Fanduel Conference Championship Breakdown

by Kyle Dvorchak ·

Conference Championship week is one of the easiest cash play weeks that also features the toughest pivots. The only way to win tournaments is to fade some potentially good chalk, and the difference in cash games may be our Allen Lazard five-yard rush to our opponent’s zero points from Corey Davis. Who do the advanced stats and metrics like this week on Fanduels’ two-game, Sunday main slate? Let’s get to it.



The big decision in cash is whether to play Patrick Mahomes ($9,500) or not. He’s $1,800 more than Ryan Tannehill ($7,700) this week and those savings will go a long way in avoiding low-floor players. For example, we can play Mahomes and Raheem Mostert ($5,800) for $15,600 or we can play Tannehill and Aaron Jones ($7,800) for $15,500. Mahomes is a truly special player but when we can lock in a significantly larger workload at running back by being cheap at quarterback, where scoring is typically condensed, we tend to profit. Tannehill also has the most rushing equity of any quarterback left in the playoffs.

During the regular season, Tannehill averaged a rushing line of 4-18.1-0.4. That’s equivalent to an extra passing touchdown per game via his legs. He was also incredibly efficient and may finally be forced to throw often with the Chiefs favored by 7.5 points over Tennessee.

Ryan Tannehill 2019 Efficiency Metrics

Tannehill has a solid rushing floor and a great ceiling if he can even come close to replicating his season-long efficiency on extra volume versus Kansas City.


Patrick Mahomes projects well this week but also figures to be the most popular play at quarterback by a wide margin. Ryan Tannehill, the other passer in the shootout of the weekend, will also garner decent ownership. That leaves a passer who has thrown for four or more touchdowns three times this year and Aaron Rodgers ($8,000).

Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,600) and the 49ers are 7.5-point home-favorites this week, and they are a team that has excelled in that spot this year. They average a 6.6-point differential versus the spread when they’re favored at home and their games average an additional 4.6 points more than the total would indicate in this scenario.

If Garoppolo can parlay his deep ball accuracy into a shootout, pivoting off Chiefs/Titans stacks will be the path to win tournaments:

  • True Completion Percentage – 76.7-percent (No. 3 among qualified quarterbacks)
  • Deep Ball Completion Percentage – 55.6-percent (No. 1)
  • Adjusted Yards per Attempt – 7.7 – (No. 9)

Running Back


There are four or five playable running backs this week but only two see significant work in the passing game. Aaron Jones finished the year with 69 (No. 11) targets, and his 2.9 average target depth gave him 194 Air Yards, third-most among running backs. He was one of the few backs that actually ran higher-value routes from time to time. Most importantly, he played on 84-percent of Green Bay’s snaps last week and saw 22 of the team’s 25 running back touches.

Damien Williams ($7,600) is the other three-down back on the slate. He has played five full games since returning in Week 9. Patrick Mahomes targeted him 4.6 times per game in those contests. That mark would be 17th among running backs. He’s gotten it done on the ground as well. Williams has seen 14.2 carries for 110.2 yards and one score per game over that span. The top two rushing options are clear on this slate and they’re not Derrick Henry ($9,800).


This leaves one backfield for tournament options and it’s San Francisco again.

Tevin Coleman ($6,500) stepped up last week, rushing 22 times for 105 yards and two scores. He did this while Raheem Mostert nursed a calf cramp. The 49ers were firmly in control of their game versus the Vikings during the second half, so there was little need for Mostert to rush back to the field.

Before last week, Kyle Shanahan had given Mostert at least 10 carries in five consecutive games. Coleman peaked at five carries while being active in healthy in those same five games. Take the discount and run back into Mostert’s loving preseason arms.

Wide Receiver


Since returning from his toe injury, Davante Adams has been nearly untouchable. He’s the clear pay-up option this week.

Davante Adams 2019 Game Log, Weeks 9-17

After Adams, Emmanuel Sanders ($5,500) sticks out as the clear value play. Sanders joined the 49ers in Week 8 and was targeted 53 times while with them in the regular season. Of the players under $6,000 on Fanduel, only Sammy Watkins ($5,200) has over 45 targets in that span. However, Watkins “earned” 27 of his targets in Weeks 8-10 while Tyreek Hill ($7,400) was injured.

Sanders has two 100-yard games as a 49er this year. No other player in his price range has multiple games over the century mark throughout the full season.


The Titans have lost three times with Ryan Tannehill as their starting quarterback. He averaged 34 pass attempts in those three games. In their wins, he’s thrown 21.9 passes per game. His receivers are hardly afforded a chance to succeed if the Titans are winning. That isn’t going to happen this week, and A.J. Brown ($6,800) will get ample opportunities to show off his efficiency.

A.J. Brown 2019 Efficiency Metrics

On top of the game-script hanging a slow curveball in front of Brown’s giant bat, he’s caught two passes for 13 yards over the past two weeks. The recency bias will do a great job keeping his ownership in check on a slate with few shots at high-ceiling, low-owned players.

Tight End


In cash and tournaments, both Travis Kelce ($7,800) and George Kittle ($7,00) are great plays. Even running both in the same lineup is an option and is likely the best option in cash this week. This is simply because Fanduel isn’t pricing either elite tight end as if they are a No. 1 receiver on a high-scoring offense. Both players led their respective teams in targets, receptions and receiving yards. To put it into perspective, A.J. Brown was targeted 5.2 times per game this year and is $200 cheaper than Kittle, who was targeted an extra 2.4 times per game.

Check out George Kittle on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:

Kittle is a must-stack for those playing Jimmy Garoppolo in tournaments. He’s accounted for 26.5-percent of his team’s passing yards and scores, second to only Mark Andrews among tight ends. The San Francisco offense and Kittle are one.


Kansas City

The Chiefs defense averaged 2.9 sacks per game and forced 23 turnovers during the regular season. Those marks ranked No. 8 and No. 12 in the league, respectively. This week, they face the king of taking sacks and, in turn, giving the ball to his opponents: Ryan Tannehill. The veteran passer trailed only Dwayne Haskins in sack percentage throughout the regular season at 9.8-percent. He fumbled eight times in 12 games. That prorates to 10.7 fumbles in a full season which would’ve been top-10 in the NFL. Green Bay is the cheapest defense at $4,00o this week. It only costs $400 more to roster an infinitely better play in Kansas City.