It’s playoff time in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop playing fantasy football. Daily fantasy is here to fulfill your fantasy needs throughout the actual NFL playoffs.
There are less players to pick now, so make your picks count. Here we go:
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ($6,400): This is an exceptional price for Rodgers (by far his lowest of the year), who, while having a rough year still threw at least a touchdown pass in every game but one this year, and had 31 TDs overall on the season. Moreover, he faces the weakest pass defense in the wild card round in the Washington Redskins. The Skins rank 19th in passing defensive efficiency per Football Outsiders and rank only 21st in overall defensive efficiency. They were also 8th from the bottom in passing yards allowed per game. I think this can be a big game for Rodgers.
Bang for Your Buck
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins ($5,900): Cousins is absolutely dynamite at home with 16 touchdowns versus only 2 interceptions and a 117 quarterback rating. In his last 4 home games, he has 10 total touchdowns and has gone over 300 yards in 3 of the 4 games. The Packers have an excellent pass defense, but Cousins has a chance to have some success.
A.J. McCarron, Cincinnati Bengals ($5,200): Andy Dalton is not yet practicing, so it looks like the A.J. McCarron show this weekend. McCarron has actually thrown multiple touchdowns in both of his home games, including one against the Steelers where he went for 280 yards and 2 TDs. The Steelers allowed the 3rd most yards in the air this season at 272. I love McCarron at this price.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks ($6,500): Beast Mode is back! It was a tough, injury riddled season for Lynch, but he appears to be fully healthy in advance of the playoffs and is listed as probable this week. It will be one of the coldest NFL games on record when the Seahawks go to Minnesota, and Lynch will likely get the ball a lot. The Vikings actually have a below average run defense, ranking 12th from the bottom in yards per attempt allowed and are ranked 18th in defensive efficiency versus the run this year. I am looking forward to slotting Lynch in some of my lineups this week.
Bang for your Buck
Fitzgerald Toussaint, Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,900): The Bengals’ run defense is stout, but DeAngelo Williams actually managed 23.1 fantasy points against them a few weeks ago. It looks like Williams will be out and Fitzgerald Toussaint will be the starting running back for the Steelers this week. Toussaint hasn’t shown much in his cup of coffee to date (a long rush of 7 yards over 18 attempts), but with additional work, he should be able to rack up double digit points at a cheap price.
Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins ($3,700): Morris had a pretty dreadful season, but he did pick up his first 100 yard game since the opener last week and Matt Jones is not expected to play this week. The Packers actually have some difficulty stopping the run, ranking 4th from the bottom in the NFL in yards per attempt allowed. The Redskins will likely have to run the ball quite a bit to win, so look for a lot of Morris. Could be a nice play at a nice price.
Pierre Thomas, Washington Redskins ($3,400): The former Saints running back has started to emerge somewhat in the Redskins backfield. Matt Jones is likely out and Thomas appears to have leapfrogged Chris Thompson as the 3rd down back. DraftKings is full PPR scoring and Thomas has a chance to catch 5 balls for 50 yards against the Pack this weekend.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers ($9,600): Brown struggled against the Bengals in both games this season (by his lofty standards), but I am not shying away from him. This man led the NFL in reception, was 2nd in receiving yards and was 10th in receiving touchdowns. The Bengals were actually only middle of the pack against #1 receivers, ranking 13th in defensive efficiency. I think this will be a vintage game for Brown.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals ($7,500): The Steelers have not been able to contain Green this year as he has gone for 6/132/1 and 11/118/1 against them this season. Moreover, the Steelers rank only 27th in defensive efficiency against all #1 receivers. Green should be able to get open early and often. I fear that everyone will be on this pick, but I’ll still have Green in some of my lineups.
Bang for your Buck
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers ($5,800): I know that if you had Cobb in your season-long teams you will be hard pressed to put him in your lineups after the disappointing campaign that he had. Despite that, the Redskins rank a terrible 28th in defensive efficiency against #1 receivers, and Cobb is unquestionably the #1 target in Green Bay. Look for a bunch of targets for Cobb and a good game.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins ($4,200): The erstwhile NFL reception leader is starting to come on strong recently with touchdowns in his last 3 games and 49+ yards receiving in 5 of his last 6 games. The Packers struggle against #1 receivers, ranking only 22nd in defensive efficiency against top targets. Look for Garcon to get his.
James Jones, Green Bay Packers ($4,100): As you can see, I love the Packers passing offense this weekend. Jones led the Packers in receiving yards with 890 and went over 100 yards in his last game. The Redskins struggle against the pass as I outlined, and I think the Packers offense gets their mojo back this week. This is my stack of the week.
Jermaine Kearse, Seattle Seahawks ($3,300): Tyler Lockett is banged up, so Kearse seems to be the #2 target for the Seahawks and Minnesota ranks only 25th in defensive efficiency against #2 receivers. Kearse has touchdowns in his last two games and has gone over 12 DraftKings points in 5 of his last 6 games. For $3,300, you can do much worse.
Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins ($6,300): Reed has been truly remarkable when healthy this season. In his last 3 full games he has gone over 120 yards in 2 of them and has 5 total touchdowns over that span. The Packers are actually good against the tight-end, ranking 4th in defensive efficiency. I don’t care. Give me some Reed!
Bang for your Buck
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings ($3,500): The Seahawks are a great defensive team, but their one bugaboo has been defending the tight-end. On the season, they rank only 26th in defensive efficiency against the big guys. The Vikings made the mistake of only targeting Rudolph 4 times the last time they played. They won’t make the same mistake twice. I like Rudolph to bounce back and have a nice game.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,300). Miller caught more than 5 balls only twice this season. Each of those two games that he caught more than 5 balls, he actually doubled that output catching 10 balls. Both times he did it were against the Cincinnati Bengals. 1/3 of Miller’s catches this year have come against the Bengals. Can this possibly continue? I will pay up to find out.
Bang for your buck
Seattle Seahawks ($4,100) at Vikings: It’s going to be cold, and the Seahawks aren’t going to allow many points. If you can afford them, play them.
Green Bay Packers ($2,800) at Redskins: I like this as a GPP punt play. While Cousins has been impressive this year, it is his first playoff game and he might be nervous. The Packers’ defense is stout and they are the cheapest on the board. They are worth a shot.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @AssemblyNeil