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NFL Playoffs Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Buccaneers vs Packers NFC Championship

Max Staley
Tom Brady fantasy outlook suggests he's a great play in the NFC Championship.
Tom Brady fantasy outlook suggests he's a great play in the NFC Championship. / Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The first game of the NFL's Conference Championship Weekend features a battle between two of the best quarterbacks of all time, as Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay is currently a 3.5-point favorite here, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

If you're still looking to get your fantasy football fix, there are plenty of formats available to keep playing fantasy football throughout the NFL Playoffs. Here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this week's Buccaneers-Packers rematch.

Tom Brady Fantasy

Start Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady had his first down game in a while on Sunday. He still managed to score 22.16 fantasy points, which was the second-best total among all QBs in the Divisional Round. Still, the former No. 199 overall pick finished with just 199 passing yards, so it was clearly not his best game. However, that drop can be attributed to a matchup with the New Orleans Saints, who rank No. 3 in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA metric and No. 2 in defensive DVOA overall. The Packers are not the Saints. Green Bay is the No. 17 overall defense by DVOA. Expect Tom Brady to look a lot more like he did in his previous four games, when he averaged 379.5 passing yards per game with 12 TDs to 1 INT. Notably, three of his four opponents in that run ranked higher by defensive DVOA than GB.

Davante Adams Fantasy

Start Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers: The Buccaneers' defense just held superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas without a catch on Sunday. That may make fantasy managers hesitant to rely on Davante Adams, but now is not the time to get cute. There's no reason to believe Davante will have a down game here. In games Adams started and finished this season, he never finished with fewer than 11.2 PPR points, averaging an absurd 25.6 per game. He also turned 10 targets into 9 catches for 66 yards and a score last week against the Los Angeles Rams, who many considered to be the best pass defense in football. He's a matchup-proof wide receiver.

Rob Gronkowski Fantasy

Sit Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It may be tempting to want to rely on Rob Gronkowski given his history of playoff dominance with Tom Brady. But he just hasn't been asked to do a whole lot recently. Gronk has just 6 targets though two postseason games thus far, catching 1 pass for 14 yards. Fellow Bucs' tight end Cameron Brate has 11 targets for 8 catches and 130 yards during that span. Gronk always has the ability to salvage his day with some red zone scores, but there are better TE options available this weekend – and one is his own teammate.

AJ Dillon Fantasy

Sit AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers: Running back is more scare than ever, with only four teams remaining in the NFL Playoffs. But if you're looking for some sleeper value in the Packers' backfield, you're looking in the wrong place. The Buccaneers were the league's No. 1 rush defense just about any way you look at it in 2020, finishing No. 1 by run defense DVOA while surrendering 80.6 rushing yards per game. To make matters worse, stalwart DT Vita Vea may return for this one, and the Bucs only allowed a mind-boggling 58.4 rushing yards per outing across his five appearances in 2020. Aaron Jones should be okay thanks to his pass-catching ability, but it's best to stay away from Dillon and Williams here.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.