Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
The playoffs are here. It’s time to have some fun. I don’t play a ton of volume in Playoff Best Ball, but I’ve dipped my toes in it this season because it’s incredibly fun to project the NFL playoffs. We know that chaos awaits us, but we don’t know where it will come from. Playing postseason Best Ball or any other playoff fantasy pool requires us to think long and hard about which teams will win the games. A novel thought and one to apply at face value in DFS, but also such an easy activity to lose sight of in building DFS rosters. Pick the games > Predict the outcomes > Identify players who succeed in those outcomes > Build rosters. This is our process this week, and no matter the slate you are playing on (I’ll likely dabble in the Sat-Mon and build a few lineups on Saturday and a couple on Sunday), try to hold your ground to keep coming back to which teams will win the games.
I’ve said it a million times this season, but predicting the present also holds true in the playoffs. We can’t project all six games with significant confidence. We’re going to be wrong somewhere. But, what we can do is know that A) variance will occur, in some games through one or two plays to determine the game, and B) that all the favorites, nor all the underdogs will win their games. Point B may seem like a probability to you, not an improbable one, and that’s fine if you feel that way. But for my money, I’m bought into the fact that whatever script the NFL operates off, it doesn’t follow conventional outcomes. And if all the favored teams win their games, that’s a very conventional outcome. Conventional outcomes stink for TV ratings. Embrace the chaos!
I posted on X earlier this evening my thoughts on each game, so I’ll point you there if you’re interested in what I am seeing before this Wild Card weekend kicks off. I did this in order to ground myself on where I may be feeling different than the crowd. I’ll be wrong on some of these but I see CLE, MIA, BUF, DAL, DET, and PHI advancing. I won’t write about all below but based on where Vegas money is coming in, the places where I may have stronger feelings than the general public include: the over in CLE/HOU, the Dolphins rushing attack, the Bills defense, Cowboys running game, Rams coaches handling interviews better than the Lions, and the Eagles aerial game.
With all this out on the table, let’s have ourselves a weekend!
While the weather in this game doesn’t line up all too well for offense, it will likely also keep the totals low and the ownership down as game time approaches. There are two major factors pointing me to a player block combination of these two in this game. First, the concentration on the Dolphins offense. Mostert and Waddle may both play after missing Week 18 but what version of them will we get? Achane and Hill are healthy and explosive. The second factor is, regardless of the weather, the Dolphins defense has been decimated by injuries and is getting a lot of media attention for this. They’ll likely cede points to the Chiefs offense but that’s even better for Achane and Hill as the Dolphins can attack with these two in many ways. Speed plays in any weather.
If the weather is very poor, the rushing attacks tend to be relied on more heavily. The Dolphins lead the NFL in yards per carry, and even though Achane doesn’t qualify on many sites that track Y/A, his 7.8 yards per attempt sticks out like a sore thumb. The guy is good, and if Pacheco garners more ownership on the other side, I’ll take the lower-owned, more explosive Achane at his price.
Hill is Hill, and his domination of the Dolphins air attack jumps off the page equally. Tyreek’s percentage of team air yards (44.1) ranked third in the NFL, while his 32.7% target share trailed only Davante Adams. This is a revenge game for him as well, coming back to Kansas City who traded him to Miami. The price reflects it, but CeeDee Lamb’s ownership, and likely the weather, should keep Hill’s ownership in check. Lastly, if playing both of these guys, a fun bring back is Travis Kelce. I don’t know if I can get there yet on builds, but someone on the Chiefs is likely to have a big game and would correlate well with this pairing.