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HomeSportsFantasy football: Building a cost-effective Bills-Chiefs DFS stack

Fantasy football: Building a cost-effective Bills-Chiefs DFS stack


Wild-card weekend was strange. Not just because it was the first under the new 14-team playoff format, or because it had a Monday game.

No, it was weird in its amount of boring blowouts. And what boring blowouts means is that a lot of the fantasy points came from one side from the various contests.

Unless you had some kind of Chiefs stack last week — including Patrick Mahomes plus some combination of Travis Kelce, Jerick McKinnon or Byron Pringle — chances are you didn’t land near the top spot in a tournament contest.

When you have a slate full of blowouts, this will often be the case. Had Mahomes not blown up Sunday night, rosters with Bills stacked with Josh Allen would have been at the top of the standings.

But what happens when there aren’t as many ruts? Or if the players involved are too expensive to stack in bulk?

The challenge for fantasy DFS players this week is figuring out how to attack the most attractive divisional matchup: Bills at Chiefs. Most NFL fans, as well as Vegas, expect this to be the highest-scoring game of the weekend. But it also includes the highest-priced fantasy players — Mahomes, Allen and Kelce are priced higher than anyone from any other game, at their respective positions. Tyreek Hill isn’t cheap, Devin Singletary is in the top of half of most expensive running back starters. Dawson Knox is the third-most expensive tight end, more than George Kittle.

Josh Allen
Josh Allen
Getty Images

So it is going to be impossible to stack top-tier talent from that one game. And that is before you address other games with other stars you don’t want to fully ignore.

When we start building our initial FanDuel DFS entry, we’re going to first choose between Mahomes ($8,500) and Allen ($8,800). Because Allen has averaged more per game, and he is a greater threat to score a rushing touchdown, we lean his way.

But if we stack him with Stefon Diggs ($7,800) or Knox ($6,500), our budget gets too thin — especially since we like cheap options from this game more than the cheap options from other games. Instead, we just counter Allen with Kelce. This means we’re rooting for Allen to score on the ground and spread around any passing TDs, which is certainly possible.

Then we check down with our two favorite bargain RBs — Cam Akers ($5,700) and Jerick McKinnon ($6,000). McKinnon gives us additional exposure to Bills-Chiefs, and we expect him to continue to play a large role even assuming Clyde Edwards-Helaire returns.

We momentarily turn our attention elsewhere, adding studs Davante Adams ($8,700) and Deebo Samuel ($8,600). This is a trial run to see if we can still build a roster with these pricy pieces.

Emmanuel Sanders ($5,500) gets us another asset in our target game, then we scoop up the Bills’ defense ($3,500) — primarily because they’re cheap. Fill the last Flex spot with Scotty Miller ($4,900), and we have a satisfactory DFS roster to kick-start the weekend.


Divisional Do’s and Don’ts

Key picks you should consider for this weekend’s FanDuel and DraftKings contests:

Derrick Henry
Derrick Henry
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Derrick Henry RB, Titans, vs. Bengals (FanDuel $9,000/DraftKings $7,500)

He has been out since Week 8 after injuring his foot. Now, he’s recovered from surgery and is set to make his return. But we don’t like players on long layoffs — particularly at skill positions with lower-body ailments — even during the playoffs. Combined with his expected popularity, it’s a good spot to fade Henry.

Ryan Tannehill QB, Titans, vs. Bengals (FD $7,300/DK $5,800)

Because we don’t think the Titans will lean as heavy on Henry, and the Bengals’ offense could demand Tennessee play keep-up, we like Tannehill’s value — particularly at DraftKings.

Allen Lazard WR, Packers, vs. 49ers (FD $6,000/DK $4,400)

Averaged 16.6 in PPR over the final five games. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is doutbful, so Lazard — who scored five TDs down the stretch as well — could get even more targets.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs. vs. Bills (FD $5,700/DK $5,200)

Coming off a shoulder injury, which could limit his goal-line work. Jerick McKinnon was impressive last week, and with Darrel Williams iffy with a toe problem, we don’t expect him to disappear from the game plan.

Cam Akers
Cam Akers
Getty Images

Cam Akers RB, Rams, at Buccaneers (FD $5,700/DK $5,500)

Outworked Sony Michel (17 carries to 13) in first game after surprisingly fast recovery from an Achilles tear. Expecting Akers to get a larger share of the load this week.

Fantasy Insanity Daily Dose

Daily fantasy lineup suggestion by Drew Loftis

Team FanDuel

Type: Tourney

Salary: $60K

Fee: $6

Entries: 29.7K

Top Prize: $30K

Tot. pot: $150K

QB: Josh Allen=$8,800

RB: Cam Akers=$5,700

RB: Jerick McKinnon=$6,000

WR: Emmanuel Sanders=$5,500
Davante Adams=$8,700
Deebo Samuel=$8,600

TE: Travis Kelce=$8,200

Flex: Scotty Miller=$4,900

DEF: Bills=$3,500

Season risked: $162.77

Season winnings: $15



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