NFL DEEP DIVE – WILD CARD WEEKEND
NFL Deep Dive – Wildcard Weekend
The NFL playoffs are here, and we have a 4-game wildcard weekend slate to breakdown. Since it is a somewhat small slate I am going to briefly breakdown game by game as well by position:
Titans at Chiefs – Chiefs -9, O/U 44.5
First game on Saturday is the Titans traveling to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs. Tough spot for Tennessee who is banged up on offense with Murray out and traveling to KC which is always tough at home. Chiefs offense has a solid enough matchup and as a sizable favorite seems like the side you are going to want to target.
Falcons at Rams – Rams -6.5, O/U 48.5
Second Saturday game is an interesting one with the defending NFC champ traveling to LA taking on the Rams who I did not expect to see in the playoffs this year, and definitely not with a home game. Game seems to have some shootout potential and you have a number of plays on each side of the ball.
Bills at Jaguars – Jaguars -9, O/U 39
Titans are in a tough spot at KC, but the Bills definitely take the prize for worst matchup of the week. To make it worse LeSean McCoy is hurt and is going to be a game time decision which would make a bad situation that much worse. Jags D is going to be super popular and for good reason as I do not expect to have much if any exposure to the Bills.
Panthers at Saints – Saints – 7, O/U 48.5
We close out the slate with the game that I think might be the most entertaining and one that has plenty of fantasy relevance. Panthers got swept in the season series, but I expect a competitive game and will have exposure to weapons on both teams in this one.
Cam Newton – CAR at NO (DK-$6500, FDraft-$13100) – As I said above the Panthers were swept by the Saints, but Cam’s ability to run really gives him a nice boost even in somewhat tough matchups. The pricing is really bunched with QB’s this week so there are options to choose from, but I plan to be overweight vs the field with Cam in tournaments.
Alex Smith – KC vs TEN (DK-$6300, FDraft – $12500) – Smith to me is the most volatile QB on the slate with his range of outcomes being pretty extreme. The Chiefs should control this game at home, but the way they should be attacking would be thru the air as the Titans are stronger stopping the run then the pass. Would not use in cash, but similar to Cam I like the upside in a slate where there is no obvious choice at the position.
Also Consider – Drew Brees (Cash)
Todd Gurley – LA vs ATL (DK-$9700, FDraft – $17900) – Not much analysis needed here as Gurley is a monster and if you can afford him makes a great play once again this weekend. Rams get him involved thru the pass as well as on the ground and he has shown that he can still crush price tags that are approaching 10k on DK. RB position is deep with several other options, but I will mostly look to save elsewhere to pay up and roster Gurley.
Leonard Fournette – JAX vs BUF (DK-$7400, FDraft – $13300) – Fournette probably sets up as well as anyone when looking at game script and matchup. He is at home in a game the Jags should win, and he draws the Bills who have been awful at defending the rush this year. The Jags should rely on the blueprint they had since the preseason which is play solid defense and give the ball to Fournette so that Bortles does not have many chances to throw costly interceptions.
Derrick Henry – TEN at KC (DK-$6000, FDraft – $10600) – Demarco Murray is out for the Titans, so Henry should dominate the backfield touches. Last week he was popular and bailed me and a lot of people out with a long TD catch, but the volume was there on the ground with 28 carries. Titans most likely will be playing from behind , but Henry still makes a solid mid-range play just due to the volume he should receive.
Also Consider – Alvin Kamara vs CAR , Christian McCaffrey at NO
Julio Jones – ATL at LAR (DK-$8000, FDraft- $15000) – Julio is the top price receiver on the slate and as always, he has monster upside if he can find the endzone or get the targets he deserves. You would hope that the Falcons give him double digit targets and if he gets that type of volume he makes a great GPP play with the absurd talent he has. Obviously, we cannot pay up at every position so we will have to make decisions on if we want to spend up with someone like Julio or go get some of the top priced RB’s or other positions.
Tyreke Hill – KC vs TEN (DK-$6800, FDraft- $13900) – By now you know the drill with Tyreke, as he is a great boom or bust option in GPP’s and usually too risky for cash consideration. His ability to break long plays is what we want, but the volume is not always there and that can leave him with a risky floor. The home matchup with Tennessee is a decent one and Hill is one of Smiths favorite options making them a pairing that will be common across lineups this week.
Allen Hurns – JAX vs BUF (DK-$4600, FDraft – $9500) – Risky play, but with limited value someone like Hurns can make a huge difference in roster construction. He finally returned to action after an ankle injury that kept him out since Week 10 and was serviceable with 3/38 on 5 targets. Obviously, we are going to need a bigger effort this week, but it was good to see him at least play and not be coming into a playoff game from a long layoff. Lot of risk with the Jaguars receivers, but I do not mind taking a shot with Hurns in a spot where he will be relied on and is priced down because of his lengthy absence.
Also Consider – Michael Thomas vs CAR (Cash)
Travis Kelce – KC vs TEN (DK-$7100, FDraft – $13800) – Kelce makes a great pairing with Alex Smith if you prefer him over Tyreke and can afford to pay up at Tight End. Titans have struggled defending the pass and against tight ends during the year and Kelce is always a top option for the Chiefs offense. With not a ton of value available it may be tough to pay up, but I will have some Smith to Kelce teams and look to save elsewhere.
Also Consider – Delanie Walker at KC
Jaguars (DK-$4400, FDraft – $6300) – Going to be extremely popular, but hard to imagine a Bills team that may be missing their best player causing them much trouble. If I can afford the Jags D I will play them, but they are significantly more expensive than anyone else.
Chiefs (DK-3400, FDraft -$6100) – Cannot see myself paying down for defense this week as all the road teams are in tough spots. Chiefs are a nice discount from the Jags and also have a home game vs a team that is far from an offensive juggernaut and banged up.
Good luck everyone!
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