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Fantasy Football Picks: Bills vs. Chiefs DraftKings NFL DFS AFC Championship Showdown Strategy

Zach Thompson preps you for Sunday’s 6:40 p.m. ET playoff matchup between the Bills and the Chiefs with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

The AFC Championship game is set up beautifully with the top two seeds advancing to the title game, and the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs are both coming off nice wins heading into a rematch of their Week 6 meeting in Buffalo. The Chiefs won that game, 26-17, and will host the rematch, but the Bills have been rolling and come in with a lot of momentum as they seek to knock off the champs.

There are plenty of angles and storylines to consider in what should be a great matchup between these two strong offenses. At the end of this game, we’ll also have the matchup set for Super Bowl LV, so let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (BUF vs KC)


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SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Josh Allen ($16,800 CP) — Even with this star-studded cast, Allen actually has the highest ceiling based on his recent showings. Allen had a down game last week in a defensive struggle against the Ravens and finished with just 12.54 DKFP. Before that, though, he had over 35 DKFP in each of his three previous complete games (not counting Week 17).

Allen settled in over the second half of the season and went on a tear to help Buffalo win seven in a row coming into this one. In his earlier matchup with the Chiefs, he added 42 yards on eight carries. Especially without Zack Moss (ankle; IR), Allen will be an option in the red zone and will likely have to carry the offense with more pass attempts than normal as well. During the regular season, Buffalo passed on 60.94% of their plays, but last week they threw on 70.9% of their plays and only had 16 rush attempts, seven of which were by Allen. Part of that was definitely due to the matchup against the Ravens, but it also shows how much the Bills’ coaching staff trusts Allen. If you count his rushing and passing plays, he was the primary playmaker on 78.5% of their plays last week. Since he carries so much of the offense, I love his upside in this matchup.

Travis Kelce ($16,500 CP) — Both these teams have strong secondaries that have shut down opposing WRs but have struggled a little bit against TEs. The Bills were the third-worst team in the NFL defending opposing TEs this season, so Kelce gets a second-straight great matchup to start his playoff run. During the regular season, he averaged 7.0 catches for 94.4 yards per contest while scoring 11 touchdowns in 15 games. He continued that record-setting success by catching eight passes for 109 yards, a touchdown and 27.9 DKFP against the Browns last week.

Kelce set the new bar for great TE seasons this year with 1,416 yards on 105 catches and a career-high 11 scores. The only multi-touchdown game of his historic season came against the Bills when he posted 22.5 DKFP. Kelce is a proven playoff performer from the past two seasons, and should again be a favorite target of Patrick Mahomes ($11,400) in this matchup. While he doesn’t have the speedy ceiling of Tyreek Hill ($10,800), his extra targets result in more PPR production.

Darrel Williams ($10,500 CP) — While it does look like the Chiefs will have Mahomes back from his foot and head injuries sustained last week, they do still have uncertainty in the backfield. Le’Veon Bell ($4,000; knee) didn’t practice all week and Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($7,200; ankle/hip) has been limited all week and hasn’t played since Week 15. Even if one or both are able to play, Williams could be lined up for another big workload and makes an attractive mid-range Captain’s Pick option that allows more stars to fit in your flex spot.

After Edwards-Helaire’s injury, Williams took over against the Falcons and produced 11.3 DKFP. He rested with the other starters in Week 17 and returned last week to put up 13.4 DKFP against the Browns. He finished that game with 78 yards on 13 carries and added four catches for 16 yards as well. Williams only has one rushing touchdown this season, which actually came in Week 6 against the Bills when he posted 11.1 DKFP. He isn’t nearly as affordable as he was last week in showdown contests when he was only $600, but he’s still a great play at this price since he should get most of the work.



FLEX Plays

Patrick Mahomes ($11,400) Mahomes was on his way to another huge day before ending up in the concussion protocol last week against the Browns. He was on point, completing 21-of-30 (70%) pass attempts for 255 yards and a touchdown while also adding a rushing score for 21.6 DKFP. While that total isn’t up to his usual standard, remember he missed the final seven minutes of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter. He does have a tough matchup against the Bills’ secondary but completed 21-of-26 (80.8%) of his passes in Week 6 for 225 yards, two touchdowns and 20.6 DKFP despite the adverse weather. He has at least 20 DKFP in nine straight contests and is very reliable if healthy. Mahomes has proven over the past two years that he can be elite in the playoffs, and you may get him at a little bit lower ownership since there are so many other good options and he’s coming off the injury.

Stefon Diggs ($10,600) — Diggs has been the Bills’ go-to all season in the passing game and has been locked in over the past few weeks. He had eight catches for 106 yards, a touchdown and 27.6 DKFP in last week’s win over the Ravens after opening the playoffs with 128 yards, a touchdown and 27.8 DKFP against the Colts. He also had over 27 DKFP in each of his final three full games of the regular season, not counting the Week 17 contest with the Dolphins in which he was removed early. Diggs has been doing all this while battling an oblique injury, but it hasn’t seemed to slow him down and he is without an injury designation for this week. Diggs had one of his eight touchdowns during the regular season against the Chiefs in Week 6, and he should be set up for plenty of work in the rematch as well. The Chiefs allowed the second-fewest DKFP to WRs, which is why I don’t have Diggs as one of my top Captain’s Picks, but he still has shown he has the upside to go off with a big game especially if he and Josh Allen ($11,200) have to carry the team as they try to keep up with KC.

Gabriel Davis ($3,200) — Davis was able to practice on Friday and is listed as questionable for this contest. He came up empty on his four targets last week against the Ravens while playing through a sprained ankle. The rookie from UCF still brings big-time potential to this matchup, though, since he has at least four targets in eight straight games and actually led the team with a 15.2-yard average depth of target. If he’s out or limited, Isaiah McKenzie ($1,200) would fill in as the WR4 and also be a good play, but I think Davis will be available and end up as a nice way to save salary to spend up for top options in your other flex spots.


Fades

Tyreek Hill ($10,800) — Hill obviously comes with an incredible amount of big-play potential and upside since he’s such a fast player and can take any touch for a touchdown. The Chiefs do a good job getting the ball in his hands, but he will have to deal with Tre’Davious White in this contest, who has been one of the top CBs in the league and earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition this season. The Bills will definitely be focused on containing Hill and were able to limit him to just three catches for 20 yards and a season-low 5.5 DKFP in their first meeting. There’s definitely a chance Hill bounces back and goes off, but I think it’s much more likely that the Chiefs rely more on Kelce and Williams in better spots. If you’re going to pay up for other stars, you’ll have to fade one big name, and in this contest, I think Hill is the player you can pass on.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($7,200) — Even if he’s active, CEH is too high-risk to pay this much for in this contest. The Chiefs like to rotate their RBs even when everyone is fully healthy, and Williams has been playing well as noted above. Edwards-Helaire does have the potential to be great moving forward as the primary option in Kansas City for years to come, but until he shows he’s back to 100%, he’s too risky for spending over $7K on.


THE OUTCOME

Josh Allen ($16,800 CP) will have to be great in this one for the Bills to have a chance to win, but over the second half of the season, he has proven he can be. If you make him your Captain’s Pick, there is still room for two other stars in your flex spot if you fill in with cheap plays. That would be my preferred lineup construction, but you could also build around Travis Kelce ($16,500 CP) with the two QBs in flex spots or Darrel Williams ($10,500 CP) to fit in a fourth big name.

As far as who will win, Kansas City still hasn’t convinced me they’re clicking on all cylinders since they still haven’t won by more than one score since Week 8 against the Jets. The Browns could have won last week’s game aside from that much-maligned fumble at the end of the first half. I don’t see the Chiefs blowing this one open unless Allen is a trainwreck, which I don’t think is a likely scenario. I expect this to be a close, thrilling game, and ultimately I think the Chiefs’ narrow margin runs out, and the Bills pull off the upset.

Final Score: Buffalo 27, Kansas City 24

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $1.2M Sunday Night Showdown [$300K to 1st] (BUF vs KC)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.