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NFL Conference Championship DFS: Aaron’s DraftKings Team of the Week

“My favorite ring is always the next one.” Tom Brady

When Jeff Janis finishes a game with 145 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while James Jones has zero catches all you could do is laugh. The divisional round turned out to be a strange slate as David Johnson finished with just 35 rushing yards and Ben Roethlisberger managed to throw for 339 yards with a bad shoulder. Peyton Manning had the worst quarterback rating of any player in the divisional round while Tom Brady deciminated the Kansas City Chiefs. Marshawn Lynch was virtually irrelevant and Aaron Rodgers somehow managed to complete two hail-mary’s before having his dreams crushed by Larry Fitzgerald.

There are just four teams left and this small field gives us plenty of opportunity to finish the season with success. The Carolina Panthers’ first half against the Seahawks was remarkable however they showed plenty weakness in the second half against a desperate Seahawks team. The Broncos’ defense, which was impenetrable for most of the regular season was exploited by the Steelers’ offense and the Arizona Cardinals offense was spectacular like they have been all season. Looking ahead to the conference championship round, I’m going the safe route and picking players who have been consistent in their performances this season. Here is my NFL DraftKings Team of the Week. Enjoy!

QB Tom Brady $7400DK

Of the four quarterbacks remaining, Tom Brady is simply the best. He scored two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in the divisional round and exploited a tough Chiefs defense. He did not get sacked once and remember, he threw 36 passing touchdowns this regular season which is the most in the league. Ben Roethlisberger, who was not 100% threw for 339 yards against this Broncos defense which leads me to believe that Brady could have similar numbers. Let’s not forget, the Patriots do not have much of a rushing game at the moment, against the Chiefs they ran a total of 14 rushing plays for just 38 rushing yards. The Patriots will rely heavily on their passing game which will benefit Brady and his receivers.

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28).
Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28).

RB Jonathan Stewart $5900DK

I was bearish on Jonathan Stewart in the divisional round and did he ever prove me wrong, finishing with two touchdowns and 106 rushing yards against the best team with the best rushing defense during the regular season. The Cardinals showed weakness in their rushing defense during the divisional round as they gave up 135 rushing yards at 6.1 yards per carry. The Panthers will look to run the ball against the Cardinals, who give up an average of just 91.3 rushing yards per game during this regular season. Stewart will surely find success against this defensive unit like the Packers did and don’t forget, he has scored four rushing touchdowns in his last three games.

RB C.J. Anderson $4400DK

It was a bit surprising to see the Broncos’ run the ball as much as they did against Pittsburgh, who have a noticeable weakness stopping the pass but the Broncos ran a balanced attack. C.J. Anderson finished with 15 carries for 72 yards and one touchdown against the Steelers as the Broncos backfield finished with a surprising 33 rushing attempts. Anderson, who was matched up against the Patriots earlier this season finished with 15 carries, 133 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Anderson has also scored a touchdown in the last three games and has scored all five of his touchdowns this season while playing at home in Denver.

Nov. 23, 2014 - Denver, CO, USA - Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders barely holds onto the ball as he's hit by Miami Dolphins safety Louis Delmas on a 19-yard reception during the fourth quarter on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

WR Emmanuel Sanders $6300DK

Sanders finished with five catches for 85 years against the Steelers which made him Manning’s number one target in the divisional round. In his last game against New England, Sanders was also the number one receiver as he finished with six catches for 113 yards. The Patriots have the worst passing defense of the remaining four teams as they allowed 241 passing yards per game during the regular season and 24 passing touchdowns. Sanders has averaged 108 receiving yards per game over his last four games and should have success against this weak Patriots passing defense.

WR Ted Ginn Jr. $4300DK

Ginn Jr. had 11 rushing yards and didn’t catch one pass against the Seahawks in the divisional round which is downright ugly for any player who selected him. However, remember that Ginn Jr. had an immaculate three-game stretch towards the end of the season where he scored six touchdowns and had a total of 285 yards during that three game span. The Cardinals gave up 261 receiving yards against the Packers and Ginn Jr. will undoubtedly get more looks now that he’s not matched up against the Seattle Seahawks.

September 14, 2014: Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) during the second half of a NFC matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The Cardinals defeated the Giants 25-14
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15).

WR Michael Floyd $5300DK

Floyd had just 26 receiving yards against the Packers however he did score two touchdowns during this matchup. Floyd is significantly better on the road as opposed to playing at home as he has more catches, yards and touchdowns on the road this season. The Cardinals also love to pass the ball as Palmer finished with 349 passing yards from 25 completions in the divisional round. Floyd, who averaged 16.3 yards per catch this season will hopefully have success against a Panthers defense that allowed 366 passing yards in the divisional round.

TE Rob Gronkowski $7600DK

Gronkowski finished with seven catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns against the Chiefs in the divisional round and is always a threat to score in the red-zone. The last time Gronkowski was in Denver he finished with six catches, 88 receiving yards and one touchdown. The Broncos also gave up 339 receiving yards which heavily favors the Patriots especially considering the fact that they have no rushing game at the moment.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown.

FLEX John Brown $5200DK

Brown had five catches for 82 yards against the Packers and has scored three touchdowns in the last five games which is decent considering we’re dealing with a small field. This is all very simple, Arizona loves to pass the ball, averaging 289 passing yards per game during the regular season which is the most of any team playing in the conference round. The Panthers gave up 366 receiving yards last week against the Seahawks which is a strong indication that Brown will be targeted plenty throughout the conference championship.

DST Patriots $3100DK

I used process of elimination on this selection. The Broncos have the best defense in the league but they’re matched up against Tom Brady therefore it’s hard to justify that selection. The Panthers were the best defensive unit during the divisional round however, the Arizona Cardinals love to score points and put the ball in the air. The Cardinals are matched up against the Panthers, a team that scored a league best 19 rushing touchdowns and averaged 142.6 rushing yards per game during the regular season. That leaves the Patriots, facing Peyton Manning who looked shaky against the Steelers. Manning had just 222 passing yards in the divisional round and is the worst quarterback of the four remaining quarterbacks which leads me to believe the Patriots should force turnovers and keep the Broncos out of the end zone.

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