NFL Tournament Plays: Wild Card Weekend

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This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite tournament plays for the upcoming NFL week. I’m going to be focusing on high upside and pairings that could really pay off big for you in a tournament.

Stacks

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Russell Wilson ($7,000) and Doug Baldwin ($7,000) = Combined $14,000 total

The Detroit Lions have been hurt numerous times this season by slot/secondary receivers and allowed the seventh-most receptions and fourth-most TDs to the WR position overall this year. Doug Baldwin is undoubtedly the No. 1 target for Russell Wilson at the moment, but he does play primarily out of the slot and should avoid being shadowed by Detroit’s best and only decent corner in Darius Slay. Slay himself is banged up and hasn’t been super effective at times this season, anyways.

Baldwin should also be busy in this game (regardless of who covers him) because the Seahawks cannot run the ball. Seattle ranked 25th this past season in rush yards per game and starter Thomas Rawls has averaged a pitiful 1.6 yards per carry over the last three weeks. Russell Wilson is going to have throw (or run himself) to move the chains, and that should mean a higher likelihood of a passing TD for both himself and Baldwin. I think this is a good stack to swerve to off the likely popular Rodgers-Nelson or Roethlisberger-Brown combos.

Bonus: Matthew Stafford ($5,700) and Golden Tate ($6,300)


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Quarterback

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Matthew Stafford ($5,700): The Seahawks have a shutdown-type defense, but it’s far from impenetrable. Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers both threw for three TDs when they faced Seattle this year, and Stafford’s level of play was on par with both those players at times this season. One area Seattle definitely struggled against was teams’ secondary — non-Richard Sherman covered — receivers, as Ted Ginn (5-80-1), Devante Adams (4-104-1) and J.J. Nelson (3-132-1) all busted big games against Seattle late in the year. Stafford will have both Golden Tate and Marvin Jones in this game to keep Seattle occupied, as well as potential home-run threat and return man Andre Roberts to throw to. Stafford could pile up yards and fantasy points quick on a couple big plays here.

Bonus: Matt Moore ($5,100)


Running Back

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Zach Zenner ($4,500): Zenner is an interesting story, as he was an undrafted free agent a year ago who made the team but never really got a fair shot at being the lead back. Last week, however, Zenner played on 97 percent of the snaps and was the only RB to touch the ball. He has good strength and agility for his size, and while you shouldn’t expect an explosive play against Seattle, a guaranteed full game workload is enough incentive here to roster him at his very affordable price. Since becoming the starter, Zenner has averaged more than 11 yards per reception on six catches and also scored three rushing TDs despite Detroit being big underdogs in both of the games he started. Outside of the matchup, there isn’t much to dislike here.

Bonus: Latavius Murray ($5,000)


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Wide Receiver

Jarvis Landry ($5,100): Landry was front and center in Miami’s offense last week, accumulating nine catches on 12 targets and a TD. That game was actually the second time Landry went over 22 DK points in a game with Matt Moore as his quarterback, which is good news because Moore will be the starter for Miami this week. The Dolphins got down big to New England and were forced to feed Landry a ton, a scenario that may well play itself out again this week. Even if Miami doesn’t score a ton, Landry should pile up a ton of cheap receptions and is in line for a big PPR game.

Sterling Shepard ($4,800): Shepard is in a good spot this weekend as Green Bay is sure to give its full attention to slowing down Odell Beckham. Moreover, the Packers were the absolute worst team in several categories against WRs this season, allowing the most TDs (25) and yards overall to the position. Even if Beckham scores in this game, Shepard could still go off as multiple receivers have caught TDs against Green Bay in three straight weeks. With Green Bay’s offense playing so well and the Giants being four-point underdogs, I expect quite a bit of passing for New York and Shepard’s targets to approach his season high totals.

Bonus: Amari Cooper ($5,200)


Tight End

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Ladarius Green ($4,500): Green looks to be fully recovered from his latest concussion as he practiced in full on Wednesday. If he does get final clearance, he’ll be in a good spot against Miami. Green is a mismatch for almost anyone, but Miami’s linebackers particularly don’t cover TEs well and gave up the seventh-most fantasy points and fourth-most TDs to the TE position this year. In his last three games before he got hurt, Green averaged more than eight targets a game and more than 14 yards a catch. The upside for a big game makes him worth a look this week as there isn’t another TE — other than likely popular Jimmy Graham — that can match his big-play capability at TE. Make sure you check his status before game time.

Bonus: Dion Sims ($2,500)


Defenses

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Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,500): Pittsburgh came on as a defense at the end of the year and scored 11 or more fantasy points in three of its last seven starts. As a team, it ended the season ninth in sacks, eighth in forced fumbles and 13th in interceptions. While many may focus this week on the big rush total they allowed earlier in the year to Jay Ajayi, outside of week 17 — where it rested many starters — Pittsburgh only allowed an averaged of 74 yards rushing over its last six games. The Steelers will also be at home in this game, against a backup quarterback in potentially cold conditions. This has the potential for a big day from a defense many will scoff at paying up for based on an early season result.

Bonus: Oakland Raiders ($3,000)

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) 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.