NFL

NFL DFS – Championship Sunday

Joey Ricotta  January 19th, 2019

Championship Sunday. In my honest opinion, the best football day of the year. The Super Bowl is the most anticipated and obviously my favorite game of the year, but the fact that we get to enjoy the early part of the day, maybe even sleep in a little, and then get to watch two fantastic football games, that takes the cake for me.

I’m going to do my best to abbreviate the article this week. No, it’s not because I’m “taking it lightly” or “slacking off,” but I really believe at this point in the season, you have a good idea of who is a good play and who isn’t, especially if you’ve been following along with me all season long.

Now, I’ve said that this is my favorite week for football, but it’s not necessarily my favorite week for DFS. I’m not playing any “Cash Games” but I’ll be throwing some lineups into tournaments. And with that said, let’s take a look at who I’ll be clicking on and putting into those tournament lineups.

Quarterback

Patrick Mahomes? Sure, lock him in if you want. Everyone in the world will be using him and he’s always a great play. In regards to overall points, he has the highest ceiling out of any QB on the slate. But, that doesn’t mean he won’t come at a cost. His price tag is really high and you might be able to get more bang for your buck with the guy below.

Ryan Tannehill ($5,500 DK, $7,700 FD)

Similarly priced, Jimmy Garoppolo is an okay option, but there are a few reasons why I prefer Tannehill instead. First of all, Jimmy G hits his floor more consistently, and that’s not a good thing, in this case, his floor has proven to be lower than Tannehill’s. Tannehill averages 19.1 DK points per game, while Jimmy G averages 16.6. Tannehill also adds rushing upside, which Jimmy G doesn’t. The Chiefs put up a ton of points, as evidenced by their 51 burger last week. Tannehill and the Titans will have to keep up the pace, and I see a scenario where Derrick Henry gets taken out of the game by an early extreme deficit.

Running Back

Damien Williams ($7,000 DK, $7,600 FD)

The Williams pick has less to do with his overall talent and everything to do with his situation and surroundings. LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson logged only one offensive snap each against the Houston Texans last week. This is Williams’s show. He played 97% of the offensive snaps and scored three total touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving). No, the Chiefs didn’t run the ball much last week, but they fell behind 24-0 early in the second quarter. There was a myriad of different reasons why they came back, but a lot of it was due to their passing game. Sometimes you just don’t rock the boat. You don’t attempt to fix what’s not broken. So, they continued to pass the ball. I’m not saying they won’t pass more than they run in this game, but Williams has been utilized in the passing attack as well. Although he’ll be highly owned, Williams is a lock for me on this small slate.

Aaron Jones ($6,700 DK, $7,800 FD)

The San Francisco 49ers aren’t a defense to normally target against, especially with running backs, as they allowed the third-fewest DK points per game to opposing RBs during the regular season. However, this isn’t a normal week and Aaron Jones has proven to have massive upside. Lately, Jamaal Williams has been weeded out of the mix and Jones has received more of a workhorse type of role, with at least 22 touches over the last three games. Jones also has averaged 24.4 DK points over GB’s last five games and has scored over 30 DK points four times this year.

Other Targets

I’ll be fiddling around with the idea of rostering both Derrick Henry and Raheem Mostert. We know how dominant Henry has been, but he’ll be massively owned, and Mostert provides much-desired salary relief.

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams ($7,900 DK, $8,300 FD)

Adams is as steady as they come. Every one of the Packers’ opponents has known going into their games against them that Adams is their only real target. That knowledge hasn’t mattered to this point, Adams has averaged 28.55 DK points over his last four games, and 20.6 for the season. “I’m not sure if they’re gonna move Sherm (Richard Sherman) around, but we’re for sure gonna move Davante around,” said Aaron Rodgers. That’s big because Adams has been the only reliable target for Rodgers and the Packers will need him to get open on Sunday. Moving him around might free him up from Richard Sherman as long as he’s not strictly playing shadow coverage.

Adam Humphries ($3,000 DK, $5,000 FD)

Allow me to preface this by once again mentioning that this article is more geared towards tournament or GPP style contests. Humphries is likely to return and said he feels great after logging limited practices this week. Humphries hasn’t played or practiced since Week 13 with an ankle injury. Humphries has said that he’s excited to get back out there and excited for the game on Sunday. In an effort to subdue Derrick Henry, I don’t see the Kansas City Chiefs running many nickel packages, which would, in theory, free up the sure-handed slot receiver, Humphries. This is a low ownership dart throw type of move.

Other Targets

Another Ryan Tannehill pairing option with more big-play ability is A.J. Brown. Tyreek Hill is always in play. Sammy Watkins is extremely boom or bust, but he’s a cheap downfield threat. In lineups without the guy I’m about to mention in the next section, Deebo Samuel and Emmanuel Sanders can be considered as well. As far as I’m concerned, that’s your entire wide receiver rundown.

Tight End

George Kittle ($5,800 DK, $7,000 FD)

In an attempt to uphold some dignity to this article, I’m only going to write up one TE, but it wouldn’t be right to not mention Travis Kelce as well. Last week, going the double TE route didn’t work, but you could see the reasoning behind it. This week, maybe the other side of variance strikes and Travis Kelce is the one who has the poor game. I don’t see that being the case. I see them both playing huge roles and being factors, and I think using both in the same lineup is feasible. You’re talking about, arguably, the two best TEs in all of football and they are the number one target on each team. Kittle comes at a discount, and that’s why I’m leaning his direction if I have to choose between the two.

Other Target

There are other options, but I won’t be foolish enough to roster them. For me, the targets are clearly, George Kittle, Travis Kelce, or both.

Defense/Special Teams

Play whoever you want. This isn’t a lazy analysis. There are four teams to choose from and defense is the most unpredictable and highly variable position. Honestly, I’m filling out my lineups and just filling in the blank with whatever salary I have remaining. Just so you don’t feel hung out to dry, I’ll name one defense that seems to work with my current roster construction.

Green Bay Packers ($2,400 DK, $4,000 FD)

This isn’t a confident play, but more of a “target against the inexperienced” move. If the Packers can get a decent pass rush on Jimmy G, he could be in trouble. We’ve yet to see the 49ers really open him up because of their solid defense and running game, but 3rd down conversions will be critical, and this game has more on the line than any other he’s played in. The “pressure” no pun intended will be at an all-time high and we’ll have to see if he can handle it at this magnitude.

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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