2019-20 NFL Conference Round Playoff Preview: Fantasy and Handicapping
So many more of us playing playoff fantasy, and a number of you in the hunt for some prizes with your pay-to-play plays so far (as I can tell from the emails the past two weeks). A nice weekend with my lead-in-to-the-week Damien Williams push and the Mark Ingram avoidance advice – that has been key to some of my own good fortune this playoff season. I had a few pick a team ahead and stick with them all the way league entries heavy on a predicted KC-SF Super Bowl side, so things are suddenly getting serious (and my BAL-SF based maneuvers have died).
Good Luck to those of you trying to close out strong with a shot at something good. Let’s take a look ahead at the Final Four matchups…
Green Bay at San Francisco (-7.5)
I’m all-in betting SF -7.5 here. I know ‘it’s Aaron Rodgers’ but I think that’s a false narrative, just the same as it was the last time these two teams met midseason.
This (today) is an even better version of THAT (Week 12 matchup) 49ers team. Kwon Alexander is back. Matt Breida is back to add more options/depth. Emmanuel Sanders is healthy and Deebo Samuel is more integrated. George Kittle had just come back from his couple games missed injury vs. Green Bay Week 12. This is a 49ers team peaking/most healthy at just the right time.
The 49ers have a better head coach, home field, and the deeper roster. The Packers have the QB advantage and defensive coordinator advantage/hope, but I don’t think they can pull off this one under normal circumstances.
My bet would be the 49ers are smarter than the Seahawks, and they truly double Davante Adams and make Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham and Aaron Jones beat them (and they won’t). Last matchup, Adams had 43 yards and a TD vs. the 49ers.
The 49ers will come at the Green Bay as unpredictable as always…you don’t know who will lead the 49ers in carries or what WR/TE will garner the most targets. You could win FF playoff contests with the right/blind guess. I will say this…usually whatever happened last week doesn’t happen the next, and vice-versa with SF…so, Raheem Mostert, George Kittle, and Deebo Samuel are due. And the 49ers will likely hit 30+ points, so opportunity abounds. I also like the 46 ‘over’ with SF getting up big, quick and Green Bay garbaging some points to keep the scoring up.
In games it was not raining during, the 49ers have scored 24 or more points in a game in nine of their last 10 games (22 pts the outlier vs. ATL). SF is going to score 27-30+ in this game, whether the Packers can keep up their end of a 46+ ‘over’ is the question. I don’t know that I trust anything on the Packers’ side for big fantasy output. I’d like to take a shot on Allen Lazard as a sleeper play, but I don’t know that he’s healthy enough.
2020 College Football Metrics Season Has Begun
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
Sign-ups for CFM and/or our Dynasty Offseason/Best Ball (DOBB) subscriptions are found from the FFM home page ‘Subscribe now’ tab.
Tennessee at Kansas City (-7.0)
I’m not sure how we all are still amazed by the Chiefs comeback win (as we should be) but have nearly forgotten that the Titans dismantled the best team in football the same weekend…but that was the day before the KC event and we tend to remember/regale in ‘what just happened last’.
The Titans have beaten two powerhouse teams in the playoffs…that should count for something. Regardless of how the Patriots have been playing…it’s still Brady, Belichick, Gillette stadium – we all thought, in the backs of our minds, that the Patriots might get it together and run right back to the Super Bowl. BUT the Titans ended that story. Then we all thought the Ravens would trounce the Titans on the way to the Super Bowl…nope, the only trouncing was by Tennessee on the Ravens. We are assuming the Titans’ luck will run out to the Chiefs juggernaut…but the last few times the Chiefs have faced good defenses lately (Weeks 14-16 with NE-DEN-CHI), they have scored 23-23-26 for points. They are not a 50+ point offense every week…they have been more ‘normal good’ this season than anything, especially against good defenses. I love the Chiefs offense like everyone does…but the public might be a little too far out there on them coming off last week.
The Chiefs also allow a lot of action in the run game…and here comes the best run game in football this week. I’m not sure this is the best matchup for the Chiefs. On top of that, the weather will be around 20 degrees with a wind chill taking it to around ‘feels like’ 10 degrees – a little ding to the passing game efforts (a few more drops will occur, a lost 3rd-down conversion or two happening from it potentially, etc.), and little more favoritism to the run game.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs win, but I would not be surprised at all if the Titans handle KC and win…or at least cover. I don’t feel as strongly about this game, but for picking sake I take the Titans +7.0.
The only fresh fantasy thought I’d have is a continuation of my Damien Williams play from last week. I think we get another nice fantasy output here. Tyreek Hill is also overdue for a 50+ yard TD play and 100+ yard day. A.J. Brown is more setup to break out of his slump…a slump driven by the opponent/good coverage, not his own issues.
I’m betting 49ers vs. KC/TEN toss up…and you have to lean KC right now.
I think if SF faces Tennessee…the 49ers will blow them out.
I think if SF faces Kansas City…it’s the 49ers worst nightmare matchup. That’s a game where Mahomes can put the team on his back and win it, a game where KC can get SF into a shootout and are just better at it. The one team the 49ers do not want to face is the Chiefs.
You’re going to get great field conditions for the Super Bowl, so the offenses should be humming…and a SF-KC matchup could be a major offensive event. You want all the obvious fantasy hopes in that one.
Good Luck with your fantasy and betting plays this weekend!
*Note -- I'm putting the finishing touches on the Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow scouting reports for CFM. Had to wait for Tua to declare, and for Burrow to play his final game. You'll see them soon on CFM.
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