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Super Bowl DFS Tips: How to Win on Super Bowl SundayBy Kurt Boyer
NFL coaches who reach the Super Bowl must adjust their tactics for the big game. Skippers who have held banged-up players out of games on the road to Super Bowl Sunday will often roll the dice and allow an injured superstar to give it a go. Rookie draft picks who have emerged in the postseason can be inserted into the lineup to provide fresh legs and energy. There’s not as much long-term thinking because the future is now and the Lombardi Trophy is on the line.
It’s much the same for fantasy football players. Fantasy junkies who engage in full-season NFL competition are used to making picks with 10 or more weeks’ worth of potential performances in mind. But when making DFS, or Daily Fantasy Sports picks on a Super Bowl “team” of your own choosing, other considerations must be first in mind.
Not that an injury can’t hurt your roster of DFS picks for the Super Bowl. If your QB pick goes down in the 1st quarter that’s never a good thing. But for instance, if a running QB like Lamar Jackson or Deshaun Watson is playing for an NFL championship, you might pass on drafting him at the start of a fantasy season due to the threat of wear and tear due to hundreds of rushing attempts. By the time he makes it to a Super Bowl and is healthy, that ship has sailed. Big-picture concerns go out the window. DFS picks for February 2nd are about who’s going to gain more yards and score more points than the other guy.
Still not sure how to begin handicapping the best roster? Here’s a brief selection of tips on making sure every Super Bowl DFS pick you make has a solid chance to help your fantasy roster win.
Tips on DFS Picks in the Super Bowl: Know the Rules
The best tip for making DFS picks on the Super Bowl is also the simplest – know the lay of the land. FanDuel’s roster rules are easy enough to memorize, but it might be a good idea to commit most of the scoring table to memory as well. Scoring rules are not something you want to be constantly double-checking while making time-sensitive picks prior to the Greatest Show on Earth. There are an awful lot of DFS tips available on the internet, but a tip is only worth something if it corresponds to the rules of the DFS game you’re playing.
FanDuel’s DFS roster rules allow for players to pick a QB, a pair of RBs, a trio of WRs, a kicker, a “Flex” position, and a team defense from the NFC and AFC representatives at Super Bowl LIV in Miami. DFS players are granted a $60,000 salary cap of DFS funds with which to select a roster. (Hot tip: If someone ever gives you 60K actual dollars for signing-up on a website, do not spend it all on fantasy picks.)
Below are FanDuel’s scoring rules for DFS picks, including the Super Bowl:
Rushing yards made=0.1pts
Extra Point Return=2pts
0 points allowed=10pts
Kickoff return touchdowns=6pts
1-6 points allowed=7pts
Punt return touchdowns=6pts
7-13 points allowed=4pts
14-20 points allowed=1pt
Own fumbles recovered touchdowns=6pts
21-27 points allowed=0pts
Two-point conversions scored=2pts
28-34 points allowed=-1pt
Two-point conversion passes=2pts
35+ points allowed=-4pts
Field-goals from 0-39 yards=3pts
Field-goals from 40-49 yards=4pts
Field-goals from 50+ yards=5pts
Notes: For purposes of FanDuel defensive scoring, points allowed are calculated as:6 * (Rushing TD + Receiving TD + Own fumbles recovered for TD ) + 2 * (Two point conversions) + Extra points + 3 * (Field Goals)
Notice that not only do FanDuel’s scoring rules lend themselves to lots of defensive points – a far cry from ages past when many DFS sites didn’t even bother with defense – but some of the risk/reward scenarios lead to strange cheering scenarios.
For instance, a good tip for old-fashioned fantasy football consumers is to pick kickers on teams that often stall in the Red Zone. Some traditional fantasy leagues still score field goals on a straightforward basis, so that players benefit from accurate kicking no matter where the ball is teed-up from. FanDuel’s DFS scoring offers progressively higher points for field goals kicked from far away, meaning that clients can play “conservative” and hope for lots of chip-shot FGs from a PK, or go-for-broke and pick a strong-legged kicker who can nail a 55-yarder with room to spare but who sometimes misses from close range.
Tips on DFS Super Bowl Player Picks
Thankfully, not everything is upside down in the modern world of quick-draw DFS drafting for the Super Bowl. There are many time-honored tips on roster picks that still work today.
Feel free to try any of the tips listed below, or at least be forewarned that you opponent might choose to utilize them.
Pick a QB and a top WR from the same team. This goes in the basic “look both ways before crossing the street” category of tips for Super Bowl DFS competitors. If your QB pick and top WR pick play for the same offense, you can score massive amounts of points if the pair hook-up for multiple TD passes. The only time the advice doesn’t work is if a WR corps gets shut down all together. For example, those who took Jared Goff of the L.A. Rams as a DFS pick for Super Bowl LIII last February had little hope of cashing-in with a WR from the Rams, thanks to the Mountain Goats barely scoring any points at all.
Prioritize the kicker position in your picks. Kickers are some of the most reliable DFS point-scorers in the NFL, and can score significant numbers of points even in games in which their teams lose. PKs also benefit whenever an offense crosses into field goal range or scores a TD, at least adding an XP (and possibly more) to your scoring ledger. Unless of course the coach chooses a 2-point conversion attempt after a touchdown. NFL coaches, however, are happy to call for a simple XP in most circumstances…especially in the high-pressure atmosphere of a Super Bowl.
All things equal, pick a play-making defense. FanDuel’s DFS rules allow competitors to benefit from a team-defense pick which does not allow many points. However, individual plays from scrimmage such as sacks, interceptions, and fumble-recoveries produce valuable bonuses on the DFS scoreboard if not the Super Bowl scoreboard. If your defense plays bend-but-don’t-break style pigskin and gives up less than 28 points by forcing the opponent to kick field goals, great. But it’s better if they’re all over the field making plays, sacking the opposing QB, and forcing turnovers.
Watch the injury report carefully. Just because long-term injury issues are not a factor in making picks for a Super Bowl DFS contest doesn’t mean a lingering wound can’t reduce the ability of your pick to score fantasy points. The NFL compels its teams to release complete, accurate injury info in the week prior to any game, though certain clubs such as the New England Patriots are known to be as devious as possible when filling-out the injury report. If Tom Brady appears on a pre-Super Bowl injury list as questionable with “Mongolian whooping cough,” chances are he’s suffering from a garden-variety ailment that could limit his production worse than a case of the flu ever would.
Super Bowl DFS Tip: Don’t Lie About Your Experience Level
It may not be “macho” to take-on easier opponents in a competition. But it’s hard for a beginner to find success in DFS Super Bowl games when she’s playing against grizzled veterans of fantasy sports.
It can be easy to handicap NFL superstars who are analyzed in the news all the time. But when there are only a pair of teams left on Super Bowl Sunday, choosing a roster of solid DFS picks means having lots of knowledge about players who may not be household names. Expert DFS players are also good at handicapping the likely outcome of a postseason contest before making their picks. It’s a science – and there’s no such thing as getting a science down pat on your first try.
FanDuel keeps the DFS beginner in mind as well as the fantasy champion. Super Bowl fans signing-up for FanDuel’s Daily Fantasy Football can choose from different skill levels of opponents, including a “beginners only” option in which newcomers can play exclusively against other newcomers.
Be honest about your DFS experience and skill level when signing-up to make Super Bowl picks. It might not be the most “macho” tip in the world…but following it can help you win right away.
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