DRAFT Daily Fantasy Helper: Conference Championships
The season-long fantasy season may have ended, but fantasy enthusiasts can still take advantage of weekly snake and auction drafts on the DRAFT platform. With the reduced player pool, these drafts now consists of 3 participants, with the normal 1QB, 2RB, 2 WR/TE flex roster construction.
While the nature of the two-game slate severely reduces the player pool, the four highest scoring teams will be taking the field for the conference championship round. This should allow some ancillary pieces to slide more comfortably into lineups. With that said, here are this week's standout plays on DRAFT.
Patrick Mahomes - With 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns, Patrick Mahomes remains the top quarterback play on this this slate. Matching up against New England, Mahomes decimated the Patriots in Week 6 for 352 passing yards and 4 scores. While the Patriots played solid defense against the Los Angeles Chargers last week, they allowed the 12th-most passing yards this season (4,160), boding well for Mahomes. The over/under in this contest currently sits at 56.0 points, implying the Chiefs for 29.50 points. With this massive implied team total, Mahomes and the Chiefs should move the ball early and often in this contest. Often falling to the mid-rounds, Mahomes deserves to be the first quarterback selected in weekly snake drafts.
Drew Brees - With only three quarterbacks coming off the board, Drew Brees deserves to be one of them. Brees finished a historic 2018 regular season with 3,992 passing yards, 32 scores, and only 5 interceptions. Even though the New Orleans Saints relied on the run throughout long stretches of the regular season as they recorded 13 wins, Brees showed his passing game upside with 301 passing yards in the divisional round. This week, he faces a Los Angeles Rams pass defense that ranks 10th in our schedule-adjusted metrics. Despite the strong showing, the Rams have showed cracks throughout the season. Last week, they allowed Dak Prescott to throw for 266 yards, and this week they catch a Saints team playing at home. Over the last two seasons, Brees has averaged 301.9 passing yards at home and 239.6 on the road. With the highest implied team total on the slate (30.00), Brees deserves a mid-round selection. However, with only three quarterbacks coming off the board, Brees can often be obtained in the final round on DRAFT.
Alvin Kamara - Often a top-two pick on this short slate, Alvin Kamara arguably comes with more upside than any other player. Kamara impressed last week with 106 combined rushing and receiving yards on 20 touches against a stout Philadelphia Eagles front. In his last four games, Kamara has averaged 17.5 touches, putting his volume near the top of the running back group. Kamara also finds himself in an interesting matchup against a Rams defense that ranks 24th in run defense, per our metrics. While the Rams held Ezekiel Elliott to 47 rushing and 19 receiving yards on 22 touches, they had shown major cracks near the end of the season. The Rams allowed the sixth-most rushing yards to backs throughout the last four regular season games (461), including over 100 to Alfred Morris and Jordan Howard. With the Saints favored by 3.5 points, Kamara should get his fair share of opportunities, putting him in the conversation for the first overall pick.
Damien Williams - Coming on strong to end the season, Damien Williams has worked his way into the first/second round of weekly snake drafts. With Spencer Ware injured, Williams has averaged 19.75 touches per game, including a massive 31 touches in the divisional round against the Indianapolis Colts. This role has also included pass game work, where Williams recorded six targets a week ago. With Spencer Ware limited again to start this week, Ware should handle feature back duties again. He also has the benefit of facing a Patriots defense that has proven generous in recent weeks. Before holding the Chargers' backs to 19 total yards, the Pats allowed the ninth-most yards to backs over the last four weeks of the regular season, despite facing the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins in that span. Playing as a 3.0-point home favorite, Williams warrants a selection in the top three picks, but can often be drafted outside the first round.
James White - Always hitting his stride as the playoffs arrive, James White recorded a massive 15 catches for 97 receiving yards on 17 targets. While splitting work with Sony Michel, White should work as the preferred option, with the Patriots pegged as 3.0-point underdogs. From a matchup standpoint, White enters an absolute smash spot. The Chiefs rank dead last in rush defense, per our metrics, and allowed the fifth-most receiving yards to backs throughout the regular season (895). White often remains on the board long into the final rounds. For those bolstering quarterback and receiver early, White should lock down the running back position.
Tyreek Hill - Arguably the league's most dynamic playmaker, Tyreek Hill can consistently be obtained in the second/third round on DRAFT. Last week, Hill saw a massive 13 targets, securing 8 of them for 72 yards against the Colts. The Patriots have played solid football of late, but matchups have never mattered for Hill. In Week 6, Hill absolutely ethered the New England secondary for 142 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns on 7 catches. While a game of that magnitude remains unlikely, Hill has shown one of the highest ceilings on this slate. With his team implied for 29.50 points, Hill remains a strong target in the mid-rounds this weekend.
Julian Edelman - With Josh Gordon suspended, Julian Edelman has stepped in as Tom Brady's clear favorite target. Edelman has averaged an even 10 targets in his last four games and ranked second on the Patriots last week with 13 (behind only James White). The Chiefs improved against receivers to end the year, but as a unit they still allowed the fourth-most yards to be completed to receivers in 2018 (2,782). With an explosive offense on the other side and pegged as 3.0-point underdogs, the Patriots may turn to the pass early in this game. Falling to the third/fourth round of drafts, Edelman's high target projection make him a solid wide receiver to target in the mid-rounds.
Robert Woods - After the Rams' passing game as a whole disappointed last week, Robert Woods has fallen to the final round in weekly snake drafts. Since Cooper Kupp's injury, Robert Woods has led the Rams in targets (52), receptions (31), receiving yards (387), and air yards (553) to end the regular season. Last week proved no different, with Woods handling a team-high 8 targets, 6 catches, and 69 yards. While the Rams took a run heavy approach last week with the game under control, Los Angeles comes in as 3.5-point underdogs against the Saints. Positioned to throw more frequently, Woods and the Rams could see a spike in box score production. The Saints remain a pass funnel defense, with the 4th-ranked rush defense but the 17th ranked pass defense. As a late round dart throw, Woods should be a fixture in lineups on DRAFT this weekend.
Matthew Gajewski is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Gajewski also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mgajewski. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.