NFL DraftKings Picks: Divisional Round
NFL DFS Picks
We have four playoff games this weekend that will hopefully provide more entertainment than the six contests we had last weekend. The action starts Saturday afternoon and carries us through Sunday night. Draftkings will be offering several “main slate” options including a Saturday only, a Sunday only, a Late Saturday-Sunday, and finally a full four-game contest. For the purpose of this article, we will be covering the action that plays out throughout the entire weekend.
Fantasy Data Sleepers
We are going to switch things up a bit from the regular season format where we break down high salary plays, low percentage plays, and favorites. We will be focusing solely on sleepers, players projected to be less than 25% rostered. Being a small slate, there will be tons of players rostered by the masses. Smaller slates are difficult to navigate, and you often need to go against the consensus to see any kind of ROI (return on investment). There are not many players out there that will come with rostership under 25 or even 30% for that matter. We will provide you with two plays from each position to help set your lineup apart from others in larger tournament formats. Without further ado, here are our faves.
Joe Burrow | $6600 | CIN @ TEN | 18.35%
The only way to beat the 2021 version of the Tennessee Titans is through the air. You simply cannot run on them. Enter Joe Burrow and the roaring Cincinnati Bengals offense. Tennessee ranks 25th in the NFL in passing yards per game with 245.2 and conversely ranks 2nd in rushing yards per game with just 84.6 per. Joe Mixon is a nice back and will be utilized some but remember, Mixon also excels in the passing game. The Titans are 12th in DK points allowed to the quarterback position as well (18.3) so it makes sense for coach Taylor to attack via the pass. Burrow has been red-hot of late, putting up 37 plus points in two of three games and 17 or more in seven of eight. If the Bengals expect to pull off the upset and move on to the AFC Championship, they need to lean on the arm of Joe Burrow and the receiving prowess of the three amigos, Chase, Higgins, and Boyd.
Tom Brady | $6800 | LAR @ TB | 6.55%
Tom Brady at the 2nd lowest rostership on the slate in the playoffs? Yes, please! Josh Allen is projected to be the highest rostered quarterback on the weekend, and rightfully so. Many folks will flock towards the matchup numbers here. KC shows 31st versus the QB and the Rams post a scary red four next to the matchup. Keep in mind, these two teams met in Week 3 and while they are certainly different squads than they were back then, the former Patriot posted 31.68 DK points against them on the road. The Rams defense looked good in the Wild Card round at home against an Arizona team that was not ready for the spotlight. This is about as safe a leverage play as there can be. If you cannot trust Brady, who can you trust? Lock him in and then sit back and enjoy the ride.
Derrick Henry | $7500 | CIN @ TEN | 24.66%
Could we see the return of “king” Derrick Henry on Saturday? It is trending that way. Henry took on contact for the first time on Tuesday and said he came out feeling great. If he plays, watch out NFL. A well-rested Henry could spell doom for the rest of the league. The Bengals are solid against the run and rank 7th with just 102.5 yards allowed per game. What this does not show is the fact that they surrendered 32.2 points to Michael Carter, 30.3 to Nick Chubb, 28.2 to Najee Harris, and 25.7 to Darrel Williams in Week 17. They can be scored on. Henry fared well in a Week 8 matchup in 2020, scoring 20.2 points on 112 yards rushing and a touchdown. Look for the Titans to try and ground it out and keep that high-flying Bengals offense on the sideline. The veteran back has not played in a game since Week 8 and will be fresh and ready to handle any size workload head coach Mike Vrabel wants to give him. If one of D’onta Foreman or Dontrell Hilliard is inactive, then we know it is officially all systems go for the king.
Aaron Jones | $6800 | SF @ GB | 16.61%
The San Francisco 49ers have been one of the best teams in the league in terms of DK points allowed to the running back position. This makes Aaron Jones or A.J. Dillon a tough sell, hence the low rostership projections. Some things in Jones’s favor include the fact that he put up 17.6 DK points on them in Week 3 on the road and that the 49ers have not exactly faced a murderer's row of running backs in 2021. James Connor was able to post 40.3 against them and all the way back in Week 1, Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift both went over 24. The weather will be near zero on Saturday night leaning towards a more run-heavy approach for the Packers. That may mean more A.J. Dillon since he is the “bruiser” of the bunch. Jones has a much higher floor thanks to the PPR format on DraftKings and is sure to be targeted at least half a dozen times. If he can pop one for a touchdown, then boom, he pays off for us. The number of options under 25% rostered on a four-game slate is few and far between so we want to look for players that give us a high floor and a high ceiling. Jones fits that bill here.
Mike Evans | $6800 | LAR @ TB | 13.27%
Mike Evans has been lights out since Chris Godwin went down with an unfortunate injury in Week 15. The veteran has seen seven or more targets in every game since and has been over 14.7 DK points as well. The matchup is a pretty good one. The Los Angeles Rams surrender the 7th most DK points to the wide receiver position. Much like Brady, Evans excelled in the Week 3 matchup between the two teams with 21.6 points. He managed this without scoring a touchdown and competing with Chris Godwin for targets. The Rams are rock solid against the run and with questions surrounding Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, one would think the Bruce Arians gameplan will center around Brady and Evans with some Rob Gronkowski sprinkled in. Look for a repeat of the 10 targets from the Wild Card round, if not more.
Tee Higgins | $5700 | CIN @ TEB | 10.77%
The masses will be flooding to Ja’Marr Chase and we do not blame them. The rookie's explosiveness is undeniable and the matchup is prime for the picking. It is easy to forget that Tee Higgins has some upside to his game as well, evidenced by the 46.4 point performance in Week 16 versus the Baltimore Ravens. As mentioned earlier, the way to beat the Titans is through the air. There should be opportunities aplenty for both wideouts in this one and we can get Higgins for $1400 less and at one-third of the ownership. The one reception on four targets in the Wild Card game is a concern, but rest assured, Mike Vrabel will be channeling his inner Bill Belichick by taking away the best player on the opposition and that player for the Bengals of late has been Chase, leaving Higgins with the opportunity to exploit the secondary and get loose for some big plays.
George Kittle | $5300 | SF @ GB | 11.82%
As was the case last week, there are no clear-cut “chalk” tight ends. Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski lead the way at almost 19% and 15% respectively. George Kittle has been eerily quiet of late and this feels like a bounce-back spot for him. The Green Bay Packers have been solid all season against running backs, receivers, and tight ends. However, since Week 14 they allow the 4th most points to the tight end position. Granted, this was skewed by a Mark Andrews 35.6 point performance in Week 15 but we all know Kittle can be every bit as dangerous as Andrews when given the opportunity. I was encouraging to see him get seven targets in Week 18 versus Los Angeles and we think he should see similar numbers this week as the 49ers will be facing a much better offense than what they saw last week in Dallas. We are also getting the stud tight end at the lowest price of the season since his first game back from injury in Week 9. All he did in that game was go off for 24.1 DK points.
Anthony Firkser | $3100 | CIN @ TEN | 4.38%
This one is more about matchup than anything. The Cincinnati Bengals gave up the 6th most points to the position on the season. Anthony Firkser has been a red-zone favorite of quarterback Ryan Tannehill of late, scoring touchdowns in two straight. While not sexy, the veteran has produced in double figures in both of those games and at $3100 we do not need much more than that. MyCole Pruitt is on injured reserve leaving only Geoff Swaim in the position to compete for snaps and targets. If you plan on spending up for a few studs this weekend, Firkser is a nice salary saver with a little bit of upside in a great matchup.
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Jeff Smith has been playing fantasy sports (football and baseball) for nearly 20 years. Jeff is a member of the FSWA and a Senior Writer at DLF. Despite growing up in Buffalo Bills country, he is an avid Chicago Bears fan. It was Walter Payton that did it. When not writing or researching fantasy sports or playing DFS, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and their Bichon Poo, Daisy. He also likes video games, craft beer, and recently became the owner of his own business.