Last week I said your shot at winning cash in daily fantasy football leagues was over at FanDuel. I spoke a little bit too soon. The conference championship slate, which offered a palatable 2-game schedule, was simply your final normal NFL DFS contest.
In less than two weeks you do get one more chance at big money via NFL DFS, as FanDuel has matched DraftKings with a fun one-game Super Bowl contest of their own. FD is calling it the Big Game Bowl and if you feel like tossing caution to the wind ($9 entry), you can duke it out with 264,000+ other peeps for a shot at a $1 million first place prize.
There is clear risk involved, but you only need to pick 5 roster spots and if you land the best lineup, you’re taking home some life-changing coin.
Obviously there are a few ways to tackle this, but I looked through the player pool and decided on my favorite lineup. Take a gander and let me know in the comments section if you love/hate these picks or if you have a few ideas of your own:
FLEX: Corey Clement – Philadelphia Eagles ($7k)
The trick to this type of daily fantasy football contest is making sure your lineup is different than everyone else’s. You don’t want it so different that you’re using people who don’t play and it has a lineup of total spares, but you also don’t want the very first pairing of players you happen upon.
I’m doing two things to differentiate this team. I’m using Corey Clement and I’m keeping $1.5k on the shelf. Not using that extra money immediately keeps you from doing something a ton of people will be; feeling obliged to soak up all of their salary.
I am a believer in this, as it really helps get you a different team than the majority of the competition.
Clement is an interesting deep sleeper, too. Sure, he could be utter garbage, but he tends to get run when the Eagles are playing from behind and/or facing a defense that struggles with speed and pass-catching running backs. They utilized him quite well in the wild card round against the Atlanta Falcons (5 catches, 31 receiving yards) and I think they do it again in Super Bowl 52.
The Jacksonville Jaguars exposed New England here via Corey Grant last week, as he hauled in 3 balls for 59 receiving yards. The Pats literally had no answer for him, yet the Jags took their foot off the gas and inexplicably never went back to him.
The Eagles will watch the tape and make sure they at least try Clement a few times and if that works, I doubt they just banish him to the bench for no reason. This is a risky play, but this is a tiny roster you’re making and I think it makes way more sense to take a big chance, rather than to simply build a team extremely similar (albeit safer) to everyone else’s.
FLEX: Chris Hogan – New England Patriots ($10k)
I also love Hogan. Not only is he a burner who can easily crush his value on one big play, but he’s a fun pivot off of bigger names that people will likely be drawn to. Teammates Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski could be popular, while Eagles receivers like Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor could also draw some solid ownership.
The only reason Hogan could be high-owned is his price and some people might agree with me that he could be contrarian.
On paper, he’s a fine try against an Eagles pass defense that can give up big plays. Philly’s weakness is their secondary, after all, and I’m of the belief that they don’t shut the Pats down through the air. Philly is elite against the run, but I tend to doubt they snuff the life out of the NFL’s most potent passing attack in the biggest game of the year.
Hogan has not had a big game in some time, but something tells me he could be saving one for Super Bowl 52.
FLEX: Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles ($12k)
I expect the Eagles to have some difficulty in this game and/or lean heavily on their ground game. New England doesn’t have an elite defense, but they’ve slowly gotten better as the year has gone on and Nick Foles is not a guy I have much faith in.
I like Ertz, though, seeing as he’s a safety net in case Foles struggles and dumps a lot of passes off and he’s also a red-zone terror in the event Foles actually plays well and enjoys a lot of success. New England gives up big plays, but they actually have very talented cornerbacks. The one area besides the running game I’d attack them in daily fantasy football is at tight end.
The matchup isn’t amazing by the numbers, but the Jags scored a touchdown from the tight end position last week and Delanie Walker (3 catches, 59 yards) was solid despite facing double-teams in the Divisional Round. The Eagles have far more weapons than the Titans, though, so I doubt New England gets away with that in Super Bowl 52.
FLEX: Danny Amendola – New England Patriots ($12.5k)
My last weapon of choice is Amendola, who has been sensational throughout New England’s title run. I really don’t see how his play regresses, as the Pats are better than anyone at getting open and executing out of the slot. That’s partially the actual routes, partially Amendola’s quickness and also a good amount of Tom Brady doing his thang.
This is one pick I bet will be pretty chalky in this NFL DFS contest, but I really don’t care. Amendola is a threat to score due to his ability to “hide” around the line of scrimmage and he’s been a huge chain-mover for the Patriots lately. I am not expecting him to rack up 11 catches or score twice again, but he’ll be busy and I think he ends up being one of the better options you can use.
My hope is that people get off of him because they assume he’ll be too chalky or they don’t believe he can wreck for a third straight playoff game. There are other viable options in The Gronk, Jeffery, Cooks and Agholor, after all.
I don’t think the likes of Dion Lewis and the aforementioned studs are a waste of time, but I like these other options more and collectively, they help me get to the main bread winner in this game.
FLEX (x2): Tom Brady – New England Patriots ($17k)
That’s none other than Tom Terrific, who is the first guy I chose in this contest and I immediately dropped him into this last FLEX spot that doubles his points. He should probably be 100% owned and in this exact spot, but you never know what other people are going to do.
Brady is simply a machine. He’s been great in the playoffs this year specifically, he’s generated consistent production for the NFL’s top passing attack and he’s also been elite as a fantasy option in the Super Bowl. He put up 466 yards and 2 scores last year and in his previous Super Bowl he hung 328 yards and 4 touchdowns on the Seahawks.
Everyone cheering against Brady and hoping/expecting him to fail against a tough Eagles defense is seemingly forgetting many things. Three stand out the most for me; he’s been here before, he’s faced far better defenses and he shows up in the clutch.
Whether he just comes out and destroys the Eagles or he plays from behind all game, he’s going to get his stats in this game. I’m not even considering fading him, even though that does promote more balance for this roster. I hope that ends up being a popular play, and if so, I think that gives me a huge leg up in this specific contest.
Keep in mind this is not your normal NFL DFS contest. I’m new to this format just like you, but based on what I’ve seen this year and how I value players in fantasy football, this is the strategy I prefer. Let me know what you’re planning on doing in the comments below!