FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Divisional Round (Saturday Slate)
The NFL playoffs resume on Saturday at 4:35 pm ET, giving us a two-game FanDuel divisional round slate to sink our teeth into.
As always, we recommend checking out all of numberFire's daily fantasy tools at your disposal. In particular, our weekly projections can help you nail down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values, while the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through some of the top plays of Saturday's slate.
Josh Allen ($8,800 on FanDuel): Last week, Josh Allen eclipsed 30 FanDuel points for the fourth time in the last six games, and his dual-threat ability was fully on display, as he was aggressive on the ground with 11 rushes for 54 yards and a score. Over these six weeks, Allen has averaged 0.43 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP), and it's all come against top-12 schedule-adjusted pass defenses, per numberFire's rankings. For context, that mark is well above what league-leader Aaron Rodgers ($8,400) averaged this season (0.38 per drop back). This should give us further confidence that Allen will have success against a tough Ravens unit that ranks sixth in adjusted pass defense. Allen is the top projected player in numberFire's model.
Lamar Jackson ($8,000): This Baltimore-Buffalo matchup has a solid 50.5 total with the Bills favored by just 2.5 points, suggesting that this is the more likely of the two games to shoot out. Much like Allen, Lamar Jackson has peaked at the right time, rattling off 25-plus FanDuel points in five of the past six games and exceeding 30 twice. Against the Titans, he reminded everyone of his lethal abilities as a runner, turning 16 carries in a season-best 136 rushing yards and a score. Although that matchup proved to be disappointing from a game environment perspective -- just 33 points were scored between the two teams -- that's far less likely to happen with Allen on the other side this Saturday.
Cam Akers ($7,000): In terms of volume, Aaron Jones ($7,800) has averaged a solid 23.4 adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets) per game this season, and he's the top running back in our projections. That said, he may have a tough time reaching his ceiling against a Los Angeles defense that ranks first in adjusted run defense. On the other hand, Cam Akers not only has a far easier matchup against Green Bay's 21st-ranked adjusted rush defense, but his usage has been incredible over the last five games, averaging 28.0 adjusted opportunities over that span. Throw in the lower salary, and Akers shakes out as a strong point-per-dollar value at the position.
J.K. Dobbins ($6,500) and Gus Edwards ($5,300): J.K. Dobbins is the one with a seven-game touchdown streak, but the workloads between these two really aren't that different. Since Dobbins returned for the reserve/COVID list in Week 13, he's averaged 12.8 adjusted opportunities compared to 11.7 for Gus Edwards. During this stretch, Dobbins has 18 red-zone carries, while Edwards has 13. They're both touchdown-reliant options with limited volume, but there's merit to sprinkling both into tournament lineups, with Edwards possibly even being the more appealing of the two based on his salary and presumably lower roster percentage.
Devin Singletary ($5,700): Zack Moss has been ruled out for the rest of the season, which should open up more touches for Devin Singletary, who averaged 22.0 adjusted opportunities in three games without Moss earlier this season. That said, with Josh Allen dealing against Indianapolis last week, Singletary only saw 9.0 adjusted opportunities despite Moss going down early in the fourth quarter. This is also a difficult matchup against the Ravens, who rank third in adjusted run defense. All of this should lower our overall expectations, but the potential for increased volume still keeps Singletary in play at this salary.
Davante Adams ($9,000): A tough spot versus the Rams shouldn't deter us from sticking with Davante Adams, who's pretty much been in a class of his own at wide receiver. In his 13 full games, Adams has a massive 36% target share and 43% air yards share this season, and despite some missed time, he led the league in both red-zone targets (28) and targets inside the 10-yard line (20) by a wide margin. Perhaps Los Angeles finds a way to slow him down -- they're also first in adjusted pass defense -- but we know the kind of slate-breaking upside Adams brings every game. If you're looking for a value play, Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,500) pretty much has a floor of zero, but he's always a threat for a deep touchdown and has posted 16-plus FanDuel points five times this season.
Stefon Diggs ($8,600) and Cole Beasley ($5,900): Adams usually projects well above any other wideout on a given slate, but due to his difficult matchup with the Rams, he and Stefon Diggs are actually neck and neck for top honors. Diggs didn't disappoint against Indianapolis (21.8 FanDuel points), and during the regular season, he earned a fantastic 30% target share and 35% air yards share (excluding Week 17). Meanwhile, Cole Beasley proved to more than a decoy in the wild card round, seeing the second-most targets on the team (seven). Proving his health, Beasley is clearly the safer value play over John Brown ($5,500), who busted for zero points on four targets, but this could be an ideal time to jump back in on Brown after he burned people last week. Brown rarely left the field last week (97% snap rate), so don't rule out a bounce-back performance.
Robert Woods ($6,600): On paper, the Rams are easily the least exciting passing attack to target after watching a hobbled Jared Goff come off the bench and gut his way to a win last week. Goff is practicing in full this week, but it's hard to imagine he's anywhere close to full health after undergoing thumb surgery just over two weeks ago. Still, beggars can't be choosers on a two-game offering, and Robert Woods projects as the best option among the Rams' pass-catchers. Although Woods and Cooper Kupp ($6,100) have similar usage numbers over the course of the season, Woods has been the favored receiver for Goff since the Week 9 bye, averaging 9.9 targets per game from Weeks 10-16 compared to 7.6 for Kupp. Woods is also usually good for one or two rushes per game, giving him even more potential opportunities to accumulate points. Note that Kupp has missed practice through Wednesday, too.
Marquise Brown ($6,500): Marquise Brown led the team with nine targets in the wild card round, and he hit double-digit FanDuel points (16.3) for his seventh straight game. Best of all, he got there without even scoring a touchdown, tallying a season-high 109 receiving yards. We still have to be wary of Brown's floor in a run-first offense, but he and Lamar Jackson appear to be clicking at the right time, and he remains an ideal complement to Ravens-Bills stacks.
Mark Andrews ($6,600): Mark Andrews had a modest outing in the wild card round, but he was second on the team in targets (six), and we're now getting him at a slightly lower salary. A higher-scoring game against Buffalo will hopefully lead to a bigger passing day from Lamar Jackson, leading to more opportunities for Andrews. He's still the highest-salaried option at tight end, but he also projects as the best point-per-dollar value.
Dawson Knox ($5,000): Like the rest of the Packers, Robert Tonyan ($6,200) is in a tough matchup, but he projects for the most points behind Andrews as a touchdown-or-bust play. But Tonyan doesn't give us much of a discount from Andrews, so you could also consider dropping down to Dawson Knox. While Knox doesn't see consistent week-to-week volume, being connected to Josh Allen has its perks, and he cashed in with a touchdown on three targets last week. He has a limited ceiling, but that's less of a concern on the short slate.
Green Bay D/ST ($4,600): Goff averaged negative Passing NEP per drop back against Seattle and is easily the worst of Saturday's four quarterbacks. The Rams will almost certainly try to lean heavily on their running game like last week, but if the Packers get out to an early lead and force Goff to pass, it'll open up plenty of opportunities for the defense to rack up fantasy points.
Los Angeles Rams D/ST ($3,800): I've mentioned how good the Rams' defense is throughout this piece, so it stands to reason that we should consider rostering them. Of course, Aaron Rodgers is known for rarely turning the ball over, tossing just five interceptions all season, so accumulating fantasy points won't be easy, but we did see Rodgers have a rough two-pick game against Tampa Bay in Week 6 -- stranger things have happened. Los Angeles has the unique distinction of being first against both the pass and run in our metrics.