This is my second of two showdown articles for today’s championship games. These articles are intended to be a compendium to the main DFS Article that I published yesterday. If you need a quick link to check that article out first for my drill down on both games and the key players here is a link: https://tinyurl.com/ChampionshipDFS
And if you would like to check out my NFC Championship Showdown article follow this link here: https://tinyurl.com/NFCChampionshipDFS
It’s time for Prime Time … Resining Superbowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the new kid on the block after 25 years – the Buffalo Bills! Anyone who thinks it is foregone conclusion that Kansas City will win should go back and rewatch this season. This Bills team is dangerous and Patrick Mahomes is coming off a concussion? maybe? Anyway this has the makings of a shootout for the ages and I cannot wait to see how my lineups fare – can you?
This game has an implied point total of 53.5 and the Chiefs are favored by 3.
My Captain/MVP Picks
In the NFC Matchup (if you read that article) you know I went off the grain, off the reservation, for my picks at Captain and MVP but here in this matchup I think I’m going to be as main stream as white bread on 1960’s color television.
Stefon Diggs – If you read my Main Slate Article you will know I really love Stefon Diggs today. As I said in that article, he has gone above the status of #1 Wide Receiver for Josh Allen. He is a dependency when you look at the target share, overall usage and routes – this guy has been the catalyst to this team and tough matchup or not he delivers. Since week 5 Diggs has only dipped below 9 or more targets one time. Especially after the bye week he has gone 92 or more yards in 6 of 8 and of those 6 performances in four of them he has gone for over 120 yards. He has 6 Touchdowns over that span too. Yes he is pricey and yes he is chalky at 47% ownership, but I love Diggs at Captain and I’ll look to be contrarian elsewhere in my lineup.
Travis Kelce it is tough to say, really, if it is Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill that is Patrick Mahomes’ #1 target … but tonight I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Kelce gets the nod. In the first matchup with the Bills in Week 6 he went for 65 yards and two scores. Since that matchup though Kelce has failed to see 10 or more targets only twice. Including the two week 6 scores Kelce has 10 touchdowns on the season including post season play and the Bills by the way the 3rd WORST team against the tight end position. Yes he will be Chalk but I will eat it, like it and be different elsewhere in my lineup. Play Travis Kelce.
Josh Allen I rarely write about using a quarterback at Captain or MVP but in this case I think it is a smart move. Whether the Bill’s are in the lead or they are playing catchup they are throwing. The Bill’s throw on first and second down in neutral and positive game scripts nearly higher than any other team and certainly more than any other team still playing football. On top of that if you read my last article the QB rushing comparison isn’t even really a competition. 7 Rushing TDs on the season for Allen and nearly 500 yards. Gunslinger yes – but more importantly he is an opportunist who is showing more and more his willingness to take chances and calculated risks to win games. If that doesn’t inspire you as a Captain I don’t know what would.
Now my Captain/MVP Picks aren’t all chalk… I do have four Contrarian Picks for you to consider as well. Salary Savers, Dart Throws, Leverage Plays.
Salary Saver Draft Kings: Dawson Knox. The big tight end is a favorite for Josh Allen especially in the red zone. That little flip flop and fly touchdown last week will be replayed for years … the Bills may be 4th worst team against tight ends but the Chiefs are the 3rd worst. $4,400 on DK. Pricey on FanDuel at $7,500 though
Dart Throw Chiefs: Demarcus Robinson Sammy Watkins is expected to miss and while Mecole Hardman led the second wide receiver group in catches, DRob here led the group in snaps and routes – 71% of offensive snaps to be exact. A Player that will be running that many routes with Patrick Mahomes under center could break out at any time in a game. I don’t mind a roster with DRob at the top. He’s cheap too.
Dart Throw Bills: John Brown why is he a dart throw as the technical wide receiver 2? Easy – he has done very little and in fact did nothing in his return last week. Smoke is a popular value saver on the main slate but at sub 20% in Showdowns I don’t mind a shot here. At one time he was the talk of the town after all.
Leverage Play: Mecole Hardman the highest owned player on this slate is without question Tyreek Hill at close to 60%. Last week with Sammy Watkins out, Hardman caught 4 passes for 58 and nearly had a score. Watkins is expected out again and at 6% projected ownership give me all of a cheap low owned Hardman. Sneaky especially if you have the Chiefs Defense in your lineup if Hardman runs a kick back too.
Leverage Play: Cole Beasley while still chalky at 26% he is projected at HALF of the ownership of Stefon Diggs and we have seen in tight windows Allen looks for Beasley. In the Bill’s 27-24 win over the Colts he saw 7 targets. In their 26-15 victory over the Steelers Defense he saw 10. And in the 30-32 shootout against Arizona, Beasley saw a season high 13 targets. I like the leverage Beasley brings to this slate
AND MY DARK HORSE: Clyde Edwards-Helaire. At 30% ownership in Showdown I’d like to think that maybe my Main Slate DFS Article had some influence. CEH is expected to play today and Lev Bell is expected to sit. To me it is all about the question – has the running back position in this offense been minimized only because Clyde the Glide wasn’t on the field? We shall see… but always remember, Clyde was drafted on Patrick Mahomes’ recommendation and also the Bills allow 120+ yards on the ground and are ranked 21st against the position. No one will see it coming that CEH runs roughshod but if it happens – I’ll be there with him at Captain/MVP sitting pretty.
Flex, Flex, Flex it Up
As I mentioned in my NFC Article if you are new to this article – anyone I mentioned above is in play for me as a Flex as well. I just want to make that clear, while not writing about the same player twice.
Like the NFC Championship game I do think it will prove important to have both Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes in your lineups. By the way it isn’t that I am down on Patrick Mahomes in this matchup, but I prefer him in the flex as I think the Bills are going to play him tough and while I do think he will score touchdowns, I am not convinced we are looking at a 300 – 400+ yard game from Pattie M. In Week 6 in a winning effort Mahomes only threw for 225. But he did have two touchdowns, both the Travis Kelce, so when playing Mahomes the stack with Kelce is a bit of a priority for me. I will have a lineup or two with Mahomes at Captain/MVP but it isn’t one of my priority plays there.
As I mentioned, Tyreek Hill is the unquestioned highest owned player on this slate and why not. When Hill has seen 10 or more targets this season he has gone for over 100 yards or a touchdown or both. That is pretty incredible on a team that has the reputation of spreading the ball around more so than perhaps any other team in the league. In Week 6 Hill actually had a rushing score and did very little receiving damage and that is always an advantage. While I don’t necessarily like Hill at Captain/MVP I think it is a smart play to find a way to him in the Flex. His massive ownership aside, I think a stack with Mahomes in the Flex on lineups that don’t include Kelce is a smart play. By the way it isn’t that I think stacking Hill and Kelce can’t deliver, it is more about the salary cost of having Mahomes-Kelce-Hill together and what else you will be able to fill your lineup with. Likely that triple stack will be popular and you will land on a lot of the same plays as your competition. You need to think differently. It is ok to leave money on the table in Showdowns by the way… you may have heard me say that before all season long.
Additionally on the Chiefs side I think Darrel Williams and Byron Pringle should be in your player pool for low owned Chiefs Flex Plays. Without Lev Bell on the field, it will be CEH and Williams mainly in the backfield and Williams has been an adept pass catcher when called upon. Pringle saw some targets last week from Mahomes with Watkins off the field so a dart throw yes but a cheap and low owned one, I will take. If you really want to go deep on Chiefs, running back Darwin Thompson may see snaps as a change of pace behind CEH and Williams. He is a deeper dart throw for me than Pringle though, so keep that in mind.
On the Bills side, keep an eye on Gabriel Davis‘ status. He is looking like a game time decision but if he can play, I like him as a cheap low owned Bill with a lot of upside. If he cannot play I think Isiah McKenzie should be in your player pool for the same reasons.
I haven’t spoken much about Devin Singletary here but as much as I am not a Singletary truther, I think he is in play for showdowns. With Zack Moss on IR, Singletary saw nearly all of the running back work last week and now he is in a great matchup against the Chiefs who we have been playing running backs against all season. The issues I have with Singletary is usage. Since Week 16 Singletary has COMBINED for 20 touches over 4 games which for a RB1 is extremely low over a 4 games span. He does see work as a receiver though so I do like that flexibility. He is cheap and he is chalky at over 40% ownership but he is in play as a flex I think just for the opportunity.
In these championship matchups I think both kickers Tyler Bass (Bills) and Harrison Butker (Chiefs) need to be in your player pool. In Week 6 Bass had 2 Field Goal attempts and 2 Extra Point Attempts while Butker matched him in Field Goals and had one more Extra Point. But with both teams playing at a different level here in the AFC Championship and anything can happen. Kickers are in play.
Same goes for Defenses. Sacks, Fumbles, Interceptions, Safetys, Kick Returns – it’s the playoffs baby anything can go down. So I’d say stacking a defense with an opposing kicker is fine, but I also like the Defenses as a part of a 4 or 5 man onslaught stack on some lineups. Plus I mentioned the bonus of stacking the Chiefs D and Mecole Hardman but and even sneakier one is with the Bills D and Andre Roberts who is cheap and carries 1% ownership. You have to think differently here and there is a couple ways to do it on a lineup or two.
Good Luck in your Contests!