal wins. As we’ve seen early in the year, the Bengals are perfectly content giving Mixon the rock early and often, especially when playing from ahead. In game scripts where we project the Bengals to win this game (they should as 7-point favorites), Mixon has a strong chance to hit the 100-yard bonus and/or find the end zone, making him an obvious captain choice.

Stack Idea: Captain Joe Mixon, Bring back with Trevor Lawrence + 2 Jaguars WRs

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