NFL Early Look: Divisional Round

WATCH: NFL PRICE CHECK DIVISIONAL ROUND


With eight teams active again next weekend, the player pool seems a little bit better with the top seeds entering the fray.

Quarterbacks

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Expensive

Aaron Rodgers @ DAL ($8,200) – It’s not often the most expensive QB in the Divisional Round is on the road, but after 362 yards and 4 TDs vs. the Giants, it’s hard not to put him on the top of the heap. He has 12 TDs and 0 interceptions in his last three games with over 1,300 total yards. A hail mary or two doesn’t hurt those totals, for sure, but unless you think Dallas will control the clock and keep him off the field, the upside is obvious.  

Tom Brady vs. HOU ($7,600) – The last time these two teams met, the Patriots ran an option offense with Jacoby Brissett, and LeGarrette Blount was the best fantasy option on the field. With Brady healthy, he will likely air it out plenty, leading to a very efficient game.

Inexpensive

Alex Smith vs. PIT ($5,400) – If you’re looking for a value option, Alex Smith has 20+ points in each of his last two games, which is more than you can say for any of the QBs priced higher than him not named Rodgers or Brady, and plus he has been six points better at home all season long. If Pittsburgh manages to put together some successful drives early Smith could be forced into more throws than usual, making him a decent value play in any format. 


Running Backs

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Expensive

Le’Veon Bell @ KC ($10,500) – Whether or not to start him at this price is the first question you have to answer for lineup construction, and it impacts the decisions you’ll make at every other position. The difference between this week and the Wild Card Round is that this slate offers another premium RB in Ezekiel Elliott. However, Le’Veon Bell offers the highest upside of any player on the slate, and he will be a difficult fade.

Ezekiel Elliot vs. GB ($8,500) – If Dallas comes into this game with any kind of decent game plan, you’d have to imagine that it involves slowing down Rodgers and trying to control the ball, as opposed to just getting into a shoot-out and trying to outscore him with Dak. Time will tell if their coaching staff agrees with me, but I am willing to pay up for Elliot on my rosters on the assumption it is. He managed 157 yards on 28 carries against the Pack in Week 5, and I imagine Dallas will employ a similar game plan this time around.  

Inexpensive

Dion Lewis vs. HOU ($3,900) – He only has five catches in his last three games, but just the threat of him as a receiving option keeps the defense off-balance. And that keeps him on the field, and at the end of the day, you can like Lewis even if you also like Blount ($5,800) for that very reason. Despite only five catches, he does have 45 carries over those same last three games, while Blount was seeing 51 carries. 


Wide Receivers

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Expensive

Davante Adams @ DAL ($7,000) – Aaron Rodgers is going to need to put up big numbers for Green Bay to get the W. Jordy Nelson had to leave last week’s game early with a rib injury and is listed as questionable, and even if he plays Adams is the guy best-suited to pick up some of the more fantasy productive down-field targets. With four touchdowns in his last three games, and coming off an 8-catch 125-yard performance, you know Rodgers will be looking his way often. 

Inexpensive

Eli Rogers @ KC ($3,900) – Obviously if you’re facing Pittsburgh, you spend basically 100% of your time the week prior game planning for Bell and for Antonio Brown. Rogers had 15 catches over the last three games of the regular season, and it is possible that the Chiefs give Bell a tough time, making Big Ben throw the ball around and creating value for more than one of his receivers.


Tight Ends

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Expensive

Travis Kelce vs. PIT ($6,100) – A decent GPP play from the #1 slot in the TE list this weekend, there is certainly a chance KC needs to score to keep up in this one, and Kelce is arguably the most dangerous weapon they have in the passing attack. He had at least eight targets in every game but one from Week 11 to 16, a stretch during which he went over 100 yards in five of six weeks. 

Inexpensive

Martellus Bennett vs. HOU ($4,000) – It’s not an accident that he has a touchdown in three of the Pats’ last four games – he’s the best red zone target they have, especially as long as Malcolm Mitchell ($4,700) continues to be limited. If you see that Mitchell is good to go on Saturday, the likelihood of Bennett scoring definitely diminishes somewhat, which would limit his appeal, especially in a cash game.


Defense/Special Teams

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Expensive

Patriots vs. HOU ($4,000) – The most expensive play on the board, and it makes sense – the rest of the offenses left in the playoffs are top-ten type producers. The Texans got shut out by New England last time they traveled to Foxboro, but they don’t need that to happen again in order for the Pats to be worth the price tag. With the quality of the offenses going this weekend, just keeping someone under 20 points is likely enough to make them either the top-scoring defense of the weekend or, at the very least, close to it. 

Inexpensive

Atlanta Falcons vs. SEA ($2,600) – If you’re not going with the Patriots, the Falcons could be a contrarian option. This could just end up being a low-scoring enough game to give the Falcons a usable fantasy total. With the Seahawks likely needing to compete with the high-scoring offense of the Falcons, they may be prone to a turnover or two, making the Falcons D valuable at $2,600.

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on.  Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.