NFL DFS Wild Card Preview: DraftKings Picks and Lineup Advice

Wild Card weekend is upon us in three days, and it’s never too early to get a head-start on our DFS lineups. DraftKings has tons of options on the docket, so we’re going to take a look at picks for both the Saturday and Saturday-Monday slates.

DraftKings NFL DFS Picks for Saturday

In GPP tournaments, typically only the top 20-25 percent of entrants win prizes. Therefore, we want to construct a lineup comprised of more upside players and minimal boom-or-bust guys. Identifying some contrarian plays can be beneficial, as we can separate ourselves from the pack with one or two sleepers or under-the-radar value picks.

Quarterback

Saturday Slate

Joe Burrow, Bengals vs, Raiders ($7,300) – The top pick of the 2020 NFL Draft sat out Cincy’s Week 18 tilt with the Browns, nursing a groin injury. But Burrow had already brought the Bengals to the promised land, orchestrating a masterful 34-31 playoff-clinching win over the AFC defending-champion Chiefs the previous week. I feel extremely comfortable with Joey B against a mediocre Raiders pass defense. The All-Pro Second Team selection finished the 2021 season with an NFL-best 70.4 percent completion rate, and despite missing a game, he finished sixth in passing yards (4,611) and eighth in passing touchdowns (34). Burrow scored at least 20 fantasy points in nine of his last 13 games, and put up 41.1 and 37.84 in Weeks 16 and 17. With a wideout tandem consisting of Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ja’Marr Chase and second-year phenom Tee Higgins, the floor and ceiling don’t get any higher than Burrow at $7,300.

Saturday-Monday Slate

Tom Brady, Buccaneers vs. Eagles ($7,300) – Who has a higher floor than the GOAT? Tom Brady in the playoffs is a no-brainer, so I’ll gladly take him at $7,300 at home against the Eagles. He finished No. 1 in the NFL in passing yards (5,316) and passing TDs (43), and he’s got just about every career and postseason passing record in the book. Easy money, here.

Running Backs

Saturday

RB: Joe Mixon, Bengals vs. Raiders ($7,100) – Another huge catalyst for the Bengals’ playoff run (and another member of PFF’s All-Pro Second Team), Mixon put together a fantastic fifth-year season. The first-time Pro Bowler finished with 16 touchdowns (13 ground, 3 air) and over 1,500 yards from scrimmage. He averaged over four yards per carry despite a massive workload—292 rushing attempts—and he caught 42 of his 48 targets (87.5%). Mixon reached 25 or more PPR points in six of his last 11 games, and had 47.1 combined points over Cincy’s last two games. The Raiders were the third-most generous defense to running backs in fantasy this season, and Mixon gashed them for 123 yards and two TDs when these teams met on Nov. 21—fire him up with confidence in all formats.

Josh Jacobs, Raiders at Bengals ($6,600) – Come playoff time, just like in real life, you want DFS players who finished off the season the strongest. Not many backs finished the 2021 season stronger than Jacobs. The third-year bruiser out of ‘bama had 324 total rushing yards over the Raiders’ final three regular-season games, and scored touchdowns in each of their last two. His last four fantasy lines of the campaign, starting in Week 15: 12.4, 15.4, 18.0, 25.4. Jacobs had just one single-digit PPR performance this year, finishing with an average of 15.6 points. Cincy ranked 22nd in fantasy points allowed to RBs this year—draft JJ if he’s active.

Damien Harris, Patriots at Bills ($6,400) – Finally, a player from Pats-Bills! Harris has been absolutely awesome this season, finishing with 15 rushing touchdowns and over 1,000 all-purpose yards. The third-year back scored in each of New England’s final five regular-season games, scoring eight total in that span. And he carved up the Bills in their two meetings, totaling 214 total rushing yards and four TDs on 28 carries. Juicy!

Devin Singletary, Bills vs. Patriots ($5,700) – With over $6,000 left for skill-position spots, I’m grabbing the red-hot Singletary despite a tough matchup with the Pats. The third-year back has six TDs in Buffalo’s last four games—four in the last two—and he hasn’t finished below 14.9 PPR points since Week 13. For $5,700, I’ll take a 25-26 point ceiling (his production each of the past two weeks) and a 14-point floor.

Wide Receiver

Saturday

Hunter Renfrow, Raiders at Bengals ($6,400) – Saturday features just two games, and New England at Buffalo won’t exactly be a wealth of fantasy goodness (volatility meter HIGH!). Renfrow, meanwhile, has been a gift that keeps on giving. The dynamic third-year slot receiver finished 2021 in the century club, and hauled in nine touchdowns. He averaged 15.8 fantasy points, and cracked 20 in four of the Raiders’ final seven regular-season games. The Bengals’ secondary has improved, but not enough to contain a red-hot Renfrow. He’ll be busy.

Tee Higgins, Bengals vs. Raiders ($6,200) – I think Vegas will be focusing on slowing down stud rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase ($7,800), so I’m dropping down a few notches to grab Higgins. He may not be an XL, but Tee is no schmedium. He finished the season with 16.6 PPR points per game, including a massive 46.4 points in Week 16 against Baltimore. His 1,091 yards and six TDs look miniscule compared to Chase’s 13 TDs and 1,455 yards, but that’s why we’re saving $1,600. We’re still getting tremendous value at a hair over $6K.

Zay Jones, Raiders at Bengals ($4,000) – Now we’re talking super-value level… but Jones is still not a sleeper, in my eyes. Jones logged at least five catches in six of the Raiders’ last seven games (including the last five). He had 264 receiving yards over Vegas’s final four contests (66 yards per game). That puts his floor at about 11.1. To find his ceiling, look no further than Week 17 in Indy, when he burned the colts for eight catches on 10 targets and 120 yards. This is a great upside pick that could set you apart from your competition if it hits.

Saturday-Monday

Amari Cooper, Cowboys vs. 49ers ($5,900) – Here’s another big-game receiver who has a solid fantasy floor. Second-year stud wideout CeeDee Lamb may be the more explosive playmaker, but Cooper is Cowboys QB “(player-popup #dak-prescott)Dak Prescott”:/players/dak-prescott-35539’s tried-and-true go-to guy. The four-time Pro Bowler finished the regular season strong—he scored touchdowns and/or reached 79 receiving yards in two of his last three games. San Fran ranked just 23rd in fantasy points allowed to wideouts this season, so scoop Mr. Coop.

Mike Evans, Bucs vs. Eagles ($6,900) I love an Evans-Brady. Evans has been electric as of late, catching 10-of-14 targets for 136 yards and three TDs across Tampa’s final two regular-season games (both wins). I just drafted a 20-player best ball team that will (hopefully) take me all the way to the end of the NFL Playoffs. I’m happy to have Brady and Evans on that squad. The wideout has no Antonio Brown or Chris Godwin to impede his targets—enjoy the ride.

Odell Beckham, Rams vs. Cardinals ($5,100) –* It only took OBJ one week in LA to become a major factor in Matthew Stafford’s offense. The three-time Pro Bowl wideout caught TDs in five of his first six games as a Ram, and he’s hauled in multiple catches in seven of eight games with the contender. He’s nowhere near what he used to be, but I’m going to trust his big play-ability in what should be quite the air battle. The over/under is set at 50 points, and LA is currently favored at -4, giving the Rams an implied total of 27 points. I like OBJ to score six of those 27 points.

Tight End

Foster Moreau, Raiders at Bengals ($3,100) – A ton of lineups will have stud Vegas tight end Darren Waller this Saturday, and we’re fine with being the contrarian here and taking his backup. Moreau has been very dependable as of late. He caught all seven of his targets in the Raiders’ final three games, and hauled in 7-of-9 for 65 yards in Week 15. In contrast, Waller came down with just 2-of-9 targets for 22 yards last week against the Chargers. Cincy will be keying in on Waller—he’s the Raiders’ best receiver—so I think we can expect some production from this relative sleeper. It’s a little risky, but it’s not a complete boom-or-bust pick—and it’s a move that was worth making if you want to fit some high-floor studs in other roster slots.

Hunter Henry, Patriots at Bills ($3,700) – Here’s a guy who might not blow us away with yardage, but could easily find the end zone. Henry finished 2021 with nine touchdowns, and garnered 25 targets over New England’s last four games. Rookie Mac Jones clearly loves his 6-foot-5, 250-pound target, and I do, too at $3,700.

Defense

Saturday

Patriots ($2,700) – Have the Bills winning this game (sorry, fellow New Englanders). But I’m also fine with taking an elite Patriots defense led by supergenius Bill Belichick, especially at a discount. The Pats finished second in scoring defense, passing defense, and interceptions this season, and fourth in passing touchdowns and total yards allowed. They managed to beat Buffalo 14-10 during a Buffalo superstorm earlier in the season, despite New England totaling just 19 passing yards on two completions. I don’t believe in magic, but I do believe in the Pats as an upside play on Wild Card weekend.
you want is to be in the money.

Saturday-Monday

Rams ($2,700) – Not many will draft this D/ST because of the big, bad Cardinals, but we’re talking about the Rams here! This is still one of the best defenses in pro football, and Arizona has been a shell of its early-season self ever since Kyler Murray got dinged up and DeAndre Hopkins hit the IR.

Hope you enjoy, and fingers crossed we all hit it big during what should be an amazing weekend of playoff football!

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

  • Sloan Piva (SloanPiva)

  • Sloan Piva is a veteran of the sports journalism industry, and a freelance sports betting analyst. He received his master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Massachusetts, and currently resides in East Bay, Rhode Island with his wife and daughter. He covers the MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA, and PGA, as well as anything related to fantasy sports and sports betting. Shoot him an email anytime at SloanPiva@gmail.com!

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