Wild Card Round: FanDuel Saturday Slate Breakdown
The Saturday slate on FanDuel for the Wild Card round features the two games that could possibly be the two highest scoring of the weekend.
The second game of the day also takes place in Texas, with the NFC's fifth-seeded Seattle Seahawks taking on the fourth-seeded Dallas Cowboys. These two teams squared off in Week 3, which resulted in a 24-13 win in Seattle for the Seahawks.
|Matchup (Implied Team Total)||Game Total|
|Indianapolis Colts (23.75) at Houston Texans (24.75)||48.5|
|Seattle Seahawks (19.75) at Dallas Cowboys (22.75)||42.5|
Whether you're playing one of the two game slates this weekend or the four game slate, it's important to remember that correlation plays are much more important on short slates than larger slates. It's important that your lineup tells a story of what is going to happen in these games. So, keep that in mind as you read through some of the higher priced plays to target on this slate and some of the lower-priced players who could be the difference in winning a tournament.
Among the tournaments on FanDuel Saturday, the $800,000 NFL Playoff Special costs $9.99 to enter and pays out $200,000 to first. The $35,000 NFL Spike is a $5 single-entry tournament that has a $4,000 first place prize.
Now, let's break down some of the players to target on Saturday afternoon.
Lock: Andrew Luck ($8,400) - The Colts and Texans matchup has the highest projected over/under (48.5) of any game this weekend, ensuring that players from this game will be ones to target. While both Luck and Deshaun Watson ($8,800) are strong plays, Luck smashed in his two matchups against the Texans this season. In those games, he averaged 431.5 passing yards per game, threw for six touchdowns and just one interception. On the season, the Texans' pass defense ranked as the league's 11th-worst, per numberFire metrics, but they especially gave up some big games down the stretch. Over the final five weeks of the season, Blake Bortles was the only quarterback not to throw for either 350 yards or multiple touchdowns against Houston.
Sleeper: Dak Prescott ($7,700) - The cheapest of the four quarterbacks on the slate, Prescott is coming off a four-touchdown game in Week 17, a game in which he surprisingly played every offensive snap despite the Cowboys being locked into the four seed. While both the Cowboys and Seahawks prefer to run the ball on offense, the Seahawks' secondary has been shuffling players due to injury all season. Earl Thomas has long been out, and the team just placed Delano Hill on injured reserve, although Tedric Thompson is expected back this week. Shaquill Griffin missed multiple practices this week but is expected to play Saturday. The Cowboys are 3.0-point home favorites in this matchup, and while both pass defenses ranked top-15, per numberFire metrics, Prescott may be more likely than Wilson to post a big stat line.
Lock: Ezekiel Elliott ($8,800) - Despite sitting out Week 17, Elliott handled a league-high 304 carries this season, 43 more than the next-closest back. Zeke also ranked top-five in targets (95) among all running backs. Coming off a season in which he approached 400 touches, the Cowboys are likely to give Elliott as much work as he can handle in their Wild Card matchup. The Seahawks are far from a pushover, though. Their run defense ended the season ranked as the league's seventh-best unit, per numberFire metrics. But even with a tough matchup, the Cowboys' offense runs through Zeke, making him a top play on the slate.
Sleeper: Nyheim Hines ($4,800) - Near minimum price on FanDuel, Hines has played second-fiddle to Marlon Mack all season, but the rookie has seen at least five targets from Andrew Luck in every game since Week 13. Over that five-game span, Hines' 30 targets are third on the team, trailing only T.Y. Hilton (47) and Eric Ebron (38). Hines' matchup versatility could be useful against a Texans' run defense that ended the season ranked as the league's best. Albeit with Mack sidelined in Week 4, Hines had 9 catches for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first matchup between these two teams.
Lock: T.Y. Hilton ($7,900) - Hilton has played hurt over the last month of the season, missing the majority, if not all of the Colts' practice time during the week. But he has continued to post big numbers and he has shredded the Texans over his career. In 14 career games against the Texans, Hilton is averaging 103 receiving yards per game while scoring 9 touchdowns. In two games against the Texans this season, Hilton has 13 catches for 314 yards, including a 9-catch, 199-yard game just four weeks ago.
Sleeper: Keke Coutee ($5,600) - Coutee has played in only six games this season due to hamstring injuries that date back to preseason. But the rookie is expected to play his first game in five weeks after logging full practices in consecutive days this week. In his six games played this season, Coutee was second on the Texans in receptions (28) and targets (41), behind only DeAndre Hopkins (38 and 52). Coutee's best game of the season actually came against the Colts in Week 4 when he had 11 catches for 109 yards in his season debut.
Lock: Eric Ebron ($6,600) - Overall, the tight end pool for Wild Card weekend is barren, but especially so on Saturday with few options behind Ebron. On the season, Ebron was second on the Colts in targets (110), behind only Hilton (120). But no tight end scored more touchdowns (13) than Ebron this season, and he ranked top-six in both receptions (66) and receiving yards (750). On the other side, the Texans allowed the fifth-most FanDuel points per game (12) to opposing tight ends and gave up the third-most receptions (90) to the position. In his two games against the Texans this season, Ebron had 9 combined catches for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Sleeper: Ryan Griffin ($4,100) - Once again targeting this Colts-Texans matchup, Griffin has led the Texans' three-man tight end committee this season. In each of his 14 games, Griffin played more snaps than either Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas. Griffin also led all Texans tight ends in targets (43), receiving yards (305), and targets inside the 10-yard-line (5). Despite this, Griffin never found the end zone this season. But the matchup is promising this week against a Colts defense that gave up the third-most FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends (12.7) this season, the most receptions (106), and the most receiving yards (1,234).
Blair Ames is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Blair Ames also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Bames31. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.