We only have one game to project so I’m combining features here to save you guys extra clicks and because I don’t want to write a sub-100-word projections post.
I’m not sure if you’re still playing or not. I know I have a couple lineups at Draft Kings from a couple weeks ago with Super Bowl players in them. Hopefully you’re still in contention in your playoff league.
By this point you know who to play or who you have to play depending on who you drafted, but I felt like I needed to provide these projections. These are less boom-or-bust than the others I’ve done this season. They still have the Las Vegas factor built in, but I made far less matchups changes.
Speaking of LVf, Las Vegas expects both teams to score above the expected average. That’s not surprising. Both teams have elite defenses and offenses. The No. 4 Patriots offense will face the No. 1 Seahawks defense. The No. 10 Seahawks offense will face the No. 8 Patriots defense.
Here are the offense vs. defense averages:
Neither quarterback has a particularly good matchup either. I think the offense vs. defense averages adequately suppressed the statistics enough so I didn’t make any changes. Tom Brady has a better chance of throwing a touchdown pass, but Russell Wilson‘s rushing ability gives him a distinct advantage in most formats. The Patriots ranked 12th against quarterbacks in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. The Seahawks rank third.
The one big thing to consider is who Bill Belichick considers Seattle’s greatest threat. He will likely game plan to shut down either Marshawn Lynch or Wilson.
Here are the quarterback projections:
I’m figuring Belichick focuses on Lynch, but I still gave him all of the scraps — projections going to Percy Harvin, Christine Michael and other runners who had just a few carries this season. And he’s still the most likely player to score a touchdown today at 90%. New England’s LeGarrette Blount, who scored three last game, is second with 70%.
There’s a little something extra for those of you playing in Super Bowl contests or placing prop bets.
Just like with the quarterbacks, neither team is a particularly good matchup for running backs.
The Seahawks are the second-best team at stopping the run according to DVOA. The Patriots are more middle-of-the-pack at 14th. But the Patriots are better at stopping pass-catching backs (12th to Seattle’s 18th). Lynch has a 30 percent chance to score a touchdown through the air and we have him projected for 3.6 targets.
It’s worth noting that both teams have running backs who could provide value in DFS depending on game script. Robert Turbin gets a decent amount of carries and yards per game for the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Patriots Jonas Gray had a 200-yard, 4-TD game this season. Shane Vereen was a candidate for lead back duties at one point this season and is a good pass-catacher out of the backfield
I’m starting Turbin in one of my DFS lineups but that was only because I wanted Wilson, Lynch, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman in the same lineup, not because I think he’s going to go for 100 yards and a touchdown.
It’s also difficult for me to suggest starting any Patriots back other than Blount. He’s been too dominant to ignore.
Running back projections:
Drink many beverages, eat many nachos and enjoy the game.
Las Vegas thinks it’ll be one of the closest ever. I sure hope so.