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Daily Fantasy Football Breakdown for the Conference Championships on DraftKings and FanDuel
We've got a storybook set of Conference Championship games with lots of great DFS plays. Let's get into it!
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) vs. Green Bay Packers (-3.5)
We start the Conference Championship round with the Bucs and Packers. Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers! Battle of the Bays! These two teams met in week 6, when the Bucs absolutely boat-raced the Pack to the tune of a 38-10 stomping that saw Tompa and company score 28 points in the second quarter. It was by far Rodgers' worst game of the season, with the future Hall of Famer registering just 160 passing yards while throwing two picks. Needless to say, a lot has changed since those two teams clashed in week 6, so let's take a look at what we're forecasting for this one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette FD 7200 DK 5300
Proj Points FD - 15.45 DK - 17.59
Last week was insanely tough because there were a number of running games where we were dealing with uncertainty. We were able to read the tea leaves in Tampa, though, forecasting Fournette for the majority of opportunity and production. Lenny delivered, gobbling up 107 total yards and a touchdown on 23 touches. He out-targeted Jones 6-1 in the passing game, which is particularly important since the Bucs will likely be playing from behind here. The Bucs were very effective running the ball in week 6, averaging more than five yards per carry. On a two-game slate filled with time shares, Fournette is currently in 100% of our cash game lineups.
Brady is by far the worst quarterback remaining, and nothing from last week is going to get us excited about grabbing pieces from his passing game. That being said, I still think there is reason to be bullish on Godwin at these prices. First of all - he's downright cheap. We've paid $8k for Godwin in the past, and it's easy to argue that he would have seen more target share last week if the game script had been more like this one projects to be. For as bad as Godwin's production was last week, he still had the most targets on the team, and was the most effective option among Tampa's big-name ball catchers. Evans had just 3 targets last week, and just 2 when these teams met in week 6. Gronk and Brown caught a ball each. If Tampa has any chance to move the ball through the air, it has to start with Godwin.
Kelce will be the chalk option today, but don't rule out running two tight ends, or playing Brate on DK where he's the literal minimum price. As the season has progressed, Gronk has been more effective as a blocker than a pass-catcher, and Brate has 8 catches for 130 yards in the playoffs so far. Brady was very efficient to tight ends in the week 6 tilt against the Packers, connecting on 6 of his 9 passes to them. There's touchdown upside here, too. If Kelce didn't exist, I'd happily play Brate in all formats.
A quick note on Mike Evans: The targets really haven't been there for Evans, but if you're looking for a reason to run him in big tournaments it's worth considering that he draws Green Bay's lowest ranked cornerback in Kevin King.
Green Bay Packers
Allen Lazard FD 5700 DK 4200
Proj Points FD - 11.23 DK - 13.64
If you held a draft at the beginning of the season as to whom the most attractive DFS plays would be from the Packers in the Conference Championship, how many players would you have listed before you landed on Lazard? For me, it would have been something like "all of them." And yet, here we are. On a week where you need cheap targets, Lazard provides them, having earned 8 of them against the Rams last week. If you were concerned that his production last week was match-up based, his match-up actually improves this week. Lazard should draw Sean Murphy-Bunting in the slot, who is the lowest ranked cornerback on the entire slate. Lazard is a great high floor cash game inclusion.
A quick word on Davante Adams: He's obviously fantastic, but given how small of a slate we're dealing with here you sort of have to pick between him and Tyreek Hill. Given that Hill is cheaper on both sites, our model prefers Hill for cash games.
Buffalo Bills (+3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-3)
Josh Allen FD 8500 DK 6900
Proj Points FD - 24.95 DK - 25.86
The top two fantasy quarterbacks on this slate are obviously Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. The latter has some injury concerns going into this week after suffering the stinger last week against the Browns. Allen didn’t look amazing against the Ravens in the Divisional Round. He completed only 23 of his 37 passes and ran for only seven yards. It was basically his worst fantasy performance of the season. But this Chiefs defense isn’t in the same tier as the Ravens, ranking 22nd in DVOA this year. Allen still averaged 284 yards through the air and 26 yards on the ground this season. In what projects to be a shootout, I think he’s the play over Mahomes this week.
Devin Singletary FD 5800 DK 4500
Proj Points FD - 10.89 DK - 12.29
Singletary was on the field for 48 of the 56 running back snaps last week with Zack Moss out of the picture. He ended up touching the ball *only* ten times (seven carries, three targets) but for this slate we will get what we can take at these prices. I do think that’s the bottom end of the projected usage with this many snaps and it did help the price stick in the lower middle tier.
Stefon Diggs FD 8300 DK 7000
Proj Points FD - 16.79 DK - 20.89
John Brown FD 5600 DK 4300
Proj Points FD - 10.94 DK - 13.2
Diggs was his usual WR1 in the Divisional Round, getting 11 targets on his way eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. On a per game basis this season Diggs ranked third in targets behind Keenan Allen and DaVante Adams, and third in DraftKings points per game behind Adams and Tyreek Hill. But on this slate, he’s cheaper than both that wideouts. He’s a tough fade especially if you think Mahomes isn’t coming in at 100%.
Meanwhile, Brown struggled mightily with injuries this season, ultimately playing only playing 10 regular season games. The Wildcard round was a struggle after a strong Week 17, but he then blew it out of the box last week against the Ravens. He tied with Diggs in targets with 11 and finished with 62 yards. Look, this just as easily could have been Cole Beasley who could easily spike targets once again.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes FD 9000 DK 7600
Proj Points FD - 26.14 DK - 26.79
This is one of the biggest question marks of the slate. Is Patrick Mahomes going to be healthy enough to perform at the level we saw all season. He’s still technically in the concussion protocol and is also dealing with a foot issue. If he’s given a full bill of health leading into Sunday then he should be safe to run in cash and it could be a closer call between him and Allen. Mahomes actually finished with more fantasy points per game than Allen this season (by a couple of decimal points) and the Chiefs will need to keep their foot on the gas this game. Let’s see how the injury news plays out heading into the game.
Darrel Williams FD 6000 DK 4800
Proj Points FD - 11.37 DK - 12.48
This is a tricky situation and it depends entirely on the health of Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Last week, CEH was a late scratch, unable to make his return from the IR after sitting out the last few weeks. In his place, Darrel Williams played 54 of the 68 (80%) of the running back snaps and finished with solid usage scoring 13 carries and four targets. He finished with 94 total yards and missed a rushing touchdown by an inch. If no, CEH this is a lock play at running back. If the latter is back then we will need to reevaluate.
Travis Kelce FD 8600 DK 8000
Proj Points FD - 17.61 DK - 21.5
Travis Kelce set the single-season record for most receiving yards by a tight end this season, passing the mark set by George Kittle two seasons ago. He was a monster. His 22 DraftKings points per game about four points higher than the next-closest player at the position (Waller). On a slate with the tight end position awfully thin, Kelce makes a very tough fade considering the positional scarcity and his lapping of the field this season in fantasy points.
Tyreek Hill FD 8400 DK 7200
Proj Points FD - 19.2 DK - 22.77
The wide receiver choices on this slate are going to be the toughest call of them all. There are multiple elite guys at the position and not enough money to roster all of them. The way the Chiefs are using Hill, between the targets and the touches on the ground (three last week) there’s a clear plan to get him in the mix as much as possible. Coming out of the slot, he should face the Bills weakest corner in Taron Johnson. If Mahomes is healthy, I think Hill is the top option of the three big WRs.
Consider Mecole Hardman if Sammy Watkins is out again this week. He had 62 total yards last week.