While we’re left [im]patiently awaiting Super Bowl LIV one week away, our second-to-last grasp at some Daily Fantasy Football for the 2019 NFL season comes in the form of the annual Pro Bowl, taking place in Orlando, Florida this year.
Featuring the American and National Football Conference’s top echelon of talent per position elected by coaches, players, and fans (since 1995), this otherwise less-celebrated event provides a chance at winning some cash while having additional interest in the game entirely.
The approach here, based on recent years, is a heavy focus on wide receivers, tight ends, and specifically pass-catching running backs, in that there hasn’t been a running back since Adrian Peterson in 2007’s Pro Bowl to rush for over 100 yards. And in the case of quarterbacks as a whole, I will likely get to at least one on every roster entry.
Since this is a Single-Game Showdown slate, I will highlight players as Utility options, since there is no minimum number of any position required to complete a roster. Pricing will be listed for convenience, though I will point out that many feasible means to roster construction will come in beneath the salary cap, so feel free to get creative.
Russell Wilson (QB), NFC ($8,400/$12,600 Capt.)
He had a hell of a regular season and, for Russell Wilson, a stage like the Pro Bowl seems all the more fitting to cap it off with an exclamation mark to a remarkable season cut two games too short. Although his most recent two Pro Bowl performances were nothing quite worth remembering (9/14/69 0 TD, 1 INT in 2017; 5/8/68 0 TD, 0 INT in 2018), perhaps Orlando will bode differently for the Seahawks quarterback.
Finishing as a Top Five Fantasy Quarterback for the 2019 season, Wilson accounted for 344.6 DraftKings Fantasy points on 4,110 passing yards, 34 touchdowns (31 passing, 3 rushing), and just five interceptions. Despite not quite yet getting the Lambeau playoff monkey off his back, Wilson accounted for what was among arguably his best seasons thus far in his career.
I certainly won’t go crazy with the exposure on this play (or any quarterback for that matter), and will get minimal exposure to him at the Captain designation. However, Russell Wilson
Keenan Allen (WR), AFC ($7,000/$10,500 Capt.)
Although the Los Angeles Chargers were abysmal this season, but the undeniable talents of Keenan Allen were the sole shining constant on this defunct Chargers team that’s begun the rebuilding process.
In 2019, Allen was in the top six targeted players in the league with 149 total targets and this stems from his proven reliability and versatility in his route running that made him the go-to option for Philip Rivers all season long.
Allen was not only top six in the Target metric, but as well as the top six in DraftKings Fantasy points for Wide Receivers with 267.5 DKFP on 104 receptions producing 1,199 receiving yards and six touchdowns. And considering the full-point per reception scoring system featured on DraftKings, Keenan Allen likely has one of the highest ceilings in the available player pool.
Michael Thomas (WR), NFC ($9,400/$14,100 Capt.)
Do I need to say more?
The guy was an absolute outlier nearly every week of the season, and the top DraftKings Fantasy Point producer at the wide receiver position by more than 100 points to the next player behind him (Chris Godwin), and it doesn’t stop at that category.
Thomas was the top target in the league by nearly thirty more targets (185) than second place (Julio Jones, 157 TGT), 45 more Receptions than second-place in that category (DeAndre Hopkins, 104 REC), and more than four-DKFP per game by average than the second in DKFP Per Game (Chris Godwin 21% to Thomas’ 25.3%).
On a side note, his quarterback Drew Brees is playing in this Pro Bowl as well, which makes for a potential and presumable pitch-and-catch combo on such a stage as this one. Michael Thomas will likely be my top target at the Captain spot, as well as overall exposure.
Austin Hooper (TE), NFC ($5,200/$7,800 Capt.)
All of merely three games this season were single-digit DraftKings Fantasy Point lulls for him but, those cast aside, Austin Hooper was a double-digit fantasy beast and a hot commodity through a large stretch of the regular season because of it.
Posting 787 receiving yards on 75 receptions, Hooper ranked sixth-overall in total DraftKings Fantasy Points in 2019 for tight ends with 197.7 DKFP. Also ranking sixth-overall in total targets for the tight end position, Austin Hooper nearly hit triple-digits with 97 total targets on the season.
Ranking third in DraftKings Fantasy Points per game with 15.2 DKFP/G, and a particular game flow that should thrive for the tight ends (and wide receivers), I think Austin Hooper is a fantastic play at the Utility or Captain positions.
Jarvis Landry (WR), AFC ($6,200/$9,300 Capt.)
Jarvis Landry has got one of the highest ceilings on the field in terms of fantasy point potential, and in a Guaranteed Prize Pool tournament (GPP) I want to stuff those kinds of players into my roster in this type of unconventional setting.
For a top-twelve wide receiver in the receptions department (83 REC in 2019), Landry may go for a big play and has the capability of racking up the points per reception as well. Jarvis Landry sits 18th-overall in Yards After Catch in the entire league, and in a format where annihilating other players isn’t particularly encouraged, I could see Landry being the caliber of receiver who breaks for a substantial play.
There are other receivers I will of course get exposure to in my rosters, and other tight ends as well. Outside of Alvin Kamara, I cannot see myself getting to much at running back but I am personally deciding to play that angle. But Jarvis Landry will likely be right up there with Michael Thomas for me in overall exposure at both Captain and overall investment.