Fantasy football NFL conference championship DFS plays: The Brady hunch

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady looks to throw. (Corey Sipkin/AP)

Four teams remain as we enter NFL conference championship weekend. On paper, Bills/Chiefs and Buccaneers/Packers should be incredibly entertaining, but how do we sift through limited player options to build a fantasy football roster? I’ve mapped out my ideal DFS contest lineup within a $50K salary cap for Sunday below.

As always, hit me up with any questions on Twitter @AndyMc81 using #AskAndy.

QUARTERBACK

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Draft Kings salary:
$6,100

It’s strange to say, but Tom Brady is a value play for Sunday’s slate. TB12 is the cheapest of the four starting quarterbacks and could easily put up a stat line close to the others. As the Buccaneers head into Lambeau Field, remember that Brady averaged 26.2 FPTs on the road this season, and has thrown only one interception since Week 12.

Don’t let Antonio Brown’s absence due to injury factor into your decision to start the GOAT. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and the running backs give him more than enough ammo to be successful.

RUNNING BACK

Aaron Jones (RB1), Green Bay Packers
Draft Kings salary:
$6,500

Even though he’s facing the No. 1 fantasy defence versus running backs, Aaron Jones is a must-play in the RB1 slot. Even putting his immense talent aside, there just aren’t that many stud rushers to choose from between the four remaining teams.

The 26-year-old has eclipsed the 100-total-yard mark in three of the past four games, and scored three touchdowns during that stretch. It’s a reasonable salary for the boom upside that Jones could deliver.

Leonard Fournette (RB2), Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Draft Kings salary:
$5,300

Let’s face it — the Bills don’t run the ball, and Kansas City is in full backfield-committee mode. That pretty much leaves Leonard Fournette as the wisest decision for an RB2.

I’m feeling really good about this choice considering how well Fournette has played over his last five outings. The 2017 first-round draft pick has found the end zone five times (four rushing, one receiving), while posting an average of 17.34 FPTs, with nearly four catches and 13 carries.

Ronald Jones II is nursing finger and quad injuries, and should remain behind Fournette on the depth chart. What’s more, a successful ground attack to open up passing lanes makes a lot of sense for Tampa Bay against a Packers front-seven allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs.

WIDE RECEIVER

Davante Adams (WR1), Green Bay Packers
Draft Kings salary:
$8,000

Davante Adams is the highest-priced DFS wide receiver for good reason — his fingers are a magnet for the ball no matter who is covering him. Adams’ target share from Aaron Rodgers is incredible, having seen nine or more passes tossed his way all but once since Week 2. The Packer was the top-producing WR in all of fantasy football for 2020, and faces a 25th-ranked Bucs secondary.

Stefon Diggs (WR2), Buffalo Bills
Draft Kings salary:
$7,000

Stefon Diggs shook off an early-week oblique issue and is a full go for the AFC Championship showdown in Kansas City. Similar to Adams above, Diggs is the favourite wideout in his offence and is matchup proof.

In his first go-around as a Bill, the six-year pro led the NFL in receiving yards and finished third overall for fantasy points amongst WRs. Diggs produced big numbers against some of the league’s best defences, and is poised to do so once more opposite a middle-of-the-pack Chiefs D.

Isaiah McKenzie (WR3), Buffalo Bills
Draft Kings salary:
$3,100

Spending heavy on star power means at some point you need to go bargain hunting. That’s why Buffalo’s Isaiah McKenzie and his sky-high potential peaked my interest at $3,100. Gabriel Davis will be a game-time decision as he rehabs a bum ankle. If he can’t go, then that raises McKenzie’s ceiling even further as a versatile burner.

The Georgia Bulldogs alum exploded for 30.0 FPTs in the regular-season finale, and contributed five touchdowns during this 2020 campaign. There’s definitely a chance that McKenzie busts, but his speed makes him a home-run threat whenever he touches the ball.

TIGHT END

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Draft Kings salary:
$8,000

There’s a $3,400 price difference between Travis Kelce and the next tight end, Robert Tonyan. That’s because Kelce’s average per-game fantasy output doubles Tonyan’s. He’s also taking on the third-worst unit in the league in defending TEs.

Don’t overthink this.

FLEX

Rob Gronkowski (TE), Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Draft Kings salary:
$3,200

After just slamming the tight-end options, I am still coming back with one in the flex spot. My remaining budget is limited, and I also need to select a DST. This is where I use my fantasy formula of “opportunity = success.” Who is best available at $3,300 or less? The only answer is Rob Gronkowski.

It’s been a puzzling return from retirement for Gronk. He seemed to hit his stride as an offensive contributor for a period mid-season only to go back to a predominantly blocking role. However, no Antonio Brown could very well provide more looks for the veteran playmaker.

DEFENSE

Buffalo Bills
Draft Kings salary:
$2,800

These conference-title matchups feature a quartet of incredible quarterbacks capable of leading prolific offences. I don’t see this being a great day for any fantasy DST. Patrick Mahomes was cleared from concussion protocol on Friday afternoon, but is still dealing with a turf-toe type of injury. The reigning Super Bowl champ stated to the media that his toe is feeling better, for whatever that’s worth.

I feel there’s a chance for the Bills defence to limit Mahomes somewhat via consistent front-four pressure, forcing him to move around on that toe. Buffalo’s delivered double-digit fantasy points in four of their past six, and were the ninth-best fantasy DST overall. For the season, this Bills group was tied for seventh in interceptions, 13th in yards allowed per game and 16th in total sacks.


Tweet me your perfect DFS roster @AndyMc81 or on Instagram @andymcsports.

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