FanDuel NFL Expert Survey: Divisional Round

Want to know who Notorious is definitely paying up for in NFL DFS this week? Wondering which value play STLCardinals84 is eyeing most? You’re in luck. Our daily fantasy sports experts will answer a handful of questions to help you make crucial lineup building decisions for this week’s main slate contests.

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Divisional Round

Who is your favorite player for cash games?

Notorious: Patrick Mahomes
STLCardinals84: Ezekiel Elliott
MrTuttle: Patrick Mahomes
meansy53: Patrick Mahomes
Stevietpfl: Todd Gurley

Who is your favorite player for tournaments?

Notorious: Alvin Kamara
STLCardinals84: Tyreek Hill
MrTuttle: Drew Brees
meansy53: Alvin Kamara
Stevietpfl: Alvin Kamara

Who is your favorite salary saver on the board??

Notorious: Darren Sproles
STLCardinals84: Darren Sproles
MrTuttle: Ted Ginn
meansy53: Damien Williams
Stevietpfl: Ted Ginn

Which high-priced player will you have little to no exposure to in tournaments?

Notorious: Zach Ertz
STLCardinals84: Zach Ertz
MrTuttle: James White
meansy53: James White
Stevietpfl: Julian Edelman

Who’s your top contrarian play on the board?

Notorious: Alshon Jeffery
STLCardinals84: Austin Ekeler
MrTuttle: Nyheim Hines
meansy53: Melvin Gordon
Stevietpfl: Mike Williams

Which low-priced chalk player are you most likely to have little to no exposure to?

Notorious: Josh Reynolds
STLCardinals84: Golden Tate
MrTuttle: Rob Gronkowski
meansy53: None
Stevietpfl: None

Which low-priced contrarian player are you most likely to have heavy exposure to?

Notorious: Gerald Everett
STLCardinals84: Austin Ekeler
MrTuttle: Nyheim Hines
meansy53: Gerald Everett
Stevietpfl: Ted Ginn

Which player are you most afraid of being underweight on compared to the field?

Notorious: Zach Ertz
STLCardinals84: James White
MrTuttle: Todd Gurley
meansy53: T.Y. Hilton
Stevietpfl: Zach Ertz

What’s the best position to spend up on this week?

Notorious: QB & RB1
STLCardinals84: RB #1
MrTuttle: QB
meansy53: QB
Stevietpfl: QB

What’s the best position to save salary on this week?

Notorious: WR 2 & 3
STLCardinals84: WR #3
MrTuttle: WR
meansy53: WR
Stevietpfl: WR #2 WR #3

Which position will you have the most exposure to in FLEX?

Notorious: RB
STLCardinals84: WR
MrTuttle: RB
meansy53: RB
Stevietpfl: RB

Who are your favorite players for cash games and tournaments for the Saturday-only slate?

Notorious: Patrick Mahomes (Cash) / Nyheim Hines (GPP)
STLCardinals84: Ezekiel Elliott (Cash) / Tyreek Hill (GPP)
MrTuttle: Patrick Mahomes (Cash) / Nyheim Hines (GPP)
meansy53: Patrick Mahomes (Cash) / Tyreek Hill (GPP)
Stevietpfl: Patrick Mahomes (Cash) / Travis Kelce (GPP)

Who are your favorite players for cash games and tournaments for the Sunday-only slate?

Notorious: Alvin Kamara (Cash) / Alshon Jeffery (GPP)
STLCardinals84: Julian Edelman (Cash) / Alvin Kamara (GPP)
MrTuttle: Alvin Kamara (Cash) / Melvin Gordon (GPP)
meansy53: Alvin Kamara (Cash) / Michael Thomas (GPP)
Stevietpfl: Drew Brees (Cash) / Alvin Kamara (GPP)

Who is your favorite salary saver on the board for the Saturday-only slate?

Notorious: Damien Williams
STLCardinals84: Josh Reynolds
MrTuttle: Damien Williams
meansy53: Damien Williams
Stevietpfl: Damien Williams

Who is your favorite salary saver on the board for the Sunday-only slate?

Notorious: Darren Sproles
STLCardinals84: Darren Sproles
MrTuttle: Ted Ginn
meansy53: Ted Ginn
Stevietpfl: Ted Ginn

Which useful trend or statistic stuck out most during your research?

Notorious: This is a blowup spot for Travis Kelce. The Colts’ defense is build to keep everything in front of them. They live by the bend but don’t break slogan and try to limit big plays. They have been very good at covering wide receivers, but are ranked 29th in DVOA against tight ends. Kelce is a good bet to see double-digit targets and he has a realistic chance of leading the divisional round in receiving yards.

STLCardinals84: Even though Melvin Gordon returned to last week’s Wild Card game against the Ravens, he was largely ineffective, rushing for just 40 yards on 17 carries in the Chargers’ upset win. Austin Ekeler really any better than Gordon, but it’s worth noting that Ekeler touched the ball 15 times and played on more offensive snaps than Gordon. This should be a more wide open game against a Patriots defense that often struggles in the short to intermediate passing game. I expect Ekeler to be a sneaky DFS option this weekend.

MrTuttle: Nyheim Hines total snaps (routes run) since Week 6 in games where the margin of victory (or loss) was single digits: 30 (25), 20 (16), 26 (16), 45 (39), 28 (21), 23 (20). Nyheim Hines total snaps (routes run) since Week 6 in games where the margin of victory was double digits: 17 (10), 28 (9), 16 (9), 29 (22), 14 (13), 9 (7). Hines averaged 23.7 snaps and 22.8 routes run in games where the Colts either won or lost by single digits and averaged 18.8 snaps and 11.7 routes run in games where the Colts won by double digits. Hines averaged 4.7 targets per game when the game was close and 3 targets per game when the game was a blowout.

meansy53: In the last four regular season games in which both Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram were active, they saw almost the exact same amount of carries (44 for Kamara; 43 for Ingram). However, Kamara was on the field for way more snaps (163 to Ingram’s 115) and saw way more targets (32 to Ingram’s 10).

Stevietpfl: During the regular season, the Chiefs allowed the 5th most fantasy points to quarterbacks, the 3rd most to running backs, the 9th most to wide receivers, and the 2nd most to tight ends. They’re ranked dead last in DVOA against running backs and bottom eight against pass catching backs.

What’s your hot take of the week?

Notorious: Nyheim Hines catches seven passes and scores a touchdown.

STLCardinals84: Tyreek Hill and T.Y. Hilton both score a 50+ yard touchdown in the head-to-head battle between the Colts and Chiefs.

MrTuttle: Michael Thomas catches 15 balls and tops 200-yards receiving.

meansy53: The KC/IND game total goes over 70 points.

Stevietpfl: Travis Kelce is the highest scoring player on the slate.

What is your favorite correlation of the week and why?

Notorious: PHI/NOS stack – Everyone is going to load up on the Chiefs/Colts game. It has the highest total on the board and two elite offenses. However, both defenses have been playing well recently. We have a game in New Orleans that is getting overlooked. The Eagles and Saints are both ranked in the top ten in DVOA against the run, so both teams will look to air it out in this one. Loading up on both passing games in addition to the pass-catching backs (Darren Sproles and Alvin Kamara) is a strategy that I will be employing in tournaments.

STLCardinals84: Chiefs/Colts passing game stacks – If this game stays competitive, we could see a wide open throttle from both the Colts and Chiefs. We know the Colts love to sling the ball the moment they fall behind, and the Chiefs obviously have elite weapons at quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end. We should see a lot more offense this weekend than we did in the wild card round, and this game is particularly intriguing with the skill players each team has offensively.

MrTuttle: Drew Brees + Michael Thomas – With all the hype surrounding Patrick Mahomes there is a strong chance we get Drew Brees at a strong ownership discount in a posh home matchup against the Eagles. A lot has been made about the Saints reliance on the run game in the second half of the regular season but I think Brees lets loose here as the Eagles are more exploitable through the air. The same “run team” narrative was pushed ahead of the Saints Week 11 home matchup against the Eagles when Brees threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns. Michael Thomas will rightfully garner a lot of ownership this weekend but he’s the best option to stack with Brees followed by Alvin Kamara (and a minimum priced Ted Ginn on FD).

meansy53: Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs pass-catchers – I have a bit more info in the question below as to why I like this matchup so much for Mahomes and the Chiefs passing attack, but another reason to get on board with this correlation is how condensed the market share of targets is. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce soak up a good 50% of it, with the rest going to the likes of Sammy Watkins, Chris Conley, and the running backs. You can jam in Mahomes/Kelce/Hill if you want to get chalky but can also cycle in some Watkins, Conley, and Williams/Ware shares in the larger field tournaments to be a little contrarian.

Stevietpfl: Andrew Luck and Travis Kelce – I really like Mahomes this weekend, but pairing Luck with Hilton or Inman is certainly something I will be doing a lot. I like the idea of running it back with Travis Kelce. Kelce is in line for a big game this weekend, and this was one of the worst teams in the NFL against tight ends. Kelce has at least nine targets in six straight games.

Who is your top overall play (when considering price, matchup, projected ownership, etc.) on the board and why?

Notorious: Patrick Mahomes – I wanted to put Ezekiel Elliott or Todd Gurley here, but I’m having a hard time deciding between the two. Instead, I’ll go with Mahomes, who is my favorite quarterback of the slate by far. The Colts have held their last eight opponents to 18 points per game, but they haven’t face an elite offense during that stretch. The Chiefs finished the regular season #1 in total offense and everything runs through Mahomes. He not only has a high ceiling, but he provides a high floor as well.

STLCardinals84: This depends on the game format you are playing. In cash games, it’s hard to ignore the guaranteed volume and upside of Ezekiel Elliott. He will need to have a big game if the Cowboys want to hang with the high-powered Rams, and he should be ready to roll this weekend. In tournaments, I love the slate-breaking upside that Tyreek Hill offers, and he reminded us of his ceiling in the first half of the Week 17 win against the Raiders.

MrTuttle: Patrick Mahomes – The only position that has a bigger gap between the top two options in terms of raw projection comes at the tight end position where Travis Kelce is $1300 more expensive than Zach Ertz on DraftKings and $900 more expensive on FanDuel. Mahomes is only $300 more expensive than Brees on each site and is clearly the top point per dollar option at the position despite having the highest price tag. Mahomes has both the highest floor and ceiling at the quarterback position and should be a staple of your cash game lineups.

meansy53: Patrick Mahomes – I grew up in Indy a big Colts fan, but there is no mistaking that they faced some absolutely terrible quarterbacks as they racked up win after win in the second half of the regular season. Well, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are a different beast, as they were the top rated passing offense in the league. And being that is where the Colts defense struggled this year (4th in rush defense DVOA but 20th against the pass), I don’t see any way they can slow down Mahomes. A floor/ceiling combination like this out of a quarterback is pretty rare, and the price just doesn’t accurately reflect everything he has working for him in this matchup.

Stevietpfl: Todd Gurley – While I love Mahomes, Luck, and Brees, I think Gurley is in line for a big game this weekend. After almost playing in Week 16, Gurley ended up sitting Week 16 and Week 17. I think he’s going to be 100% coming into this game, and should see 25+ touches against the Cowboys. While the Cowboys ranked 5th in DVOA against the run, they ranked 26th in DVOA against pass catching running backs.

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  • handoftheking

    Hill, Hilton, Kelce, Ebron, Elliott…I get it that you have to talk about them but everyone will have them on a small slate. I assume most folks play tourneys this weekend so what about guys that will actually make/break the winners? Guys like Inman, Watkins, Gallup, etc. Those are the guys that will matter…

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