DraftKings NFL Lineup Advice: Divisional Round (1/16)
After watching last week while on bye, the Chiefs are back in action, and the touted plays below include their stud tight end. He’s joined by a do-it-all, bell-cow rookie running back who’s on an underdog but in a favorable matchup. A minimum-salary wideout gets the nod as my favorite value play, and a familiar stack rounds things out.
Travis Kelce (TE – KC): $7,800
Kelce’s undoubtedly going to be a chalk play this week, but given the dearth of talent at the position and his elite wideout-like production, he’s chalk worth eating. To put his dominance relative to his peers in perspective, Kelce’s 1,416 receiving yards in 15 games during the regular season is more than the 1,324 receiving yards Mark Andrews and Rob Gronkowski — second and third in receiving yards among tight ends playing this week — combined for. In addition to posting eye-popping yardage numbers, Kelce also tallied 7.0 receptions per game and scored 11 touchdowns.
Beyond Kelce’s excellence, he gets a boost from being attached to Kansas City’s gaudy implied total of 33.5 points, per the consensus spread and over/under total at BettingPros. A mouthwatering matchup against a Browns defense that’s yielded the fourth-most DraftKings points per game to tight ends this year, according to Pro-Football-Reference, is a cherry on top.
Cam Akers (RB – LAR): $5,700
The Packers are 6.5-point favorites, but I believe the Rams will play them close. Akers has a sizable hand in that belief. The Rams fully unleashed him late in the year, and he bested 80 yards from scrimmage in four of his last six games. He enjoyed one of his best performances of that heater last week, rumbling for 131 rushing yards and a score on 28 carries and securing both of his targets for 45 receiving yards. Akers’ passing-game usage bodes well for his ceiling while elevating his floor in the event the Packers do, in fact, blow out the visiting Rams.
If the game stays close as I expect it to, though, Akers will have an opportunity to run roughshod over a defense that allowed 4.40 yards per carry to running backs. Additionally, backs had success against them through the air. Green Bay yielded the third-most receiving yards (764) and eighth-most receptions (90) to the position. Salary considered Akers is my favorite running back option on this four-game slate.
Favorite Value Play
Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR – CLE): $3,000 at Chiefs
Peoples-Jones’ full-season stats are unexciting, and his game log features plenty of duds. Having said that, that’s largely the product of being an ancillary passing option in a run-first offense. The Browns are 10-point underdogs this week, however, and are likely to be forced to air it out with greater frequency than they’re accustomed to. Enter Peoples-Jones as a beneficiary of the probable catch-up game-script.
Yes, even if the Browns are forced to come from behind, the rookie receiver won’t be atop the pass-catching pecking order. Although, he doesn’t need hefty volume to pay off as a minimum-salary option given his usage and the matchup. Among receivers and tight ends targeted a minimum of 20 times this year, Peoples-Jones’ average depth of target of 16.7 yards downfield was tied for the seventh-deepest mark, according to Sports Info Solutions. His vertical usage should play well against Kansas City’s struggles with ceding explosive passing plays. The Chiefs were tied for the eighth-highest average explosive pass rate percentage allowed at nine percent, per Sharp Football Stats. If the sixth-round pick can haul in a deep ball or two, he can be a big difference-maker on GPP rosters.
Josh Allen (QB – BUF): $7,400 vs. Ravens
Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF): $7,300 vs. Ravens
Allen and Diggs are back again after balling out in last week’s nailbiter win. Allen torched the Colts for 324 passing yards, two touchdown passes, and added 54 rushing yards and another scoring scamper. Predictably, his top receiving option was Diggs, who ripped off a 6-128-1 line on nine targets.
Allen’s put together an MVP-caliber campaign, and he’s been locked in down the stretch. He’s tossed multiple touchdown passes in six straight games and eight of his last nine. He’s also passed for more than 300 yards in three straight games played from start to finish (tossing out his electric half against the Dolphins in Week 17 when he lit them up for 224 yards and three touchdowns before watching from the sidelines in the second half).
A matchup against the Ravens might seem tough at first blush since they were tied for the eighth-fewest DraftKings points allowed per game to quarterbacks, but their blitz-heavy ways could be their undoing this week. The Ravens blitzed at by far the highest percentage this season at 45.1%, per Pro-Football-Reference. It appears they’re poised to stick to their guns, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. As Bills beat reporter Matt Parrino demonstrated using the stats from Pro Football Focus, Allen was quite sharp against the blitz.
No team was blitzed more in 2020 than the Buffalo Bills.
No team’s defense blitzed more in 2020 than the Baltimore Ravens.
– Matt Parrino (@MattParrino) January 11, 2021
Allen had little trouble picking defenses apart that blitzed him, as you can see in the tweet above. Also of note, Allen was a monster when he faced no pressure. The Ravens pressured quarterbacks at the fifth-highest rate (25.9%), according to Pro-Football-Reference. No problem, right? Well, considering they blitzed at the highest rate and ranked just fifth-best in pressure percentage, that means a lot of blitzes failed to get home, and Allen’s rocket arm is fully capable of taking advantage of those opportunities.
Diggs is the natural stacking partner with Allen. The team’s No. 1 receiver led the NFL in receptions and receiving yards. There’s no reason to overthink using him.
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