FanDuel NFL Lineup Advice: Divisional Sunday (1/17)
There are some tough decisions to make on the two-game Sunday only slate on FanDuel. Which Chiefs pass-catcher do you use, Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce? Which Browns running back do you use, Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt? And do you pay up at quarterback with Patrick Mahomes or save some salary with one of the other options? Honestly, I’m still not 100 percent certain which way I will go in my cash game lineup, but I’ll let you know which way I’m leaning.
Cash Game Core
Tom Brady (QB – TB): $7,700
My quarterback in cash games will come down to a decision between Brady and Patrick Mahomes. While Brady struggled in the last matchup with the Saints when he threw for just 209 yards and had three interceptions, he has the Buccaneers offense playing at another level right now. Over the last four games, Brady has averaged 380 passing yards and three touchdown passes per game.
Another couple of other reasons that I’m leaning toward Brady over Mahomes right now: first, he offers $1,500 in salary savings, which can be used to help spend up on a second wide receiver; second, picking which Bucs receiver to use is a nightmare right now with Brady spreading the ball around so much.
Alvin Kamara (RB – NO): $9,000
The Saints’ touch distribution could become very condensed on Sunday if Taysom Hill and Latavius Murray are unable to play. The potential loss of those two players will give Kamara even more touches and goal-line opportunities, making him the top running back option on Sunday’s slate by far. While the Buccaneers have been stingy against opposing running backs on the ground this season, Kamara still managed to have a rushing score in both of their regular-season meetings.
The Buccaneers have also struggled to stop pass-catching backs, allowing an average of 7.0 receptions (31st) for 54 yards (31st) per game to running backs over the last five weeks. As for your second running back in cash games, and the answer to the Browns’ backfield question posed in the intro, the answer has to be Kareem Hunt due to salary considerations and lineup construction. Plus, it is a #RevengeGame for Hunt, as he’ll face the team that released him.
Michael Thomas (WR – NO): $7,200
Thomas immediately reentered the mix as one of the primary options in the New Orleans offense in the Wild Card round. He caught an early touchdown catch on his way to five grabs on seven targets for 73 yards in an easy win over the Bears. Thomas should be forced into more work (AKA: targets) this week in a potential back-and-forth shootout against the Buccaneers. Look for his targets to spike into double-digits — and for his production to follow — as Brees’ most trusted wide receiver in a playoff game. It helps that he’ll play indoors and at home, offering him ideal conditions for a big game.
Travis Kelce (TE – KC): $8,500
Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce? Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill? Unfortunately, we can’t have both (at least in cash games), unless we are willing to take on a lot of risk. Of course, jamming in both of them in a GPP lineup is more than welcome. Anyway, my current lean is to use Kelce. He has been the more consistent option of the two and plays a position with fewer quality alternatives.
Kelce has earned double-digit targets in seven of his last eight games and has reeled in at least seven catches in all eight of those games. He has also scored touchdowns in six of them. Kelce blew up in the Chiefs’ first playoff game last season after a first-round bye by hanging 10 catches for 134 yards and three scores on the Texans, another non-divisional opponent who couldn’t keep up with him. The Browns have allowed 5.3 receptions (25th) for 60 yards (28th) and 0.6 touchdowns (22nd) per game to tight ends this season.
Other Cash Options
- Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC) $7,700
- Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE): $6,200
- Tyreek Hill (WR – KC): $8,800
- Chris Godwin (WR – TB): $7,500
- Rashard Higgins (WR – CLE): $5,300
- Demarcus Robinson (WR – KC): $5,100
- Austin Hooper (TE – CLE): $5,500
GPP Stacking Options
Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE): $7,400
Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE): $6,900
Austin Hooper (TE – CLE): $5,500
After finally making the playoffs and winning their first game, some might think the Browns have reached their pinnacle for the season, but I have a feeling that they have a bit of fight left in them. While they will face an uphill challenge and will probably trail the Chiefs all game, that makes for a great game environment for Mayfield and the Cleveland passing game to fill up the stat sheet.
Mayfield has had to try to climb this mountain before, including games in Week 13 and 14, when he played in back-to-back high-scoring affairs against playoff teams in the Titans and Ravens. In those two efforts, he amassed 677 passing yards and six touchdown passes. I probably won’t get cute with the pass-catchers to hook him up with by using his top two options, Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper, who are both at reasonable salaries, allowing you to pay up at other positions such as the high-priced Chiefs on the other side.
- Drew Brees (QB – NO): $7,300
- Nick Chubb (RB – CLE): $8,200
- Ronald Jones (RB – TB): $6,300
- Le’Veon Bell (RB – KC): $6,000
- Mike Evans (WR – TB): $7,100
- Antonio Brown (WR – TB): $6,400
- Mecole Hardman (WR – KC): $5,200
- Deonte Harris (WR – NO): $5,200
- KhaDarel Hodge (WR – CLE): $4,600
- Jared Cook (TE – NO): $5,600
- Rob Gronkowski (TE – TB): $5,600
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