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Previewing Richie James for Super Bowl DFS

WR Richie James is a big play threat and the 49ers’ return specialist. We break down his performance to date, his DraftKings and FanDuel salaries, and what to expect for Super Bowl 54.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Richie James reacts after catching a pass for a 57 yard gain against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers square off in Super Bowl 54 on Sunday, February 2nd. We’ll be breaking down everything you need to know to prepare your daily fantasy football lineups for the big game. We’re starting with a player-by-player preview for the skill position players on the two teams.

The 49ers’ receiving corps has changed a great deal throughout the course of the season. To wit, in a 31-17 victory over the Buccaneers in Week 1, Richie James had the third-highest snap rate of any WR on San Francisco, trailing the likes of Deebo Samuel and Marquise Goodwin. Needless to say, the former seventh-round pick has fallen down the depth chart since that point in early September.

DFS Super Bowl price

DraftKings Captain: $300
DraftKings Flex: $200
FanDuel: $5,000

DFS opponent position ranking

DraftKings: 5th
FanDuel: 2nd

Season performance

As mentioned, James was a relatively involved member of the 49ers’ offense all the way back in September, seeing eight of his 10 total targets for the campaign as a whole and even hauling in a 39-yard touchdown in Week 1. Really, that’s sort of a microcosm for James’ role on this team. He’s a big play threat. The 24-year-old averaged a robust 27.5 yards per reception in 2019, while also serving as San Francisco’s primary return man.

Playoff performance

There’s really not all that much to speak of. James has seen the field for a mere eight offensive snaps in the 49ers’ victories over Minnesota and Green Bay, with all seven of his touches coming in a special teams capacity. James’ biggest impact was a 26-yard punt return in the NFC Championship Game, something that would eventually lead to a Robbie Gould ($4,000) field goal.

Matchup

For a team that wasn’t exactly regarded as even a good defensive squad coming into 2019, Kansas City’s done a fantastic job of limiting wideouts from a fantasy perspective. In fact, the 50% target share the Chiefs surrendered to opposing WRs was the lowest in all of football during the regular season. Kansas City’s also conceded a mere 6.2 yards per pass attempt - the sixth-lowest mark in the NFL.

DFS pricing and analysis

As strange as it sounds, there’s really only one way you’re playing James during the Super Bowl and that’s to pair him with 49ers D/ST ($3,600) and hope for a return touchdown that gives you double-points. It’d certainly be a variance play, but not one I’d necessarily recommend. In general, James simply hasn’t been a factor in San Francisco’s game plans since the arrival of Emmanuel Sanders. He’s an afterthought.

I am an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.