Jeff Mans guides us through all things playoff fantasy football. Whether it be league play or DFS action for Super Wild Card Weekend, be prepared to add to that bankroll!
SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE:
Jedi wants me to remind each of you that the intro to this article was actually written BEFORE Fanduel and Draftkings offered the full six game slates. They both are offering full six game slates now as is Superdraft. I did the entire game by game breakdowns specifically so that you can decide which slate(s) you are going to play and have useful info for it. The prices that I quote in the article here are all from the full six game slate however.
Nothing good ever truly ends. I told you this in the Week 17 Cash Game Breakdown, and hopefully, now you know what I meant. Just because the 2020 NFL regular season has come to an end, it doesn’t mean that our opportunities to make significant profits from the football season have. We’ve got several opportunities starting this week to pad our bankrolls. Here are a few things to do this postseason to grab your share of these proceeds:
Playoff Fantasy Football
I could sit here and explain to you all of the types of postseason fantasy football leagues that you could set up or join, but my guy Armando Marsal already did this for our Fantasy Guru subscribers this week, as you can read here.
Elite Mafia Playoff League
For each of the past five seasons, I’ve run these playoff leagues that are by invitation only. Ideally, I’d like to have 100 of our most dedicated Elite Mafia members and Fantasy Guru/Elite Fantasy/Elite Sports Betting subscribers compete against one another for a bevy of prizes. This year is no different, as this league is already filling up as you read this. If you think that you have what it takes or just want to be in, hit me and Ted Schuster up in the Elite Fantasy, Fantasy Guru NFL Chat Room or on Twitter @Jeff_Mans & @TedSchuster.
All players from teams still alive in the NFL Playoffs are available to all teams each week. Franchise owners select a starting lineup from this player pool each week, but each player can only be used ONE TIME through the duration of the playoffs.
You will receive an email invitation to join the league. If you do not accept this invitation and log into the league in a reasonable amount of time, your spot will be dumped back into the pool and awarded to somebody else.
Scoring: Full point PPR
Lineup: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR,
1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE)
Standings: Total points scoring only
1st – $100
2nd – Full year VIP subscription to Fantasy Guru (MLB & NFL)
3rd – Full year VIP subscription to Fantasy Guru (MLB & NFL)
4th – 1 month VIP to Elite Fantasy or Elite Sports Betting
5th – 1 month VIP to Elite Fantasy or Elite Sports Betting
6th – $50
7th – $25
8th – Elite Mafia T-Shirt
9th – Elite Mafia T-Shirt
10th – Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (Fantasy Guru)
Daily Fantasy Football
This is likely what you came here for in the first place, right? Of course, there is DFS NFL this postseason, and of course, we are on top of it here at Elite Fantasy. No, I will not be writing a Cash Game Breakdown for the playoffs.
The fact of the matter is, when there are less than eight NFL games in a slate, it is incredibly hard and most of the time impossible to build a zero-fat cash game lineup. Over the years, the DFS companies have gotten incredibly greedy, as evidenced by there not being any full six-game slates on either FanDuel or DraftKings this week. They want us to play six separate showdown slates (1 game apiece) because that is how they make the most money (rake). I do not like one game DFS slates so will opt for the greatest number of games possible when choosing which ones to play over the next couple of weeks.
Now, I still strongly recommend the single entry 50/50 contests even in the postseason. These contests offer you the best opportunity to win, plain and simple. So, if you are new to DFS, have been struggling to win this season, and/or are on a very strict budget, these are still the right contests for you.
Personally, I will be playing almost exclusively in GPP’s (tournaments) throughout the playoffs. What’s more, I will likely be building multiple lineups each week as well; something I rarely do during the regular season. Please understand, I do this with the full intention of not winning a single dollar that I put in back. Tournaments are very difficult and offer super high paylines and a limited number of payouts. If you are on a budget, don’t follow my lead in contest selection during the postseason.
So, for this writeup, I have decided to parcel it down to a game-by-game format. Of course, I will still provide you with my core four. But this way, you will also get some of my deeper dive plays along with the analysis behind them. This way you can use the information and analysis provided here with whatever slate of game(s) you are most comfortable playing.
The Super Wild-Card Round features some very intriguing matchups, including seven of the top nine scoring offenses in the NFL this season. Will the Indianapolis Colts defense be able to slow down Josh Allen and the suddenly pass-happy Buffalo Bills? Which struggling offense between the Seahawks and Rams have enough to advance? Will the Washington Potatoes become the third straight sub-.500 playoff team to win their first-round matchup? Do the Baltimore Ravens get revenge on the Titans for knocking them out last season? Will the Saints have enough healthy players to brush aside the Chicago Bears? Can the Cleveland Browns get their first playoff win since 1994?
All of the answers you seek can be found here in this week’s DFS NFL writeup, so let’s get to it!
Here is the DFS NFL Postseason Writeup for the Super Wild-Card Round:
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills – 1:05pm ET
Spread: Bills -7
Point Total: 51.5
- COLTS – OT Will Holden (ankle) & CB Rock Ya-Sin (concussion) are OUT. DT DeForest Buckner (ankle) is QUESTIONABLE.
- BILLS – Stefon Diggs (oblique) & Cole Beasley (knee) are questionable.
Matchups To Exploit
- Colts – The Colts have the biggest advantage up front with their offensive line lining up very well against a weak Buffalo Bills from seven. The Bills give up the sixth-most rushing yards per attempt, and the Colts have averaged a whopping six yards per carry over their last three games. The other thing to watch here is the Colts TE’s against a Bills defense that gave up the second-most targets, most receptions, second-most receiving yards and eighth-most fantasy points to TE’s this season.
- Bills – The Bills offense revolves around the big pass play. Buffalo is second in the NFL in yards per pass attempt, sixth in the NFL in yards per pass completion and third in total passing yards this season. The Colts were 20th in passing yards allowed and gave up the ninth-most passing plays of 20+ yards this season.
Best Plays (SuperDraft/FD/DK)
- Josh Allen, QB, Bills (1.05x/$9000/$7500)
- Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts (1.25x/$8800/$7900)
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills (1x/$8700/$7700)
- Jack Doyle, TE, Colts (1.65x/$4500/$2900)
- Indianapolis Colts DST (NA/$3900/$2300)
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks – 4:40 pm ET
Spread: Seahawks -3.5
Point Total: 42.0
- RAMS – OG David Edwards (ankle), LB Micah Kiser (knee) & QB Jared Goff (thumb) are QUESTIONABLE.
- SEAHAWKS – CB Jayson Stanley is OUT. CB Shaquill Griffin (hamstring), RB Rashaad Penny (knee) and DT Jarran Reed (oblique) are QUESTIONABLE.
Matchups To Exploit
- Rams – The Rams should and have used a pass-heavy approach against the Seahawks defense. Though they have played a lot better since getting safety Jamal Adams back from injury, the Seahawks have still surrendered the most targets, most receptions, second-most receiving yards and 10th most fantasy points to WR’s this season. One interesting individual matchup here is the Rams WR Josh Reynolds. Reynolds has racked up 20 targets, 14 receptions and 159 yards against the Seahawks this season. He draws the coverage of Shaquill Griffin, who is the Seahawks’ best CB but won’t see any safety assistance either.
- Seahawks – Russell Wilson has struggled against the Rams over the last three years. The Seahawks gameplan against the Rams seems to be a run-heavy approach led by Chris Carson. Carson is averaging 21 touches per game, 105 total yards and 15.5 fantasy points per game against them.
- Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks (1.3x/$7000/$5900)
- Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams (NA/$6400/$6000)
- DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks (1.15x/$6900/$6700)
- Seattle Seahawks DST (NA/$3600/$2700)
- Josh Reynolds, WR, Rams (1.7x/$4800/$3600)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Potatoes – 8:15 pm ET
Spread: Buccaneers -9
Point Total: 44.5
- BUCCANEERS – DT Jeremiah Ledbetter (calf) and RB LeSean McCoy are OUT. CB Carlton Davis (groin) & WR Mike Evans (knee) are QUESTIONABLE.
- POTATOES – LB Thomas Davis (knee) is OUT. QB Alex Smith (calf), RB Antonio Gibson (toe), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (ankle) and WR Terry McLaurin (ankle) are QUESTIONABLE.
Matchups To Exploit
- Buccaneers – The one weakness of this Washington defense is the quick passing game, and fortunately for the Bucs, Tom Brady is the master. Expect a lot of peppered targets to the interior of the Potatoes defense to both Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. Mike Evans is questionable but will likely play in my opinion just to be used as a decoy as Brady attacks the underneath of Washington’s defense.
- Potatoes – Tampa Bay’s defense is first in DVOA against the run, fifth in DVOA against the pass and fifth in overall DVOA. With a banged-up Alex Smith and Terry McLaurin, this passing game won’t be much of a threat on Saturday night. But the Buccaneers did surrender the second-most targets and the most receptions to RB’s this season. Washington RB J.D. McKissic generated the most targets and the second-most receptions among RB’s during the regular season.
- Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers (1.25x/$7800/$7000)
- Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers (1.2x/$8000/$6900)
- J.D. McKissic, RB, Potatoes (1.55x/$5400/$4900)
- Logan Thomas, TE, Potatoes (1.3x/$6400/$4900)
- Washington Potatoes DST (NA/$3700/$2400)
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans – 1:05 pm ET
Spread: Ravens -3.5
Point Total: 55.5
- RAVENS – OT DJ Fluker (knee), OG Ben Bredeson (knee), CB Marlon Humphrey (shoulder), Willie Snead (ankle), Patrick Mekari (back), Yannick Ngakoue (thigh) and Jimmy Smith (ribs/shoulder) are QUESTIONABLE.
- TITANS – None.
Matchups To Exploit
- Ravens – One of the reasons the Ravens have been unable to defeat the Titans in either of their last two meetings is you must beat them through the air. Lamar Jackson has thrown just two TD’s while turning the ball over five times against Tennessee during that time. So, the key to this matchup is attacking the Titans cornerbacks deep, and that involves Marquise Brown. Brown did not catch any of his three targets in the Ravens Week 11 loss against the Titans but did put up an 11-7-126-0 stat line against them in last season’s divisional-round playoff game.
- Titans – It’s no surprise that the way Tennessee has owned the Baltimore defense over the last two years is as simple as Derrick Henry. Henry has rushed 58 times for 328 yards (5.7 YPC) and 46.5 fantasy points against the Ravens. Baltimore surrendered the seventh-most rushing yards per attempt on the ground this season, which is a real bad sign when going into battle with the NFL’s leading rusher and a guy who just became the eighth player ever to rush for 2,000+ yards.
- Derrick Henry, RB, Titans (1x/$10,200/$9200)
- Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens (1.6x/$6300/$5400)
- Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens (1x/$9300/$7800)
- Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens (1x/$7000/$5200)
- JK Dobbins, RB, Ravens (1.35x/$6800/$6600)
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints – 4:40 pm ET
Spread: Saints -10
Point Total: 47.5
- BEARS – CB Buster Skrine (concussion) is OUT. WR Darnell Mooney (ankle), CB Jaylon Johnson (shoulder), LB Roquan Smith (elbow) & LB Josh Woods (toe) are QUESTIONABLE.
- SAINTS – OG Nick Easton (concussion) & TE Trey Hendrickson (neck) are OUT. Michael Thomas (ankle) is QUESTIONABLE.
Matchups To Exploit
- Bears – The Bears played the Saints tough back in week eight, taking them to overtime before a 35-yard Will Lutz field goal gave New Orleans the victory. While it will be Mitch Trubisky as the Bears QB this time around, the goal should be the same. Chicago stormed out to a 13-3 in that previous meeting thanks to the connection of Nick Foles and Allen Robinson. I expect A-Rob to be the focal point once again of this Bears offense. Robinson has scored in all three meetings he’s had against Marshon Lattimore and the Saints defense. In those games, he’s averaging 11 targets, seven receptions, 108 receiving yards, 1 TD and 23.8 fantasy points per game.
- Saints – The Saints offense doesn’t change very much though Sean Payton does tend to get cute in home playoff games with trick plays. But assuming both Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are healthy and active, they will consume a large quantity of the Saints passing attack against the Bears this week. The one other matchup to identify here is TE Jared Cook against a Bears defense that surrenders the fifth-most targets, sixth-most receptions, third-most TD’s and second-most fantasy points to TE’s this season.
- Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints (1.1x/$9000/$8500)
- Allen Robinson, WR, Bears (1.2x/$7200/$6600)
- Michael Thomas, WR, Saints (1.1x/$6800/$6400)
- Drew Brees, QB, Saints (1.35x/$7800/$5700)
- Jared Cook, TE, Saints (1.55x/$5900/$4600)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:15 pm ET
Spread: Steelers -6.5
Point Total: 47.0
- BROWNS – LT Jack Conklin (illness), DE Myles Garrett (shoulder), CB Terrance Mitchell (personal), WR Donovan People-Jones (concussion), DT Sheldon Richardson (neck), CB M.J. Stewart (calf) and OG Wyatt Teller (ankle) are QUESTIONABLE.
- STEELERS – QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee), C Maurkice Pouncey (leg) have no official listing as of yet.
Matchups To Exploit
- Browns – The Browns have played the Steelers twice this season, getting smashed 38-7 back in week six then outlasting them 24-22 just last week to clinch their first playoff berth since 2002. The biggest difference in those two games was that RB Nick Chubb was injured and did not play in that week six loss. Chubb ran for 14-108-1 against Pittsburgh last week, including a 47-yard TD run. The Browns offense revolves around their running game with both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Steelers have lost two of their starting linebackers since Week 13 and have surrendered 4.7 YPC since then as a result. The Browns will need to win the game on the ground in order to beat the Steelers for a second consecutive week.
- Steelers – The Steelers have had no running game to speak of over the last six weeks of the regular season but did rush for 134 yards against the Browns back in their week six beat down. The Browns are the eighth-worst DVOA against the pass, and that will be how the Steelers push the ball down the field against Cleveland this week. But don’t underestimate the role of James Conner this week or throughout the Steelers playoff run, as he is rested, healthy, and someone crucial to the Steelers offense.
- Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers (1.25x/$7000/$6200)
- Nick Chubb, RB, Browns (1.15x/$7700/$6700)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers (1.45x/$6500/$5500)
- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers (1.3x/$7500/$6100)
- Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns (1.35x/$5900/$4800)
Super Wild-Card Round Position-by-Position
- Lamar Jackson, Ravens (1x/$9300/$7800) – He is expensive, but this game has the highest expected total of the weekend, and Lamar has the highest ceiling by far of any of these QB’s. If the Ravens win, Jackson will surely be the reason why. If they lose to the Titans, as they did in the Divisional Round of last year’s playoffs, he could easily post another 32.9 fantasy points as he did in that game.
- Josh Allen, Bills (1.05x/$9000/$7500) – Nobody scored more fantasy points in 2020 than Josh Allen. Allen scored below 20 fantasy points just five times and below 16.5 fantasy points just once all season long. He has been playing at a different level all season and poses one of the best true pass/run threats in the NFL. The Colts defense is tough, but their defensive backs can be beaten, which is how the Bills will attack.
- Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (1.3x/$7500/$6100) – Ben has had some monstrous games against the Browns over the years. Earlier this season, he only threw for 162 yards and 1 TD against them, but that was on 22 total attempts. The Steelers racked up 38 points on the Browns back in week five, and this was when the Cleveland defense was much healthier. The Browns are the eighth-worst DVOA against the pass and have surrendered the 12th most passing yards, eighth-most passing TDs and eighth-most fantasy points to QB’s this season. If the Steelers ground game continues to struggle, it will have to be Roethlisberger who bails them out, as he’s done throughout the second half of the season. Roethlisberger has averaged 46 pass attempts per game over the Steelers’ final seven games of the regular season.
O-LINE/D-LINE MATCHUPS (Mans Model – Point System Scale of -100 – 100)
- Indianapolis Colts → Buffalo Bills – 68
- Baltimore Ravens → Tennessee Titans – 47
- Cleveland Browns → Pittsburgh Steelers – 40
- New Orleans Saints → Chicago Bears – 29
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers → Washington Potatoes – 11
- Derrick Henry, Titans (1x/$10,200/$9200) – The NFL’s leading rusher and the eighth person ever to rush for over 2,000 yards is an obvious choice any week. But he’s also ripped the soul out of Baltimore the last two times these teams have squared off, including last season in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. In that game, Henry rushed 30 times for 195 yards. In Week 11 of this season, Henry rushed 28 times for 133 yards. So, this is obviously how Tennessee wants to attack the Baltimore defense, as they have won both of these contests. We know there will be a large workload, and Henry is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball. The only downside here is the price tag. If you are building around Henry, you had better have a couple of real good value plays who you can build around him.
- JK Dobbins, Ravens (1.35x/$6800/$6600) – The Titans are second in the NFL in rush attempts, third in percentage of rushing plays, second in rushing yards and second in rushing yards per attempt. But the Ravens, on the other hand, are first in rush attempts, first in percentage of rushing plays, first in rushing yards and first in rushing yards per attempt. Dobbins has taken over the Ravens lead RB role, logging over 50% of snaps in each of Baltimore’s final four games. In fact, Dobbins has scored a rushing TD in each of the Ravens’ final six games of the regular season. Because of Dobbins’ mid-tier price, using both Henry and Dobbins amounts to $8500 apiece, a manageable amount for lineups this week.
- Alvin Kamara, Saints (1.1x/$9000/$8500) – It appears as though Kamara will be cleared and taken off of the IR/Covid list ahead of the Saints Sunday afternoon contest against the Chicago Bears. The reports around Kamara suggest that while he indeed was covid-19 positive, he was mostly asymptomatic over the last week and thus won’t have health restrictions in Sunday’s game. While I have some trepidation on that front, the massive amount of check-downs from Drew Brees is worth its weight in fantasy gold.
- Jonathan Taylor, Colts (1.25x/$8800/$7900) – This is the best pure matchup for any RB of the Super Wild Card weekend. The Bills are 17th in DVOA against the run and have given up the sixth-most rushing yards per carry this season. The Colts offensive line has the biggest advantage over the Bills defensive line, as shown above, and this has to be how the Colts attack them this week. Taylor has rushed for 741 yards and 7 TD’s over his last six games, which amounts to 6.3 yards per attempt. Taylor is the slightly less expensive RB that has a legitimate opportunity to outscore both Derrick Henry and/or Alvin Kamara.
- James Conner, Steelers (1.45x/$6200/$5000) – Conner is finally healthy and has logged 85 snaps (62.8%) over the Steelers’ last two regular-season games. He generated 128 total yards and 28.8 fantasy points in those two games. Earlier this season, when the Steelers played the Browns at full strength, Conner rang up a 20-101-1 rushing stat line, good for 17.2 fantasy points. The Browns are 19th in DVOA against the run, and the Steelers are a touchdown favorite at home in this contest. The game flow, history and salary are very much in favor of Conner here as a quality contrarian RB this week.
- J.D. McKissic, Potatoes (1.55x/$5400/$4900) – I really love McKissic in this spot and especially at this price. The Potatoes will surely play from behind most of the way, leaving the pass-catching specialist McKissic with a ton of second-half snaps. As I wrote above in the game matchup section, the Buccaneers gave up the second-most targets and the most receptions to RB’s this season. McKissic generated the most targets and the second-most receptions among RB’s during the regular season. This is a matchup made in heaven.
- Kareem Hunt, Browns (1.35x/$5900/$4800) – You guys all know I love my boy Nick Chubb, and while he is “in play” every week against any opponent, I prefer Hunt this week. To get such a low expected ownership on Hunt, in a short slate like this, is just something we have to be prepared to take. The great thing about Hunt is, even though the game script does appear to be in his favor as the pass-catching back for the Browns, he isn’t tied solely to it. We’ve seen Hunt in on goal-line situations quite a bit, even since Chubb returned from a knee injury. Last week against the Steelers, Chubb shredded the Pittsburgh defense for a 47-yard TD run. The next offensive play featured Kareem Hunt in the Browns backfield. This is a leverage play for sure but a damn good one in this spot this week.
WORST COVERAGE CORNERBACKS – WR MATCHUP (Mans Model, By YOUR Request)
- P.J. Williams, Saints → Anthony Miller, Bears
- Ugo Amadi, Seahawks → Cooper Kupp, Rams
- Duke Shelley, Bears → Marquez Callaway, Saints
- Malcolm Butler, Titans → Miles Boykin, Ravens
- Tre Flowers, Seahawks → Robert Woods, Rams
- Robert Jackson, Browns → Chase Claypool, Steelers
- T.J. Carrie, Colts → Stefon Diggs, Bills
- Jimmy Moreland, Potatoes → Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
- Steven Nelson, Steelers → Rashard Higgins, Browns
- Sean Murphy-Bunting, Buccaneers → Cam Sims, Potatoes
- Stefon Diggs, Bills (1x/$8700/$7700) – Stefon Diggs won the triple crown for WR’s this year, leading the league in targets, receptions and receiving yards. He was third among WR’s in fantasy points scored and third in target share behind only Davante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins. Remember, Diggs was teammates with Colts CB Xavier Rhodes and destroyed Colts CB T.J. Carrie in his only meeting against him. The oblique injury is worth some pause, but it appears as though Diggs is a full go for Saturday and is as good as it gets at the top shelf of DFS WR’s this week.
- Diontae Johnson, Steelers (1.25x/$7000/$6200) – It is going to take the DFS companies the entire offseason to recalibrate their pricing to what Diontae Johnson’s true value is. He is way too cheap once again and is a no-brainer here on the upper mid-tier. In the 11 full games both Johnson and Ben Roethlisberger played together this season, Johnson has seen 10, 13, 15, 10, 11, 16, 13, 12, seven, 12 & 14 targets. That one seven that you see was the game he had those three drops and was benched for half of the game. This is a Davante Adams type of volume for a Terry McLaurin type of price.
- Josh Reynolds, Rams (1.7x/$4800/$3600) – The best of the value tier WR’s this week. The Rams absolutely must attack the Seahawks through the air, and in their two meetings this season, Reynolds has shockingly seen 20 targets, 14 receptions, 159 yards and 30.4 fantasy points. The Rams like his matchup against either Tre Flowers or D.J. Reed, both of which are far below average cover CB’s.
- Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (1.25x/$7800/$7000) – Godwin would get a big bump up in value if Mike Evans were to miss, which is unlikely to happen at this point. Tom Brady will have to go back to his quick-twitch inside roots this week against an extremely good Washington pass rush. This suits Godwin perfectly and should lead to double-digit targets at the very least.
- Marquise Brown, Ravens (1.6x/$6300/$5400) – I love Hollywood this week. I guaranteed he would catch a 50+ yard TD from Lamar Jackson this week against the Titans. The Titans CB’s are absolutely horrible at playing with their backs to the football (deep passes), and there isn’t a bigger longball force than Marquise Brown. In last year’s playoff matchup against the Titans, Brown received 11 targets, seven receptions and 126 yards. His longest catch was 38 yards in that game, which was a big miss by the Baltimore offense.
- Anthony Miller, Bears (1.55x/$4700/$3300) – I rarely like Miller, as the Bears pass game just doesn’t include him nearly as much as they should. But this week, it looks as though he will draw the worst CB going in PJ Williams, and do it in a controlled environment in a pass-heavy game script. In fact, Miller’s only double-digit target and highest reception total this year came against the Saints in Chicago back in week eight. He racked up a season-best 11-8-73-0 in that game while running 39 routes, 19 in the coverage of P.J. Williams.
- Robert Woods, Rams (1.15x/$6700/$6200) – Technically a mid-tier priced WR this week, Woods is yet another Rams WR who has a great matchup. If Jared Goff starts this week, as he is expected to do, Woods gets a big increase in value, as does the entirety of the Rams offense. The Seahawks gave up the most targets, most receptions, second-most yards and the 10th most fantasy points to WR’s this season.
- Emmanuel Sanders, Saints (1.55x/$6200/$5000) – Sanders is a forgotten man in this Saints offense – at least by fantasy owners – but he’s in a terrific position this week against Chicago. His FD price is a little higher than I would have liked, but he is coming off of a game in which he was Drew Brees’ main weapon, racking up a 13-9-63-1 stat line against Carolina. Sanders missed the Saints’ regular-season matchup against the Bears, and I expect him to be a weapon New Orleans uses to surprise this aggressive Bears defense.
- John Brown, Bills (1.4x/$5700/$4700) – Another forgotten player in a high-octane offense. Brown returned to action in Week 17 and immediately picked up where he left off as Josh Allen’s fallback option to Stefon Diggs. He caught all four of his targets for 72 yards and a 32-yard TD grab. Again, he is a little higher priced on FD than I would like, but nobody will use Brown given the host of other options here this week.
- Mark Andrews, Ravens (1x/$7000/$5200) – With no Travis Kelce or Darren Waller on the slate, it is up to Andrews to carry the torch for the elite-level TE’s this week. Andrews was third in the NFL among TE’s in target share (24.9%) and second in red-zone target share (32.7%) this season. He has generated seven targets in each of his last two games against the Titans while posting a 7-5-96-1 stat line against them earlier this season. The Titans are dead last in DVOA against the TE position and gave up the 13th most fantasy points to TE’s this season.
- Jonnu Smith, Titans (1.3x/$5200/$3200) – Jonnu isn’t a high volume TE, but none of our options are this week, other than Mark Andrews. Smith caught the fourth-most TD’s among TE’s this season with eight. Thus, it is probably no surprise he has the third-highest red-zone target share among TE’s this season. The Ravens guard receivers quite well but are the 11th worst DVOA against the TE and have surrendered the ninth-most receptions to TE’s this season.
- Jared Cook, Saints (1.55x/$5900/$4600) – Cook fell into the check down role in this New Orleans offense last week with both Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara out. Both of them are likely to return this week, but Cook will still work the middle of the field against a defense that has had real trouble protecting it. The Bears are 19th in DVOA against the TE this season. They have also allowed the fifth-most targets, sixth-most receptions, sixth-most receiving yards, third-most TD’s and second-most fantasy points to TE’s this season. Cook posted a 7-5-51-1 stat line against these Bears back in week eight.
- Jack Doyle, Colts (1.65x/$4500/$2900) – If you want to get really weird, I would not completely rule out either Trey Burton or even Mo Alie-Cox, though it would take many lineups before I work in the latter. Doyle has registered 65% of offensive snaps over the last three weeks, generating 11 targets in those games. The Bills’ one weakness against the pass is the TE position, where they have given up the second-most targets, the most receptions, second-most receiving yards and eighth-most fantasy points to TE’s this season.
- Seattle Seahawks ($3600/$2700)
- New Orleans Saints ($4600/$3800)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4300/$3400)
- Washington Potatoes ($3700/$2400)
Super Wild-Card Round Lineup Builds
Since this is a GPP (tournament) slate, that means it is time to build multiple lineups. With that in mind, there are no players who are just completely off-limits to us here. It’s all about reading all three game scripts, interpreting them, and using the players who will most execute those scripts best.
In keeping with my usual Core 4 theme, let’s go over four lineup builds I will be using. I’m planning on playing about four to eight total lineups in this slate.
Core Four #1 (From the SXM Show)
- QB – Lamar Jackson, Ravens (1x/$9300/$7800)
- RB – JD McKissic, Potatoes (1.55x/$5400/$4900)
- WR – Diontae Johnson, Steelers (1.25x/$7000/$6200)
- TE – Mark Andrews, Ravens (1x/$7000/$5200)
Core Four #2
- QB – Lamar Jackson, Ravens (1x/$9300/$7800)
- RB – Alvin Kamara, Saints (1.1x/$9000/$8500)
- WR – Marquise Brown, Ravens (1.6x/$6300/$5400)
- TE – Jack Doyle, Colts (1.65x/$4500/$2900)
Core Four #3
- QB – Josh Allen, Bills (1.05x/$9000/$7500)
- RB – Alvin Kamara, Saints (1.1x/$9000/$8500)
- WR – Stefon Diggs, Bills (1x/$8700/$7700)
- TE – Jared Cook, Saints (1.55x/$5900/$4600)
Core Four #4
- QB – Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (1.3x/$7500/$6100)
- RB – Jonathan Taylor, Colts (1.25x/$8800/$7900)
- WR – Diontae Johnson, Steelers (1.25x/$7000/$6200)
- TE – Mark Andrews, Ravens (1x/$7000/$5200)