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DraftKings NFL Value Plays: Conference Championships (2021)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Jan 21, 2021

The Conference Championships are upon us. We’re now just one week away from the Super Bowl, and if you’ve been checking my value plays through this season, I hope that they’ve been helpful! I’ve done my best, and I hope that I can help you win this weekend’s slate at DraftKings.

If you want to fire up some studs in your DFS lineups, you’ll have to find cheaper options somewhere who can return value. By “value,” I mean a player who offers some upside but won’t bust for zero points. To hit value, a player should get between three to four times their salary in fantasy points. I’ll look at quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers under $6K, and at tight ends under $4.5K.

Check back next week for another slate of picks — and for my results from the week before!

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Last Week’s Picks

Quarterback
Drew Brees (NO): 6.66 points (1.19x)

Running Back
Cam Akers (LAR): 18.6 points (3.24x)
Devin Singletary (BUF) 6.7 points (1.49x)

Wide Receivers
Gabriel Davis (BUF): 0 points (0x)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB): 7.3 points (1.92x)

Tight Ends
Dawson Knox (BUF): 3.8 points (1.23x)

Well, after a great Wild Card round, last week sure could have gone better. To be fair, a lot of players disappointed; last week’s QB4 (Jared Goff) scored just 13.6 points, and only three running backs finished with 15-plus points. It gets harder to find value as slates shrink, so I’ll do my best to find some more diamonds in the rough of DraftKings’ pricing this week.

Quarterback

Tom Brady (TB): $6,100 at GB*
Brady is the cheapest starting quarterback of the bunch (except Chad Henne, but I suspect that Patrick Mahomes will clear the concussion protocol), so he’s the value play by default. Green Bay’s defense gave up the third-fewest DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks in the regular season (17.2), but Brady is the top fantasy player through two weeks of the playoffs, and he’s averaging 22.6 DKPPG. He only scored 14.6 DK points the last time these two teams met, and he’ll have to head into Lambeau this time, too, so you might be better off spending up for Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers.

*No quarterbacks met the value play threshold ($6,000).

Running Back

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC): $5,000 vs. BUF
We’re in a bit of a weird spot with CEH this week. He has a chance to return, as he logged limited reps in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but you should be willing to pivot off him and to Darrel Williams ($4,800) if news breaks that he can’t play. Either running back is well-positioned to score a boatload of points, as the Chiefs gave CEH 26 carries against the Bills when they last met, and the rookie turned them into a career-best 161 rushing yards. The Bills’ defense gave up the 16th-most DKPPG to running backs (24.5) in the regular season, which isn’t great, but it’s bad enough for me to target a value play like CEH against them.

Ronald Jones (TB): $4,600 at GB
Yes, I know that Leonard Fournette was the star of last week’s game against the Saints. That’s because the Bucs were trying to keep Jones fresh. Jones missed practice that Wednesday, but he’s practiced every day this week, so I’m optimistic that the Bucs will feature him against the Packers. Jones absolutely exploded against Green Bay when these teams last met; he ran 23 times for 113 yards and two scores (good for a season-high 29.1 DK points). The Bucs should once again feature their ground game against the Packers, as the Pack allowed the fifth-most DKPPG to running backs (27.9) during the regular season.

Wide Receiver

Chris Godwin (TB): $5,400 at GB
Godwin was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Mike Evans was too. Antonio Brown is yet to practice, however, which puts his status in serious doubt. Jaire Alexander will likely cover Evans again, as he did in Week 6, and Evans reeled in one of two targets for 10 yards in that game. So with Evans neutralized and Brown probably out, Godwin should see an uptick in volume. He may have only caught five-of-seven targets for 48 yards when he last played the Packers, but Jones’ breakout meant that Godwin didn’t need to do very much. His seven targets still ranked second on the team and marked a 26% target share.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB): $3,900 vs. TB
Well, I went with the wrong bargain-bin Packers receiver against the Rams. Allen Lazard caught four passes for 96 yards and a score, while MVS ended up with four catches for just 33 yards. That said, I’m optimistic about a rebound from him here. Also, Lazard is more expensive ($4,200) and could be a more highly-rostered flier due to his strong showing last week. Let’s not forget that MVS is a more electric playmaker than Lazard. He has a 97th-percentile speed score, per PlayerProfiler, and ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash. He logged 22 deep targets during the regular season, too.

If you want a more contrarian upside pick, go with Gabriel Davis (BUF): $3,500 at KC.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski (TB): $3,500 at GB
Gronkowski led the Buccaneers in targets (8) against the Packers the last time these teams met, but he hasn’t seen much usage in recent weeks. He caught just one pass against New Orleans a week after he failed to catch anything against Washington. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he bounced back against Green Bay. The Buccaneers are still using him in the passing game — he earned five targets last week, after all — and he really just needs to score one touchdown to come close to hitting value. If you’re staying away from Travis Kelce on Sunday, Gronkowski is your best bet at a thin tight end position.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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