DRAFT NFL Lineup Advice: Conference Championship
The Pittsburgh Steelers owned three of the top four spots of the DRAFT rankings in the Divisional Round. Ben Roethlisberger bounced-back from his five INT performance in Week 5 against Jacksonville to the tune of 469 passing yards and five TDs (36.36 fantasy points) last week.
Le’Veon Bell was the best running back by 1.1 fantasy points. As we predicted, the ground game was tough sledding for Bell, yet he earned his points through receptions. Bell rushed for 67 yards and he caught nine passes for 88 yards.
Though Antonio Brown was battling a calf injury, we labeled him as a top draft pick. His 28.7 fantasy points led all WR/TEs.
Sadly, we won’t have the ability to draft these Steelers in the Conference Championship round.
Now, on to the rankings…
Tom Brady stood out among the group of fantasy quarterbacks last week. He finished second to Big Ben with 25.68 fantasy points. The Patriots are entering their seventh-straight AFC Championship game. In the past four, when Brady throws for three touchdowns, New England advanced to the Super Bowl (twice). In the other two games, Brady threw only one TD. Both of those games were against Denver’s stingy, at the time, defense.
Case Keenum continues to be a model of consistency. Last week, he threw for 318 yards and one game-winning TD. That is now at least one TD pass in 10-straight games. He would be the one to trust if Brady is scooped up before your QB choice is made.
1. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars (@ NE)
2. Dion Lewis, Patriots (vs. JAC)
3. Latavius Murray, Vikings (@ PHI)
4. James White, Patriots (vs. JAC)
5. Jay Ajayi, Eagles (vs. MIN)
6. Jerick McKinnon, Vikings (@ PHI)
7. T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars (@ NE)
If he didn’t miss some of last week’s game due to an injury, Leonard Fournette could’ve ended the week as the highest-scoring player. Instead, he placed third with 30.9 fantasy points. He has now scored six touchdowns in the past six games. The Jaguars must lean on Fournette if they want to continue their postseason run.
Latavius Murray continues to get “lead-back” carries for Minnesota. He’s averaging 20 attempts in the past four games and has scored four touchdowns during that span. Philadelphia is strong against the run, but the only team who was comparable to the Eagles in that category was the Vikings. The Eagles also work with an RBBC. That’s why Murray gets the nod above them in my rankings.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
1. Adam Thielen, Vikings (@ PHI)
2. Stefon Diggs, Vikings (@ PHI)
3. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (vs. JAC)
4. Marqise Lee, Jaguars (@ NE)
5. Danny Amendola, Patriots (vs. JAC)
6. Brandon Cooks, Patriots (vs. JAC)
7. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles (vs. MIN)
Philadelphia was great against the run this season (79.2 rushing yards per game). So, their opponents had to be successful through the air. The Eagles allowed 227 passing yards per game and 24 passing TDs in the regular season. Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills will have their hands full this Sunday.
In Jacksonville’s 45-42 win over Pittsburgh, the only player to notch more than four targets was Marqise Lee. He earned six targets from Blake Bortles and caught three passes for 28 yards. New England is known for taking away their opponent’s strength. In that case, the Jaguars would be forced to throw more. That could be good news for Lee.
Finally, speaking of targets, Danny Amendola led the Patriots with 13 targets last week against the Titans. He turned that into 11 receptions for 112 yards. I wouldn’t want a wide receiver facing anyone from this Jaguars secondary, but Amendola would be my pick, if forced to choose.