Yahoo NFL Expert Picks: Divisional Round
Every week this NFL season, you’ll find expert picks for Yahoo contests below. Brit Devine will provide his top plays at every position to help build strong lineups in any game type for this week’s NFL slate. You’ll learn the reason behind the picks so you can be confident setting your lineups for this week’s contests.
Tom Brady vs. Tennessee Titans $41
I’m not sure the price makes Brady all that attainable this week, but what more can you ask for at home against a team that allowed 27 passing touchdowns to just four rushing touchdowns on the year. Brady is off the injury report finally after battling an Achilles injury in the later part of the season which clearly hampered him, and should be passing at will against the 24th ranked pass DVOA defense as huge home favorites.
Matt Ryan at Philadelphia Eagles $24
The passing touchdowns just never seem to be there for Ryan, but at this price I am not worried against an Eagles team that is near impossible to run against. To be fair, the Eagles are still good against the pass, but with playoff Julio becoming a focus of the offense, and a great pair of pass catching running backs, the Falcons are likely to have to use the pass game to score this week. The Eagles gave up 24 passing TD’s compared to just six rushing touchdowns, so look for the Falcons to pass their way to a victory as road favorites.
Dion Lewis vs. Tennessee Titans $22
Lewis thrived to close out the season as the lead back for the Patriots, and while that was mainly due to injuries to others, he still looks too cheap to me. Gillislee is an afterthought and still not practicing on Wednesday, while Burkhead is still heavily favoring his injured knee on Wednesday as well. The Patriots would be wise to rest them in a game they should win after Lewis posted back to back monster games to close out the season and is an amazing play if the running back injuries keep a few guys out for the Patriots.
Derrick Henry at New England Patriots $21
Murray is expected to miss Saturday night’s game, and even if he does make a miraculous recover during the week, the Titans have to finally see that this should be Henry’s backfield. Per PFF over the last two games, Derrick Henry has gained 308 total yards and scored two touchdowns. You would have to combine “(player-popup #demarco-murray)DeMarco Murray”:/players/demarco-murray-11738’s last six games to surpass those numbers. Per Sharp Football, the Patriots allowed the fifth highest success rate to running back targets, and also allowed the second highest YPC in the league this year. Henry should see 15-20 touches in this game and is just too cheap.
Antonio Brown vs. Jacksonville Jaguars $35
The Jaguars have an undeniably strong and historical defense, but does that matter when you are the best receiver in the game? Brown had 19 targets earlier this season at home against the Jaguars in a game the Steelers lost 30-9, and while I expect this game to be more competitive, there is no doubt the Steelers will feature Brown heavily if they want to win.
Adam Thielen vs. New Orleans Saints $29
Thielen easily has the best matchup of any of the Vikings receivers as he has lined up in the slot 52% of the time this season. That means he should see plenty of P.J Williams who while good is clearly the worst of the Saints corners. Per PFF the Saints corners were accountable for giving up 10 touchdowns this season, with nine of those ten coming to slot receivers. Thielen is a great play that will probably go underowned due to the price, and is easily the best bet for a big game from the Vikings.
Nelson Agholor vs. Atlanta Falcons $16
Cupp had a nice game against Brian Poole last week, and I see little reason to doubt Agholor can’t duplicate that. Poole gave up 59 receptions on 70 targets out of the slot this season including last week and a target every six snaps he played in the slot while Agholorr had the third most yards out of the slot of any receiver this season.
Rob Gronkowski vs. Tennessee Titans $32
Gronk looks like the surefire option this week for the Patriots in close with Gillislee not practicing and Burkhead still not 100% and limping around at practice on Wednesday. Brady is off the injury report after battling a nagging Achilles injury that seems to have slowed him down to close out the season, while Gronk has nine touchdowns in ten playoff games. You can make a strong case for him even though the pricetag is not friendly to getting other players that you really want.
Delanie Walker at New England Patriots $22
The Titans are big road underdogs in New England this week, and there is no question that Walker is the number one option in the pass game right now. The Patriots allowed Neal Sterling ( Yes he is a real NFL TE for the Jets) to get eight targets in Week 17 and Charles Clay to get 10 targets in Week 16, both games which the Patriots won easily, and with a nice discount to Ertz and Gronk if you don’t want to spend top dollar at the position, Walker looks like a very safe bet with upside.