One-And-Done Strategy: 2023 Divisional


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One-And-Done Strategy: 2023 Divisional

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 Josh Allen 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

In further proof that it is never too late to start playing fantasy, in my playoff contest of 40 people — including multiple Fantasy Points staffers and contributors — the highest score last week was registered by an 85-year-old woman named Dottie.

Dottie astutely counted on a Cowboys upset loss — she stacked Dak Prescott with CeeDee Lamb and Jake Ferguson, and used the Dallas garbage time to absolutely rack up the points. Those three combined for about 88 points — nearly my entire score for the weekend (116.48). Ack!

Quarterback (Start 1, Max of 1)

I double-stacked Joe Flacco last week and Flacco’s run of greatness finally reached the end of the runway. I would have been better off with my first instinct — Jordan Love — but also would have struck out on stacking Love, because I would have used Jayden Reed. I suppose I was destined to fail.

Given I’m playing from way behind, I need to adopt a really solid strategy this week — I’m hoping the Chiefs lose a shootout in Buffalo. It will obviously be cold, but the forecast isn’t calling for snow on Sunday, which should mean the offenses can operate relatively normally.

So I’m using Patrick Mahomes and stacking him with his top weapons.

Already Used: Joe Flacco

Also Considered: Jordan Love, CJ Stroud

Running Back (Start 2, Max of 4)

I chose not to use Aaron Jones last week for… well, I’m not quite sure why! Massive fail on my part. While it feels like I’m chasing points in a much tougher matchup, I expect the Packers’ awesome run to end this week, so I’m going to make sure Jones is part of my lineup. He’s playing awesome football right now.

I’m absolutely stacking up the Chiefs’ offense in this one — if they advance, I’m screwed, but I’m already about 70 points off the lead, so I need to try to make up some ground. I’m using Isiah Pacheco in cold weather.

Already Used: Kyren Williams, Rachaad White, Devin Singletary

Also Considered: David Montgomery

Wide Receiver (Start 2, Max of 4)

Rashee Rice has developed into a legitimate WR1 for fantasy, and as I already mentioned, I’m going all in with the Chiefs offense this week. He’s in my lineup against a banged-up Buffalo defense.

I think the Packers will try to get Jayden Reed going this week after he somehow got goose-egged last week. I’m projected Green Bay to lose, so I’m using him, though it’s not a great matchup.

With the Buccaneers touchdown underdogs in an indoor game totaled at 49, I’m doubling up with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Evans had just 3 catches against the Eagles last week, but he had a couple of brutal drops, and I’m projecting that he’ll snap out of his mini-funk against a very beatable Lions secondary.

Already Used: Nico Collins, Amari Cooper, Tyreek Hill

Also Considered: Khalil Shakir, John Metchie, Romeo Doubs

Tight End (Start 1, Max of 3)

Travis Kelce isn’t the Kelce of old, but he’s still the best tight end on the slate, and I’m projecting the Chiefs to lose this week. Let’s hope it’s another classic — 38-35 Buffalo would do well for my purposes.

Already Used: David Njoku

Also Considered: None

Kicker and DST (Start 1 Each)

Chase McLaughlin is kicking indoors in the second-highest projected total on the slate, and I’m projecting the Bucs to lose.

The Eagles don’t have a functional defense, so despite the success Baker Mayfield had last week, I’m using the Detroit Lions, hoping for some turnovers.

Graham Barfield

I got off to a great start (174.9 FP – 8th-most) in the Wild Card round thanks to a 30-bomb from Aaron Jones combined with Stafford-Nacua-St. Brown and Collins-Njoku stacks. I’m in a good spot with plenty of options in play. So, let’s not screw it up! I’m going to focus heavily on stacking again…

Quarterback (Start 1, Max of 1)

Patrick Mahomes – I’ll save at least one of the AFC QBs and Brock Purdy or Jordan Love for the Championship Round and Super Bowl.

Already Used: Matthew Stafford

Also Considered: Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff

Running Back (Start 2, Max of 4)

Jahmyr Gibbs – No-brainer play in my TB-DET stack. Gibbs should see a few extra checkdowns against the blitz-heavy Buccaneers.

James Cook – Playing him with Chiefs for a five-player KC-BUF stack.

Isiah Pacheco – In four starts without McKinnon on the field, Pacheco has played on 77% of the Chiefs' snaps and he’s handled 84% of the backfield expected fantasy points.

Already Used: Aaron Jones, Kyren Williams

Also Considered: Rachaad White, Devin Singletary, David Montgomery

Wide Receiver (Start 2, Max of 4)

Mike Evans and Chris Godwin – I’m stacking Gibbs with Evans and Godwin. The Lions have been absolutely cleaned out for 147 receptions, 2,197 yards, and 17 TDs (46.9 PPR points per game!!) to opposing wide receivers over their last 10 games.

Rashee Rice – In his last eight games, Rashee Rice is on fire with 55/690/4 receiving (on 73 targets). Rice is averaging 15.1 Half-PPR points per game in this span – which would have made him the WR6 over Nico Collins (14.6 FPG) across the entire season.

Already Used: Amari Cooper, Nico Collins, Puka Nacua, Amon-Ra St. Brown

Also Considered: None

Tight End (Start 1, Max of 3)

Travis Kelce – To complete the Chiefs stack. Kelce has 6/57/1, 13/118/2, 8/108, 8/96/1, and 6/83 in his last five meetings vs. the Bills, and has seen at least nine targets in every single matchup.

Already Used: David Njoku

Also Considered: Sam LaPorta

Kicker and DST (Start 1 Each)

Mike Badgley (Det) and Lions D/ST

Already Used: Brandon Aubrey, Bills D/ST

Also Considered: None

Tom Brolley

I had a rough start to the playoffs with just 116.88 because of an airball from Jayden Reed and a down performance from Kyren Williams. I even got just 2 points from my idiot kicker! I need to go a little off the board with some of my picks since I have a lot of ground to make up.

Quarterback (Start 1, Max of 1)

Brock Purdy (SF) — Purdy accounted for multiple TD passes in six of his last eight games. The Packers allowed 22+ FP to QBs in five of their last nine games, and this game features the highest total on the board at 50.5 points.

Already Used: Jordan Love (GB)

Also Considered: Jared Goff (Det), Baker Mayfield (TB)

Running Back (Start 2, Max of 4)

Devin Singletary (Hou) — Singletary has reached 63+ scrimmage yards in six straight games, and the Ravens allowed the sixth-most adjusted yards before contact per attempt (1.75) and 4.5 YPC to RBs in the regular season. They allowed four individual 100-yard rushing performances in their final five games.

James Cook (Buf) — Cook powered Buffalo’s attack against the Chiefs in Week 14, finishing with 5/83/1 receiving and 10/58 rushing. The Chiefs gave up a generous 4.6 YPC to RBs in the regular season.

Already Used: Kyren Williams (LAR), Isiah Pacheco (KC)

Also Considered: Christian McCaffrey (SF), Aaron Jones (GB), Jahmyr Gibbs (Det), Rachaad White (TB)

Wide Receiver (Start 2, Max of 4)

Deebo Samuel (SF) — Deebo posted 4+ catches in his last six full games and he reached 18.2+ FP in five of those contests. The Packers deploy the 15th-highest rate of zone coverage (72.5%), and Samuel is averaging 2.87 YPRR on a 22.1% target share on 260 routes against zone coverage.

Nico Collins (Hou) — Nico has caught 15-of-16 targets for 291 yards and 2 TDs in the last two weeks, and the Ravens are without Marlon Humphrey this week.

Christian Watson (GB) — Completing a game stack with Purdy, Deebo, and Kittle with the volatile Watson. He scored four times in three games before his latest hamstring injury, and he could get more big-play opportunities after getting eased back into action last week.

Already Used: Jayden Reed (GB), Amon-Ra St. Brown (Det), Mike Evans (TB), Tyreek Hill (Mia)

Also Considered: Brandon Aiyuk (SF), Chris Godwin (TB), Rashee Rice (KC)

Tight End (Start 1, Max of 3)

George Kittle (SF) — Kittle averaged 2.43 YPRR on a 20.6% target share on 297 routes against zone coverage. The Packers allowed a generous 8.2 YPT and the 15th-most receiving YPG (50.5) to TEs in the regular season. Jake Ferguson posted 10/93/3 receiving against them in a garbage-time-aided performance last week.

Isaiah Likely (Bal) — Likely posted 40+ receiving yards in his last five games with Lamar, and 8+ FP in six straight contests thanks to 5 receiving TDs in Weeks 14-18. The Texans allowed the fifth-most receiving YPG (57.4) and the second-most receptions (5.9) to TEs in the regular season. David Njoku turned in 7/93 receiving on 11 targets in this matchup last week.

Already Used: David Njoku

Also Considered: Travis Kelce (KC), Dalton Kincaid (Buf)

Kicker and DST (Start 1 Each)

Justin Tucker (Bal) — Tucker reached 7+ points in 11 straight games with Lamar Jackson in the lineup, including double-digit production six times in that span.

Kansas City Chiefs D/ST — Josh Allen will turn it over and take his fair share of sacks, and this game features the second-lowest total on the board.

Already Used: Riley Patterson (Cle), Buffalo Bills D/ST

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.