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The Primer: Super Bowl LVII Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

The Primer: Super Bowl LVII Edition (2023 Fantasy Football)

Break out the wings (No, boneless wings are not wings. They are adult chicken nuggets) and Buffalo chicken dip. It’s Super Bowl time, baby! From betting on the length of the National Anthem to the color of Gatorade tossed on the winning coach, it’s a wonderful spectacle to enjoy with skin in the game via betting and DFS.

We’ll watch Patrick Mahomes continue to build on a possible Hall of Fame career with a W or Jalen Hurts firmly establish himself as one of the league’s best young signal callers. Only one Kelce brother will walk away from this game with a giant grin and a diamond-studded ring.

Enjoy it, fam. It’s the last game of the 2022 NFL Season.

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NFL DFS Lineup Advice: Super Bowl LVII (Chiefs vs. Eagles)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles


Patrick Mahomes: Mahomes has a tough test this week against an Eagles pass defense that is first in pass defense DVOA. This should be no issue for Mahomes, though. He has played eight games this season against pass defenses that finished inside the top-12 in pass defense DVOA. In those contests, he averaged a cool 319.5 passing yards with 8.6 yards per attempt while completing 65.8% of his passes. He had a 19:7 passing touchdown to interception ratio with four games with at least three passing touchdowns. Since Week 14, the Eagles’ pass defense has been fourth in passing yards per game, third in EPA per dropback, and seventh in explosive pass rate allowed. They have also ranked first in pressure rate. Mahomes has been elite against pressure ranking fourth in PFF pressured passing grade, eighth in pressure-adjusted completion rate, and first (tied) in pressured passing touchdowns (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks). Mahomes is in play for captain and should be heavily rostered in the flex in showdown.

Jalen Hurts: Since returning from injury, Hurts hasn’t been the same player. In three games of action, he’s completed 60.7% of his passes with 6.0 yards per attempt and a 54.8 PFF passing grade. With more time to recover from his shoulder injury, the hope is that Hurts more closely resembles the quarterback who was sixth in PFF passing grade, sixth in yards per attempt, 12th in big-time throws, and ninth in adjusted completion rate this season (minimum 150 dropbacks). Since Week 14, the Chiefs have been 11th in passing yards per game, fifth in EPA per drop back, and 14th in explosive pass rate allowed. There’s a path to a ceiling game for Hurts if he is closer to 100%. Since Week 15, the Chiefs have deployed zone coverage on 52-55% of their corners’ snaps. Hurts is 11th in EPA per play against zone this season. Since Week 13, the Chiefs have allowed 6.6 yards per carry and three rushing touchdowns to Joe Burrow, Russell Wilson, Davis Mills, and Trevor Lawrence. Mahomes will be the more popular of the two quarterbacks for showdown lineups. I do side with Mahomes if you’re looking to prioritize one of them or you’re only able to fit one quarterback into a lineup. Still, I’ll try constructing two quarterback lineups as much as possible to be contrarian.

Running backs

Weeks 13-17

Player Rush attempts Targets Routes per game Red zone carries
Jerick McKinnon 31 29 19 8
Isiah Pacheco 65 10 7.8 8


Weeks 18-21

Player Rush attempts Targets Routes per game Red zone carries
Jerick McKinnon 17 7 14 1
Isiah Pacheco 30 7 11.7 4


Jerick McKinnon: Which version of McKinnon usage will we get for the Super Bowl? In Weeks 13-17, McKinnon was the leader of this backfield, playing 47-62% of the snaps averaging 11.2 touches and 82 total yards per game. Since Week 18, his usage has been uninspiring. In two of his last three games, he hasn’t crested 40% of the snaps or handled more than seven touches. His Week 20 performance with 65% of the snaps with 11 touches looks like the outlier. McKinnon will likely be popular, which will leave me underweight. McKinnon’s calling card has been the passing game, but his target share has dipped to 7% over the last three games, which is the same mark as Pacheco. McKinnon has been a zero on the ground with 1.9 yards per carry and 0.7 yards after contact per attempt since Week 18. Since Jordan Davis‘ return in Week 13, the Eagles have been 15th in rushing yards per game, seventh in EPA per rush, and 13th in explosive run rate allowed. In the same span, Philly has been 13th in yards per reception and 20th in receiving yards per game allowed to running backs.

Isiah Pacheco: As McKinnon’s usage has declined, Pacheco has been the primary beneficiary. Since Week 18, he’s averaged 12 touches and 83.3 total yards per game. He played a season-high 57% of snaps last week as he saw a 16.7% target share leading running backs with 20 routes (McKinnon, 14). Since Week 13, Pacheco has been playing out of his mind ranking 11th in yards after contact per attempt, 17th in ten-plus yard runs, and 17th in PFF rushing grade (minimum 20 carries). I won’t have much Pacheco exposure at captain outside of a sprinkle in MME, but he’s my favorite Chiefs back in this game.

Ronald Jones: Jones has only one game this season with more than 20% of snaps played (Week 18), where he managed ten carries for 45 yards on the ground. He only played two snaps against the Bengals with one carry. Jones is a 1-2 lineup play if you’re running 150. The likelihood that he plays a large role in this game, even if he’s active, is slim.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Edwards-Helaire is the wild card I am interested in in this game. Edwards-Helaire saw his role decline before missing time due to injury. Over his final four games active, he played 8-27% of snaps with only 13 total touches. This vomit-inducing usage will leave Edwards-Helaire lowly rostered unless we get news that the team plans to deploy him in a high-leverage role (which is doubtful). Looking back to the season’s first six games, there’s a path for Edwards-Helaire to be the best point-per-dollar play on the board. In Weeks 1-6, he averaged 12.5 touches and 65.5 total yards while scoring five total touchdowns. Over this span, Edwards-Helaire was 17th among running backs in high-value touches. When utilized, he’s been extremely effective this season, ranking 20th in yards after contact per attempt and yards per route run (minimum 50 carries, 20 targets). I’ll embrace variance in this game and have plenty of Edwards-Helaire sprinkled in if he’s active.

Miles Sanders: Sanders has seen his usage take a small tumble in the playoffs. He’s averaged 35% of the snaps with 14 carries and 66 rushing yards per game. Sanders remains a near zero in the passing game, with only one target over his last two games. Sanders hasn’t seen more than one target in a game since Week 14. Sanders’ usage could easily flip in this game, as we’ve seen him log at least 20 carries three times this season. This game could be another venue for him to see plenty of rushing work. Sanders ranks 22nd in yards after contact per attempt, ninth in missed tackles forced, and 28th in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 100 carries). Since Week 14, Kansas City has ranked ninth in rushing success rate and tenth in rushing yards per game, but they have also been 23rd in EPA per rush and 16th in explosive run rate allowed. Sanders is a fine flex and large field captain play with 25-30 DK point upside.

Kenneth Gainwell: Gainwell has been on a tear in the playoffs. He’s played 37-42% of the snaps averaging 14.5 touches and 97.5 total yards. His 42% of the snaps last week matched his season-high. Gainwell has been explosive when he’s been utilized. He has seven games with at least five rushing attempts. In four of those contests, he managed at least 3.20 yards after contact per attempt. He has taken 17.7% of his carries for ten yards or more this season. Gainwell has breakaway run rates of 45.5% and 35.4% in his two playoff games this year. Gainwell has been the passing down back in the playoffs with a 10.4% target share, 35.8% route run rate, and 1.84 yards per route run. This is the perfect matchup to deploy Gainwell heavily in the passing game. The Chiefs have allowed the most receptions, the fourth-most receiving yards, and the seventh-most receiving touchdowns to running backs this season. Since Week 16, Gainwell has led the team in YAC per reception. Gainwell is a priority flex play, and a fantastic contrarian captain play.

Boston Scott: Scott’s usage has been tied exclusively to the ground game, like Sanders. Over his last three games, he’s averaged seven carries and 34.6 rushing yards per game. Scott will get some love in DFS this week, with many gravitating to the fact that he’s scored in each of his last three games. He’s been able to do this with only six Red zone carries over that span. Sanders (ten) and Gainwell (nine) have been utilized more inside the 20 during this stretch. Scott has simply run hot with touchdowns. Scott is worth rostering if you’re running 20-150 lineups, but he won’t make my single entry or three-max builds.

Wide Receivers

JuJu Smith-Schuster: Smith-Schuster is dealing with a knee sprain, but I’m currently projecting him to be a full go in the Super Bowl. In Weeks 16-20, Smith-Schuster disappeared into the background. In these four games, he only saw an 8.7% target share which was fifth on the team. This is despite logging the second-highest route run rate (71%) on the team, behind only Travis Kelce. Smith-Schuster only managed two red zone targets and 1.09 yards per route run in these games. I’ll be underweight versus the field on Smith-Schuster this week. He’ll run about 56% of his routes against Darius Slay (since Week 14: 63% catch rate, 123.4 passer rating) and James Bradberry (since Week 14: 54.5% catch rate, 78.2 passer rating).

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Valdes-Scantling is an interesting dart throw. In Weeks 16-20, he had the second-highest target share (13.5%) on the team while tying Justin Watson for the team lead in end zone target share (28.6%). Over this stretch, Valdes-Scantling also led the team with a 28.5% air yard share. He will run about 60% of his routes against Slay and Bradberry. Slay has been struggling recently and Bradberry’s Achilles heel over the last two seasons has been matching up against speed receivers, so Valdes-Scantling could be quietly positioned as the best receiving threat for the Chiefs behind Kelce.

Kadarius Toney: Toney is still dealing with a high ankle sprain. Yes, we saw Mahomes still play at a high level as he managed his high ankle issue, but playing quarterback with this ailment versus wide receiver is a completely different equation. Per our own Dr. Deepak Chona, Toney could be more limited as “high ankles at only two weeks do decrease production.” In Weeks 16-20, Toney had an 11.9% target share and 28.3% route run rate despite blistering efficiency with 3.24 yards per route run and a 37% target per route run rate. The Chiefs have been hesitant at every turn to increase Toney’s role, and with him less than 100%, I doubt we see that here. Does that mean Toney is off the board? No. It’s one game. If Toney can manage to play through the pain in the Super Bowl, he will. Toney was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday. He doesn’t carry an injury designation into this game, so the hope for a fully healthy Toney remains. Toney also has four red zone targets over his last four full games played. Toney will run about 54% of his routes against Slay and Bradberry.

Skyy Moore: With Toney and the rest of this receiver room likely to suit up (outside of Mecole Hardman), Moore will likely be standing on the sidelines for most of the game, cheering on his teammates. In Weeks 16-20, Moore only had a 5.9% target share, 19.3% route run rate, and 1.73 yards per route run. Moore has only one red zone target this season. He’s only worth a sprinkle in 150 lineups.

Justin Watson: Watson has been this year’s version of Demarcus Robinson. He’s only garnered a 5.6% target share, 13.6% target per route run rate, and two red zone targets this season. Watson does a 19.5 aDOT and 14 deep targets this season, but this isn’t the matchup to roll out the situational deep threat receiver in lineups. Philly is 16th in deep completion rate and ninth in deep passing yards allowed (second in DVOA against deep passing). Watson won’t be part of my player pool this week.

A.J. Brown: Since Dallas Goedert‘s return, Brown has had a 28.3% target share, 28.6% end zone target share, and 39.5% air yard share (2.25 yards per route run). In the playoffs, the Chiefs have utilized zone coverage on 52-65% of their corners’ coverage snaps. Since Week 16, Brown has been second on the team in targets (60.5% of his target volume) and first in yards per route run (2.34) against zone coverage among the wide receivers. Brown ranked third in open rate this season behind only Diontae Johnson and Tyler Lockett. In the regular season, he ranked seventh in deep targets and 12th in red zone targets among wideouts. Brown is in play for captain. He’ll run about 74% of his routes against L’Jarius Sneed (since Week 15: 69.7% catch rate, 82.4 passer rating) and Jaylen Watson (since Week 15: 58.3% catch rate, 63.2 passer rating). Sneed has been used in shadow coverage twice this season when the Chiefs had to deal with D.K. Metcalf and Davante Adams in Weeks 16 and 18. Sneed followed each receiver on 62-95% of their routes, holding them to 77 combined scoreless receiving yards.

DeVonta Smith: Since Week 16, Smith has led the team with a 31.7% target share, 57.1% end zone target share, and 2.48 yards per route run. Smith was second in air yard share (34.1%) to only Brown. Since Week 16, he has led the team in targets against zone coverage, but he has seen his efficiency against the coverage type dip with a 70.3 PFF receiving grade and 1.42 yards per route run. Smith’s production has been impossible to ignore, with three 100-yard receiving days and three receiving touchdowns over his last six games. Smith will run about 75% of his routes against Sneed and Watson. Smith is also a viable captain play, but if I’m picking only one Eagles’ wide receiver, it’s Brown.

Quez Watkins: Over his last four games, Watkins has only seen a 6.9% target share, zero end zone targets, and a 50.5% route run rate as he’s been splitting the slot role with Zach Pascal. Watkins has held the lead in routes (69) among the two over this timeframe, but he’s only turned that playing time into six targets and 0.20 yards per route run. There are better darts to toss in this game over Watkins.

Zach Pascal: Pascal is an easy cross-out from the player pool. He’s done more recently to crush Watkins’ value than to build any stand-alone equity for himself in the passing game. Pascal hasn’t seen more than one target in a game since Week 13.

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Tight ends

Travis Kelce: Kelce has continued his playoff prowess this season. He’s seen a 34.2% target share averaging 11 receptions and 90.5 receiving yards with a 50% end zone target share and 2.62 yards per route run. Kelce will be among the most popular captain plays on this one game slate for good reason. He’s had at least 95 receiving yards in seven of his last eight playoff games. In those eight games he’s scored nine touchdowns. Since Week 15, the Eagles have been 23rd in catch rate and 26th in receiving yards per game allowed to tight ends.

Noah Gray: Gray has played 51-66% of the snaps since Week 11 with a 5.3% target share. He has more than one target in a game only once over his last five games. He hasn’t seen a red zone target since Week 15. Gray is a low-end MME dart.

Jody Fortson: Fortson made his return against the Bengals in Week 21. It was his first game action since Week 15. While he didn’t draw a target, he did play 20% of the snaps. Forston is in play as a punt option. While he’s only been able to squeeze out 13 targets this season 38.4% (five) of his target volume has come in the red zone. Fortson is live to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Blake Bell: Bell was inactive in Week 21 with Fortson back. I expect him to be inactive for the Super Bowl.

Dallas Goedert: Since his Week 16 return, Goedert has had an 18.6% target share, a 14.3% end zone target share, and a 79.9% route run rate. Since Week 15, the Chiefs have been fourth in catch rate, 22nd in receiving yards per game, and 23rd in yards per reception allowed to tight ends. Goedert is among the elites at the tight end position in the NFL. He is fourth in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run among tight ends (minimum 30 targets). His biggest asset is his after the catch ability. Goedert ranks third in YAC per reception and ninth in missed tackles forced (minimum 30 targets). Kansas City has bled out YAC all year as they have struggled to tackle. The Chiefs have allowed the fifth-most YAC and sixth-most (tied) missed tackles in the NFL.

Jack Stoll: Cross Stoll off your MME list. Despite playing 18-53% of the snaps weekly since Week 16, Stoll only has one target.

Grant Calcaterra: Calcaterra isn’t in play. He hasn’t played more than 17% of the snaps or drawn a target since Week 15.

Defense / Kickers

KC DST: The Chiefs’ defense has scored at least eight DK points in five of their last nine games. They have four weeks this season with double-digit DK points. Kansas City ranked 21st in drives ending in a turnover, 22nd in interceptions, and second in sacks in the regular season. They were fifth in pressure rate despite only blitzing on 24.2% of their snaps (14th). Each defense makes the most sense in builds where you project a lower-scoring affair or a rout.

PHI DST: The Eagles are sixth in total defensive DVOA and first in pass defense DVOA. They led the NFL in sacks while sitting at second in pressure rate. Philadelphia has finished with double-digit DK points in nine games. They are third in drives ending in a turnover and second in yards per play allowed. If picking between the two defenses, I’ll have more exposure to the Eagles. Pairing Sanders or Scott with the PHI DST is a route I’ll also mix into builds.

Harrison Butker: Butker has six double-digit DK point games this season. This season, the Eagles are 11th in red zone scoring (TD only). The more drives that Philly can force the Chiefs to stall near the goal line will equal more Butker points.

Jake Elliott: Elliott is a distant second among the kickers. Outside of a ridiculous 20-point DK week, Elliott only has managed double-digit output four times. The Chiefs have also done a poor job at holding teams to field goals, as they are 30th in red zone scoring percentage (TD only) allowed.

Favorite Showdown Captains

Favorite Showdown Flex Plays

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our Sports Betting 101 Section – including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners – or head to more advanced sports betting strategies – like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread – to learn more.

All data utilized in this article is courtesy of FantasyPros, ESPN analytics, PFF, SharpFootball Stats, Football Outsiders, FTN, 4for4, Rotoviz,, The Edge from the 33rd Team, and unless otherwise specified.

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