FanDuel NFL Divisional Round Picks, Sleepers and Strategies - Roto Street Journal
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FanDuel NFL Divisional Round Picks, Sleepers and Strategies

Welcome back to a special edition of the FanDuel Picks, Divisional Round edition, your one-stop-shop for the best FanDuel player picks. I should’ve known better than to trust Rishard Matthews in a layup matchup.  Considering his quarterback caught the same amount of passes as he did for just nine less yards and one more touchdown, I think Matthews was the FanDuel bust of Wild Card weekend. And so it goes in daily fantasy during the playoffs. With a short slate, differentiation is next to impossible, and just one slip up means disaster. With the same amount of games this week, and some difficult to predict outcomes, we need to hit the books hard. Like last week, I will suggest an entire playable lineup, with some alternative suggestions to help build your team in the best way possible. So, without further ado, to the Divisional Round Picks!

Quarterbacks

  • Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots ($8,800) – Get used to see Patriots this week. Opening as a monstrous 13 points home favorite against one of the worst pass defenses in the league, Tom Brady is going to roast and carve up this turkey Saturday night in Gillette Stadium. The extra fodder this week (that fake news article by those we do not speak of) will only provide bulletin board material for a team already primed for a deep playoff run looking to win back to back championships, and 3 Super Bowls in 4 years for the second time during their 17-year dynastic run. With the highest implied team total this week by a wide margin (just under 30 points at 29.75) look for the Pats to keep their foot on the pedal until the final whistle.

Marcus Mariota ($7,500) could be a sneaky play this week. With Belichick likely to take away their most explosive weapon (Derrick Henry, not that bum DeMarco Murray) and the Patriots expected to blow out the Titans, I fully expect Mariota to be in the shotgun the majority of the day, opening up his scoring opportunities.

Running Backs

  • Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($9,400) – Boasting the best pass defense in the NFL, no team in their right mind should try and beat Jacksonville’s voracious secondary. So I expect Pittsburgh to take a page out of the Bills playbook a la last week’s Wild Card game. LeSean McCoy generated almost all of the Bills offense last week totaling 119 yards on 25 touches. And he came into that game slightly injured. Imagine what a fully healthy 25-30 touch Le’Veon Bell can do this Sunday. With Antonio Brown still slightly hobbled, I expect the Steelers to run their workhorse into the ground this week, especially considering he should benefit from a positive game script as a 7.5 point favorite.
  • Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots ($7,600) – With the Patriots up 52-3 in the third quarter this Saturday, Dion Lewis should get the winding out duties to end the Titans’ nightmare. With 51 carries, 11 catches, 286 total yards, and 4 total touchdowns over his past two games, Lewis truly proved to be the RB1 we all thought the Pats would roster this year. Sure Mike Gillislee looked primed for the LeGarrette Blount role. And James White was coming off an MVP-esque Super Bowl performance. And Rex Burkhead appeared primed to steal a large amount of touches away from that backfield. But make no mistake, Lewis is the Pats primary back and will play a large role each and every week this playoff season.

Projected as a 4 point favorite, Latavius Murray at $6,800 appears criminally underrated against a middling Saints run defense.

Wide Receivers

  • Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($5,800) – Ranking second in targets, receptions, and yards last week, FanDuel continues to ignore Mohamed Sanu‘s consistent production. Last week Sanu scored 9.5 points. Nothing fantastic or mind blowing, but his 8 targets and 75 receiving yards illustrate that Matt Ryan does not mind targeting him when Julio Jones is quadruple covered. Against a stingy Eagles pass defense, look for the Falcons to be diverted to their second option in the passing game, giving Sanu great upside.
  • Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans ($5,400) – Well I mentioned above that Mariota should be throwing all day Saturday playing from 100 points down against the Pats. And I refuse to go back to the Rishard Matthews well (I hate you). So enter Corey Davis. Davis ranked second last week on the Titans in targets, receptions, and yards (all to Delanie Walker, who I am sure Bill Belichick will highlight as a pass catcher in practice this week). He has breakout potential, and with his volume and usage potentially spiking he makes for a high upside play this week.
  • Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots ($5,200) – Mr. Clutch. Danny Amendola always seems to save his best games for the playoffs, which is important to note as Brady tends to rely mostly on trust and comfortability with his wideouts. In last year’s Super Bowl Amendola caught 8 of 11 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. In the 2014 Super Bowl against the Seahawks, Amendola caught 5 of 7 balls for 48 yards and a touchdown. With Chris HoganMalcom Mitchell, and Rex Burkhead still banged up, Amendola could be in for a nice high floor day Saturday against a Titans team that struggles against opposing wideouts.

I know I did not include him last week, but I did take Ted Ginn Jr. ($5,900) on a few of my teams last week. And his explosiveness helped me out big time as he caught an 80 yard touchdown, and totaled 115 yards on the day for 19.5 FanDuel points. Michael Thomas should be blanketed by Xavier Rhodes, leaving Ginn to potentially roam free and deep downfield.

Tight End

  • Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots ($8,500) – The fourth and final Patriot. If I could fit the whole team on here, I would. What better way to bolster Brady’s passing stats and our FanDuel output than to combine the quarterback with his favorite target. Rob Gronkowski may be the single most dominant player in football when fully healthy, which he currently is. He is just an unstoppable force and an immovable object, combined.

With such strong play out of the Vikings secondary, Drew Brees might have to rely on his tight end a little more this week. Josh Hill ($4,700) caught 3 of 4 balls for 49 yards last week with a touchdown against the Panthers, so look for a chemistry carryover this Divisional Round week.

Kicker

  • Wil Lutz, K, New Orleans Saints ($4,900) – Wil Lutz banged one home from 57 yards last week in the Superdome, and this week he travels to the friendly dome confines of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota. He has the leg and the accuracy to get him into range, so in a close contest against a tough defense I expect the Saints to settle for field goals Sunday.

Points should be at a premium Sunday in Pittsburgh so every score will matter, so look for Josh Lambo ($4,600) to be involved early and often.

Defense

  • New Orleans Saints DST ($4,400) – Having blown all my money on the Patriots (and justifiably so), I need to go real low on defense. And I have no problem backing the defense of the team I think will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints DST is criminally underpriced. Sure, they are a 4 point road underdog. But they are playing Case Keenum in the playoffs. I am certainly not backing that horse. The New Orleans DST scored double digits six times in the regular season, so they showed us high floor fantasy defensive capabilities on a pretty consistent basis.

FanDuel prices the Atlanta Falcons DST at the same price of the Saints at $4,400. However, Atlanta is a 3 point road favorite in the lowest projected game total (41 points), against a team with an implied team total of just 19 starting its backup quarterback.

And that’s a wrap for Fanduel Divisional Round analysis. Remember to always look at the matchups and Vegas totals, which are always telling, and do not be afraid to admit they know more than you, because they usually do. Until next time, good luck and don’t forget to tip me 10% of your earnings. Thanks in advance.

To contact me with any questions or general fantasy football discussion, please email me at [email protected] or tweet me @AJGamballer.

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