Fantasy Football: Sticking with Patrick Mahomes and hot Chiefs in conference championship round DFS
DFS lineup choices are more challenging for championship round weekend with fewer options and less margin for error.
This will be an exciting Sunday with the AFC and NFC Championship Games. We have four talented teams in Tennessee, Kansas City, Green Bay and San Francisco, and there are plenty of great players.
But since there are only four teams remaining, the options to diversify your DFS lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel will be tough. Everyone will have plenty of lineups with the same stars, and your goal is to find the second- and third-tier players who will help you find success.
It won't be easy, but we're here to help. Here are the good plays and bad plays on DraftKings and FanDuel for the AFC and NFC Championship Games, as well as lineups you can use. Good luck.
Good plays on DraftKings and FanDuel
You can argue that Mahomes is the best player remaining this weekend. He just had 321 passing yards and five touchdowns, as well as 53 rushing yards, against Houston in the divisional round. He also went for 446 passing yards and three touchdowns at Tennessee in Week 10.
Tannehill only has 160 passing yards in the past two playoff games against New England and Baltimore, but he does have four total touchdowns over that span. He did have 181 passing yards and two touchdowns, as well as 37 rushing yards, against the Chiefs in Week 10. I expect the Titans to be chasing points this week against the Chiefs, who just allowed Deshaun Watson to have 388 passing yards and two touchdowns, along with 37 rushing yards and a touchdown. I'm hoping Tannehill can do something similar this week.
Damien Williams comes into this weekend with six total touchdowns in his past three games, including three total touchdowns last week against Houston. He didn't score against Tennessee in Week 10, but he did have 19 carries for 77 yards, as well as five catches for 32 yards on five targets. He's easily my favorite running back play this week.
Mostert was overshadowed last week by Tevin Coleman against Minnesota, and his six-game scoring streak ended against the Vikings. But he still managed 12 carries for 58 yards, which was his most attempts since Week 12 against Green Bay. He had six carries for 45 yards and a touchdown in that game, as well as one catch for 22 yards on three targets. I like Mostert better than Coleman, and Mostert also left the Vikings game with a calf injury, which is fine. The value for Mostert this week is fantastic, and he should be popular.
You're going to need some cheap options this week, and Jamaal Williams could be one of the best. He hasn't done much lately with a combined 22 carries for 86 yards, along with four catches for 36 yards on five targets, in his past four games. But he did have 11 carries for 45 yards, as well as seven catches for 35 yards on eight targets, at San Francisco in Week 12. His role in the passing game could be crucial this week if the Packers are chasing points.
Davante Adams ($7,900 on DraftKings/$8,300 on FanDuel)
Tyreek Hill ($7,200 on DraftKings/$7,400 on FanDuel)
Deebo Samuel ($5,500 on DraftKings/$6,300 on FanDuel)
A.J. Brown ($5,200 on DraftKings/$6,800 on FanDuel)
Kendrick Bourne ($4,200 on DraftKings/$5,400 on FanDuel)
Over his past four games, Adams has been a star, including last week against Seattle. He had eight catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets against the Seahawks, and he now has 35 catches for 472 yards and four touchdowns in his past four games on 53 targets. He also had seven catches for 43 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets against the 49ers in Week 12. I expect another week with a boatload of targets for Adams, which makes him attractive, even at his price.
Mahomes had five touchdowns against the Texans last week, but Hill didn't do much with three catches for 41 yards on four targets. He's now gone three games in a row without scoring a touchdown, but I'm not shying away from Hill in a big game. He also had 11 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 19 targets against the Titans in Week 10, so keep that in mind. It would be great to get a repeat performance Sunday.
Samuel had a quiet game in the divisional round against the Vikings, but I still like him a lot this week. He had two catches for 50 yards and a touchdown on two targets against Green Bay in Week 12. And he has either a touchdown or at least 100 total yards in seven of his past eight games.
I wish Brown was doing more for the Titans, but their formula for success has been great the past two games against the Patriots and Ravens with their rushing attack. Brown only has two catches for 13 yards on four targets in those outings, and he had just one catch for 17 yards on four targets against the Chiefs in Week 10. That said, I still like Brown a lot this week since I expect the Titans to be chasing points. Brown does have the chance to go off.
Bourne is a good option this week given his price. He only had two catches for 27 yards on two targets in the first meeting with Green Bay in Week 12, but he does have three touchdowns in his past four games. I like him better than Emmanuel Sanders this week, but behind Samuel, in looking at San Francisco's receiving corps.
Other cheap options at receiver: Corey Davis ($4,000 on DraftKings/$5,000 on FanDuel), Mecole Hardman ($3,800 on DraftKings/$4,900 on FanDuel), Demarcus Robinson ($3,300 on DraftKings/$4,700 on FanDuel), Kalif Raymond ($3,400 on DraftKings/$4,500 on FanDuel)
Kelce has a touchdown or at least 100 receiving yards in three of his last four games, including last week against Houston when he had 10 catches for 134 yards and three touchdowns on 12 targets. Against the Titans in Week 10, he had seven catches for 75 yards and a touchdown on seven targets.
Kittle had a quiet game against the Vikings last week with three catches for 16 yards on five targets, but he did have either a touchdown or at least 100 receiving yards in three of four games prior to that. And against the Packers in Week 12, Kittle had six catches for 129 yards and a touchdown on six targets.
Smith scored against the Ravens last week with two catches for 12 yards on three targets, and he now has a touchdown in two of his past four games. He had four catches for 30 yards on six targets against the Chiefs in Week 10. In that game, Anthony Firkser ($2,500 on DraftKings/$4,500 on FanDuel) had three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown on four targets.
Bad plays on DraftKings and FanDuel
Rodgers has consecutive games with multiple touchdowns coming into the NFC Championship Game, but that's the first time he's done that since Weeks 8 and 9. He struggled against the 49ers in Week 12 with 104 passing yards and one touchdown, and I don't expect a big game from Rodgers this week.
Garoppolo has one game with multiple touchdowns in his past six outings, and he has fewer than 25 pass attempts in two games in a row. Against the Packers in Week 12, Garoppolo played well with 253 passing yards and two touchdowns, but San Francisco will likely try to run the ball as much as possible this week, which lowers the ceiling for Garoppolo with his production.
Henry could be great against the Chiefs given his production in two playoff games with 64 carries for 377 yards and a touchdown, as well as three catches for 29 yards, and he threw a 3-yard touchdown pass. He also had 23 carries for 188 yards and two touchdowns, as well as two catches for 3 yards, in Week 10 against the Chiefs. Since then, however, Kansas City's run defense has improved. The Chiefs have only allowed two touchdowns to running backs in the past seven games.
I'd use Henry in a playoff-challenge format, but for DFS, I'm hesitant to spend the money on him. I'd rather pivot to Damien Williams or Mostert given their cost.
I feel the same way about Jones, who has either 100 total yards or a touchdown in five games in a row, including seven rushing touchdowns over that span. He now has 21 total touchdowns on the season. Jones had a miserable game against the 49ers in Week 12 with 13 carries for 38 yards and no catches, and I don't want to spend the money on him this week.
Kudos to you if you played Coleman last week against the Vikings when he had 22 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns. That was the first time Coleman had double digits in carries since Week 12 against the Packers when he had 11 attempts for 39 yards and a touchdown, as well as two catches for 10 yards. That also was the last time Coleman scored. I'd rather go back to Mostert since he's cheaper.
Sanders is cheap enough that if you want to play him this week against the Packers then you can. Just keep in mind he has one touchdown in his past nine games. He also has one game over that span with more than 65 receiving yards, and he's averaging just four targets a game in his past four outings.
Watkins just had two catches for 76 yards on two targets against the Texans last week. That was his first game with more than 50 receiving yards in his past nine outings. He's also now gone 13 games since he last scored a touchdown, which was Week 1 against Jacksonville. I'd rather play Hardman or Robinson, who are cheaper options, and offer the same upside.
Lazard is dealing with an ankle injury, which could keep him from being at 100 percent this week. He also was bad against the 49ers in Week 12 with one catch for 7 yards on two targets. While he does have two touchdowns in his past six games, he's just not reliable enough to trust, especially if he's not at full strength with his ankle.
Jimmy Graham ($3,700 on DraftKings/$5,300 on FanDuel)
Graham had a quality game against Seattle last week with three catches for 49 yards on four targets, but he hasn't scored since Week 7. He also had one catch for 7 yards on two targets against the 49ers in Week 12, and he's not trustworthy in this game.
QB - Patrick Mahomes (vs. TEN) - $7,700
RB - Damien Williams (vs. TEN) - $7,000
RB - Raheem Mostert (vs. GB) - $4,300
WR - Tyreek Hill (vs. TEN) - $7,200
WR - A.J. Brown (at KC) - $5,200
WR - Kendrick Bourne (vs. GB) - $4,200
TE - Jonnu Smith (at KC) - $3,400
FLEX - Davante Adams (at SF) - $7,900
DST - 49ers (vs. GB) - $2,900
QB - Ryan Tannehill (at KC) - $7,700
RB - Damien Williams (vs. TEN) - $7,600
RB - Raheem Mostert (vs. GB) - $5,800
WR - Davante Adams (at SF) - $8,300
WR - Tyreek Hill (vs. TEN) - $7,400
WR - A.J. Brown (at KC) - $6,800
TE - Travis Kelce (vs. TEN) - $7,800
FLEX - Kalif Raymond (at KC) - $4,500
DST - Packers (at SF) - $4,000
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