One-And-Done Strategy: 2023 Championship


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One-And-Done Strategy: 2023 Championship

I look forward to the playoffs every season. Not only is the best football played at this time, but for obvious reasons, my workload dwindles significantly, so I have more time to actually enjoy the football.

But I always have another itch to scratch… because fantasy football isn’t over.

Every year, I use MyFantasyLeague to run a one-and-done playoff contest for me and my friends (many of whom you know through Fantasy Points).

The rules are simple.

You pick a starting lineup of 10 players every week: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RWT FLEX, 1 PK, and 1 DST. PPR scoring with 4 points per TD and -2 per INT. You get 3 points per field goal and 1 per XP, and return TDs (but not yards) count.

You can pick any player from any team for your lineup every week… except you can only use a guy ONCE throughout the playoffs. So if you use Patrick this week, you can’t use him again. So you want to both maximize your score any given week… but make sure you have enough good players left for each subsequent week. And we dwindle from 14 teams available in Playoff Week 1… to just 2 for the Super Bowl.


In other words, you have to predict both this week’s games and next week’s games. So there’s a lot of strategy involved.

I also pay out weekly prizes in addition to the playoff-long grand prizes.

So I figured I’d talk through my strategy in this contest for a quick article, for those of you doing something similar. Some of the other guys on staff who participate will follow with their picks, as well.

Joe Dolan

I am screwed. I basically used every notable Chief last week hoping for a Kansas City loss — I got a lot of points from Mahomes and company, but now I have no Chiefs to use. So even though I think the Ravens win this weekend… I have to use many of their players to build a viable lineup.

And then next week, I will struggle to put together a viable Super Bowl team. Hopefully, you’ve been following Graham’s picks — he’s 3rd overall in our contest of 40 entries.

Quarterback (Start 1, Max of 1)

No strategy here — I have to use Lamar Jackson. I have Jackson and both NFC QBs left, and I need to save one of the NFC QBs for the Super Bowl.

Already Used: Joe Flacco, Patrick Mahomes

Running Back (Start 2, Max of 4)

I’m using Gus Edwards — the weather in Baltimore might be crappy, so it could be a Gus game — and Jahmyr Gibbs. With Gibbs, the projected high total in San Francisco could play well for a bunch of receptions and explosive plays.

Already Used: Aaron Jones, Isiah Pacheco, Kyren Williams, Rachaad White, Devin Singletary

Wide Receiver (Start 2, Max of 4)

It’s gonna be ugly for me next week if the Lions win, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to use Amon-Ra St. Brown in a high-scoring environment. I’m also hoping for a big play from Jameson Williams. I’m also using Brandon Aiyuk from the same game — I hope he gets more targets because Deebo Samuel is dinged up.

I’m using Zay Flowers and stacking him with Lamar.

Already Used: Rashee Rice, Jayden Reed, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Nico Collins, Amari Cooper, Tyreek Hill

Tight End (Start 1, Max of 3)

With Mark Andrews back this week but possibly not at 100%, I’m going to use Isaiah Likely. That also guarantees I’ll have a starting TE in the Super Bowl, as I’ve used neither George Kittle nor Sam LaPorta.

Already Used: Travis Kelce, David Njoku

Kicker and DST (Start 1 Each)

I’m using Michael Badgley from Detroit — I have all four kickers left, but the Lions are the biggest underdogs on the slate, and the weather should be good in a high-scoring environment.

I’m also using the 49ers Defense. I have both AFC defenses left, so I’ll have one for the Super Bowl.

Tom Brolley

I have nothing to play for but pride after an awful first two weeks.

Quarterback (Start 1, Max of 1)

Jared Goff (Det) — Using the last of my NFC QBs. Goff has thrown for multiple TDs in 10-of-19 games this season, and the Lions could be in a more pass-heavy script as underdogs.

Already Used: Brock Purdy (SF), Jordan Love (GB)

Running Back (Start 2, Max of 4)

Jahmyr Gibbs (Det) — Gibbs has been good for 4+ receptions and 40+ receiving yards in back-to-back postseason games, and he’s scored TDs in three straight games. The Lions enter as 7-point road favorites, which could tilt the game script a little more toward Gibbs.

Justice Hill (Bal) — Hill has 2+ receptions in four straight games, and he ran for a season-high 66 yards last week. The Chiefs gave up a generous 4.6 YPC but the fourth-fewest rushing TDs per game (.4) to RBs in the regular season.

Already Used: Devin Singletary (Hou), James Cook (Buf), Kyren Williams (LAR), Isiah Pacheco (KC)

Wide Receiver (Start 2, Max of 4)

Rashee Rice (KC) — Rice reached 5+ receptions and 57+ receiving yards in five straight games before managing just 4/47 receiving last week.

Josh Reynolds (Det) — Reynolds has reached double-digit FP in back-to-back postseason games.

Jauan Jennings (SF) — Jennings posted 5/61 receiving with Deebo leaving early last week, and I’m expecting Samuel to be limited again this week.

Odell Beckham (Bal) — I don’t have many options at WR so I’ll hope that OBJ can shake loose for a long TD, especially if L’Jarius Sneed mostly covers Zay Flowers.

Already Used: Deebo Samuel (SF), Nico Collins (Hou), Christian Watson (GB), Jayden Reed (GB), Amon-Ra St. Brown (Det), Mike Evans (TB), Tyreek Hill (Mia)

Tight End (Start 1, Max of 3)

Sam LaPorta (Det) — LaPorta has reached 5+ catches in 11 of his 19 games this season. He’s averaging 1.95 YPRR on a 16.4% target share on 238 routes against Cover 3 and Cover 4, which the 49ers use 59% of the time.

Already Used: George Kittle (SF), Isaiah Likely (Bal), David Njoku (Cle)

Kicker and DST (Start 1 Each)

Harrison Butker (KC) — Using the last of my AFC kickers.

Baltimore Ravens D/ST — Using the last of my AFC D/STs.

Already Used: Justin Tucker (Bal), Riley Patterson (Cle), Buffalo Bills D/ST, Kansas City Chiefs D/ST

Graham Barfield

With 330.9 FP through two weeks, I’m in third place overall in the tournament.

In the Wild Card Round, we stacked up Rams-Lions with Nico Collins/David Njoku mini stacked together and Aaron Jones.

Last week, you had to play Mike Evans and/or Travis Kelce to have any chance at a decent score. I had both in my lineup.

Let’s keep it rolling…

Quarterback (Start 1, Max of 1)

Lamar Jackson — Because I’ve already used Patrick Mahomes (last week), I’m going to leave myself the NFC QB (Purdy or Goff) for the Super Bowl. I’m going heavy on Ravens as a result.

Already Used: Matthew Stafford, Patrick Mahomes

Running Back (Start 2, Max of 4)

David Montgomery — I used Jahmyr Gibbs and Isiah Pacheco last week — and I want to save Christian McCaffrey — so I’m a little bit thin on elite RB options. Montgomery is a fine consolation.

Justice Hill — Hill played a much larger role last week with 57% of the snaps. He turned the extra work into 13 carries and two targets.

Already Used: Kyren Williams, Aaron Jones, Isiah Pacheco, James Cook, Jahmyr Gibbs

Wide Receiver (Start 2, Max of 4)

Brandon Aiyuk — With Deebo Samuel (shoulder) less than 100% healthy, this is an obvious blow-up spot for Aiyuk. The Lions have been absolutely cleaned out for 163 receptions, 2,427 yards, and 19 TDs (42.7 PPR points per game!!) to opposing wide receivers over their last 11 games.

Zay Flowers — No brainer to pair with Lamar.

Josh Reynolds — The 49ers secondary is burnable, and the Lions will have to throw it here.

Already Used: Nico Collins, Amari Cooper, Puka Nacua, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rashee Rice

Tight End (Start 1, Max of 3)

Sam LaPorta — I have to use him in this spot.

Mark Andrews — I’m hoping to slide through a very lightly owned Andrews in his first game back to complete my Ravens stack. Andrews practiced in full all week.

Already Used: David Njoku, Travis Kelce

Kicker and DST (Start 1 Each)

Jake Moody (SF) and 49ers D/ST — By pairing Moody/SF D/ST, I will guarantee myself a K/Defense with the AFC options for the Super Bowl.

D/ST Already Used: Bills, Lions

K Already Used: Brandon Aubrey, Mike Badgley

Joe Dolan, a professional in the fantasy football industry for over a decade, is the managing editor of Fantasy Points. He specializes in balancing analytics and unique observation with his personality and conversational tone in his writing, podcasting, and radio work.