The slate of Sunday’s two-game divisional round features some of the NFL’s biggest stars, as the Browns-Chiefs and Buccaneers-Saints are ready to fight. Building DFS lineups on short playoff slates is never easy, but when you factor in tough defenses and worrisome injuries, it gets even more difficult. We go for a few “sure things” in our FanDuel tournament lineup, but our choices also hinge on more than a few worthy sleepers.
Our center stack will likely be pretty chalky, as we’re paying for the chef trio of Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. From there we have another bona fide “star” and a bunch of boom or bust sleepers. We’ll be the first to admit that this roster has questions, but these types of lineups can easily take the playoffs, so let’s be weird!
Sunday Divisional Round Fan Pick: NFL DFS tournament playoff lineup
QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs vs Browns ($ 9,200). You can pick any of the four starting QBs this week and all is well, but we pick the best – and the most expensive. Mahomes has the best game of the four, and while he can be chalky and / or limit your potential to other positions, he simply has the highest cap. Kansas City won’t be relying on their lackluster running game, so you know Mahomes will have to be a jack of all trades.
RB Kareem Hunt, Browns @ Chiefs ($ 6,200). It’s easy to play on the “revenge” factor here, but the bottom line is that Kansas City is fighting the run and Hunt can rack up yards in different ways. He typically sees at least eight touches, and in a game where Cleveland tries to run early and might be forced to pass later, Hunt has a realistic chance of outdoing teammate Nick Chubb. Either way, he has relative value compared to Chubb ($ 8,200) and Alvin Kamara ($ 9,000), so if you’re willing to take the risk of bleaching Chubb, Hunt makes sense.
RB Taysom Hill, Saints vs. Buccaneers ($ 5,100). Hill’s knee injury worries us, but if he plays, it’s huge value. In two games against Tampa this year, he has posted 86 passing yards, 67 rushing yards and 35 receiving yards. He thinks he gets at least six touches, and given his extreme efficiency and the way New Orleans uses him, that may be enough for him. If anything happened to Drew Brees, Hill would really outperform his price. There is a low bottom here, but at this price, it makes sense to take a chance on Hill.
WR Tyreek Hill, Chiefs vs. Browns ($ 8,800). This T. Hill is not a risk, as the Chiefs speedster is essentially a guaranteed production. He has the best game for any WR on Sunday, and you know he will be targeted all over the pitch. Pay and enjoy.
SUNDAY READING DFS LINES: DraftKings
WR Michael Thomas, Saints vs. Buccaneers ($ 7,200). Thomas has averaged six catches and 70.6 yards per game since his initial return from injury in Week 9. He’s been wiped out again since, but in his first game last week he caught five. passes for 73 yards and a score. In a game where New Orleans is expected to struggle to run, Thomas is expected to see some important goals, putting him in position for his best game of the year. Don’t miss out, especially at this price.
WR Rashard Higgins, Browns @ Chiefs ($ 5,300). The popular narrative with the teams against the Chiefs is that they fall far behind and are forced to pass a lot in the second half, which benefits receivers. Sounds good, but it hasn’t really happened this year, as Kansas City gave the WRs the third-fewest FanDuel points. So our use of Higgins is not necessarily based on this narrative; it’s more due to his consistent goals (6.8 in the last five games) and his ability to go wild for big games and intermediate wins. Also, we had to pay back after paying for Mahomes, Hill, Thomas and Travis Kelce, and unless we wanted to add another Chiefs wide receiver, we didn’t have a lot of viable options. If you don’t like Higgins, Emmanuel Sanders ($ 5,700) makes the most sense.
TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Browns ($ 8,500). Jared Cook ($ 5,600) and Austin Hooper ($ 5,500) have favorable games and are a lot cheaper, but Kelce is actually the most favorable, as the Browns give up the third most FanDuel points to the TEs. More than that, Kelce is basically like playing a WR2 at TE, so even if it costs a lot, you know you’re getting elite production.
FLEX Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers @ Saints ($ 5,600). This one’s a gut feeling, and there are plenty of other options to consider if you don’t like Gronk. He was only ruled out on one goal last week, so we don’t expect much to be on him, especially with Cook and Hooper in better matches at similar prices. Still, we can’t shake the feeling that Gronk is due for a big play or a touchdown, and we know Tampa will pitch often. Again, there are plenty of other options out there, including the aforementioned TEs, WRs like Sanders, or whoever starts RB for the Chiefs, but we’re taking a chance and hoping for differentiation here.
D / ST Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Saints ($ 3,500). Granted, this game doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you look at the rest of our roster, but it’s the only defense other than the Browns we could afford. We could make a few adjustments to get the Chiefs or the Saints, but we’re okay with the Bucs, who usually make one-dimensional teams, which creates more opportunities for bags and INTs. New Orleans can score a few touchdowns and the Bucs can still pay off, so we’re hoping for some big games.