I’m sure I wasn’t the only one celebrating the Dallas Cowboys’ early exit from the playoffs, not just because they lost, but also because the popular players from their team are now out of the Playoff Challenge. For the first time in four years we will not have one of the top two teams in the Super Bowl, or even in the Conference championship. That means the top two players from the Cowboys (Elliott & Bryant) will have to be replaced in many lineups.
Luckily for those who lost Bryant he left the playoffs with a solid 2-TD performance. Here are the top performers from the Divisional round:
Dak Prescott actually tied with Matt Ryan with 25 points scored in the round; and as Ryan moves on he will carry a 3x bonus multiplier for the 7% of participants who slotted him into their lineups before the Wild Card round. The rest of that “Perfect lineup” is mostly intact, with Freeman, Montgomery, Cook, Boswell, and the Patriots defense set to deliver 3x bonus multipliers. The problem is that it’s either Montgomery or Freeman, either Boswell or the Patriots defense is going to the Super Bowl, so the possibilities of this lineup getting 4x multiplier are nonexistent.
That’s why distributing your picks across a number of teams isn’t the best way to accumulate enough points to actually win the challenge. Here are the most popular picks for the Conference round right now…
As you can see, the Steelers and the Patriots clash this weekend and one of two things will happen — challenge participants will have to replace Bell and Brown, or they will have to replace the vast majority of their team (Patriots). It’s interesting, though, that most participants are going AFC heavy, what with two of the most potent offenses on the other side of the equation. I can’t help but think Jordy Nelson might be in that second WR spot if he had played in the Divisional round.
Here is my Conference lineup…
The Chiefs let me down (by 2 points) in the Divisional round. The bad news — I lost half of my Playoff Challenge team. The good news — it was the half I could afford to lose and still take care of business. There’s only one issue. I’ve hitched my wagon to one team. If they don’t beat the Packers I’m done, cooked, over. But if they make it to the Super Bowl then I’m set for 4x bonus multipliers from arguably the four biggest positions in the Playoff Challenge. I’ll take my chances. Filling in my lineup with Gabriel, Hooper, Bryant, and the Falcons defense also gives me a few differentiators from others who I’m battling in the challenge.
Hopefully you’re in a position where you have several multipliers in your lineup too, but if you’re not then remember to stock up on players from the team you think will make the Super Bowl. Good luck.