The Divisional Round is here as the DFS season marches on. This week presents a beautiful four-game slate with high-powered offenses and high total games. As I’ve mentioned previously, if a player isn’t mentioned in this write-up, they aren’t part of my player pool for the week. There are many ways to build lineups this week as we all look for ways to get different.
Good luck in your DFS contests, and I’ll see you at the top of the leaderboards.
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NFL DFS Lineup Advice: Divisional Round
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills
- BUF -5.5, O/U 48
- Bengals vs. Bills Player Prop Bets via BettingPros
Joe Burrow: Burrow is playing at a ridiculously high level. He ranks first in PFF passing grade, seventh in big-time throw rate, eighth in adjusted completion rate, and ninth in fantasy points per dropback (minimum 150 dropbacks). Buffalo is a talented pass defense, ranking fourth in fantasy points per game, fifth in yards per attempt, and seventh in EPA per dropback. Burrow could come in lowly rostered this week, with many shying away from this matchup. I’ll still push my bankroll to the middle with Burrow, who has displayed a sky-high ceiling. He has five games with at least 28 DK points. Burrow has the talent and weapons to put up a beautiful stat line.
Josh Allen: Despite some hills and valleys with his passing in recent weeks, Allen remains ranked third in PFF passing grade, first in big-time throw rate, and eighth in yards per attempt (minimum 150 dropbacks). The Bengals are a tough draw, but Allen is like many of the elite quarterbacks on this slate because he is truly matchup-proof. Since Week 14, Cincinnati has ranked eighth in success rate per dropback, tenth in EPA per drop back, and 12th in yards per attempt allowed. Allen’s rushing is his high floor and ceiling combo trump card. He ranks fourth in rushing yards per game and third in rushing touchdowns among quarterbacks.
Ja’Marr Chase: Chase is a target hog. He has at least ten targets in eight of his last nine games, with at least 97 receiving yards in half. Chase has a 29.4% target share, a 40.6% end zone target share, and a 38.1% air yard share. Chase ranked third in red zone targets and 20th in yards per route run in the regular season. He will run about 75% of his routes against Tre’Davious White (51.3% catch rate, 69.1 passer rating), Dane Jackson (59.7% catch rate, 84.0 passer rating), and Kaiir Elam (71.1% catch rate, 83.1 passer rating). Since Week 14, Buffalo has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to perimeter wide receivers. Chase could be shadowed by Tre’Davious White this week. White has shadowed twice this season following Jaylen Waddle and Garrett Wilson on 60-80% of their routes, holding each below 52 receiving yards in coverage.
Tyler Boyd: Boyd has the matchup for Burrow to pick on in this game. Since Week 14, the Bills have allowed the tenth-most fantasy points per game to opposing slot receivers. Boyd should see a bump this week from the 13.9% target share and 17.8% air yard share he saw in the regular season. Boyd ranked 36th among 87 qualifying wide receivers in open rate. Boyd will run about 84% of his routes against Taron Johnson (71.7% catch rate, 107.8 passer rating). Boyd is my favorite value receiver on this slate.
Stefon Diggs: Diggs did Diggs-type things last week with a 24.3% target share and 114 receiving yards. Overall, Diggs has a 27.6% target share, a 37.2% end zone target share, and a 33.3% air yard share. Diggs ranks seventh in open rate, sixth in end zone target rate, and 15th in weighted opportunity. Diggs should spearhead the Bills’ passing attack again this week, running about 66% of his routes against Cam Taylor-Britt (58.5% catch rate, 105.1 passer rating) and Eli Apple (58.4% catch rate, 103.7 passer rating).
Gabriel Davis: Davis equaled Diggs last week with a 24.3% target share as he finished with 113 receiving yards and a touchdown. Davis is second on the team in target share (18.6%) and end zone target share. He also has a 30.3% air yard share and 1.63 yards per route run. Davis ranked 12th in deep targets in the regular season and has nine red zone targets over his last six games. He will run about 89% of his routes against Taylor-Britt and Apple. Davis is my favorite double stack partner with Allen this week.
Dawson Knox: Knox has been on a touchdown heater. Since Week 14, he’s scored in each of his last five full games played with a 17.1% target share. Over this stretch, he’s logged a 75.9% route run rate. Knox has had six red zone targets since Week 15. Knox is another viable double-stacking partner with Allen this week. I’m also not opposed to triple-stacking Allen and betting on 350 passing yards with four passing touchdowns. Allen has three games this season with at least 304 passing yards and four passing touchdowns. Since Week 14, the Bengals have allowed the sixth-most receiving yards per game and eighth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.
Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
- SF -3.5, O/U 46
- Cowboys vs. 49ers Player Prop Bets via BettingPros
Dak Prescott: Prescott silenced some doubters last week logging the highest PFF passing grade, second-highest yards per attempt, and highest adjusted completion rate among quarterbacks. Talent and weekly upside has never been the question. Prescott ranks 11th in fantasy points per dropback, 13th in accuracy, and 13th in yards per attempt. Prescott gets a 49ers’ pass defense that has looked middle-of-the-road over the last few games. Since Week 14, San Francisco has been 17th in success rate per dropback, 11th in EPA per dropback, and 20th in yards per attempt allowed. Prescott is a strong GPP gamble because some gamers will be hesitant to roster him as they tell themselves “well, it’s only one good game.”
Brock Purdy: Purdy flashed a ceiling last week that we had previously not seen. He posted 34.9 fantasy points with his first 300 yards passing day, a season-high 11.1 yards per attempt, and the second game in a row with three passing scores. Purdy ranks 13th in PFF passing grade, second in yards per attempt, and 13th in adjusted completion rate (minimum 150 dropbacks). Purdy faces a Dallas secondary that shut down a floundering Buccaneers passing attack last week. Let’s not pretend that the Cowboys have been playing good defense though over the last few weeks. Since Week 14 they have been 23rd in success rate per dropback, 24th in EPA per dropback, and 27th in passing yards per game, and 21st in explosive pass rate allowed.
Christian McCaffrey: Last week McCaffrey played 74% of the snaps with 17 touches and 146 total yards. He remains the clear leader of this backfield despite almost evenly splitting the red zone work since Week 18 with Mitchell. McCaffrey ranks 16th in evaded tackles, 19th in breakaway run rate, and eighth in fantasy points per opportunity. Since Week 14, Dallas has been fifth in rushing success rate, third in EPA per rush, and 25th in yards per reception against running backs. McCaffrey should play 70% of the snaps while flirting with 20-25 touches. That type of volume and three down skillset is difficult to fade on any slate.
Elijah Mitchell: Mitchell is a large field or MME play. He has averaged 19% of the snaps, eight touches, and 41 total yards since Week 18. His saving grace has been heavy red zone usage and three scores over this span. Mitchell has run well this season with at least 2.89 yards after contact per attempt in five of his six games played.
CeeDee Lamb: Lamb is a target-demanding alpha receiver. He ranks ninth in target share, seventh in target per route run rate, and 14th in air yard share. He is ninth in deep targets and 18th in red zone targets. Lamb ranks sixth in yards per route run and fifth in open rate. The 49ers remain a zone-heavy defense, with their outside corner duo operating in zone on 78% of their coverage snaps last week. Lamb ranks 19th in PFF receiving grade and ninth in yards per route run against zone (minimum 15 zone targets). Lamb will run about 62% of his routes against Jimmie Ward (81.7% catch rate, 93.9 passer rating). The 49ers have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing slot receivers. Lamb is the priority stacking option with Prescott and is one-off viable.
Deebo Samuel: Samuel exploded with a 32.1% target share last week with nine targets and 133 receiving yards (one touchdown). He’s primed to build upon that stellar game this week. Last week Dallas operated in zone coverage on 65-71% of their snaps. Samuel has logged 71.1% of his target volume against zone while ranking tenth in PFF receiving grade and 12th in yards per route run against the coverage type (minimum 15 zone targets). Samuel will run about 60% of his routes against Trevon Diggs (68.9% catch rate, 99.3 passer rating) and Xavier Rhodes (58.3% catch rate, 73.3 passer rating).
Dalton Schultz: Since Week 14, Schultz has had a 21.1% target share, a 21.4% end zone target share, an 83.1% route run rate, and 1.63 yards per route run. The 49ers’ zone-based defense will help Schultz. Schultz has seen 59.6% of his targets against zone, ranking 15th in yards per route run (minimum ten zone targets). Schultz ranks seventh in red zone targets. Since Week 14, the 49ers have been giving to tight ends ranking 27th in catch rate, 24th in receiving yards per game, and 22nd in fantasy points per game.
All data utilized in this article is courtesy of FantasyPros, ESPN analytics, PFF, SharpFootball Stats, Football Outsiders, FTN, 4for4, Rotoviz, RBdsm.com, The Edge from the 33rd Team, and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.