All good things must come to an end. Alas, my Super Bowl LVI daily fantasy (DFS) football picks will be my last of the season. But to make things a little different for this last one, I'll be including Yahoo pricing as well!
And I'm not a fan of single-game slates. The strategy is definitely different. There are two keys to winning. One is to nail the MVP/Captain/Superstar or whatever your site of choice calls that top spot. The other is to get that one barely owned player who contributes far more than people expect.
Part of the problem is that with two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl, everyone already knows about the Kendall Blantons, Samaje Perines, and even the Jake Funks. You can still assemble a winning lineup, obviously, but the degree of difficulty is that much harder.
The worst thing you can do this week is to enter a single entry into a multi-entry contest. Not a good thing to do in general, but this is the worst week to do so. Many folks know this is the last DFS football slate until next season. Well, we do have the USFL coming up, but even that is three months away! But many invest more this week, knowing this is their last chance.
I personally tend to invest a lot in Championship Sunday. I will enter minimally this week and instead focus on my prop betting. If you want some thoughts on the latter, please don't hesitate to hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) for those recommendations. However, as I said, I will still be entering a few entries, so here are some of the picks I like.
The Master of the Universe Pick for Super Bowl LVI
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals (DK $16,200, FD $15,500, Yahoo $30)
The Master of the Universe pick has no actual reference to He-Man and Skeletor. (Oh my previous childhood, why must you be just a memory?) It is just another way to refer to that "top" position that most of the sites score at either 1.5 or twice as many points as any other slot.
If I do multi-entry, I will get cute with this choice. But for single entry and cash games, I'm keeping it simple and going with the player who I think scores the most points.
No outcome would surprise me for this game. But I find that when they give the teams two weeks to prepare, the better coach is often the one that wins. And I believe Sean McVay is a better coach than Zac Taylor.
I got plenty of bets on various Bengals players and so forth, but if forced to pick up a straight-up winner, I'm taking the Rams. And the guy in a position to control his own fantasy production the most on the Rams is Stafford. End of story.
Flex Options for Super Bowl LVI
Kendall Blanton, Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals (DK $4600, FD $8000, Yahoo $14)
We are going to need to save some salary somewhere, so my first Flex pick will be Blanton, especially now that it's official that Tyler Higbee will miss Sunday's game.
This elevates Blanton to the TE1 for the Rams. That is important because the Bengals were one of the worst teams against opposing TEs. They gave up the sixth-most fantasy points to TEs this season. Blanton is an easy value pick.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals (DK $11,600, FD $16,000, Yahoo $41)
The obvious chalk play. I don't think we need to go into too much detail. As is often the case with Kupp, I'm not sure we see a ceiling game. But no player has a better-guaranteed floor than Kupp. Unless you are stacking Bengals or going the contrarian route, Kupp should be in your lineup.
Cincinnati Flex Options for Super Bowl LVI
I am stacking Rams obviously. Yet every site requires you to start at least one player on each team. So here are a couple of Bengals.
Evan McPherson, Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams (DK $4000, FD $9000)
Yahoo does not include kickers, but I really like McPherson on the two other sites this week. The Rams allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to kickers this season. And how can you not like the "new Justin Tucker" after his playoff performance? McPherson has been absolute money. I'm happy to bet that doesn't stop.
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams (DK $4400, FD $7,5000, Yahoo $16)
All signs are pointing to Uzomah playing. And he is extremely underpriced if he does, which will allow us to spend up elsewhere. Going with Uzomah for example allows us to select Ja'Marr Chase or Joe Burrow as our fifth option. It gives us an extremely lethal and balanced team with still enough variance to separate us a little from the pack. Doing so on DK or FD allows us to upgrade to many of the other expensive receiving options at worst.
But Uzomah is not just a salary saver. Before being injured early against the Chiefs, he was averaging nearly seven targets a game in his previous four games. We know he can be streaky, as he scored five touchdowns in a four-week period earlier this year as well. I will definitely be taking a chance on Uzomah in a GPP or two.
Other Potential Flex Options for Super Bowl
If you like Cincinnati to win, I would definitely include Joe Mixon ($9600; $12,500; $31) in your lineups. On the Rams side, however, I am going to likely fade Cam Akers and roll with Sony Michel ($5,000; $7500, $19). I like the value with Michel better on both DK and FD. I got a feeling that Akers sees a lighter load this weekend given how gimpy he's been lately and how good Michel has looked.
Finally, to round out my lineups, I will be going with Odell Beckham Jr. ($8400; $10,500; $23) in my cash lineups. However, presuming he's healthy, I will be grabbing Van Jefferson ($5200; $7000; $13) in my GPPs. With the Bengals' focus likely on stopping Kupp and OBJ, I think Jefferson will get overlooked. Simply put, I agree with this tweet and will be betting accordingly:
Don't be surprised when Stafford hooks up with Jefferson on what should be a modest completion and instead takes it all the way into the end zone.
Hope you had a good season and see you back next year. Good luck with your Super Bowl LVI DFS entries!
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.