NFL H2H vs. GPP Picks: Divisional Round
In daily fantasy football, there are two main types of playing formats; head-to-head games (including 50/50 and double-up formats, in which half of the entries win and half of the entries are a little downtrodden) and large field guaranteed prize pool tournaments (GPPs), where somewhere between 10-20% of the field is paid out.
In this article we will utilize the FanDuel Division Round NFL contest period beginning with Saturday’s 4:35 PM game and continuing through Sunday afternoon.
Divisional Round Weekend Strategy and Advice
With just four games to choose players from this week, there will not be nearly as many bargain bin plays as we are used to seeing on a normal slate of games. This makes things very tricky and there will be a lot of player overlap with the limited overall number of selections.
This week the analysis will focus on 1) safe plays, which are also likely going to be the most popular options at each position, 2) upside potential plays, or players that could reach lofty levels or whiff big time because they carry added risk of either a high price, tough matchup or both, and 3) lower priced plays that can enable us to get more top talent into are lineups.
With an overall in-game salary cap on FanDuel of $60,000, and a roster format including 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 D/ST, it will be tough to love every option on our team, especially when utilizing the regular season rosters as a benchmark. The key thing to remember is that everyone is going to feel that way.
Now for the fun part, let’s look at a few players at each position that should be able to “return value” on their FanDuel in-game salary. These will be players that I will be using myself on various iterations of my FanDuel lineups this week.
Cam Newton – CAR vs SEA – $8,700: Newton is no stranger to the Seattle Seahawks having faced them during each of the last four seasons, including last year’s 17-31 loss in the playoffs. Carolina beat the Seahawks in Seattle during Week 6 by the score of 27-23. There is a very good chance that Ted Ginn will be back for this game and he could help Newton, Greg Olsen, and the rest of the Panthers welcome a battered Seahawks team to Carolina. It would not be a surprise to see Super Cam approach 300 combined yards and a couple of touchdowns in this difficult, but winnable matchup.
Carson Palmer – ARI vs GB – $8,900: The Packers are returning to the scene of their Week 16 38-7 shellacking and they have to be feeling some trepidation. Carson Palmer has had an outstanding season as he has been relatively healthy the whole time. Green Bay can be exploited by balanced offenses and the Cardinal have so many weapons, they should have no trouble moving the ball in this matchup. Going with Palmer, will allow you to consolidate all the stats from the many receiving options he has at his disposal.
Russell Wilson – SEA at CAR – $8,400: Wilson “cooled” off a little bit in the sub-zero Minnesota weather last Sunday, so regardless of what it is like in Charlotte, it will feel downright balmy by comparison. Though the stats were few and far between, Wilson kept his poise and made big plays when the Seahawks needed them to stay alive. There is a decent chance that Marshawn Lynch will be out this week, or at least with a somewhat limited 12-15 touch role as he recovers from his sports hernia surgery. Wilson is playing at an amazing level and he should be able to move the ball against the stout Panthers defense.
David Johnson – ARI vs GB – $8.500: Johnson has been outstanding this season since stepping into the feature back role and he is fantastic both as a runner and a receiver, able to get the tough yards as well as score from anywhere on the field. He will be a very popular option and I have no problem jumping on the bandwagon this weekend as we will either “block” our opponent or have the advantage over anyone who does not roster Johnson.
Pittsburgh Steelers: There is a slim chance that DeAngelo Williams – $7,600 plays this weekend. If he is out, Fitzgerald Toussaint – $6,200 gets the nod over Jordan Todman – $5,700 since he will be more active in the passing game and be on the field more. Last Saturday in Cincinnati, Todman did have 11 carries for 65 yards, however, he only saw 14 snaps on offense, while Toussaint was on the field for 49 plays and had 17 carries for 58 rushing yards and four catches for 60 receiving yards.
James Starks – GB at ARI – $5,800: I like Starks as a differentiation play since more gamers seem to prefer the name recognition of Eddie Lacy – $6,200. Starks is generally on the field for more of the passing plays and as the better receiver he is my choice, however, I have no qualms with anyone looking to Eddie Lacy since he generally is the go-to guy on the goal line.
C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman – DEN vs PIT – $5,900: Anderson is the better inside runner and will likely have more work if the Broncos are in the lead and controlling the clock. Hillman gets the nod when it comes to pass protection and is also the better receiving option. Both are in play and it really is a coin flip as they each could be productive depending on the gameflow.
Antonio Brown – PIT at DEN – $9,100: After taking that vicious hit from LB Vontaz Burfict, it would not be a surprise if Antonio Brown does not see the field on Sunday afternoon. If he is cleared to play before the games lock on Saturday, then he is the best option on the board. If there are question marks, then it would be more prudent to look elsewhere since this is the fourth game of the weekend.
Martavis Bryant – PIT at DET – $7,100: Regardless of Brown’s status, Bryant is a viable option and can be utilized in all formats with the contests that lock on Saturday. Markus Wheaton – $6,000: is a tournament option if there are questions about Brown’s availability and if Antonio is out, the Wheaton is also a fine play in all formats since the volume will be there for both receivers.
Michael Floyd – ARI vs GB – $6,500: Floyd has the ability to be a difference maker and we have to believe he will get a plenty of chances this weekend against the Packers. The first round bye will have given him two weeks of rest and he his knee should be much better. Keep an eye on the injury reports coming from Arizona. If he is out or limited, John Brown – $6,700 would move from game breaking deep threat, to a play for all fantasy formats.
James Jones – GB at ARI – $6,500: Jones rewarded his believers last weekend with seven receptions for 81 yards against Washington. His price has come up, however, he is one of the best deals on the board and he should see similar volume once again this Sunday.
Greg Olsen – CAR vs SEA – $6,500: The Seahawks have been in the bottom third of the league all season against opposing tight ends from a fantasy perspective. In the first meeting back in Week 6, Olsen ended up being stopped on the one yard line twice, which most gamers not reading this article will have forgotten.
Defense / Special Teams (D/ST)
Arizona Cardinals – vs Green Bay – $4,800: Two days after Christmas in this same matchup, the Cardinals dominated the Packers with nine sacks, four turnovers and two defensive touchdowns. Even half of that production would probably have them as the highest scoring D/ST this weekend.