NFL Cheat Sheet: Divisional Round

WATCH: DIVISIONAL ROUND LINEUP STRATEGIES


Wild Card Weekend has come and gone, and we head into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Eight teams will be on this weekend’s slate, and I’ll get you set for it. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Highest Scoring Game

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Projected Point Total – 52 points

Aaron Rodgers is coming off a monster game against the Giants, completing 25/40 passes for 362 yards and four touchdowns. In that win, Jordy Nelson suffered two broken ribs, and may not play this weekend. Rodgers will have to rely on Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and possibly Geronimo Allison against the NFC’s top team.

For the Cowboys, look for Ezekiel Elliot to carry another heavy workload as he did all season. Elliot had one of his best games of the season against this Packers team, as he rushed for 157 yards on 28 carries but was held out of the end zone. Even though their wide receivers have the best matchup on the slate, the Cowboys were 31st in the league in passing play percentage (49%) due to a run-heavy approach.

Lowest Scoring Game

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots

Projected Point Total – 44 points

It’s crazy to think that the Patriots will be involved in the lowest projected scoring game of the slate, but that is indeed the situation. With that being said, the Pats are favored by 16, with an implied total of 28 to open the week, so it’s really the Texans being projected to score very few points. In five home games this season, Tom Brady averaged two touchdowns and 316 passing yards. LeGarrette Blount should also be a strong consideration in this game as well, as he scored 18 touchdowns during the regular season with 11 of those coming at home.

Brock Osweiler will be starting under center for the Texans and is coming off a decent game against the Raiders. Completing 14/25 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown, Osweiler accounted for 18.2 DK fantasy points in that matchup. With the Patriots being one of the top defenses against the run, Osweiler will have to rely heavily on DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller in this contest.


DvP Matchups

Quarterback

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Worst QB Matchups

1. New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans – During the regular season, the Texans allowed an average of 214 passing yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks only threw for more than one touchdown in six games on the season against the Texans.

2. Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks – The Falcons will face a Seattle defense that’s allowed an average of 242 passing yards per game and 16 total touchdowns on the season to opposing QBs.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Ben Roethlisberger will face a Chiefs’ defense that allowed an average of 257 passing yards and 23 total touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks.

Best QB Matchups

1. Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons – Drawing the most favorable QB matchup last week, Russell Wilson scored 16.6 DK fantasy points with two touchdowns and 224 passing yards. He’ll face a Falcons’ defense that allowed opposing QBs to average 280 passing yards per game and allowed 31 touchdowns in the regular season.

2. Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers – The Packers were torched by opposing QBs throughout the regular season. They gave up a whopping 32 passing touchdowns and also allowed opposing QBs to average 269 yards per game with a completion percentage of 64.8% through the air.

3. Green Bay Packers vs Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Rodgers is fresh off a masterful performance against the Giants, throwing 362 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. The Cowboys allowed quarterbacks to average 273 passing yards per game and gave up 25 passing touchdowns on the year.


Running Back

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Worst RB Matchups

1. Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots – The Patriots were a force against opposing running backs during the regular season. They only allowed an average of 3.6 YPC and gave up only four rushing touchdowns, which was good for the lowest in the league.

2. Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys – Early reports indicate Ty Montgomery will be active for the Packers, but he has a tough matchup ahead of him. The Cowboys allowed just eight rushing touchdowns and an average of 4 YPC to opposing RBs.

3. Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks allowed a decent amount of rushing touchdowns during the regular season with 12, but they kept opposing RBs at bay with an average of 3.3 YPC. Atlanta ran the ball 44% of their total offensive plays, good for 10th in the league. 

Best RB Matchups

1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers have been poor against the run almost the entire season, allowing opposing RBs to average 4.3 YPC and go for 14 rushing touchdowns.

2. Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons – Thomas Rawls is coming off a monster game against the Lions, as he rushed for 161 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown. The Falcons allowed 13 rushing touchdowns and 4.2 YPC per game to opposing RBs.

3. Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks – On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks allowed 12 rushing touchdowns and an average of 3.4 YPC during the regular season. 


WATCH: THE CASE FOR JULIO JONES


Wide Receiver

Worst WR Matchups

1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – Only the Denver Broncos allowed fewer receiving touchdowns to opposing wide receivers than the Steelers on the season. With only 10 TDs given up to opposing WRs, the Steelers gave up an average of 152 receiving yards per game.

2. New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans – The Texans held opposing wide receivers to an average of 137 receiving yards per game and only allowed 13 receiving touchdowns during the regular season.

3. Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks allowed an average of 161 receiving yards per game during the regular season to go with 13 touchdowns given up to opposing WRs.

Best WR Matchups

1. Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers – The Cowboys utilized the pass for just 49% of their offensive plays (31st in the league). With that being said, the Packers allowed an average of 189 passing yards per game and 26 receiving touchdowns to opposing WRs.

2. Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons – The Seahawks’ wide receivers weren’t able to produce much in their first matchup against the Falcons, but they’ll get another opportunity this week. The Falcons gave up 17 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and an average of 162 receiving yards per game.


Tight End

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Worst TE Matchups

1. New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans – The Texans rank as the best defense against tight ends this playoff weekend. On the season they held their opponents at the position to just 3 touchdowns and an average of 35 receiving yards per game.

2. Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks – During the final three weeks of the season, the Falcons only targeted a tight end a total of 9 times. The Seahawks allowed 3 touchdowns and an average of 43 receiving yards per game to opposing TEs.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – The Steelers will face a Chiefs’ defense that allowed three touchdowns and an average of 45 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends.

Best TE Matchups

1. Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys were one of the worst defenses against opposing tight ends during the regular season. With eight touchdowns allowed, they gave up an average of 74 receiving yards per game to the position.

2. Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers – The Packers were also shaky at defending against opposing tight ends. With an average of 62 receiving yards per game allowed, five touchdowns were scored during the regular season by opposing TEs against them.

3. Kansas City Chiefs vs Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers could have some troubles with Travis Kelce, as he remains one of the top targets for Alex Smith. The Steelers allowed 5 touchdowns and an average of 56 receiving yards per game to the position.


Target Report

Last Three Week Leaders

  • Targets are from the final three weeks of the regular season

NameTeamLast 3 WeeksAvg. Targets
DeAndre HopkinsHOU3411.3
Julian EdelmanNE3311
Doug BaldwinSEA299.7
Jordy NelsonGB279
Davante AdamsGB227.3
Jared CookGB217
Will FullerHOU217
Travis KelceKC196.3
Jermaine KearseSEA186
Jeremy MaclinKC175.6


Lineup Quick Hits

QB To Build Lineups Around…

Tom Brady ($7,600) – Brady has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks during the regular season, averaging 22.2 DraftKings fantasy points at home on the season. In those five home games, Brady averaged 316 passing yards with two touchdowns per game. At a $600 discount from Aaron Rodgers, I think Brady should be a great option for your team.

WR To Pair Him With…

Julian Edelman ($6,800) – Edelman is the sixth most expensive wide receiver on the list for this playoff weekend, and it feels like an absolute steal. Since Brady returned from his suspension, he’s targeted Edelman 132 times, which is 64 times more than James White, who ended that span second in targets for the Pats. Averaging 10 targets per game during the regular season and carrying a price tag of $6,800, Brady should be going for his favorite target early and often.

The Top RB Will Be…

Ezekiel Elliot ($8,500) – If the Cowboys are going to try and control Aaron Rodgers this weekend, they can certainly do that with Elliot. Slowing down the game with Elliot could be one of the keys to success in this matchup. During the regular season, Elliot averaged 21 carries and over 100 rushing yards per game.

 


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