Welcome DFS degenerates! Playoff NFL DFS is among the favorites for people to play. At this point, redraft fantasy is over. Dynasty has not moved on to their rookie drafts yet. The slates are smaller and everything is on the line for the teams involved. Life is good.
We are going to go through the Sunday slate of games for DraftKings and identify some of the better targets for a range of lineups.
Let’s get into it.
Cash Game Considerations
Interesting. The quarterback that finished as the overall QB1 on the season slides in as the best cash game option for DFS purposes. Funny how that works out. Here are some simple facts: Josh Allen is going to be a straight chalk play. Expect him to end up as the highest rostered quarterback of this slate, and not without good reason. He saunters in with the highest DK points per game average at the position and everything to play for in a game that could easily hit the over.
The Chiefs defense has flipped from among the worst to among the best and back to allowing points. Cumulatively, they have been the 21st ranked defense against quarterbacks. When these teams met back in week five, Allen put on a show. He threw for 315 yards, zero interceptions, and added 59 rushing yards with another score on his way to a 39.5 DK-point day. The stakes are higher this time around, and with Pat Mahomes dueling from the other side, expect some back and forth action to keep them both throwing.
Allen is locked in as the potential QB1 for this weekend and should be a foundational part of cash game lineups.
We have come a long way from Devin Singletary vs. Zack Moss debates that were rampant on Twitter in the preseason. After a weird couple of weeks where Matt Breida curb-stomped both of their respective values, Singletary has emerged not only as the lead dog in this backfield but as a reliable fantasy producer. Over the last four games Singletary is averaging 22.2 DK points per contest and has scored multiple touchdowns in three of those games.
The Chiefs are middle of the pack when it comes to stopping the run, and Josh Allen will move the ball well enough to give Singletary early-downs carries. He has gained some reliability in goal-line situations. The perceived volume with the touchdown upside makes Singletary a viable cash game option.
Cooper Kupp (WR - LAR) $8600
Why are you reading this? Who needs any kind of convincing that if the question is 'DFS wide receiver' the obvious answer is Cooper Kupp? Move along.
Travis Kelce (TE - KC) $6500
Here is the catch with firing up Travis Kelce in lineups. The Bills have allowed the third-fewest points to the position over the course of the regular season. In their last match up, Kelce caught six passes for 57 yards and a score on ten targets. There are zero reasons to expect Kelce to be anything less than one of the focal points of this passing attack. He operates all over the formation and frequently finds ways to create a mismatch for Pat Mahomes to exploit.
Kelce is averaging 72.5 receiving yards and 17.9 DK points per game. His home/road splits are nearly identical and this game is going to feature plenty of passing and plenty of scoring. Kelce will be heavily involved. Do not expect him to pass for another touchdown, but he could easily be on the receiving end of one.
GPP Game Considerations
Tom Brady (QB - TB) $6800
Betting against Tom Brady in the playoffs is often an exercise in futility. He competes at a high level during the regular season and then finds a way to turn it up to 11 when in the playoffs. There are those immediately pointing to his reduced arsenal of receiving weapons as a reason to avoid putting him in lineups. Hogwash. Remember the last Patriots receiving squad he led to a Super Bowl? Yeah, that one was also ever so slightly void of big-name weapons. Brady finds ways to get it done.
Brady threw for over 400 passing yards three times this season. Of those three occurrences, his season-high 432-yard performance came against the Rams in week three. Granted, Chris Godwin was still healthy at the time. There are enough trustworthy receiving options for Brady to have some success through the air. Expect the Rams to do some scoring of their own, allowing Brady to do what he's done all season. Throw the dang ball.
The Rams could pull off the upset in this one, which bodes well for plenty of pass attempts. With people viewing the tough defense and missing receivers as reasons to fade Brady, his expected roster percentage is in a prime spot to utilize him in tournament contests.
Cam Akers (RB - LAR) $5500
Before any analysis occurs, seeing Cam Akers on the football field, taking carries, and looking great doing it, was awesome. The shifty, multi-faceted running back totaled 95 scrimmage yards with his first significant workload of the season and took over touches (to some extent) in the back half of that game.
Moving forward, this feels very much like a Talladega Nights bit with Akers representing the shake while bruiser Sony Michel handles the bake. The one-two punch these backs represent is formidable. The Rams want to feature the skill set that Akers brings to the offense with his burst and wiggle.
The Bucs run defense is very stout, reducing Akers' roster percentage. Matt Stafford can move the offense down the field, creating enough of the high-value opportunities to make Akers an intriguing tournament option. Shake and bake.
Stefon Diggs (WR - BUF) $6500
There is an excellent chance that Stefon Diggs is on the lower side of roster percentage than he is typically accustomed to. After a four-target outing last week, and what felt like the only pass-catcher to NOT come down with a touchdown, managers were livid after that game. Well, maybe not all of them, but I certainly was. While the 60 receiving yards were not a complete lineup killer, it was a long way away from creating the warm and fuzzies based on the salary.
This matchup is very friendly for wide receivers, especially ones that find some separation. Well, my friends, that is a talent Mr. Diggs happens to have in his arsenal. Diggs is averaging just over 71 receiving yards per contest and finished the regular season with 10 touchdowns. His 16.7 DK points per game average is the fourth-highest among the receivers on this slate.
When looking at the home/road splits, Diggs actually fares better traveling. His PPR points-per-game average goes from 14.45 to 18.73 when on the road. Likewise, his average yards per contest is 55.75 in Buffalo compared to 87.25 when traveling. There is a lot to like from a tournament standpoint. The statistical road averages, the match up, and the salary is workable for tournament plays.
Rob Gronkowski (TE - TB) $5800
This is very simple; The run game is suspect. If Leonard Fournette plays, there is the risk of re-injury to his hamstring. The receiving core is minus two of their more reliable weapons. The other healthy receiver, Mike Evans, is going to receive the bulk of the defensive attention by Jalen Ramsey, arguably the best corner the Rams have to offer. By the time everything is sifted out, it translates into a fair amount of targets for Rob Gronkowski.
Gronk has played well and came through with a 5/31/1 line and 14.1 points in last week's match up. The Rams rank 21st against the pass and allowed 40 or more receiving yards to the position 12 times during the regular season. With missing weapons in the backfield and out wide, Gronk will once again be a focal point for Brady.
With only a two-game slate and the position being more volatile than others, it is worth paying up a bit to get Gronk into lineups. His 14.9 DK points per game is second among the position for this slate.
Matt Stafford lost some serious weight last weekend. After thirteen seasons in the NFL, Stafford shed the monkey of his 0-3 playoff record with a decisive victory over the Cardinals. Interestingly enough, he managed this feat on the lowest number of pass attempts he's had all season. He finished with only 17 pass attempts for 202 yards and two passing touchdowns. He managed to add a rushing score to finish with 24.28 DK points.
The last time these two teams met, Stafford threw for 343 yards and four scores and beat the Bucs. In six games total against the Bucs, Stafford averages 276 passing yards and 2.3 touchdowns. I actually expect him to beat that average as the path to downing the Bucs is paved through the air. Expect McVay and company to throw in enough running plays to keep the defense honest, and then funnel the offense through the air.
McVay brought Stafford in for this moment and everything that lays beyond it. Expect Stafford to be ready to compete and knowing this team can be beat through the air only makes his DFS value seem to exceed the salary required to put him in lineups.
Trying to decipher how the targets get distributed by Josh Allen has been a bit of a struggle lately. While the ability to find the open man and spread the ball around is coveted for real football purposes, it sure makes the fantasy side of the sport a challenge.
Both Gabriel Davis and Dawson Knox came down with touchdowns last week, two for the latter. In fact, Knox led the team in receiving yards in their wild-card victory match up.
Both of these players fit into a definable mold. They are play-makers in high-value situations. Knox finished the season with the second-most touchdowns on the team, despite being fourth in yards. Davis finished with the fifth-most yards and third-most receiving touchdowns. Translation, when it counts the most, these guys get the job done.
When playing for value in tournament situations, I want the boom play for the bargain price. Sometimes, it strikes out, sometimes, it blows up. If loading up on high-salary players for this slate, both Davis and Knox have salary-friendly availability and offer plenty of upside.
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