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NFL DFS Divisional Round: Picks, Plays and Values

There are only four games this weekend, but plenty of options to build a winning daily fantasy lineup.

Just because your fantasy season is over, doesn’t mean you have to quit playing. This is a great time to throw in some DFS lineups, root for your favorites and watch your bankroll grow.

You can play a two- day slate, a single-day slate or a single game slate this weekend. All ways to play are fun and can be profitable, but the most important thing to bear in mind is that the player pool is much smaller than the regular season Sunday main slate. That means if you want to take down a GPP tournament, you may have to get a little weird. Look to include players that won’t be widely rostered. That way, when you win, you won’t have to share too much of the pie.

A few more general notes:

  1. Pairing or stacking is usually a good way to make sure you get all the points from an offense you believe in. However, you don’t have to stack to win.
  2. If you do stack, consider also putting a player from the opposing team in your lineup. Why? Think of it this way: If you expect the game total to be high in the Bills-Chiefs game (SI Sportsbook has it at 54.5), with only a 2.5-point spread, that means both sides are likely putting up points. If you want Patrick Mahomes to throw more, then you probably also want Stefon Diggs to be having a good day on the other side. Or maybe you go more contrarian with Isaiah McKenzie, but more on that later…
  3. If you don’t want to pair or stack … THAT IS OKAY. Pick your favorite players that you think will perform well, and let it fly!
  4. Have fun.

So with all of that in mind, here are some players that caught my eye for this weekend!

Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs with the ball against the New England Patriots during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 6, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs with the ball against the New England Patriots during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

QBs and QB Pairs

Josh Allen is my favorite spend-up play of the week. Not only does this Bills-Chiefs game have the highest implied total on SI Sportsbook, the Chiefs have surrendered the most points to quarterbacks among the remaining playoff teams in the last four games. Allen threw for five touchdowns last week with zero interceptions, and seeing how the spread is only 2.5 points in the Chiefs’ home stadium, Vegas also expects Allen to have a big day. Mahomes is also a good play, but his matchup is not as favorable on paper. Pair Allen with a $6,500 Stefon Diggs who has been targeted 40 times in the past four contests, while the Chiefs have allowed a league-leading 61 catches to the WR position across the last four.

Matt Stafford remains an outstanding value at $6,200. That’s $100 less than last week, when he threw for 202 yards and 2 TDs with a third TD on the ground. Stafford has an average of 8.1 yards gained per pass attempt this season – third-highest mark in the league -- with a 67.2% completion rate. That’s better than both Allen and Mahomes. The Rams had the Bucs’ number in Week 3 when Stafford threw for 343 yards and 4 TDs, and since 80% of the Rams’ touchdowns came through the air and the Tampa Bay run defense is stout, all signs point to Stafford being a good value again this weekend. You can always pair Stafford with Cooper Kupp at $8,600, or pivot to Odell Beckham Jr. at only $5,400. Beckham caught all four of his targets for 54 yards and a TD last week vs. Arizona, and he looks to be settling into this Rams offense.

Ryan Tannehill is my contrarian pick for the weekend. Yes, I know Tennessee is a run-first team and Derrick Henry will be back, but among the remaining teams, Cincinnati has surrendered the second-most DFS points to opposing QBs across the last four contests. His 67.2% completion rate is tied with Stafford for 10th best in the league, and his seven regular-season rushing touchdowns was second only to Jalen Hurts among QBs. Tannehill threw for four TDs in Week 18, so anything is possible. I don’t expect monster numbers, but the salary you save should certainly afford a spend-up at other positions. He’s only $5,800. Pair him with alpha receiver A.J. Brown at $6,200. The Bengals have allowed 57 catches to opposing wide receivers across the past four contests -- second only to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams is always a must play, even at $8,600 -- as is Cooper Kupp, also at $8600, who you can pair with a value Matt Stafford.

Deebo Samuel at $7,600 and Ja’Marr Chase at $7,100 are both in good spots as well.

Brandon Aiyuk is a good value pick at $5,200 vs. Green Bay. Aiyuk led the Niners in catches, targets and receiving yards vs. the Cowboys.

Allen Lazard at $4,400 is one of my favorite bargain plays this week. Green Bay averaged 11.6 yards per attempt on passes up the middle this season (second-highest in the NFL), and the Packers threw the ball 57.3% of the time in the red zone this season -- third-highest in the NFL. Lazard has averaged six targets and one touchdown per game across the past five games. Add all of that up, and I think we have a winner.

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Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers

Finally, my dart throw is Isaiah Mckenzie. As you’ve guessed by now, I think the Bills are set up for a good game. McKenzie is only $3,500. He had 45 yards on three targets last week while adding another 29 on the ground.

Running Back

Derrick Henry is your spend up play at $7,500. It’s risky, but it could pay off big. If you want more reasons why, please see my Derrick Henry article here.

At a mid-tier salary, the game script could be good again for a $5,900 Devin Singletary, who has been getting a high volume of carries for the Bills as of late, and was a successful pick from this article last week as well.

Elijah Mitchell will continue to see good volume vs. Green Bay. The Packers have allowed an average of 5.13 yards per carry across their last four contests. He’s $5,800.

D’Onta Foreman at $5,400 is a good choice if you don’t expect Henry to return at full strength. He is probably also a bit contrarian for a GPP. The Bengals allowed an average of 21.4 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs across the last four games of the season.

Gio Bernard at $5,000 is good value, as Tom Brady will be looking to find receivers. Bernard saw seven targets last week, while also doing some work on the ground and finding the end zone.

Tight End

Spend up for Rob Gronkowski at $5,800 and Travis Kelce at $6,500 -- both are in good spots this weekend.

George Kittle had nine targets and 92 yards when these two teams matched up in Week 3. He’s $5,300.

For my contrarian spend down at the position, I am rolling with a $3,000 Josiah Deguara. The Niners have allowed 19 catches, 2 TDs and an 82.6% catch rate to TEs over the last four contests.

Finally, if you choose to spend down even more, pivot from Gronk to Cameron Brate. I expect Brady will be looking for any weapon he can find this weekend, and he’s a dirt cheap $2,700.

D/ST

Green Bay is averaging 1.1 interceptions per game and San Francisco has 24 giveaways this season for a total of 82 points. They’re $3,200.

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