News & Analysis

Conference Championship daily fantasy picks: Selecting a DST from slugfest games

By Tyler Loechner
Jan 18, 2019

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Oct 28, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) returns a punt as Denver Broncos safety Shamarko Thomas (38) defends in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

What are the best defense options in daily fantasy for the Conference Championship round? When it comes to choosing a DST unit for your DFS squad this weekend, there’s no great choice — but we’re here to break down the process for you nonetheless.

What do you do when every game is expected to produce 55-plus points?

In DFS, there are usually one or two games a week that are expected to hit the 50 mark. Only a few games a year exceed the 55 barrier.

This week, of course, both the Saints/Rams game (57 projected points) and Chiefs/Patriots game (55) are likely shootouts.

In other words, you aren’t going to be happy with your defensive choice regardless of what happens. That’s what to expect when the four best offenses in football remain.

Those numbers might even be too passive. The Saints and Rams played earlier this year and produced 80 total points. The Chiefs and Patriots played and scored 83 combined points.

The DSTs of the Saints (-2), Rams (-2), Chiefs (0), and Patriots (0) were all pathetic performers in those contests. So what should you do about it?

Embrace the badness but don’t forget about ceilings

All of these offenses were built to score, and none of the defenses are particularly great at stopping opposing offenses. Since you know none of them are great options, it’s time to lean into the weirdness and play the odds.

Outside of a fluky defensive touchdown, the only team with a real, legitimate shot at a DST score is the Chiefs with Tyreek Hill. That gives the Chiefs unit the most upside of the bunch.

Consider the stack options

The Saints, Rams, and Chiefs stack options will be less volatile because you know Kamara, Gurley, Williams, and Hill will be involved no matter what.

The Patriots stack option will be more volatile because Michel can be gamescripted out of favor. Fewer reliable stack options for the masses means lower ownership. That makes the Patriots my favorite option of the bunch for GPPs.

Don’t forget about the weather

The Rams and Saints game will be played indoors, so obviously weather won’t be a factor. This is a negative for the defense.

The Chiefs/Patriots game, however, will be outside in sub-freezing temperatures (the “arctic blast” isn’t expected anymore, but weather will be a bigger factor in this game no doubt).

Check out Scott Spratt’s weather impact article. He notes that the Kansas City weather will “likely hurt the fantasy prospects of the myriad skill talent of these two great offenses” — increasing the variance expected in this contest.

The verdict: Embrace the variance

All of these signs point me toward the Patriots defense this week. This is rarely talked about, but you also get double-dip potential with Edelman, who is likely going to be in your lineup already.

Similarly, the Chiefs might be worth the extra cash if you are inserting Hill into lineups.

Defensive fantasy projections (and salary cap hit)

New Orleans Saints
Salary: DK: $2,700 (5.4%) — FD: $4,600 (7.7%)
Projection: 5.4
Value: DK: 2.0 — FD: 1.17

Kansas City Chiefs
Salary: DK: $2,500 (5%) — FD: $4,400 (7.3%)
Projection: 5.8
Value: DK: 2.32 — FD: 1.32

Los Angeles Rams
Salary: DK: $2,300 (4.6%) — FD: $4,200 (7%)
Projection: 4.1
Value: DK: 1.78 — FD: 0.98

New England Patriots
Salary: DK: $2,100 (4.2%) — FD: $4,000 (6.7%)
Projection: 4.8
Value: DK: 2.29 — FD: 1.2

 

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