Here we are, down to the final three games of the NFL season, and down to the final two rounds of the Playoff Challenge. It only gets harder from here, trying to keep up, to keep your lineup intact, and to strive for the most points in these final two rounds. Many players still have their entire lineups intact from the start of the Challenge, but many more have been decimated by teams losing, most particularly the Seahawks losing to the Panthers last weekend.
But we’re looking forward. Here is the most popular lineup for the Conference Round…
As you can see, even after a disappointing performance, 73% of people still in the Playoff Challenge are riding with David Johnson this week. That’s because the huge numbers of people who went with him last week will get bonus multipliers for keeping him in their lineups. It’s also interesting to point out that the Panthers have 3 of the top spots, and so do the Patriots. If both teams make it to the Super Bowl then the popular lineup will go far, but if just one falters there will have to be massive lineup changes before the final round.
I lost my Chiefs players this past weekend because the team decided to play their defense back against Tom Brady, for whatever reason. But I’m not bitter. It just means I have to be a lot more inventive with my choice of players to replace them so that I can try and catch up to those who are going through unscathed. Here is my lineup for the Conference Round…
I had to replace my Chiefs players with people who (1) are on teams I think will be in the Super Bowl, (2) have a chance to make a difference in the Conference Round, but (3) aren’t heavily owned in the Challenge. I still think the Panthers will make it to the big dance, but Jonathan Stewart is one of the top plays this week, so I needed to avoid him at all costs. With the eminent return of Fozzy Whittaker from injury he’s a sneaky play that, as you can see, 0% of players have in their starting lineups. I was originally going to roll with CJ Anderson, but his start percentage is way too high for my taste.
Ronnie Hillman is the sneaky play from the Broncos, seeing as he does split carries with Anderson, but he doesn’t have such a high start percentage. Emmanuel Sanders was the obvious choice at receiver, too, for the same reason. He’s been the better option at receiver for the Broncos lately than Demaryius Thomas anyway, so that was an easy choice, and at 9% he still represents value. I filled in the rest of my lineup from the team I expect to meet the Panthers in the Super Bowl — the Denver Broncos — with their kicker and defense.
It’s very risky, but at this point, with the Chiefs going down last week, it’s the chance I have to take. If you’re in a similar predicament, this is still the best path to take. Go with players from the two teams you believe will represent their conferences in the Super Bowl, and don’t second-guess yourself.