Super Bowl DFS Position Coaches:
It feels like just yesterday and it was Week 1 of the NFL season, and we were all giddy to set our DFS lineups. Time has flown by to say the least, and we are now staring at a juicy matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 56. The options run a bit thin in this one, and with just five-man lineups, you’re going to need to try to get creative when setting your lineups.
Is wide receiver the place to get creative in this matchup? Well, both teams have narrow target trees amongst their wide receivers, so it may not be who you play that is creative, but more so where you play them. Again, options are thin at wideout, so no one below should be a major surprise, but here is your breakdown of the wide receivers for your Super Bowl 56 DFS contests.
Beckham has been everything and more the Rams could have hoped for when signing him a handful of weeks ago. Through three postseason games, he has 19 grabs for 236 yards, and has been an excellent No. 2 to Cooper Kupp. He’s being targeted in the red zone, and he’s been excellent downfield. The Bengals ranked 27th in DVOA against the WR2, and in the postseason, Chidobe Awuzie has allowed a 16.6 aDOT, 22.1 yards per reception and a 136.6 passer rating when targeted, per Pro Football Focus (PFF).
There are two ways you can take the above statement:
- Pass on Chase due to potential Ramsey shadow
- Take a chance on Chase with potentially slightly lower ownership due to potential Ramsey shadowing him
Here’s one thing to note with shadow coverages. Oftentimes, the corner doesn’t follow the opposing receiver on one hundred percent of their routes. Seventy-five percent? Sure, but typically not 100 percent. When Chase doesn’t see Ramsey lined up opposite him, Chase would see Darious Williams, who is the cornerback that has been thrown at the most in the postseason between the Bengals and Rams. Chase has massive potential and it’s hard to fade him on a small slate, but I would have to guess that the Rams make a concerted effort to put their best (Ramsey) on Cincinnati’s best (Chase) more often than not.
The Bengals should look to do whatever it takes to minimize the amount of snaps that Cooper Kupp gets against Eli Apple. In slot coverage, Mike Hilton has been far better, but Apple gets in the slot every now and again, and other teams have relished that opportunity. Per PFF, on 11 coverage snaps in the slot, Apple has been targeted five times, resulting in four grabs for 55 yards with one touchdown and a 152.1 passer rating. For comparison, Hilton has allowed six grabs on 92 coverage snaps in the slot. Kupp is a target machine and ownership will be high, but it’s hard to ignore what he and Matthew Stafford have done this season.
Higgins’ ownership is likely going to see a slight bump with Ramsey potentially shadowing Ja’Marr Chase. Higgins has 14 grabs for 209 yards in the postseason, and he can be the guy on any given week. One thing that’s very intriguing with Higgins is the mismatch he provides, especially in the red zone. He stands at 6’4” tall, whereas the Rams’ three main corners stand at the following:
Fades or jump balls to Higgins should most certainly be in the game plan for Joe Burrow, because if Ramsey is going to be on Chase more often than not, Higgins has five inches on either of those Los Angeles corners.
Jefferson’s minimal postseason production should lead to lower ownership, but he very well could pop off in this contest. Apple has allowed 70 percent of passes thrown at him to be caught, not to mention two touchdowns and a 126.0 passer rating when targeted. Jefferson is intriguing because while the overall target volume has been lessened with OBJ’s postseason play, but 44.4 percent of Jefferson’s targets in the postseason have been 20+ yards downfield. If even just one of them were to have landed for a score, Jefferson’s outlook would be vastly different heading into Super Bowl 56.