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Yahoo DFS Football: Conference Championship Picks

Jim Coventry

Coventry covers football and baseball for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.


QB: Case Keenum (MIN, $27)

It’s tough to be contrarian on a two-game slate, as we need both points and a low-ownership option. Tom Brady should be the chalk while many will likely take a shot on Blake Bortles in the hopes that the Jaguars will have to play from behind at some point. However, Keenum’s a sneaky option because it’s extremely unlikely that the Vikings will have success running the ball against the dominant front seven of the Eagles. If Philly has a weakness on defense, it’s against the pass, so look for OC Pat Shurmur to try and attack the secondary not only with his excellent WRs, but also Jerick McKinnon as a receiver and Kyle Rudolph.

RB: Rex Burkhead (NE, $16)

Even though Burkhead was inactive again last week, he did practice, and it seems as if he was very close to playing. This week he should be ready to roll, and he’ll be needed since the Pats will likely attack the Jaguars defense in their lone area of vulnerability, which is not only the rushing attack, but running backs who catch the ball. If New England gets the ball inside the five-yard line, he’ll likely continue to function as the team’s goal-line back, giving him multi-TD potential. He’s also an accomplished receiver though, as evidenced by him averaging four receptions over the last six full games he played. At his affordable salary and likely low-ownership rate, he’s a high-upside option.

WR: Adam Thielen (MIN, $28)

Stefon Diggs has been hot over his last four games, posting at least five catches and scoring a TD in each contest. That should be good news for Thielen, who’s been the better player over the course of the season while Diggs could see extra defensive attention. Since the Eagles will likely look to limit big plays down the sidelines, which is one of Diggs’ strengths, Thielen should be plenty busy as he runs the majority of his snaps from the slot. Philly should get plenty of pressure with their excellent front seven taking on a Minnesota o-line that struggled to pass protect last week, ensuring that Keenum focuses on making plays in the middle of the field. That's a perfect recipe for Thielen to have his first big game since Week 14, when he posted 105 yards and a TD against the Panthers.

TE: Zach Ertz (PHI, $28)

Not only are the Eagles likely to struggle to move the ball on the ground, but when they’re in obvious passing situations, the Vikings’ pass rush should force Nick Foles to get the ball out quickly. That should lead to Ertz being a primary read in many passing situations. Also, look for him to be busy on play action, to try to take advantage of the Vikings’ aggressive defense. In addition, he could be the primary red-zone target, especially if the Eagles choose not to run the ball into the teeth of the Minnesota defense near the goal line. It’s likely that Rob Gronkowski will be highly owned, but Ertz could easily out-produce him given the matchups.

DST: New England Patriots ($17)

Betting against Bortles didn’t turn out very well last week, as the success of the Jaguars’ rushing attack allowed him to take advantage of play-action opportunities. He’ll face a much better coaching staff this weekend, and the Pats are almost certain to stifle the Jacksonville rushing attack and force Bortles to beat them. Also, look for the defense to show plenty of looks that will be traps for the inconsistent QB to throw the ball into. With the Pats likely to play with a lead in the second half, they should be able to have a productive afternoon by creating multiple takeaways.


QB: Tom Brady (NE, $40)

None of this week’s QBs have a strong matchup, as this is a conference championship weekend that could be dominated by the defenses. It wouldn’t be a surprise if both NFC teams were held to one TD or fewer, and the Pats at home are the most likely team to come out with a strong point total in a tough defensive matchup. Don’t look for Brady to have much success throwing against the top two Jacksonville CBs, but he certainly could have success throwing to Gronkowski and the RBs. Since style points don’t matter in fantasy, Brady’s this week’s best bet to throw multiple TD passes.

RB: Leonard Fournette (JAC, $35)

Yes, the Pats will almost certainly load the box and do everything in their power to take away Fournette, and they’ll likely have plenty of success. Even so, as Jacksonville’s best weapon on offense, he’s the best bet on this week’s slate to see 20 touches at RB. Should he get stopped on the ground, he’s shown all season that he can make big plays as a receiver, and he’s also likely to get goal-line carries. On a slate with a bunch of potential running back landmines, he possesses the best chance of posting a productive performance.

WR: Nelson Agholor (PHI, $16)

The Eagles will have their work cut out for them against an elite Vikings defense. They’ll likely struggle to complete passes to outside receivers due to a combination of excellent pass coverage along with the strong pass rush Minnesota possesses. Although there aren’t many weaknesses to be exploited by the Eagles offense, the slot is a great place to start, as Agholor should be able to win a number of battles against slot CB Terence Newman. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he challenged Ertz for the team lead in targets, which makes him a great cash-game option, especially since he provides the cap relief to spend up elsewhere.

TE: Rob Gronkowski (TE, $34)

It’s all about the mismatches with the Patriots. Since their WR matchups aren’t looking great against the elite Jacksonville CBs, this should be a game in which Gronk is heavily featured. Even if the Jacksonville coaching staff tries to be creative by assigning Jalen Ramsey to Gronkowski, the tight end still rates an edge because of his physicality. There’s a high probability he finds the end zone, and that alone makes him a great cash-game choice on such a limited slate.

DST: Minnesota Vikings ($11)

The Vikings did quite well limiting the excellent offense of the Saints last week, and this week, they’re looking like an outstanding fantasy option. Look for the Eagles to try and impose their will by running the football, but against this elite run defense, they’re almost certain to find themselves in many obvious passing situations. Those situations will provide the defense with opportunities to take advantage of Nick Foles, and this is not a spot that plays to his strengths. With the Vikings demonstrating dominance at all three levels of the defense, there won’t be clear mismatches for Foles to attack. We’ll likely see a repeat of the limitations he showed as a passer in his last two appearances of the regular season.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.