NFL DFS: DraftKings Divisional Round Strategy
DraftKings has once again split the weekend into three slates of NFL DFS Divisional round action. There are separate two games slates for Saturday and Sunday as well as a four-gamer covering every matchup. Like last week, I suggest playing all three if your bankroll permits it.
With an even more condensed player pool this week, it’s going to be hard to create unique lineups. Personally, I wouldn’t fret too much about it. You are also going to end up picking players you’re not comfortable with as you construct your lineups due to the reduced player pool and the DraftKings pricing. My usual rules on correlation and leverage also go out of the window on such a small slate.
Here are my views on each matchup and every player I consider fantasy relevant.
These are my personal opinions on the games and strategies at the time of writing this. I may employ different players and strategies than above if later or further information makes me re-evaluate my opinions.
Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers
We have the mouth-watering matchup of Davante Adams v Jalen Ramsey. Who wins this could be the key to the game. Adams’s price has dropped to $8.6k out of respect to Ramsey but if you’re playing multiple lineups, you need some exposure. During the season, the Rams gave up the least fantasy points to WR so I’m not tempted to play Valdes-Scantling ($3.8k) or Lazard ($3.9k). The weakest part of the Rams D fantasy-wise is tight-end so I like Robert Tonyan at $4.2k.
We’ve been attacking the Packers’ run defense all year and Cam Akers at $5.7k looks a steal. Another huge workload last week against Seattle and he took full advantage of it. The uncertainty about the QB position and the Packers being quite good against the pass makes me wary of the Rams receivers. I do like the Rams DST though.
Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills
Both QBs from this game are in play for me. On paper, Baltimore has the better fantasy matchup across the board but the Bills and Josh Allen ($7.4k) are playing at such a high-level, I’ll play stacks of both teams. JK Dobbins at $6k is more expensive than Cam Akers and he only had 9 rush attempts and 1 receiving target last week. I guess the DK algorithm is still factoring in his 31 point game in week 17. He’s too expensive for me. Gus Edwards ($4.2k) received similar touches and comes at a discount. If the Ravens end up inside the 5-yard-line, Gus Bus might get in the endzone.
Stefon Diggs’ price has dropped and he’s down to 7.3k. AJ Brown did pretty well last week against the Ravens and I think that Allen and Diggs are a better combo than Tannehill and Brown. I will have some exposure. Cole Beasley came back and had 7 targets. At 4.9k, he’s a nice money-saving option. My man Dawson Knox found the endzone last week and is TD dependent but if you need the savings, he’s a decent option at $3.1k.
Marquise Brown at $5.2k looks good value on the Baltimore side but Mark Andrews looks overpriced to me at $5k. He’s not having the big games he did last year.
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs are a massive 10-point favourite here which seems odd after Cleveland scored 48 points last weekend. Both teams give up fantasy points to TE in bunches. I think 2 TE lineups with Kelce and Hooper might be popular, and if not, they should be!
Tyreek Hill is down to 8k and having rested his hamstring for a few weeks, he should be healthier. The Steelers showed last week what a decent passing game can do against the Browns and passing games don’t come much better than the Chiefs. I expect Mahomes ($8k) and Hill to be very highly owned.
The Chiefs’ pass D is good so I expect the Browns to be run-heavy to keep Mahomes on the sideline as much as possible. Nick Chubb ($6.6k) and Kareem Hunt ($4.8k) are great options. I expect playing both will be popular.
A popular option will be to play 6 players from this game in one lineup.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
Tom Brady ($6.3k) looked comfortable behind an impressive o-line last week and I expect they’ll keep Brady clean even against the formidable Saints defense. Evans ($6.4k), Godwin ($6.1k) & Brown ($5.4k) are reasonably priced. The tricky part, as ever, is choosing the right combination. If you play enough lineups, you can/should cover every combo. If I was forced to only play one, it would be Evans.
Alvin Kamara ($7.9k) and Michael Thomas ($6.7k) are the only fantasy-relevant players on the Saints but I like Michael Thomas more at his price. Deonte Harris ($3.5k) came out of nowhere last week with 7 catches. It’s anyone’s guess if he’s as involved with the passing game this week but at $3.5k, he might be worth a punt.
This is a game you can stack with lots of players if you want to pivot off the Chiefs & Browns stack.