Welcome back everyone! The “NFL Draftkings Lock Plays” are back for the post season and just in time for an exciting NFL Conference Championship weekend.
As usual, my NFL DraftKings Lock Plays are focused on the key players at every position to give you the upper hand and since this weekend, we have the top four offensive teams from the regular season in the Conference Championship games, we have a lot to dig through. We have two young quarterbacks with Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff facing off between two highly, respected veterans with Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Something like a little torch passing possibly? So let’s get into the games breakdown and into some researching. Good luck and cash out!
NFL Draftkings – Lock Plays
Los Angeles Rams versus New Orleans Saints
The first game of our weekend is the Los Angeles Rams (13-3) at the New Orleans Saints (13-3) at 3:05 p.m. est./12:05 p.m. est. Vegas is viewing this one at a high offensive game with a point total of 57 points. We have the Rams who are ranked 2nd in offensive yards, averaging 421 yards per game and the Saints who are ranked 8th in offense with 379 yards per game. Now when these two teams faced off in week 9, the Saints won, 45 to 35, proving that these two teams played at a high offensive level.
Jared Goff went for 3 touchdowns and 1 interception off of 391 yards, completing 28 passes out of 40. Todd Gurley didn’t even break a hundred yards as he only rushed for 68 yards, scoring just once. On the opposite end, Drew Brees threw for 346 yards, going for four touchdowns and no interceptions. Alvin Kamara found the end-zone twice rushing and Michael Thomas went off for 211 receiving yards, finding the end-zone once.
Now a few things have changed since week 9 of the regular season, one being that C.J. Anderson gave Todd Gurley a run for his money last week with his pregnant man belly, finding the end-zone twice to Gurley’s one touchdown. He also out-rushed Gurley by 8 yards, rushing for 123 yards while Todd Gurley rushed for 115 yards but Anderson also had seven more carries. With the New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton told the Saints to put up or shut up before even making it to the playoffs which they have. We all know what Drew Brees is capable of, especially in the playoffs and with this entire Saints team healthy and ready to go, you can’t count them out. We are in store for a great kick off on Sunday with this first Conference Championship game.
New England Patriots versus Kansas City Chiefs
Now this right here is my favorite game of the two because my goat, Patrick Mahomes, gets to host the New England Patriots and arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. The game kicks off at 6:40 p.m. est./3:40 p.m. est. and has a point total of 58 points, another shootout according to Vegas. But the teams are in store for a very cold game as Kansas City is expecting to be hit by a nasty snow storm shortly. The New England Patriots are ranked 5th in offensive yardage, averaging 393 yards per game and they get to go against the number one ranked team, Chiefs, who are averaging 425 yards per game. These two teams faced off in Week 6 where the Patriots handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first loss of the season, winning 43 to 40.
In the week 6 match-up, Patrick Mahomes had a late start to trying to stop the Patriots but he threw for 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, going for 352 yards off of 36 attempts with 23 of them being completed. Tyreke Hill and Kareem Hunt both went for over a hundred receiving yards, Hill finding the end-zone three times. On the opposite side, the Patriots were all about the rushing while Tom Brady throw for 340 yards with just one passing touchdown. Sony Michael find the end-zone twice, rushing for 106 yards and even Tom Brady found the end-zone once off running for a major two yards!
There is only one major difference but it hasn’t affected the Kansas City Chiefs at all and that is the cutting of Kareem Hunt for his off the field issue. But since then, Damian Williams had filled in pretty nicely at the running-back position. While some believe the odds and haters are against the Patriots, the haters are at least, the team is actually the veterans of the playoffs as the entire team is capable of closing the game out. Tom Brady and Bill Bellichek know exactly what to expect with this Kansas City team and we shouldn’t expect this to be a one-sided game. But also, we shouldn’t expect it to be as high scoring as Vegas believes it will be with the cold weather. But we also said the same last week with Kansas City hosting the Indianapolis Colts.
NFL Draftkings – Lock Plays
Jared Goff vs. New Orleans Saints
Jared Goff is actually coming in as the lowest cost quarterback this weekend when he is facing a defense that gives up a lot. But in his first playoff game this season against the Dallas Cowboys, he was basically not needed as the Los Angeles Rams team was focusing and dominating more on the run. Jared Goff only threw for 186 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions thrown. Something that you shouldn’t be excited about but could also give you a low ownership depending on how much people believe in the Vegas odds for the Kansas City Chiefs versus New England Patriots game.
Jared Goff gets to face the New Orleans Saints defense who are allowing offenses to average 268 yards through the air, ranking 28th but only 80 yards on the ground, ranking 2nd in the NFL. The Saints are allowing the number one receivers to average around 8 receptions per game, going for 80 yards and they allow the number two receivers to average around 7 receptions, going for 80 yards also.
In their week 9 match-up, like stated in the “Game Overviews”, Goff went for 391 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception, equaling 33.3 fantasy points in that game. So if we are able to get a similar outcome of the game, Goff will easily dominate and get you more points for your bucks. The New Orleans Saints are carried by their offense and since the Saints defense is allowing teams to average 21 points per game, we should have a more of a shootout Sunday afternoon. The one thing to remember also, the Rams are reportedly allowing Aqib Talib to cover Michael Thomas which may slow the Saints offense down but if it is Marcus Peters covering Thomas, expect for a bigger shootout and outcome.
Drew Brees ($5,900 vs. Los Angeles Rams) and Patrick Mahomes ($6,600 vs. New England Patriots)
NFL Draftkings – Lock Plays
Damien Williams vs. New England Patriots
Damien Williams has been similar to James Connor this year in terms of can he really replace the teams number one running back? Which both have done tremendously. Damien Williams is currently averaging 5.1 yards per carry and has found the end-zone five times since his week 13 takeover. In his first post-season game, he rushed for 129 yards off of 25 attempts, finding the end-zone once and scoring 29.4 fantasy points. He also caught 5 of the 6 targets throw his way but just for 25 yards. He doesn’t really have the same impact that Kareem Hunt had in the passing game but he does make up for it in the running game and pretty easily. He also has the luxury of his teammates being Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce who help take off all of the pressure.
We should see a huge uptick in carries and play action plays this Sunday due to the weather in Kansas City being frozen basically. This New England Patriots team are allowing offenses to average 112 rushing yards per game, ranking 11th in the NFL when it comes to stopping the run. In their week 6 match-up, the running game was close to being non-existent as Kareem Hunt only rushed for 80 yards and didn’t find the end-zone at all with Patrick Mahomes coming in second as a leading rusher with just 9 yards.
We do receive a much deeper depth at the running back position and with everyone building off of last week hypes, the chalk should be spread evenly around as Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, and C.J. Anderson all had dominate days just like Damien Williams. Mark Ingram and James White may come in as fade plays also as the Patriots probably won’t lean away from Sony Michael off of his performance last week and Alvin Kamara is just a back you can’t fade out of the game plan.
Sony Michael ($5,600 vs. Kansas City Chiefs) and Alvin Kamara ($6,500 vs. Los Angeles Rams)
NFL Draftkings – Lock Plays
Michael Thomas vs. Los Angeles Rams
It’s very hard to target multiple receivers in the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs game as we don’t know what to exactly expect with the cold and frozen stadium. But we do have Michael Thomas on the slate and since it’s the playoffs, we can not avoid him. Thomas has had a very up and down season and hasn’t been as consistent as we are used to seeing.
Michael Thomas is averaging 82 yards per game, 11 yards per catch and has just 9 receiving touchdowns on the season. But lets throw that out the window since it’s the post-season and he just went off for 171 yards off of 12 receptions and found the end-zone once versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Now the Eagles defense wasn’t on top of their game late in it on Sunday but that still doesn’t make Michael Thomas’s stat-line any less impressive.
The Saints get to face a Los Angeles Rams team that is allowing opposing offenses to average 234 yards per game, ranking 14th in the NFL. There is a chance that Aqib Talib will be covering Michael Thomas which could make this match-up a little bit tougher, especially at the $8,200 price tag but if Marcus Peters magically appears lining up with Michael Thomas then we are in store for a nice one!
The Rams are allowing number one receivers to average around 7 receptions per game and 83 receiving yards. Knowing just that when Michael Thomas is coming off of a game where the defense was allowing number one receivers to average 10 receptions and 90 yards per game, we should get a similar outcome.
NFL Draftkings – Lock Plays
Travis Kelce vs. New England Patriots
I know I said it’s hard to target any receiver in the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots game but when Patrick Mahomes favorite target is Travis Kelce, we can’t really fade him and especially with the depth at tight end being non-existent.
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The only other tight end to even remotely consider is Rob Gronkowski, who hasn’t scored over 5 fantasy points since week 14 and is coming off of a performance of one catch for 25 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers. Kelce, on the other hand, is coming off of 7 receptions for 108 receiving yards and 20.8 fantasy point game versus the Indianapolis Colts. On the season, Travis Kelce is averaging 83 yards per game with 6 receptions and has found the end-zone 10 times.
The Chiefs get to face a New England Patriots defense that is allowing opposing offenses to average 246 passing yards per game, ranking 22nd in the NFL. They do struggle when it comes to allowing receptions to the tight end position, allowing them to average 8 receptions per game but hold them to only 55 yards.
But once again, we all have to be cautious as this game is being played like frozen on ice and it could set receivers back a bit even though both teams are used to playing in the cold. Also, I would keep a Chiefs or Patriots stack very small, possibly two players max, so you don’t get hurt by a low scoring game even with Vegas has this being the highest of the two with 58 points.
No one else really.
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