🏈 Super Bowl DFS Preview and TOUCHDOWNS!

"Everybody believed in us.” — 49ers and Chiefs (probably)…

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Annual petition for the Monday after the Super Bowl to be a national holiday…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Collars & Co.:

  • Previewing the Super Bowl DFS slate

  • Washington officially hires Kliff Kingsbury as their new OC

  • Ian’s Favorite Prop Bets: Brock Purdy … rush attempts?!

  • Super Bowl TD Bets: In Travis Kelce we trust

  • It’s 2/6. Take it away, Ian Hartitz…

Super Bowl Sunday is a time to be thankful. A time to enjoy great food. A time to enjoy the company of friends and family.

And also a time to make some freaking money, man.

Or at least try — particularly over at DraftKings, where they have multiple daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests with six-figure top prizes, including a massive Millionaire Maker.

Fantasy Life’s James McCool is 1.) Cool, and 2.) Will have an in-depth DFS Showdown Advice article live on Saturday, but before then let’s get our feet wet with a few early takeaways on the slate’s pricing to, you know, hopefully win one million f*cking dollars.

💰 The key parties involved are PRICEY — for good reason

Fun fact: Super Bowl LVIII features the top two highest-scoring fantasy players … ever.

Understandably, CMC ($18,000 captain, $12,000 FLEX) and Mahomes ($15,900, $10,600) easily top the pricing scale, leaving drafters who want both in a bit of a bind when it comes to filling out the rest of their lineup.

Of course, the former has been on a bit more of a roll THIS season than the latter, and this matchup does feature two of the bigger run-funnel defenses in the NFL:

  • EPA allowed per dropback: Chiefs (-0.103, No. 3), 49ers (-0.036, No. 5)

  • EPA allowed per rush: Chiefs (-0.025, No. 28), 49ers (-0.034, No. 27)

Fading Mahomes is downright terrifying; just realize it’s been a while since we’ve seen him boom in a meaningful way. As Matthew Freedman noted on last Friday’s edition of The Fantasy Life Podcast, Mahomes has gone a whopping 12 consecutive games without scoring 21.5 DraftKings points. His previous career-long streak was just three games.

Maybe Mahomes finds a way to snap out of his relative funk in a major way on the game’s biggest stage, but investing in that chance will certainly force drafters to dig DEEP when filling out those final roster spots. Either way, make sure to be mindful of correlating the rest of your lineup accordingly based on how you see the game going.

Speaking of needing to save some money…

👀 There are a handful of low-priced punt plays

The main characters on both offenses all cost at least $6,400, while the involved kickers and DSTs find themselves in the $3,400-$5,200 range.

There are two key players priced at $4,000 or lower that stick out as potential values considering the likelihood that they should at least see a few opportunities on offense:

  • 49ers WR Jauan Jennings ($4,000): The badass blocker is usually the odd starter out inside of this loaded passing game, but Jennings does have the role (58% route rate in the playoffs) and contingency upside (5-61-0, 5-54-0 receiving lines in two games when Deebo Samuel was out) to potentially surprise.

  • Chiefs WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($3,000): Enjoyed a huge bump in utilization last week and has (randomly) played pretty great in this matchup, posting 3-103-0, 2-53-2, 3-59-1 and 3-111-0 receiving lines in four of his six career games against the 49ers.

The absolute cheapest realistic options available are probably Chiefs WR Richie James Jr. ($400) or 49ers WR Ray-Ray McCloud ($200) thanks to their status as their team’s expected return specialist; managers rostering either the Chiefs or 49ers DST should consider a contrarian stack or two with the corresponding returner in the hopes of achieving an ever-elusive “double-dip” return TD.

Note that the former returner’s role could feasibly be impacted by the potential return of Kadarius Toney (hip/personal).

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Fantasy Life Ian Hartitz's Top Props Super Bowl LVIII

Sunday marks our last chance to bet on meaningful NFL football until next September.

Sad, we know – but at least there’s one final opportunity to put together one helluva sendoff in the form of Super Bowl LVIII.

What follows are Ian’s favorite prop bets ahead of this Chiefs-49ers matchup. As always: It’s a great day to be great.

This is my weekly “candle” bet, meaning I have to buy a $50 candle if the prop doesn’t cash (I’m playing both sides so that I always come out on top).

Anyway, the rationale here comes down to two key factors:

  1. Purdy has made a habit of scrambling more in the playoffs. Overall, he’s posted rush attempt totals of four, three, six and five in four career postseason starts excluding his injury-shortened NFC Championship disaster against the Eagles last year. Purdy is sneaky athletic, hard-nosed, gritty, scrappy, cerebral, blue-collar, deceptively fast, and overall just a real lunch pail kind of guy.

  1. This Chiefs defense invites opposing QB runs because of their high use of man coverage. Steve Spagnuolo’s group allowed the third-most rush attempts to opposing QBs this regular season, undoubtedly in part because of their decision to utilize man-centric coverages (Cover-1, Cover-0, 2-Man) at the league’s eighth-highest rate. Defenders constantly turning their backs to the ball to operate in man coverage invites QB runs, and the Chiefs have accordingly allowed the fifth-highest rate of scrambles (6.3%) of any defense on the season. Opposing QBs beat this prop in 12 of 20 games (60%).

Last game of the year, Brent. Can’t hold anything back now: I believe Purdy’s demonstrated willingness to take off in high-leverage games will lead to enough scramble opportunities against this man-heavy Chiefs defense to clear this number – and hell, kneel-downs at the end of the 1st and/or 2nd halves would work just fine too.

Fantasy Life Ian Hartitz's Top Props Super Bowl LVIII

Shoutout to the legend Geoff Ulrich for originally calling this one out on last Friday’s Fantasy Life Podcast.

Yes, 32 of 57 (56%) of Super Bowl MVPs have gone to QBs, including 14 of the last 24 (58%) since the new millennium.

Also yes, McCaffrey isn’t your everyday RB. As Fantasy Life’s Dwain McFarland noted in his critically acclaimed Utilization Report: McCaffrey has the strongest Super Bowl RB utilization profile we have seen in 23 years.

Take a look at statistical production from the only seven RBs to ever take home Super Bowl MVP honors:

  • Super Bowl VIII: Larry Csonka (145 rush yards, 2 TD)

  • Super Bowl IX: Franco Harris (158 rush yards, 1 TD)

  • Super Bowl XVII: John Riggins (181 total yards, 1 TD)

  • Super Bowl XVIII: Marcus Allen (209 total yards, 2 TD)

  • Super Bowl XXV: Otis Anderson (109 total yards, 1 TD)

  • Super Bowl XXVIII: Emmitt Smith (158 total yards, 2 TD)

  • Super Bowl XXXII: Terrell Davis (165 total yards, 3 TD)

That’s an average of 160.7 total yards and 1.7 TDs. Consider, CMC has averaged 126.8 total yards and 1.4 TDs this season while attaching 115-plus total yards to two TDs on six separate occasions throughout the year (33% of his games!).

This isn’t meant to be a slight on Brock Purdy, but let’s face it: His playoff numbers against the Packers (252 pass yards, 1 TD) and Lions (267 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) weren’t exactly the stuff of legends.

Kudos to Mr. Irrelevant for making plenty of clutch plays during the performances, but it’s probably fair to say that CMC – who gained 128 and 132 total yards while scoring twice in each game – would have won MVP honors in both contests had the media been forced to pick someone.

Throw in the reality that this Chiefs defense has been far more elite against the pass (No. 3 in EPA allowed per dropback) than the run (No. 28 in EPA allowed per rush) this season, and it would hardly be surprising to see Kyle Shanahan and company embrace more of run-first game plan centered around their workhorse RB.

Around the Watercooler (August 2022)

👀 Looking to scratch another DFS itch? Pick’em plays for the Super Bowl.

🦅 The NFL will have a Friday night game in Week 1 this year. Fly Eagles fly!

🏆 The biggest betting event of the year. Everything you need to prep for Super Bowl betting.

🧽 Death, taxes, field condition drama ahead of the Super Bowl.Likened to a sponge.”

🔔 Could comeback szn be in the air for this former stud RB? He’s telling us there’s a chance.

🤨 Did Mike Vrabel not get a job because he’s … too big? Lmao.

❓ Breece Hall ranks his top-five RBs. You’ll never guess who he picked first.

✌️ Longtime NFL RB Rex Burkhead announced his retirement. The man was good at the game.

😬 Turns out Dan Quinn wasn’t the Commander’s first choice for head coach. Well, that escalated quickly.

Betting Life Super Bowl LVIII TD Bets

Last year's Super Bowl shootout between the Eagles and Chiefs produced a whopping nine TDs and 73 total points. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

While Geoff can’t guarantee an encore of that explosive contest, he does have a few TD bets that sure look enticing ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.

  • Play to: -115 / +550

Kelce vs. the 49ers defense should be an interesting matchup. San Francisco has only allowed four receiving TDs to opposing TEs this year but they have also rarely been up against a TE like Kelce.

Further, as mentioned in the Betting Life newsletter from last Thursday, the 49ers lost starting safety SS Talanoa Hufanga in Week 11 and since that time they have been more susceptible to big games from opposing TEs. They’ve allowed three TDs to the position over their last seven games and last week allowed rookie Sam LaPorta to nearly clear the century mark (9-97-0 receiving on 13 targets).

I don’t mind chasing the -110 anytime TD odds but looking at Kelce to be the first TD scorer in this game makes sense as well. The 49ers have started slow in both of their first two post-season games and the Chiefs, who scored first in 12 games this year, have thrown for the first score of the game eight times in 2023-24 already. 

Betting Life Super Bowl LVIII TD Bets
  • Play to: +145

I think it’s close between Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel in the anytime TD market. Samuel is the more productive scorer (12 TDs in 15 games this year) but Aiyuk is going up against a Chiefs team that plays plenty of man coverage, a scheme that Aiyuk has excelled against all season. 

Further, when you look at who has scored against the Chiefs’ secondary in recent weeks (Tyreek Hill, Zay Flowers, and even Khalil Shakir) you get a nice assortment of shifty WRs with speed who can get the kind of separation necessary to excel against a defense like the Chiefs. It’s the kind of skill set that has allowed Aiyuik to find the endzone 15 times in his last 34 regular season games (a 44% hit rate).

Additionally, just like the last couple of weeks, there is a good chance that we see the 49ers passing more late in this game which could also open up a greater possibility for a long Aiyuk score.

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