Super Bowl LIII Fantasy Spotlight

As Super Bowl LIII approaches and the hype continues to grow, fantasy football may seem like a distant memory. It’s been over a month since the 2018 fantasy season wrapped up, and 2019 fantasy drafts aren’t anywhere near the horizon. The betting odds have fluctuated throughout the season for the Rams and Patriots, (though the Rams odds did hold steadier), but now that we are down to just two teams doesn’t mean there isn’t some fantasy-relevant information to glean on Super Sunday. Let’s dive into a few fantasy football related questions that we can look to get answers to when the Rams and Patriots face off for the Lombardi Trophy.

Can Sony Michel take hold of the New England backfield?

Michel had an up and down season in 2018 and finished as the RB28 in half PPR scoring, but he thrived when given a chance to be the feature back. Including playoff games, he averaged over 118 yards and 1.8 touchdowns in games where he carried the ball at least 21 times. Through the first two playoff games, it appears that New England is ready to give Michel the keys to the backfield, though James White and Rex Burkhead have retained their roles as pass-catcher and change of pace back respectively. If the backs are used the same way against the Rams, it could be a strong indication of how the Patriots plan to roll with their backfield next season, which would make it feasible for Michel to be a top ten running in 2019.

Can Tyler Higbee or Gerald Everett be a fantasy relevant tight end?

The tight end position was an unpredictable wasteland for fantasy football once you got past the top four. Rams tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett had similar outputs in 2018, but neither was overly impressive in the big picture. Everett grabbed three touchdown catches over two weeks in November, but never had more than 50 yards receiving in any game. Higbee found the end zone more recently in the NFC Championship game and topped out at 63 yards receiving in week 11, but had fewer catches and yards than Everett on the season. It’ll be interesting to see how the two tight ends are used against New England, though with Cooper Kupp returning from injury in 2019 they could easily both end up irrelevant again.

Can Chris Hogan or Phillip Dorsett earn a big payday?

Hogan and Dorsett will both be free agents this offseason, and even though they had relatively lackluster seasons, a big performance in the big game could earn them a big payday. Hogan was a hot fantasy commodity headed into the 2018 season with an ADP in the fourth round as the WR20 in half PPR drafts but only finished as the WR68. Dorsett was even worse, finishing as WR87, though he didn’t even register an ADP headed into the season. Dorsett has come on strong lately, however, catching a touchdown pass in three consecutive games. An impressive performance in Atlanta from either Patriot receiver could vault them into the fantasy conversation for 2019.    

Is Todd Gurley still worthy of the number one pick?

Todd Gurley has been the top-scoring running back in half PPR leagues two years in a row but has incredibly been overshadowed by C.J. Anderson lately. Gurley sat out the last weeks of the regular season with a knee injury, opening the door for Anderson to come off the street and average nearly 150 yards and find the endzone twice in the two games without Gurley. Even when Gurley returned for the NFL playoffs, Anderson out carried and outscored him in each of the two games leading to the Super Bowl. Coach Sean McVay says that he expects Gurley to be a big part of the game plan against New England, but if he fails to perform up to his high standards it might instill enough doubt in the fantasy community to see Gurley drop from the top draft slot in 2019 fantasy drafts.

Will this be Rob Gronkowski’s swan song?

Gronk was a major let down in 2018. He was drafted as the number one tight end in 2018 fantasy drafts at 2.09 overall and proceeded to finish as the TE11 on the season. He was able to come up with some key catches in the AFC Championship game, but only caught three touchdowns on the season, and none in the playoffs. Rumors have been swirling that the nine-year veteran is ready to hang up his cleats and head to Hollywood or the WWE. It’s definitely within the realm of possibilities that Gronk has a signature performance in the Super Bowl, but that may be a moot point for the fantasy football world if he decides to call it a career.

Thanks for reading, enjoy Super Sunday, and make sure to check in with me on Twitter @aalarson and with Dynasty Football Factory all offseason!

alarson

Husband, father, teacher, coach, news correspondent for @FantasyPros, Writer for @DFF_Redraft. #DFFArmy #FantasyFootball @aalarson

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