Steelers vs. Chiefs: FanDuel, DraftKings Daily Fantasy Sleepers, Lineup Picks

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2022

Steelers vs. Chiefs: FanDuel, DraftKings Daily Fantasy Sleepers, Lineup Picks

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    The Kansas City Chiefs should possess one of the most popular daily fantasy football lineup stacks for Sunday's three-game wild-card slate.

    Kansas City is the biggest favorite on the odds board, and it dismantled the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16.

    Patrick Mahomes will not have Clyde Edwards-Helaire and has to work with a dinged-up Tyreek Hill, but he is still expected to achieve a high level of success.

    Mahomes owns a 6-2 postseason record and has 17 touchdowns and four interceptions in that span. That is a scary set of numbers for a Pittsburgh defense that gave up 36 points to the Chiefs just a few weeks ago.

    Kansas City has the best potential for a high-scoring lineup stack, but Pittsburgh has some decent DFS options on its roster who might end up as complements to those players.

Chiefs Lineup Picks

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    QB Patrick Mahomes

    Patrick Mahomes tossed three touchdown passes in a 258-yard performance versus Pittsburgh in Week 16.

    The Kansas City quarterback is expected to post similar totals in a game that could be over by halftime if the Chiefs perform to their offensive potential.

    Mahomes has four playoff starts with three or more passing touchdowns. His best statistical playoff outing came in his team's 2019 opener versus the Houston Texans, when had 321 yards and five touchdowns. He is capable of reaching those totals, even with an injured Tyreek Hill running around the Pittsburgh secondary. Hill is dealing with an ankle injury, but he is not expected to miss time in the postseason.

    Hill might be the least of Pittsburgh's worries if the other stars in the Kansas City offense, like Travis Kelce, show up in a major way Sunday.


    TE Travis Kelce

    Good luck trying to stop Kelce in the postseason.

    Kelce turned in three 100-yard performances during Kansas City's run to the Super Bowl last season. He has six overall 100-yard outings in 12 postseason appearances, and seven of his nine postseason touchdowns came in the past two playoff runs.

    The Kansas City tight end did not play against Pittsburgh in the regular season because of a positive COVID-19 test. His presence could help the Chiefs win by more than 26 points this time around.

    Kelce comes into the postseason with four touchdowns in his past three appearances. He earned his single-game high of 191 yards in the Week 15 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

    He should be the first player partnered with Mahomes in a lineup stack, and he might be the first player chosen for your DFS lineup based on his recent totals.

Steelers Lineup Picks

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    RB Najee Harris

    Pittsburgh's path to an upset victory starts with a successful day out of Najee Harris.

    The rookie running back earned 93 yards on 19 carries at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 16, but the rest of the offense was not as successful.

    Harris needs to post a similar total and to find the end zone once or twice to bring confidence to the Steelers offense and to keep Mahomes and Co. off the field.

    His Week 16 yardage total marked the third time he had 90 rushing yards on the road. The other two occurrences came against the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns.

    The first-year player could also provide some support in the passing game. He had 12 receptions on 14 targets in his past three games.

    Harris should be the first Pittsburgh player chosen in any style of DFS contests because the Steelers need him to be successful to win the game. Pittsburgh will not win the contest if Ben Roethlisberger is forced to throw the ball more than 30 times.


    WR Diontae Johnson

    Diontae Johnson should be on the end of a good chunk of targets when Roethlisberger opts to throw.

    Johnson hauled in six of his nine targets for 51 yards and a score in his most recent trip to Kansas City.

    He finished the regular season with 107 receptions, 1,161 receiving yards and eight scoring catches, all of which led the Steelers. He is the safest wide receiver to choose from in the Pittsburgh lineup, and a high target volume should come his way.

    Johnson was targeted on 25 occasions in the past two weeks. He could finish Sunday as the highest-targeted wide receiver if that trend holds.

Top Sleeper Picks

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    WR Mecole Hardman

    Kansas City's wide receiver depth will show at points of the contest.

    Mahomes could be inclined to target Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson in instances when Hill is covered or off the field, managing his ankle injury.

    Hardman caught one of his two touchdowns versus Pittsburgh, and he is coming off an eight-catch, 103-yard performance against the Denver Broncos.

    He may be viewed as the third or fourth option for Mahomes behind Hill, Kelce and Pringle but could serve a vital purpose Sunday if those players are locked up in individual matchups.

    Hardman may not be chosen in many DFS lineups because he had two touchdowns in the regular season and has only 95 receiving yards in six career postseason appearances.

    His selection comes with a risk, but it could pay off, especially if Hill feels the effects of his ankle injury.


    WR Ray-Ray McCloud

    Pittsburgh's wide receiver situation behind Johnson can be hard to figure out.

    JuJu Smith-Schuster is making an unexpected return off injured reserve, but how he affects the contest remains to be seen after a long layoff.

    Chase Claypool has been inconsistent this season, and James Washington recently came off the reserve/COVID-19 list

    Ray-Ray McCloud produced four receptions in each of the past three games, and he could be used as a deep-play threat throughout the contest.

    McCloud did not earn a receiving touchdown this season, but he has the potential to break one on a big catch or in the return game, wherein he had 81 yards versus Kansas City.