DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Divisional Round
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This four-game Divisional Round slate looks far more appealing than last week's Wild Card weekend. Each team is implied to score at least 21 points and three of the four contests feature an over/under exceeding 49 points. The games in Kansas City and New England will likely see low temperatures and minimal wind. Arrowhead Stadium could see some snow flurries, but nothing that should significantly alter the game.
Patrick Mahomes ($7,000): First team All-Pro and likely league MVP, Patrick Mahomes is playing at home where the Kansas City Chiefs are 5.0-point favorites and carrying what is easily the largest implied total on the Divisional Round slate. The pass defense of the opposing Indianapolis Colts ranks middle of the pack by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. By success rate, Indy is 29th as their zone-heavy approach has suppressed big plays, limiting teams to second-best explosive pass rate, per Sharp Football Stats. Speaking of zone coverage, Mahomes been great against zone all year. Our projections have Mahomes as the top projected quarterback this weekend by raw points while his opponent, Andrew Luck, is the top point-per-dollar play.
Drew Brees ($6,200): In 15 regular season starts, Drew Brees was held to under 250 passing yards on eight occasions; six of those coming on the road. In five of those road games, Brees threw either just one touchdown or none at all. Playing in a total of seven home games -- and this is a home game -- Brees averaged a sizzling 9.5 yards per attempt for 21 touchdowns and was only intercepted once. Back in Week 11, the New Orleans Saints leveled the Philadelphia Eagles by the score of 48-7 as Brees posted 363 yards and 4 touchdowns, needing only 30 pass attempts. On the season, Philadelphia's pass defense ranked 19th in both success rate and explosive plays. Everything is set for Brees to hit his ceiling once again in the friendly confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Nick Foles ($5,400): Since returning to the starting lineup four weeks ago, Nick Foles has averaged 307 yards per game on 38.3 attempts. Now heading to New Orleans -- where Carson Wentz struggled mightily -- Philadelphia comes in as 8.0-point underdogs. Our metrics place New Orleans top-five against the run while their pass defense has been extremely friendly to opposing quarterbacks; allowing the third-most passing yards in the league and a total of 29 touchdowns. Foles doesn't look great in the projections -- and is always good for a turnover or two -- but could smash his price with another display of improbable postseason magic.
Alvin Kamara ($7,300): Facing the Eagles in Week 11, Alvin Kamara ran 13 times for 71 scoreless yards and caught only one pass, which was a 37-yard touchdown. Assuming this contest is a lot more competitive, Kamara should have more opportunities to exploit a Philadelphia pass defense that allowed the second-most receptions to running backs during the regular season. In his 15 games, Kamara scored a total of 18 touchdowns, with a league-leaguing 6 multi-score affairs. Among the top-seven running backs by price, our projections have Kamara as the best value.
Marlon Mack ($5,800): In addition to scoring a touchdown in five consecutive games, Marlon Mack has exceed 110 rushing yards on three occasions. However, those three games saw the Colts out-score their opponents by a combined score of 77-24. Now facing the Chiefs in Kansas City, Indy is a 5.0-point underdog. Even though Mack sees just a handful of targets in the pass game, our metrics have Kansas City as the second-worst run defense in the league. Additionally, KC is dead-last in success rate and 27th in explosive rushes. Last year, Derrick Henry handed the Chiefs a stunning loss in Arrowhead by ripping off more than 150 rushing yards. Riding a serious hot streak, Mack will look to shock the Chiefs in a similar fashion.
Damien Williams ($5,100): Even though the Colts haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher this season, several running backs came very close as five backs exceeded 80 yards versus Indy. Most recently, the aforementioned Derrick Henry ran for 93 yards on only 16 carries in Week 17. If Williams doesn't break a big play or two in the run game, perhaps he'll do it as a receiver. Williams has been targeted 24 times this season and converted all but one of those into a reception. Meanwhile, no opposing defense saw more running back targets during the regular season than the Colts, who allowed the seventh-most receiving yards to the position.
Michael Thomas ($7,900): Against Philly back in Week 11, Michael Thomas matched a season-low with only four targets. However, he caught them all for 92 yards and found the end zone. From there, other high-end receivers like Odell Beckham, Amari Cooper, and DeAndre Hopkins all had their turn incinerating the Philadelphia pass defense. Both the Saints and Eagles were inside the top-three in terms of allowing receptions and receiving yards to the wide receiver position. When looking to stack receivers from this game to go along with Thomas, consider Alshon Jeffery ($5,800), who's priced affordably and is averaging 17.3 DraftKings points per game over his last five.
Julian Edelman ($6,300): Even though Julian Edelman hasn't exceeded 100 receiving yards since Week 10, he's a fine play this week given he's averaging 19.7 DraftKings points over his last four games; three in which he scored a touchdown. During that span, Edelman is averaging 6.7 receptions on 9.8 targets for 78.8 yards per game. The opposing Los Angeles Chargers rank seventh against the pass, per our metrics. Antonio Brown rocked LA in Week 13, but they kept the Chiefs mostly in check during their Week 15 showdown. At a very violate position, Edelman is assured volume and has decent touchdown equity. The New England Patriots have the lowest implied total of the four home teams and could go under-owned.
Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,400): The fun play this week at wide receiver is 33-year-old Ted Ginn. In Week 11, rookie Tre'Quan Smith stepped into Ginn's role against the Eagles and posted 13 targets, 10 receptions, 157 yards, and scored a touchdown. Ginn returned from a multi-week knee injury in Week 16 and was immediately productive, recording 74 yards on 8 targets and 5 receptions. New Orleans opted to rest Ginn in the regular season finale, suggesting he's well ahead of Smith and any other Saints wide receiver not named Michael Thomas.
Eric Ebron ($5,500): Even though Eric Ebron has scored in each of the last two games, he's caught only a total of seven passes on dozen targets. Prior to that -- Weeks 15 and 16 -- Ebron was even less productive. However, Kansas City presents a chance for Ebron to hit his ceiling once again. The Chiefs were one of only nine defenses to allow more 1,000 yards to tight ends and one of only two units that conceded 10 or more touchdowns to the position.
Dallas Goedert ($2,800): New Orleans had allowed just one touchdown to a tight end all season prior to Week 14. Over the entire season, they limited to the position to a mere 55 receptions on 92 targets for 626 yards. So assuming the Saints will be more concerned with starting tight end Zach Ertz, it stands to reason that rookie Dallas Goedert -- who played on at least 52 percent of the snaps in each of the final six regular season games -- could benefit. During Wild Card weekend, Goedert caught his fifth touchdown of the season and is priced extremely cheaply.
New Orleans D/ST ($3,300): Prior to a meaningless Week 17 contest, the Saints' defense had recorded three or more sacks in eight of their last nine games, reaching double-digit DraftKings points on five occasions in that span. In his last four games, Nick Foles has six turnovers and has taken a total of five sacks. New Orleans is the most expensive defense on the slate, but they have an opportunity to force a lot of mistakes and perhaps score a defensive touchdown.
Kansas City D/ST ($2,500): Kansas City is the cheapest home defense at only $500 above the minimum. During the regular season, they were one of a dozen teams that recorded more than 25 takeaways. And although Andrew Luck has been sacked only two times over the last four weeks, he's thrown an interception in six of his last seven outings.
Eric McClung is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.