The stage is set for the NFL’s final four teams to square off for the right to go to the Super Bowl, but before that happens, DFS managers get to put together one more multi-game lineup. The Conference Championship slate features four elite offenses and some tough defenses, so finding the right combination of players isn’t easy. Our FanDuel tournament strategy centers around paying up for top pass-catchers and trying to fit in some value picks at RB.
Of course, this lineup is subject to change depending on the health of several players, including Patrick Mahomes (head/neck). For now, we’re banking on him playing (and we still have the Bills D/ST!), but if he’s out — along with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (hip, ankle) and Antonio Brown (quad) — some things could change. Given how much is on the line, we expect all to at least try to play, but as always, we’re ready to pivot if need be.
Conference Championship FanDuel Picks: NFL DFS tournament playoff lineup
QB: Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Buccaneers ($8,700). You can’t go wrong with any of the four starting QBs on Sunday, but Rodgers has has accounted for at least three total TDs in all but three games this year, including 11 of the past 12. Even Patrick Mahomes ($9,000) and Josh Allen ($8,500) haven’t offered that level of high-ceiling consistency. Tampa did limit Rodgers to by far his worst game of the season back in Week 6 (160 yards, two INTs, no touchdowns), but it’s hard to imagine that happening again. We’ll gladly pay up here.
RB: Ronald Jones Jr., Buccaneers @ Packers ($5,600). Leonard Fournette ($7,200) has gotten all the buzz in the postseason, but it should be noted that Jones had 13 carries for 62 yards last week. He wasn’t an afterthought in Tampa’s offense, and as his balky quad continues to heal, he should be more involved. Fournette will still be the preferred back on passing downs, but Jones was the superior runner and goal-line option all season, and getting him at $1,600 less than Fournette is a steal, especially on FanDuel where receptions are only worth half a point. Green Bay allowed the fifth-most FanDuel points to RBs this year, so Jones has the potential to vastly outperform his price.
RB: Jamaal Williams, Packers vs. Buccaneers ($5,000). Tampa’s run defense is one of the best, but we need to save money somewhere to afford our stud pass-catchers. Williams makes for a solid value given his relatively high volume in a backup role. He had 12 carries last week, including a carry inside the five were he was tackled just inches short of the goal line. With AJ Dillon (quad) dinged up, Williams could see even more snaps this week. Williams is by far the cheapest RB who will get significant touches, so we’ll take our chances.
WR: Davante Adams, Packers vs. Buccaneers ($8,900). It doesn’t get much more automatic than Adams, who had nine catches for 66 yards and a TD last week against the Rams’ top-ranked pass defense. Tampa isn’t nearly that good, so don’t hesitate to pay top dollar for Adams.
WR: Stefon Diggs, Bills @ Chiefs ($8,300). Diggs has been on Adams’ level this season, at least in terms of catches and yards. He doesn’t score quite as often, but with at least six catches in all but one game and 106 yards in five of his past six, you know you’re getting elite production, regardless of matchup. Both of these receivers have even more value on DraftKings where you get a full point per reception and 100-yard bonus, but they’ll do just fine on FanDuel, too.
WR: Mike Evans, Buccaneers @ Packers ($6,600). Evans is coming off a one-catch, three-yard game, so he might not be as popular as he should be this week. All the better for us. It’s important to keep in mind that he was going against arch-nemesis Marshon Lattimore last week, who he’s had trouble with his whole career. Just as important is that his lone catch went for a touchdown, which shows his solid floor. With Antonio Brown (knee) either out or limited and Chris Godwin ($6,800) going through a case of the drops, Evans should see more targets this week. He’s really the cheapest receiver on the board you can “count” on.
TE: Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Bills ($8,600). Like Adams and Diggs, Kelce is guaranteed production as long as Patrick Mahomes (head/neck) is active. At $2,900 more than any other TE, he’ll limit some of your other choices (for us, it was at RB, flex, and D/ST), but it feels nearly impossible to fade him, especially since none of the other RBs are “sure things.”
FLEX: Scotty Miller, Buccaneers @ Packers ($4,900). We had to go cheap here, and Miller is as good of a bet as any for a big play or two. He actually might become a chalky value pick if Brown (quad) is out. Either way, Miller usually gets at least one deep shot a game, and while that hasn’t resulted in much lately, there’s always a chance he finds the end zone. Other considerations included Demarcus Robinson ($4,800), Byron Pringle ($4,700), and Isaiah McKenzie ($4,600), but Brown’s injury pushed Miller to the top for us.
D/ST: Buffalo Bills @ Chiefs ($3,700). We’re taking a defense against the Chiefs. Not smart, right? Well, first, it was the only defense we could afford, but beyond that, who else is significantly better? All four of the offenses are elite and don’t turn it over much, so whoever you pick is a gamble. Obviously, Buffalo will be a major chalk pick if Mahomes (head/neck) is out, but even if he’s active, he won’t be as mobile as usual due to the foot injury he suffered last week (that everyone seems to have forgotten about). In a perfect world, we’d have enough money to pay up for Green Bay ($4,400) in the hopes Tom Brady struggles in the cold, but we don’t, so let’s hope the Bills can make one big play like they did last week.