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Divisional Round Saturday FanDuel & DraftKings Showdown DFS Primer (49ers at Packers)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Jan 20, 2022
Divisional Round Saturday FanDuel & DraftKings Showdown DFS Primer

The Divisional Round matchup is a rematch from Week 3, a shootout the Packers narrowly won 30 to 28 over the 49ers. But, of course, things have changed since late September. Last week, the 49ers held on for a white-knuckle win in the Wild Card Round. Meanwhile, the Packers rested and might be getting integral players back on defense this week. As a result, the Packers are rightfully a touchdown favorite. However, both teams offer gamers enticing daily fantasy options. I highlight my favorite options below, sussing out others I won’t use.

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Game: San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers

Spread: GB -6.0 Points

Over/Under: 47.0 Points

49ers Analysis

Jimmy Garoppolo wasn't sharp last week, nearly giving San Francisco's win away. Now, he has another injury, nursing a shoulder injury with his lingering thumb problem. In addition, the matchup is mid-pack at best. According to Football Outsiders, the Packers are 15th in pass defense Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). However, per Pro-Football-Reference, they have allowed the 10th-fewest passing yards per game (219.1) at the eighth-lowest adjusted yards per attempt. So, I view this as a below-average matchup for Jimmy G, making him a fade on this single-game slate for me.

Instead, I prefer to get exposure to San Francisco's passing game through the pass-catchers. Deebo Samuel is a do-it-all stud. He's eclipsed 80 scrimmage yards in five straight games, catching three or more passes in each, adding fie or more rushes in each, and scoring at least a touchdown in four of those games. Unfortunately, it's challenging to squeeze all of the superstars in this contest onto the same team. So, Samuel is likely to be a tough cut from most of my rosters. Nonetheless, he's an excellent selection if you choose to pull the trigger.

My favorite options from the 49ers are George Kittle and Elijah Mitchell. The former hasn't reached the 30-yard receiving plateau in four straight games, catching fewer than three passes in three of them. It's a forgettable stretch for Kittle, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of gamers that have used him in their daily fantasy lineups. However, according to Pro Football Focus, during that stretch, Kittle has been second on the team in routes (109). Additionally, he flamed the Packers for 101 scrimmage yards and seven receptions in the first meeting. It's only a matter of time for a Kittle blowup game, and Green Bay is a good matchup for a turnaround. According to Pro-Football-Reference, the Packers allowed the 11th-most DraftKings and FanDuel points per game to tight ends in the regular season.

Mitchell has the easiest path to success, though. Green Bay is 28th in rush defense DVOA. They've allowed 4.28 yards per rush attempt to running backs this year, and San Francisco will accept an invitation to run as long as the game is close. According to Sharp Football Stats, in games with a neutral game script (scoring margin from trailing by six points to leading by six points), the 49ers ran at the fourth-highest rate (49%) in the regular season. And even with Samuel soaking up backfield touches, Mitchell has run the ball 21 times or more in six straight contests.

Brandon Aiyuk and Kyle Juszczyk round out the players I'm considering from the 49ers. Since Week 16, Aiyuk has been tied for second in touchdown receptions (one), second in targets (24), receiving yards (297), tied for first in receptions (19), and first in routes (116). Finally, if the game gets away from the 49ers, Juszczyk might be busy in the passing game. Since Kittle returned from the Injured Reserve in Week 9, Juszczyk has led San Francisco's backs in routes (148), targets (23), receptions (17), and receiving yards (165). He's a trusted option when San Francisco is in comeback mode.

Packers Analysis

Davante Adams is my lock-button selection for this contest. According to Sports Info Solutions, he was second in target share (28.2%) in 2021, parlaying his targets into 7.7 receptions and 97.1 receiving yards per game, scoring 11 touchdowns. Further, he was an unstoppable force against San Francisco in Week 3, securing 12 of 18 targets for 132 yards and a touchdown. Thus, he's the unquestioned top option in Green Bay's passing attack.

The only other member of Green Bay's passing attack who is locked in is Aaron Rodgers. The defending NFL MVP is the favorite to win the award again. Rodgers was 11th in passing yards per game (257.2), tied for fourth in passing touchdowns (37), and first in Adjusted Net Yards Per Pass Attempt (8.00 ANY/A). Additionally, the matchup is much better for Green Bay's passing game than their rushing attack. The 49ers are 16th in pass defense DVOA and second in rush defense DVOA.

Keeping San Francisco's decidedly better rush defense in mind, I'm only lukewarm on Aaron Jones in a shared backfield with AJ Dillon -- who is a total fade or me. Still, it's possible the Packers dump truck the 49ers, creating a path to a good game script for Jones. Also, he's a dual-threat back with a nose for the end zone, giving him outs to score fantasy points in bunches, despite the challenging matchup. Thus, Jones is a good option if you go that route.

However, I would rather lean into the passing game more heavily, taking a chance on the ancillary pieces such as Allen Lazard (at least on DraftKings), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (only if he progresses to a full participant in practice by the end of the week), Randall Cobb, and Josiah Deguara. Lazard and MVS are equipped to exploit San Francisco's struggles defending explosive passes. According to Sharp Football Stats, in the regular season, the 49ers allowed the ninth-highest average explosive pass rate (nine percent). Conversely, Cobb and Deguara are underneath options if San Francisco's pass rush prompts Rodgers to take a quick-hitting approach.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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