Point/Counterpoint: Conference Championship DraftKings Strategies
By Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup:
Every week of the season for daily fantasy brings new debates about core plays, fades, game stacks, and more. For fantasy purposes, it is best to read about both sides of the argument and decide which side, data, and analysis YOU agree with.
For the NFL season, our series of Point/Counterpoint will be a back-and-forth discussion between siblings Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup about the slate strategy, stacks, core plays, and fades for that week.
So let’s get to the Conference Championship Sunday strategy talk!
We have two more weeks left this NFL season. I’m already depressed! But we’re in for an amazing Conference Championship Sunday!
For the NFC, we have two good defenses facing off, similar to last week. But both the Eagles and 49ers are loaded with offensive weapons. For the AFC, the biggest storyline is Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes is dealing with a high ankle sprain. We’ve seen him play at superhuman levels before, can he injured? And Joe Burrow is Joe Cool and looks absolutely dialed in and that Bengals’ offense is cooking.
So for DFS on DraftKings, what are your strategies this week? I think most will stack up the Bengals/Chiefs game. And I think Hurts and Burrow will be higher owned and Mahomes (due to injury) and Purdy will be more contrarian. I kind of like the idea of stacking one game more than the other or even stacking up what I think will be the winning teams more. I’ll do different builds with different concepts. But that’s the beauty of a 2-game short slate.
Will you stack up one game more than another? Will you consider onslaughting who you are projecting to win these games?
Though I think it will carry more ownership, I like stacking up the Bengals/Chiefs game more this Sunday. I am worried about the Chiefs offense with a limited Mahomes, against this tough Bengals defense, but we know the upside this game could have. The Chiefs have shown the ability to produce all season, even dropping 40+ points on the 49ers’ defense earlier this year. Burrow and company on the other hand could be forced to throw more in this game, against a Chiefs secondary that has had issues all season. This is the game that I want to make sure I’m covering in multiple different ways.
When it comes to the Eagles/49ers we know there is a significant upside for these star players, but the defensive play is far better. Both teams are also more run-focused and could look to control the clock. Particularly if one of them gets out to a 10+ point lead. This could really slow the game down and limit the plays and scoring potential. While the ownership will be lower for this game, it’s not like any of the key players will be truly “low-owned”. If Ja’Marr Chase is 60% owned and A.J. Brown is 30% owned, sure that’s a big gap, but unless Brown significantly outscores Chase it won’t matter. Even if he does outscore him by a good amount, you aren’t guaranteed to see that call pay off. You still will need a lot of other plays to be right to finish near the top. Generally in this situation where I believe the higher-owned player is in the far better situation I want to steer into that ownership and be even higher than the field. I would want to have Chase in 70-80% of my lineups just to have more chances to have the right combination.
I really like having a full onslaught of the 2nd game and picking 1-2 pieces of the 1st game. Though the Bengals side is my favorite, I do want to take a few shots on the Chiefs.
The Bengals side and stack are my favorite as well. That will be the chalky stack and maybe going overweight on the Bengals is a way to be a little more unique. I also like running Bengals’ stacks and onslaughts without much of a runback. That will be very unique in a 2-game slate. That would be telling the story that Mahomes is so limited that the Chiefs don’t score much or it’s very spread out. If you want to take a couple of shots on Mahomes, I get it and he will come at very low ownership I believe due to price and injury. I don’t know how much I’ll do it.
Despite the fact that I agree the 1st game (NFC) will be the lower-scoring game with two great defenses, I still am very interested in pieces of that game. I will also run some game stacks of that game, especially in lineups that then run back multiple Bengals. Because if Mahomes’ injury does affect the Chiefs’ offense and that game is more one-sided, then I’ll think we could want more of the first game. I know I am discussing a lot of “what ifs”, but essentially a two-game slate is an extended showdown slate, which means you tell a story of how the two games will play out.
The winning lineup on the two-game Sunday slate still had four pieces (including the defense) from the Cowboys/49ers game despite the fact there were only two total touchdowns in that game. I personally will have the most Burrow stacks and some Hurts and even Purdy stacks. An injured Mahomes is going to have to do a lot at that price to beat me.
You mentioned Ja’Marr Chase, and I 100% agree that I will be overweight on him. Who are your other core plays at RB, WR, and TE?
For running back McCaffrey is definitely the best running back on the slate, but you have to pay for it. At $8K would you be alright with either his 17.7 DK points last week or 24.6 in the Wild Card round? Maybe you can survive with the 24-ish points, but this just feels like a good floor, but with limited ceiling play. That leads me to go to McKinnon as my favorite back on the slate. I know he didn’t do much last week, but the Chiefs could be in more of a situation where they are playing catch-up. I also think given the injury, Mahomes won’t sit in the pocket as much. McKinnon could get peppered with targets like he was at the end of the season. I also think Mixon is fine for his price and will take shots with him as well.
At receiver, after Chase, I do want to land one of Brown, Smith, or Samuel in most of my builds. I think while it could be more defensive-focused if either the Eagles or 49ers want to move the ball it will be more likely through the air. There was a stretch of time where the Eagles’ defense could be run on, but as we saw last week that’s not a gimme. The Eagles outside corners are strong, but I think Samuel will move around to try to have him matched up against nickel corners and safeties. In those areas I see him being able to find success. I think the 49ers’ biggest weakness is their outside corners. We’ve seen some receivers able to win and have big plays. Both Brown and Smith can fit that bill.
At TE Travis Kelce is a major priority for me, I view him as the 2nd most important skill position to have on my rosters beyond Chase. I can see Kittle having some success vs the Eagles’ LBs and safeties, and Goedert and Hurst are fine in 2 TE builds. Kelce though has the ability to just double up the next highest TE, and that makes him well worth the price.
What do you think of these strategies for Conference Championship Sunday DFS on DraftKings? Who are your main game stacks and core plays?
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