FantasyDraft: Championship Weekend – A Diamond in the Rough Matchup

It’s time to come out of my fantasy closet. I love two-game slates!!! I wish FantasyDraft had more of them because I’ve had a lot of success playing the Sun-Mon night two-game slate this season. In Week 14, I got first place in that tournament. I won it because I was the only one who played NYG WR Darius Slayton, who lead all players with 35.40 fantasy points. I played Slaton because he was matched up on PHI CB Ronald Darby, who allowed a near 60% catch rate and just over two fantasy points per target.

This week there is a similar matchup I look to exploit with a WR who is at minimum salary and will likely be low owned. Playing this WR may not only provide a high return to value, but the minimum price also opens the door for several top-priced studs in great matchups.

QBs (Salary on FantasyDraft)

KC QB Patrick Mahomes ($14,900) scored 41.14 fantasy points last week. He is the only QB on this small slate that has a legitimate chance of scoring over 40 points again and, therefore, the only one I’m interested in playing. The Titans should be able to put together enough offense against the Chiefs to force them to keep their foot on the pedal and maximize Mahome’s potential.

WRs/Flex (Salary on FantasyDraft)

SF WR Deebo Samuel ($10,400) not only has three 100+ games on the season, but he also had at least one rushing attempt in each of the last seven games with two rushing TDs in that span. Samuel has plus a CB matchup against GB CB Kevin King, who has allowed above a 55% catch rate and nearly 1.8 fantasy points per target. Samuel’s dual-threat as a receiver and a rusher provides excellent value at this price.

TEN WR A.J. Brown ($10,200) has been extremely quiet in the playoffs with a total of two receptions for 13 yards in two games to score a total of 4.2 points. Brown has also had two brutal CB matchups. Last week, he faced BAL CB Jimmy Smith, who had only allowed 1.22 fantasy points per target. The week prior, Brown faced NE CB J.C. Jackson, who allowed a remarkably low 0.82 points per target. In the four weeks leading up to the playoffs (36.6, 28.4, 15.3, and 25.4), Brown averaged 26.4 fantasy points per game. This week Browns should face KC CB Bashaud Breeland, who has allowed over 1.7 fantasy points per target. The Titans are 7.5 underdogs with a 22.5 point projection. This spread suggests a game script with a significant amount of passing for the Titans, and Brown has the talent and potential to be the leading WR on the day.

TEN WR Adam Humphries ($6,000) is this week’s version of Slayton in Week 14. Humphries has missed the last six games with an ankle injury but recorded at the time of writing he had practiced this and is trending toward playing. He is at the minimum price and has the best matchup of any WR this weekend. Humphries faces KC CB Kendall Fuller, who has allowed an astronomical catch rate of near 73% and over 2.5 fantasy points per target. TEN QB Ryan Tannehill ($10,900) has shown that he will exploit a great matchup, particularly in the slot. In Week 16, TEN WR Taja Sharpe ($6,500) filled in for Humphries in the slot and was covered by Saints CB PJ Williams, who at that point had allowed a 64.2% catch rate and 2.05 points per target. Tannehill found Sharpe five times for 69 yards, and two TDs and Sharpe scored 23.90 fantasy points. Humphries is our diamond in the rough He will likely see low ownership and has the potential to set you apart from the field while his minimum price allows for other high performers.

Alternative WRs/Flex (Salary on FantasyDraft)

GB WR Davante Adams ($15,200) is the one player that I am most stressed about to not have in this lineup. Adames led all WRs for the Divisional Round with eight receptions for 160 yards and two TDs for 39.10 points.  The real scary part is Adams has the second-best CB matchup on the slate. Adams should mostly see SF CB Ahkello Witherspoon, who has allowed over a 50% catch rate and nearly 2.2 points per target. Mike Woellerts of 4for4 suspects CB Emmanuel Moseley may replace Witherspoon in covering Adams. If that occurs, it will be a tougher matchup for Adams and slightly bolsters the decision to play him in this lineup, but Adams will still likely have a big day due to his high target share.

Adams is probably going to put up points even if the Packers get blown out. In Week 12, the Packers lost 37-8, and Adams still had seven receptions for 43 yards and TD to score 19.3 points. In that same game, however, SF TE George Kittle ($12,800) outscored Adams with 27.90 points. I tried squeezing Adams in this lineup by playing GB RB Jamaal Williams ($7,400) in the flex, but even if I went down to the Titans Defense ($4,200), I couldn’t fit Adams in without moving off of Kittle. I was also concerned that the Titans defense could put up a negative score. By choosing to play the Mahomes/Kelce stack, I had to choose between RB Derrick Henry ($15,600) and Adams. I want Henry because of the number of times he will touch the ball is likely far more than Adams and Henry is also in a fantastic matchup.

KC WR Tyreek Hill ($13,600) is tempting at this price, but there are too many other high priced options in great matchups, which have been more constant lately. Hill has not had an enormous week since Week 10.

KC WR Mecole Hardman ($8,300) could be a terrific value play because he provides extra opportunities to score as a kick returner. The Titans secondary is relatively soft with no standouts. All allow about a 60% catch rate and 1.6-1.8 points per target. Hardman had as many targets (4) last week as either KC WRs Sammy Watkins ($9,100) or Demarcus Robinson ($6,400), but he also had 54 kick return yards to help spark the Chiefs comeback. Hardman returned two kicks for 117 yards and TD against the Chargers in Week 17. A smart play on this two-game slate would be to stack Hardman with Chiefs DST. If Hardman were to return a kick for a TD, that stack would earn a double score a quickly set you apart from the field. Neither Hardman or the Chiefs DST is in this lineup, but I will be playing at least one lineup with the strategy.

TEs/Flex (Salary on FantasyDraft) 

KC TE Travis Kelce ($13,300) lead all players in the Divisional Round with a fantasy score of 44.40. There is ample reason to believe he will be among the top fantasy scores again. The Titans have tied for fifth-most fantasy points a game to TEs at 14.2. The nine TDs they surrendered to TEs were third most. There is no reason for Mahomes to go away from what has worked well down stretch.

SF TE George Kittle ($12,800) had six receptions for 129 yards and TD to score 27.90 points in Week 12 against the Packers. Green Bay was in the middle of the pack against TEs last season, with 12.7 fantasy points allowed average. Kittle is not an average TE and has had past success. He is capable of being among the top scorers and outperforming Kelce.

Alternative TE (Salary on FD)

TEN TE Jonnu Smith ($6,800) faces the Chiefs that also allowed 14.2 fantasy points to TEs. Smith had two receptions for 12 yards and TD last week to score 9.20 points. Due to his low price and matchup, he makes for a great flex option. However, there is undoubtedly value in playing both Kelce and Kittle, and I’m a little hesitant with using both flex spots on TEs.

RBs (Salary on FantasyDraft)

TEN RB Derrick Henry ($15,600) now has the three highest carry totals (34, 32, 30) of the 2019-2020 season, and each of them has come over the last three games, Mike Tagliere of FantasyPros tweeted. Now Henry gets the Chiefs who allowed the fourth-most fantasy points a game to RBs at 30.1. The only reason why you wouldn’t play is if you have a game theory angle that he dealt with a hamstring late in the season and could get hurt early in the game. It that happens, you would have a significant advantage on the field. If you take that approach, you are likely just throwing your money away on FantasyDraft that has smaller tournaments. That approach may not be wrong on another site that has cheap tournaments with a massive field. For FantasyDraft, plug Henry in.

SF RB Raheem Mostert ($9,600) was a major disappointment last week with just 12 carries for 58 yards to score 5.8 fantasy points. That performance has seen his price drop $1,700 from $11,300. Meanwhile, teammate RB Tevin Coleman was the low price ($7,000) star last week when he had 22 carries for 105 yards and two TDs to score 25.50 points. If you had him, you likely had a great day. After that performance, Coleman’s price jumped a whopping $4,700. What we now know is that Mostert was battling the flu and had cramping in the game. The flu was unreported on the injury report. Mostert practiced in full on Wednesday, which is a strong indication that he will regain more of the lead back role.  The Packers defense is one that we have attacked all season long with RBs as they allowed an eighth-worst 27.1 points a game to the position. Mostert averaged 7.5 yards a carry against the Packers in Week 12 and appeared to be a real value play on the slate.

Alternative RBs/Flex (Salary on FD)

GB RB Aaron Jones ($14,000) worst fantasy performance of the season came against the 49ers in Week 12 when had 13 carries for 38 yards for 3.8 points. Jones is popular on the FantasyPros optimizer as an alternative for paying up for Henry. Jones will likely be heavily owned, but a substantial edge could be gained by completing fading him. San Francisco’s defense allowed the third-fewest points to RBs at just 17.5 points a game this season.

KC RB Damien Williams ($13,300) is someone we want exposure to when building multiple lineups. Williams has gone up in price by $2,000 from last week, and that increase prevented him from making this lineup build. Henry, at $2,300 more, is by far a better play for the number of times he will touch the ball. Mostert at $3,700 cheaper has a legitimate shot to put up more points than Williams.  Nevertheless, Williams is facing a Titans defense that allowed a 13th worst 26.1 points a game to RBs. You can’t play everyone, and Williams didn’t cut this lineup. I know it’s a significant risk, but he may make the DFS Fantasy Foreplay podcast lineup.

SF RB Tevin Coleman ($11,700) had a great week last week but is now $2,100 more expensive than teammate Mostert who could play a more significant role than Coleman.

GB RB Jamaal Williams ($7,400), to a lesser extent, could be this week’s version of Coleman. The best performance Williams had in the last eight games came against the 49ers in Week 12 when he ran for 45 yards on 11 carries and added another 35 yards with seven receptions to score 15.0 points. Packers are 7.5 point underdogs to the 49ers after losing 37-8 in that game. If the Packers trail late, Williams could again see several targets while the game script limits the touches for Jones.

Team Defense (Salary on FantayDraft) is more important this week than the previous two because both the Packers ($5,200) and Titans ($4,200) indicate a real possibility of scoring negative points. The Packers scored -1 in Week 12 against the 49ers. The Texans would have scored -1 against the Chiefs last week if they had not had a fumble recovery for a TD.  This leaves only the 49ers ($5,700) and the Chiefs ($6,400) as options. The 49ers made it into this lineup build, but I’m not opposed to the Chiefs.

Hooters Main Event Lineup

Putting it all Together

FantasyDraft

Photo Credit: FantasyDraft

This lineup makes sense in a two-game slate build. It exploits the majority of the best matchups on the slate and leaves no opposing Packers offensive players against the 49ers DST.

 

Mix It Up

To protect yourself from a duplicate lineup, it’s wise not precisely to play any lineup you find on-line. This top lineup will be entered into the FantasyDraft Hooters $75 K ($10k to 1st) Main Event and likely at least one other contest. If you are playing on FantasyDraft, please switch out at least one player.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @sandiegosports.

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