Conference Championship Round: Top Plays For Daily Fantasy Football
A very fun daily fantasy football season is about to wrap up, as this week’s NFL Conference Championship round is probably the last time you can play and have it not feel like pure randomness.
With just four teams and two games, though, a lot of DFS rosters will look quite similar, so it’s going to be as important as ever to nail some sick contrarian plays and also pay up for the right studs. Last week we definitely got one, as I used Jeff Janis and that helped me to place in a few GPPS. We’ve had nominal success in daily fantasy football all year, but we haven’t taken huge risks with our lineups. If you put up big money with our advice, though, there is a decent chance you made out nicely.
While daily fantasy football is coming to an end, we’ll still be here to help you in daily fantasy basketball and possibly daily fantasy baseball, as well. Let’s close out the year the right way, though, as we take another look at the top DFS plays to consider using at DraftKings this week:
QB: Tom Brady – Patriots ($7.4k) and Carson Palmer – Cardinals ($6.8k)
Many would throw Cam Newton into the equation here, but he was a total turd last week and he’ll once again have a tough matchup. Carolina’s at home and has more of a ball control offense, too, so the only way I see him wrecking is if the Panthers are playing from behind. I think Palmer is going to put up numbers either way, whether he attacks Carolina everywhere else except for Josh Norman, or ends up playing catch up.
Palmer is the play this week in my mind, but I can’t rule out Brady, as he torched a good Broncos defense the last time he faced them and looked pretty good with his top weapons back last week. Brady has been on a mission all year, so I find it tough to bet against him in daily fantasy football.
RB: David Johnson – Cardinals ($6.5k) and Jonathan Stewart – Panthers ($5.9k)
Johnson was a total chalk play last week and is exactly that again for the Conference Championship round, if for no other reason because the running back field stinks. Johnson got a decent 13 fantasy points and barely even did anything last week, so in an even bigger game he’s going to have decent odds at coming up huge. His leading role, touchdown potential and involvement in the passing game make him this week’s top fantasy rusher, yet he still isn’t even that expensive at DK. Unless you want to get dangerously contrarian, he should probably be in every lineup you make this week.
The same could be said for J-Stew, who absolutely wrecked an elite Seattle run defense last week to the tune of 100+ rush yards and two scores. At home against a slightly less talented Cardinals run defense, I see little reason why he can’t once again top his current value. He’s always a tad risky, but his role is big and he looked fantastic last week. As long as this game is competitive, he’s looking at a short touchdown run in a likely worst case scenario.
WR: Julian Edelman – Patriots ($7.5k) and Larry Fitzgerald ($6.9k)
I’m mildly into the top Broncos wide receivers and I like the value the other Cardinals receivers offer, but this is pretty obvious. Fitzgerald was a total machine last week and while he could draw shutdown corner Josh Norman this week, he seems to be determined to get back to his second ever Super Bowl. He might not drop 34+ fantasy points like he did a week ago, but he isn’t likely to tank in a massive game, either.
The same goes for Edelman, who doesn’t have a good matchup but usually is fairly matchup proof. He’s just so shifty and such a good route-runner, that I’m not scared of him being covered by Aqib Talib or anyone else. He uses short speed, quickness and craftiness to dominate, rather than size or deep speed. That allows him to beat tougher matchups, while New England also does a great job exploiting mismatches, setting picks and getting the ball out quickly and into space. He’s expensive as heck, but he’s going to be a great play again due to his PPR value.
TE: Rob Gronkowski – Patriots ($7.6k) and Greg Olsen – Panthers ($7.1k)
This is as chalk as it gets and a good strategy may be to stack these two elite tight ends together. Both have OK matchups and crushed last week, and it’s tough to see either one tanking in such huge games. I’m sure both are fine, but if you need value Olsen is the obvious play. There just isn’t a suitable TE option behind these guys, though, so you need to use one or both this week.
DEF: Carolina Panthers ($3.5k) and New England Patriots ($3.1k)
Typically I like to roll with a defense that has a suitable matchup and/or is a team I think will win. I really like the Pats against the vertically challenged Broncos, and if Denver loses I think it could have something to do with Peyton Manning imploding. The same could be true in Carolina, as Carson Palmer did toss two picks last week and the Panthers also returned a pick-six against the Seahawks this past weekend. I like the value for both but out of just four team defenses, the pickings are obviously slim.
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