As "The Challenge: Total Madness" continues to dwindle down its pool of competitors, fantasy players must keep adjusting to smaller lineups. This week, lineups will only be comprised of three competitors. Notably, each slot will offer a different value, with the MVP offering 2-to-1, STAR offering 1.5-to-1 and FLEX offering even value. That makes player placement more important than ever.
FanDuel has actually removed player salaries this week, finally allowing fantasy players to pick whatever three-person lineup their heart desires. But there might be a catch. This is just a guess, but that shift could mean we're going to see the first leg of the final tonight. More conspicuously, the scoring settings have been adjusted to account for performance in a final.
Muddling things further, there are 11 players left in the game, meaning we're still likely to see an elimination tonight. With six men and five women left, it's a safe bet that at least one guy is heading home.
Even with all that said, it's pretty unusual for a final to feature 10 competitors. That could mean there's another twist coming. We're working off the framework that there will be a mid-episode elimination followed by a leg or two of the final. That's just a well-educated guess, however.
Here at The Duel, working through the intentionally-mysterious format of tonight's episode is our version of T.J.'s final. Every week, we've been providing fantasy picks and power rankings for each episode of MTV's "The Challenge: Total Madness." Here are our picks for Week 15.
The Challenge Fantasy Picks
The only real promo we've seen features Cory and Nelson discussing their personal growth (a Challenge staple) and how close they are to the finish line. Unfortunately for these two, one of them might not make it there. And all signs point to that being Nelson. Normally the chance to win an elimination would be really enticing for fantasy, but this doesn't seem like a typical episode. If the final does indeed kick off this week, you obviously want to pick players who are actually competing in it, which Nelson may not be. Cory has been a different player this year, and at this point it'd be a shock to see him sent home early. His relationship with Nelson should lead to easy points, and Cory's newfound political acumen and always-solid athletic ability make him the top all-around choice for MVP.
With only four girls available to choose from, Jenny stands out as the best pick of the bunch. As potentially the best athlete on the show, she's obviously going to dominate anything physical. And finals are the definition of physical. For the uninitiated, finals can be genuinely insane. Competitors have had to literally scale a mountain, swim in waters that could easily cause hypothermia, or bike 20-plus miles in a scorching hot desert. After all that, competitors often have to immediately suck it up and eat cartoonishly disgusting bugs or "food." Point being, these are intense. But whatever T.J. throws her way, Jenny will be ready.
Again, it's tough to get a feel for how exactly this episode will play out, but that makes Bananas a valuable pick. From a fantasy perspective, he's essentially the Michael Thomas of The Challenge – the league's most consistent producer week in and week out. And from a competitive standpoint, he's pretty much the Michael Jordan of The Challenge – he's won six titles and always saves his best for the Finals. He'll likely be a really popular pick, though. In the interest of differentiating your lineup, Bananas is best used as a STAR or FLEX rather than MVP.
The Challenge Power Rankings Week 15
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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.