NFL championship round daily fantasy football picks and strategy

The championship round of the NFL playoffs will be played Sunday. The 49ers face the Eagles at 3:00 p.m. EST in the NFC Championship Game, followed by a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game between the Bengals and Kansas City at 6:30. Yahoo will be running DFS contests every day that playoff football is on.

Sunday's biggest NFL DFS contest on Yahoo is the NFL $100K Championship Baller. This contest pays out a guaranteed prize pool of $100,000 to the top 1,358 entries, including a grand prize of $20,000 to first place. Each entry is $15, with a maximum of 7,845 total entries and 150 per participant. Sunday's Championship Baller will still run if it doesn't fill, potentially providing you with enhanced odds of winning, also known as overlay.

[Play in Yahoo’s Sunday $100K Championship Round Baller DFS contest]

Playing in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests is about chasing upside, while lineups geared towards head-to-head, 50/50 or double-up formats should prioritize high floors. The players you want to target for these different contest types aren't mutually exclusive, but winning a GPP tournament usually requires finding a hidden gem or going against the grain in a spot or two, while building a solid base of the same chalk plays you would use anywhere. Against-the-grain plays typically consist of big-name players in tough matchups or boom-or-bust types with uncertain roles.

Keep in mind that Yahoo DFS contests use 0.5 PPR scoring rather than full PPR, which lowers the comparative value of wide receivers and running backs (in that order) while especially affecting high-volume pass-catchers. Your NFL $100K Championship Baller lineup will consist of one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and one D/ST unit.

Suggested plays include a quarterback-tight end stack, as well as running backs and wide receivers poised to receive plenty of touches.


Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. CIN ($33): Even playing through a high ankle sprain, it's hard not to like Mahomes as the second-cheapest starting quarterback available. Take away his rushing contributions, and you're still left with by far the best passer in the NFL. Mahomes' 5,250 passing yards in the regular season were 511 more than second-place Justin Herbert, and his 41 touchdown passes were six clear of both Joe Burrow and Josh Allen for the league lead. Through 12 career playoff games, Mahomes has put together a 30:7 TD:INT. For all the praise Burrow rightfully gets for his performance in the postseason, his TD:INT through six playoff games is 8:2, while Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy have three postseason passing touchdowns each in two playoff games apiece.

Honorable Mentions

Jalen Hurts, PHI vs. SF ($39); Joe Burrow, CIN at KC ($37)


Christian McCaffrey, SF at PHI ($38): If Philadelphia's defense has a weakness, it's stopping the run. The Eagles allowed a league-low 179.8 passing yards per game in the regular season, but their 121.6 rushing yards allowed per game ranked in the middle of the pack. Philadelphia prevented the Giants from going run-heavy by jumping out to an early lead, but the 49ers' elite defense will make it much tougher for the Eagles to do that here. San Francisco will pound the ball on the ground until the Eagles show they can stop the run, and McCaffrey's likely to get the majority of rushing opportunities as long as his calf injury doesn't flare up. He's also heavily involved in the passing attack, and McCaffrey has averaged a hair under 21 fantasy points over his last eight games.

San Francisco 49ers NFL running back Christian McCaffrey (23)
Consider Christian McCaffrey in your NFL championship DFS lineups. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Isiah Pacheco, KC vs. CIN ($18): Pacheco topped 100 scrimmage yards in his playoff debut last week, and the rookie continues to be the top option on the ground for Kansas City, with an average of 13.8 rushing attempts over the past 10 games. Jerick McKinnon has seen substantial red-zone usage thanks to his superior pass-catching and pass-protection skills, but Pacheco's a high-floor rushing option against a Bengals defense that had a much tougher time dealing with the run-first Ravens offense than the pass-heavy Bills this postseason.

Honorable Mentions

Joe Mixon, CIN at KC ($26); Jerick McKinnon, KC vs. CIN ($17)


Ja'Marr Chase, CIN at KC ($37): Chase has been the go-to guy in Cincinnati's passing attack this postseason, and it hasn't been close. While Chase has 14 catches on 20 targets for 145 yards and two touchdowns in these playoffs, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd have combined for 11 catches and 114 yards without a touchdown on 15 targets from Burrow. Facing a Kansas City secondary that allowed the second-most touchdowns in the regular season (20), the focal point of the Bengals' offense should continue to thrive.

DeVonta Smith, PHI vs. SF ($27): With fellow wide receiver A.J. Brown hampered by a hip injury, Smith's likely to pace the Eagles at the position once again. Brown had only 22 yards in last week's win over the Giants, while Smith paced the team in targets (10), catches (six) and receiving yards (61), in addition to finding the end zone. The 2021 first-round pick extended his streak of games with at least eight targets to 10 consecutive games, and Smith has racked up double-digit fantasy points in all but one of those games.

Deebo Samuel, SF at PHI ($20): Samuel remains effective as both a receiver and a rusher, even if he hasn't been asked to do the latter as much this season. With McCaffrey (calf) and Elijah Mitchell (groin) both banged up to some extent, plus an extra week off for Deebo to heal should the 49ers advance to the Super Bowl, we could see a heavy dose of Samuel on the ground as San Francisco tries to attack the most vulnerable aspect of Philadelphia's defense. Since the start of last season, Samuel has been one of the league's best rushers on a per-touch basis, racking up 777 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground on 135 attempts (5.8 YPC). He's also San Francisco's leading receiver this postseason with 10 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown on 16 targets, so Samuel's versatile skill set should be worth adding to your lineup.

Honorable Mentions

Tee Higgins, CIN at KC ($22); Kadarius Toney, KC vs. CIN ($15)


Travis Kelce, KC vs. CIN ($35): You can make an argument for any of the top four tight ends at their respective valuations, but if you can find the funds for Kelce, he should absolutely be worth paying up for. Kelce accounted for more than half of Kansas City's completions last week (14 of 27), and he's racked up at least 95 receiving yards in all seven of Kansas City's playoff games since the start of the 2020 postseason. Throw in his eight touchdowns in those postseason outings, and Kelce has been as automatic as it gets when the lights shine brightest.

Honorable Mentions

George Kittle, SF at PHI ($24); Hayden Hurst, CIN at KC ($18)


Philadelphia Eagles vs. SF ($15): Philadelphia will have by far the most favorable matchup in terms of opposing quarterback, as Brock Purdy has done great things for a rookie seventh-round pick but isn't in the same class as Mahomes, Burrow or Hurts. The Eagles easily led the league in sacks during the regular season, as Philadlephia's 70 sacks cleared second-place Kansas City by 15. Philadelphia was also fourth in interceptions (17) — three behind league-leading San Francisco. This playmaking unit piled on another five sacks and an interception against the Giants in the divisional round, so the Eagles have the highest upside at this position at a reasonable valuation.

Honorable Mentions:

Kansas City vs. CIN ($13); Cincinnati Bengals at KC ($10)