The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs is upon us, and it marks our final chance to partake in a slate of games on DraftKings that features more than two contests. There will be contests for the conference championship games and plenty of showdown games for the rest of the playoffs, but this is it as far as a full weekend of games goes.
Such a small number of games means that there will be plenty of overlap with ownership percentages. Don’t translate that to mean you need to get cute with your lineups. If you’re sold on one of the top plays of the slate, then get him in your lineup. There are plenty of other spots to mix things up and potentially set yourself apart from the pack if all goes well.
Here are our favorite players for each position for what shapes up to be an excellent weekend of football.
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – ($6.2k)
Andrew Luck checks in as one of the weekend’s top plays at QB, and we’re not going to hesitate to include him in our lineups. He’s going to be popular, but that’s for a good reason. Luck has been dealing and there’s a good chance that continues when he faces off with a defensively-challenged Chiefs team.
Luck has thrown for seven TDs over the past three weeks, and he has delivered between 18.78 and 25.58 points in each of them. We’ll naturally be looking for the higher end of that range of outcomes, and that may not be too much to ask for in the game with the weekend’s highest projected total at 57 points. Don’t be shy about rolling with Luck and finding differentiation elsewhere.
Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles – ($5.4k)
Do you believe in St. Nick? It’s pretty tough not to after witnessing the way the Eagles continually pull rabbits out of their hats when Nick Foles is behind center. Quite simply, the team as a whole steps up its game immensely when Foles has the keys to the offense, and we expect that to continue this week.
The Eagles are 8-point underdogs to the Saints, and that points to a game script in which they have to air it out to keep pace and/or catch up. Foles has thrown for eight touchdowns in his previous three games, and we like him to toss a few more in what should be an entertaining final game of the weekend.
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints ($7.3k)
The Saints are the favorites to win the Super Bowl. The game with the Eagles will be the first step on their path to make it happen, and they have had some extra time to get ready. That’s not good news for the Eagles, but it is good news for those who like fantasy points.
Now that the chips are down, we’ll be looking for them to do all they can to reach up to the lofty expectations in front of them. That means taking advantage of the weapons at their disposal as much as possible, including one Alvin Kamara. He has averaged a stellar 24.2 points per contest this season, and we’ll be looking for more of the same on Sunday.
Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts ($5.8k)
The Cots have been red-hot, and Marlon Mack has been en fuego himself. He has posted 20+ fantasy points in three of his last four contests, and he enters Saturday’s game off of a stellar performance last week versus the Texans. Mack dropped a line of 24/148/1 and hauled in two passes for six yards for good measure.
That translated into 26.4 fantasy points. If he can do that on the road versus a team with a relatively tough defense, what do you suppose he can produce versus a team with holes a plenty on defense? Mack is a solid choice at RB, and his affordable price point makes him all the more appealing.
Sony Michel – New England Patriots ($4.7k)
As experienced fantasy players are well aware, forecasting the workload in the Patriots backfield is a challenging endeavor. When we expect the Patriots to zag, Bill Belichick has himself a mighty chuckle while going zag. While we’re confident that fantasy output is nowhere on the radar of his weekly concerns, that doesn’t soothe our head pain.
We can’t say for certain what he’s going to do with this week’s game plan, but we will note that it would be silly not provide this talented rookie with a healthy share of carries with the season on the line versus the Chargers. We’ll be hoping for him to get the goal line work as James White does his thing in the passing game. Michel is a risk, but one that could bear fruit if he gets the carries near paydirt.
Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints ($7.9k)
If we like the Saints to put up points this weekend, then we’re going to want ro have exposure to as many of them as we can. That leads us to this week’s most expensive wideout, who is priced that way for a reason. Thomas sees a boatload of targets, and he hauls in plenty of them.
On the year, Thomas saw 147 targets. He hauled in 125 of them for 1,405 yards and nine scores. There’s nothing to suggest that he won’t see plenty of footballs heading in his direction on Sunday. Thomas is pricey, but there are plenty of ways to save money elsewhere.
T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts ($6.7k)
T.Y. Hilton is another player that sees gobs of targets who should also see plenty this week. He had a little bit of an off week versus the Texans, hauling in five of 10 for 85 yards, but that’s partially because his opponent keyed in on him due to the damage he has done against them in the past.
The Chiefs may very well try to do the same, but we’re not confident about their chances of success. If they contain Hilton, Luck will pick them apart elsewhere. We’ll be looking for Hilton to bounce back and have a solid day in what could be a high-scoring affair.
Amari Cooper – Dallas Cowboys ($6.5k)
We’re going to go on a limb and say that it’s not a coincidence that the Cowboys offense has looked much better with Amari Cooper in the fold. Dak Prescott is suddenly looking like the QB he looked like during his solid rookie campaign, as Cooper has provided him with the threat he so desperately needed in the passing game.
It will be tough sledding for the Cowboys this week versus a rested Rams team. However, the Rams are going to have to pick their poison. They can focus on shutting down the passing attack, but then Ezekiel Elliott will eat all he wants. If they go in the other direction, the Prescott-Cooper combo could have themselves a day. We’re leaning on the latter as the more likely outcome, and Cooper has a spot in our lineups as a result.
Alshon Jeffery – Philadelphia Eagles ($5.8k)
Alshon Jeffery has really come to life over the past five games. He has only found the end zone twice over that span, but he has delivered double-digit fantasy point outings in each of those contests. Quite simply, he has a solid rapport with Foles. Why would St. Nick stop looking in his direction this week?
The Saints can certainly sell out to stop Jeffery, but then Foles will just lean more heavily on Zach Ertz and company. We don’t expect that to happen. If we like Foles and the Eagles to be playing catch up, then we’ll naturally want to double dip on points. A Foles-Jeffery combo could make some noise this weekend.
Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts ($5.5k)
Yes, we like the Colts to produce this week versus the Chiefs. As a result, we would have zero problems pairing up Luck with both Hilton and Eric Ebron, especially on this condensed slate in which there are a scant few viable options at tight end.
Ebron has seen six targets in back-to-back games, and he found the end zone in both of them. For the year, he was one of Luck’s top red zone targets, and that won’t be changing as the team gets deeper in the playoffs. Ebron is our top choice at tight end.
Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers ($2.8k)
If you’d prefer to save some coin while taking a roll of the dice, take a gander at a productive tight end who will actually be making his season debut. Hunter Henry was expected to be a big part of the Chargers offense in 2018, but an ACL tear squashed those plans.
Henry has been cleared to play, but he may be on a snap count. As such, there’s plenty of risk with this selection. However, if they’re going to roll him out, then we can expect him to see some targets. If one or two of them comes in the red zone, all the better.
New England Patriots ($2.6k)
Pundit after pundit have been calling their shot on the Patriots demise for years. That talk has ramped up dramatically this year, as the team hasn’t looked as good as normal. Unfortunately for Patriot critics, the team has gotten the last laugh on them a countless number of times.
We’ll acknowledge that all dynasties come to an end and that may be around the corner for the Patriots, but can anyone say with confidence that they won’t make a valiant stand at home on Sunday? As an added bonus, interest will be tepid for fantasy purposes, so this selection could pay dividends if the Patriots defense comes to play.
Indianapolis Colts ($2.1k)
In a normal week, playing a defense versus the league’s top offense would be a fool’s errand. It’s even a little out there on a short slate such as this one, but one gander at how well the Colts have been playing makes it seem like a shot worth taking.
Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus has put together an attacking unit that can wreak havoc. They could find some success against young signal caller Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs will put some points up, but that doesn’t mean the Colts can’t get plenty of sacks and turnovers.