Wild Card weekend was quite literally the definition of its name. For us [Bears] fans whose team didn’t make the postseason, it was an incredible sight to watch the four exciting games last weekend. I have to give a big shout out to my fellow On Tap Sports Net writer and fantasy guru: Premier Amp. If it weren’t for his advice, I wouldn’t have taken Taysom Hill as a flex option, and he was the actual difference in my winning.
The Divisional Round is here, though, and with it comes a whole different slew of options. I must be honest too; this has to be the hardest time picking a DFS lineup that I’ve ever had. I know the obvious: Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Mark Ingram, George Kittle, and Derrick Henry. However, here’s the rub:
How do you select all of them with a limited budget? The answer is, in fact, that you cannot. Let’s get down to it because I beat my head against the wall long enough while staring at my FanDuel account.
Jimmy Garoppolo($7,900) - Jimmy-G was the second-highest rated quarterback only behind Lamar Jackson, which comes to no surprise. Jackson was a whopping $9,500! As badly as I wanted to play Jackson, I couldn’t see myself winning with the lineup I created with him eating up so much of my capital. When it all boils down, Kirk Cousins ($7,600) and Ryan Tannehill ($7,800) were cheaper options, but I just can’t put any trust in them. Garoppolo has thrown for over 200 yards in eight of his last ten games, against formidable defenses might I add, and these yards all come from a team that sprouts a run-heavy scheme. The Niners take on a solid defensive squad in the Vikings, but I feel that Jimmy will give you the absolute best possible value in comparison to Jackson. I expect another 200-yard game and one touchdown from him this weekend.
Derrick Henry($9,800) – It’s no surprise here that the walking, talking, bulldozing tank known as Derick Henry is the highest rated RB1 going into the Divisional Round. He rushed for 182 yards and added a receiving touchdown against New England last week, hence why I’m so hesitant to start Tannehill. Do I think the Ravens are going to stop Henry?
Eat the almost ten grand, set this man, and forget about it. I’m not expecting the Titans to continue this Cinderella story, but I definitely think it’s going to be a good contest. I expect Henry to break the 100-yard mark and score twice.
Dalvin Cook($8,600) – The trend continues in running backs that make me trust their starting quarterbacks even less with Dalvin Cook. Kirk Cousins had a really impressive final drive in overtime last week against the Saints, especially on that throw to Adam Thielen. However, that impressive presence ends here. The 49ers have a solid defense and I don’t see Cousins doing what he did last week (242 yards and one touchdown). Incoming is: Dalvin Cook averaging 19 fantasy points per game and having a massive 94-yard, two-touchdown game against the Saints. Book Cook and expect over 75 yards and at least one score.
George Kittle($7,300) – Seeing as Kittle was the clear-cut best tight end of Saturday’s slate, this was expected. Pairing him with Jimmy-G made too much sense not to do. The Niners are going to run the hell out of the ball in this game, but that is only going to open up Kittle across the middle of the field. He averaged over 15 fantasy points in his last seven games and is clearly one of Jimmy’s favorite targets. I expect a big game from Kittle here with six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Here is where the weeds get a little thick. If you’ve kept count up to this point, we’re sitting at an expensive $33,600. The receivers pool is a tough one to tread in. A.J. Brown is first overall at $7,500 with Stefon Diggs ($7,100) and Adam Thielen ($7,000) right behind him. I would have loved to play the Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year in Brown, but that would have left my team all too thin. Also, I don’t trust his quarterback in this game. So who is it?
Emmanuel Sanders($5,800) – There is great value here, in my opinion. Sanders hasn’t seen fewer than four targets since November 24th vs. Green Bay. The work is there for him, and it’s all on his shoulders to make the most out of the opportunities he has. I see him catching three out of five balls for 60 yards and possibly finding the end zone on a short play.
Marquise Brown($5,300) – Pending any setbacks from his recent illness, Brown should be in line for his usual high-target, high-reward style of game here. The key here is the value: $5,300. You’ll take two or three catches for 45 yards and a possible score at that price.
Kendrick Bourne($4,900) – This here is another simple boom-or-bust play. I’m going for a cheap receiver who can explode on the off-chance Jimmy-G looks his way. I look back at the numbers from the San Francisco-New Orleans game from early December where Bourne hauled in three catches for 18 yards and two touchdowns. This is a nice cheap option on a very difficult menu of “which steak looks best?”
Kyle Rudolph($5,500) – This was a very difficult decision for me. I must have swapped my flex three or four times, but it ultimately comes down to who I think will be trustworthy for reps. In my mind, Cousins has to go to his hot-handed and game-winning tight end, Kyle Rudolph. With a very solid value at $5,500, if Cook isn’t running in from the one-yard line, then expect Rudolph to be the red-zone favorite of Cousins. I’m not expecting much from Rudolph, but I will gladly take three catches, 30 yards, and a score for the price.
Baltimore($4,800) – This was the easiest pick for me. Baltimore has at least one interception in all but five games this year, and now that I’m a broken record, you’ll know I don’t trust Tannehill here. That trend continues when the Titans continue to pound the ball on the ground; and when Tannehill throws a nasty interception that gets taken all the way to the house, you’ll be thanking me. The Ravens are the most expensive defense on Saturday’s slate of games, however, they are worth it for the possible defensive touchdown and almost-guarantee of two or more sacks.
Good luck this weekend! Tweet @FantasyHRontap for all fantasy-related questions and let us know how you fared!