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🏈 NFL DFS Strategy: Second Half In-Game Showdown | Super Bowl LV

Kyle Dvorchak



NFL DFS Picks for DraftKings SUper Bowl LV daily fantasy football lineups Patrick Mahomes

Super Bowl LV is our final chance to get a healthy NFL DFS sweat in for the next seven months. A full game of DraftKings Showdown is great., but it may not be enough. For those who are looking for even more action on the big game, DraftKings has their In-Game Showdown Second Half contest. I’ll give a brief overview of some edges we can exploit that aren’t present in the normal Showdown format instead of getting into the weeds on the game as a whole. You can find my normal Showdown Breakdown for that kind of information here.Β 

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NFL DFS Strategy: In-Game Showdown | Super Bowl LV

Distribution Strategy

One of the biggest edges we can have in Second Half Showdown is making better use of the information we gain from the first half. Everyone will be watching the same game but not everyone will be making optimal decisions based on what information presents itself in the first half.Β 

Kansas City Backfield

Clyde Edwards-Helaire appears to have an edge over Darrel Williams from a touch projection, but the situation is highly volatile. In their last game, Edwards-Helaire out-snapped Williams 23-to-9 in the first half and out-carried him 5-to-2. He got the nod on the Chiefs’ first drive of the second half but mostly vanished after that. Edwards-Helaire may have been given some rest in the second half because his team was winning and he was coming off a month-long hip injury. With everything on the line in this game, don’t expect any rest for him if Andy Reid does view him as their best bet. If Edwards-Helaire earns the same split in the first half of the Super Bowl as he did two weeks ago, he’d be someone to load up on if the Chiefs are playing from a lead.Β 

Kansas City Receivers

If Sammy Watkins is active and healthy, we would normally expect him to operate as the clear No. 2 receiver. He ran a route on nearly 75% of Patrick Mahomes‘ dropbacks during the regular season when active. He was also targeted 5.5 times per game. If Watkins is playing like an every-down player in the first half, it will be much easier to fade Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman unless one of those two is clearly out-snapping the other. Lastly, Byron Pringle led the trio of backups in routes during the AFC Championship. If for some reason Kansas City chooses to run him over both Hardman and Robinson, he will likely be an under-owned value at $1,800.

Tampa Bay Receivers

The Tampa Bay receiving distribution is likely set in stone, but Antonio Brown‘s health could throw a wrench in things. Even if he is active, he could be at far less than 100% healthy. Monitoring his snaps in the first few minutes of the game should be all we need to know if he’ll resume his normal role. From Week 9 to Week 16, he was just as used by the Buccaneers offense as Godwin.

  • Evans – 22% target share, 28.9% air yards share
  • Godwin – 17.6% target share, 19.9% air yards share
  • Brown – 17.7% target share, 16.9% air yards share

If Brown is playing a diminished role, Cameron Brate will be worth paying for his elevated price of $4,800. He has seen 16 targets in the playoffs. That likely comes as a result of Brown not playing more than half of the team’s snaps in a single game. Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson will draw some ownership if Brown looks hobbled, but Brate may be the better pivot.

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Game Script for NFL DFS

This will be the obvious way to leverage our knowledge gain, but that doesn’t mean the field will efficiently do so. This year both teams have played stunningly similar football in terms of how the score affects their passing rate. Here is each team’s pass rate broken down by scoring differential:

More than -7 -7 to +7 More than +7
TB 79.0% 62.5% 52.2%
KC 76.9% 60.9% 55.4%

As a shorthand, we can expect that if either team falls behind by more than a touchdown, their pass catchers should get loaded with targets and be obvious values based on prices being the same for In-Game Showdown as regular Showdown. Quarterbacks don’t accrue their fantasy points by volume alone. Stacking multiple pass catchers without their quarterback becomes increasingly viable if either team is trailing by a lot. Both teams still pass more often than they run even with a lead, so don’t shy away from Mahomes or Brady if the spread is large after the first two quarters.


Getting one free possession is an interesting wrinkle of In-Game Showdown. Normally both teams at least have the opportunity to equal their opponent’s number of possessions. In In-Game Showdown, one team starts with the ball and the other team will never regain that possession differential aside from defensive and special teams scores. The Buccaneers have elected to receive the football the past two times they’ve won the toss. Kansas City has deferred all season. That means the Chiefs should be in line for one more chance to score and accrue fantasy points in the second half. In Fourth Quarter In-Game Showdown, making an educated guess based on the down and distance plus field position before the contest locks is worth considering given how few possessions in total there are within a single quarter of football.

Scoring Differential

Although this may sound the same as game script, the score differential itself can have a small impact on the decision making of each team. If the Buccaneers are only down by a field goal, no one would be happier than Bruce Arians to trot out his kicker. If the Chiefs are down by more than 11, it’s likely that they will play more aggressively in the second half. This will be especially true for those playing Fourth Quarter Showdown.

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If you like fantasy football and care about data, there's a 50/50 chance I've written for your favorite site. In a few short years I've covered, season-long, dynasty, best ball, and DFS for football. I used to be watching games and pretend to know what I was talking about but now I just spew numbers that forecast outcomes better than any scout. Come for the numbers, stay for the bad jokes and Zach Zenner references. RIP XFL.

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