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Choosing between Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Tannehill in Conference Championship DFS

Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Tannehill will look to put on a show in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. We break down what to consider between the two for daily fantasy rosters.

By average DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP) per game, Patrick Mahomes ($7,700) is the best fantasy quarterback on this Sunday’s two-game Conference Championship slate on DraftKings. Mahomes finished the season averaging 24 DKFP per game and is coming off an explosive five-touchdown, 41 DKFP performance last week in the Chiefs’ first postseason game of the season. Ryan Tannehill ($5,500), meanwhile, has not been a productive fantasy QB in the postseason, averaging just 15 pass attempts per game and 13 DKFP per game through two postseason games as the Titans have leaned heavily on Derrick Henry ($8,700) and the running game.

However, during the regular season, Tannehill showcased an ability to be a highly productive fantasy QB when given more passing volume. Tannehill led the NFL in yards gained per pass attempt (9.6) and passer rating (117.5), which were both better than Mahomes’ marks of 8.9 yards per pass play with a passer rating of 105.3. Tannehill also averaged about 24 DKFP per start during the regular season, a similar number to Mahomes’ mark.

Fantasy football analysis: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes vs. Titans QB Ryan Tannehill

Mahomes is clearly the better play in a vacuum given his explosive fantasy scoring potential. The Chiefs’ offense looked unstoppable after a clunky first quarter last week, and Kansas City’s offense is loaded with so many weapons that can record big plays and quick scores. The Titans have also been very run-heavy, as Tannehill has attempted no more than 15 pass attempts in either of the Titans’ first two postseason games. With the Chiefs struggling to defend the run, fantasy owners can expect another heavy dose of RB Derrick Henry ($8,700) this week, which is not great for Tannehill’s fantasy value.

However, in large scale tournaments on DraftKings, Mahomes and Henry are likely to be very popular options, with Tannehill likely to have a much lower ownership rate. It’s possible that this game could turn into a shootout, as DraftKings Sportsbook has given Titans-Chiefs a high total points of 52.5. With the Chiefs’ offense looking so potent last week, there’s a good chance that Kansas City could build a significant lead in this game, which could force the Titans into a pass-heavy game-script. If that happens and Tannehill is forced into strong passing volume, he could be a quality salary relief option at QB with a lower-ownership rate, which would allow fantasy owners to invest more of their salary elsewhere, such as paying up for more studs at WR.

DraftKings DFS Recommendation

Start Patrick Mahomes in DraftKings cash games

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.