NFL Wild Card Weekend Fantasy Preview

5 Jan 2018 - 8:17pm | DFS_Tom | Updated: 5 Jan 2018 - 8:21pm | Likes: 0 Like 
NFL Wild Card Weekend Fantasy Preview

The playoffs are here, and we have two games each day this weekend. This will have a bit of overview, along with some DFS takes, since regular season leagues are over. Plenty of good contests out there, so let’s dive in.

Titans at Chiefs

This is the first game on the slate, and we are set for what might be a very one sided game. The Chiefs are one touchdown favorites in this game, and will have plenty of opportunity to score against this bad Titans defense. The Titans have the 28th DVOA against the pass, putting the Chiefs receivers, mainly Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in great spots. If you are going to like their receiving options, which means you should also be on Alex Smith. We know he isn’t the most exciting player to hit the lock button on, but with this match up, it’s somewhat hard to pass up. Kareem Hunt has a bit of a tougher match up, as the Titans have the 7th DVOA against the run, so not sure if he is the play on the slate given the other options.

On the Titans side of the ball, they are projected to be down in this game, meaning they will have to pass the ball to catch up, putting their receivers in a good spot. We know that Derrick Henry will be the starting running back with DeMarco Murray being ruled out. He saw 28 carries last week, but was highly ineffective with that workload. Not seeing him as one of the top running backs on the slate, so I’d stick with their passing game. Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker make the best plays for the Titans, since they are the most consistent, with Eric Decker bringing some good upside with salary relief. All in all, I think the Chiefs will come away with the win in this one, and head onto the next round.

Falcons at Rams

The Rams come into this game as a six point favorite, in what should be the better of the two games on Saturday. The Rams rested all of their starters last week, so they are on full rest, and ready to bring a playoff win to the LA area. The Falcons have shown to be weak on defense this season, making the Rams and their powerful offense one of the top options on the slate. We know they can put up points in a hurry, so you want to stack them up any which way you can. You simply cannot say enough about how good Todd Gurley is, and with him being the most expensive running back on both FanDuel and DraftKings, you have to find the salary to get up to him. He has shown over the last part of the season that he has a 40 point ceiling, and it’s a tough call to try and fade him. When it comes to the Rams passing offense, you want plenty of Goff, who has shown to be very efficient this season. For their receivers, I would put them in this order, Woods, Cupp and then Watkins. Both Woods and Kupp have more PPR value compared to Watkins, who has more downfield threat.

For the Falcons, they clinched their playoff in the last game of the season, and are now looking to make their way back to the Super Bowl. They have shown over the course of the season, their offense can be very hit or miss. As much as I’d like to see some redemption or a rematch in the Super Bowl, I think they are in a tough spot. The Rams have a defense that has gotten better as the season has gone on. Despite that, the Falcons will likely be in a spot where they are down, and will need to push the ball downfield in order to catch up. This puts their passing game in a good spot to have plenty of fantasy value. Matt Ryan hasn’t thrown more than two touchdowns in any single game this season. He is clearly one of the bottom tier options when it comes to quarterback this weekend. Julio Jones seems a bit too cheap on DraftKings this week, and should be able to reach value given the game script. Jones may see double coverage, which should open up plenty of passing opportunity for both Mohamed Sanu and Devonta Freeman out of the backfield.

Bills at Jaguars

The Bills are looking to be one of the bigger underdogs of the weekend for a number of reasons, so let’s take a look. First off, their star running back LeSean McCoy is still dealing with the injury he suffered last week, which caused him to leave the game early. He is listed as questionable for this game but should be playing, but most likely won’t be at 100%. This puts the Bills in a very tough spot, since they don’t have great receivers and are up against the best rated pass defense in the league. The best play on the Bills is their tight end Charles Clay. He has shown to not only be their most reliable option, but the favored target of quarterback Tyrod Taylor. I hate to say it since this is the first time the Bills have been in the playoffs in almost two decades, but they are looking at a quick first round exit.

When it come the Jaguars, fright off the top you have to consider playing their defense. They are super expensive, but they plenty of turnover potential, and are a great tournament play. Leonard Fournette is the top option for the Jags, as the Bills have the 30th DVOA against the run. They simply have not shown the ability to stop running backs, and will have a tough time with Fournette. The Bills have the 12th DVOA against the pass, making this a very average match up for Bortles and their receivers, but if the Bills decide to stack the box to try and stop Fournette, it could open up some single coverage on the outside, providing an opening for some success.

Panthers at Saints

This game has an over-under of 48 points, and is being played at the Coors Field of the NFL, so a good idea to load up on some offense here. We have two divisional opponents squaring off, which is always nice to bring a bit of history to an elimination game. The Saints are favored by six points for this game, and have an implied team total of 27 points, which is second highest on the slate. They are clearly the better offense in this game, so we want to get exposure to them in any way possible. Mark Ingram makes the better cash game option compared to Alvin Kamara, who makes a fantastic GPP play. If the Saints are going to score close to 30 points, we have to assume the two running backs will have a big part in that. When it comes to their passing game, Michael Thomas is their top receiver, and should not be faded under any circumstances this week. He is up against the Panthers corners, who are among the two worst corners graded by PFF. For cash games you want to stick with Ingram and Thomas, and for tournaments, you could go Saints full stack.

For the Panthers, they have better tournament plays compared to cash games, and should even come in a bit under owned since they are the clear underdogs in this game. We know Cam Newton has plenty of upside due to his rushing ability, so you should look to him for that. He has struggled in the two games they played the Saints this season, only passing for 350 yards and passing for two touchdowns combined in those two games. He simply hasn’t shown the consistency to roster in cash games. With the Panthers projected to be down in this game, we want to look at their three top players as tournament plays. Christian McCaffrey, Greg Olsen and Devin Funchess, are the best plays for the Panthers, who should all be in a good spot with the Panthers projected to be down, and needing to pass the ball. 

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