NFL Grind Down: Divisional Round

By Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84), Last Updated 7 months ago


Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, an all-encompassing preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the statistics, insights and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.

Every game will be broken down statistically, with several key elements highlighted in our charts. Vegas lines are broken down to show projected team totals, to give you an idea of who is favored to win, and often more importantly, how many points they’re expected to score. We also provide a look at how each team fares against opposing offenses from a fantasy points allowed perspective and include some statistics for key players on each team as well.

Each contest is then analyzed team-by-team, with a focus on finding matchups to exploit and trends to follow. These breakdowns now feature “Matchup Rating,” which factors in projected point totals, pace, and offense versus defense data to compile an all-around rating that helps determine how favorable of a fantasy matchup each team has this week.

Note: As always, if you want to try a new DFS site, be sure to click through a RotoGrinders link and use the code “GRINDERS” for the best perks in the industry.

INJURIES – I will update all notable injuries/suspensions on Saturday morning after we have final injury reports

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

Seattle Seahawks Atlanta Falcons
Vegas Odds Spread Total Proj.Pts Vegas Odds Spread Total Proj.Pts
+5 51.5 23.25 -5 51.5 28.25
Tm Stats PPG Scoring Pass Rush Tm Stats PPG Scoring Pass Rush
Offense 22.1 18 8 25 Offense 33.8 1 2 5
Opp. Defense 25.4 27 28 17 Opp. Defense 18.3 3 8 7
Opp. Def vs. Pos QB RB WR TE Opp. Def vs. Pos QB RB WR TE
Atlanta Falcons 31 29 22 27 Seattle Seahawks 4 3 16 3
Rec. Stats Targets Receptions TDs Yards Rec. Stats Targets Receptions TDs Yards
Baldwin 125 94 7 1,128 Jones 129 83 6 1,409
Kearse 89 41 1 511 Sanu 81 59 4 653
Richardson 36 21 1 288 Gabriel 51 36 6 588
Graham 95 65 6 923 Hooper 27 19 3 271

Notable injuries and suspensions: C.J. Prosise (SEA RB) – Out (Shoulder)

SEA Matchup Rating: 6.5
ATL Matchup Rating: 6.0

Seattle Seahawks

Quarterback: If you look at the season as a whole, it has been a disappointing year for Russell Wilson. He battled injury early in the year and ineffectiveness at other times. He wasn’t great in the Wild Card game against Detroit, but he did just enough to get the job done with a pair of touchdown passes. Wilson draws a prime matchup here against an Atlanta pass defense that ranked 28th in the league in pass yards allowed per game (267). This game definitely has the potential to turn into a shootout, which is an added bonus. If you are choosing between the quarterbacks in this game, I do prefer the quarterback on the other side, but that doesn’t mean that Wilson is a guy you need to avoid. Wilson is capable of a big game, and the matchup is certainly there to support one.

Running Backs: After a month where he couldn’t even average two yards per carry, Thomas Rawls finally broke through with a huge game in the playoff opener. Pete Carroll said he wanted to get Rawls 20+ touches last week, and Rawls ended up with 27 carries for 161 yards and a touchdown. He looked absolutely fantastic in the game, and he might finally be healthy after battling some injuries of late. The Falcons allowed 105 rushing yards per game and 15 rushing touchdowns this year while ranking 29th in DVOA against the run, so Rawls definitely has a chance to build on his momentum from last week. Give him a long look as a mid-range running back option, as I think the Seahawks will look to establish him early and often in order to keep the ball out of the hands of Matt Ryan.

Pass Catchers: The injury to Tyler Lockett has opened up additional playing time for Paul Richardson, and he has made the most of it. He made a ridiculous touchdown grab last week (though he should have been called for a face mask on the play), and his snap count is very secure with Lockett on the sidelines. FanDuel did not increase his price tag at all, while DraftKings only bumped him from $3,400 to $4,100. Expect Richardson to be one of the most popular value plays once again in the Divisional Round. Doug Baldwin continues to be a target monster for the Seahawks, too. After a slow start against the Lions, Baldwin came on in the second half, finishing with an 11/104/1 line on 12 targets. That is remarkable efficiency, and he is a top four wide receiver option on this slate. Jimmy Graham is in play at tight end, but the Falcons are fairly good against the position, and his decrease in targets of late is a concern.

The Takeaway: This game certainly has the potential to be a 34-31 type shootout, so you can target some players on the Seahawks. Wilson isn’t my favorite quarterback on this slate, but you can give him a look, especially in GPPs. Thomas Rawls is coming off a great game and is a fine mid-range option at running back, while Baldwin and Richardson are viable options at wide receiver. If you are paying up for tight end, I prefer a guy like Travis Kelce over Jimmy Graham this week.

Atlanta Falcons

Quarterback: The majority of the daily fantasy community is conditioned to avoid targeting players against the Seahawks. Of course, the Seahawks possess an elite defense that is often very difficult to score on. However, the Falcons present a unique challenge for this Seattle defense. Matt Ryan is the front-runner for the MVP award this season, and he is coming off a regular season where he threw for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns. The Seahawks have slipped to 13th in DVOA against the pass and 8th in pass yards allowed, with a lot of that attributable to the loss of Earl Thomas. The Falcons have a 28 point team total here, which is definitely the highest I have seen against the Seahawks in several years. I expect Atlanta to attack Seattle through the air, and Ryan is squarely at the top of the quarterback radar even in this matchup.

Running Backs: Even though the Seahawks are more vulnerable against the pass right now, they remain a strong unit against the run, where they rank 7th in yards allowed and 2nd in DVOA. This doesn’t seem like a matchup where the Falcons will have a ton of success on the ground, and it’s also hard to predict which of their running backs will have more success on any given week. Both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have had their good games this year, and both of them are capable pass catchers. I will not target either player on FanDuel, but DraftKings is attempting to entice all of us with cheaper price tags on both guys. They can both be considered as boom/bust GPP options on DK, but I would not go there in cash games.

Pass Catchers: Julio Jones will undoubtedly see a lot of Richard Sherman in this matchup, and that is a major concern with Julio carrying a hefty price tag. That said, Jones is about as matchup-proof as they come, and he did haul in 7 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown in their first meeting, while also drawing what should have been a key pass interference call on Sherman late in the game, one that was blatantly missed by the officials. I respect Sherman enough to where I don’t think I could possibly take a chance on Jones in cash games, but there is obvious GPP appeal here. Mohamed Sanu should be the biggest beneficiary of Sherman covering Jones, as the Falcons fed Sanu ten targets in the first meeting, which he parlayed into a 5/47/1 line. Nobody else is viable for cash games, but deep threat Taylor Gabriel is a reasonable GPP option in the off chance that he busts a big one. His snap count does leave a bit to be desired with Jones and Sanu healthy, though. Picking the right Falcons receiver will be a key to GPP success this week, especially since the slate only includes four games.

The Takeaway: Despite a difficult matchup against Seattle, the Falcons still have a very high team total here. They are a dangerous offense, especially at home, and the Seahawks are a bit weaker defensively without Earl Thomas. I expect Atlanta to take a pass-heavy approach, making Matt Ryan viable in all formats. The running backs are GPP options along with Julio Jones, who will see plenty of Mr. Sherman here. Mohamed Sanu is my favorite target of the pass catchers.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots

Houston Texans New England Patriots
Vegas Odds Spread Total Proj.Pts Vegas Odds Spread Total Proj.Pts
+15 44.5 14.75 -15 44.5 29.75
Tm Stats PPG Scoring Pass Rush Tm Stats PPG Scoring Pass Rush
Offense 17.4 28 29 8 Offense 27.6 3 5 7
Opp. Defense 15.6 1 13 3 Opp. Defense 20.5 11 2 12
Opp. Def vs. Pos QB RB WR TE Opp. Def vs. Pos QB RB WR TE
New England Patriots 9 5 8 7 Houston Texans 3 15 5 4
Rec. Stats Targets Receptions TDs Yards Rec. Stats Targets Receptions TDs Yards
Hopkins 151 78 4 954 Edelman 160 98 3 1,106
Fuller 92 47 2 635 Hogan 58 38 4 680
Mumphery 12 10 0 69 Mitchell 48 32 4 401
Fiedorowicz 89 54 4 559 Bennett 73 55 7 701

Notable injuries and suspensions: Malcolm Mitchell (NE WR) – Questionable (Knee)

HOU Matchup Rating: 3.0
NE Matchup Rating: 6.5

Houston Texans

Quarterback: If you were to rank the eight quarterbacks on this Divisional Round slate, Brock Osweiler would be a distant eighth on that list. Alex Smith is even far ahead of him, especially given Smith’s play down the stretch of the regular season. Remember, Osweiler was benched in a performance-based move late in the season. If not for an injury to Tom Savage, he wouldn’t even be playing here. Playing Osweiler with seven other viable quarterbacks on the slate simply qualifies as being too cute — in any format. If you are looking for a low-owned quarterback with upside, there are other places you can go. Even though the Texans are likely going to have to throw plenty in this game, there’s not much reason to even entertain the thought of Osweiler on a DFS roster here.

Running Backs: These two teams played in New England all the way back in September, and the Texans scored a grand total of zero points in that game. That was even with Jacoby Brissett commanding the helm for the Patriots. Lamar Miller struggled to reach 70 yards rushing last week despite carrying the ball 31 times, and he is not getting 31 carries this week. In a game where the road team checks in as massive 15 point underdogs, you really can’t go here. Miller isn’t a great pass catcher, and the game flow is very unlikely to be in his favor, which stands in stark contrast to last week’s contest.

Pass Catchers: If you are going to play anyone from the Houston squad, this would be the place to go, if only by the process of elimination. I don’t expect the Texans to operate with much efficiency in the passing game, but the volume might be enough to make up for it. Osweiler threw the ball 41 times in the regular season meeting between these two teams, but he still didn’t top 200 yards passing. DeAndre Hopkins led the team with 56 receiving yards. That sounds very Texans-like. New England has struggled a bit against #1 receivers this year, so Hopkins is at least in play. He did have a good game in the Wild Card round, which is encouraging. This isn’t a ringing endorsement, but I can see Hopkins scraping his way to value in this one with a line of something like six catches for 65 yards. If he gets a touchdown (a BIG if), you are looking good.

The Takeaway: There is a reason that Houston has the lowest team total on this slate by a country mile. They have easily the worst quarterback of the eight teams in play, and their running game has been suspect all year long. DeAndre Hopkins is somewhat playable but is by no means an elite option. The New England defense will be a massively popular option in all formats. Any time a defense is massive chalk, you have to entertain the idea of a GPP fade; however, I think you have to play the Patriots defense in your cash games.

New England Patriots

Quarterback: We all know that the Patriots are likely going to win this game easily, and it is frustrating that this game got the night slot over the Falcons/Seahawks game. Even though the Patriots should win comfortably, I have my reservations about going all out with their offensive skill players in DFS. Tom Brady doesn’t come cheap, he might not be throwing the ball much in the second half, and Houston is still alive because of their defense. This has the feeling of an ugly 24-10 type of game, and there are four or even five quarterbacks on this slate that are very much capable of matching Brady, especially if Brady isn’t throwing the ball 40 times. I won’t argue against Brady in GPPs, but there’s too much risk in cash games given the spread and a matchup against a Houston pass defense that has an elite corner in A.J. Bouye and ranks 5th in DVOA against the pass.

Running Backs: This does profile as a game that could turn into a LeGarrette Blount game. As you all likely know by now, the game script for those games is as follows: New England messes around for two and a half quarters, builds up a three score lead, and then starts handing the ball off to the bruising running back to kill the clock late. This exact scenario happened against the Jets near the end of the regular season, and Blount rushed for two scores late in that game. He’s a zero in the passing game, so he is preferred on FanDuel as opposed to DraftKings. I don’t love the price tag, and I don’t love the floor if he doesn’t find the end zone, but I have been biased against Blount all year, and he continues to get the job done. I probably won’t play him, but I can see him scoring twice in this game. Houston is weaker defensively against the run than the pass, so that is an added bonus.

Editor’s Note: Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Malcolm Mitchell will NOT play in the Patriots’ divisional round matchup with the Texans.

Pass Catchers: If the Texans want to have any chance in this game, they are going to need a big day from their secondary. I can’t find anything on whether A.J. Bouye will shadow Julian Edelman, but it would be a bit of a surprise given that Edelman plays out of the slot quite often. Bouye shut down Amari Cooper in the Wild Card game, and he is a top cover corner in the league. I don’t expect massive pass volume out of the Patriots this week, so I am not exactly high on this pass catching unit. Houston ranks 2nd in DVOA against tight ends, so Martellus Bennett isn’t my favorite tight end on the board, either. Malcolm Mitchell has fallen off in recent weeks, and the #2 receiver situation is cluttered since the team signed Michael Floyd. There isn’t a single guy I love here.

The Takeaway: It seems strange to be avoiding a team that is expected to win by 15 points, but that might be where I land on the Patriots. The Texans have a solid defense, especially against the pass, which makes it hard to pay up for Brady and Edelman. I almost never recommend LeGarrette Blount, but he does make sense this week — especially on FanDuel. I really hope this ends up being a 13-3 game, as this will definitely be the game I have the least exposure to across all my lineups.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

Pittsburgh Steelers Kansas City Chiefs
Vegas Odds Spread Total Proj.Pts Vegas Odds Spread Total Proj.Pts
+1.5 44 21.25 -1.5 44 22.75
Tm Stats PPG Scoring Pass Rush Tm Stats PPG Scoring Pass Rush
Offense 24.9 10 10 14 Offense 24.3 13 21 15
Opp. Defense 19.4 7 17 26 Opp. Defense 20.4 10 19 13
Opp. Def vs. Pos QB RB WR TE Opp. Def vs. Pos QB RB WR TE
Kansas City Chiefs 12 16 17 9 Pittsburgh Steelers 5 24 4 20
Rec. Stats Targets Receptions TDs Yards Rec. Stats Targets Receptions TDs Yards
Brown 154 106 12 1,284 Maclin 76 44 2 536
Rogers 66 48 3 594 Hill 83 61 6 593
Hamilton 28 17 2 234 Conley 69 44 0 530
Green 34 18 1 304 Kelce 117 85 4 1,125

Notable injuries and suspensions: Ladarius Green (PIT TE) – Doubtful (Concussion)

PIT Matchup Rating: 5.5
KC Matchup Rating: 5.5

Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback: The Steelers predictably rolled over the Dolphins last Sunday in Pittsburgh, doing pretty much whatever they wanted offensively in the process. Ben Roethlisberger completed 13 of his first 14 passes before pulling the foot off the gas in the second half. The Steelers completed just two passes after halftime, but the team inexplicably left him in the game too long. He threw a late game interception and also got injured, and it was reported that he was wearing a walking boot after the game. It doesn’t sound serious, but the Steelers aren’t exactly forthcoming when it comes to injuries for their quarterback. The Chiefs rank 7th in DVOA against the pass, and they are a very strong defense when playing at home. Like Russell Wilson, I don’t mind Roethlisberger this week, but he isn’t the top quarterback on my list. You can play in GPPs for risk/reward potential. He did throw for 300 yards and five touchdowns in the first meeting between these teams, but that was in Pittsburgh on a night where the Chiefs simply didn’t show up. That’s not going to happen again.

Running Backs: When these teams met for the first time in Week 4, it was the debut appearance for Le’Veon Bell this season. Though he didn’t find the end zone, he carried the ball 18 times for 144 yards while adding five pass catches for 34 yards. That’s 23.8 fantasy points in a PPR format, even without a touchdown. The Kansas City defense is much weaker against the run than the pass, so expect Bell to be a focal point of the offensive game plan (as always). He is without question the top running back on the slate, and you can expect high ownership again this weekend, though it won’t be as high as it was last week. That is because we at least have another top tier running back on the slate in Ezekiel Elliott. If you are playing cash games, it’s very hard to fade Bell. It is also wise to at least get some exposure to him if you are multi-entering tournament contests.

Pass Catchers: Antonio Brown showed off his upside with a big game in the Wild Card round, and he caught two touchdowns the last time these teams faced off. The Chiefs do not generally use top corner Marcus Peters as a shadow guy, and I wouldn’t expect it here. Roethlisberger even had success throwing at Peters the last time around. While Kansas City has a very respectable pass defense, Brown will get his targets here. He’s a safer target than Julio Jones on the high-end of wide receivers, though I don’t think you have to force him into your lineups. I would force Bell before I forced Brown. No other Pittsburgh pass catcher caught more than two passes last week, though a lot of that was attributable to game flow. They are all inconsistent, but a guy like Eli Rogers could be a sneaky GPP target here. Keep an eye on the injury status of Ladarius Green as we head closer to the weekend, and I will provide an update here.

The Takeaway: It is always okay to target the big guys in this offense, because we generally know where the production will come from. The Steelers do have a fairly low implied team total of just 21 points here, which is a nod to how well the Chiefs generally play defensively at home. Don’t expect the Steelers to have as much success as they did in the first meeting between these teams. Le’Veon Bell is my preferred choice in all formats, but I will have some exposure to the Roethlisberger/Brown passing combination in tournament formats. The fringe options all carry considerable risk.

Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback: I almost always dismiss Alex Smith without much discussion, but I do have to give him some credit here. He played well down the stretch run of the regular season, and he strangely has a rushing touchdown in each of the last three games. I believe that his production this week will hinge on game flow. If the Chiefs control the game and build a lead, you will likely see the typical 200 yard, one touchdown type performance. If the Chiefs fall behind, Smith has some upside in this matchup. I likely won’t target him in any format, but he can be considered as a GPP option. In that case, you are assuming the Chiefs will be behind for much of the game, so it makes sense to put Le’Veon Bell on those lineups for some correlation on the other side.

Running Backs: Spencer Ware missed the final game of the regular season, but it sounds like he could have played in that one if it would have been a playoff game. He is likely going to play here, but the bigger concern is his effectiveness. Ware hasn’t rushed for more than 80 yards in a game since Week 5, and Charcandrick West has probably earned a role after catching two touchdown passes and logging 116 total yards int he regular season finale. This has all the makings of a time share, and I am not that interested in it. This game has the lowest projected point total of the week. In the absence of clarifying news regarding the roles of the two backs, you can stay away. If there is an update on that front, I will provide it here.

Pass Catchers: Travis Kelce surged toward the finish line in the regular season, piling up 100+ yard games down the stretch. Of course, he disappeared in the finale against the Chargers in a week where he was massive chalk in DFS. He should still be the focal point of the Kansas City passing game, as their wide receivers have been poor all year outside of Tyreek Hill. Kelce saw eight targets and scored a touchdown in the first meeting between these teams, though his yardage total was ugly. I expect a fine game here in the rematch. As for Hill, he is clearly the best WR target on the team right now. Jeremy Maclin has lost several steps and has battled injury all year, and nobody else has stepped up. It’s hard to trust Hill in cash games because he is dependent on the big play and sometimes his snap count is underwhelming, but he continues to produce week after week. He is an elite option for his upside, but he is an interesting GPP fade if his ownership is going to be high.

The Takeaway: This should be one of the closest games of the week, though the low total leaves a bit to be desired. I am off the Kansas City running game in the absence of clarity. Alex Smith has upside if the game flow breaks correctly, but he is a GPP-only option. Travis Kelce is my favorite high-end tight end target this week, while Tyreek Hill is the only wide receiver you can trust on this team right now.

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers Dallas Cowboys
Vegas Odds Spread Total Proj.Pts Vegas Odds Spread Total Proj.Pts
+4.5 52.5 24 -4.5 52.5 28.5
Tm Stats PPG Scoring Pass Rush Tm Stats PPG Scoring Pass Rush
Offense 27.0 4 6 20 Offense 26.3 5 23 2
Opp. Defense 19.1 5 25 1 Opp. Defense 24.3 21 32 9
Opp. Def vs. Pos QB RB WR TE Opp. Def vs. Pos QB RB WR TE
Dallas Cowboys 15 4 11 32 Green Bay Packers 26 13 32 23
Rec. Stats Targets Receptions TDs Yards Rec. Stats Targets Receptions TDs Yards
Adams 121 75 12 997 Bryant 96 50 8 796
Cobb 84 60 4 610 Beasley 98 75 5 833
Allison 22 12 2 202 Williams 61 44 4 594
Cook 51 30 1 377 Witten 95 69 3 673

Notable injuries and suspensions: Jordy Nelson (GB WR) – Out (Ribs) / James Starks (GB RB) – Out (Concussion)

GB Matchup Rating: 7.0
DAL Matchup Rating: 7.0

Green Bay Packers

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers is on a mission to prove his early season doubters wrong, and there’s not much that Skip Bayless can say about it now. Well, there is something that Skip Bayless can say about it, but he’s not going to be right. Rodgers is locked in, and he is the safest quarterback option on this slate. Rodgers has tossed 12 touchdown passes and nary an interception over the last three weeks, all in important games for the Packers. He didn’t miss a beat in the Wild Card game after Jordy Nelson left with injury, and there’s nothing negative I can say about the guy right now. Dallas has a defense that is more vulnerable via the air than the ground, so expect Green Bay to be very comfortable with an aerial-focused approach in this matchup. Fire up the red-hot Rodgers with confidence in any format.

Running Backs: The Dallas defense led the league with just 83.5 rushing yards allowed per game this season, and they allowed just nine rushing touchdowns in 16 games (third in the league). Throw in the Green Bay trio of running backs, and you have an easy spot to avoid. Christine Michael and Ty Montgomery split carries last week, while Aaron Ripkowski vultured a goal line plunge in true John Kuhn fashion. I will be staying far away from this group.

Pass Catchers: This is where you can make some hay this week. That phrase is very common in the spoken word, but it looks very strange to write. Jordy Nelson is dealing with two fractured ribs and seems unlikely to suit up here, but the Packers are not ruling him out. Even if he plays, I would expect a very limited snap count. This will open up more looks for Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, who combined to catch four touchdowns against the Giants. Cobb wasn’t even sure if he would suit up leading up to the game on Sunday, so he handsomely rewarded the 1-2% of people who took a chance on him a week ago. Both guys are elite targets this week, while Geronimo Allison enters the value discussion as the new #3 receiver (especially on DK, where his price is under $4,000). Jared Cook gets a boost as a mid-range tight end option, as he continues to see a plethora of targets himself.

FRIDAY UPDATE – Nelson is officially out, so bump up Adams, Cobb, Allison, and Cook as appropriate.

The Takeaway: This is simple. Target anyone you want in the passing game, and avoid the running game. It’s strength vs. weakness for the Green Bay offense, and Green Bay should exploit Dallas in the secondary. Rodgers, Cobb, Adams, Cook, and even Allison are all viable targets, and I don’t hate pairing Rodgers with two of his receivers in a GPP format this weekend. I have no issues riding the wave with the league’s hottest passing game.

Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback: The biggest key to this weekend is how the Dallas rookies will respond to the playoff pressure. I am more worried about Dak Prescott than I am about Ezekiel Elliott, as I am afraid that Dak might get a little bit conservative in this game. Green Bay has shown significant defensive improvement lately, though a lot of that has been thanks to them forcing an inordinate number of turnovers. I wouldn’t expect that to continue against a Dallas team that was tied for 5th in the NFL with just 15 giveaways this season. Dallas is tied with Atlanta for the highest team total on the board this week at 28 points, so Vegas doesn’t expect much in the way of struggles for this offense. The bye week certainly helps, and Prescott is intriguingly cheap on both major sites. He is $1,100 cheaper than Rodgers on FD and $2,200 (!) cheaper than Rodgers on DK. For that reason, I will have some exposure. Prescott is the logical choice if you are going cheap at the position, especially on DK.

Running Backs: Ezekiel Elliott finished his rookie season just six total yards shy of 2,000 (rushing and receiving) for the year, putting him clearly in the top tier of running backs for fantasy purposes. If not for David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell, he would be getting a lot more attention. Green Bay’s rush defense has slipped to 14th in DVOA, and they didn’t play as well down the stretch against the run. Remember, Zach Zenner had a big game in Week 17, and last week the Giants simply fell too far behind and had to abandon the run. Even when Green Bay was playing great rush defense early in the year, Elliott hung 157 yards on them in the regular season meeting between these two teams. If you can’t afford Bell this week, Elliott is a fine step down in any format.

Pass Catchers: Dez Bryant didn’t play in the regular season meeting, so we can’t glean much from the box score in that game. Green Bay has managed to play solid pass defense lately despite being down several pieces in the secondary, but you have to feel like the dam is going to break at some point. The Giants got behind the defense on several occasions last week, but the inaccuracy of Eli Manning, the boat trip, and some dropped passes helped the Green Bay defense out. They might not have that good fortune again, and I really like Dez Bryant as a GPP option. The other guys like Beasley and Witten don’t have enough upside for my liking, especially since Dallas is often content to run the ball a lot and bleed the clock. That said, I don’t mind them if you want to play the game flow angle in a GPP and you think there’s a chance the Cowboys might be playing from behind here.

The Takeaway: Dallas is a bit of a wild card this week. They have a very high team total, but who can we feel good about outside of Ezekiel Elliott? The passing game is interesting, especially when you consider how cheap Dak Prescott is on most DFS sites. He is a logical choice if you aren’t spending up at quarterback and could even be worth cash game consideration. Dez Bryant will have a good opportunity for a big postseason game against an undermanned secondary, too.


About the Author

  • Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84)

  • Justin Van Zuiden (fantasy alias STLCardinals84) is a leading RG contributor for NFL, NBA, MLB, CFB and golf. One of the game’s best, he is currently in the Top 10 in the 2015/16 Tournament Player of the Year race and has six live final appearances to his name, as well as a second place finish in the 2015 FantasyAces College Football Championship..

    STLCardinals84

Comments

  • Rockman4791

    STL…you used the word nary and glean in the same article, you are truly one of the best authors of our time!!!

  • pokerman64

    Which would you prefer for QB/WR pairing, Ryan-Sanu or Big Ben-Brown or a triple threat of Rodgers-Cobb-Adams?

  • bquerbes

    Great stuff, Still laughing at this sentence:

    “The Giants got behind the defense on several occasions last week, but the inaccuracy of Eli Manning, the boat trip, and some dropped passes helped the Green Bay defense out”

  • pokerman64

    They should have stationed Eli at the end of the Packers tunnel before the start of the game, so he could have punched their tickets to the next round. He pretty much handed it to them anyways (along with the wall punching playoff dud)

  • barnable21

    He did, however, use the term “make some hay” (assuming that he thinks that means money) incorrectly. The saying is just “make hay” which is short for the old proverb “make hay while the sun shines”, meaning “to take advantage to do something under the best conditions”. That may be why it looked weird when he wrote it. But, HEY, he’s still a better DFS player than I am, and I always read his material.

  • stlcardinals84

    Leading RG Expert & Contributor

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    @pokerman64 said...

    Which would you prefer for QB/WR pairing, Ryan-Sanu or Big Ben-Brown or a triple threat of Rodgers-Cobb-Adams?

    Don’t mind all three GB guys in a GPP, for sure.

  • drunkjeff

    Nice work JVZ! Like this, I agree with the picks.

  • FantasyFanaddic

    @STLCardinals84
    I understand you yourself will for the most part be fading the entire game but…
    Who do you think offers better value at their respective price, Blount or D. Lewis? No one is talking about Lewis however I have found some articles that suggest he will be taking over the lead role and while I originally was using Blount somewhat heavily in my gpp lineups (who offers a decent price tag himself), I am now finding myself using Lewis at his cheaper price tag and spending up elsewhere. I am torn wondering which direction is the smarter one.
    P.S. I play on DK which as you know is a PPR site.

  • mccoolio

    “This isn’t a ringing endorsement, but I can see Hopkins scraping his way to value in this one with a line of something like six catches for 65 yards.”

    Looks at box score…

    DeAndre Hopkins 6 REC 65 YDS

    Woah

  • tcmitch1

    This truly helps me out alot, thank you for a great, well written article! Keep up the great work!

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