DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Conference Championships
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We'll be highlighting mostly contrarian plays in this week's article as the weekend's slate is only two games, and most will be weighted heavily into playing GPPs as opposed to cash games. In the article this week, I'll highlight who I think will be the chalkier plays so that way we can find the best leverage on this weekend's short slate. Let's dive in:
Aaron Rodgers ($6,100): Only going to highlight one quarterback in this section as there are only four quarterbacks on the slate. After last week's dominant performance against the Minnesota Vikings, the San Francisco 49ers will most likely be the least targeted defense on the slate. But that should create excellent leverage for Rodgers, who will likely be very under-owned versus the other three quarterbacks on the slate, specifically Patrick Mahomes (who will be mega chalk) and Ryan Tannehill. But there are some potential bright spots for Rodgers against the 49ers. While the 49ers defensive line has been absolutely dominant this year, Green Bay's offensive line hasn't been that bad either, ranking top ten in Football Outsiders adjusted sack rate metric. If we project the 49ers to shut down Aaron Jones in a similar manner to how they shut down Dalvin Cook last week, then that will put the majority of the offensive pressure on Rodgers' shoulders to move the ball, which is exactly where he thrives.
Damien Williams ($7,000): This won't be as contrarian of a play this weekend as the Kansas City Chiefs are projected to score 30 points in Sunday's contest against the Tennessee Titans, but the value is just too good to pass up. Williams played 59 of the 61 snaps last weekend against the Houston Texans and unsurprisingly turned that workload into 27 DraftKings points. Tennessee has been mediocre against running backs over the last four weeks, allowing 24.5 DK points per game to the position, and they ranked only 23rd in DVOA against running backs in the receiving game over the course of the season. Damien's target share has been solid the past few weeks as well, averaging 4.3 targets per game on totals of 3, 7, and 6. He's also had five red zone targets over the last three games, which makes his scoring upside as strong as any player on the slate this weekend. Look for Williams to be relatively high-owned on Sunday, but worth still the under-inflated price tag he bolsters.
Raheem Mostert ($4,300): Tevin Coleman stole the show last week by breaking the slate with 26 DraftKings points at a measly $3,500 salary. News came out after the game, however, that Mostert had been struggling from calf cramps due to a recent illness he had been suffering from throughout the previous week. With all eyes still focused on this San Francisco running attack, Mostert's game log will look weak compared to Tevin Coleman's. But if we know anything about Kyle Shanahan (or really just the Shanahans in general), it's that they are wildly unpredictable with their running back usage. Last week it was Coleman's time to shine, but Mostert was shining brightly too before Coleman's explosion. He had been averaging 18.8 DraftKings points per week from Week 13 through 17 until last week's dud and had seen the majority of the team's running back snaps and rushing attempts. If things normalize again with the 49ers rushing attack, Mostert will be in line for a big day against a Green Bay Packers defense that ranks 31st in our Team Rush Defense Power Rankings.
Tyreek Hill ($7,200): Here's hoping that Tyreek Hill's game log suppresses his ownership substantially this weekend. With points totals of only 12, 10, and 7 in the last three weeks respectively, Hill's most recent less-than-stellar performance against the Texans, where the chiefs put up 51 points coming from behind, will make DFS players more hesitant to click on him this weekend as doubts of his usage will loom. But he's a walking mismatch with his speed and only needs one or two plays to have a monster game. After seeing what Travis Kelce did to the Texans, the Titans may decide to try and scheme him out of the gameplan defensively. And anytime less attention is paid to Tyreek Hill, there's a chance for him to shake loose for big gains. It's also worth noting that Hill's previous meeting against the Titans earlier this season went pretty, pretty, pretty good. 11 receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown on 19 targets for 36 DraftKings points was his best stat line of the season.
A.J. Brown ($5,200): As the NFL's most recent case of 'Milk Carton Syndrome', Brown has absolutely been a wrecking ball to DFS player's lineups that past two weekends. The point totals have been abysmal, but the why as to his usage isn't exactly far fetched. The Titans have adopted the "Ground and Pound" formula, which has limited Ryan Tannehill's passing volume, and subsequently, A.J. Brown's receiving volume. But if we attempt to guess at game flow this weekend against the Chiefs, the way Brown would work his way back into his old volume is for the Chiefs to get up big at home and for Tennessee to have to play catch up. Not a stretch there with how explosive Kansas City can be, and if he at the very least regresses to his season average of 5.3 targets per game and adds to his touchdown total of nine on the season, he will provide excellent leverage on a field that will likely be fading him due to his most recent performances.
George Kittle ($5,800): After what Travis Kelce did last weekend to the Texans defense, it's hard to imagine him not being mega-chalk, and probably also making a decent number of appearances in people's Flex spots this weekend. In people's eagerness to roster Kelce, that will hopefully leave George Kittle's elite talent overlooked on a slate with not that many tight end options. But his price is depressed to the point that makes him especially rosterable here, and his most recent five-point DraftKings performance will definitely suppress his ownership from where it normally would be on a slate like this. Adding to Kittle's upside is the fact that Green Bay has been particularly susceptible to tight ends this year, where they clock in at 24th in DVOA to the position. The Packers have let other athletic tight ends such as Darren Waller spout off for receiving lines like 7-126-2. I predict Kittle to be the star of the weekend in San Francisco's bid to get to the Superbowl.
Jonnu Smith ($3,400): The talent continues to flash for Jonnu Smith, and that was put on full display during his ridiculous one-handed touchdown catch last weekend against the Baltimore Ravens. Smith's game log is most certainly suffering from the "Ground and Pound" formula, much like A.J. Brown's, but if we follow a similar thought process on rostering Brown because of a come-from-behind game script, then Jonnu also makes sense. He's flashed upside, has an elite talent profile, and even has a small role in the running game for Tennessee. If you're looking to fade the big two tight ends on the slate in Kittle and Kelce for leverage, then Jonnu gives you the value upside you need to roster the studs at other positions.
Kansas City D/ST ($3,100): With San Francisco slated to be the mega-chalk at defense this weekend, Kansas City will make a nice pivot as they once again get to host an AFC Championship game at home in one of the loudest environments in professional football. Despite getting down big early last week, the Chiefs still managed to salvage six DraftKings points against the Texans, posting five sacks and a fumble recovery to add to their total. If they find a way to control the hurricane/tornado/earthquake/unstoppable force that is Derrick Henry, the Chiefs can most certainly post a respectable score against a Titans offense that might be ill-equipped to handle the overwhelming environment that is Arrowhead Stadium.
Justin Manuel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Justin Manuel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username JMIZZLE08. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.