NFL

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Divisional Round

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Here's hoping that this coming weekend's Divisional Round is just as wild as what the Wild Card Weekend was. Much like last week, we're going to dive into two plays for each position: one that looks to be chalky in tournaments for the weekend ahead, and one that will be more contrarian. Not much else to say beyond that, so let's get started:

Quarterbacks

Lamar Jackson ($8,400): Nobody needs to tell you that Lamar Jackson is a good play in DFS at this point. What we do want to explore is how the Tennessee Titans' defense has fared against quarterbacks with a similar rushing style as what Lamar has, and will Jackson be worth his hefty price tag? Looking back on the season, the Titans haven't really faced off against many mobile quarterbacks. They put up a solid defensive performance against Deshaun Watson in Week 15, but they didn't face him in Week 17. Short of that, the next most mobile quarterback they faced was Jacoby Brissett (twice). But that's a far cry from Lamar. What we can take from this is that Tennessee hasn't seen anything like what Lamar is going to bring on Saturday, and with Jackson averaging more than 13 rushes per game and more than 80 yards per game in the last four games he's played, rostering him is like rostering an extra running back with an elite skill set at a discounted price. DFS players this weekend will not be slow to realize this, and he'll most certainly be the heaviest-owned quarterback on the slate.

Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,600): The Minnesota Vikings' pass rush stepped up in a big way against the New Orleans Saints last weekend, and that might give many pause for concern when clicking on Jimmy G this weekend. But that's exactly the type of play we want to lean into as we look for contrarian buys for the Divisional Round. Let's keep in mind that we are only a few weeks removed from Jimmy G's Mercedes-Benz Dome explosion from Week 14. His price was the same then as it is now for Saturday's game, and while he's seen depressed scores the past few weeks, that ceiling game is still accessible for him in this explosive San Francisco 49ers offense. With an elite weapon in George Kittle and quality options in Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel, there are a multitude of ways you can stack the cheap 49ers in order to get up to some of the higher-priced studs in your tournament lineups. It should also be noted that in their last nine games, Minnesota is allowing 48% more DraftKings points to opposing quarterbacks when away from home, and the average 33% more points allowed versus non-division quarterback opponents.

Running Backs

Dalvin Cook ($8,000): Finally back to full strength, Cook re-convinced us why he belongs in the elite tier of running backs as he flashed the talent he showed in the first half of the season on his way to a 28 DraftKings points performance last weekend. While the 49ers have been stiff against the run this season (ranking eighth against the run, per our schedule-adjusted numbers), the Vikings have shown a reliance on Dalvin when he's been healthy to carry the load as their bell-cow back. Over the season, he's averaged almost 18 rushes per game and nearly four receptions per game, with more than 115 total scrimmage yards. There are some good running back options this weekend, and players may be hesitant to click on Cook due to the tough matchup. I say lean in to the uncertainty and trust the talent.

Damien Williams ($6,000): Fresh off of his monster performance against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17, Damien got a massive price hike for the Divisional Round. Lucky for us, his starting price was incredibly low, and so the price boost still leaves him severely underpriced for the role he's had. In Week 17, he saw 70% of the team's snaps and 76% of the running back touches, and he converted all of that into 34 DraftKings points. His price discount in conjunction with his excellent matchup this weekend will likely make him one of the highest-owned running backs on the slate. The Houston Texans have allowed 27.9 DK points to the running back position over the last four weeks. With the highest game total on the slate --currently sitting at 51 per FanDuel Sportsbook -- Damien is certain to get a heavy piece of the total with his work in both the ground and receiving game.

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams ($7,800): Also in the category of underpriced for his role, we have Adams seeing enormous target volume from Aaron Rodgers. Adams is averaging 12 targets per game over the last four. In that span, he's been good for an average of almost eight receptions and nearly 90 receiving yards per game. The Seattle Seahawks haven't been challenged much in the secondary these past few weeks. A much different challenge awaits versus Adams this weekend as they have to deal with Adams' elite route running ability and chemistry with Rodgers. Also worth noting that Adams' last matchup against the Seahawks came in Week 11 of 2018, and he posted 10 receptions for 166 yards.

Tyler Lockett ($6,600): On the flip side of that game, we find Tyler Lockett sitting at a nice price with a ton of leverage in the same game. After his underwhelming performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, when he was overshadowed by D.K. Metcalf, Lockett may go a tad overlooked against the Green Bay Packers. While Packers rank as a top-10 pass D, per our metrics, they also sit in the top 10 in most explosive pass plays allowed, according to Sharp Football Stats. Lockett is a boom play waiting to happen, and he'll most likely square off against Tramon Williams, who runs a 4.62 40-yard dash, compared to Lockett's 4.40 speed. Lockett is averaging eight looks per game over the last four, and he needs just a couple big plays to pay off his salary.

Tight Ends

George Kittle ($6,200): There are a few good plays at tight end on this slate. Kittle, Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce, and even Kyle Rudolph are in play this weekend. But Kittle stands out above the rest with his immense volume and upside as the focal point of the San Francisco offense. He's averaging 10 targets per game over the last four weeks, and he's also got six red zone targets in the past three games. Minnesota has been notably stout against the tight end position this year, but Kittle's freak athleticism combined with elite volume eases any matchup concerns.

Jacob Hollister ($4,000): Hollister laid a dud of a fantasy performance in last weekend's victory against Philly. However, the Packers are a bit softer against the tight end position than the Eagles were, clocking in at 24th in DVOA against tight ends, compared to 12th for Philadelphia. And we've seen ceiling games from Hollister this year with 20-point performances in both Week 9 and Week 10. If we're hunting for a leverage spot with GPP-winning upside, Hollister delivers just that.

Defenses

Kansas City Chiefs ($3,200): Kansas City will be right up there with the 49ers among the highest-owned defenses on the slate. But between the two, I'll take the Arrowhead home-field advantage. In their last three games at home, the Chiefs' D/ST has put up DraftKings points totals of 22, 11, and 13. Now they get to face a Houston Texans offense that just allowed seven sacks to the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City is top 10 in adjusted sack rate, according to Football Outsiders, while Houston's offensive line ranks bottom six. Look for the Chiefs to get up early on the Texans and commence teeing off against Houston's woeful front five.

Minnesota Vikings ($2,700): Nobody really gave Minnesota a chance last week against New Orleans down in the Bayou. But the Vikes' defense delivered big time, and they now get to face off against an Niners offense that is worse than the Saints', though it's still a really good offense. Minnesota's D/ST put up a respectable eight DraftKings points against the Saints in New Orleans, which exceeded value on their $2,200 price tag. While they got a bit of a price increase for this weekend, this unit definitely carries the personnel to put pressure on the quarterback (fifth in adjusted sack rate), stop the run (14th by our numbers) and guard the tight end (tops in DVOA against tight ends) -- giving them a chance to slow San Fran.


Justin Manuel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Justin Manuel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username JMIZZLE08. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.