Out of four Divisional Round games last weekend, I did a pretty decent job picking out the right games to stack. My core plays generally started with Travis Kelce and Travis Etienne, which was an awesome springboard to some profitable lineups.
Boston Scott kept on his tradition of finding the end zone against the Giants. I just wish I had more exposure to his teammate, Kenneth Gainwell. It was wise to fade chalky Buffalo, as they were buried in the snow against a very underrated Cincinnati defense.
Heading into the last two games before the Super Bowl, the chalk will be inevitable. Championship week offers a chance to work in some two-game lineups, but I’ll be lurking in the Showdown DFS streets at the same time.
Look for the value plays here: the unexpected heroes. Last season, it was Samaje Perine who helped us into some new shoes. Who will it be this year? I have some major leans.
The Conference Championship Flowchart is a visual representation of my lineup-building thought process. It is condensed into two diverging paths for the sake of digestibility and protecting you all from knowing just how incredibly loony I am. Here are some of my core thoughts for the two-game slate on DraftKings.
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NFL Conference Championship Flowchart: DraftKings DFS
I want to center in on one QB this Sunday. I fought with myself between Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow. The decision to build around Burrow mainly hinges on my belief that the Bengals and Chiefs will play to a higher total than the 49ers and Eagles.
It is also understandable that I’d rather stack with the elite Cincinnati receiving corps against the much-maligned Kansas City secondary rather than take the chance that the elite San Francisco defense shows up to smother Philadelphia.
Burrow has never lost to the Chiefs and is my choice to hit the 300-yard bonus and add in at least a couple of touchdowns.
If the Chiefs are to hang with the Bengals, it will undoubtedly go through Travis Kelce’s trustworthy mitts. The volume he will see has virtually no ceiling. The one flaw in the Philly defense might be their ability to stop stretch run plays.
That leads me to believe that Christian McCaffrey has a great chance to put forth a nuclear performance. The 49ers haven’t lost since the first game CMC donned the red and gold, so betting against them might be foolish.
Cheesesteak With the Wiz
I expect both of these championship games to be decided by one possession. There is only one team that I can say has the firepower to end the 49ers’ long winning streak and draw the curtains on the helium-laced Brock Purdy show. Purdy has moxy and swag but not much talent to speak of.
The Eagles might have the only roster deeper than the one sported by the Bay Boys. Devonta Smith is still one of the best WRs who has yet to receive adequate recognition for his excellence.
I still like the verticality to AJ Brown’s game against a San Francisco defense that was bullied down the field by DK Metcalf and CeeDee Lamb in recent weeks.
On the flip side, George Kittle might be the go-to weapon of choice for Purdy. James Bradberry and Darius Slay will ensure a tough day at the office for Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.
This leaves Kittle to ramble free over the middle and up the seam. Jerick McKinnon is the play if you’re keen on the Chiefs’ chances on Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes has an immense amount of justified trust in the veteran RB, both running routes in the red zone and picking up free rushers in pass protection. He will see more reps versus a fearsome Bengals front.
Old Time’s Sake
After McCaffrey, the 49ers are once again nursing a lot of RB injuries. Elijah Mitchell is still banged up, opening up the ageless Tevin Coleman to see more practice reps behind CMC.
At the minimum price, it certainly looks like an opening to gain leverage on the field while loading up on stud receivers in our DFS lineups.
Tee Higgins will be extremely chalky, thanks to a ridiculously low salary on DraftKings. Since we’re already stacking Burrow with Ja’Marr Chase, a double stack makes sense here to mitigate chalk and shoot for the moon if Burrow leans heavily on his two best aerial weapons.
Hayden Hurst was a huge hit at TE last weekend and now sits at $3k flat against a vulnerable Chiefs defense.
I can’t imagine he will be too popular, especially when the other three starting TEs on the slate have been top-5 fantasy stalwarts for years now. Another leverage pivot off a chalky Chase/Higgins lineup will be to take advantage of the Joe Mixon disrespect.
He will be vital to Cincinnati’s chances of repeating as AFC champs and will pile on cheap PPR points regardless of game flow.
Bombs Away to Arizona
On a slate this small, you must take chances to win a GPP. Kadarius Toney has been a surprisingly meaningful player within the Chiefs’ offense, with a growing cache of designed plays. I want a lot of his game-breaking YAC talent in my builds at $3.7k.
I have made the Bengals DST my DFS Excalibur over the past month. They have not disappointed yet. Mahomes will still be somewhat hobbled only a week after suffering a high ankle sprain.
Cincy completely shut down an able-bodied Josh Allen in the Divisional Round. I like their chances of getting sacks and a couple of timely turnovers on Sunday.
“Fast Batman” hasn’t done much in recent weeks for Philly, but Quez Watkins is the type of player who can beat an athletically-challenged 49ers secondary deep. It’s a real prayer, but at the minimum price, it’s worth a shot.
The Eagles had one of the best fantasy DSTs in the league this season, thanks to a whopping 70 sacks. Their defensive line personnel runs eight players deep, offering a more consistent attack than Dallas showed San Francisco last Sunday.
Purdy was incredibly shaky under that pressure, leading me to wonder if he is finally showing the limitations everyone saw pre-draft. I think they offer a ton of upside.