It’s FINALLY here. The Super Bowl. The Patriots dynasty against the young guns in the LA Rams. I hope your plans include pizza, nachos, chicken wings, beer and whatever else you need to make it an enjoyable Super Bowl. Let’s add winning money in DFS to that list while we’re at it.
Since this is a single game, most contests will be under the Single Game Showdown rules. This means positions go out the window. You get six Flex spots and the normal salary cap to work your magic. One more wrinkle is the MVP slot. Since there’s only one game slate’s worth of players to select, the MVP slot serves as the determining factor for winning big or missing the cut. Whoever you slot in that roster spot will earn 1.5X fantasy points. With that being said, let’s jump right in!
I use the DraftKings salary cap as my basis for picks, which operates on a 50k salary but I know we have many FanDuel players as well. For reference, Fanduel operates on a 60k salary, so prices will appear higher on that platform.
Tom Brady @ $10,600
I didn’t stream Brady a lot this year, because I thought the Pats offense was more balanced than ever and he didn’t put up colossal numbers. But this is the Super Bowl. Tom Brady lives for this game and rarely puts in a poor showing. In his two playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl, he tallied 20.6 and 18.8 points. Those aren’t explosive outputs, but he is one of the safest options. You have to pay a premium for that peace of mind, but I don’t mind doing it for a guy who is a Super Bowl legend.
Julian Edelman @ $10,800
From Week 14 on through the playoffs, Edelman has scored at least 16 fantasy points every game. Only once all season has he turned in a single-digit scoring performance. He’s the epitome of what a security blanket pass catcher is.
It seemed like every time the Pats needed a big play against the Chiefs, it was Edelman making the grab. While the Rams secondary has improved with the return of Aqib Talib, Edelman is the master at getting open and gobbling up receptions. He’s a PPR monster and I don’t see that slowing down this Sunday.
Gerald Everett @ $2,000
This is my value pick. With the Showdown slate, you have the two ways to play it, in my opinion. One option is to forgo the top players and spend the salary cap on all the second-tier players. The second option is to spend on the top players, find a second-tier player who has some consistency and find one bargain that has the potential to outplay his price. Everett is that pick for me. He’s dirt cheap but does split time with fellow tight end Tyler Higbee. However, with Cooper Kupp out, the tight ends have become a bigger part of the passing game.
Everett is not only a big target but has shown very good athleticism and the ability to run after the catch. If he doesn’t do much, it’s not the end of the world. You saved capital to spend on marquee players, who you hope will pull their weight. All it takes is one big play from someone at this price tag to outplay their value.
MVP SLOT: Sony Michel @ $10,200
Sony Michel has two playoff games under his belt. He has 24 and 29 carries in those two games. He has five touchdowns. The Rams defense is predicated on rushing the passer and is weaker against the run. The likelihood that the Patriots are protecting a lead at some point in this game is high, at least in my opinion.
What do you get when you mix all of these ingredients? The potential for a big game from Michel. Yes, the Pats have James White and Rex Burkhead. White mostly handles passing downs though, and Burkhead is merely another chess piece for Belichick––not a game-changer. We have seen Belichick employ very specific gameplans tailored to his opponents in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a very balanced offensive attack, with Michel taking the lead.
Jared Goff @ $10,000
Jared Goff in the playoffs this season has been…underwhelming. He tallied 8.6 and 15.9 points against teams with good, not elite defenses. The Pats are good “bend-but-don’t-break” defense, but their head coach is a master at scheming for his opponent. The only saving grace for Goff could be playing catch up in the second half, but his drop-off in production since the bye week has been steep. Normally, in these showdowns, you spend the capital to get both QBs, but in this case, I am passing on Goff. Pun intended.
Todd Gurley @ $9,000
This will go down as one of my boldest and most accurate picks. Or it will go down as one of my dumbest picks. Gurley hasn’t looked himself as of late, and I worry it may carry over in the biggest game of the year. If the Rams are going to win though, they NEED Gurley to dominate this game. What’s more likely––Gurley wins MVP and Rams defeat the Patriots––or Belichick devises a gameplan to neutralize Gurley? If forced to choose, I’d take the latter. I admit, I have a few different lineups for this big game and Gurley is on a couple of them…but I don’t feel supremely confident about it. In Showdown you cannot roster players from one team, so if you need a Rams player and are willing to take a shot, go for it.
Rob Gronkowski @ $6,000
Gronk has, historically, been one of the biggest mismatches in football history. This season, he hasn’t been as Gronk-like.
Only five times has he scored double-digit fantasy points during the season, including the playoffs. On the flip side, last week he garnered 11 targets and caught six passes for 79 yards. He accumulated 13.9 fantasy points, which would have been bolstered by a touchdown catch, but still a respectable performance.
My concern is that the Pats will pound the ball with Sony Michel, mix in screens to James White, and run quick routes to Edelman. That doesn’t leave a lot of volume for Gronk. What’s more, I believe inside the five-yard line, the Pats will run for scores. This would bode well for my Sony Michel in the MVP slot advice, but would severely hurt Gronk’s chances for a boom performance. The price tag is reasonable, so if it fits your budget I wouldn’t blame you. For me, I am banking on more consistent performers and his price tag doesn’t fit with my ideal lineup.
Best of luck to everyone and here’s to hoping your squad shows out — and you cash out.