FanDuel initially was not taking full advantage of the NFL playoffs, but they are now offering a full four-game slate for the wild card round.
That’s great news for DFS players and considering I actually liked the teams I was piecing together for two separate two-game slates, I’m very excited about my NFL DFS lineup spanning over the entire weekend.
I’m piecing together my squad partially based on how I feel these games will unfold, but as we know, it’s not always about matchups or even who wins or loses. I’ll provide some analysis for all of my NFL DFS picks, so if you’re looking for some advice dive in with me as I break down my favorite lineup at FanDuel this week:
QB: Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts ($8k)
You can make a case for just about every fantasy passer this weekend, but Luck has more upside than anyone. He’s also been on fire all year and dropped 24+ fantasy points in both matchups with a Texans team he knows very well.
Whether Luck torches them early or plays from behind, he feels like a great play. This is the game I’d attack my fantasy quarterback in, too, as it has the higher Total of the two Saturday contests.
Deshaun Watson is my second favorite fantasy passer this week, while Nick Foles ($7.6k) is about as contrarian as they come for this slate.
RB: Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys ($8.8k)
I project the Cowboys to win at home this week and I also expect them to do so by controlling the tempo of this game. That means running the ball a lot and Zeke already knows to expect a huge workload on Saturday.
Elliott is what drives the Cowboys and he’s been awesome all year long. He’s especially good at home and after hanging 127 rushing yards on this Seattle defense earlier this year, I think this is a matchup he can take advantage of.
Zeke probably won’t be contrarian despite his hefty price tag, but he’s a core play for me.
RB: Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers ($8.4k)
I don’t feel like I have to pay up for both of my rushers, but the possibility of Gordon being contrarian due to price, health and matchup is a little too good to pass up. I like the pivots such as Chris Carson and Marlon Mack just fine, but few running backs have as much upside as Zeke and Gordon.
I’m going to pair them and hopefully that strategy ends up being a little contrarian. Gordon probably won’t shred a good Ravens defense, but I like the Bolts in this game. That probably means he gets some yardage and finds the end-zone once or twice.
WR: Alshon Jeffery – Philadelphia Eagles ($7.4k)
Fading DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton isn’t easy, but in a small tournament it’s a calculated move. I normally wouldn’t roster Melvin Gordon against the Ravens and I also would usually slide Hilton and Nuk into my lineup without thinking twice.
Perhaps that’s a NFL DFS strategy for another GPP squad, but for this one I’m paying down at receiver and hoping the two best runners pay off.
The beauty here is Jeffery has the revenge narrative working in his favor and the Eagles are probably in good shape no matter how the game script plays out.
There’s the very likely possibility that Philly gets wrecked and plays from behind all day, while Jeffery’s big play ability down the field could also have the Eagles shocked the Bears in their weak spot of their defense.
Jeffery’s price, matchup and the presence of would-be superior options are sure to lower his ownership. That might give me an elite hammer to close out this slate on Sunday.
WR: Amari Cooper – Dallas Cowboys ($6.7k)
I’ll also take a crack on Cooper. He’s just too cheap given his upside and he’s shown us a few times this year just how much of a monster he can be. A date with a solid Seahawks secondary doesn’t offer much wiggle room, but it only takes one big play for him to pay off.
Cooper is a classic tourney flier. If he is awful, I’ll regret rostering him and not finding a way to force Nuk/Hilton into my NFL DFS lineup. If he busts free like he’s capable of, however, he’s going to be what really sets this team apart.
WR: Chester Rogers – Indianapolis Colts ($5.1k)
Dontrelle Inman is also very much in play, but he’s banged up. If he’s out or limited for some reason, you can consider switching to Chester Rogers.
Rogers is a classic tourney try that could benefit from the defense focusing on stopping Indy’s top passing game weapons, while Inman not being 100% could also enhance his role.
I love Luck and Indy’s passing game going into this game, so loading up Colts offensive weapons seems wise.
TE: Eric Ebron – Indianapolis Colts ($6.6k)
I won’t be rostering T.Y. Hilton this week, but I do want to get a lot of shares of Ebron. Zach Ertz is the most expensive option at tight end, but Ebron is about as good of an overall fantasy producer and you’re saving $1k.
The Texans also have had issues against the position and Ebron has already scored on Houston twice this year. I’d be willing to bet he’ll do so for a third time in a tense playoff setting.
FLEX: DeAndre Carter – Houston Texans ($5.2k)
I am not scared of using Houston players in the best game of the slate for scoring. While I won’t go out of my way to force Nuk like many probably will (I expect him to by over 70% owned), I think a secondary Texans option could be worth a look.
That might end up being Keke Coutee ($5.6k) if he plays, but he is not healthy and it remains to be seen how much he’ll see the field even if he’s active. I might just roll the dice with Carter, instead. He’s a little cheaper and has flashed some ability to close out the year.
Deshaun Watson will surely funnel targets to Nuk, but he doesn’t have many other weapons. If Coutee is out or limited, Carter could see some solid work.
DEF: Indianapolis Colts ($3.7k)
The Bears are undoubtedly the best defense to target, while Houston could be a fun contrarian option if you don’t agree with stacking the Colts.
I obviously am Team Colts this week, while Houston has given up an insane 62 sacks on the year. That’s tops in the NFL, while Indy has already notched 12 of those in two prior meetings this season.
The Colts are probably giving up some points in this one, but their defense should accrue some fantasy production no matter how this game plays out. I also like the Chargers, as I don’t really see Lamar Jackson and Baltimore’s one-dimensional offense fooling them twice.
Stacking the Colts (I’m using four of them) and using a Philly offensive player against the Bears could be asking for trouble. However, this is the playoffs and nobody has an amazing matchup anymore.
I really am not drawn to the Ravens, Eagles or Bears, and I’m also not trying to go out of my way to fit Seahawks or Cowboys on my team. For the most part, I covet the Colts vs. Texans game and we’ll see if that proves to be a misguided approach.
Still, I think there is merit in using Cooper and Jeffery, as they’re both high upside plays and could be low-owned. That could differentiate things enough, while paying for two stud rushers also may help with that.
Whatever you decide, hopefully my breakdown of this weekend’s wild card NFL DFS picks helps you out. Good luck no matter what and enjoy the games!