3 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in the Divisional Round

After a stunning upset last weekend in New Orleans, Kirk Cousins and the Vikings head west but have a very difficult matchup to deal with. Which other matchups should we avoid?

We have loads of pieces on numberFire dedicated to helping you figure out which plays you should target in your daily fantasy football contests on FanDuel and DraftKings. And you should definitely check them all out!

But an underrated aspect of the DFS process is figuring out who you shouldn't play. Narrowing down your short list of potential plays by avoiding those who are overpriced and/or in tough matchups goes a long way towards ensuring that you create optimal lineups.

Let's go through three guys to consider fading on this week's DFS main slates.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings

FanDuel Price: $7,600
DraftKings Price: $5,700

So you liked that, huh Kirk Cousins?

After a surprising upset in the Wild Card Round in New Orleans, the Minnesota Vikings will try to pull off another stunner this weekend in San Francisco, but I wouldn't hold your breath that it happens.

This 49ers' pass defense ranks as the second-best in the league by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, and they've allowed only two signal-callers to break 300 yards passing against them in 2019. To make matters worse, this defensive line for San Francisco is one of the league's best units, too. They rank second in adjusted sack rate (9.1%) this year, racking up 48 sacks in the process.

As heavy underdogs, the Vikings could lean towards a pass-heavy game script. Per oddsFire, they are getting 7.0 points this week, leading to a paltry implied team total of only 18.75 points. It may not be a banner passing day for the Vikings' quarterback.

Mark Ingram, RB, Baltimore Ravens

FanDuel Price: $7,500
DraftKings Price: $6,700

When you peek at the Baltimore Ravens' monster 28.50 implied team total, it's time to fire up those lineups stacked with everyone from Baltimore, right?

Yes, but maybe don't expect a huge effort from Mark Ingram. The Tennessee Titans, Baltimore's opponent, clock in at sixth-best against the run this season via our per-play metrics. While Ingram has bossed out with 0.11 Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, he splits a lot of carries with others in the backfield. Ingram's 202 carries would be much higher if it weren't for Gus Edwards (133 carries), Justice Hill (58 carries), and Lamar Jackson's 176 runs.

In fact, as efficient as Ingram has been, he has not cracked 20 carries one time this season, and his four catches way back in Week 3 are his high water mark in the passing game. Additionally, while Ingram is expected to play, he's still recovering from a calf injury he suffered in Week 16 and is questionable after being limited in practice this week.

Ingram should be solid, but if your purpose is tournament glory, he may not carry the upside potential you need.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

FanDuel Price: $8,100
DraftKings Price: $7,400

While the Kansas City Chiefs are known for their prolific passing offense, their defense, especially against the pass, has been pretty damn good this season, too. By our metrics, they clock in fifth-best against the pass, which may surprise some folks.

in fact, since their bye week, Philip Rivers owns the high water mark for passing yards against the Chiefs with 258 passing yards, and no one has even sniffed anything close to that since. When these two teams met earlier this year in Week 6, a Houston victory, DeAndre Hopkins was held to a relatively pedestrian 9-catch, 55-yard output.

It's actually been a fairly mediocre season for Hopkins. While he's had some monster efforts, going for a combined 13 catches and 239 receiving yards in Weeks 14 and 15, those are the only two times Hopkins has topped the century mark dating back to Week 8.

While it looks like teammate Will Fuller is unlikely to suit up, leading to more volume for Hopkins, torching this solid secondary of Kansas City may be a bit of a long shot.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. 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.