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I was about to write how much the results from last night’s WWE Royal Rumble hearken back to that old saying – the more things change the more they stay the same. Then I was like – shoot what if there are WWE Fans who haven’t watched Royal Rumble yet, you don’t want to spoil anything. So I won’t…
But the adage is true. The more things change the more they do stay the same. The Chiefs, Rams and 49ers all in Championship Games, we’ve seen a lot of that over the last 5 years and in the Rams and 49ers cases we could go back even further than 5 years… And then there is The Bengals. Why not us? I guess if that spoils any Royal Rumble Results, my bad … but I am not here to predict a winner or predict who we will see play in the Superbowl. It is just a footnote – the more things change the more they stay the same.
So we have 2 games to talk about for DFS Purposes and we all want to make some cash. If you are playing the all day slate than this article is for you because I’ll be talking both games – but where and when possible I’ll also mention some showdown plays when I see them for you single game players.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs 3PM
There are 2 players on the slate today that are expected to have over 60% ownership and one of them is in this game. JOE MIXON $6,800 will be the highest owned player on the slate today and honestly, it’s tough to fade him. Sure in week 17 against the Chiefs he didn’t set the world on fire finishing with 86 Total yards and no scores – but we just saw how Mixon can turn a blah fantasy day around last week just by adding a touchdown and with the Chiefs expected to try and slow down the Burrow-Chase train, I think Mixon could carve out a great fantasy day. But 60+ % ownership is still scary. I think stacking Mixon with Burrow is a way to get different or playing Mixon as a flex and using two other backs for RB1 and RB2 also could be different. I like Mixon today, it’s just tough to pull leverage from high ownership like that.
I’m going to skip ahead here because I am really taken aback by ownership on a certain player and I feel like I must be missing something. Here are your top 5 owned Wide Receivers going into today’s games:
Tyreek Hill 49%
Cooper Kupp 46%
Tee Higgins 41%
Deebo Samuel 40%
Ja’marr Chase 37%
Wait, hold on, 266 & 3 Ja’Marr Chase at $6,700 is the least owned of the top 5? Are you freaking kidding me? Do I think he will go 266 and 3 again? No. Do I think he has a shot to go 100 and 1? Absolutely. If this ownership holds he is my favorite play in this entire game. 6 Times this season he has gone 100 yards or better including 3 of his last 5. TWICE this season he has broken 200 yards. He hasn’t had a touchdown since that epic game but I think that changes today. Love Ja’marr Chase.
I also like Tee Higgins too at only $5,700 if the Chiefs are able to slow Chase down, it will be Higgins who will see the most likely benefit and he has the chops to do it, quietly hitting 96 yards last week against the Titans and in Week 16 against Baltimore he damn near broke 200 yards himself. If you want to offset 60% Mixon ownership and onslaught stack with Burrow, Chase Higgins and Mixon is certainly a way to go.
So let’s talk Joe Burrow for a minute. At $6,600 he’ll be the second highest owned QB on the day behind only Patrick Mahomes – way behind Mahomes mind you who sits at 42% ownership to Burrow’s 27%. Burrow’s run down the stretch has been epic. Over 300 Yards in 3 of his last 5, over 400 yards in 2 of those games, over 500 yards in one of those games. He went 30 for 39 for 446 and 4 touchdowns the last time these two teams played and I just don’t know how you can bet against a similar result today. Honestly he is my second favorite QB play on the day. I really like Burrow-Chase-Kelce as a easy stack. But mix and match Burrow with his receivers and the Chiefs guys. Heck if he puts up 38 Fantasy Points again, he is well worth the investment price.
So let’s talk Patrick Mahomes $7,400 the highest owned Quarterback. So many great things to talk about certainly and historically speaking he may be the best of this generation so far. What I have learned though is that it’s what Mahomes does when it counts that matters when you are talking DFS and when it counted the last 2 weeks against the Steelers and the Bills, two defenses ranked much higher than the Bengals – Mahomes delivered. He has thrown for 778 Yards and 8 Touchdown passes over those two games and 1 interception. He’s also rushed for 88 yards and a score over the last 2 as well. He is on fire and now he is playing an AFC Championship game at home at Arrow Head. It is his 3rd AFC Championship Game in 3 seasons and it’s a bit like his home turf. Don’t over think it – play Mahomes.
Is it Hill or is it Kelce. That is the age old question and any DFS Analyst will tell you the rookie move of playing both in a lineup with Mahomes is a fools mission because one will break your heart and all 3 of them are “expensive” players that didn’t do your lineup any favors. Except, the last two games – if you played both Hill and Kelce together, you probably did pretty well with both players trading 100 yard games and both players ending with a touchdown or better. Tyreek Hill is $7,000 and the highest owned WR on the slate. Travis Kelce is $6,500 and the second highest owned TE on the slate (shocking!). The Bengals found a way to slow these guys down in week 17 holding them to a combined 60 yards, though Kelce did have a touchdown. If I am playing one over the other it’s Kelce for the consistency (Touchdown or Better in all of the last 5 games) but I am giving you the green light to stack both if you so choose.
Byron Pringle is a thing. He’s seen 7 or more targets in 4 of the last 5 games. He’s had a touchdown or better in 3 of the last five including 2 against Pittsburgh in the Wildcard and 1 against Buffalo in the divisional. At $4,300 and 13% ownership if there is a contrarian play to be found in this game with upside, it’s Mr Pringle.
Other Plays in this game:
Tyler Boyd (Sleeper Pick): $4,200 34% owned
Clyde Edwards-Helaire: $5,300 19% owned
Jerrick McKinnon: $5,100 34% owned
CJ Uzomah: $3,400 11% owned
Chiefs DST $3,000 19% owned
Bengals DST $2,600 10% owned
Demarcus Robinson $3,800 2% owned
Darrel Williams (if he plays) $4,200 1% owned
NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers at LA Rams 6:30PM
Twice this season the Niners have gotten the best of the Rams. Week 13 was a rout 31-10 in favor of San Fran and Week 18 27-24 the Niners snuck a win and backdoored themselves into the playoffs. So there is some data here to pull from – BUT and I mean a big BUT, the Rams Defense – particularly the D Line – has played two weeks of stellar football that I am just not sure the Niners are fully prepared for with their own Offensive Line a bit banged up… I honsetly think this game could go either way but of the two, I will make a bold prediction that the final score looks a lot more like Week 18’s than Week 13’s.
CAM AKERS ($5,000) will be the highest owned player in this game at 55% and I think that has a lot to do with price. Akers is a full $1,800 cheaper than Joe Mixon (the most expensive RB) and in truth he is the 5th highest priced “stud” running back to choose from. That to me is the only logical reason for the ownership since a) the Niners are tough on RBs ranked 10th against them on the season and b). after two fumbles in Tampa Bay, one that could have cost LA the game, there is a natural assumption that Sony Michel ($4,600 14% owned) will have a larger role in this game after seeing only 1 touch last week. The jury is still out for Akers – in my opinion. I like him more as a Flex Play because I really like what I have seen from him in the passing game, at least against Arizona. Stacking him with Stafford and a receiver with Akers in the flex is a way to get different. But he will likely lead this backfield in touches and if there are double teams on the wide receivers and linebackers are covering tight ends, I could see Akers finding some room to navigate. To be fair, I also like Sony Michel as a dart throw for the same reasons.
Play Cooper Kupp. He is $8,800 and the most expensive WR. He has 46% ownership and he is the second highest owned WR. In both losses against the 49ers he went for 122 and 118 yards respectively. He also scored a TD in their last meeting. He has gone over 95 yards or more in 5 of the last 6 games with 6 Touchdowns in that span. That includes 183 yards last week in Tampa Bay. Don’t get cute. The Niners haven’t been able to stop Kupp so far this season and unless they throw a triple team on him, they won’t today either win lose or draw. Play Cooper Kupp.
To me the guys I am most interested to watch on the LA Side of things are O’dell Beckham Jr $5,100 22% owned and Tyler Higbee $3,700 24% owned. In O’dell’s case it’s growing confidence with Matthew Stafford including 6 TD receptions since joining the team. There is a real chance that this is Beckham’s breakout game today with so much attention that is likely to be paid to Cooper Kupp. Higbee on the other hand could also have an expanded opportunity if he mainly sees Linebackers covering him all day, he could be fed underneath and we also know Stafford likes to look for Higbee in the redzone. I will have a lot of these guys in double or triple stacks with Stafford and Kupp.
So lets talk Mathew Stafford $6,600 27% owned. Stafford will be the 3rd highest owned QB and I can’t say why for sure, but he might be my favorite QB play on the slate. Over the last 4 games Stafford has finished with 19 fantasy points or higher and he is on a two game NO INTERCEPTION heater! On top of that he also has back to back weeks with a rushing score. I don’t know, call it a gut feeling but the Rams are at home with the chance to play a Superbowl at home and Stafford is playing some of the best football of his career right now … oh yeah and Cooper Kupp. I just like Stafford, I like the opportunity and I like the ownership
Leading me to Jimmy Garoppolo $5,400 9% owned … the lowest owned of the 4 so far, Jimmy G is an interesting contrarian play at QB. In week 10 against the Rams he finished with only 182 yards but he had 2 TD passes. In Week 18 against the Rams he finished with 316 yards and a TD pass but he also threw 2 interceptions. In both of his playoff games this season he has also finished under 6 fantasy points – and his team won. Real Life Football he is a QB that finds a way to win. DFS football though… can you trust it? Up against Aaron Donald, Von Miller and Leonard Floyd at home – with a Superbowl appearance on the line? If he beats me he beats me but I am OK with fading Handsome Jimmy here.
Eli Mitchell in two games with the Rams this season finished with 96 and 85 yards on the ground but no touchdowns. In both games he also saw NO targets. At $5,900 and 45% ownership I want to play him but since the Niners have been also using Deebo Samuel out of the backfield, Mitchell’s opportunity and ceiling is certainly Capped. I think if you are playing him you are hoping for a touchdown because 95 yards and a score is way different than 95 yards without one. I’ll have a few lineups with Mitchell in them but he isn’t a priority for me.
Who is the priority is Deebo Samuel $7,200 40% ownership. Don’t let the last two weeks fool you. In week 10 against the Rams Deebo finished with 30.3 Fantasy Points. In Week 18 against the Rams Deebo Finished with 28.96 Fantasy Points. Play Deebo today #Analysis
The wild card on this team to me is George Kittle $5,000 37% owned. Real Life – Kittle is probably the 2nd best all around tight end in football behind Travis Kelce. Fantasy Life – a different story. The last time Kittle saw north of 15 fantasy points was week 13 (ironically against Cincinnati). In Week 10 against the Rams he had a TD but I think the Niners need Kittle to step up today and I am willing to take my shots. An emotional guy, he will likely be on his game with the crowd expected to be 60% San Fran Fans.
Other Plays in this Game
Van Jefferson (if he plays): $3,900 11% owned
Brandon Aiyuk $5,000 29% owned
Rams DST $3,200 28% owned
49ers DST $2,800 24% owned
Mohamed Sanu $3,000 1% owned
Juan Jennings $3,200 5% owned
Ben Skowronek $3,000 (If Van Jefferson Can’t Play)
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS