The NFL season culminates with Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Feb. 3. Unless you’re a New England Patriots fan or seasoned Patriots hater, you probably don’t have a vested interest in the game. True Los Angeles Rams fans are hard to find considering this iteration of the franchise is only a few years old.
For those not familiar with the DFS Single-Game Slate rules, here’s a quick recap:
In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are five utility spots and a “Captain” slot, who receives 1.5x multiplier for all DK points accrued. Pricing differs for players when selected in the Captain spot versus the FLEX spots, with all players required to fit under a $50k salary cap. All options are in play from QBs, RBs and WRs, to kickers and D/ST from each team.
On FanDuel, single-game contests include an MVP spot (1.5x multiplier) and four utility spots with a $60,000 salary cap. Positive and negative scores are impacted by that multiplier, so if you choose a quarterback as MVP and they fumble, you will lose 3 FD points. Conversely, each passing TD is 6 FD points (4 in standard scoring), and a rushing or receiving TD is worth 9 FD points (vs 6). The price is the same for all five positions on FanDuel.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Please note any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.
SUPER BOWL NFL DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Championship Millionaire: $10 entry, $3M guaranteed (DraftKings) – $1,000,000 to 1st!
Showdown Play-Action: $3 entry, $1.1M guaranteed (DraftKings)
Big Game Bowl: $9.99 entry, $2.53M guaranteed (FanDuel) – $1,000,000 to 1st!
Rush: $5 entry, $250k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Top NFL DFS Plays for Super Bowl LIII
Best Cash Plays for Super Bowl LIII
Julian Edelman ($16.2k Captain, $10.8k DraftKings, $14.0k FanDuel)
If you want guaranteed returns from the most reliable receiver in this game, you’ll have to pay up on DraftKings. Julian Edelman deserves a lofty price tag on a full PPR site considering he saw a 25.7% target share throughout the regular season. Plus, he snared 16-of-23 targets through two playoff games. His rapport with Tom Brady is invaluable and will be used to exploit a Rams team that ranked 28th in DVOA pass defense against No. 1 receivers and 28th in DVOA against passes over the middle of the field. Rams slot CB Nickell Robey-Coleman made the mistake of spewing disrespectful comments towards Brady. We’ve seen how that leads to the Pats QB targeting a specific defensive player. It just so happens Robey-Coleman will have to check Brady’s favorite target Sunday. Additionally, OC Josh McDaniels will scheme ways to motion Edelman onto lesser CBs in key situations.
Jared Goff ($15.0k, $10.0k DraftKings, $15.5k FanDuel)
Surprisingly enough, we’re going with Jared Goff as the safer QB play in the Super Bowl rather than big-game veteran Tom Brady. It is simply a matter of matchups and game flow. The Rams are more likely to play from behind, and Goff is more likely to experience a clean pocket against a Pats defensive line that posted the second-lowest adjusted sack rate (3.8%) in the NFL this season. Bill Belichick and his staff will likely scheme to take away the Rams’ elite rushing and make an inexperienced QB try to beat them in the red zone. Sean McVay will likely counter that type of goal-line defense with subtle routes and play actions that could buoy Goff’s production. As a Captain, Goff is projected for 31.1 DK points per FantasyLabs. He holds the highest per-dollar rating with an enticing 6.26 plus/minus rating.
Robert Woods ($11.7k Captain, $7.8k DraftKings, $10.5k FanDuel)
In Cash games, Robert Woods is a far better bet than his battery mate Brandin Cooks. Both receivers play nearly every offensive snap for the Rams and move all over the formation. Woods spends far more time in the slot, though. He’s therefore likely to avoid shutdown CB Stephon Gilmore or the bracket coverage the Patriots may use to contain Cooks. While NE ranks second in DVOA pass defense against deep passes, they’re 21st against short throws. Woods has seen at least seven targets in seven of his last eight appearances and has become Goff’s security blanket since Cooper Kupp (ACL) was lost for the season. That role should become even more important if the Patriots mix in a lot of zone coverage in an effort to confuse Goff.
James White ($10.8k Captain, $7.2k DraftKings, $12.5k FanDuel)
Take a look at some of the prop bets offered on James White to get an indication of his floor. The MVP of Super Bowl LI is projected to produce around 55.5 receiving yards and catch six balls, according to most sportsbooks. White’s odds to win MVP of Super Bowl LIII are the fifth highest in some places. All that gives him appeal as a GPP play at the Captain slot. At his FLEX price tag on DK, White is a locked-in Cash play with the third-highest projected floor (10.8 DK points) per FantasyLabs. The Rams were most vulnerable against edge rushers and on short passes to RBs, which is why we’re treading lightly with exposure to Sony Michel and would consider both White and Rex Burkhead as somewhat contrarian RB options.
Greg Zuerlein ($5.1k Captain, $3.4k DraftKings, $10.0k FanDuel)
Consider a kicker as one of the cheaper Cash plays available on this slate. Greg Zuerlein has been one of the best kickers in the NFL for a few seasons and has been given ample opportunities thanks to Sean McVay’s chunk-yardage offense. McVay’s Rams have attempted an NFL-high 84 FGs since the start of last season, and Zuerlein has attempted at least four in 25.9% of his games under McVay. The big-legged kicker has connected on 91.2% of attempts during the regular season and playoffs and carried the Rams to victory with a trio of long FGs to force OT and down the Saints. The Patriots’ ability to deny rushing TDs could create more opportunities for Zuerlein.
Best Tournament Plays for Super Bowl LII
Todd Gurley ($13.5k Captain, $9.0k DraftKings, $14.0k FanDuel)
Assuming he’s at least close to full strength, Todd Gurley is clearly the most underpriced option on this slate. While his stud RB handled just five touches in the NFC Championship, Sean McVay told the media Gurley will be a “big part of this game.” The league’s third-leading 2018 rusher offers slate-winning upside as the potential Captain or MVP of your lineups on DK or FanDuel. During the regular season, Gurley saw the second-highest opportunity share (86.2%) of any RB. He also led the NFL in red zone touches (73) and total TDs (21).
The biggest concern for his production is the rapid rise of C.J. Anderson ($7.8k Captain, $5.2k, $10.5k), who is worth using in GPP formats either way. But considering the Patriots discipline against interior rushers and the fact the Rams may experience negative game flow, we should see more of a pass-heavy approach from the underdogs. Gurley is far more versatile than Anderson in that sense. He would thrive if the Rams are in comeback mode. Consider taking a prop bet on Gurley to record Over 3.5 receptions, one of the five best prop bets featured in our article.
Rob Gronkowski ($9.0k Captain, $6.0k DraftKings, $9.0k FanDuel)
All season long, Rob Gronkowski has been a prototypical GPP play. Unfortunately, he just hasn’t hit in very many games. But the big TE could shine brightest on the biggest stage. After all, he’s no stranger to the Super Bowl atmosphere. The Rams have done a good job containing TEs this season. Yet they’re vulnerable down the seam as mentioned above (28th in DVOA on passes over the middle). After spending most of the Divisional Round blocking, Gronk came alive by running 22 pass routes and catching 6-of-11 targets in the AFC Championship. While his production this season paled in comparison to that of Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce, Gronk actually led all TEs in “Target Quality Rating” (a combination of the average depth of target combined with the “catchability” of each pass). In other words, he has far more upside than a traditional box score might indicate.
Rex Burkhead ($7.2k Captain, $4.8k DraftKings, $10.0k FanDuel)
Sony Michel’s role is so inextricably tied to game flow that he’s a very risky option in this matchup. The Rams’ run defense struggled all season but dominated against the Cowboys’ and Saints’ strong rushing attacks. Still, LA coughed up 12 rushing TDs over 16 regular season games and ranked 21st against power run blocking. The Patriots will look to control this game by pounding the vulnerable right side of the Rams’ defensive line. As such, Rex Burkhead should factor into that game plan if NE is able to stay ahead. However, if the Pats fall behind, Burkhead would still have a role as a matchup problem for the Rams’ poor coverage LBs. Burkhead made the most of his red zone touches with two rushing TDs in the AFC title game. He also caught all four of his targets for 23 yards.
Phillip Dorsett ($6.3k Captain, $4.2k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
The Patriots are masters at exploiting the opposition’s biggest weaknesses. In the Rams secondary, that weakness is LCB Marcus Peters. The former Chief is talented but has been repeatedly burned this year due to his gambling tendencies. Phillip Dorsett will run the bulk of his routes at Peters, and the third-year pro has a bit more upside than steady Chris Hogan on the opposite side of the field. Dorsett posted an excellent 8.4 Target Quality Rating and had the fifth-best catch rate (76.2%) among WRs this season. Playing with Brady certainly helps. The future Hall of Fame QB could use his deft footwork and deceptive head movement to get Peters on a double move before hitting Dorsett for a big play or two.
Gerald Everett ($3.0k Captain, $2.0k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
Those looking for more of a true punt play with extreme salary relief can go all the way down to Gerald Everett. While he’s sharing TE duties with Tyler Higbee, Everett runs pass routes more often and has done a great job of creating separation. He averaged 1.93 yards of separation per route this season. Everett also caught a pair of 25-yard passes to burn a Saints defense that was absolutely elite against TEs all year. The Patriots allowed an above-average 55.4 receiving YPG to TEs this season. And more importantly, they coughed up eight receiving scores to the position. With defensive resources focusing on Cooks, Woods, and Josh Reynolds — the centerpieces of the Rams standard “11” personnel package — Everett should be given opportunities to make plays. He has the potential for 3x salary returns on DK.