Conference championship weekend presents a special challenge for daily fantasy players. The limited number of players puts a premium on coming up with a second running back or a third wide receiver who will be able to contribute points to a lineup and yet is a salary-cap bargain so that you're able to afford the most reliable performers.
For this weekend with Jacksonville at New England for the AFC Championship and Minnesota at Philadelphia in the NFC Championship game, Las Vegas offers contrasting views. The Jaguars-Patriots game has an over-under of 46.5 points. The Vikings-Eagles game is a full eight points lower at 38.5. So clearly, your lineup overall should be weighted toward the AFC game.
Here are this week's value picks.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars: This is the third week that Bortles is the recommendation. He has been cheap, and he keeps finishing with 16-plus fantasy points (in DraftKings scoring). Bortles is the value pick, but if you want to pay up, go all the way with New England's Tom Brady.
Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles: This is a DraftKings selection. Ajayi is the fifth-priced running back on DraftKings, well below salary-cap leaders, New England's Dion Lewis and Jacksonville's Leonard Fournette. On FanDuel, Ajayi is not nearly such a bargain, as he is the No. 3-priced running back.
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars: Prior to this week, we've recommended New England's Dion Lewis, with great results. But Patriots running back Rex Burkhead is expected back this weekend, and he could vulture Lewis' goal-line carries. Fournette should get the majority of the touches for Jacksonville, especially the scoring opportunities.
Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles: This is another website-specific pick. The Eagles' wide receiver is the No. 2-priced receiver on DraftKings and the No. 7-priced receiver on DraftKings. Someone is wrong. By taking Jeffery on DraftKings, you have an opportunity to pay up for one of the Vikings' premium receivers, Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs.
Danny Amendola, New England Patriots: Amendola's 11 catches on 13 targets last week should mean that he is Tom Brady's new favorite target, and he's reasonably priced.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings: Again, the advice at tight end is if you can get New England's Rob Gronkowski under your cap, go for it. However, on the value side, Rudolph should be good for four to six targets.
Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots: Both games will be played outdoors. Gostkowski will be in his home stadium. Among the four kickers, he has the most experience by far in pressure games.
Philadelphia Eagles: Jacksonville is certainly the top defense, but the Jaguars are facing Tom Brady. The Eagles' defense has been almost as opportunistic, and they draw Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum.