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Super Bowl DFS Preview - how to set your lineup for Sunday's Cincinnati-LA showdown

Credit: Cooper Kupp (Instagram)

What’s up friends?! JB Barry here, @fantasycoachJB over on Twitter, back with a special, Super Bowl Showdown version of our weekly DFS preview! We had a great regular season with the DFS Flash Podcast, and also with the Thursday Night Football Showdown Slate articles, so, for the Super Bowl, we’re combining them together.

During the season, I came to you weekly with a column specifically focused on one type of DFS contest, the Showdown style on DraftKings. That article was specifically focused on giving you players and strategy for the Thursday Night Football Showdown contests. Now, we’re going to take that into a Super Bowl Showdown contest.

Showdown Style is a DFS contests, also referred to as Captain Mode contests, where your roster consists of only 6 players and must include players from both teams. The positions in this type of contest are a “Captain” and 5 “Flex” players. This means that you can play a QB, RB, WR, TE, K or Defense in any of those roster spots with no minimum or maximum at any position. The player you select as the captain will score 1.5 times the standard fantasy point value for every statistic, but drafting a player in the captain spot will also cost you more salary than if you were to draft them in a flex spot.

Hopefully you followed along with the winners from the article and also the DFS Flash Podcast throughout the season, and you’ve built up a nice bankroll with me leading up to the big game. Let’s end the season on a high note, let’s build this lineup and let’s make some money!

The Captain Spot

As I mentioned, the player you use in this spot is going to cost you more salary by being the captain, but it will also score you 1.5 times the standard point value earned. Generally speaking, you want to have the player you think is going to score the most fantasy points in this spot. This also comes with a higher price tag, as the “best” players are always at the top of the salary list.

For the Super Bowl, it is Cooper Kupp who carries the highest salary, but I’m going to want to use a quarterback in this spot. Matthew Stafford has a captain salary of $16,200 and Joe Burrow is at $15,900, so not much of a difference in price. I think both quarterbacks will throw for multiple touchdowns, so both are solid options. Both quarterbacks have solid upside, both have solid receivers to throw to, but one has the matchup advantage and that is Matthew Stafford.

I’m going to use the guy who gets to throw against Chidobe Awuzie and Eli Apple over the guy who has to go against Jalen Ramsey while trying to avoid Aaron Donald, Von Miller and Leonard Floyd.

Finding Value

In a single game showdown contest, it is important to differentiate your lineup when entering tournaments with thousands of people to beat. While it's hard to not use as many of the big stars as possible, there will be a lot of people looking to do just that, so sometimes you have to swing for the fences and go big or go home. It would be really hard to use Stafford at captain and use any combination of Burrow, Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase without crippling your lineup with deep dart throws in flex spots. We need to find some guys with lower salaries that have the potential to put up solid numbers for us. This will allow us to use a high prices captain with at least 1 high priced flex and still have a respectable lineup with high scoring upside.

If we look on the Los Angeles side of the ball, you can find some value in using Odell Beckham Jr. at $8,400. He is coming off a 23-point fantasy performance and has 3 games in a row with double digit fantasy points. If you don’t use Kupp, I would be sure to use Beckham.

At running back, a lot of people will be looking at Cam Akers at $6,400, but Sony Michel is lurking there, and he is only $5,000. Akers didn’t play most of the season, and he is now also dealing with a shoulder injury that he is playing through. He has had some fumbling issues already these playoffs and those issues almost cost them the game against Tampa Bay. In the following game, Michel mixed in more and only carried the ball 3 less times than Akers. While Akers was more productive, Sean McVay knows he can trust Michel and Sony also has experience in the big game from his time in New England. If you’re looking for value, I like Michel to have a role and possibly vulture a touchdown or two.

Another sneaky value play is Los Angeles kicker Matt Gay. While all the talk leading up to the Super Bowl is on Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson, people are forgetting about Matt Gay on the other side. Yes, McPherson has been excellent and has made a name for himself with his game winning kicks these playoffs, but when you look at their body of work, McPherson has 40 field goals on the season and Gay has 39. If we want to zig to Gay while everyone is zagging to McPherson, it could be a good way to differentiate our lineup.

On the Cincinnati side, everybody will be looking at Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon. Los Angeles has the 5th ranked rushing defense in the league and could choose to shadow cover Chase with Jalen Ramsey, so we can find value using the other weapons for Joe Burrow. Tee Higgins comes in at a $7,600 salary and Tyler Boyd is only $5,400. Tight End CJ Uzomah is even cheaper at $4,400, but he is a bit risky with the MCL sprain that forced him out of the AFC Championship. If you think the defense will key in on minimizing Chase like I do, I like the value with Higgins and Boyd.

Closing it out with a bang

With a high-priced captain and some value plays at flex that will differentiate our lineup, its time to close it out with a bang. Using a combination of the players we just talked about, we can use our final flex spot on a high salary star. Depending on how you built out your flex spots, you should be looking to use either Cooper Kupp or Ja’Marr Chase in this last spot. If you used Odell Beckham and maybe can’t afford Kupp, then you can take a shot with Chase and hope he doesn’t see the Ramsey shadow and/or double coverage. I like the build I have with using the other two Cincinnati receivers, and by paying down for them, I can afford Cooper Kupp. Rounding out my lineup by pairing my Matthew Stafford captain with his top receiver is the way I am going to go here.

Remember the main key here is that you have to take some risks when playing these big tournaments in a single game showdown contest. When you do this, you have the chance of differentiating yourself from the rest of the crowd and, if things go your way, you have the shot at a nice result. When we make these lineups, they could be boom or bust, but at this stage, in these contests, were swinging for the fences.

DFS Flash Super Bowl Showdown Style Lineup

Captain – Matthew Stafford

Flex – Sony Michel

Flex – Tee Higgins

Flex – Tyler Boyd

Flex – Matt Gay

Flex – Cooper Kupp

That’s going to be a wrap it up for our DFS Flash Super Bowl Showdown lineup build, friends. Thanks for checking it out and thank you for tuning in to the DFS Flash Podcast and reading my articles all season long here at Aaron Torres Online.

Please make sure you keep your eyes on even after the football season is over. We cover all the sports over there and have some great analysts so especially with March Madness right around the corner, make sure you check it out.

You can always follow me on twitter @fantasycoachJB. I’ve loved spending this season with you all, but before I say goodbye for the season, I’ll see you in the winner’s circle!


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