DraftKings NFL GPP Lineup Advice: Divisional Round
There’s no shortage of high-powered offenses to pick from over the weekend, but one stands out as my favorite. That team is represented by a quarterback/wide receiver/wide receiver three-man stack that drops off their superstar running back. The stack is joined by a two-man stack comprised of a workhorse back and a stud tight end. The touted plays below are rounded out by yet another tight end who I believe will fly a bit below the radar due to the presence of ample high-end alternatives.
Drew Brees (QB – NO): $6,700 vs. Eagles
Michael Thomas (WR – NO): $7,900 vs. Eagles
Ted Ginn (WR – NO): $4,400 vs. Eagles
The Saints have the second highest team over/under total of the weekend at 29.5 points, per Pinnacle. Their well-oiled machine of an offense steamrolled the Eagles for 48 points at home in Week 11, and they’ll be hosting them again this weekend. Last week served as a reminder of pumping the breaks on expecting rematches to play out the way they did previously, though. The Colts won a low-scoring 21-7 game at Houston in their rubber match after one high-scoring shootout in Week 4 and a 24-21 Colts win in Week 14, the Chargers beat the Ravens in Baltimore after getting manhandled and beaten in Los Angeles in Week 16, and the Cowboys turned the tables on the Seahawks after losing in Seattle in Week 3. Having said that, the Saints offense is a juggernaut that’s damn near unstoppable at home, and I expect them to hang a big number on the Eagles.
It starts with their signal caller, Brees. The veteran quarterback has huge home/road splits that favor playing at home. This year, Brees threw 21 touchdown passes and just one interception in seven home games compared to 11 touchdowns and four interceptions in eight road games. His quarterback rating at home was 133.3 compared to 99.3 on the road, his adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) skyrocketed from 7.04 on the road to 11.13 at home, and he passed for 104 more yards per game at home (321.6 passing yards at home and 217.6 passing yards on the road).
Massive home/road splits are nothing new for Brees. Since 2016, he’s averaged 259.88 passing yards, 0.62 interceptions, and 1.62 passing touchdowns per game as well 7.15 passing yards per attempt in 24 road games, according to RotoViz’s Game Splits App. In 23 home games in that same three-year period, Brees has averaged 317.39 passing yards, 0.57 interceptions, and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game with 8.89 passing yards per attempt.
The matchup is great for Brees, too. Philadelphia allowed the eighth-most DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks in the regular season, per Pro-Football-Reference. Football Outsiders (FO) ranked the Eagles in the middle of the pack at 15th in pass defense. In the first meeting this year, Brees thumped the Eagles for 363 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, zero interceptions, and 16 rushing yards. Thomas had a good, but not monstrous effort in that game reeling in all four of his targets for 92 yards and a score. The matchup is dreamy for him, though.
Philadelphia was tied for the third most DraftKings points per game yielded to receivers. FO ranked the Eagles 15th defending No. 1 receivers in the regular season, but the Eagles coughed up the second most passes per game and most receiving yards per game (adjusted for opposing offenses and including defensive pass interference, according to FO) to them.
Last week, Bears’ No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson walloped them for a 10-143-1 line on 13 targets. Nothing against A-Rob and Mitchell Trubisky, but they’re not the one-two combo of Thomas and Brees. Thomas is gonna eat.
Ginn is also positioned nicely to take advantage of Philadelphia’s struggles defending receivers. He returned in Week 16 from injured reserve to face the Steelers, and he immediately carved out a prominent role in the offense ranking second in targets (eight) and receptions (five) while ranking third in receiving yards (74). He posted those solid numbers despite it being his first game back and playing only 41% of the team’s offensive snaps. He was inactive in Week 17 since the Saints didn’t have anything to play for, and after last week’s bye, he’s had sufficient time to keep shaking the rust off and work his way back into a higher percentage off offensive snaps for this contest.
Ginn’s field-stretching ability has played best with Brees at home. He’s played an equal number of road games and home games in his two seasons with the Saints, playing 10 of each. In the road games, he has per-game averages of 4.6 targets, 3.1 receptions, 39.2 receiving yards, and 0.2 receiving touchdowns. In the home games, he has per-game averages of 5.4 targets, 3.9 receptions, 60.4 receiving yards, and 0.4 receiving touchdowns. Sign me up for his home production at his modest salary.
Marlon Mack (RB – IND): $5,800 at Chiefs
Travis Kelce (TE – KC): $7,000 vs. Colts
Mack and Kelce are far and away my favorite two pieces of exposure to the game with hands down the highest over/under total (57 points, seven more than the next closest total in New Orleans) of this round of the playoffs. Yes, I’ll definitely have plenty of exposure to Patrick Mahomes as well, but as I stated above, Brees and co. are my preferred high-powered offense to heavily invest in. I could end up with egg on my face, but I think this game goes under without much of a sweat.
Last week, I touted Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton due to their favorable indoor/outdoor splits that favor playing indoors. I also noted they have big home/road splits that favor playing at home. The Colts will be playing on the road and outdoors in Kansas City. Both Luck and Hilton are outstanding players, but their massive splits coupled with Kansas City’s high-octane offense should provide incentive for head coach Frank Reich to lean on his workhorse second-year back.
Oh, and Mack has a great matchup that should provide even more incentive for Reich to call his back’s number early and often. In fact, “great matchup” is woefully underselling it. FO ranked the Chiefs dead last defending the run. Kansas City allowed the third most DraftKings points per game to running backs in the regular season, trailing only punching bags Cincinnati and Arizona. The Colts talented offensive line has received a ton of praise for keeping Luck upright, but FO also ranked them fourth in adjusted line yards.
Mack creamed a far more talented run defense in Houston for 148 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries last week. He’s scored at least one touchdown in five straight, and he’s posted 119 rushing yards or more in three of his last four games. Look for him to stay hot this week.
Kelce briefly held the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,336 this year, but George Kittle ultimately passed him later that day in Week 17. Kansas City’s matchup-nightmare tight end had per-game averages of 6.4 receptions and 83.5 receiving yards with 10 touchdowns.
He’d be a handful for even the defenses that do the best job defending tight ends, and Indianapolis is nowhere near the top of the heap. The Colts allowed the second most targets (133) and most receptions (106) and receiving yards (1,234) to the position this year. FO ranked them 29th defending tight ends. Kelce will be on literally all of my GPP rosters this weekend.
Gerald Everett (TE – LAR): $2,700 vs. Cowboys
Doubling up on tight ends using one in the flex might be more popular than usual this weekend, but it’s likely to be done with Kelce and either Eric Ebron or Zach Ertz. Everett is less likely to garner as much love. The second-year tight end ended the regular season with a bagel on one target in Week 17, but the Rams won handily and Jared Goff only attempted 26 passes. I wouldn’t be too worried about the no-show.
Speaking of Goff, he’s demonstrated huge home/road splits that favor playing at home in his two seasons playing with Sean McVay. He’s averaged 235.62 passing yards, 19.06 completions, and 1.75 passing touchdowns per game in 16 road tilts, but those numbers jump to 313.13 passing yards, 23.73 completions, and 2.13 passing touchdowns per game in 15 home games. Goff’s success at home raises the ceiling of all of his pass-catching options, including Everett. Prior to posting a goose egg in Week 17, he was riding a three-game stretch in which he tallied catch totals of four, five, and five. The yardage total of 103 receiving yards leaves something to be desired, but the hefty catch total is promising.
The Cowboys defense is very good, but they are a bit susceptible to getting picked apart by tight ends. FO ranks them 19th defending the position. Everett’s upside probably belies his tiny salary and unexciting full-season totals this year.