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FanDuel NFL Cash Game Lineup Advice: Divisional Round (2020)

by Matt Giraldi | @Mgiraldi | Featured Writer
Jan 10, 2020

Dalvin Cook will need a repeat performance if the Vikings want to advance to the NFC Championship game.

It’s a new week in NFL DFS, which hopefully means that this one won’t have as much hullabaloo as this past weekend had with Draftkings and their Millionaire Maker contest. Fortunately, this article is designed for Fanduel and cash games, so hooray?

The top seeds are back in action this week after an exciting Wild Card Weekend in the NFL. Last weekend, three of the four home teams lost. To compound matters further, those three teams scored a combined three touchdowns, only one of which was a passing touchdown (and Taysom Hill was on the receiving end of that one). The “running backs matter” crowd certainly has had a celebratory start to the postseason.

Most, if not all, of the teams on bye used their week off to get healthy. The Baltimore Ravens have essentially been on bye for the past two weeks and their offensive stars should all be plenty rested. The San Francisco 49ers are getting healthy in their defense, which could dramatically affect the NFC landscape if Kwon Alexander and Dee Ford can come back and play quality snaps.

Here are the players I’m considering for my cash game lineup for the Divisional Round of the playoffs:

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Quarterbacks

Patrick Mahomes (KC): $8,600 vs. Houston Texans
It might be slightly cold in Kansas City for the Chiefs’ playoff opener, but the passing game could heat up real quickly against the Texans defense.

During the regular season, Mahomes threw a touchdown on 19% of his passes that traveled 20 or more yards downfield according to Sports Info Solutions. The Texans haven’t given up a lot of yardage to deep passes (more on that in the tight end section) but when it comes to Mahomes, we’ve realized that anything is possible.

Lamar Jackson (BAL): $9,400 vs. Tennessee Titans
I’m paying up at quarterback this week and it’s really between the two top seeds in the AFC. The question ultimately will be whether the $800 in savings from Jackson to Mahomes will help elsewhere in my lineup. If there’s a way to attack the Titans it’s through the air, though they limited Tom Brady and company last week.

During the regular season, the Titans were in the bottom third of the league in pressure percentage on opposing quarterbacks. Of course, even if the Titans choose to blitz Jackson, according to Pro Football Focus, Jackson threw 23 touchdowns against the blitz in 2019, the most in the NFL. While much of Jackson’s fantasy appeal comes from his running statistics, don’t think for a second he can’t shred a defense through the air.

Other notables

Running Backs

Dalvin Cook (MIN): $8,000 @ San Francisco 49ers
Cook looked 100% last week and he’s going to need a repeat performance if the Vikings want to advance to the NFC Championship game. The best way to attack the 49ers is on the ground. The 49ers defense allowed 4.5 yards per carry this season, which ranked 23rd out of 32 teams. Cook averaged 4.5 yards per carry on his rushes.

 

Aaron Jones (GB): $8,200 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Perhaps the closest (on paper) matchup of the weekend could come where running backs ultimately matter the most. Or is it the least? Either way, Jones has been on a tear lately and Seattle has been getting abused by running backs lately. Opposing running backs averaged 167 yards per game in Weeks 15-17 and 61 receiving yards in Weeks 15-17.

Other notables

Wide Receivers

DeAndre Hopkins (HOU): $8,100 @ Kansas City Chiefs
Hopkins advances to the second weekend of the playoffs for just the second time in his career. This weekend he gets a Chiefs defense that lost one of their safeties in Week 17. The Texans might try and control the clock by running against the Chiefs, but if this game turns into a shootout, Hopkins is going to be needing to have a big game.

Deebo Samuel (SF): $6,100 vs. Minnesota Vikings
When your receivers coaches are Wes Welker and Miles Austin, your transition into the pros is a whole lot easier than most receivers in the NFL. It might have taken Samuel a little while to adapt to the pro game, but his evolution into a bona fide top-tier receiver has accelerated lately. “In Samuel’s first seven games this season, he had 22 catches for 227 yards (10.3 yards per catch) and one touchdown. In his past eight games, he’s had 35 catches for 575 yards (16.4 yards per catch) and two scores.”

Other notables

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce (KC): $7,500 vs. Houston Texans
The Chief’s passing attack has a tasty matchup and in a week where the tight end options are severely limited, Kelce stands out in this game.

 

Kyle Rudolph (MIN): $5,400 @ San Francisco 49ers
Spending down at tight end doesn’t provide a lot of options, but Rudolph has been getting a bunch of usage in the second half of the season. Since Week 7, Rudolph has had five or more targets in six games. Last week against the New Orleans Saints he was targeted seven times including two targets inside the five-yard line. Thus far this week, Stefon Diggs has missed practice with an illness and Adam Thielen injured his ankle in practice. While both receivers are expected to play, the short week could mean that Rudolph is incorporated more into the game-plan.

Other notables

Defense

San Francisco 49ers DST: $4,600 vs. Minnesota Vikings
I mentioned the 49ers defense getting healthy at the right time. That’s really bad news for Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense this week. While Alexander might contribute some snaps, the addition of Ford in the front four dramatically alters this stingy 49ers defense. Let’s just throw some tweets with stats in this space, shall we?

The increased pressure with Ford on the field has also resulted in sacks for the 49ers defense and unsuccessful passing plays from opposing offenses:

The 49ers are my top cash game play at defense and I probably won’t be looking elsewhere. Ride or die with the scarlet and gold!

Other notables

  • Kansas City Chiefs DST: $4,200 vs. HOU

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Matt Giraldi is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Matt, check out his archive or follow him @Mgiraldi.

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