After an entertaining wildcard week in the NFL playoffs, we have some great matchups on tap for the Divisional Round.
Personally, I will be playing the Sat-Sun 4-game slate, even with the scarcity of contests (something FanDuel desperately needs to work on…). I think it’s much more fun than the 2-game slate and also allows for more variance.
Here are my top plays at each position for the Sat/Sun slate on FanDuel:
Tom Brady ($8,800)
I assume this is rather predictable, but come playoff time, there’s no better play than Tom Brady (too bad Aaron Rodgers isn’t here 😉 ). Over his last 6 AFC Divisional playoff games, Brady has posted a 16-4 TD to interception ratio, has averaged 310 passing yards and over 7 yards per completion.
The Patriots have the highest implied total on the slate (31) and the Titans rank 23rd in the league against opposing QBs, leading to a 13-point spread in favor of the Patriots. I guarantee that Tom Brady will be the sole reason for a potential blowout. He’s the safest play on the board.
Marcus Mariota ($7,500)
On the opposite side of the matchup, I also think Marcus Mariota is a great source of some salary relief at the QB position.
Last week against the Chiefs, Mariota posted 26.9 FDP, tossing 205 yards and 2 touchdowns (1 to….himself!). While the receiving touchdown certainly bolstered his stat line, he was the focal point of the offense with no DeMarco Murray.
The Patriots rank 31st in the league against the pass and this game has shootout potential, he’s a fine play in all formats.
Le’Veon Bell ($9,400)
Lock and load. The best running back in the league, in his first playoff game of the season.
The Jags will look to shut down the air attack of Pittsburgh via Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye, putting even more responsibility on Bell.
While they rank 1st overall in pass DVOA, the Jags struggle against the run, ranking 26th in rush DVOA. Load up on Bell and don’t look back.
Derrick Henry ($6,700)
No DeMarco Murray? No problem. Last week against the Chiefs as the feature back, Henry rumbled 23 times for 156 rushing yards and a touchdown, while also catching 2 passes for 35 yards. He did lose a fumble, but the former Heisman winner left his mark.
The Patriots struggle on the ground, ranking 30th in rush DVOA. For $6,700 in a potential shootout with 20+ carries, Henry may be the biggest lock of the slate.
Julio Jones ($8,800)
Jones was frustrating this season, to say the least, but if there’s any time for him to turn it on, it’s the playoffs.
In the Wild Card round last week, Jones reeled in 9 of 10 targets for 94 yards and a touchdown. He’s AVERAGED 108 receiving yards over the last three weeks as well, coming around nicely for his owners in the fantasy playoffs.
The Eagles are the 3nd best team in rush DVOA, meaning that the air attack for Atlanta will be relied upon more heavily and if they want to win, Jones is going to need a huge game.
Adam Thielan ($7,600)
With Marshon Lattimore likely shadowing Stefon Diggs all game, Adam Thielan could have himself a huge day against the New Orleans secondary this week.
His targets have been less consistent lately, but in week 1 against these same Saints, Thielan posted 9 catches for 157 yards on 10 targets. Expect a similar workload this time around and for $7,600, you’re getting yourself quite a discount for the ceiling he provides.
Ted Ginn Jr. ($5,900)
Xavier Rhodes will likely shadow Michael Thomas, essentially eliminating him from DFS lineup consideration. This, however, makes Ted Ginn Jr. all the more interesting.
In last week’s Wild Card week matchup against the Panthers, Ginn caught 4 of 6 targets for 115 yards and a touchdown.
This matchup isn’t easy by any means (MIN ranks 5th in pass DVOA and 4th in rush DVOA), but for under $6,000, the ceiling that Ginn brings to the table is well worth the risk as your WR3.
Rob Gronkowski ($8,500)
If you want the safest combination of floor/ceiling, there’s no other way to go at TE than Rob Gronkowski. Over his last 4 games of the season, Gronk averaged 116 yards per game and added 3 touchdowns.
The Titans rank 24th in pass DVOA, and again, this game has a ton of shootout potential. If you can fit him in your lineup, I strongly recommend giving him a look.
Delanie Walker ($6,200)
For a bit of a discount at the position, Delanie Walker should come in as a nice security blanket.
He pulled in 6 of 8 targets for 74 yards against the Chiefs last week and now faces off with the Patriots who rank 21st in pass DVOA on the season.
If the Titans want to keep their playoff hopes alive, Delanie Walker is going to be a huge part.
Stephen Gostkowski ($5,300)
Kai Forbath ($4,900)
Matt Bryant ($4,800)
Atlanta Falcons ($4,400)
The Falcons’ defense is the only defense that I have my eyes on this week. They’re drastically under-priced given their recent production (5 sacks, 3 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries over last 2 games) and have a matchup against Nick Foles.
Fun fact, Foles has appeared in 7 games this season (3 of which he started), and has fumbled in 6 of those 7 games. If the Falcons can continue their recent beat-down of quarterbacks, it could be a long game for Mr. Foles.