Championship Matchups

Yet to Come ::

>> Showdown Notes (powered by Xandamere) Saturday night

Kickoff Sunday, Jan 19th 3:05pm Eastern

Titans (
22.25) at

Chiefs (

Over/Under 52.0


Key Matchups
Titans Run D
10th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per carry
Chiefs Run O
11th DVOA/11th Yards per carry
Titans Pass D
24th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per pass
Chiefs Pass O
6th DVOA/19th Yards per pass
Chiefs Run D
27th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per carry
Titans Run O
18th DVOA/21st Yards per carry
Chiefs Pass D
5th DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per pass
Titans Pass O
24th DVOA/16th Yards per pass

The Matchup ::

:: Powered by Lex Miraglia

  • Andy Reid is 2-2 vs Dean Pees’ defenses with point differentials of -3 (Feeley), +1 (Vick), +21 (Smith), and -3 (Mahomes)
  • Reid’s teams scored 28, 24, 34 (2 Def. TDs), and 32, while Feeley, Vick, and Mahomes all topped 345 passing yards and multiple touchdowns
  • TEN has allowed greater than 24 points just four times all year, but one of them was to Mahomes and KC
  • TEN has allowed six passers to top 300 yards, with Mahomes being the only one over 400 yards, and TEN has allowed just three 3-TD passers, with one being Mahomes
  • KC with Mahomes has topped 31 points in all 3 playoff games
  • TEN D: Only 1 team has allowed more receptions to RBs, only 8 teams have allowed more receiving yards to RBs, and only 7 teams have allowed more TDs to RBs
  • In Damien Williams’ last 5 full games, his attempt (& target) totals read: 12 (2) // 19 (5) // 16 (3) // 12 (7) // 12 (6)
  • 5 of Williams’ 7 TDs over that 5-game stretch have come in the Red Zone, and 5 of his 10 TDs on the season have come inside the Green Zone, where he only trails McCoy and Kelce in touches this season
  • Lesean McCoy has not touched the ball since Week 15
  • TEN has allowed the 5th-most DK points to opposing TEs with the 3rd-most touchdowns allowed to the position
  • Travis Kelce has received under 8 targets in just 3 games all year, and now leads the team in Green Zone touches on the season
  • Kelce has outscored Tyreek Hill in 5 of the last 6 full games they have played together
  • Hill received 19 targets in the first matchup, his season-high by 9 targets
  • Hill has not topped 5 targets in 3 straight games and has only topped 70 yards once since Week 10
  • In Tannehill’s three games vs top-5 pass efficiency defenses (KC, NE, BAL), he has combined for just 341 yards on only 48 pass attempts, with 5 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD
  • In those same three games, Derrick Henry is averaging 29 attempts for 188.33 yards, along with 3 rushing TDs and 1 passing TD
  • In his last nine games, Henry has been above 24 DK points eight times, and above 30 DK points four times
  • Chiefs DL Chris Jones is Questionable to play on Sunday
  • Pro Football Reference’s Expected Points measure ranked 2 of KC’s 3 regular season games without Jones as their 2 worst defensive performances all season
  • In AJ Brown’s 6 games with Tannehill vs top-15 efficiency pass defenses (KC ranks 6th), he has totaled 10 receptions for 156 yards, 58 rush yards, 1 rec TD, & 1 rush TD
  • That’s just 43.4 DK points in 6 games, and only 32.5 when removing his 49-yard rushing score
  • In KC’s first game without Juan Thornhill (+ Jones), they allowed three HOU receivers to top 80 yards receiving, albeit playing an entire second half in catch-up mode
  • KC has allowed the 5th-most yards to TEs on the season
  • When TEN was actually forced to throw more during Weeks 14-16, Jonnu Smith received more than 4 targets all 3 times, cleared 60 receiving yards twice, caught 2 TDs, and even ran once for 57 yards

The Game ::

This has been one of my favorite sets of playoff games in recent memory — from a pure fandom perspective — as we have not only had a series of mostly-great games, but we also find ourselves in a position where the teams that are playing the best football at the moment are the teams left standing. Entering the postseason, the best teams in the NFL were (in no particular order) the 49ers, Saints, Ravens, and Chiefs — so while we have lost two of those four teams, the Ravens have been replaced by a Titans team that is red hot at the moment, while the unfortunate first-round loss of the Saints left the Packers as the best remaining team in the conference. Both games land the home team as a 7+ point favorite, but there are reasons to believe the games could play closer than that, and this is especially true on the AFC side, where the Titans just so happen to be built in a way that can give the Chiefs fits.

As explored throughout the season, the Chiefs are constructed to put up points on offense with a pass-leaning approach that calls on Patrick Mahomes to utilize Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, his running backs, and a broad range of complementary receivers to take a lead and mask the one area where this team is deficient: run defense. With a decent amount of talent and excellent scheme/communication on the back end that limits big passing plays, the hope for the Chiefs is that they can take a lead on offense and force the opponent away from the run in this way, thereby taking control of their games and cruising to a win. If we take away the Matt Moore loss to the Packers, however, the times the Chiefs have had trouble this year have been against teams that can march the entire field on the ground (Indy with 45 rush attempts, Houston during the regular season with 41 rush attempts, and this same Tennessee team with 26 rush attempts vs only 19 passes). This will be the goal for the Titans this week, creating a slim path for the less-talented team to fight all the way to the Super Bowl because their preferred approach matches up perfectly with all the teams they are facing.

On the flip side of this, the Titans are coming off games against a New England team that couldn’t throw the ball downfield and a Baltimore team that is built around the run, while they will find themselves this week facing a Kansas City team that can score through the air with lightning-fast speed. For all his brilliance, one of Andy Reid’s shortcomings as a coach is the pure strategy side of things — i.e., “How do we best win this particular game?” — so we cannot necessarily bank on this being his approach; but given that the only non-fluky way for the Titans to win is for the game to remain close enough that they can continue pounding the rock, it would make sense for the Chiefs to attack from the start and aim to jump out to a big, early lead — forcing the Titans away from Derrick Henry. The downside to this approach is minimal, as the Chiefs have no trouble scoring points quickly (when the Chiefs fell behind 21-0 last week, I was hunting for an in-game line from Vegas so I could tweet that I would still take the Chiefs against whatever the new moneyline was; unfortunately, by the time I figured out where to find such a line, the comeback had already begun), and if they fall behind through their early aggressiveness, they can make up for it throughout the game; while the upside is potential for a three-score lead that could jar the Titans away from their preferred approach…

…all of which is said because, quite frankly, it’s an open question as to whether the Chiefs even have the personnel to truly stop Derrick Henry otherwise. If the volume is there for Henry, he’ll once again have a clear path to a big game on the ground — and while we should keep in mind that the NFL is now 100 years old, and Henry just became the first running back EVER to record 180+ rushing yards in three consecutive games (i.e., that level of production should still be considered an outlier), he still stands out as one of the more straightforward options on the slate, with his role not at all in question, and with the matchup (when separated from any game flow concerns) working heavily in his favor.

With the season on the line in each game played, we are also seeing two other teams on this slate (the Chiefs and Packers) cut down their backfield rotation to a one-man show, with the Chiefs turning their backfield into the Damien Williams show last week — and while this led to only 14 touches last weekend, his chops in the passing game and his opportunities for touchdowns keep him massively in the mix in this small, two-game slate. The offense at the moment is revolving around Kelce // Hill // Williams before all the other pieces.

The discussion on all this becomes more interesting when we look at the Chiefs’ pass catchers, as Hill has recent target counts of 8 // 8 // 7 // 5 // 5 // 4 (with no games in this stretch over 72 yards) — and yet, he headed into this stretch with target counts of 10 // 5 // 9 // 9 // 19, with the 19 targets coming against the Titans. What we are ultimately seeing here is that teams have to choose between paying extra defensive attention to Hill or paying extra defensive attention to Kelce; and because of the way Hill can wreck a game on a single play, he has consistently drawn “focal point” attention from opposing defenses. Especially after what Hill did against Tennessee last time around (11-157-1 on those 19 looks), we should expect the Titans to make him the focal point of the defense this week. This should again free up Kelce (recent target counts of 9 // 9 // 13 // 9 // 5 // 12) to be leaned on more aggressively, with a workable floor and an elite ceiling against a Titans team that struggled against tight ends throughout the year, allowing the seventh most yards and the fourth most touchdowns to the position.

Behind these key focal points in this game (Henry // Williams // Hill // Kelce), the Titans will look to generate explosive plays through A.J. Brown (top of the league in YAC/r this last season) and Jonnu Smith (the Chiefs, as we know, gave up the second most tight end receptions and the fifth most tight end yards), with Corey Davis mixed in as well. The Chiefs will spread some looks to Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson, with any of these three requiring a busted play or a touchdown in order to hit (and with Hardman the player likeliest to be schemed an explosive play).

( Slate Interpretation after second game… )

Xandamere’s Showdown Notes ::

  • Both of these games suck for DFS purposes, at least to me. I was feeling icky about these games and then I read over JM’s interpretation section and I think I agree with him; I’ll be playing a bit of Showdown, but I don’t think I’m playing the 2-game slate. On most showdown slates, I play because I feel like I have an edge in being able to pick apart how a game is most likely to go. On these 2 games, I don’t feel that I have that edge; ownership should reflect the various likelihoods pretty accurately, I think. Overall, I would focus here on building rosters with strong correlation over trying to figure out which low owned guy is going to smash, but I may just take this weekend (mostly) off.
  • There are basically 2 ways this game can play out: the game stays relatively close and the Titans can feed the crap out of Derrick Henry in a really good matchup, or the Chiefs pull away early enough that Henry’s volume dries up as the Titans are forced to turn to the air. 
  • Consider that when building. Chiefs receivers (and Mahomes) are good in any build, but Henry doesn’t really belong in a build with, say, Tannehill and 2 Titans receivers unless you’re predicting an unlikely Tennessee onslaught.
  • Mahomes is the safest play on the board, hands down. Tannehill is second as he’s incredibly cheap for a starting QB on a good offense. I’d put Damien Williams 3rd, as while he’s overpriced for his most likely touch count, he has enormous touchdown equity and solid pass game usage. 
  • In the cheap range, Harrison Butker, Jonnu Smith, and Tajae Sharpe are attractive right now. Adam Humphries, though, is trending toward playing, and if he’s a full go he should push Sharpe back to a bench role and take over as the full-time slot receiver at just $800, making him (by far) the strongest value play on the board. Expect massive ownership if that’s the case as people try to jam in the expensive Chiefs.
  • Kelce is a much safer play than Hill, as JM points out in his game writeup discussing how teams have been scheming to stop Hill. Tyreek still has the enormous ceiling, of course.
  • Road underdog kickers are always fragile plays, but Greg Joseph is even more so this week as the Titans have scored touchdowns on some massive percentage of their red zone visits. Like, over 70%, which is some sort of ridiculous record. Plus, if the Titans are behind, they’re more likely to be forced into situations in which they can’t settle for a field goal. 
  • Mecole Hardman is clearly the best of the ancillary Chiefs receivers but Demarcus Robinson outsnapped him 58% to 17% last week (they both saw 4 targets, though).
  • I’d like to say I can magically pick out who’s going to be this week’s Blake Bell, but I can’t. Sorry. 

Some groups to consider:

  • At most 1 kicker
  • At most 1 defense
  • Pair captain receivers with their QB
  • Pair captain Mahomes with at least 2 receivers and captain Tannehill with at least 1 receiver
  • Consider ways to limit your exposure to Henry and too many other Titans. Something like “at most 3 of Henry, Tannehill, Brown, Davis, Jonnu” or “if captain Henry, at most 1 of Tannehill, Brown, Davis, Jonnu,” or something like that.
  • There are a lot of thin punt plays in this game (Titans tight ends other than Jonnu, Blake Bell, Demarcus Robinson, the various backup RBs). I wouldn’t play more than 1 of them.

Kickoff Sunday, Jan 19th 6:40pm Eastern

Packers (
18.75) at

49ers (

Over/Under 45.0


Key Matchups
Packers Run D
26th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per carry
49ers Run O
2nd DVOA/4th Yards per carry
Packers Pass D
27th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per pass
49ers Pass O
1st DVOA/1st Yards per pass
49ers Run D
15th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per carry
Packers Run O
17th DVOA/10th Yards per carry
49ers Pass D
4th DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per pass
Packers Pass O
5th DVOA/10th Yards per pass

The Matchup ::

:: Powered by Lex Miraglia

  • Kyle Shanahan has faced Mike Pettine’s defense four times with Schaub, Grossman, Beathard, and Garoppolo, increasing his scoring each time from 0 to 19 to 30 to 37
  • Against top-10 efficiency offenses, GB has allowed point totals of 16, 24, 24, 37, 10, & 23, with both games under 20 coming vs MIN
  • SF ranks 7th in offensive efficiency, averaging 29.9 ppg and scoring 30+ in 8/17 games
  • Against teams in the top-half of the league in defensive efficiency (GB is 15th), SF has scored 31, 24, 20, 37, 17, 48, 34, & 27 points
  • 15 of SF’s 25 turnovers came in those 8 games, but GB was the only one of the 8 teams not to force a turnover
  • GB ranked 7th on the year with 25 forced turnovers
  • Against teams in the bottom-10 of the league in defensive rush efficiency (GB is 23rd), SF has scored 41, 31, 9, 51, 24, 37, & 26
  • In those seven games, SF’s rushing yardage totals were 259, 275, 137, 232, 87, 112, & 128
  • Those 7 games produced 11 games of double-digit DK points from RBs, with Mostert and Coleman both leading the backfield 3 times and scoring double-digits 4 times
  • In the first playoff game, touches were distributed: 22 to Coleman, 12 to Mostert, 8 to Breida; Coleman produced the most & received the most valuable GZ touches, while Breida lost a fumble
  • It was Coleman’s first game with double-digit touches since the GB matchup in W12
  • Coleman has scored a TD in all four of his playoff games with Kyle Shanahan
  • In Jimmy Garoppolo’s only 5 games above 18 DK points, his offensive snap totals read: 70, 70, 73, 48, & 64
  • Garoppolo’s 18.22 DK points vs GB came on just 48 snaps, his lowest total of the season
  • Six TEs to receive 7+ targets vs GB are averaging 84.33 yards/g and 0.5 TDs/g, and that doesn’t even include Kittle who went for 129 yards & 1 TD on just 6 targets
  • George Kittle has received 7+ targets in 10/15 games this year
  • Target leaders in those other 5 games: Samuel (7, 6), Kittle (5, 6) Sanders (6)
  • In Deebo’s only 4 games above 16 DK points, Kittle missed two of them and saw his lowest target total of the year in another (3 vs CIN)
  • GB ranks 29th in explosive pass plays allowed to WRs
  • When facing offenses ranked in the top half of the NFL for efficiency, SF has allowed 25, 27, 26, 8 (GB), 20, 46, 29, 31, 21, & 10 points
  • GB ranks 8th in total offensive efficiency
  • After getting Ford, Tartt, & Kwon back, SF holding MIN to 10 points was the first time they held a team under 20 points since GB in W12
  • Against teams ranked top-10 in defensive efficiency (SF is 2nd), GB has scored 10 & 21 vs CHI, 21 & 23 vs MIN, and 8 vs SF
  • Before holding both Diggs & Thielen under 60 yards, #1 WRs in the four previous games vs SF were averaging 9.5 rec (14.5 targets) for 116.5 yards, 1 TD
  • In his last four games, Davante Adams is averaging 8.75 rec (13.25 targets) for 118 yards, 1 TD
  • McCaffrey and Drake are the only two RBs to top 20 DK points vs SF this year
  • In five games vs rush efficiency defenses at SF’s level or better, Jones has yardage totals of 150 (MIN), 58 (PHI), 38 (SF), 31 (NYG), and 160 (MIN)
  • Just 7 of 17 QBs have topped 20 DK points vs SF, and 4 of them only got there because of their elite rushing ability
  • Rodgers has only surpassed 20 DK points in 5/17 games, and has been below 15 DK points in 9/17 games
  • In 3 NFC Championship games, Rodgers has thrown 4 TDs & 5 INTs

The Game ::

While the Packers — in a top-to-bottom sense — are a better team than the Titans, the Titans are actually the team with the better shot at pulling off the upset in Championship weekend, as the 49ers are just such an aggressive, “downhill” team on both sides of the ball, it will be difficult for the more mild-mannered Packers to consistently break through for profitable plays. We’ll throw away the game these two had earlier in the year (a 37-8 San Francisco victory) and start from scratch in this one, but we’ll also be sure to keep in mind the matchup elements that made this a tough spot for the Packers once already. The 49ers are healthy up front and can generate tremendous pressure with a four-man rush, and they have Richard Sherman shutting down a third of the field on the back end, effectively allowing this team to use six guys to cover the other two-thirds of the field (knowing the quarterback is likely to be harassed), and giving them a constant advantage against opponents.

One element working in the Packers’ favor is the fact that Sherman sticks almost exclusively to his side of the field, which will allow Green Bay to scheme Davante Adams onto Emmanuel Moseley (who seems certain to start over Ahkello Witherspoon this week). Moseley has had a solid season, and with the extra attention the 49ers can dedicate to that side of the field, it’s going to be almost impossible for Adams to get anything big going downfield (when these teams last met, he went for only 43 yards on 12 targets), but with this offense revolving so heavily around Adams (11 targets last week, with no other wide receiver seeing more than one look), it will make sense for Green Bay to actively isolate other wideouts on Sherman, and to see what they can get going with Adams on the other side of the field.

Adams has been the focal point of the Packers’ passing attack all year — seeing far more targets than any other pass catchers — but last week was the first time when the Packers decided to go all-in on Aaron Jones as well; and while Jamaal Williams was coming back from a shoulder injury, it seems that his reduced role (two touches, compared to 22 for Jones) was more by design than “by injury.” Last week, the 49ers manhandled the Vikings run game (a zone-blocking scheme largely built around getting the backs to the outside), and this is the same sort of setup they’ll face this week with Aaron Jones. From a fundamental “defensive scheme and personnel” perspective, we were expecting the 49ers’ run defense to be their one weakness all year, and it was not until injuries began to pile up that this “weakness” became even a little bit of an issue. With everyone healthy, then, we should consider this to be a below-average spot for Jones (especially as the 49ers’ defense as a whole — as explored last week — does not create a good environment for running backs, as this team rarely allows long drives or in-close scoring opportunities), though “role” at least has a good chance to work in his favor.

The 49ers’ backfield (as you may have noticed…) is quite a bit more confusing. Every time the 49ers have been on the Main Slate this year, their backfield has been best viewed as “safe to leave alone, as you can generally capture their ‘ceiling’ scores in other spots with a lot less guesswork,” while the 49ers’ Showdown appearances have largely featured Xandamere reminding us that “While [fill-in-the-blank] has been operating as the lead back lately, it won’t be surprising if one of the other two steps up for a big game in this spot.” Tevin Coleman has remained the “starting back” even as Raheem Mostert received all the glory down the stretch (and last week, it was actually Matt Breida who was on the field first), but the fundamental reality/approach for this team has remained the same ::

Mostert is one of the 49ers’ most important special teams players, and as such, they try to keep his workload on offense somewhat “in check” (only one game all season above 15 touches — with his 12 touches last week in line with his recent touch counts of 12 // 15 // 11 // 11), while Coleman and Breida are both generally given early opportunities, with one or the other afforded a chance for extra work based on a variety of factors (including the unpredictable “hot hand” setup). In other words: we should (same as last week) assume Mostert sees around 10 to 12 touches, with a slim chance he rises higher than that, and we should assume Coleman and Breida are each held below 10 touches, with an opportunity for one or the other to take off if the 49ers control the game and if that “one or the other” is running really well. With minimal pass game involvement from the 49ers’ backfield, all three have low floors, while solid price-considered production is in the mix as well.

As we know by now, the Packers are better attacked on the ground than through the air, and they are better attacked with tight ends than with wide receivers (second fewest wide receiver catches allowed). As we have explored in detail, however, the Packers’ strength against wideouts stretches only so far, as they have been hit for big plays all season — often driven by yards after the catch. On such a small slate, Emmanuel Sanders (recent target counts of 4 // 6 // 4 // 2 — but with occasional opportunity to spike higher than that) and Kendrick Bourne (4 // 2 // 3 // 5 — but with six touchdowns as a solid route runner in tight spaces) can both be considered, but the wide receiver likelier to take advantage here is Deebo Samuel. Samuel only has recent target counts of 3 // 6 // 5 // 6, but his seven carries (and two rushing touchdowns) in this stretch add additional paths to production, while his YAC upside gives him clear paths to a solid game.

Of course, the dip in targets for Deebo (on a team that already runs the ball as frequently as any in football, and will be looking to do the same this week) has matched up with the return to full health for George Kittle, who has recent target counts of 17 // 8 // 7 // 5. Kittle will likely need game flow to tilt unexpectedly pass-heavy in order to crack double-digit targets, but he’s the clear pivot off Kelce on this slate — with a lower median projection, but with plenty of scenarios that give Kittle a clear path to the highest tight end score. If we played out this slate a hundred times, Kelce would pull in more total catches, yards, and touchdowns, but Kittle would have his fair share of production in all three areas, and it won’t be a surprise if he pulls off the minor “upset” and outscores his counterpart this weekend.

JM’s Interpretation ::

Yesterday, I was reading through and organizing all of my notes from the NFL season, and one of the notes I came across was a reminder to myself of something I wanted to talk about at the front end of that week’s Angles Pod :: the fact that I always want to avoid betting on fluky outcomes for my rosters, and instead want to focus on scenarios I can actually build around. This idea arose in my mind once again today while working through this slate, as there is some serious “crapshoot” to this weekend, with the lower-priced plays on this two-game slate almost entirely comprised of “hope thin volume turns into production” options. In other words: the only way to build for this weekend is to “hope to guess right” on fluky production — hoping to guess right on one of the 49ers backs, or hoping to guess right on ultra-low-volume pass catchers with target projections in the “1 to 6” range, and with two of these four teams (the Titans and Packers) facing poor pass-catching matchups. Even if I played the playoff slates, I would consider leaving this one alone — but if I were playing, the first thing I would want to do is recognize that the lower-cost options are universally thin; and because of this, a couple of “acceptable scores” from lower-cost guys could be enough to get the job done.

It’s easy to figure out on this slate that Mahomes is the best quarterback on paper (followed by a very bunched-up ranking of Tanny // Rodgers // Garoppolo), while Henry // Damien // Jones (in that order — with all carrying fairly low floors, but with Henry and Damien likely to hit at least a respectable score, and with all carrying upside) are the top-ranked backs. Kelce // Kittle are the top tight ends (with Jonnu a clear salary-saver option in a game in which the Titans should have to throw more than they’ve had to the last two weeks), while the two highest-priced receivers (Davante // Hill) are overpriced for their likeliest range of outcomes, but Adams carries a solid workload-driven floor, while Hill carries potential for a slate-breaking score. But it’s not quite as easy to figure out how to fit these players — especially as there is no real “game flow build” that can point to one of these lower-priced plays having a clear shot at hitting.

As such, I would keep in mind what we noted above (a couple “acceptable scores” from lower-cost guys may be enough to get the job done), and I would then focus my lower-priced plays around A) players who have a fairly consistent role in their offense (Raheem Mostert is the main guy who stands out here), and B) players who can do a lot of damage at once (Deebo and the Chiefs wideouts). Finally, I would think about game flow in these spots, and recognize that while the matchup is tough for the Titans and Packers pass catchers, there is reason to believe some volume-driven “acceptable production” could emerge from these spots; and on any rosters that bet on cheaper Titans/Packers pass catchers, I would be sure to also bet on the way in which I expect their opponent to build a lead that forces volume to pile up.

Of course, that leaves out Emmanuel Sanders and Kendrick Bourne, either of whom could post one of the top scores in the lower price ranges by simply picking up 40 yards and scoring a touchdown, which once again highlights the challenges presented in trying to do more than “guess right” at the bottom of this slate. Ultimately, the best way to play this slate is to embrace variance this week — building multiple lineups and recognizing that much of your competition will be far too certain in their ability to “figure it out,” while you acknowledge (and build around the fact) that if we played out this slate a hundred times, there would be a hundred different ways to construct a first-place roster. Forget about the stats, then! Try to visualize each game playing out, and build around what you see happening as a result. Then start over, visualize anew, build around this new scenario, and so on. In this way, you’ll give yourself a much clearer shot at first place: focusing on the ways in which production can emerge, rather than focusing too purely on “matchups” in a week in which the “matchups” really just tell us to stay away.

Xandamere’s Showdown Notes ::

  • Both of these games suck for DFS purposes, at least to me. I was feeling icky about these games and then I read over JM’s interpretation section and I think I agree with him; I’ll be playing a bit of Showdown, but I don’t think I’m playing the 2-game slate. On most showdown slates, I play because I feel like I have an edge in being able to pick apart how a game is most likely to go. On these 2 games, I don’t feel that I have that edge; ownership should reflect the various likelihoods pretty accurately, I think. Overall, I would focus here on building rosters with strong correlation over trying to figure out which low owned guy is going to smash, but I may just take this weekend (mostly) off.
  • It’s hard to figure out the “safe” plays in this game. Kittle, obviously, and he’ll be extremely highly owned (he and Davante should vie for the highest ownership on this slate). Jimmy G is kind of shockingly cheap for a home favorite QB with a very healthy team total. Deebo’s also cheap. Actually, almost everyone in this game is pretty cheap!
  • When the season was on the line, Green Bay finally made Aaron Jones their bellcow, feeding him nearly 100% of the snaps and running back touches. Of course, the matchup is much, much tougher this time.
  • The only Green Bay guy I can feel halfway decent about here is Davante. Richard Sherman sticks to his side of the field so Davante won’t have to face him, and while he’ll likely struggle with any big plays, there’s a good chance that he can get there via pure volume. 
  • The other Packers’ receivers are hard to figure out because we don’t really know their plan of how they’re going to use the other guys (no other wide receiver saw more than 1 target last week!). Who gets sacrificed to Sherman? Most likely Lazard, but he’s their WR2 now, so do they try to have MVS run routes at Sherman to keep Lazard a bit more freed up? Good luck figuring out this piece.
  • What a difference one game makes, eh? Last week, Raheem Mostert was $8,400 and Tevin Coleman was in the $3k range. Now Mostert has dropped $2k and Coleman’s price has shot up all the way to $8,800. Realistically, at the end of the day, the 49ers “lead back” role has very rarely produced the kind of touch count that we need to justify a lead back kind of price. With Coleman you’re either betting on a very unusual game script that gets him to 20 touches, broken plays, or multiple scores. Mostert (or Breida!) will also get some touches and could be relevant at significantly cheaper prices. 
  • Last week people were grouchy about Kendrick Bourne scoring a touchdown, but he’s actually tied for the lead in red zone targets since…I want to say Week 11, off the top of my head. He doesn’t get much volume but the 49ers value his role in tight spaces around the end zone. He was a lot more attractive last week in the $3k range than he is at $6k this week (he’s seriously just $800 less than Emmanuel Sanders, which is bonkers to me).

Some groups to consider:

  • At most 1 kicker
  • At most 1 defense
  • Pair captain receivers with their QB (you can consider not doing this with Davante, who could get there purely via volume)
  • Pair captain QBs with at least 2 receivers
  • At most 2 of the 49ers running backs
  • At most 2 Packers skill players besides Davante and Jones