You Can Play DFS Super Bowl Games Online – But You Need to Act Quickly

Image credit: Erin Costa

Yes, you can play in Super Bowl 51 fantasy contests at DraftKings and FanDuel this year, but you need to act quickly because lineups must be submitted by January 29th, 2017. That’s because this year’s Super Bowl contests will also be pulling players from the 2017 Pro Bowl. That game gets underway this Sunday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

The reason fantasy sites aren’t just holding a fantasy contest for the Super Bowl alone is thanks to a federal law. In 2006, a piece of legislation called the UIGEA was passed to crack down on online gambling. The UIGEA specifically exempted fantasy sports from the prohibition, but the exemption requires that all contests not depend on the performance of a single player or the outcome of a single game. Thus, every fantasy contest must include at least two games.

This is tough slate to plan for with two completely different games going off at the same time. In one, we have the easygoing and ultimately meaningless Pro Bowl which is unpredictable due to the nature of the competition and the limited play time seen by each participant. In the other, we have the most intense game of the season as the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons compete in front of a national audience.

It’s also a fun slate because there are so many great players to choose from with the best in the league up for grabs. We’re also lucky this year because both games are looking to be high-scoring matchups. Oddsmakers have set the point total for the Super Bowl at an absurd 59.5 points with two of the league’s best offenses squaring off on February 5th. The Pro Bowl has always been a high scoring game just by its nature, with point totals that have eclipsed 100 points in the not-too-distant past.

Biggest Super Bowl 51 Fantasy Contests

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to draft a complete lineup from the pool of players competing in both games. These are the biggest Super Bowl LI fantasy contests for 2017. Don’t forget to get your lineups in before the Pro Bowl on January 29th.

FanDuel: $250K Bowl Games Bash

  • Entry: $4
  • First Place: $30,000
  • Total Entries: 73,529
  • Places Paid: 14,775
  • Enter Now:

FanDuel: $100K NFL Bomb

  • Entry: $25
  • First Place: $10,000
  • Total Entries: 4705
  • Places Paid: 940
  • Enter Now:

FanDuel: $50K NFL Snap

  • Entry: $2
  • First Place: $5,000
  • Total Entries: 29,411
  • Places Paid: 5,667
  • Enter Now:

FanDuel: $25K NFL Dive

  • Entry: $1
  • First Place: $1,500
  • Total Entries: 29,411
  • Places Paid: 6,037
  • Enter Now:

DraftKings: $400K Season Finale

  • Entry: $4
  • First Place: $30,000
  • Total Entries: 117.6K
  • Places Paid: 33,000
  • Enter Now:

DraftKings: $200K Bootleg Finale

  • Entry: $33
  • First Place: $20,000
  • Total Entries: 7,006
  • Places Paid: 1,770
  • Enter Now:

DraftKings: $100K Play-Action Finale

  • Entry: $3
  • First Place: $10,000
  • Total Entries: 39.2K
  • Places Paid: 10,020
  • Enter Now:

DraftKings: $50K Shovel Pass

  • Entry: $20
  • First Place: $5,000
  • Total Entries: 2,890
  • Places Paid: 740
  • Enter Now:

Strategic Considerations

This is not your normal fantasy football weekend due to both games being so completely different when compared to one another. As noted above, one game is played with all the passion in the world while the other is played to have fun and maybe make a couple of highlight-reel plays.

Super Bowl players are the most expensive, most reliable fantasy point earners in this slate. They’ll be seeing snaps all the way through and playing their very best. Pro Bowl players are cheaper and will be facing light defenses, but they won’t be seeing nearly as many plays. There is considerable uncertainty with the Pro Bowl players.


The safest bet by far is to go with one of the Super Bowl quarterbacks. Matt Ryan ($9500 FanDuel / $9100 DraftKings) and Tom Brady ($9900 FanDuel / $8700 DraftKings) are both so good that hardly anything needs to be said here regarding their skills or why you’d want to pick either one. Both can put up a ton of points, both have plenty of talent to pass to and both are not big on making mistakes.

Matt Ryan faces the tougher defense of the two up against a New England squad that allowed the fewest points per game in the NFL this year. Tom Brady’s matchup against the Falcons defense looks really good on paper (especially on DraftKings where you see a big green 31 in the matchup strength spot), but the Falcons have improved quite a bit on the defensive side. You’ll want to remember how effectively they stifled that surging Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay offense in the Conference Championship game.

The big downside for both Super Bowl LI quarterbacks is the ownership percentage. You’re not going to get away from that unless you drop down to a Pro Bowl quarterback. Doing so would save you a good chunk of cash that you could throw at the big wide receivers or running backs, but obviously you also take on additional risk with a Pro Bowl QB at the top of your ticket.

Quarterbacks in the Pro Bowl do not get many snaps, but they do often make the most of what they get. In last year’s Pro Bowl game, Russell Wilson had 12 pass attempts for 8 completions and three touchdowns. Teddy Bridgewater got 129 yards on just 8 attempts for two TDs and one interception. Jameis Winston had 113 yards on 12 attempts for two TDs of his own.

Those are not bad numbers for a bunch of QBs who will be priced between $3000 and $4300 at DraftKings and $5000 to $6500 at FanDuel.

On the other hand, there’s the very obvious risk that your QB doesn’t do big things in the few snaps he gets. Derek Carr, Tyrod Taylor and Eli Manning threw for a combined 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions as a part of Team Rice last year.

Running Backs

Running backs should definitely be drafted from the Super Bowl game because Pro Bowl running backs do not get much action. In the 2015 Pro Bowl, there were zero rushing touchdowns and most RBs were held to 20-30 yards. Similarly, the 2016 Pro Bowl had just one rushing touchdown with no one running for more than 42 yards in total.

In the Super Bowl game, we have some viable options at the running back position. Devonta Freeman ($8300 FanDuel / $8600 DraftKings) of the Falcons is the top-priced option at both sites – and for good reason. He has been a consistent earner for fantasy owners over the course of the season. Even against top-ranked defenses, Freeman gone off for some big point totals. He does have a couple of low-scoring games in his log, but he is generally pretty solid.

There’s also the chance that he gets extra work if the Patriots end up devoting additional resources to contain Julio Jones. The Patriots do have a stout run defense, but they do have a history of giving up receptions to running backs.

New England running backs will be worth a look as well with the Falcons struggling against the run. LeGarrette Blount ($7100 FanDuel / $5300 DraftKings) poses an interesting problem for the Falcons. Atlanta already has trouble against the run, but they cannot commit too many resources to stopping Blount or they risk giving Brady the room he needs to have a big game.

Wide Receivers

There is no lack of options for wide receivers this week between the Falcons, Patriots and Pro Bowl players. Julio Jones ($9600 FanDuel / $10,100 DraftKings) is the elephant in the room as usual when he’s slated to play. He is still listed as questionable with a toe injury, but that didn’t stop him last week from receiving for 180 yards and two touchdowns against Green Bay.

Jones could give even the stingy New England pass defense trouble this week. The knocks against him are his prices and the potential of New England working overtime to minimize his impact on the game.

Julian Edelman ($8500 FanDuel / $8900 DraftKings) will be the obvious pick for a big chunk of the fan base this weekend. He’s just an easy pick; he has a favorable matchup against the Falcons’ secondary, he’ll be receiving passes from Tom Brady and has more than 100 yards in each of his past three games with two TDs across that stretch.

Chris Hogan ($6900 FanDuel / $6200 DraftKings) had a huge game against the Steelers last week where he had 9 receptions on 12 targets for 180 yards and two TDs. Hogan doesn’t always get a ton of targets, but when he does get them, he makes use of them.

Tight Ends

There is not a whole lot to choose from among Super Bowl tight ends. We have Martellus Bennett ($6000 FanDuel /$4900 DraftKings) of the Patriots as the most expensive option, but they still have him listed as questionable with various injuries that have been nagging at him for a while now.

One step down in pricing below Bennett, we have four tight ends from the Pro Bowl game: Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen, Delanie Walker and Jimmy Graham. Pro Bowl tight ends actually fare pretty well and should be considered for this week’s DFS Super Bowl contests. ESPN makes a solid case for Pro Bowl tight ends here.