Tuttle's Take: Divisional Round

Having qualified for countless live finals, Dan Gaspar (MrTuttle05) knows what it takes to win in DFS. In this space each week, he’ll guide you through the lineup building process for both cash games and tournaments by going in-depth and giving out his “Tuttle’s Take” for every game on the main slate.

Divisional Round

Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs (-5) 57

Core Plays: Patrick Mahomes, Damien Williams, Travis Kelce

Secondary Plays: Nyheim Hines (DK), Andrew Luck, Eric Ebron, T.Y. Hilton

GPP Plays: Marlon Mack, Dontrelle Inman, Chester Rogers, Tyreek Hill

Tuttle’s Take:

Once again we have the most fantasy-friendly game to start out the weekend. Hopefully, this week goes a little better than last as the Texans ended up being a major disappointment for my lineups. Last week we saw that the Colts can dominant via the run if they build an early lead. I wouldn’t expect that again against the Chiefs but Marlon Mack is still worth playing in GPPs on the off chance that game script works in his favor once again.

Nyheim Hines was a major disappointment as the rookie RB only saw nine total snaps as the early Colts lead removed Hines from the game plan. While this was completely tilting, it really wasn’t all that abnormal. 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. Basically, all these numbers say is that if you play Hines again this week you’ll need the Colts to stay in a game script where they will have to throw the ball. I do think Hines is still a secondary option on DraftKings due to his low price tag and since I’m a glutton for punishment I am planning on going back to the well.

Like Hines, T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron were hurt by the Colts early lead and weren’t used much in the second half. Both players put up adequate fantasy totals thanks to heavy lifting early on. The projected game script should lead to more volume for the Colts passing game. Hilton comes up just short of the “core play” label on the 4-game slate but should be considered a core piece of Saturday only lineups. Eric Ebron is TE2 this week behind only Travis Kelce. I wouldn’t fault you for ranking Ertz ahead of Ebron in terms of raw projection. The remaining Colts pass catchers (Dontrelle Inman, Chester Rogers et al) can be considered in tournaments. Andrew Luck is my QB2 of the week.

The nice thing about the Chiefs offense is that it’s concentrated. There’s little value to be had outside of Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and RB1. RB1 this week should be Damien Williams who is way underpriced if that is, in fact, his role. Spencer Ware is listed as questionable for this game and it seems like if he is active it will be as Williams’ backup. Unless we hear differently I’m treating Williams as the Chiefs lead back and a core play in all formats on all slates. Mahomes is also a core play for me in all formats and on all slates. He has the highest floor and ceiling of all quarterback options going this weekend. The only thing keeping Travis Kelce from core play status is his high price tag. I’ll be trying to fit him in where I reasonably can as he is clearly the top TE option of the weekend. On Saturday only slates I do find using both TE’s from this game an interesting way to approach lineup construction. Tyreek Hill doesn’t see quite enough targets to be a reliable cash game play at his price tag but he still has one of the highest upsides of the slate. I wouldn’t fault anyone for using him in cash games, especially on Saturday only slates, but I view him mostly as a GPP option.

Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) 49

Core Plays: Amari Cooper (FD)

Secondary Plays: Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, Robert Woods

GPP Plays: Dak Prescott, Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz, Jared Goff, Brandin Cooks, Josh Reynolds

Tuttle’s Take:

Full disclosure: I’m of the opinion that the Rams dominate this game from start to finish. Generally speaking, that has me shorting this Cowboys offense but I do think there are still spots to use Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott. Cooper remains underpriced on FanDuel and is a staple of cash game lineups there – he’s a strong GPP fade if you are of the same opinion that the Cowboys struggle to get any offensive flow going. Despite Elliott’s high price tag and my opinion of the game, I still consider Elliott a secondary option based on volume alone. Elliott has shown heavy involvement as a pass catcher which helps buoy his value on DraftKings. Blake Jarwin and Cole Beasley are questionable for this weekend – if they were to miss that would open up more looks for Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz. Rico Gathers and Tavon Austin are the LOOOOONG (and I mean LOOOOONG) shot sleepers in Jarwin and Beasley’s absence.

Robert Woods or Brandin Cooks continues to be a question for some people and I’m not exactly sure why. Woods has been the more reliable fantasy option throughout the season and his increased slot usage with Cooper Kupp out helps him draw the better matchup week in and week out. I have Woods labeled as a secondary option but do have him in current cash game builds on DraftKings. In terms of raw projection I would rank Woods as WR3 on the Saturday only slate, just behind Tyreek Hill and T.Y. Hilton. Cooks is best used in GPPs as leverage off Woods. Same goes for Josh Reynolds who despite seeing decreased snaps hasn’t seen a notable reduction in targets or air yards. I will be curious to see if the Rams continue with increased two TE sets or if that was only a thing when Todd Gurley was out. If the Rams do go back to more 11-personnel it would make Gerald Everett a less attractive value option at the TE position. If Todd Gurley is truly healthy he is RB1 on the week. That may be a big if but I’m currently proceeding as if that’s the case. I’ll be playing him over Elliott in all slates and like the correlation play of pairing him with the Rams DST.

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England Patriots (-4) 46.5

Core Plays: None

Secondary Plays: Julian Edelman, James White (DK), Keenan Allen

GPP Plays: Sony Michel, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Robert Gronkowski, Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams

Tuttle’s Take:

So…the Patriots. They’re a tough team to get a read on when fully healthy. About all we know for sure is that Julian Edelman will get targets (and catches) and he’s the only Patriots player that is playable in all formats. The remaining Patriots (Sony Michel, Chris Hogan, James White, Phillip Dorsett, Rob Gronkowski) are best used in GPPs. White is the only guy I would consider as a secondary option and only on DraftKings where he has a more reasonable price tag and gets the benefit of a full PPR. Here’s the thing: Gronkowski is dust and opportunity cost is uniquely high at the TE position this weekend but I still can’t recommend a full out Gronk fade. Despite a tough matchup and despite Gronk clearly having lost a step (or three) he still does have two touchdown upside which makes him a viable GPP play. If the Patriots play the majority of this game with a lead that could translate to upwards of 20 touches for Sony Michel. Michel and Patriots DST makes for a strong correlation play in GPPs.

How the Chargers use a banged up Melvin Gordon could dictate a lot this weekend, especially on Sunday only slates. Gordon isn’t a difficult fade on the 4-game slate (even on DK where he’s super cheap) but becomes tougher to fade on the Sunday 2-gamer. Melvin did miss out on a series or two last weekend but only ended up running 9 routes to Austin Ekeler’s 15. About the only way Gordon finds his way to 20+ touches in this game is if the Chargers find themselves with a lead, which means if I run him in a GPP lineup I’m likely to pair him with the Chargers DST as a correlation play. Ekeler’s involvement as a pass catcher makes him a strong low owned contrarian option. Keenan Allen is a secondary option on the 4-game slate but a core option for the Sunday only slate. All other Chargers pass catchers are best left for GPPs – we have seen Mike Williams upside in the past and the big-bodied receiver has solid touchdown equity in this spot.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints (-8) 50

Core Plays: Ted Ginn (FD)

Secondary Plays: Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara

GPP Plays: Drew Brees, Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Nick Foles, Darren Sproles, Golden Tate, Nelson Agholor, Wendell Smallwood

Tuttle’s Take:

The elephant in the room is that FanDuel left Ted Ginn priced at $4,500. That mispricing makes Ginn a core play in all formats on all slates. Ginn’s high projected ownership makes him a fine GPP fade. The last time these two teams faced off in New Orleans Drew Brees lit up the Eagles secondary for 363-yards and 4-touchdowns. Much like then, Brees isn’t receiving hype this weekend despite a favorable matchup. Brees is likely to come in relatively low owned with Mahomes and Luck soaking up the majority of the QB ownership on the full weekend slate, which makes Brees a strong GPP option. Brees is QB1 on the Sunday only slate. This is a dream spot for Michael Thomas. Allen Robinson shredded this Eagles secondary for a 10/143/1 line last weekend and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Thomas follow up with a similar line. Lineup construction keeps Thomas from being considered a “core play” on the full slate but he should be a centerpiece of your Sunday only lineups. Alvin Kamara should also be a core piece of your Sunday only lineups and is a fringe cash play on the full slate.

I tried to refrain from essentially listing the entire Eagles offense as GPP options but here we are. There should be plenty of passing volume for Foles and Eagles pass catchers in this game. Golden Tate draws the best on paper matchup in the slot and ran a route on 27-of-43 Foles’ dropbacks last week – a high for him as a member of the Eagles. Philadelphia ran more 11-personnel last week and if they do so again this weekend then Tate is the biggest beneficiary. Zach Ertz is TE3 on the full slate but TE1 on the Sunday only slate. Nelson Agholor is cheap and has been running a lot of routes – that’s about the best I can say about him. Alshon Jeffery has the highest touchdown equity of the Eagles’ WRs but is also the most expensive. Dallas Goedert caught a touchdown last weekend but only ran 14 routes. There is a shot that the Eagles run more 12-personnel again this weekend which keeps Goedert in play as a cheap GPP option. Darren Sproles is the Eagles RB to own, followed by Wendell Smallwood. Sproles could see heavy-ish ownership on Sunday’s 2-game slate which would make Smallwood a strong leverage play in GPPs.

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About the Author

  • Dan Gaspar (MrTuttle05)

  • Since his addition to the RotoGrinders community, MrTuttle has been continually climbing the Grinders leaderboards and is currently ranked in Top 150 overall. He has qualified for countless live finals as well and has proven himself to be one of the best high-stakes DFS players in the industry. You can find him on Twitter @MrTuttle05.

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