One-and-Done Strategy: Divisional Round


We hope you're enjoying this old content for FREE. You can view more current content marked with a FREE banner, but you'll have to sign up in order to access our other articles and content!

One-and-Done Strategy: Divisional Round

Fantasy Points managing editor Joe Dolan runs a playoff contest with his friends that employs the “one-and-done” or “use ‘em and lose ‘em” format.

The premise is simple: you pick a lineup from the entire available player pool every week (in this format, I reluctantly include kickers and defenses to make lineups bigger). The goal is to score the most points throughout the entire playoffs. But you can only use a player once. So you can choose to use Josh Allen in the first week of the postseason, but he’s unavailable the rest of the way.

It’s a really deep and interesting way to play because you have to maximize your scoring every week. Yes, saving players is important. But you can’t just use scrubs from teams you project to lose every week because you need to score the most points overall to win the grand prize. On the flip side, you can load up on points in the first round, but you may be doing so by eliminating players who are going to advance deep into the playoffs, which gives you a very limited player pool the rest of the way.

With that in mind, here are the strategies our staff are using in the contest in the first round.

Lineups are 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 PK, 1 DST, and 2 WRT FLEX. Scoring is PPR with 4 points per passing TD. Return TDs — but not yards — count.

Joe Dolan

119.66 points; 16th place (37.68 out of first)


Previously Used: Dak Prescott (Dal)

Patrick Mahomes (KC) — I had a mediocre first week, so it’s time to try to load up on the points. I’m predicting the Bills to win this game, but the total of 55.5 is sky-high, and Mahomes is playing much better now than he did when these two teams met earlier in the season. I’m loading up Mahomes with his cronies and rooting for a Buffalo win in a shootout.

Running Back

Previously Used: Josh Jacobs (LV), Elijah Mitchell (SF), Damien Harris (NE)

Derrick Henry (Ten) — The King… has returned.

Jerick McKinnon (KC) — Clyde Edwards-Helaire will play and Darrel Williams has a shot to go, but I’m going to use McKinnon in a stack with Mahomes and a couple other Chiefs to try to load up on this passing game. McKinnon is their healthiest and best option as a receiver in the backfield right now.

Wide Receiver

Previously Used: Hunter Renfrow (LV), Tee Higgins (Cin), Deebo Samuel (SF)

Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd (Cin) — Wes and Scott love the matchup for both guys, and the Bengals are throwing the ball a ton of late.

Tyreek Hill (KC) — Again, I need to score points, and I’m going to count on Patty Mahomes and his boys giving them to me.

Cooper Kupp (LAR) — I predict a Rams win this week, but it’s probably the game I’m least confident in, and even in a loss, Kupp has the opportunity to go nuclear.

Tight End

Previously Used: Zach Ertz (Ari)

Travis Kelce (KC) — Boy, I really hope the Bills win this game. But with a lot of points allowed!

D/ST and Kicker

Previously Used: Kansas City D/ST, Daniel Carlson (LV)

Ryan Succop (TB) and Tennessee D/ST

Tom Brolley

147.16 points; third place (10.18 out of first)


Previously Used: Dak Prescott (Dal)

Aaron Rodgers (GB) — Rodgers enters the postseason with multiple TD passes in 14 of his 17 games, and he ended the season with 19+ FP in his last six full games. He posted 261/2 passing while averaging 7.9 YPA against the 49ers in Week 3, and Nick Bosa (concussion) is up in the air.

Running Back

Previously Used: Joe Mixon (Cin), Josh Jacobs (LV)

Derrick Henry (Ten) — No risk it, no biscuit it. Henry may not go back to averaging 27.4 carries per game like he was at the beginning of the season, but the big dog has a chance to eat in this matchup without DT Larry Ogunjobi (foot, IR) in the lineup and as 3.5-point favorites.

Elijah Mitchell (SF) — I’m worried about the 49ers falling behind and Mitchell losing out on carries, but he’s been good for 21+ carries in six straight games and the Packers have been pushed around for 4.3 YPC by RBs.

Wide Receiver

Previously Used: Cooper Kupp (LAR), Deebo Samuel (SF) Diontae Johnson (Pit), Amari Cooper (Dal)

Davante Adams (GB) — Adams has 130+ yards in four of his five career games against San Francisco, and he has 104+ yards in five of last seven games. The 49ers have also allowed 10th-most receiving yards/game (161.5) to WRs.

Ja’Marr Chase (Cin) — The rookie is smoking hot and I need to get him into my lineup before it’s too late. He has 27/507/3 receiving in his last three full games, and the Titans allowed the second-most receiving yards per game (188.8) to WRs this season.

Stefon Diggs (Buf) — I initially had Allen Lazard in this spot but I rethought my decision and switched to Diggs to get another piece of this Bills-Chiefs game, which owns by far the highest total on the slate.

Tight End

Previously Used: Rob Gronkowski

George Kittle (SF) — I’m jumping on the Kittle rollercoaster and I’m hoping he gets out of the current valley he’s been stuck in for four straight weeks. He’s still averaging the second-most routes per game (27.3) on the team during his cold spell, and he posted 7/92 receiving on 9 targets when these teams met in Week 3.

Travis Kelce (KC) — Kelce has scored in four straight games and he’s excelled in this matchup with 24/240/5 receiving in three meetings over the last two seasons.

D/ST and Kicker

Previously Used: KC, Harrison Butker (KC)

Titans D/ST and Randy Bullock (Ten) — I’m sticking with the AFC with my D/ST and kicker this week. The Bengals have the second-lowest implied team total of the week and they skew more pass-heavy, which could lead to sacks or big plays for the Titans. Bullock had multiple field goals in five of his seven games with Henry in the lineup.

Ben Kukainis

93.18 points; 32nd place (64.16 out of first)


Matthew Stafford (LAR)

Previously Used: Kyler Murray (Ari)

Running Back

Derrick Henry (Ten)

Cam Akers (LAR)

Previously Used: Josh Jacobs (LV), Elijah Mitchell (SF), Joe Mixon (Cin)

Wide Receiver

AJ Brown (Ten)

Tyreek Hill (KC)

Cooper Kupp (LAR)

Previously Used: Diontae Johnson (Pit), Deebo Samuel (SF), Hunter Renfrow (LV)

Tight End

Dawson Knox (Buf)

Previously Used: Rob Gronkowski (TB)

D/ST and Kicker

Harrison Butker (KC)

Packers DST (GB)

Previously Used: Daniel Carlson (LV), Chiefs D/ST

Graham Barfield

105.08 points; 26th place (52.26 out of first)


Josh Allen (Buf) – I’m way down in the standings after a poor start, so I’m going for upside here. Allen has the highest ceiling of any QB on most weeks – but especially here.

Previously Used: Kyler Murray (Ari)

Running Back

Devin Singletary (Buf) – Going with a Bills onslaught: Allen-Singletary-Diggs. Singletary is the best RB play on this slate for my money. He’s averaging 20.5 fantasy points per game in his last six starts in this new bell cow role.

Elijah Mitchell (GB) – Definitely a little concerned that the 49ers could get behind here and Mitchell doesn’t get his usual 20+ carries, but there is more than enough matchup-based appeal here. The Packers run defense finished 28th in FootballOutsiders’ Run Defense DVOA metrics. Mitchell wasn’t healthy when these two teams met in Week 3.

Previously Used: Josh Jacobs (LV), Najee Harris (Pit), Darrel Williams (KC)

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams (GB) – Imagine he’ll be the highest owned player in our pool this week, but it’s for good reason. Adams has 10/173/1 (12 targets), 9/138 (11 targets), and 12/132/1 (18 targets) in his last three meetings with the 49ers.

Stefon Diggs (Buf) – His ceiling is lower this year than last, but he’s got 8/110/1 in his range of outcomes here.

Ja’Marr Chase (Cin) – Saved him for this week. Gets a pristine matchup against a Titans secondary that gave up the second-most receptions and yards to WRs.

A.J. Brown (TEN) – Has the upside to bury everyone if he’s barely used in our contest. Brown will either get 9/150/1 and win me the week or go 4/28.

Previously Used: Cooper Kupp (LAR), Deebo Samuel (SF), Amari Cooper (Dal)

Tight End

Travis Kelce (KC) – Again, I’m in a hole, so I’ve got to use some studs here to try and catch back up. Kelce gives me a full Bills-Chiefs stack in the highest totaled game of the Divisional Round.

Previously Used: Darren Waller (LV)

D/ST and Kicker

Packers D/ST – Hoping for a couple mistakes by Jimmy G. Packers are much healthier now with Jaire Alexander and potentially Za’Darius Smith back.

Matt Gay (LAR)

Previously Used: Chiefs D/ST, Greg Zuerlein (Dal)