Wild Card Playoffs: Top Plays For Daily Fantasy Football
The daily fantasy football season as we knew it is over, but a new one begins with the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs kicking off next weekend.
The player pool shrinks down considerably and our “daily” fix is stretched out over two days during the weekend, but we still have plenty of stars to pick from to piece together some winning lineups.
Value is the tricky issue, as it’s going to be hard to come by with brutal defensive matchups and roles being virtually cemented at this point in the year. For now we’ll focus just on the top two picks at each position for the first week of DFS playoff action if you’re playing at DraftKings:
QB: Russell Wilson – Seahawks ($7k) and Ben Roethlisberger – Steelers ($7.2k)
It’s easy to spot the top two fantasy passers this week. Big Ben has led one of the most explosive passing games all year, while Wilson has been on an insane tear that has seen him drop an insane 24 passing touchdowns in his final seven games.
Wilson is without a doubt the better play of the two, as he comes in hotter, torched the Vikings the last time he faced them and is even a dual threat option. Both guys deserve consideration, though, and probably will force you to pay up at the position. You just need to decide which one to use.
RB: Adrian Peterson – Vikings ($7.3k) and DeAngelo Williams – Steelers ($7k)
Williams avoided a break in his ankle, leaving him questionable for the opening round of the playoffs with a badly sprained ankle. He could end up sitting, but if he plays he could be worth his price going into the Wild Card round – especially since the Steelers have nothing behind him at running back.
The weird thing is both D-Will and Peterson are high-priced yet very risky options this week. The weirder thing is they may be your best bets, as every other option beneath them has some type of issue of their own, whether it be role, matchup or production-based.
Peterson may be the safest of all, and he’s facing the best run defense in the game when the Seahawks come to town. Peterson is typically safe and is at his best at home, though, so it’s awfully tough to imagine him completely tanking in a home playoff game, – regardless of the matchup.
All of that being said, even though these two backs are your best bets, you may want to spend elsewhere this week, as running back is truly a shaky position for the opening round.
WR: Antonio Brown – Steelers ($9.6k) and DeAndre Hopkins – Texans ($8.4k)
Brown is the easy pick just because he is fresh off of a season where he caught 136 passes and 10 touchdowns. He’s super expensive, though, and may have one of the tougher matchups this week on the road against the Bengals. Considering there is value to be had at wide receiver, fading him may not be that crazy. He is a blistering $9.6k at DK, after all.
Fading Brown would open the door to a nice wide receiver stack, starting with Nuk, who may be the best pure value at wide receiver going into the Wild Card round. Hopkins closed out the year with a strong 7-89 line and was pretty busy himself with 111 catches and 11 scores on the year. At a cool $1.2k cheaper, he may be the better play over Brown.
TE: Jordan Reed – Redskins (6.3k) and Tyler Eifert – Bengals ($5k)
Tight end should be easy, as Reed and Eifert are not even that expensive and combined for a ridiculous 24 receiving touchdowns in 2015. Both could have had more, but missed some time with injuries. Eifert is the better value and has a pretty good matchup against the Steelers, who struggle against the pass and haven’t fared well specifically against tight ends. An argument can be made for both, while Reed is probably the better PPR option due to a big role and Kirk Cousins’ uncanny ability to get him the ball on a weekly basis. Against Green Bay, who ranks just 15th against tight ends this year, Reed should have a fine outing.
DEF: Seattle Seahawks ($4.1k) and Kansas City Chiefs ($4k)
The top two defenses are easy, as the Seahawks and Chiefs are both expensive and come in as two of the strongest-performing fantasy units on the entire year. They’re both exceptionally hot, too, while both units performed rather well against the same teams they’re facing in the playoffs during the regular season.
Seattle feels like the safer play just because the Vikings lack explosive play-makers outside of Adrian Peterson, while KC facing Brian Hoyer is oddly a tougher matchup than Seattle taking on Teddy Bridgwater. Both are fantastic plays this week even though they’re on the road, however.
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