Matthew Stafford will aim to propel the Rams to victory Sunday in Super Bowl 56 against the Bengals. For fantasy football managers and bettors, all eyes are on whether he can keep pace with Joe Burrow and Cincinnati’s high-flying offense. The following scenarios outline Stafford’s realistic floor and ceiling and what this means for managers, DFS competitors, and prop bettors.
Matthew Stafford will exceed Super Bowl expectations if . . .
Stafford has waited a long time for this moment. The Rams have lost four games since Week 3 — all four were to playoff teams. In those four losses, he averaged 18.4 DFS fantasy points. Simply put, he’s been nearly impossible to contain for four quarters.
The recently turned 34-year-old played some of his sloppiest football down the stretch of the regular season. He endured 8 turnovers from Weeks 16-18.
In contrast, he’s played some of his best football in the postseason, managing 8 touchdowns while turning the ball over only once. He’ll face a Bengals defense that’s given up the third-most 20+ yard pass plays, the third-most pass completions, and the seventh-highest completion percentage.
Stafford possesses a massive ceiling with the game’s top-performing wideout, a strong No. 2 veteran WR, and a fairly young backfield capable of doing more damage than we’ve seen recently, including in the passing game. Cincinnati’s defense is middling at best. They probably won’t have an answer for Stafford.
He will underperform in the Super Bowl if . . .
Aside from simply having an off game (unlikely, though always possible), Stafford could endure low production if Cam Akers — and secondarily Sony Michel and/or Darrell Henderson — run over a Bengals defense yielding a healthy 4.3 yards per carry. LA backs have racked up 80 carries in three playoff games. If they’re clicking, particularly near the goal line, we might see a more muted Stafford.
In other words, Stafford could throw for 300 yards. But the Rams’ RBs could cap his ceiling. Likely? No. But entirely possible, especially when considering the Rams’ success in keeping opposing offenses off the field. No team has averaged more offensive time of possession in their last three games. Long drives that end with RB rushing touchdowns could lead to disappointing numbers for Stafford.
What is Stafford’s fantasy outlook in Super Bowl 56?
Stafford’s realistic fantasy outlook falls somewhere within 17-22 points. He should net at least 1 score. A second touchdown would almost guarantee his entry into this solid point range. His odds of hitting his ceiling (about 300 yards and 3 touchdowns) are about 30%-40%. His odds of scoring only once are less.
He’s the second-most-expensive DFS option in DraftKings ($10,800), $800 cheaper than Cooper Kupp, and $200 pricier than Burrow. He lacks the monster ceiling of others playing in this game — like Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase — having exceeded 24.3 DFS fantasy points only once in his last nine starts. Yet, he remains one of the game’s safest DFS options, period.
Additionally, we’re intrigued with a DraftKings prop bet on whether Stafford and Burrow have more than 4.5 combined TD passes. We recommend taking the favorable +145 odds on a scenario that’s more likely than not to transpire.