DraftKings Super Bowl Showdown Chiefs vs 49ers

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Super Bowl DFS Showdown – Chiefs v 49ers

Hey all and welcome to the DFS breakdown for Super Bowl LVIII! Thank you very much for those who have been following along with my writing; I hope I have been helpful. I’m still chasing that elusive win this DFS season. Perhaps it could come in this final game. In any event, it’s been a pleasure here in my first year with Gridiron Experts. While I am looking forward to some down time in the coming months, I’ll be staying busy with rookie research and keeping tabs on the coaching and free agent carousels.

This being my first Showdown article for Gridiron Experts, I thought I would lay some ground rules as to how I approach Showdown slates.

Showdown Lineups

Trying to decide on a single lineup for Showdowns is not on my agenda. Depending on how many lineups I am willing to make, which right now is 40 to 60, I try to narrow the field down to one to three captains and mix and match my primary player pool with my second and third groups. The third group typically comprises low salary options DraftKings forces us to use with their salary structure.

My Biggest Showdown Rule – Leave Salary on the Table

DraftKings gives you $50,000 to spend on rostering players. The easiest way to get different from everyone else is to not spend all of it. Many folks habitually spend all their salary, so not doing that yourself immediately makes you different. Does this guarantee you victory? No. However, should your lineup end up as the optimal first place winning lineup, you’re less likely to split that top prize with others. If an optimal lineup ends up being one in which all the salary is spent, the top prize can be split a few hundred ways.

Other DFS Showdown Rules (Specific to DraftKings)

The below rules are statistical “rules” that consistently lead to better finishes in showdown slates.

  1. Play at least one QB. The majority of winning lineups feature at least one QB. (A super contrarian way to play is to go with neither, however.)
  2. Only play one, if even one, kicker.
  3. Only play one, if even one, defense.
  4. Typically you should have no more than 2 RBs in a lineup, this includes both teams. It’s very rare for 3 RBs to make an optimal lineup, but it could be in the cards should Mitchell or Juszczyk find the end zone, and if the game goes under the point total.
  5. Don’t “punt” too much. I wouldn’t roster more than 1 person under 2K for most games.
  6. Play at least one WR; over 96% of winning lineups have at least one WR.
  7. Might be obvious, but in the Captain spot, only roster QBs, WRs, RBs and premium TEs; no DSTs and no Kickers. DSTs and Kickers can be optimal captains, but they are rare.
  8. Pair pass catching captains with their QB or RB1.

Super Bowl


Chiefs vs 49ers

Line: 49ers  -2  |  O/U  47.5

Moneyline: 49ers  -135  Chiefs  +105


Chiefs Key Players Out or Injured:

  • G Joe Thuney is dealing with a pectoral injury and has not been practicing. He looks unlikely to play.
  • Isiah Pacheco is working through ankle and toe ailments but should be good to go.
  • Rashee Rice turned up as limited on Thursday with an ankle issue. Something to monitor.
  • CEH made the injury report on Thursday with an illness.
  • Jerick McKinnon has been a limited participant in practice as he works his way back from a sports hernia.

49ers Key Players Out or Injured:

  • TE George Kittle has a toe problem that kept him from practicing last week. He haas gotten in some limited practices this week, however. This would be a huge loss for the 49ers if he were to miss. Name the 2 backup TEs for SF. Yeah, I can’t either.
  • DE Arik Armstead has knee and foot ailments that kept him from practice last week. He’s been limited this week.
  • CB Ambry Thomas has an ankle injury, he’s been limited at practice.


The Chiefs Defense vs the 49ers Offense

Count me as truly perplexed by the Ravens plan of attack against Kansas City. The red 6th against RBs that DraftKings rolls out is a bit misleading. Prior to the Ravens game, the Chiefs had given up 182 rushing yards to Buffalo, only 76 to Miami, 123 to the Chargers, and 104 to the Bengals. My point is that they can be run on. KC’s defense has been quite good this year, against both the run and the pass, but CMC has to be in the game plan, and he likely has to be productive if San Fran wants to be champs.

An interesting thing about those rush yards, however, has been QB run production against the Chiefs. Here are the recent totals:

  • Lamar Jackson – 8 carries, 54 yards
  • Josh Allen – 12 carries, 72 yards, 2 rushing TDs
  • Tua Tagovailoa – 3 carries, 25 yards
  • Easton Stick – 13 carries, 77 yards
  • Jake Browning – 7 carries, 32 yards, 1 rushing TD

Brock Purdy unleashed his little known rushing ability against Detroit with 5 carries for 48 yards. My thinking is that, with the KC secondary being as good as it is, QBs are going through their progressions and opting to take off since no one is open. While Lamar’s and Allen’s totals are likely increased due to designed runs, I’d argue that the likelihood of Purdy exceeding his 12.5 rushing yard prop is quite high.

The Chiefs are top 5 in the league at employing man coverage in their secondary, specifically rolling out 2 high safety coverage often. Brandon Aiyuk has been the go to guy against man coverage, but he has only an 18% target share against 2 high safeties AND he’s likely to get most of the L’Jarius Sneed treatment.

Utility WR Deebo Samuel is likely to be put in spots where he can be successful. Lining up all over the formation, he won’t have any one CB or Safety to deal with. Deebo has good statistics against 2 high safeties, but he’ll also be in good spots when KC switches to single high or zone coverages, if the 49ers can identify them that is. Putting Deebo in situations for yards after the catch should be a priority for SF if they want to win this game.

George Kittle has 11 playoff games under his belt. He’s gone over 40 yards only 3 times, and he has just 2 TDs. Considering that the 49ers offensive line ranks bottom 5 in pass blocking according to Pro Football Focus, Kittle, who is also battling some ailments, might be tasked with helping the offensive line more than running routes. Therefore I wouldn’t expect volume for Kittle, but one big play could get the job done.

While I have always believed that Jauan Jennings is underrated, the simple fact is that the 49ers don’t often utilize 3 WR sets, at least ones with Jennings anyway. The Niners play slow, prioritize other players over Jennings, and this isn’t a good matchup. Jennings sees only 37% of the snaps in games when Kittle, Deebo and Aiyuk are all playing. An injury to any one of those 3 could make Jennings more viable, but it likely will take that happening for Jennings to find the optimal lineup.

We should probably never discount the possibility of a random Eli Mitchell or Kyle Juszczyk TD. We saw that last week when CMC left the game after a long run in which he landed on his head near the goal line. Mitchell came in for the short yard TD in that scenario, and Juszczyk had a goal line carry the week before against Green Bay.


The 49ers Defense vs the Chiefs Offense

It seems a little silly to me that the Chiefs are the underdog yet again. The 49ers head coach is the same guy that blew a 10 point lead to the Rams in the 4th quarter with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, a 10 point lead with 7 minutes left in Super Bowl 54, and a 25 point lead with 3 minutes left in quarter 3 of Super Bowl 51. This is also the same guy who didn’t bother to have an emergency option at QB in last year’s NFC Championship game. To say that this is an extremely important game for Kyle Shanahan’s legacy is an understatement.

This is winning time and Patrick Mahomes has more than proven that he is currently the winningest QB in the NFL. I don’t care how mediocre his receiving weapons are or have been, Mahomes is capable of willing his team to victory. The Chiefs play at one of the fastest paces in the NFL and throw the ball at a top 5 rate in neutral game scripts. During the regular season they averaged over 37 pass attempts a game, and they’ve gone over that in 2 playoff games this postseason. However, if you’re looking for a reason to fade Mahomes from a DFS standpoint, he has not topped 20.8 fantasy points since Week 12 and hasn’t scored more than 25 since Week 7. Being the second most expensive player, it could be hard for Mahomes to make the optimal lineup if he doesn’t even produce 2x his $10,600 salary. However, if this ends up being a low scoring affair, it might not matter if he only puts up 18.5 points as that could be enough to make the optimal lineup in such a scenario.

If I’m the 49ers, my game plan is to try and take away the middle of the field. The only question is whether or not they are going to be capable of that. Mahomes’ average depth of target is much lower this year than in years past. This is even more of a priority for San Francisco with the emergence of Rashee Rice. Since week 12, Rice has a 27% target share and plays a near 50/50 split between slot and perimeter. When in 3 WR sets, Rice often moves into the slot where he’ll face CB Deommodore Lenoir who is tops in many passing categories against. Lenoir’s play is helpful in identifying why the Niners have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to slot WRs. Now that Travis Kelce has awoken, he is very much in the conversation as well since the middle of the field is where the 49ers have been the most vulnerable. Kelce has 19 TDs in 21 career playoff games.

Isiah Pacheco has been getting a steady dose of carries this postseason. Despite not going over 20 carries a game all season, he’s topped that number twice in the postseason. San Francisco allowed an average of 4.3 yards per carry, so I expect a healthy workload for Pacheco yet again.

If opting for another KC pass catcher, Justin Watson and MVS are the next two to likely have some production. They both have about an 8% target share and run routes on 60% of plays. The 49ers are pretty decent at defending the perimeter and the deep ball, but if they opt to try and take away the middle of the field, then that could lead to deep shots to one of these two. There probably will not be many targets to either player, but all it could take is one deep catch. MVS has specifically done this in each of the last 2 games. One thing to possible worry about is Kadarius Toney’s return eating into some of their limited work. In any event, I wouldn’t play more than one of these 3 in any lineup.

Noah Gray is an interesting case. Over the last 2 games Gray has 5 grabs on 8 targets. That’s more targets than any other KC WR. Some of that has to do with the roles each player has in relation to the short passing game offense that KC utilizes. While the likelihood of him outscoring all 3 of Toney, MVS and Watson is not high, he is cheaper and has recently been more involved in the offense from a target share perspective, and he has the better matchup against the SF LBs and defensive backs. If dipping below 2K, Gray and Juszczyk are my picks for a miracle TD.

Mecole Hardman saw 1…ONE… snap in the Conference Championship. If he makes the optimal lineup it’s likely because the one gadget play he has results in a score. Additionally, playing Richie James means he will likely need a kick or punt return TD, but remember that the DST gets credit for that too.


My Primary Player Pool and Captain Options

  • Both QBs (though I’m more likely to have them at FLEX than Captain)
  • Both starting RBs
  • Kelce
  • Deebo

Secondary Player Pool

  • Both DSTs
  • Both Kickers (though Moody frightens me)
  • Aiyuk
  • Rice
  • Kittle

Tertiary Player Pool

  • MVS
  • Noah Gray
  • Justin Watson
  • Kyle Juszczyk
  • Jauan Jennings (he’s priced a little too high though)
  • Eli Mitchell
  • Mecole Hardman
  • Richie James
  • Kadarius Toney


A huge thank you again for this season! Follow me on Twitter/X at @Borisnow00 and Join the free Discord!


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