Sunday, Feb 11th — Late
Bye Week:
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Mike’s Player Grid 21.23

My “Player Grid” for the Championship round of the playoffs will take the same format as what I did for many of the smaller holiday and Saturday slates this season – which has the feel of my usual “Afternoon Only” article that I do every Sunday. A full-fledged Player Grid would involve too many players for a slate with such a limited player pool to begin with. Rather, this slate very closely resembles what we see most Sundays with only three to four games in the late window. The added caveat for these fun slates is that we get time between each game to learn from what has happened already and the ownerships that have flipped over.

QB Strategy
  • Quarterback is always an important position, but that importance goes to another level on these small slates. There are two main reasons for this. First, on average, quarterbacks score the most points of any position and we can only start one of them. Second, correlation is even more important as the slates get smaller and there are fewer scoring opportunities to go around. By choosing the right quarterback, you are also increasing the chances that you are right at two other positions. Again, the shorter slate condenses the scoring across all lineups, making each position more vital to separating and giving yourself a chance to win. This is why quarterback strategy has its own section:
    • Lamar Jackson and Brock Purdy are likely to dominate ownership on the super small two-game slate. Lamar is the top “raw” option on the slate and has been absolutely dialed in. Purdy, meanwhile, gets a Lions defense that has been crushed through the air recently and should have much better weather after clearly struggling with the rain against the Packers.
    • I prefer stacking Lamar with one or two of Hill, Andrews, and Likely. The Chiefs are so good against WRs and the Ravens WRs haven’t been overly impressive to me this season.
    • Purdy doubles will be wildly popular, but are also in a terrific spot as discussed above. Deebo Samuel will be playing, which helps the chances of San Francisco’s offense rolling and helps increase the chances of Purdy doubles paying off even if Deebo isn’t the one involved in it. 
    • Goff and Mahomes are the “other guys” at QB on this slate. 
    • If playing Goff, I like using one RB and two pass catchers (WR/TE) with him – essentially a “Goff triple” and I’d also use two of the key 49ers players in those lineups. Goff doesn’t add anything with his legs and given how good the other QBs on the slate are, my thought is that Goff being optimal would require the Lions scoring 30+ points. If that happens, one of the Lions RBs will post a top-3 score at their position as well and he’d likely pull a couple of pass catchers with him. Likewise, I don’t think they are going to rout the 49ers, so if the Lions score 31 or 34 points……well San Francisco is probably scoring 3 or 4 TDs as well and we know which players those are likely to flow through. It wouldn’t be hard to see the AFC game being a bit of a slugfest either, making a lineup with 6 or 7 players from the NFC game very viable to me.
    • Mahomes doubles with one of Kelce/Rice and one of the “cheap guys” also makes some sense. Probably throwing one of the Ravens RBs in the mix there as well on those lineups (maybe a low-owned Gus Edwards takes the TDs away from Lamar??).
Defense Strategy

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