FanDuel & DraftKings Super Bowl Daily Fantasy Picks

Super Bowl 53 is bringing in some big time Showdown contests on FanDuel and DraftKings. FanDuel is dishing out $1M to first for a $9.99 entry. They also have many tournaments for all entry fees. DraftKings is also running a similar contest, with a $1M first prize for $10. If you are new to playing showdown slates, they are single game contests consisting of six man lineups. FanDuel keeps their salaries consistent across the MVP and FLEX positions, while DraftKings ups the salaries for the MVP spot.

Taking down a tournament of this size with just a limited player pool leaves you trying to find the one low-owned play that makes you a difference maker. Creating multiple lineups might be the best way to go this week because there are a wide range of running back options that you can go with on both teams. You also have to play the game script theory. New England could control the game and jump ahead with their running game. They also could attack through the air, or even get behind the Rams. A lot of players rely on positive game script.

StatsNew England PatriotsLos Angeles Rams
Record11-513-3
Points Per Game28.6 (4th)32.4 (2nd)
Points Per Game Allowed21.3 (10th)23.8 (19th)
Pass Defense DVOA14th9th
Rush Defense DVOA19th28th
Average Time Of Possession31.56 (2nd)30.59 (7th)

Passing Game Analysis

PlayersDK SalaryFD SalaryFPPGProj. Ownership %
Tom Brady$10,600$15,50019.460-70%
Jared Goff$10,000$15,50020.950-65%

Heading into Sunday, we are looking at two teams that have ran the ball with a lot of success this season. The Tom Brady ceiling has been a bit capped this season. This has come because of the success with running the football in the red zone. Rob Gronkowski’s red zone usage this season and usage overall has declined. Looking at this receiving core, there is no surprise that Brady’s ceiling has been lower than in the past. The volume has been there for Brady in the postseason, and in the last four Super Bowls. Brady has scored 29, 32, and 34 fantasy points in the last three Super Bowl appearances. A lot of this production translated into being high scoring games, or the need for Brady to assert himself more.

I believe we could see a familiar game to last week in Kansas City where Brady throws for over 250 yards, but the rushing touchdowns cap his upside. Since Week 8, Brady has only had three games throwing double-digit touchdowns. With no rushing upside, this hurts his appeal. It might sound like I am dumping on Brady this week, but I do like his upside. He is the favorite to win Super Bowl MVP. The Rams have an above average pass defense, but the likelihood of Brady throwing 40+ times seems high. The Rams allowed 237 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, which ranks 16th.

Jared Goff is around the same price as Brady on both sites this week, and Goff has been very average since the middle of the season. A lot of this has to do with the running game, but overall Goff hasn’t been relied upon to have that monster game. Getting down early, the Rams would be looking to press to keep up with the Patriots. Goff has posted some big games this season, having six games with three or more passing touchdowns. Hard to say there is a contrarian route going in a one-game Super Bowl, but Rams passing stack should be lower owned and a pivot away from the running games that will carry heavier ownership. I prefer Brady over Goff for a near price, but Goff will have lower ownership.

Favorite: Tom Brady

Running Game Analysis

PlayerDK SalaryFD SalaryFPPGProj. Ownership %
Sony Michel$6,800$14,50014.360-70%
James White$7,200$12,50017.450-60%
Rex Burkhead$4,800$10,0008.215-30%
Todd Gurley$9,000$14,00026.430-50%
C.J. Anderson$5,200$10,5008.225-35%

Remember when the Rams had a one-man wrecking crew in the backfield? Those were good times. Todd Gurley played 46% of the snaps in New Orleans was a big concern, and while we have two weeks to try and project the workload between him and C.J. Anderson, there is no telling what is to come. Playing multiple lineups this week would be the best way to cover exposure because there are five viable running backs in play from both teams in this spot. Both could be facing a negative game script in this one, and it would make me feel better of Gurley was more productive in the passing game compared to what we have seen the last few weeks. Anderson isn’t involved in the passing game, and his upside seems capped unless the Rams just control this game on the ground.

I like taking shots on Gurley, and while Anderson is cheap, I might be avoiding him for the Pats running backs. James White is better suited on DK, but I would still get exposure for FanDuel. White is going to come second to Sony Michel, but it is hard to ignore White’s potential production. He saw monster targets in the game against the Chargers, but was quiet in the game against the Chiefs. If you are hoping for a pass-happy game from the Pats, White is a good look. He has a wide range of target outcomes, but in the 7-8 range with a few red zone touches is my projection.

Sony Michel has been a monster this postseason. He has seen 29 and 24 rushing attempts in two games, and has five rushing touchdowns with over 200 yards. The Rams rush defense allowed over 110 rushing yards per game, and struggled against backs in terms of fantasy production. Getting exposure to Michel is wise this week. Michel has gotten his, but we have to talk about Rex Burkhead’s workload last week. Unfortunately with the Patriots, there is this chance he steals some points away from White or Michel. I don’t mind getting exposure to him given he is still a value.

Favorites: Sony Michel & James White

Receiving Options

PlayerDK SalaryFD SalaryFPPGOwnership%
Julian Edelman$10,800$14,00018.445-55%
Rob Gronkowski$6,000$9,00010.440-50%
Chris Hogan$3,800$7,5006.715-25%
Philip Dorsett$4,200$8,5005.915-25%
Brandin Cooks$8,200$11,50016.135-45%
Robert Woods$7,800$10,50016.540-50%
Josh Reynolds$5,400$8,5006.515-25%
Tyler Higbee$2,200$6,5004.65-15%
Gerald Everett$2,000$6,0005.25-15%

Julian Edelman comes in as the most reliable option from the New England passing game, which is pretty thin when you look at their pass-catching options. Edelman has seen 23 targets, and his PPR production is the reason why he is the top salary option on the board for DraftKings. Edelman is reliable, but is going to cost a pretty penny. If you are trying to be economical, it might be best to go a bit cheaper. Phillip Dorsett has caught a touchdown in each playoff game, and is a punt play if you are looking to free up salary. You are going to be able to use some of these cheap Patriots as dart throws. Chris Hogan has 12 targets in the two games, but lacks touchdown upside. If Hogan can slip through, he can pay off handsomely.

Edelman is going to have a tough matchup against Nickell Robey-Coleman, who is talking that trash already. While it won’t keep me from getting exposure to Edelman, but combining it with his high price I might look at other lineup builds. Brandin Cooks is the similar name to Edelman on the other side where I might limit exposure a bit. I anticipate Cooks seeing quite a bit of Stephon Gilmore, which would leave Robert Woods with J.C. Jackson. That leaves Josh Reynolds seeing Jason McCourty, which is a tough matchup for Reynolds. The Rams pass-catching options are slightly more appealing because the targets and upside have been more consistent.

Prime Gronkowski is not around anymore, and his last big game was against Miami in the end of the regular season. Gronk has topped 100 receiving yards just twice this season. Last week was the first week he saw over ten targets in a game. The Rams allowed the fourth most receiving yards to opposing TE this season. His price tag is at $9,000 on both sites, and I might load up knowing it could either go very well, or spiral downhill.

The price and matchup is too good to pass up, and I am looking for a sending off game for Gronk. On the other side of this game, I am not high on either Rams tight end, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. Both are touchdown dependent tight end, but don’t generate a ton of value. They are only really in need for a punt spot to fit in another high priced option.

Favorites: Robert Woods, Rob Gronkowski, Josh Reynolds, Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman

Special Teams Analysis

PlayerDK SalaryFD SalaryFPPGOwnership
Stephen Gostkowski$3,200$9,5008.70-15%
Greg Zuerlein$3,400$10,00012.20-15%
Rams D/ST$3,000N/A8.80-15%
Patriots D/ST$2,800N/A8.20-15%

With an over/under over 55, I am not keen on using defenses in this game. Both would need a defensive or special teams touchdown to cover the points they are likely going to allow. You would be better off using a kicker in this spot. Stephen Gostowski would be one to consider if you expect the Patriots to move the ball, but fall a bit short in the red zone. New England averaged 1.9 field goal attempts per game, which was in the top half.

Los Angeles averaged 2.7 field goal attempts. It was a favorable game script for Greg Zuerlein most of the season, although there is some concern with his foot injury. He already missed time this season, but expects to play.

Favorite: Stephen Gostkowski

Salary Relief Values

  • Chris Hogan
  • Josh Reynolds
  • Phillip Dorsett
  • Tyler Higbee / Gerald Everett
  • Rex Burkhead
  • Stephen Gostkowski

Ownership Breakdown

You can see the ownerships above within each chart, and the Patriots should be the more popular team in terms of DFS. Salaries are not as strict, so you don’t need to dive down for some players like you did on past slates. Sony Michel, Rob Gronkowski, and James White should pick up a majority of the ownership. Tom Brady and Jared Goff will likely be close to a split, but I would side with Brady having 10-15% higher ownership than Goff.

If people pay attention to Robert Woods and his potential if the matchup sits right, he will be higher owned than projected. Brandin Cooks should be lower owned, but has home run potential as well. Josh Reynolds will be lower owned out of the three, but the value will still have it up over 15-20%. There will be some sub-15% plays, like both the Rams tight ends. Patriots receivers not named Gronkowski or Edelman will be closer to that 15-20% mark. The kickers and defenses should be lower owned if you want to get weird.

As far as running back ownership for the Rams, it is interesting to see what will happen. Gurley’s ownership should be lower given the uncertainty of his workload. Because Anderson doesn’t work much in the passing game, there is a chance he fizzles out of the game plan.

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Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at The Fake Baseball and Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.