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FanDuel Fantasy Football: Conference Championship Picks

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT at NE ($8,000)
– Quarterback is priced accordingly this week; Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan are priced over their AFC counterparts in what should be a shootout. Roethlisberger is a good contrarian play this weekend and will likely be the lowest owned of the four quarterbacks. That fact alone puts him in play for GPPs, and he can be considered for cash as well at his discounted price. He’s coming off a poor outing, which should keep his ownership levels down, but this is a good spot to be in. This game has a healthy total and Ben will be forced to keep pace with the Patriots, as the Steelers will likely be playing from behind.

Running Back

Tevin Coleman, ATL vs GB ($6,300)
– Coleman was mentioned in this spot last week and didn’t disappoint with 15.4 fantasy points. His lack of ownership has likely kept his price down and he’s pretty much the cheapest viable option this week at the position, unless you want to roll the dice with Aaron Ripkowski. It’s a wise idea to try and get as many pieces as possible from this game given the high expected total, and Coleman is one of the cheaper ways to do that. Again this week, it could be a good idea to pivot off Le’Veon Bell and use both Atlanta running backs in a GPP lineup.

LeGarrette Blount, NE vs PIT ($6,500) – Blount had a disappointing 3.1 fantasy-point effort last week, getting only eight carries while Dion Lewis had 13. This was likely due to a combination of the coaches playing the hot hand of Lewis, and Blount being a little bit limited after being sick and missing two practices. Before last week, Blount had five straight games with a rushing touchdown, and earlier this season (against the Steelers), he had a 25.9 fantasy-point game — showing his upside in this contest.

Wide Receiver

Randall Cobb, GB at ATL ($6,500)
– Cobb is probably the healthiest wide receiver for the Packers right now with the rest of their receiving corps banged up. His price has stayed low despite his three-touchdown performance a couple of weeks ago, and his quarterback is playing the best football out of the remaining four. Even if Jordy Nelson plays, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be close to 100 percent, so Cobb (who had eight targets last week) should remain one of Rodgers’ primary targets.

Taylor Gabriel, ATL vs GB ($6,000) – Gabriel saw a drop in his snap count last week with Aldrick Robinson getting a similar workload and Mohammed Sanu getting significantly more work. However, it’s Gabriel who has the most upside of anyone not named Julio Jones among the Atlanta wide receivers. The floor is very low here so he’s best used in GPPs only because he still has the upside to put up at least 13.5 fantasy points, something he’s done six times this season.

Tight End

Austin Hooper, ATL vs GB ($4,500)
– This week, it really makes a lot of sense to pay up for Jared Cook ($6,400) and not think twice about it in cash games. However, it also makes sense in tournaments to try another play and fade Cook given his high ownership level. Hooper makes sense here a week after facing a tough Seattle defense that shut down tight ends all season. Hooper has three touchdown catches on the season and is a better option than Levino Toilolo. He’s a darkhorse candidate, but one that could hit double-digit fantasy points for the minimum price.

Kicker

Stephen Gostkowski, NE vs PIT ($4,700)
– Kickers are always a crapshoot, but the Patriots’ ability to move the ball gives Gostkowski a decent ceiling. He’s scored at least 10 points in six of his last seven games and is probably the most talented — and healthiest — kicker of the four playing this weekend.

Defense

New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh ($4,400)
– It makes a lot of sense to steer clear of the GB/ATL game given the possibility that either one of them could score negative fantasy points Sunday. The Patriots have the highest average score this season and have games of 16, 17 and 17 in three of their last four. Look for Matt Patricia to have his team ready for Ben and company. That said, you obviously shouldn’t use Ben if you use the Patriots defense (and vice versa).

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Kevin Payne plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: Fanduel: kevinccp, Draft Kings: kevinccp, Fantasy Aces: kevinccp, Yahoo: kevinccp.