FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: AFC Championship
One of the more unique NFL contests you can play on FanDuel is the single-game contest, where you roster five players, all from the same game. You pick one player to be your MVP, and his point total is multiplied by 1.5.
With only two games on Sunday, single-game contests will likely be more popular than usual. So how should you approach them?
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs ($16,000)
When it comes to single-game slates, you want to make sure you’re rostering the right MVP. That’s where your lineup build starts, and it should correlate with the rest of your roster.
This isn't groundbreaking, but I like Patrick Mahomes in this spot. The Kansas City Chiefs' offense goes as Mahomes does. The Chiefs’ are implied to score 30.00 points -- the most of any squad on the four-team slate -- and Mahomes will likely be involved in scoring most of those points. He accounted for five of the seven touchdowns the Chiefs scored last week against the Houston Texans while posting 38.14 FanDuel points.
Per our projections, Mahomes is slated to score 25.7 FanDuel points, which is 7.3 FanDuel points more than the second-ranked signal caller. He’s also the only quarterback projected to throw for more than 300 yards and more than 2.5 passing touchdowns.
He’s expensive, but Mahomes is worth every penny. He'll likely be a chalk MVP pick, but it may be worth rolling with him anyway.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs ($12,000)
If you’re looking to save a bit of salary at the MVP position, look no further than Tyreek Hill.
Hill was quiet in last week’s matchup against the Texans, even though it was a high-scoring shootout, but this is a perfect bounce-back spot for a speedster like Hill. The last time the Chiefs’ played the Titans (back in Week 10), Hill went bonkers. He finished the game with 19 targets, 11 receptions, 157 receiving yards and one touchdown. While we can’t project him to see 19 targets this week, he’ll likely give this Tennessee secondary nightmares again.
Per PFF’s wide receiver/cornerback matchup chart, Hill runs 54% of his snaps out of the slot position, where he’ll be up against Titans’ cornerback Logan Ryan. Hill’s speed should cause problems for Ryan, who runs a 4.56 40-yard dash, compared to Hill’s 4.33 speed.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans ($16,000)
On the Titans' side, Derrick Henry is hard to overlook. He has absolutely dominated through two playoff games, topping 30 carries and 180 rushing yards in each contest. The Titans' game plan will likely stay the same this week -- feed the ball to Henry as much as possible while controlling the clock.
Fortunately for Tennessee, that game plan could be the perfect recipe to beat KC. Not only can Henry help keep Mahomes on the sideline, the Chiefs really struggled at stopping the run this season. Per our schedule-adjusted metrics, Kansas City finished the regular season ranked 28th in rush defense. They also allowed 25.3 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs this season, tied for the fourth-most across the league.
When it comes to opportunity, there’s certainly no lack of it for Henry, and we should see that trend continue this week against the Chiefs' poor rushing defense.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans ($14,000)
If you expect the Chiefs to run away with this game early, then it makes sense to hop on the Titans' passing game. Ryan Tannehill has yet to attempt more than 15 passes in the Titans’ first two playoff games, but he has been rather efficient all season when throwing the ball.
During the month of December, Tannehill threw for multiple touchdowns in his last five regular season games. He also topped 270 passing yards in three of those five outings, averaging 21.8 FanDuel points per game during that stretch.
The cause for concern here is that if the Chiefs don’t get out to a lead early in this game, Tannehill probably won't see enough passing volume to pay off. However, as 7.5-point underdogs in this contest, game script should force him to the air.
Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs, ($14,000)
If you plan on rostering Mahomes, you’re going to want to stack him with a few of his pass-game weapons, one of which is Travis Kelce.
Kelce is coming off his best game of the season last week, when he posted a stat line of 10 receptions, 134 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. It was the best he looked all year, even though he was reportedly dealing with a knee ailment coming into the game.
His matchup gets a bit tougher this week as he’s set to face Titans’ safety Kevin Byard. However, Kelce has proven time and time again that he can beat just about anyone in this league. We currently have Kelce projected to be the highest-scoring tight end on the two-game slate. He’s the only tight end projected for double-digit targets and more than 100 receiving yards.
In their Week 10 matchup, Kelce finished with a stat line of 7 receptions, 75 receiving yards and one touchdown against Tennessee.
Harrison Butker, K, Chiefs ($9,500)
When it comes to single-game contests, you’re going to have to get creative -- not only from a salary standpoint, but you’re also going to want to make your lineup contrarian. That’s where Harrison Butker comes into play.
While he may only be on the field a handful of times during the game, the kicker position is always worth exploring when the kicker's team has a gaudy implied total. Of his 17 games this season, Butker has finished with double-digit FanDuel points 10 times. That’s more double-digit games than any of Damien Williams, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman had. Crazy, right?
Don’t overthink this one. Yes, he’s a kicker. But he’s the kicker for the Chiefs, and we all know this team is capable of putting up massive numbers.
Griffin Swanson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Griffin Swanson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username GriffDogg_. 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. (edited)