NFL DFS Picks & Strategy, Super Bowl LIV
This is the Super Bowl LIV NFL DFS Plug! Occupy Fantasy is the only place you can get NFL DFS lineup advice for FanDuel and DraftKings Super Bowl contests from a Super Bowl DFS Millionaire - Brian Jester, aka “courtjesters” on DraftKings.
Brian and Occupy NFL DFS contributor Chris Rooney have written up a guide to the slate using the Occupy Model, betting line movements, and news updates. Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes.
Follow Occupy Fantasy on Twitter for updates through lock.
Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes. For NFL Inactives, visit this link to the NFL.com page - updates roughly 90 minutes before kickoff for each game.
Consider the Plug an in-depth road map for the main slate. Let’s get to it!
SUPER BOWL PROPS
A special offer this season - all Occupy Fantasy Twitch subscribers will receive a copy of our Super Bowl LIV Prop Guide. Once you subscribe on Twitch, you’ll receive access to our Discord channel, where the guide is posted in the Super Bowl channel.
This guide was +20 units last year, and has not had a losing Super Bowl since inception in 2012.
Listen to Brian, Moose, and Occupy betting contributor Michael Carey break it down for you here:
Our Super Bowl Props Guide is now available for FREE in our Discord channel.— Occupy Fantasy (@OccupyFantasy) January 26, 2020
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Despite suffering a dislocated shoulder in the NFC Championship, 49ers RB Tevin Coleman is on track to play.
Say hello to the highest ranking DraftKings player in our Occupy Model for Super Bowl LIV. So how do we handle a player who is coming off of a 2-TD game and is one of the most expensive players on the slate, yet boasts an elite OF Index in our Model? Fortunately, his CPT/MVP ownership likely still won’t be as high as it should be in a game with a 54-point total. We’re anticipating similar CPT/MVP ownership as the conference championship (7 percent FD, 10 percent DK) despite WRs emphatically being the optimal CPT choice in games projected to score more than 47 points.
A couple notes on Tyreek’s outlook. When you think of Hill, you think deep speed and home run shots, but 1) San Francisco doesn’t give up deep balls, they allowed the second-fewest completed deep yards (throws of 20-plus air yards) in the regular season, and 2) As mentioned in last week’s Plug, Tyreek’s role has changed in the second half of the season as his aDOT is significantly lower than teammate Sammy Watkins.
Instead, realize that his new role with shorter passes works much more in his favor, as no team allowed a higher efficiency (receiving yards compared to air yards) on short throws (within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage) than the 49ers in the regular season. Add in Tyreek’s five red zone targets in the playoffs, and we have the possibility of a ceiling game without the requirement of a long touchdown.
He’s still a receiver so he’s not ideal in low-risk contests, but he should be a preferred CPT/MVP in high-risk lineups.
What’s the common narrative around the San Francisco offense leading up to the Super Bowl? It’s that they’re a run-heavy attack with Jimmy Garoppolo throwing just 27 combined passes in their two playoff wins. So, given his low floor, it’s one of the rare times where we can use a QB in the CPT spot on DK at less than 8 percent and in the MVP spot on FD at less than 15 percent. While this may surprise many, Garoppolo actually ranks ahead of Patrick Mahomes in our Occupy Model on both sites, even slotting in as the number one overall play on FanDuel. Sure, the price difference helps, but the likely regression to the mean in passing volume mixed with Garoppolo’s expected success in the short and middle areas of the field provide quiet boosts to his OF Index. Garoppolo averages 21+ DraftKings points when he throws 30+ times, but just 12 DraftKings points when he attempts less than that. Not saying that there’s a “magic” attempt number for him to get to value, but this is evidence of Jimmy being capable of meeting value if the volume is there - something that should happen in a high-scoring game script.
Perhaps the biggest factor, though, is the likelihood of Kansas City needing to blitz to get pressure on the QB -- despite blitzing at a slightly higher than league average rate through 18 games, the Chiefs allow more clean pockets and generate less pressure than the average defense. Against a Shanahan-led offense, this spells trouble for the Chiefs’ defense. We recommend using Garoppolo in 50 percent or more of your high-risk lineups, and even doubling his projected CPT/MVP ownership in your exposures.
Patrick Mahomes II
Contrary to Jimmy G’s outlook, Mahomes will face his second-toughest test of the season on Sunday against a 49ers defense that can generate pressure with just their defensive linemen. Just two teams blitzed at a lower rate than San Francisco this season, yet only one team generated more pressures per dropback -- this rarity of harassing the QB with just four rushers has been a key to stopping historically great offenses and/or QBs in previous Super Bowls. If you’ve read our Super Bowl Props Guide, you’ll see numerous recommendations for betting UNDER on Mahomes’ props (passing yards, completions, touchdowns to name a few). If other Kansas City single game slates from this season are any indication -- and they are -- we can expect Mahomes to be rostered in 75 to 85 percent of all lineups on both sites and have slate-high CPT/MVP ownership. At his sky-high price tag, any performance that falls below (even slightly) his prop numbers will be a disappointment to those who rostered him. If you’re looking for the ultimate leverage in large-field high-risk Super Bowl contests, use Mahomes in 50 percent or less of your lineups and exclude him completely from your CPT/MVP pool.
There is one high-risk scenario where we recommend using Mahomes in MVP, read more on that below in our High-Risk Strategy section.
After back-to-back duds in the playoffs at crazy high single game ownership in each contest, we expect George Kittle to go slightly overlooked in the Super Bowl. For Kittle, this may mean 10 percent DK CPT instead of 20 percent, but it’s a discount nonetheless. As mentioned above, the 49ers passing offense is expected to have success in the short to medium areas of the field, which is where Kittle thrives -- 87 percent of his receiving yardage this year has come on throws within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. But is this enough to warrant consideration in your CPT/MVP player pool? Even with a high total, Kittle has zero multi-touchdown games in his career and he’s been the highest scoring player in a 49ers game just once in 16 contests this season (using FanDuel scoring; that number jumps to two on DraftKings). Without a top tier FD OF Index, you can’t use him as an MVP there. On DraftKings, consider him in 10-15% of your high-risk lineups as a CPT. He still has a great chance of being a top 5-6 scorer on the slate, though, so use him in the FLEX spot in at least 40 percent of your high-risk lineups.
Basically everything that was said about Kittle above can be said for Travis Kelce (except Kelce actually has a few multi-TD games in his career, as recently as the Divisional Round). Use the exact same strategy here -- zero MVP exposure on FD, 10-15% CPT exposure on DK, but perhaps a bit less FLEX exposure due to his price and slightly lower OF Index (on both sites) in the Model.
With the Chiefs favored by 1 to 1.5 points at most books, Damien Williams enters the Super Bowl as the “home” favorite RB - something we always love in DFS. He’s also played on 90% of all offensive snaps for KC in the playoffs, has had 29 of the 33 non-QB rushes, and an 18% target share (with 6 in each game). Beyond this obvious usage trend in his favor, immediate backup LeSean McCoy played 1 snap in the divisional round, and was inactive in the AFC Championship. RB3 Darwin Thompson plays mostly special teams (50% of ST snaps each of the last two weeks), with just 1 opportunity to touch the football on offense.
Damien brings a 29.2 weighted-opportunity score in the Occupy Model into this game, and is the only RB (on both teams) with true every down work upside. His heavy involvement in the passing game puts him into consideration for CPT on DraftKings, and he may just be the best leverage MVP on FanDuel, as he ranks 2nd in our Model for their single game slate. If building multiple lineups, consider Damien at CPT in 10-15% of your lineups. Given his likely massive opportunity, and therefore upside, you may want to consider him in as many as 50-60% of your lineups at flex to gain positive leverage on the field. He’s also a must-play in low-risk lineups by virtue of our usual 2QB, 2RB strategy.
In the conference championship, Raheem Mostert played 82 percent of the snaps after fellow RB Tevin Coleman left early with an injury. That snap share was Mostert’s season high, and in fact, it was the season-high for any 49ers RB. Furthermore, In Kyle Shanahan’s three years as San Francisco’s coach, only three other times has a 49ers RB played 80 percent or more of the snaps. Mostert, despite his increased offensive role late in the season, usually sees 8 to 12 special teams snaps per game. However, in the conference championship blowout, he was on the field for just two special teams plays. If we’re looking for leverage on the field in the Super Bowl, we can be contrarian (compared to recent performances and Mostert’s Super Bowl props) and bet on him reverting back to just 50 to 60 percent of offensive snaps and a core special teams role. Mostert ranks just 11th in our Occupy Model on DraftKings (at the fifth-highest salary), reinforcing our contrarian belief. Just note that he does rank fourth on FanDuel due to his touchdown potential and the 0.5 PPR scoring. On DK especially, consider rostering Mostert in less than 40 percent of your tournament lineups to gain leverage. In low-risk DK contests, Mostert still has a solid floor and can reasonably fit in your lineup using our 2 QB-2 RB strategy.
Deebo Samuel is perhaps the perfect CPT/MVP choice for this Super Bowl slate. High total game, we want pass-catchers at CPT, and Deebo ranks as the second-best DK play in our Model. A big reason for his high Model ranking is his dual-threat ability, a unique role where he’s averaging 5 targets and nearly 2 rushing attempts per game in his last seven contests. And it’s not like he’s getting your everyday rushing attempt -- the dude is averaging 12.2 yards per carry (scoring three times) on well designed end-arounds and trap plays. This boosts both his floor and his ceiling, and because his fantasy value isn’t 100 percent tied to his QB, he can even be the optimal MVP on FanDuel. To gain the most leverage, we recommend at least doubling or tripling your CPT/MVP exposure to Deebo -- that is, 8 to 12 percent on FanDuel and 15 to 21 percent on DraftKings.
Unlike Deebo, Emmanuel Sanders’ performance is directly tied to the volume and performance of Jimmy Garoppolo, and given the recent outcomes, it’s no surprise to see Sanders a) have a much lower salary, and b) carry much lower ownership than Deebo. He does rank significantly lower in the Model, but he’s still a WR in a high-total game and he does have the highest average depth of target for any 49ers WR, giving him huge upside that can be reached on just one play (see Sammy Watkins in the conference championship). Use Sanders in 5-10 percent of your CPT/MVP spots, but don’t feel compelled to use him often (just 20-30 percent) in your FLEX positions.
Watkins has a similar role to Sanders’ in this Chiefs offense in recent weeks, as he is the highest aDOT WR in KC’s offense. We don’t have to look too far into the past to see the upside with Watkins, as his 60 yard touchdown against the Titans sealed the Chiefs’ victory. With their extremely talented secondary, the 49ers will likely try and take away “home run” passes to contain Mahomes, and force him to throw underneath. This would hurt Watkins the most out of all KC pass catchers based on recent usage. Consider the following, however - Watkins runs routes nearly as often as both Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill in this offense. He has access to a similar fantasy point ceiling as those two as a result, at both lower salary and lower ownership. Therefore, Sammy is right there in this group with Deebo and Sanders as a strong game-theory play at CPT/MVP. 5-10% Watkins at CPT on DraftKings, and 3-5% MVP exposure should be enough leverage on the field if building multiple lineups. Watkins ranks higher in our Model on the DraftKings slate, so use him in 20-25% of your lineups at flex there. On FanDuel, we recommend finding your way up to Deebo or down to Sanders as often as possible, as each out-ranks Watkins for us.
49ers, Chiefs DSTs
While this game has a 54 point total, both defensive units rank fairly high in our Model thanks to their unexplained cheap salaries. We slightly prefer the Chiefs side, however both units should be used at FLEX in tournaments if you’re building multiple lineups. Look to mix in each in about 20-30% of your lineups.
Harrison Butker, Robbie Gould
The high total means a lot of chances to score points for each kicker. Put simply, these are FLEX plays only. There’s no reason to play either of these guys at CPT/MVP in tournaments.
The Chiefs’ return man has run a route on over 50% of Mahomes’ drop backs in 2 of his last 3 games, and ran slightly ahead of Demarcus Robinson as WR3 in the AFC Championship. With a 12.2 aDOT over the last 4 weeks, the 99th percentile 4.33 second 40 yard dash returner just needs one opportunity to break the Super Bowl slate in the passing game. He also offers some “double-dip” upside with Chiefs DST on DraftKings - a return touchdown would count both for Hardman and the DST unit. He’s a 15-20% play at FLEX with massive upside (and zero floor).
With Demarcus Robinson seeing a slight role change last week as Hardman ran more routes than him for the first time this season, his ownership plummeted in DFS single game contests. He doesn’t have the game-breaking ability like Hardman, but Robinson is still in an explosive offense and actually has a slightly higher DK OF Index in our Model. At just 10-15 percent ownership on each site, he’s the better “game theory” play between the two and a great option in lineups where you’re looking to save a ton of salary with a popular CPT/MVP.
Despite being fourth on the team in total targets, Kendrick Bourne is tied for the 49ers’ team lead in touchdowns (5). While this may scream regression, Bourne has a unique role -- he leads the league in red zone routes run percentage, a huge contributor to his high touchdown rate. He doesn’t have the upside of the WRs priced ahead of him, but in certain game scripts, it’s very conceivable that he outscores all of them. Like D-Rob, he’s an excellent “save salary by dropping further down the WR list” for lineups looking to differentiate (especially on FD).
Reserved only for 150-maxers or ultra-high risk approaches in super large-field contests, Kyle Juszczyk may touch the ball twice in this game. Averaging a tight end-esque 12 yards per reception this year, Juice Check will need to get into the end zone to be relevant on this slate. Crazier things have happened -- and we’ll need #chaos to be unique in big tournaments -- so if you’re playing 20-plus lineups (or you’re getting crazy with your earned tickets), consider using more than the field’s 5 percent Juice.
Damien Williams has absolutely dominated opportunities in the playoffs, so only consider Darwin Thompson (or LeSean McCoy, if active) if you’re max-entering. The only likely way they would be relevant is in the case of a Williams injury, so don’t use them together in the same lineup.
The San Francisco backfield is where it gets interesting. We still don’t have confirmation on whether Coleman will play, and if he does, what his role will be. The key is looking to see if RB4 Jeff Wilson Jr. is active for the game -- if both he and Coleman are active, it should signal some uncertainty in Coleman’s health. If Coleman is inactive, Wilson becomes an intriguing value play who has been used in high leverage spots this season when given the opportunity (five touchdowns on 30 touches). Matt Breida is another wild card, who is in the dog house after fumbling recently. Still, he hasn’t handled more than 8 attempts in a game since returning from injury, so he’s best ignored unless you’re mass-entering. As for Coleman, if he’s just 1 of 3 SF RBs active, consider him as a 15-20 percent game theory FLEX play in the event he gets the hot hand and out-touches Mostert.
UPDATE: Tevin Coleman is off the injury report and fully expected to play with no limitations on Sunday. This solidifies a) the likelihood of a split 49ers backfield, hurting Mostert's floor and ceiling, and b) Coleman as a high-risk leverage play.
On DraftKings, we’re able to execute our “jam in all the offensive touchdowns” strategy and roster Mahomes, Garoppolo, Mostert, and Damien Williams if we use a non-traditional CPT (kicker or defense). It’s scary to fade Tyreek, Kelce, and Kittle using this lineup construction, but this strategy has proven to be profitable since this Showdown format has been introduced. On FanDuel, it’s impossible to fit those four in one lineup, so unless we get surprising news, it’s best to ignore low-risk contests there for the Super Bowl.
If you have tickets for the big GPPs:
FanDuel: Two options: If you’re confident in Mahomes’ ability to beat an elite defense, use him as the MVP in all of your lineups. Alternatively, if you’re skeptical like our model, have 0% MVP exposure but use him in 100% of your lineups as a FLEX. In your Mahomes non-MVP lineups, focus on Jimmy G as your MVP with smaller exposures to positional players, and leave $1,500 to $3,000 leftover. If you go the Mahomes MVP route, you’ll need at least $4,500 in salary remaining to have a chance at a decent payday.
DraftKings: Completely avoid Mahomes as your CPT, and even consider leaving him out of your FLEX in 10-20 percent of your entries. Garoppolo isn’t as important here as he is on FD, so focus more on the WRs in your CPT spot. To have a chance at being unique (or splitting the top prize with 10 people or less), use at most $49,000 in salary (but likely less).
If you don’t have tickets for the big GPPs:
Stick to 100-player leagues and satellites -- there are tons of contests to qualify for (see the contest recommendations below), so focus on earning on those tickets. In these smaller leagues and satellites, use similar strategies as above but there is no need to be as aggressive in the leftover salary department.
Just 1-2 percent unless you can find plenty of no-badge H2Hs or small-field contests on DraftKings.
If playing low-risk, focus on the same spots we normally recommend - H2Hs, single entry double ups (as always, multi-entry double ups are OK if you can max enter them).
For more information on contest selection and bankroll allocation, check out our MUST-READ Ultimate Guide e-book.
Always, always always play freerolls. There are three on DraftKings this week - the AutoNation Free Football Challenge, the Canada Dry Big Game Challenge and the KFC Free Sunday Night Series.
Look for no-badge users for low-risk H2Hs in the lobby. On DraftKings, post your own H2Hs and make sure you limit the opponents to 1 entry (per price point) against you (FanDuel doesn’t have this option). With the rest of your low-risk allocation, play single-entry double ups.
This is likely most people reading this - single-entry GPPs are the best high-risk tournaments to play. You want to give yourself the best shot to win; being on a level playing field with every other user by max-entering a contest is the way to go. Single entry contests are the easiest places to do this.
The first place you can do that are with “Contests” - these low priority, blandly named GPPs come with smaller field sizes and (usually) less experienced players. On DraftKings, the $0.25, $1, and $3 Contests are good places to start looking at playing. On FanDuel, the single entry 3-100 Player leagues meet this criteria. Everyone is drawn to the sexy, high-dollar top prize contests - you can lay low in here and (hopefully) grow your bankroll. You can 20-25x your entry fee by beating just 99 other people in these formats - it's a great place to play.
The $3 entry fee, NFL Showdown $75K Pylon, $5 entry fee NFL Showdown $50K Huddle or $12 entry fee, NFL Showdown $250K Fair Catch on DraftKings are great places to spend your high-risk allocation. On FanDuel, there is also the $5 entry fee, $70K Sun NFL Spike, $2 entry fee $40K Sun NFL Safety, and $1 entry fee $30K Sun NFL Squib you should look at for single entry GPPs.
Want to practice your multi-entry skills? Max enter a three entry max contest like the $5 entry fee, Showdown $100K Nickel on DraftKings.
The Showdown $60K Quarter Jukebox is a 20 entry-max tournament that costs just $5 to play at $0.25 per entry. Practice your mass-multi entry skills with our optimizer with a shot to win $3,000!
Want an even bigger challenge? FanDuel has a 150-entry max contest at just $0.05 per entry, the $20K NFL Pooch Punt.
Some cross sport satellite opportunities on DraftKings? The PGA $20 5th Major Classic on 3/12, the NAS $10 America’s Race in February, the TEN $20 Rally Point on 2/17, the $100 February Freeze, the MLB $15 Season Opener and the MLB 3-29 $11 Sunday Night Showdown Premiere. You thought football was over? There are satellites for the $10 XFL Kickoff Special next Saturday! We will have XFL content - stay tuned for an update on what that will look like.
Also look at the satellites on FanDuel for the NHL Super Crossbar on 2/4, NBA Hang Time on 2/5, NHL Super Deke on 2/15, NAS SUPER Intimidator on 2/16, NHL SUPER Goal on 2/18, NHL SUPER Monster on 2/19, NBA Legendary Layup on 2/20, NBA MEGA Monster on 2/21, NBA $1M Alley Oop on 2/26, NBA Spectacular Slam on 2/28, NBA Jumbo Dunk on 3/4, TEN Super Smash on 3/12, the MLB Opening Day Rally on 3/26 and PGA MEGA Eagle on 4/9. There are also satellites for the $300K XFL Saturday Special on 2/8 - so we have football on both FanDuel and DraftKings still to come.
Don’t forget we have NBA and NHL Models for you to use for those contests - there will be an NBA Daily Plug as well on all slates with 6+ NBA games. The MLB Model will be up for the Season Opener slate in March, and we aim to have a PGA Model up by the time of that 3/12 contest on DraftKings!
100-player Leagues/Contests remain great places to play - on DraftKings look for Contests in the $5 to $50 entry fee range, these are the best places to build your allocation around.
We introduced 20 entry-max contests to the Smaller Bankroll contest players. At your level, you should consider max entering the $3 entry fee, $1.25M Super Bowl LIV Play-Action on DraftKings. This contest comes with a shot of taking down $100,000, so you should have exposure to that nice prize here.
You can also probably look at some of the higher dollar value single entry GPPs at your bankroll size - The $27 entry fee Showdown $50K Blind Side, The $54 entry fee Showdown $100K Single Entry Special and the $100 entry fee $50K Spy are the best options. There is also the $150K Single Entry Snowy Tundra, which has a $25K top prize, and awards February Freeze tickets at the min-cash levels.
For FanDuel users, the best single entry GPPs in the next tier up not mentioned above? The $33 entry fee, $50K Sun NFL Sweep, the $100 entry fee, $25K Sun NFL Cover 2, and the $50 entry fee, $45K Sun NFL Hot Route.
Have enough to (WITHIN our allocation guideline for your bankroll) max-enter a larger GPP? Congrats on being a big baller! Teach us your ways.
The $180 entry fee, $250K Super Bowl LIV Power Sweep is a three entry-max GPP on DraftKings with a $50,000 prize to 1st.
The $4M Super Bowl LIV Millionaire is a $10 entry fee, 150-max contest with a $1,000,000 top prize. We like to say don’t play these contests with your own money without being able to max enter, so unless you’re a big baller, use your satellite tickets only for this.
The next best 150-max contest is the $9 entry fee, $50K Slant this week. It has one of the flattest payout structures on the slate, and a $5,000 top prize.
FanDuel users, you’ve got the $3M NFL Big Game Bowl, which is a $9 entry fee, 150-max contests with a $1,000,000 top prize.
There is also the $6 entry fee, $500K Sun NFL Rush and the $300K Sun NFL LIV Bomb you should consider.
Situation statistics sourced from Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Play Index Finder. DVOA data from FootballOutsiders.com. Air yards data pulled from AirYards.com. All salaries from contest providers. While we like the player pool selected above, we reserve the right to roster other players should news and trends closer to lock push us in that direction. Pay attention to our stream schedule for discussion of those thoughts!