A.J. Brown Headlines Super Bowl DFS Matchups
NFL Super Bowl - After 21 weeks of NFL games, we finally come to the end of the season with a Super Bowl matchup that on paper, looks fantastic. Two top-three teams in offensive DVOA meet, with the Chiefs ranking first and the Eagles third. With one game to play, the only DFS offering is a Showdown slate, and this article will get you prepped to crush the contest, with all the details you need to know which matchups you can exploit. Each position is broken down with all the key info, and at the bottom of this article are suggestions for lineups and captains.
There are stark differences between Showdown games and normal DFS contests. Each roster is made up of six players, and you must have at least one player from each team. Unlike regular DFS contests, kickers are included. Each lineup will consist of five Flex plays and one Captain spot. The Captain scores 1.5 times the points they would have if they were in a flex spot, and as such, they cost more. Contests are available from 25 cents all the way up to high-stakes entries. It's important to craft a storyline when creating these rosters as that way we don't end up with conflicting ideas on our team. For instance, if you captain Jalen Hurts, it seems unwise to roster the Chiefs defense.
Jalen Hurts ($11,200/$16,800 Captain Price) comes into this game on the back of an incredible season, when he secured a starting role in the NFL for the foreseeable future. Hurts averaged 25.8 DraftKings points this season, in part thanks to the 0.88 rushing touchdowns he scored per game, including two in his last two games. The Chiefs 17th-ranked defense in DVOA faced only two dual-threat quarterbacks this season, allowing Josh Allen 32 yards on 12 carries and Kyler Murray 29 on five. Hurts will be a popular captain choice, but at the cost of 33% of your salary cap, he'll likely need to score 30-plus points to pay off. Unless he rushes for all the touchdowns, it's unlikely his pass-catchers don't score highly too. Hurts makes for a better flex play than a captain in this game.
With two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, Patrick Mahomes ($11,000/$16,500) should have had a decent amount of time to rest his ankle injury, and while he may not be quite at 100%, we should expect him to be able to play to a high level still. Mahomes was QB1 in DYAR, QBR, and effective yards, throwing for an average of 303.7 passing yards per game with 2.36 touchdowns. Consistently throwing for over 300 passing yards is a huge deal on DraftKings, where such games are rewarded with a three-point bonus, which helps mitigate some of the rushing advantage that Jalen Hurts has. Mahomes will face one of the toughest matchups he has had all year with the Eagles pass defense first in DVOA and allowing the 11th-fewest adjusted fantasy points this season. It can feel foolish to bet against Mahomes, but the matchup does not scream out in his favor. If you're playing him, it feels better to use him in the Flex than the Captain spot.
The Eagles rushing attack is the league's best in DVOA, and while their running-back-by-committee approach can be hard to predict, it limits the number of people willing to roster the trio the Eagles use. Miles Sanders ($7,800/$11,700), has set career highs in rushing yards, attempts, touchdowns, and missed tackle rate as well as being the RB3 in DYAR and effective yards. Whilst Kenneth Gainwell ($5,000/$7,500) and Boston Scott ($3,000/$4,500) pop up at times, neither averages more than four attempts per game, which is a large drop-off from Sanders' 15.1. For the season, Sanders averages 73.7 yards per game and 0.68 touchdowns, and he will face a Chiefs defense that is 15th against the run and has allowed six touchdowns to running backs in its last five games. Gainwell will likely attract some attention after 22.1 points in the divisional round and 14 attempts against the 49ers, but neither of those games involved an opponent who could keep up and it wouldn't be surprising to see Gainwell score five or six points, which is more optimistic than our fantasy projections that have him scoring 3.6 points. Boston Scott has two double-digit games this season; both came against the Giants in games he scored touchdowns. For $3,000, there look to be better options than Scott.
Kansas City activated Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($1,000/$1,500) from IR this week and it would be surprising if he made much of an impact in this game; before heading to IR, Edwards-Helaire had seen his snaps decrease for five straight weeks. The Chiefs have the ninth-highest rushing DVOA and could look to run the ball on the Eagles, who rank 21st against the run. It should be mentioned though that since Week 13, the Eagles have the eighth-best rush defense and might not be as weak as some are making out. The Eagles do allow an above-average 6.8 passes per game to the running back position, though, and it feels possible the Chiefs look to take advantage of that. Going back as far as Week 16, Isiah Pacheco ($7,200/$10,800) has out-touched and out-produced Jerick McKinnon ($6,800/$10,200) with 62 touches to McKinnon's 36, averaging 12.0 points to McKinnon's 10.1, which is heavily inflated by a 22.6-point performance in Week 17. While McKinnon did look to be the most trusted back in pass protection for a while, things seem to have changed now and Pacheco is staying on the field more often.
On paper, the Eagles wide receiver duo of A.J. Brown ($9,200/$13,800) and DeVonta Smith ($8,600/$12,900) are the clear standout plays at the position, and against a Kansas City defense that ranks 20th against the pass, the optimism is well-placed. Brown in particular looks like the best play of this slate, with the Chiefs ranked 31st against WR1s allowing an average of 81.2 yards per game. Brown has failed to live up to expectations in the playoffs so far, with seven catches for 50 scoreless yards, which represents his most barren spell of the season. There are plenty of reasons to believe that a player who has averaged 17.3 points per game can bounce back.
Smith isn't far behind Brown in production, averaging 15.5 points per game and seeing an average of 7.8 targets per game. The Chiefs rank eighth against WR2s, but Smith is as good as any WR2 in the league and will likely challenge the Chiefs coverage at times.
The Chiefs rank eighth against "other" wide receivers, which might make life difficult for Quez Watkins ($1,400/$2,100) and Zach Pascal ($800/$1,200), but neither player has seen more than one target in a playoff game so far and Pascal averages 2.0 points per game, with Watkins averaging 4.5. At $1,400, Watkins looks like the more intriguing play if you lean into the belief the Eagles want to focus on a pass-heavy attack.
The Chiefs wide receivers are anything but consistent, with no player putting together more than a few good consecutive games all season. Mecole Hardman ($4,800/$7,200) is out after aggravating a pelvis injury in the conference championships. JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5,600/$8,400) should be able to play and is worth consideration for flex spots against an Eagles defense that allows the 13th-most fantasy points to opposing slot receivers, an area where Smith-Schuster runs 44% of his routes. Smith-Schuster will likely be a player who isn't at the top of people's lists after four games in a row with less than six points, but his season averages of 5.7 targets per game and 53.8 yards are worth remembering.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($6,200/$9,300) had his best game of the season in the championship matchup against the Bengals, in part because the Chiefs were down to bare bones at wide receiver. The deep-ball threat we expected from Valdes-Scantling has rarely been there this season, and if you're betting on him to get loose for a long touchdown, it's worth considering that the Chiefs have scored 83% of their touchdowns from inside the red zone. The Eagles rank second against WR1s and fourth against WR2s, making it hard to trust either top option for a Captain spot.
Kadarius Toney ($4,400/$6,600) has been unable to stay on the field for a prolonged period of time but might find himself in a favorable matchup if he can do so, with the Eagles' main passing weakness against "other" wide receivers, where they rank 22nd. Toney seems to have supplanted Skyy Moore ($3,800/$5,700) on the depth chart, particularly in terms of scripted plays, and we all know how much Andy Reid likes to get in his bag of tricks coming off a bye week. Moore and fellow receivers such as Justin Watson ($2,000/$3,000) are playable as salary-relief gambits where you feel the savings can help you access more high-ceiling players.
This position should hold a lot of people's interest with the Eagles and Chiefs boasting the top two tight ends in DYAR. Dallas Goedert ($6,400/$9,600) has seen 18 targets in his last three games and averages 5.7 per game on the season. Goedert could see an above-average amount of targets against a Chiefs defense that is 19th against the position and allows 7.6 passes per game. Goedert doesn't boast the ceiling of Travis Kelce, but he does get a lot of designed plays scripted for him, including a large number of screens. In a PPR format such as DraftKings, this can be a big deal, and while Goedert has only 0.28 touchdowns per game this year, the Chiefs have allowed four tight end touchdowns in their last five games. Backup tight end Jack Stoll ($600/$900) has a single catch in his last five games despite being active in all of them.
Travis Kelce ($10,600/$15,900) will be one of the most popular Captain choices of the game, with his average points total of 20.6 being the highest of any non-quarterback. In the Captain spot, that score would be good for over 30 points and could break the slate open. Kelce has scored a combined 56.6 points in his last two games and has a whopping 15 touchdowns in 17 career playoff games. Fading Kelce is a dangerous move, but the Eagles do rank sixth against the position, having allowed just a single touchdown to a tight end in their last five games played, and will be one of the tougher defenses that Kelce has faced. If Kelce does fail to deliver and you have left him out of your lineup, you'll immediately have a large amount of leverage on the field. TE2 Noah Gray ($1,200/$1,800) averages 4.0 points per game and 1.9 targets per game for 17.4 yards. In this single-game format, at his cost, we can consider him reasonable salary relief.
The Eagles are one of the league's most aggressive teams, often going for it on fourth down regardless of the field position. This in turn sees them kick fewer field goals than one might expect. Jake Elliott ($4,200/$6,300) has had exactly one field goal attempt in three of the last four games, with the exception being Week 18's game against a Giants team fielding its backups. Elliott is very accurate, boasting an 88% conversion rate on field goals, but if he's not kicking lots of them then it's unhelpful for fantasy purposes with extra point attempts only adding 1.0 point per successful conversion.
Harrison Bttker ($4,000/$6,000) is cheaper than Elliott and more appealing, averaging 8.5 points per game and scoring 13 in each of the playoff games. The only downside is that the Eagles faced the second-fewest field goals during the regular season, with only 25 attempts against them, but the Chiefs should be able to move the ball more consistently than most teams the Eagles have faced.
The Eagles defense ($3,600/$5,400) is sixth in DVOA and first against the pass with 0.9 interceptions and 4.1 sacks per game. These stats matter greatly in this format, where sacks count for one point and interceptions for two. The Eagles defense has scored double-digit points in four of their last five games. Mahomes was sacked three times against the Bengals.
The Chiefs defense ($3,400/$5,100) is not as strong a unit as their offense, ranking 17th in DVOA and 20th against the pass. However, they still boast some good players and average 7.3 fantasy points per game this year with double-digit performances in two of their last three games. The Eagles offensive line is one of the very best in the league, and the matchup between them and the Chiefs pass rush could be one of the keys to this game, with the Chiefs collecting 13 sacks in their last three games.
Captain A.J. Brown with Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert: This lineup leans into the idea that Hurts' shoulder injury may still be bothering him and the Eagles may lean into closer-to-the-line-of-scrimmage throws to Brown and screens to Goedert. It also fades DeVonta Smith's tougher-than-average matchup.
Captain Travis Kelce with Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown: This lineup assumes Kelce scores most of Kansas City's points and that Patrick Mahomes isn't at his fantasy peak.
Captain Miles Sanders with A.J. Brown and Travis Kelce: We can fade the quarterbacks entirely if we're feeling bold. This takes the mindset that the game is low-scoring and neither passer is picking up high-value rushes.
Captain Jalen Hurts with Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders: If we believe that the Eagles really are the better team in all facets, then we can heavily lean into them and assume they carry on asserting their dominance through the ground game and relying on screens to Goedert as they often have.
Captain A.J. Brown with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce: If Brown can take advantage of a promising matchup, it could force Mahomes into a pass-heavy attack, which could see him rely on his favorite weapon.
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