Divisional Round Fantasy Preview

Posted: 13 January 2017 - 4:38pm | Steve Anderson | Updated: 13 Jan 2017 - 4:51pm
Divisional Round Fantasy Preview

Seattle at Atlanta

The Seahawks go into the Georgia Dome with a healthy amount of trepidation facing arguably the best overall offense in the postseason in well rested Atlanta Falcons.   The Seahawks defense is not as invincible as years past and the offense has had mixed results, particularly on the road.  The Falcons Matt Ryan went for 335 yards and three touchdowns with Earl Thomas in the lineup in Seattle, so Ryan does have some upside against a secondary that has given up some big plays.  For Seattle's Russell Wilson he could thrive on DFS in a shootout.   Atlanta gave up 31 touchdowns through the air and allowed a tasty 92.5 QB rating to opposing passers.  Wilson put up a scoreless 270 yards at home when these teams last played earlier in the season.  As we mentioned during Wild Card weekend, the Seahawks run defense is pretty stingy in terms of yards per carry surrendered but they do allow backs to score which is tough for DFS Devonta Freeman owners.  At Freeman's $7.6K price on FanDuel it may make more sense to opt cheaply for his counterpart RB Tevin Coleman at $5.9K.  WR Julio Jones doesn't have a great matchup but Atlanta will get him enough looks to ensure a pretty decent floor.   WR Doug Baldwin, with no CB Desmond Trufant to worry about should be free to roam in the slot against Atlanta all day.  At 7.9K he offers some upside but I probably like WR Davante Adams for Green Bay more as a cheaper low-end WR1.

Houston at New England

The Texans have been here before and the odds makers aren't giving them much hope to get out of Foxboro with a win.  The Raiders were without their MVP, Derek Carr, and the Patriots are pretty much at full strength minus Gronk.  The Texans simply don't have the horses to keep up with Tom Brady and company.  The Pats D will look to takeaway WR DeAndre Hopkins and let RB Lamar Miller and Brock Osweiler figure it out in the cold and it won't be pretty.   Of course there's always a chance to chase garbage time/volume but the Texans struggle to score 20 points in any scenario and Osweiler is prone to mistakes, which is plenty reason to consider the Patriots defense at $5.1 K a FanDuel bargain.   For the Patriots, this could be a RB LeGarrette Blount type game if/when they get up big but Blount hasn't put up more than 72 yards rushing in a month.  The Texans have gotten better on run defense.   The Texans corners are also problematic for fantasy owners, but WR Julian Edelman does most of his work in the slot away from them.  He's a pretty safe bet  as Tom Brady's clear number one target.

Green Bay at Dallas

The Packers stomped a sizeable mudhole in the Giants back causing  New York WR Odell Beckham Jr to have plenty to ponder over a long offseason.  Can they figure out the Dallas Cowboys at home with no WR Jordy Nelson?  The Cowboys secondary can be had but is WR Davante Adams ready to be the guy with the whole league watching?  He's a good deal on FanDuel but so is WR Randall Cobb ($6.5k) who is still relevant in red-zone scoring a trio of TDs last week versus the Giants.   The Giants actually had the second best opposing passer rating (75.8) compared to Dallas's 24th ranked 94.1 rating so this game could be a shootout as well.  Will RB Ty Montgomery make an impact?  At a modest $6K he certainly is the starting RB on a team that should want to ground and pound a bit to take pressure off Aaron Rodgers, but the Pack have never been hesitant to throw early and often.   QB Dak Prescott is also quite affordable but the Cowboys may be content to try to run for 190 yards like they did the first time these teams met.  Granted the Packers are red-hot and probably won't turn the ball over four times--in fact they haven't turned the ball over since Week 13!   The Packers run defense started out red hot early in the season but they've padded stats against some bad run offenses in their division.   Their secondary has got to play better; they've given up at least 295 yards in their last four games including 354 to Matt Barkley and 353 to Sam Bradford.

Pittsburgh at Kansas City

This game has been moved back to 8:20 PM on Sunday and the road game should worry Steelers fans somewhat.  Big Ben will give it a go (as usual) but it's tough to say he's anything close to 100 percent.  So this shapes up as a RB Le'Veon Bell game.  Kansas City has allowed more rushing yards per game (121.1) than all but six franchises--none of which are left playing as of this week.   Unlike Seattle, they don't really give up rushing scores though so Bell vs. Dontari Poe in goalline situations should be entertaining to watch.  KC also tied for the league in interceptions (18) and only Denver and the Giants allowed lower opposing QB rating (79.8). So all of this doesn't equate to Ben being a must-start.  The Chiefs recipe on offense is to dink and dunk and not makes mistakes and run the ball.  They've thrown a tad more this season (career high passing yards for QB Alex Smith: 3,502) mainly due to breakout seasons from Travis Kelce and recently Tyreek Hill and a healthy Jeremy Maclin, finally. 

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