For the final four NFL playoff teams, a chance to go to the Super Bowl is on the line Sunday. This also means that it’s the final week of full daily fantasy football slates as well. In turn, there are a few interesting ways to approach the two-game slate which features four high-octane offenses. Points are expected in both games, and finding a unique approach is the best route to go.
We’re going to take a look at a few picks and two different lineups for the DraftKings slate which covers the NFC/AFC Championship games. The first of the two lineups will be an optimal build which is somewhat more well-rounded while the second is a 150-max (GPP) lineup. This features more risk but also provides a high upside in the process.
I’m going to do my best to create lineups that may be a bit less chalky than the typical approach. On a two-game slate, it can be tough to differentiate your lineups, so that’s a big focus this weekend.
Let’s dive in and layout the top picks by position first. It’s worth noting that my favorite picks aren’t necessarily in order of who I believe will just score the most points. In many situations, paying down for one player who provides great value will open things up in another spot, and that’s factored in here.
Top DraftKings Conference Championship Picks
*Note: Picks are in order with the favorite listed first, all stats vs. position are courtesy of ESPN and are from the regular season only.
- Patrick Mahomes ($6,600)
- Jared Goff ($5,400)
- Drew Brees ($5,900)
Patrick Mahomes is by far the top option on the slate, but Jared Goff’s price point is appealing. Although the Los Angeles Rams went run-heavy against the Dallas Cowboys, they face a defense that’s allowed just 895 total rushing yards to running backs this season. In turn, the Rams will likely open up the field a lot more in this matchup. On that same note, Drew Brees facing the Rams secondary at home is a strong spot, and both quarterbacks are in consideration.
I’m fine with Tom Brady this week, but something about playing in Arrowhead just doesn’t do it for me. There’s a good chance that game turns into a shootout, and if that’s the case then I’d happily take Brady, but I simply like the other three names more.
- Alvin Kamara ($6,500)
- Todd Gurley ($7,500)
- Damien Williams ($6,400)
- James White ($5,400)
- Sony Michel ($5,600)
Attacking the Kansas City Chiefs with either James White or Sony Michel will be a popular move. The good news is that the two should help lower the ownership of each other. The Chiefs have allowed 1,816 rushing yards, 93 receptions, 895 receiving yards and 20 combined touchdowns to the position this season.
I’m high on Todd Gurley this week, even though C.J. Anderson stole a lot of thunder last week. The main concern is if he’s actually 100 percent healthy. Regardless, the Saints run defense is brutal so we could see Gurley pick up quite a bit more work after Anderson had just one target last week.
Alvin Kamara has huge upside here, and while the Rams have been decent against pass-catching backs, he scored three times against them earlier this year while catching four passes. His floor is safe, the ceiling is high and it’s a spot to attack.
- Michael Thomas ($8,200)
- Tyreek Hill ($7,700)
- Robert Woods ($5,700)
- Julian Edelman ($6,600)
- Brandin Cooks ($5,300)
- Sammy Watkins ($4,000)
- Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,300)
- *Chris Hogan ($3,700) – punt
- *Phillip Dorsett ($3,900) – punt
- *Tre’Quan Smith ($3,600) – punt
*On a two-game slate, you have to take a few chances, and names like Hogan, Dorsett and Smith are options to do so. I don’t expect virtually anyone to be on Smith and I think Hogan will have lower ownership but outproduce Dorsett. The Patriots situation is apparent, but the Saints are without Keith Kirkwood, opening up snaps for a few players, but Smith has the best rapport with Brees and highest upside.
I’m a bit worried when it comes to fading Tyreek Hill. He has such big-play potential and can break a game open at any point. Although the Patriots aren’t terrible against wideouts, they’ve allowed 17 touchdowns this season to the position. I think pivoting off Hill and onto Sammy Watkins in big tournaments is a fine option to use another top wide receiver, but it’s risky.
Robert Woods is another player I’ll be targeting heavily due to my expectation that the Rams are throwing the ball often. Both he and Brandin Cooks are fine options, but I think this is the game Woods puts up a monster showing while Cooks takes a bit of a backseat.
- Travis Kelce ($7,100)
- Rob Gronkowski ($4,100)
- *Gerald Everett ($2,700) – punt
- *Josh Hill ($2,500)/Dan Arnold ($2,500) – punt
This is just an ugly spot. The problem is, Travis Kelce is going to have unbelievably high ownership while Rob Gronkowski has an elite matchup but has done very little as of late. Although Gronk hasn’t scored more than 4.4 DraftKings points in the past four games, the Chiefs have been bad against opposing tight ends. On the season, they’ve allowed 87 receptions for 1,067 yards and 10 touchdowns. I’m fine with the Patriots tight end at this price in a huge game.
Both Gerald Everett and Josh Hill are dart throws at great prices. Everett does have some upside, especially if the Rams throw the ball a decent amount. Josh Hill and Dan Arnold are interesting as Ben Watson is expected to sit. Arnold has done more as a pass-catcher, but Hill has seen more offensive snaps. If you’re going to use them (I wouldn’t go crazy), I’d split up the ownership.
DraftKings NFL Conference Championship Optimal Lineup
- QB: Jared Goff ($5,400)
- RB: Alvin Kamara ($6,500)
- RB: James White ($5,400)
- WR: Michael Thomas ($8,200)
- WR: Robert Woods ($5,700)
- WR: Sammy Watkins ($4,000)
- TE: Travis Kelce ($7,100)
- FLEX: Brandin Cooks ($5,300)
- DST: Rams ($2,300)
Before going too far into this, it’s worth noting that picking a defense will be a tall task. There’s a risk of very little upside with all four defenses due to the tough matchups so a lot of it will come down to just picking the one who’s able to hit a big play. I like the idea of targeting the Kansas City Chiefs at home and then taking a shot on the Los Angeles Rams with the hope they can generate some pressure and get a few sacks.
This is about as well-balanced as I think it’ll get, and pairing Goff with Woods and Cooks should help to make it at least a bit different. I also think Sammy Watkins is a great option here but his ownership will likely be elevated. There’s a decent amount of chalk in this lineup, but I do think the Rams stack will help to create a different look.
DraftKings NFL 150-Max Lineup
- QB: Patrick Mahomes ($6,600)
- RB: Todd Gurley ($7,500)
- RB: Damien Williams ($6,400)
- WR: Tyreek Hill ($7,700)
- WR: Julian Edelman ($6,600)
- WR: Robert Woods ($5,700)
- TE: Gerald Everett ($2,700)
- FLEX: Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,300)
- DST: Chiefs ($2,500)
If you’re ready to take a few risks that could pay off big time, then this is the lineup for you. I’m hoping that Gurley’s ownership is down, as he has big upside if he’s able to see a huge workload as a pass-catcher. The Patrick Mahomes/Damien Williams/Tyreek Hill trio features three players who all will have high ownership, so I tried to differentiate by keeping them together. For what it’s worth, I think Spencer Ware is worth taking a chance on if you’re looking to really change it up.
I’m going to try to utilize Ted Ginn Jr. and Watkins in a few lineups but only used the former in this spot. Ginn was one underthrown ball last week away from a huge fantasy day. I think we see him have that breakout performance in this game. And lastly, we have the play of Gerald Everett, which is not for the faint of heart.
Prior to Everett’s back-to-back duds in Week 17 and the divisional round of the playoffs, he had seen 20 targets (14 catches) in the three games prior. Although he hasn’t scored a touchdown in seven games, he’s unquestionably a red-zone target and I’m hoping to see his targets ramp up from the two he saw last game.