Eight teams remain for the Divisional Round, as Collin Hulbert gives you his best picks for your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
Wildcard Weekend was wild indeed. with all four underdogs covering the spread and three winning outright.
In DFS, there were some sleeper surprises, but the player performances weren’t as volatile as expected. We scored 110 with our picks and surpassed our goal of 105. The average point total last week was around 100 in 50/50 matchups (of my random sample of ten that I viewed). With the field again being eight teams this week, we will have a similar goal of 105 points.
All in all, Wildcard Week went well for us. If you played our lineup in a 50/50 contest, odds were good you cashed. Despite the Texans disappointing game and seven total points, Deshaun Watson managed to score 20 points. Eric Ebron found the end-zone, so we accomplished our mission of finding the unicorn tight end to score this week. Ezekiel Elliott and Allen Robinson carried our roster with 50 total points between the two. The Colts defense (9) was stout, especially given their standing as the lowest-priced defense of the week, by far.
A look ahead to Divisional Round Week
This week will be similar to last week, by strategy. Pay attention to the health of Eric Ebron leading into the game Saturday. If Ebron isn’t healthy, follow the instructions in the tight-end section for the alternative roster.
Good luck with your lineups in the Divisional Round!
|2019 Aussie Millions AU$50,000 Challenge|
|Place||Player||Prize in USD|
Andrew Luck (DK-$6,200/FD-$8,400)
Luck has a pretty ideal matchup this week against a terrible Chiefs defense. The tough part for the Chiefs will be their defensive game plan. The Colts are very balanced on offense, so you won’t see the kind of drastic halt like you’ll occasionally see with a one-dimensional offense. Luck will have nice throwing lanes and some breathing room this week, so I love the upside in this potential shootout.
Alvin Kamara (DK-$7,300/FD-$8,400)
After a quiet three week stretch, Kamara’s last two games averaged 22 points. It’s clear the Saints wanted to dial back his workload along that quiet stretch, especially given the Saints’ safe position as the #1 seed. With the Eagles coming into town and everything on the line, expect Kamara to have a heavy workload.
Last season, it took an entire half for the Saints to wake up and realize Mark Ingram wasn’t going to make a dent in the Vikings defense. Kamara took over and turned the game completely around. I anticipate a lopsided timeshare in this game, with Kamara getting the lion’s share.
Marlon Mack (DK-$5,800/FD-$7,300)
Last week, Andrew Luck opened up the Texans defense early, opening rushing lanes for Mack, who ran hard and was shockingly effective against the Texans stout rush defense. This week, Mack will face one of the worst rush defenses in football, which is impressive given the fact the Chiefs have held large leads for the majority of their games.
Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus will have a tough task containing the Chiefs, but the Colts have the NFL’s top defense (OPP PPG) since Week 7. Mack should get plenty of work in a great matchup.
Keenan Allen (DK-$6,400/FD-$7,100)
Allen is going cheap this week courtesy of his ailing hip, but he’s also coming off a very difficult matchup. The Patriots offer a much more appealing matchup for Allen and the Chargers. FanDuel isn’t high on any of the Chargers this week — Rivers is priced lowest among all eight quarterbacks. This may be a blessing in disguise as the Patriots rank 22nd against the pass and have not had a particularly difficult schedule, to say the least. Despite the ailing hip, Allen is one of the league’s top receivers and an elite route-runner. Expect Allen to bounce back this week with a solid outing.
Amari Cooper (DK-$6,500/FD-$6,800)
Cooper just went over 100 yards in the Wildcard game against a solid Seahawks secondary, and this week’s game is against the vulnerable Rams secondary (14th). It’s by no means a slam dunk, but the thought is the Rams will force Dak to beat them. The Rams haven’t been good against the run and they know stopping Zeke will take more support. This should open up the secondary for the Cowboys receivers and no one is more potent among the corps than Cooper.
Keith Kirkwood (DK-$3,300/FD-$4,900)
Kirkwood isn’t the top target here. He’s been lining up a lot in the slot lately, which creates issues for the defense with his height (6’3). Kirkwood rested through nearly all of Week 17, which may indicate the Saints prioritize him among the key players for the playoff run. Kirkwood should get roughly 35-40% of the snaps Sunday and should see some action against the weak Eagles secondary (30th vs pass).
Eric Ebron (DK-$5,500/FD-$6,600)
Ebron is still a bit banged up, but it seems he will give it a go again this week. If he sits, take Kelce vs the Colts and downgrade from Keenan Allen to Michael Gallup, and upgrade Kamara to Zeke. That’s the contingency plan for the weekend. I was close to taking it as my primary option but I feel like Ebron can do some real damage against the awful Chiefs secondary if he’s healthy.
Chargers D (DK-$2,400/FD-$4,300)
I love what the Chargers did last week. I am confident they can stymie the Pats, who have looked anemic at times this season. Gronk doesn’t seem healthy and Josh Gordon is gone while James White looks like their most dangerous offensive weapon. This matchup reminds me of the Ravens vs Pats from 2009 Wildcard weekend when Brady was met with a hail of boos after a 19-point loss. I just don’t see the same potency with this team this season.
Damien Williams (DK-$5,100/FD-$6,100)
Damien Williams doesn’t have a great matchup, or even a very good one. Williams is cheap and he’s the hot hand in the Chiefs backfield right now. Recent history has shown us the blueprint for Chiefs success has been contingent upon the success of the running back. Williams has had a few huge games since taking over as the primary ball carrier. If this game goes any of four different ways, I expect at least three of them to include a heavy dose of Damien Williams through the air.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who got a little too into Football analysis. Since leaving the Army, he’s practically the Jack Ryan of football analysts. But he spends most of his days with his wife and two daughters, so he is clearly a better father than Jack Ryan.
Follow Collin on Twitter @CollinHulbert