NFL Playoff Challenge Fantasy Football rankings, picks: Target Patrick Mahomes, Michael Thomas in your NFC, AFC championship pool

In what is expected to be a high-scoring Championship Sunday, anyone participating in games like the NFL Playoff Challenge has the luxury of picking from a number of superstars who are capable of putting up week-winning numbers. However, the difficulty in setting your NFL Playoff Challenge lineups in this week is making sure you're picking players who will still be on the field in the 2019 Super Bowl, thus giving you double, triple, or even quadruple points. The Saints (-3) are hosting the Rams, while the Chiefs (-3) are at home against the Patriots this week, so should you select players from both teams that are slight favorites? Or can stars like Tom Brady and Todd Gurley help swing upsets? Before you lock in any lineups, check out the NFL Playoff Challenge picks from SportsLine data engineer Mike McClure. He's made almost $2 million in his career as a daily Fantasy pro.

McClure uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every snap of NFL action in every game, taking factors such as matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. This allows him to find the best values and create optimal lineups that he shares only with members at SportsLine. 

McClure is rolling through the NFL season thanks to some spot-on picks. His daily Fantasy lineups have cashed with ease on the major sites multiple times this season and anyone who has followed him is way, way up. 

For the conference championship round of the 2019 NFL playoffs, we can tell you McClure is building his NFL Playoff Challenge lineup around Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes

Beyond the fact that he's the most exciting young quarterback in years, Mahomes' consistency has made him a perfect Fantasy football player. He's thrown for at least 243 yards in every game of the season, with ten 300-yard games under his belt in 17 starts. He's also accounted for multiple touchdowns in 15 of his 17 outings, with at least one passing or rushing score each week.

That sets up a massively high floor with a ceiling that is sky-high to boot. He threw for six touchdowns twice this season and accounted for at least four touchdowns on seven occasions. Of course, it also helps that he threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns against New England in their Week 6 matchup.

McClure's optimal NFL Playoff Challenge strategy also includes rostering Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas

Thomas brought in 12-of-16 targets for a franchise playoff-record 171 yards and a touchdown in the Saints' 20-14 victory over the Eagles last Sunday. The third-year pro also led the league in receptions (125) and set the single-season franchise records for receptions and receiving yards (1,405) during the regular season. 

Thomas is expected to be featured heavily again Sunday against the Rams, who he torched for 211 yards and a touchdown earlier this season. He is a high-ceiling option because he has a strong chance to put up insane numbers on the fast track of the Superdome.

McClure is also targeting a player who could go off for big numbers in the conference championship round because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your NFL Playoff Challenge or going home with nothing. 

So what is the optimal NFL Playoff Challenge lineup for the NFC and AFC Championship Games? Visit SportsLine now to see the full optimal lineups for the NFL Playoff Challenge from a professional daily Fantasy player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.

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