NFL Playoff Challenge Fantasy Football Rankings, Picks: Start Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Kelce in your divisional round pool

NFL Playoff Challenge Fantasy Football Rankings, Picks: Start Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Kelce in your divisional round pool

Those who rostered players like Jordan Howard and Russell Wilson in the first round of the NFL Playoff Challenge are scrambling to find replacements after Chicago and Seattle were eliminated from the playoffs. However, if you rostered Chargers kicker Mike Badgley or Colts running back Marlon Mack, you’re sitting pretty heading into the Divisional Round. Now, each decision is magnified because the points earned by your team are multiplied the deeper into the 2019 NFL Playoffs you go. Should you start a player like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who joined Peyton Manning as the only QBs to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a single season? Or should you start Drew Brees, who threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns against the Eagles earlier this season? Before entering your NFL Playoff Challenge picks, you’ll want to hear from SportsLine data engineer Mike McClure.

McClure is a predictive data engineer and professional DFS player with almost $2 million in career winnings. He uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every snap of NFL action in every game, taking factors such as matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. This allows him to find the best values and create optimal lineups that he shares only at SportsLine. 

McClure is rolling through the NFL season thanks to some spot-on picks. His daily Fantasy lineups have cashed with ease on both FanDuel and DraftKings multiple times this season and anyone who has followed him is way, way up. Now, he has locked in his 2019 NFL Playoff Challenge picks only at SportsLine.

One of the players in action this divisional round that McClure is building his NFL Playoff Challenge lineup around: Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. 

Elliott was an absolute stud for Dallas in its 24-22 victory over Seattle in the wild-card round. He carried the ball 26 times for 137 yards and a touchdown, while also catching four passes for an additional 32 yards. He’s expected to be leaned on heavily against the Rams, who gave up 111 rushing yards and a touchdown to 49ers running back Alfred Morris in Week 17. 

The former No. 4 overall pick has had at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his past nine games, and he has paired at least four receptions with a minimum of 75 yards rushing in each of his past eight games. That equates to a very high-scoring floor for Fantasy purposes. And if you rostered Elliott last week, you’ll get double points in the Playoff Challenge in the divisional round.

McClure’s optimal NFL Playoff Challenge strategy also includes rostering Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. 

Kelce was a dominant force for Kansas City all season. In fact, he finished the campaign with 103 receptions for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns. Kelce’s 103 catches broke Tony Gonzalez’s single-season Chiefs record (102). 

Kelce and quarterback Patrick Mahomes built a solid rapport early in the season, which helped the Chiefs average 35.3 points per game, the highest in the NFL. The former third-round pick has also recorded at least 75 yards receiving in 10 of his last 16 games. He’s a matchup nightmare for opposing defenders and gets a date this week against the Colts, who have allowed an opposing tight end to score in two of their last three games.

McClure is also targeting a player who could go off for big numbers in the divisional round because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your NFL Playoff Challenge pool or going home with nothing. 

So what is the optimal NFL Playoff Challenge tournament lineup for the divisional round? Visit SportsLine now to see the full optimal tournament lineups for the NFL Playoff Challenge this weekend from a professional DFS player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.

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