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Showdown Strategy: NFC Championship NFL DFS | Packers vs. Buccaneers

Kyle Dvorchak



NFL DFS Picks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy football lineups Packers Buccaneers NFC Championship game Showdown strategy expert data, analysis and ownership projections

The NFC Championship features the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Green Bay Packers (-3). The game has a 51-point total. As with all of my NFL DFS Showdown Strategy pieces for DraftKings and FanDuel, you can find the data that backs the takes in this article. All showdown daily fantasy football picks and trend data can be found in this sheet that will be updated after each full NFL week concludes.


Daily Fantasy Football Picks: NFC Championship | Packers vs. Bucs

DraftKings NFL DFS Showdown Captain

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers will likely come in as the first or second most popular player to choose at Captain on this slate. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns, and his 48 scores are now tied for the fifth-most in a single season. The only drawback with Rodgers is that his odds of achieving the 100-yard bonus aren’t great. He has just five games with at least 300 yards passing this year. For reference, Patrick Mahomes hit the bonus nine times while playing in one fewer game. Because of this, Rodgers has just four games over 30 DraftKings points. Because of his ownership, Rodgers makes for an easy fade at Captain specifically.

Davante Adams

If looking at the chalk for a Captain, Adams looks like the superior play when compared to Rodgers. The Packers faced the Rams last week, and in the largest contest this is how Captain ownership between the two plus Aaron Jones shook out:

  • Adams – 18.2%
  • Rodgers – 17.6%
  • Jones – 15.2%

For the low price of 0.6% ownership and a little salary, you can upgrade to one of the best fantasy receivers in the past decade. The edge in playing Adams over Rodgers might seem slight, but Adams has one fewer game with 40 DraftKings points than Rodgers has with 30. Adams has also played in two fewer games.

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Aaron Jones

Given how close his ownership was to Rodgers and Adams, Jones seems like an easy fade if his ownership is anything close to what it was last week. Our projections have him roughly 5 points behind Rodgers and 9 points behind Adams. He routinely gives up rushing work to his backups, and Adams’ role in the red zone limits his touchdown upside. Jones comes in as a Flex-only play and makes the most sense in Packers onslaughts.

Bucs Receivers

Tom Brady will likely come in as the most popular Captain from the Buccaneers, but his receivers offer immense leverage off him and the Packers’ side of this game. In their two playoff games, the breakdown of volume has skewed toward Chris Godwin and Mike Evans.

Route Share Air Yards Share Targets Share
Antonio Brown 58.4% 8.6% 8.5%
Mike Evans 94.8% 17.1% 30.5%
Chris Godwin 96.1% 25.7% 24.7%

Godwin’s numbers have come up since the playoffs started as he was seeing similar volume to Antonio Brown in the second half of the season. Brown missed the second half of the Bucs Divisional Round game, which could also be inflating Godwin’s role, but that should sustain itself through the upcoming week, as Brown was recently ruled out. Godwin’s target share makes him the best Bucs receiver to target, with Evans coming in as a distant second option.

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Picks: Showdown Flex Considerations

Tom Brady

Brady is a viable Captain, but his team being a 3-point dog and his $10,600 price makes him best utilized in the Flex on DraftKings. He finished the season with seven games of at least 300 yards passing and threw three or more scores in seven games as well. Stacking Godwin or Evans at Captain with Brady in the Flex isn’t nearly as expensive as a Packers stack, will be contrarian, and still gives your roster opportunities to roster some of the Green Bay chalk.

Bucs Running Backs

With Ronald Jones healthy but not the starter for the Bucs last week, Leonard Fournette saw 17 carries and six targets, while Jones saw 13 carries and just one target. Fournette has a much higher median protection, but he also costs $3,000 more and will be rostered at a significantly higher rate than Jones. Fournette’s role as a pass-catcher makes him more game-script-independent as well, but Jones does have the ability to generate long runs. He had eight carries go for more than 15 yards this year, which was 12th among running backs. At his ownership, Jones is the ideal contrarian play.

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Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Both Lazard and Valdes-Scantling are solid stacking options with Rodgers. Each player saw eight targets last week but Lazard was the one who had a big day with 96 yards and a touchdown. Lazard also ran three more routes than Valdes-Scantling. The upside for Valdes-Scantling is his big-play ability. He posted an aDOT over 20 in the regular season. Lazard has hit 50 yards receiving in five games this year, and Valdes-Scantling has done so in the same game just once. Playing a maximum of one of these two in the same lineup looks like the best path to take.

Jamaal Williams

Williams nearly split the Green bay backfield evenly with Jones last week. Jones saw 14 carries while Williams was only two behind him. Even removing the second half when the game was getting out of hand, Jones only out-carried Williams 8-to-7. If their split is anything close to that this week, Williams is a great pivot point off Jones.

Robert Tonyan

The Packers’ wide receivers are simply far better plays than Tonyan this week because of their respective prices and potential ownership. Last week Tonyan was rostered at a 10% higher rate than both receivers. Even if that levels out to all three coming in near each other in ownership, Tonyan is only $400 cheaper than Lazard and costs $1,200 more than Valdes-Scantling, who our projections have him as a similarly mediocre value. Lazard looks like the best value among the trio, with Valdes-Scantling having far more upside at a lower price than the tight end.

Bucs Tight Ends

Cameron Brate‘s back-to-back games with four catches, in the playoffs no less, are hard to interpret. He has run one more route than Gronkowski in the Bucs’ pair of postseason outings and leads the team in receiving yards over that span. Give his lack of name recognition and Rob Gronkowski now coming in cheaper than Brate, going back to Brate one final time when few others will has some merit.

Defense and Kicker

Neither defense projects well because of the quarterbacks they will be facing. Rodgers takes just over a sack per game while throwing an interception in one out of every four or five games. Brady has been a bit more erratic this year, throwing 12 interceptions in the regular season, plus four more in two playoff games. That gives the Green Bay defense a distinct advantage but there are better values to be had with the kickers.

Tampa Bay ended the regular season top 10 in field goal attempts, and Ryan Succop only costs $3,600. The Packers finished last in field goal attempts, but their irrationally high success rate in the red zone makes that obvious. They scored a touchdown on 78.5% of their trips. If that number dips for whatever reason, Mason Crosby could have a field day.

Low-Owned DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Picks

Scott Miller and Tyler Johnson

With Brown ruled out, one of these two players will be the starting receiver in three-wide sets. Miller is the favorite, but he did run one fewer route than Johnson last week while the two briefly filled in for Brown. Chalkier lineups can afford to take the safe play in Miller, who topped 70 yards in four games this year. Lineups that need to get a little different could pivot to Johnson, who is cheaper and likely ends up a slightly less popular NFL DFS pick.

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If you like fantasy football and care about data, there's a 50/50 chance I've written for your favorite site. In a few short years I've covered, season-long, dynasty, best ball, and DFS for football. I used to be watching games and pretend to know what I was talking about but now I just spew numbers that forecast outcomes better than any scout. Come for the numbers, stay for the bad jokes and Zach Zenner references. RIP XFL.

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