DRAFT Daily Fantasy Helper: Wild Card Weekend
The fantasy season may have ended, but fantasy enthusiasts can take advantage of weekly snake and auction draft on the DRAFT platform. With the reduced player pool, these drafts now consists of 3-5 participants, with the normal 1QB, 2RB, 2 WR/TE flex roster construction.
While the player pool will be be reduced, each game looks competitive this weekend. Each game falls between a 1-6 point spread, with a 41-49-point over/under. With that said, here are this week's notable targets on DRAFT.
Andrew Luck - Arguably the best quarterback on the entire slate, Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts draws a favorable first-round matchup against the Houston Texans. Already meeting twice this season, Luck diced up the Texans twice for yardage totals of 464 and 399, along with six touchdowns.
Houston has the 22nd-ranked pass defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics, and has allowed the most passing yards over the last four weeks (1,230). Notably, Houston has the top-ranked run defense, per our metrics, creating a natural passing funnel for Luck to exploit.
Lastly, this game sits with the highest over/under on the slate (49 points). While the Colts enter as one-point underdogs, a negative game script could keep Luck throwing throughout the contest. For those approaching quarterback early, Luck looks like the safest bet in this spot.
Lamar Jackson - For those waiting on quarterback, Lamar Jackson provides the requisite upside to take down tournaments on DRAFT. Also facing the Los Angeles Chargers earlier in the season, Jackson recorded 204 passing yards, along with another 39 yards on the ground on the way to a 22-10 victory.
Per our metrics, the Chargers have the ninth ranked run defense and the seventh ranked pass defense. Despite the less than favorable matchup, Jackson has averaged 19.8 rush attempts per game in six games as the full time starter, giving him an immense floor regardless of matchup.
More importantly, the Baltimore Ravens enter this contest at home and favored by 2.5-points. Normally less relevant for quarterbacks, game script favors Jackson and his rushing upside in this spot. As a late round pick, Jackson brings a high floor along with an immense ceiling in a multi-touchdown game.
Ezekiel Elliott - Averaging an absurd 29.25 touches in his last four games, Elliott deserves to be the first pick in all snake drafts this weekend. Also showing improved skills as a receiver, Zeke has received 33 targets in that same span.
The Seattle Seahawks rank seventh in rush defense, per our metrics, but have also allowed the seventh-most receptions to running backs over the last four weeks. While Zeke will surely see his normal usage on the ground, Seattle's defensive tendencies create an avenue for fantasy success through the air.
Notably, the Cowboys come into this week at one-point, home favorites, which bodes well for Zeke's usage on the ground. With easily the highest touch projection on the entire slate, Elliott deserves to be selected first overall.
Tarik Cohen - On a slate short on running backs, Tarik Cohen has been pushed into the mid-rounds of weekly snake drafts. However, given the state of the position and Cohen's valuable role in the Chicago Bears' offense, Cohen remains worth this draft cost.
Averaging 9.25 touches in his last four games, Cohen draws a matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have played decent run defense, ranking 16th per our metrics. However, they have allowed the most catches to back (35) and the third-most receiving yards (239) to backs over the last four weeks. This Philly weakness suits Cohen, who has 89 targets compared to Jordan Howard's 27.
Ultimately, with the Bears favored by six points in this home spot, game script favors both Chicago backs. As a mid-round pick, Cohen pairs nicely with one of the slate's elite receivers.
Mike Davis - One of the slate's more contrarian plays, Mike Davis has quietly played on at least 40% of Seattle's snaps in each of the last three weeks. Falling to the final rounds of drafts, Davis provides a contrarian but viable late round running back.
On top of his elevated snaps, Davis has averaged 9.7 touches per game over his last three contests. On the year, his 42 targets dwarf all other Seattle backs, making him the preferred runner in passing down situations. Furthermore, Dallas has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards (209) to backs over the last four games, favoring Davis in this spot.
Seattle enters this contest as one-point underdogs, creating a scenario where Davis plays elevated snaps in negative game script. As a final-round pick, Davis could provide a later-round edge.
T.Y. Hilton - Usually coming off the board just behind DeAndre Hopkins at receiver, T.Y. Hilton warrants first-round consideration with 1,270 receiving yards and 6 scores on the year. Averaging 8.5 targets per game in his last four contests, Hilton comes with one of the highest ceilings on the entire slate.
Like Andrew Luck, Hilton decimated this Houston secondary twice already this season, with 115- and 199-yard performances. Houston has allowed the fourth-most yards to receivers over the last four weeks (746), providing a clear path for Hilton's success.
As noted above, the Colts/Texans game has the highest total on the slate (49), making this the game one to attack for fantasy purposes. As a late first-round pick, Hilton's sky-high ceiling keeps him in play at his price.
Doug Baldwin - Coming off the board in the mid-rounds, Doug Baldwin has seen 23 targets in 3 games since returning from injury.
He and the Seahawks draw a stout Cowboys defense that ranks 3rd in run defense but just15th in pass defense, per our metrics. Showing pass funnel tendencies, Dallas has allowed the 12th-most yards to receivers over the last four weeks (655).
Baldwin leads the Seahawks in targets (23) and air yards (348) since returning from an injury in Week 15. While the Cowboys remain one of the best defenses in the league, they have shown vulnerabilities to opposing receivers. This makes Baldwin a calculated yet contrarian play for wild card weekend.
Taylor Gabriel - Despite suffering an injury that limited him to 41% of snaps in Week 17, Taylor Gabriel is expected to suit up for wild card weekend, providing value as a late-round selection on DRAFT.
Hit by injuries, the Eagles have struggled mightily against receivers this season, allowing the second-most yards to receivers over the last four weeks (778).
Gabriel remains the Bears second-most targeted receiver this season (93), with only one target behind Allen Robinson (94). He also holds the second-most air yards (1,049), showing some upside for big plays. As a late-round dart throw, Gabriel warrants consideration against the Eagles' decimated secondary.