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NFL DFS Picks & Strategy, Conference Championship

NFL DFS PicksThe Daily Plug is our weekly NFL DFS picks write-up that highlights the top plays from our Occupy Model. The Plug then provides actionable information for each slate by making specific recommendations on how much of your bankroll to allocate and exactly what types of contests to play -- all depending on the type of player you are. 

Occupy Fantasy’s Chris Rooney has written up a guide to the slate using the Occupy Model, betting line movements, and news updates.
Be sure to read all the way through to the end!

Follow Occupy Fantasy on Twitter for updates through lock.

Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes. For NFL Inactives, visit this link to the NFL.com page - updates roughly 90 minutes before kickoff for each game.

Consider the Plug an in-depth road map for the main slate. Let’s get to it!

Want analysis for every player in the Conference Championship round? Check out the Occupy Model. Want help building lineups? Our partner, DFS Magic, is offering an optimizer FREE for all Occupy members.

BETTING ODDS

Biggest Favorites:
49ers, -7.5
Chiefs, -7

Highest Game Totals:
TEN@KC, 53

Highest Implied Team Totals:
Chiefs, 30
49ers, 27

Lowest Implied Team Totals:
Packers: 19.5
Titans: 23

GAMES TO STACK

Both! While that sounds silly, it's an important note for short slates to understand. These are 4 of the best teams the NFL had to offer in 2019 - so all of them are capable of performing despite the spreads and totals. 

Correlation is most likely to help you climb leaderboards in these DFS environments. Stacking a minimum of 2 players (QB and a skill player) with at least one of their opponents should be the baseline of all your tournament lineups.

Your baseline should be to start with QB-WR1 stacks for all teams, using the opposing WR1 if possible. For example, let’s say you want to stack the 49ers and Packers this week. You should start by thinking about the kinds of lineups you can build around Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams together (or Jimmy Garoppolo and Emmanuel Sanders on the other side).

Now let’s dive in to the games!

Titans @ Chiefs

Injuries
TEN slot WR Adam Humphries hasn’t played since Week 13, but returned to practice on a limited basis this week. Coach Vrabel is “hopeful” he can play Sunday, and Humphries himself sounds ready to go. Humphries is ACTIVE.
Travis Kelce will play after being limited in practice. 
LeSean McCoy turned up on the injury report with an illness mid-week. The already irrelevant RB2 in this offense is more irrelevant at less than 100%.  McCoy is OUT.

Titans Notes

  • First, a general game note. The Titans and Chiefs will be playing in extremely cold weather Sunday.
  • Derrick Henry has posted a 96-588-4 line on the ground in his last three games. Everyone knows that he’s on one of the most historic runs for an RB in the history of the NFL. While it's certainly unsustainable, it's hard to ignore that TEN’s best path to victory (as they see it) may be to continue to feed Henry carries at Arrowhead on Sunday.
  • The immovable force vs. the unstoppable object matchup of the game - Henry’s Titans had the 4th best run-blocking OL in football in 2019, while the Chiefs were the 29th DVOA rush defense (Football Outsiders). The Chiefs are most vulnerable to the rush attack, where they conceded 128.2 rushing yards/game to their opponents. Henry is projected for 26.7 weighted-opportunities in the Occupy Model.
  • Ryan Tannehill hasn’t had to do much for this Titans team in the postseason, but to his credit he’s made the big plays when it counted the most.  
  • Just 84 of his 286 (29.3%) regular season pass attempts were play-action passes, but they accounted for 39.9% of his total passing yards - the most of all starting QBs with 8+ starts on the season. Much of Tannehill’s increased efficiency in 2019 (vs. the rest of his career) may likely be due to success on play-action passes.
  • A.J. Brown made several explosive plays at WR in the second half of the regular season, but has been really quiet in the postseason. In a week where we finally expect TEN to have to throw a bit against the Chiefs, expect to see him more involved. The Titans WR1 has just 2 receptions for 13 yards in the postseason despite running a route on every Tannehill drop back (PFF). 
  • Corey Davis caught Derrick Henry’s jump pass TD last week, but didn’t do anything else. Other than Brown, he’s the only other Titans WR running a route on all of Tannehill’s drop backs.
  • While Kalif Raymond returned for the Titans and caught a long TD against the Ravens, he only ran 3 routes on Tannehill’s 16 drop backs. Tajae Sharpe and Jonnu Smith (TE) remain more involved in this offense, playing a higher % of snaps and running more routes. 
  • If slot WR Adam Humphries is able to go, he’ll have a strong matchup. The Chiefs were 21st by DVOA against slot WRs in 2019. He sounds like he's optimistic he'll play.

Chiefs Notes

  • With the highest implied team total on the slate, expect every Chiefs offensive weapon up and down the board to carry high ownership in all contest types. 
  • Patrick Mahomes engineered (to date) the signature win of his career last week, erasing a 24-0 deficit in just 9:10 of game time against the Houston Texans. He threw for 9.17 yards per attempt (Y/A), and found most of that success through his TE Travis Kelce.
  • The Titans were the 20th DVOA defense against TEs in the passing game in 2019. While a repeat 3 TD performance is highly, highly unlikely from Kelce, he’s an extremely strong play on the slate based on matchup. 
  • Tyreek Hill saw only 4 targets in a 51 point performance for this Chiefs offense last week, a massive disappointment for those who rostered him in DFS. The Titans ranked 28th in 2019 against WR1s, which should bode well for Hill, right?
  • Tyreek’s season long average depth of target (aDOT) was 12.9 yards. Since Week 12, however, that has dropped to a 9.0 aDOT on average. Something with his usage has changed - he’s seen 5 targets or less in 3 straight games. 
  • Sammy Watkins continues to see deep shots - his 14.9 yard aDOT since Week 15 reflects that. With no touchdowns since Week 1 (!), Watkins is probably the closest thing we have to an underperforming WR with access to a high ceiling on this slate. We project him for 6.1 targets in the Occupy Model - the most of any WR in his salary tier.
  • Father Damien Williams played 97% of the offensive snaps for KC in the Divisional Round, and had 100% of the RB touches. LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson played 1 snap each. There’s not much to overthink here - he’s going to see all of the work at RB for the home favorite Chiefs at Arrowhead. Prioritize Father Damien. 

Single Game/Showdown First Look

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Situation statistics sourced from Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Play Index Finder. DVOA data from FootballOutsiders.com. Air yards data pulled from AirYards.com. All salaries from contest providers. While we like the player pool selected above, we reserve the right to roster other players should news and trends closer to lock push us in that direction. Pay attention to our stream schedule for discussion of those thoughts!