Yahoo! $500K Sunday Championship Round Baller Strategy

Jan 28, 2022
Yahoo! $500K Sunday Championship Round Baller Strategy

For the Championship Round, Yahoo is featuring a $500K Baller with $100K to first and no management fee. The following analysis will offer a game-by-game breakdown for the slate with a slant towards the Baller which has a maximum player pool of 25,000 entries.

Bengals @ Chiefs (-7); O/U 54.5

The first game on Sunday is expected to shoot out and roster rates should reflect that with most lineups trying to stack this game in some capacity. With Patrick Mahomes at $40 and Tyrrek Hill and Travis Kelce at $29 and $32, double-stacking the Kansas City side with their studs will be difficult, so that specific threesome may not be as popular as some might think. Given the high salaries of Kansas City’s pass-catchers, it’s realistic to expect Jerick McKinnon ($18) to be the most popular player on the slate.

Cincinnati’s side isn’t much easier to double-stack with stars as Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are all at least $26 with Burrow and Chase coming in at $36. Joe Mixon has a salary that is $10 more than any running back on the slate so paying up for him instead of one of the big-name pass-catchers in this game may be a somewhat contrarian play.

Teams that want to heavily stack this game have a few pay-down options that can help them separate from the field on this small slate. In the Kansas City passing attack, Byron Pringle is 4for4’s best wide receiver value besides Hill. Pringle’s seven targets per game in the playoffs rank fifth among all players remaining in action and his sub-$20 salary lightens the blow of rostering Mahomes with one of his primary targets.

For the Bengals, C.J. Uzomah offers one of the best leverage options on the slate. He is playing opposite the most popular tight end of the week and will be rostered far less than four of his own teammates even though he has more targets than Higgins this postseason.

The Chiefs’ backfield offers the only real contrarian option on the slate as the other three offenses have clear lead backs. McKinnon did have 15 touches last week but was only given three more carries than Clyde Edwards-Helaire despite playing more than twice as many snaps. If Kansas City decides to lean on the run more than expected, Edwards-Helaire could prove to be the best differentiator on the slate—he works especially well in lineups that don’t use Mahomes.

49ers @ Rams (-3.5); O/U 45.5

The top-three non-quarterback values on the slate are all running backs. With every team rostering two and a fair amount of lineups flexing a running back, the salary values on Cam Akers ($23) and Elijah Mitchell ($23) should have both approaching or exceeding a 50% rostered rate. Besides the running backs, Cooper Kupp is the only other player in this game that should show up consistently in rosters, no matter the build. His $40 salary, however, should keep his rostered rate at 40% or below.

At just $13, Van Jefferson is the top wide receiver value on the slate even though he projects for fewer fantasy points than Kupp, Odell Beckham and Tyler Higbee. Jefferson is a great salary-saver in lineups that are trying to load up on studs but he could be relatively popular for that reason. It should be noted that Beckham has seen 22.2% of the Rams’ playoff targets, the fourth-highest target share of any player still playing this week.

One of the more interesting notes of the week is the fact that Los Angeles has a higher implied point total than the Bengals but should see significantly lower rostered rated, especially with their ancillary players such as Beckham and Higbee. Teams that decide to double-stack Stafford can still load up on players in the first game but can count on a primary stack that will be in a notably low number of lineups.

Another way to build around this game is by planning on a 49ers' upset since the spread is small and there are expected to be more 49ers fans than Rams fans at SoFi on Sunday. A mini-stack of Elijah Mitchell with the 49ers defense and a fade of the popular Rams players is a good way to add a unique element to lineups that load up on players from the early window.

The one caution for a contrarian build that favors the 49ers is against any lineup that uses two 49ers pass-catchers. Deebo Samuel and George Kittle are both fine plays on their own but no San Francisco player has more than nine targets in the playoffs and Jimmy Garoppolo’s ceiling isn’t one that allows him to prop up two players. His $22 salary, however, does make him 4for4’s top value across all positions and can allow for a studs-and-duds build.

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