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Super Bowl DFS Walk Through For The Showdown Slate

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If you are looking for a breakdown/how-to on the strategy behind building a Super Bowl DFS lineup for the showdown slate, you’ve come to the right place.


The 2021 NFL season wrapped up just as quickly as it started. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was impatiently waiting for the very first Showdown slate of the year. Since one of the QB’s in that game decided to ride off into the sunset, we have a young gunslinger itching to take his place.

In his way is another grizzled veteran who surely isn’t going down without a fight. When it comes to DFS Single Game Contests, one thing we definitely must do is look past the matchups — Joe Burrow vs Matthew Stafford; Ja’Marr Chase vs Jalen Ramsey; and the trio of Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Leonard Floyd vs the Bengals O-Line.

The good folks at DraftKings have a Super Bowl dfs contest with a $6m prize pool, with $1m to first place!

What comes with that — a contest size of 470,588. The reason I am bringing all of this up is that you want to build a lineup that gives you first place equity. You don’t want to split the prize pool with a bunch of people. So, while everyone else goes back forth over the schemes that Sean McVay will employ, you need to attack what everyone else thinks is going to happen.

For some reason, once people get an idea in their head, it takes mountains of evidence for them to change that train of thought. For instance, “Jalen Ramsey is the best CB in the league” is a common “certainty” among the public. A lot of things have been said about Chase vs Ramsey in this game.

What do we do in Showdown? Go against the grain. Forget the status quo, we want to pull a Kansas City shuffle, to quote Mr. Goodkat.

When Everyone Goes Right, You Go Left

If everyone is “scared” of Ramsey, I want to be over on Chase/Bengals Receivers. It is literally that simple. The Rams are probably going to deploy a three-headed backfield, so I will choose the lowest owned of the bunch. I have not looked at ownership projections, but I can guess that it will be from highest owned to lowest owned as follows:

  1. Cam Akers
  2. Sony Michel
  3. Darrell Henderson Jr. (if he plays at all)

Either way you slice it, Akers will be the highest owned. You can get leverage over the field just by taking a shot on either Michel or Henderson, and they just may steal goal-line work from Akers. One is way riskier than the other, and you could end up with a zero by playing Henderson, but it gives you more first place equity than everyone else who jams in Cooper Kupp, Akers, Chase, etc.

Salary Distribution

I want to stress that these individual players only reflect a small portion of what we are trying to do here. We need to focus on the lineup as a whole, gaining leverage on ownership in certain spots while accessing the points of the higher-priced and more popular players.

Stafford is most likely going to target Kupp the most, but don’t forget about the Brycen Hopkins and Ben Skowroneks of the world. All those guys need is a TD to pay off. Additionally, if we want to play Kupp at Captain, we need to pay $17,400 for that. Of course, what’s a Cooper Kupp Captain lineup without the Stafford bring back?

We then need to use another $10,800 in salary. That $28,200 represents 56% of your salary cap, and you still need to fill up four other roster spots. If you decide to roll out Captain Kupp/Stafford lineup, you will probably need either Skowronek ($600) or Hopkins($200) in there.

With all that being said, how many lineups are going to start with Captain Kupp, Stafford, and Skowronek? A lot more than you think, which is why the “cheap, sneaky dart throw” isn’t always so sneaky. It becomes a “forced into lineups not by choice, but a necessity” because the build is so top-heavy salary-wise.

It become a toss-up, which is why monitoring ownership projections across the different DFS content sites over the weekend will be key.

Captain on the Helm

The main indicator of success on any given Showdown Slate falls heavily on the Captain spot. Of the top 1% finishing lineups that went with a Captain WR, 84.9% stacked his QB in the Flex. I have spent most of this article preaching about being unique, and if there is any game to do it, the Superbowl is that game.

This is it, everything is on the line for both teams. Perhaps, this is where we do not want to get too cute though. We spoke about Captain Kupp/Stafford Flex and how the direction your lineup will go if you build that way. Chase Captain/Burrow Flex is a bit cheaper, but again, it all comes down to what the lineup looks like overall.

Super Bowl Story

Lastly, your Super Bowl DFSlineup should probably tell a story on how the game is going to go. After the contest locks, you will see many lineups with both defenses and kickers. Of course, there is a way that this is optimal and in the winning lineup. However, we all know the probability of that is very unlikely to come to fruition.

Stafford throws to Kupp (31.7% target share) and Odell Beckham Jr. (21.6% target share) the most. Right there, are probably the three most popular players in other lineups, but the story checks out. This goes back to being unique and thinking outside of the box.

Yes, there is a definite path for a lineup with these three players – OBJ Captain/Stafford & Kupp Flex for example – to be the most popular and in the winning lineup. Hence, getting adventurous with your other three spots and gaining leverage on the field is where the real first-place equity comes from.

The best thing you can do is play around until you find something that looks halfway decent. It’s like putting together a puzzle, but you don’t have any pictures to go off of. Just make the pieces fit, and hopefully, it works out. That is probably the best way I can describe Showdown.

I hope everyone has a good Super Bowl Sunday, and may variance be on your side. I will post a review of my best lineup when all is said and done.

P.S – Don’t sleep on Kickers.


Thank you for checking out my Super Bowl DFS article for the showdown slate! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys’ author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @RichieOnionsDFS and  @IDPGuys (we have offense too) and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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