DFS Divisional Round
The NFL Playoffs are some of the most fun times for playing Fantasy Football. The hype of the Fantasy playoffs is long gone and Dynasty owners have already been trading like crazy and preparing for next year. DFS gets interesting in the playoffs with the limited number of options and tough matchups.
For those of you who play on FanDuel or DraftKings, we’ve got some of our favorite options this week below, as well as some value plays. For some reason Derrick Henry is still criminally underrated and will likely be highly owned this week. Don’t go crazy and use him in all of your lineups, but he’s going to be very highly owned this week at $6,700 on FanDuel.
If you’ve dabbled in the DFS Snake Draft games, it’s a totally different ballgame. No salaries. The ability to swap out players that might be injured and aren’t playing. Not to mention, the excitement of the live draft, which is one of the best parts of Fantasy. We’ve got promotional codes with our friends over at Drafters.com as well as Draft. Use the code ‘FFD260’ to get $10 on Drafters to try it out, or on Draft to get $3 to try it out. Let’s get to the picks.
Value Plays (FanDuel pricing)
QB Nick Foles Vs. Atlanta Falcons $7,200
Nick Foles is clearly someone to avoid in cash, but his low price offers some upside in tournament play. He is priced at $7,200 on FanDuel and $5,200 on DraftKings, and is nearly the cheapest on both. If we see any sort of play like his Week 15 performance, Foles will offer a great return on your investment in a cheap QB. Use Foles as a cheaper QB to pay up for some of our cash game plays, or stack him with one of the other guys we like such as Zach Ertz or Nelson Agholor.
RB Derrick Henry @ New England Patriots $6,700
The highly popular name this week, and rightfully so. The volume is there, despite a tough matchup where the Titans are expected to be playing from behind. No matter what types of games you’re playing this week, there’s no doubt that Derrick Henry is going to be in some of your lineups in some way or another. Pair him with a big name RB like Le’Veon Bell and go cheap at WR targetting the upside plays, like a couple we mention below. Recently Henry’s value has gone up to $7,300 on DraftKings, where you might want to get away from him, but on FanDuel he is still cheap enough to plug into your lineups.
RB Latavius Murray Vs. New Orleans Saints $6,800
As the definitive starting RB in Minnesota with three straight games of 20+ carries, Latavius Murray is one of my favorite picks this week thanks to his volume and upside. You can plug him in very easily as a RB2 and feel good about it. He’s scored 3 times in the last three games and the Vikings should have the red zone opportunities for him to score more than once this week. Safe floor along with the high upside, be sure to get Murray in a few lineups this week.
WR Nelson Agholor Vs. Atlanta Falcons $6,400
Nelson Aghlolor is seeing a hearty 22% target rate under Nick Foles; the largest on the Eagles offense. Expect him to be used heavily if the Falcons offense continues its roll from last week and the Eagles are forced to battle back. A great value stack as opposed to other QB – WR pairings, use Foles – Agholor to open up your DFS lineups to exposure at key positions.
WR Tedd Ginn Jr @ Minnesota Vikings $5,900
Ted Ginn offers the luxury of receiving for Drew Brees while not being shadowed by Xavier Rhodes. The run game will most likely be slowed down against a great Vikings front, but the threat of the dual backs for the Saints will open up the play action. Ginn offers great speed that allows him to be useful in motion-type of plays, which the Saints might use more often to try and pick apart the Vikings.
TE Delanie Walker @ New England Patriots $6,200
Delanie Walker is a great value play at TE this weekend as he has been Marcus Mariota’s go – to guy on 3rd down. 2nd tier wide receivers going up against a couple great cornerbacks should open up the middle of the field for Walker. Game flow should also be a factor in Walker’s production. This is predicted to be a higher scoring game this weekend, so the Titans will need to throw the football early and often.
Must Plays (FanDuel pricing)
QB Tom Brady Vs. Tennessee Titans $8,800
Tom Brady is the most obvious must start this week. Brady draws the most favorable defensive matchup. The Patriots are rested and have a lot of playoff experience. Brady has a good group of receivers around him, a defense to help get the ball in his hands, and not as much of a running game to detract from his value. Looking at the Vegas odds, this game has the highest O/U at 48 per http://Bovada.com. The Patriots are also 14-point favorites which is by far the largest margin of all the divisional matchups. I am rolling with Vegas, history, and the juicy matchup Brady has.
RB Le’Veon Bell Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars $9,400
The obvious top back stands to be owned by a majority of DFS owners. It is tempting to fade him and hope he busts, but with Antonio Brown most likely to be held in check, Bell might see an increase in his work load. He could be even more valuable this week for PPR DFS as the Steelers will use him in the passing game more than usual. The Jaguars defense has not been as elite against RBs as it has against WRs. Bell should be able to find yards with screen passes and using his receiving skills even more than they usually do. However, he is still the guy who will get the ball at the goal line, so he has a very high upside. Unless of course, Roosevelt Nix steals another one from him.
RB Leonard Fournette @ Pittsburgh Steelers $7,900
If you don’t want to pay up for Le’Veon Bell this week, go ahead and grab Leonard Fournette. Fournette put up 181 yards and 2 TDs in his last matchup against the Steelers. I’m not expecting a repeat of these numbers, but it’s worth noting that this with their stud LB Ryan Shazier, and they’ve been struggling to stop the running game since losing him. They’ve given up 6 rushing TDs in 5 games to opposing RBs without Shazier.
WR Michael Thomas @ Minnesota Vikings $8,200
Michael Thomas is a lock this week. He will get similar treatment to Antonio Brown, but the Vikings secondary is not as deep as the Jaguars, so he should get into open space easier. The run game of the Saints might keep the Vikings in zone more often which should allow for short crossing routes over the middle. Thomas is off to one of the fastest starts to a career in history as far as receptions go. The Vikings don’t give up huge plays, but they will allow short catches. For PPR purposes, Thomas will be fine even if he doesn’t find pay dirt. He has a safe floor, and if he gets a TD could have a very high ceiling.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars $7,000
Along with my other Steelers lock, Juju Smith-Schuster is a player with very high upside this week. Antonio Brown will be extremely important, even if he gets locked down because he should serve as a decoy for JuJu. He will have success when they spread him away from Brown, when Bell gets going in the run game, and when JuJu can get a crossing route and turn the corner. Many of his touchdowns this year came from his speed. Big Ben threw 5 INTs last time against the Jags, but the whole Steelers team has improved since then. They will get JuJu going early to put the Jags on their heels.
TE Zach Ertz Vs. Atlanta Falcons $7,200
Zach Ertz at home against the Falcons in my opinion, is the safest bet at the TE position this week. Foles and Ertz have two full games together so far, and Ertz is 15/23 with 137 yards and a TD in that time. Ertz is a great one to stack with Nick Foles considering their prices, and you’ll have the extra cash to pay up at other positions.
TE Rob Gronkowski Vs. Tennessee Titans $8,500
The Patriots are favored by 13.5 in their first playoff game of the post-season. At home against the Titans is as close to a guarantee as you’ll get this week, of course we all saw what happened to the Chiefs last week. Tom Brady and the Patriots are far from the Chiefs, and Gronkowski is the closest thing to a lock you’ll find at the TE position. His price is up there, but go ahead and stack him with Brady in some of your lineups. There’s a reason they cost this much.