Jeff Mans guides us through all things playoff fantasy football. Whether it be league play or DFS NFL Championship Round action, be prepared to add to that bankroll!
Nothing good ever truly ends. I told you this in the Week 17 Cash Game Breakdown, and hopefully, now you know what I meant. Just because the 2019 NFL regular season has come to an end, it doesn’t mean that our opportunities to make significant profits from the football season have. We’ve got several opportunities starting this week to pad our bankrolls. Here are a few things to do this postseason to grab your share of these proceeds:
PLAYOFF FANTASY FOOTBALL
I could sit here and explain to you all of the types of postseason fantasy football leagues that you could set up or join, but my guy Armando Marsal already did this for our Fantasy Guru subscribers, as you can read here.
Elite Mafia Playoff League
All players from teams still alive in the NFL Playoffs are available to all teams each week. Franchise owners select a starting lineup from this player pool each week, but each player can only be used ONE TIME through the duration of the playoffs.
Great job everybody. We only had one team not set a lineup, an all-time record (sadly, I am serious). PLEASE remember to set your lineup for the Championship Round and improve your chance at claiming one of our prizes. Most importantly, don’t let me or Ted beat you as that would be embarrassing.
Teams – 100
Scoring – Full point PPR
Lineup – 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR,
1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE)
Standings – Total points scoring only
1) Applebee’s Urinal Coaching Tree – 536.50
2) Pimp Smacker – 511.10
3) Sniper – 507.78
4) AndrewDZ051 – 500.16
5) Narjar – 496.72
6) Easier Pronunciation for Mans – 492.98
7) CMAT – 476.94
8) MontanaBrian – 474.26
9) FantasySlayer – 471.36
10) Fuzzalicious – 467.78
1st – $50
2nd – $30
3rd – $20
4th – Elite Mafia T-Shirt
5th – Elite Mafia T-Shirt
6th – Elite Mafia T-Shirt
7th – Month of DFS NBA or NHL Content or Opto
8th – Month of DFS NBA or NHL Content or Opto
9th – Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide
10th – Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide
DAILY FANTASY FOOTBALL
This is likely what you came here for in the first place, right? Of course, there is DFS NFL this postseason, and of course, we are on top of it here at Elite Fantasy. No, I will not be writing a Cash Game Breakdown for the playoffs.
The fact of the matter is, with just four games per week over the first two weeks of the postseason, there simply isn’t a true cash game experience for us. Normally, we can build a zero-fat lineup based on a tremendous amount of research and matchup breakdowns. But with one, two and four-game slates, this allows even the most casual of DFS players to do a proper amount of research. Thus, our cash game edge is all but obliterated.
Now, I still strongly recommend the single entry 50/50 contests even in the postseason. These contests offer you the best opportunity to win, plain and simple. So, if you are new to DFS, have been struggling to win this season and/or are on a very strict budget, these are still the right contests for you.
Personally, I will be playing almost exclusively in GPP’s (tournaments) throughout the playoffs. What’s more, I will likely be building multiple lineups each week as well; something I rarely do during the regular season. Please understand, I do this with the full intention of not winning a single dollar that I put in back. Tournaments are very difficult and offer super high paylines and a limited number of payouts. If you are on a budget, don’t follow my lead in contest selection during the postseason.
So, for this writeup, I have decided to parcel it down to a game-by-game format. Of course, I will still provide you with my core four, but this way you will also get some of my deeper dive plays along with the analysis behind them.
Here is the DFS NFL Postseason Writeup for the Conference Championship Round:
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs – 3:05 pm ET
Spread: Chiefs -7
Point Total: 53
- TITANS – Jack Conklin, RT (shoulder), Jayon Brown, LB (shoulder), Logan Ryan, CB (personal), Rashaan Evans, LB (foot), Cody Hollister, WR (ankle), Adam Humphries, WR (ankle) & Adoree Jackson, CB (foot) are all QUESTIONABLE
- CHIEFS – LeSean McCoy, RB (illness), Chris Jones, DT (calf) & Matt Moore, QB (illness) are QUESTIONABLE
Matchups To Exploit
- Titans – It’s an obvious game plan for the Titans this week, as they are one of the top rushing teams in the NFL, ranking second in yards and yards per attempt this season. They also feature this guy by the name of Derrick Henry, who is half modern-day Earl Campbell, half Minotaur. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were fourth-worst DVOA against the run, fourth-worst rushing yards per game surrendered, fourth-worst rushing yards per attempt against and surrendered the fourth-worst fantasy points to running backs this season. Kansas City has allowed 100+ rushing yards in each of their last three ball games. Henry tore up the Chiefs back in Week 10 to the tune of 23-188-2 (33.1 fantasy points). On paper, Henry should once again smash, which means a lack of pass attempts and therefore pass targets for Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee wideouts.
- Chiefs – The Chiefs offense is prolific, and this is the team we all expected to be in the AFC Championship Game when the season started. Patrick Mahomes has returned to form down the stretch, and the Chiefs still wound up scoring the fifth-most points in the NFL this season. Mahomes threw for 321 yards and 5 TD’s in the Chiefs Divisional Round matchup. He also shredded this Tennessee secondary for 446 yards and 3 TD’s (31.14) back in Week 10. The Titans allowed the third-most pass plays of 40+ yards this season, while the Chiefs offense was third in pass plays of 40+ yards themselves. The Titans have also allowed 100+ yards rushing in six straight games and allowed the second-most receptions to RB’s this season.
Best Plays (FD/DK Pricing)
- Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs ($9500/$7700)
- Derrick Henry, RB, Titans ($9800/$8700)
- Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs ($7800/$7100)
- Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs ($7400/$7200)
- Corey Davis, WR, Titans ($5000/$4000)
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers – 6:40 pm ET
Spread: 49ers -7.5
Point Total: 46.5
- PACKERS – Dan Vitale, FB (knee) is QUESTIONABLE
- 49ERS – None
Matchups To Exploit
- Packers – Green Bay leads one of the most balanced offenses still in the playoffs. They were 13th in the NFL in rushing attempts and 16th in passing attempts this season despite playing at the fifth-slowest pace. They have proven they will attack an opponent’s weakness, as they did last week against the Seahawks where they ran the ball 30 times even though they didn’t have a ton of success doing so. There isn’t a lot of weaknesses on the San Francisco defense, but they are much better against the pass than the run. So, I would expect the Packers to take advantage of the 49ers defense that did give up 100+ yards rushing in 12 of their 16 games this season.
- 49ers – The game plan for the 49ers this week will be similar to what it was last week against the Vikings. San Francisco ran the ball 47 times for 186 yards and 2 TD’s last week. But they dominated field position and time of possession, as will be the plan again this week. The Packers were the 9th worst DVOA against the run, gave up the fourth-most rushing TD’s and 10th most fantasy points surrendered to RB’s this season. San Francisco used long passing plays to destroy the Packers 37-8 back in Week 12, but they also ran for 112 yards and 2 TD’s on 21 carries.
- Aaron Jones, RB, Packers ($7800/$6700)
- Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers ($5800/$4300)
- George Kittle, TE, 49ers ($7000/$5800)
- Davante Adams, WR, Packers ($8300/$7900)
- Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers ($6300/$5500)
DFS NFL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND POSITION-BY-POSITION
- Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs – How many of you remember our discussion from last week? The entire argument at QB this week is whether you can afford to fade Patrick Mahomes or not. If you are doing multiple lineups, great. I would suggest an 80/20 split in favor of using Mahomes. If he goes off for five more TD’s the way he did last week, nobody will come within 15-20 points of him and thus you are drawing dead. Last week, we at least had Lamar Jackson to turn to, but this week, we do not. His increased rushing over the last few weeks is what keeps him even more ahead of the other QB’s this week, as none of them are likely to gain on Mahomes in the rushing department either.
- Aaron Rodgers, Packers – Rodgers got his clock cleaned against the 49ers back in Week 12, which might keep some from using him in this spot. He is clearly the second-best QB going though in the Conference Championship Round and can light it up at any point. The key to fading Mahomes this week is to find someone who will be both lower owned and has the capability of amassing a ton of fantasy points.
- Ryan Tannehill, Titans – Game flow is very much in Tannehill’s favor here, as he is going to have to throw the ball more than 30 times in almost any instance. If Tennessee gets a lead and runs away with this game, then Tannehill is worthless cause it will be all Derrick Henry in that case. But if the Chiefs offense gets rolling, the Titans are going to have to play catch up and that isn’t going to happen with Henry and the running game. Remember, the best way to fade a star player (or great DFS play) is to use someone who is directly impacted by that player’s positive performance.
- Derrick Henry, Titans – Henry isn’t some of the Titans offense; he isn’t most of the Titans offense; he is the entire Tennessee Titans offense. The game plan for Tennessee this week against the Chiefs is most obvious. They are going to establish the run early and often then hold on for dear life if and when the Chiefs offense gets going. Kansas City was fourth-worst DVOA against the run, fourth-worst rushing yards per game surrendered, fourth-worst rushing yards per attempt against and surrendered the fourth-worst fantasy points to running backs this season. Henry destroyed the Chiefs defense back in Week 10 to the tune of 23-188-2 or 33.1 fantasy points. I am anticipating an increase in his pass targets this week also, as the Titans have to find ways to get the ball in his hands without simply running him directly into their defense. Henry is the single most dangerous fade of the entire slate because he is such a tremendous part of the Titans offense. He and Mahomes are the two best overall plays, but the one thing Henry has in his favor: if he is running wild, it takes Mahomes off of the field altogether. But what makes Henry such a great play is also what makes him a tremendous fade this week as well. Every low entry player is going to use Derrick Henry, as they simply don’t have the sack to fade him on their only lineup. Injuries, illness and just random outcomes do happen, and anybody who has played DFS for any period of time knows that sometimes we have to expect the unexpected. There are two ways to win GPP’s this week. Find that 10% or underowned RB/WR/TE who catapults you to the top of the standings or fade one of the two overwhelming chalk players (Henry & Mahomes) and pray they fail.
- Damien Williams, Chiefs – I really love D-Will this week. He has huge upside of course simply for his role in this Chiefs offense, but his injury history and LeSean McCoy’s presence does pose risk. The Titans are pretty tough against the run but did allow the second-most receptions to RB’s and ninth-most receiving yards to RB’s this season. Williams has been a red zone beast lately, scoring 5 TD’s over the Chiefs last two games. I expect him to play a key role in the Chiefs game plan this week, specifically in the passing game.
- Aaron Jones, Packers – Jones was the #2 scoring fantasy RB this season and tied with Derrick Henry for the most rushing TD’s with 16. If you are fading Henry, you will likely need somebody with massive upside to carry you over him, and Jones is definitely that guy. The Packers RB out-touched fellow RB Jamaal Williams 22-2 against Seattle in the Divisional Round. With their playoff life on the line, it is highly doubtful the Packers take Aaron Jones off of the field much, if at all, in the NFC Championship Game.
- Raheem Mostert, 49ers – I secretly love all of the hate I got last week recommending Mostert as the 49ers RB to use. Tevin Coleman did pop off for 100+ yards and 2 TD’s, but that was almost entirely due to Mostert’s calf cramp that took him off of the field early and gave Coleman that opportunity. Coleman’s emergence last week will put a lot more people on him than Mostert, believe it or not, and the DFS sites decided to follow suit, as he now costs less than Coleman as well.
- Dion Lewis, Titans – Why the heck not? Conventional thinking would suggest that fading Henry is risky enough and that anything Lewis does helps that fade. But the Henry fade essentially suggests there is an injury or the gameflow completely goes against him, and thus it would benefit Lewis. We are not going to get anything close to a Henry output out of Lewis, no matter what, but there is upside here specifically in the passing game. After all, the Chiefs surrendered the third-most receptions, most receiving yards and fourth-most receiving TD’s to RB’s this season.
WORST COVERAGE CORNERBACKS – WR MATCHUP (Mans Model, By YOUR Request)
- Bashaud Breeland, Chiefs → Corey Davis, Titans
- Tramaine Brock, Titans → Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
- Ahkello Witherspoon, 49ers → Davante Adams, Packers
- Kevin King, Packers → Deebo Samuel, 49ers
- Charvarius Ward, Chiefs → A.J. Brown, Titans
- Kendall Fuller, Chiefs → Adam Humphries, Titans (Questionable)
- Davante Adams, Packers – The great thing about the Green Bay offense is we know the producers will be Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Davante Adams. Those three will comprise about 80% or more of the fantasy production so it is immediately streamlined for us. Adams received a 40.7% target share last week against the Seahawks, and I’d expect a similar ratio this week. Back in Week 12 against the 49ers, Adams got 12 targets (36.3% target share), seven receptions, 43 yards, one touchdown and 17.3 fantasy points. Back in 2018, Adams racked up a 16-10-132-2 stat line against the 49ers, giving him 3 TD’s in two career meetings. The Packers will go as Davante Adams goes. If you believe in Green Bay’s ability to score points against this 49ers defense, use Adams. If you don’t or aren’t sure, fade him.
- Tyreek Hill, Chiefs – You can’t play short slate DFS, aim for tournament wins and then fade the biggest playmaker of the slate and possibly the entire NFL. The Titans CB’s give up big plays to WR’s, and Hill is the prototype matchup nightmare for them. When these teams met in Week 10, Hill logged his highest target total ever at 19 while catching 11 of them for 157 yards and a TD. It’s pretty obvious the Chiefs (and Mahomes in particular) recognize that Hill is a plus plus matchup and will force him the ball in this spot.
- Deebo Samuel, 49ers – After 19 weeks, if you don’t realize that Kevin King is the Packers CB to target against, then it is going to be hard to help you now. The 49ers will move around their receivers so we will see some Emmanuel Sanders against King, but Deebo is the bigger TD threat and will see the most of King so he gets the nod. Deebo had a 42-yard TD reception against the Packers back in Week 12, though, he did only have two catches. He will be popular, but the 49ers WR’s will see some spreading out since few will stack multiples in this spot.
- Corey Davis, Titans – The game flow here would suggest a major uptick for the Tennessee passing game. A.J. Brown will be the one that everybody flocks to, and while I get that, Davis is in a better spot as the Chiefs pull in a safety to thwart Derrick Henry and the running game. That leaves just one opportunity for double coverage, which will certainly go to Brown. Give me a very cheap Corey Davis and about half of the ownership with the best CB matchup of the slate all day.
- Adam Humphries, Titans – For all of the reasons we like Corey Davis, Humphries fits right in that theorem. Humphries isn’t the bigtime playmaker that Davis is, but he’s been a proven chain mover and that could be of huge value to both the Titans and DFS players this week. He is questionable so PLEASE CHECK HIS STATUS BEFORE PLUGGING HIM INTO YOUR LINEUP.
- Demarcus Robinson, Chiefs – Robinson was pretty easily the worst player on the field during the Divisional Round last week, dropping three of his four targets. More players will use Mecole Hardman than Robinson, despite Robinson playing three times the amount that Hardman does. Last time the Chiefs played the Titans, he was second on the team with five targets, four receptions and 56 yards. He has enough big-play ability himself to warrant usage in a small slate atmosphere.
- Travis Kelce, Chiefs – The QB & TE positions breakdown like this. Fade anybody as long as you are positive your replacement can come close to, equal to or surpass their ceiling projection this week. Hope is not a viable strategy, and thus there are only really two TE’s to choose from here this week. Kelce is the best fantasy TE in the business and has had success against the Texans in the past. Earlier this season, Kelce went 7-7-75-1 or 20.5 fantasy points against the Titans. Tennessee allowed the seventh-most receiving yards, third-most TD’s and fifth-most fantasy points surrendered to TE’s this season. I really love the idea of using both Kelce and Kittle in lineups this week, as this will be a slightly less chalky build than those utilizing either one of the star TE’s this week.
- George Kittle, 49ers – Kittle finished the season as the second-highest scoring TE in fantasy football, just behind Kelce. He has the third-most targets per game among TE’s and second-most yards per game. We know how important Kittle is to this 49ers offense, logging the highest target share of any TE at 28.2%. For example, Kelce was 24.4% and Mark Andrews was 24.1% this season. Green Bay faced the third-easiest schedule Vs TE’s in 2019, yet Kittle blasted them for a 6-6-129-1 or 24.9 fantasy points against them.
- Jonnu Smith, Titans – I’m just going to be straight with you here: don’t play any TE’s other than Kelce or Kittle. If you are playing 20+ lineups, then I would be OK with moving in a Jonnu Smith lineup on a 20-1 ratio.
- San Francisco 49ers – The return of DE Dee Ford and LB Kwon Alexander make the 49ers defense even scarier than they were down the stretch this season. When they were healthy in the beginning, this defense was ruining lives.
- Kansas City Chiefs – If this game goes according to script, the Chiefs run away with the game and their defense is able to pin their ears back and attack the QB. The Titans really haven’t been forced to throw the ball a lot during this magical run they’ve had, so if they are forced into it, we can expect a massive drop in efficiency from QB Ryan Tannehill.
- Tennessee Titans – Think about it. The only two ways the Titans can keep pace with the Kansas City offense is Derrick Henry and if their defense creates mega turnovers. Damien Williams had a lost fumble last time these teams played in Week 12, and Tyreek lost one last week against the Texans.
DFS NFL CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND LINEUP BUILDS
Since this is a GPP (tournament) slate, that means it is a time to build multiple lineups. With that in mind, there are no players who are just completely off-limits to us here. It’s all about reading all three game scripts, interpreting them and using the players who will most execute those script best.
In keeping with my usual “Core 4” theme, let’s go over four lineup builds I will be using. I’m planning on playing about four to eight total lineups in this slate.
Core Four #1 (From SiriusXM)
- QB – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
- RB – Raheem Mostert, 49ers
- WR – Corey Davis, Titans
- TE – Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Core Four #2
- QB – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
- RB – Derrick Henry, Titans
- WR – DeMarcus Robinson, Chiefs
- TE – George Kittle, 49ers
Core Four #3
- QB – Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
- RB – Damien Williams, Chiefs
- WR – Corey Davis, Titans
- TE – Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Core Four #4
- QB – Ryan Tannehill, Titans
- WR – Davante Adams, Packers
- WR – Corey Davis, WR, Titans
- TE – George Kittle, 49ers
Check out our Ownership Projections for the DFS NFL Championship Round!