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Championship Grind Down

by Justin Van Zuiden
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:01 pm ET

The dichotomy that is the end of the NFL season is upon us. The Super Bowl is approaching, and with that we take joy in knowing that another episode of the best sporting event in America is near.


However, it also brings us the end of one-week fantasy football leagues on FanDuel. Some gamers have already closed that chapter of the 2014/2015 season, while others will look to go out with a bang on a thin two-game slate for Championship Sunday. For those of you who are still playing, here are some daily fantasy sports picks for the games this weekend.


Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $2 Million Fantasy Football league for Championship Weekend's games. It's only $25 to join and first prize is $200,000. Starts Sunday, January 18th at 3:05pm ET. Here's the link.





Tom Brady, New England Patriots, $9,100 – On the NFL odds board, the AFC game has a projected total more than seven points higher than that of the NFC game, so the majority of the offensive weapons will be found in the AFC contest. The Patriots did not even attempt to establish the run against the Ravens a week ago, and Jonas Gray was a healthy scratch for the game. Look for the Patriots to take a more balanced approach this week, though the game will still likely hinge on the throwing arm of Tom Brady. Since the game is in New England with a high total, he gets the nod as my favorite quarterback option.


Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, $8,900 – With his price approaching that of the other three quarterbacks on the slate, Russell Wilson might be a bit overlooked here. Let's not forget that his dual-threat ability gives him an intriguing ceiling, and the Packers have struggled mightily against running quarterbacks in the past. They are 0-4 in their last four games against the Seahawks and the Colin Kaepernick-led 49ers, with Kaepernick destroying the Packers in the playoffs in one of those meetings. It would not surprise me at all to see Wilson be the top scoring quarterback of the weekend.



Running Back


Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks, $8,600 – The running back choices come down to a process of elimination for me. Eddie Lacy has seemingly worn down as the season has come to a close, and he has the toughest matchup of all the running backs this week. Nobody knows who the lead man will be for New England. Therefore, Marshawn Lynch is an easy choice as the top option. He has put together a human highlight reel over the past month, and nothing suggests he will slow down against Green Bay at home.


Dan Herron, Indianapolis Colts, $7,000 – The process of elimination that I just outlined obviously leaves Herron as the remaining choice. He has been a surprisingly large part of the Colts' game plans through their first two playoff games, and that should continue this week. Herron has been lining up split wide on several plays, and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield gives him a dual-threat ability that no other running back in this slate possesses. He's also relatively affordable, and that is something that cannot be ignored on a two-game slate where it's hard to find value options.



Wide Receiver


Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers, $8,900 – In their early-season contest, the Packers did not test Richard Sherman at all. They sacrificed Jarrett Boykin to him and let Boykin run clear-out deep routes to take Sherman out of the game. The good news is that this leaves more looks for Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. The rest of the Seattle secondary is also very good, so these guys are by no means a sure bet for production. However, all of the expensive wide receivers face tough matchups. If the Packers fall behind in this game and are forced to the air, Nelson could approach 12-15 targets in this game. He's the guy I would target if I had the cap space to spend up at wide receiver.  However, I think FanDuel contests will be won by the gamers who correctly pick the best cheap receivers of the week.


Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts, $5,300 – He played in several two-receiver packages in the divisional round, and Reggie Wayne has just one catch in two playoff games. It is clear that Moncrief is the #2 wide receiver target behind T.Y. Hilton, and Bill Belichick will definitely tailor his game plan around attempting to shut Hilton down. That likely includes a healthy dose of Revis Island. Moncrief has immense upside and he is one of the cheapest wide receivers on FanDuel this week. I would not be surprised to see him on a winning squad come Sunday night.



Tight End


Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots, $8,200 – The Gronk will likely be upwards of 80%+ owned on a two-game slate. None of the other tight ends inspire any confidence, and frankly it wouldn't surprise me if Gronkowski outscored every other tight end in the slate combined. He's a must-play for any cash games, though there is some merit in rolling the dice with a fade for tournaments.





Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts, $4,600 – Kickers are hard to predict, so I'll play the narrative here. He's a veteran, and he's facing his former team in a stadium where he has a solid history of kicking well. Vinatieri is also just $100 above minimum price. That's good enough for me.       



Team Defense


Seattle Seahawks, $5,300 – Even though they are facing Aaron Rodgers, the Seahawks are a tough animal to face in their home stadium. They are seven-point favorites in the game with the lower projected total, and they have to be considered the top unit. All four offenses are potent, and all the other defenses carry a bit more risk. As with Gronkowski, this squad should be highly owned on a two-game slate.

Justin Van Zuiden
STLCardinals84 has qualified for 3 separate live finals, including the FanDuel Baseball Championships in 2013 and 2014. Justin won the MLB Monster 3 separate times in 1 month on FanDuel and was one of the most profitable players in all of Daily Fantasy this past season. STL is ranked No. 6 overall. You can follow him on Twitter @stlcardinals84.