AFC Championship Showdown


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AFC Championship Showdown

General Rule for Creating Showdown/MVP Lineups
  1. Correlate with your Captain/MVP - Make sure you are creating a roster that makes sense with your 1.5x player.
  2. On DraftKings, lean RB/WR in the captain. Though QB can finish as the optimal captain, it’s often overused by the field relative to its success rate. When you are using a QB in the captain, I like to use a lot of his pass-catchers. Because the likely scenario if a QB ends up as the captain on DK is he spread his touchdowns around to multiple receivers and not one skill player had a ceiling game.
  3. On FanDuel the MVP spot doesn’t cost you 1.5x salary which means you’re just trying to get the highest scoring player in that spot. Contrary to DK, it’s often the QB because of the scoring system. I would lean QB/RB on FD, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
  4. Leave salary on the table - I’m not just talking about a few hundred. Don’t be afraid to leave a few thousand on the table. In a slate that has an extremely limited number of viable options, there is a much greater chance for lineup duplication. It may not seem like much of an issue, but it can decimate your expected value to put in lineups that are going to split with 500 other people.
  5. Multi-enter if you can. Single-game slates have so much variance that the first play of the game can take you completely out of contention if you only have one lineup. It’s best to build a bunch of lineups (you don’t have to max enter) that concentrates on different game scripts and a handful of different correlated captains.
  6. DST and Kickers, while not very exciting usually offer a solid floor for cheap. Especially in game scripts that go under expected point totals. I would only use at most two per lineup.
  7. When creating single-game lineups, the most important part is creating correlated lineups according to a projected game script, and not pinpointing the exact five or six players who will score the most fantasy points on the slate.


Josh Allen is my favorite captain for this AFC Championship game because of how he accumulates his fantasy points. Believe it or not, I think he has a higher ceiling than Patrick Mahomes. The Bills have relied on Allen to be their entire offense. They did all they could to avoid running the football with running backs last week and that will most likely be the plan again this week. Allen possesses the rushing upside that we need in a quarterback captain. He’ll most likely have to rush the ball a bit and/or score a rushing touchdown. I highly doubt Mahomes is going to be given the green light to scramble around, nor will they call any plays near the goal line that requires him to beat linebackers to the pylon due to the concussion issues. If he throws four touchdowns and spreads the ball around he can definitely land as the optimal captain, but I’m going to be slotting Allen into that spot with much more confidence.

When thinking about the pass-catchers in this game, Stefon Diggs makes more sense to me than anyone on the Chiefs as he is the alpha and doesn’t compete with anyone as the 1B like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce do each game. Just watching Diggs run crisp routes and get separation out of his breaks is something to marvel at. He also has an insane run after catch ability that raises his yardage ceiling. Interestingly enough, I don’t think Diggs and Allen need to be in the same lineup every time. Diggs can get there when Allen has a poor game, like last week. Conversely, Allen can get there with a few rushing touchdowns and a touchdown to an ancillary pass-catcher. When rostering Hill and Kelce, I think you have to pick between the two. You’re going to want to roster Mahomes with them, so setting a rule of only one makes sense to me. I lean Kelce in this game because the Bills have been gashed by tight ends while I trust Tre White and the Bills’ scheme to at least limit the number of deep shots Mahomes takes to Hill. Keeping with the concussion issue for Mahomes, the Chiefs may scheme to get the ball out of Mahomes hands quickly also. As for mid-tier captains, John Brown seems like the best bet. Allen has looked his way 19 times in the last three games which included 11 targets last game. You can get in an extra stud rostering him as captain, though I think it’s probably one of the five aforementioned players that land as the optimal captain.


Devin Singletary is just not on my radar. Could he fall into the end zone in a relatively low-scoring game and wind up in the optimal lineup? I suppose. But his price doesn’t match his usage. Because he’s the starting running back, I think he’ll heavily rostered to a much higher degree than his odds of landing in the optimal lineup.

Darrell Williams will be popular if Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le'Veon Bell are out so we’ll have to monitor their status. If they are all in, we can roster them sparingly, but I think the Chiefs, much like the Bills will do their damage through the air. The Bills have said it’s their mission to not let the Chiefs gash them on the ground as they did in the first meeting.

Cole Beasley and Brown have traded solid outings with goose eggs. I’m not going to pretend I know which player will have the roster-worthy game this week because I think it’s fairly unpredictable. I do lean Brown because his target share seems safer and he is healthier than both Beasley and Gabe Davis. If Allen is your captain, I think you can roster Diggs with one or even two of Beasley, Davis, or Dawson Knox. My preference would be Brown, Knox, Beasley, and Davis in that order. Davis and Beasley seem to be a tad banged up and Knox provides the salary relief with touchdown upside that usually lands a player in optimals. Isaiah McKenzie is always a favorite dart throw of mine because he is used in gadget situations near the goal line. If Davis were to miss, McKenzie gets a sizable pump in my eyes.

The Chiefs’ ancillary pass-catchers are always easy to predict in terms of ownership. Mecole Hardman is always overvalued and that makes him usually under-represented in my lineups. If Sammy Watkins plays, I’ll gladly slot him in at lower salary and ownership than Hardman. The fact Hardman went 4-58 on four targets last week will probably jack his ownership up a bit as well. Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle can be sprinkled into Mahomes captain lineups.

I think an interesting strategy in this game is dropping down to the kickers Tyler Bass and Harrison Butker in lineups that are stud heavy. When you think about structuring lineups, If you are rostering stud-heavy lineups in hopes they hit their ceiling performance, rostering a placekicker instead of a third pass-catcher makes sense. Diggs, Kelce, and John Brown can all get there while allowing a placekicker to hit a few extra points and field goals. But if someone like Isaiah McKenzie or Demarcus Robinson score on long touchdowns, it directly detracts from those stud pass-catchers' bottom lines.

Lineup Starters

Captain/MVP: Josh Allen

Flex: Stefon Diggs, Tracis Kelce, Harrison Butker

Captain/MVP: Josh Allen

Flex: Stefon Diggs, John Brown, Sammy Watkins

Captain/MVP: Stefon Diggs

Flex: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyler Bass

Captain/MVP: Patrick Mahomes

Flex: Travis Kelce, Demarcus Robinson, Cole Beasley

Captain/MVP: Travis Kelce

Flex: Patrick Mahomes, John Brown, Tyler Bass

Captain/MVP: Tyreek Hill

Flex: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Isaiah McKenzie

Pat began playing fantasy football 20 years ago. In 2012 he started the fantasy football site which opened the door for him to become a DFS contributor at several sites and is the newest DFS Contributor for Fantasy Points.