Showtime is nearly here, as the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will meet in Super Bowl 53 on Sunday. The matchup features two teams more than capable of putting points on the board in a hurry and plenty of big storylines as well. But most importantly, it provides fantasy football players one more chance to enjoy the variety of games offered by sites.
We’re going to specifically look at the DraftKings side here first, where their showdown slates have become a popular piece of the landscape throughout the 2018 NFL season. These are single-game events in which the rosters are a bit different and you’re selecting one captain who receives a bonus of 1.5x.
In turn, there’s quite a bit of strategy that goes into building showdown lineups in comparison to other daily fantasy football games. We’re going to dive into the action by offering up the top picks, lineups and captains for the Patriots vs. Rams game. Before anything, here’s a quick look at the general rules for showdown slates.
- Six total players (one captain, five flex players)
- Captain selection costs 1.5 times standard salary but scores 1.5 times the standard points
- Can choose from any position (QB, RB, WR, TE, K, DST)
- $50,000 salary cap
- You can use more than one quarterback
When it comes to choosing captains, the bonus received can make a big difference in the outcome of the entire slate. You could potentially have the same six players as someone else, with the wrong captain selected and it could push you out of having a chance at a huge payday.
We’re going to start with the captain choices and then evaluate two different lineups – one optimal and one 150-max GPP lineup.
Captain Choices for Patriots vs. Rams
Let’s break down the top captain choices for the Super Bowl, with each player including a 1.5x price tag. These will be broken down into expensive and value targets, with 2-3 in each section and each player is listed in order with the favorite being first.
- Tom Brady ($15,900)
- Julian Edelman ($16,200)
- Todd Gurley ($13,500)
- Sony Michel ($10,200)
- Josh Reynolds ($8,100)
- Phillip Dorsett ($6,300)
- Chris Hogan ($5,700)
- Gerald Everett ($3,000)
*I’m also interested in Rob Gronkowski ($9,000) in a good matchup and what has a chance to be his final game if he retires.
There are a few interesting spots here, specifically starting with Todd Gurley. While he was somewhat of a non-factor last game, Rams coach Sean McVay made it known he plans to get Gurley involved more in the Super Bowl. My hope is that he’ll be lower-owned on this slate after that game and due to the fact that his price tag is still somewhat high.
Many will likely flock to James White as well, and although I’ll have a decent amount of ownership in him, I like Sony Michel here. The Rams allowed just 477 receiving yards and four touchdowns through the air to opposing running backs during the season. On the other hand, they gave up 1,635 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
I’ll dive a bit deeper into some of the other names moving forward, but let’s jump into the lineups.
Patriots vs. Rams DraftKings Optimal Lineup
- CAPTAIN: Sony Michel ($10,200)
- Tom Brady ($10,600)
- Jared Goff ($10,000)
- Todd Gurley ($9,000)
- Josh Reynolds ($5,400)
- Chris Hogan ($3,800)
Sony Michel’s matchup is one I’ll continue to target moving forward and I can see the Patriots utilizing him early and often. Pairing him with Tom Brady and a pass-catcher makes sense also, as it covers all angles for the most part. Although Julian Edelman is a top name to target and Phillip Dorsett provides a slightly higher ceiling, I’m on board with Chris Hogan this week.
While the Rams lock in on Edelman, Hogan could see a large number of targets. In the past three games, he’s received 23 targets, totaling 14 catches over that span. Although he hasn’t found the end zone, he’s seen a high volume of snaps and decent workload. I’m happy to take what should be a player with a decent floor and intriguing upside at this price.
Beyond that, in an interesting breakdown by Rotoworld’s Evan Silva, he detailed how the Patriots utilized their cornerbacks against the Kansas City Chiefs. Stephon Gilmore is likely to cover Robert Woods and the team could use double-team concepts against Brandin Cooks. The Patriots did this against Tyreek Hill last game and he had one catch. In turn, the door may be swinging open for Josh Reynolds to produce a big game at a great price.
DraftKings GPP Super Bowl Lineup
- CAPTAIN: Todd Gurley ($13,500)
- Julian Edelman ($10,800)
- Tom Brady ($10,600)
- Sony Michel ($6,800)
- Rob Gronkowski ($6,000)
- Gerald Everett ($2,000)
I’m taking the Todd Gurley interest one step further for the 150-max lineup by putting him in the captain spot. The Patriots have been decent against running backs this season, allowing just 1,490 yards and six touchdowns, but also have given up 88 receptions for 776 yards. If we do get low ownership, then this is an excellent spot to take advantage of and could open the door for the potential to win a big tournament if it pans out.
Julian Edelman is a name I mentioned previously, and while his matchup is tough out of the slot, I’m not interested in fading him. He has massive upside and a floor that’s unrivaled by anyone on this slate. Edelman is a near-lock to see double-digit targets, and pairing him with Brady is a good decision in GPPs.
One name who needs to be mentioned is Gerald Everett, who’s returning to his hometown for this game. Everett ran 28 routes last game and out-snapped Tyler Higbee 47-39, per Football Outsiders. He offers a decent upside and has a decent matchup, as the Patriots have allowed 71 receptions for 832 yards and eight scores to tight ends this season. At this price, it won’t take much for him to hit value, so I’m more than willing to use him in 150-max games.