The Cruncher List and Core Four for the Divisional Round: Game-By-Game Analysis

The Cruncher List and Core Four for the Divisional Round

This week, we will do a game by game breakdown, highlighting some of the best options when it comes to building line-ups for the Divisional Round!  Our Core 4 piece will be focused on the Main Slate for DraftKings, which encompasses all four games this weekend!  With that said, let’s dive in and break down the first round of NFL Playoff action!

Minnesota @ San Francisco (-7), Projected Total: 44.5 points

Minnesota – Projected total: 18.75 points

The Vikings have a low projected total this week after pulling off the shock of Wildcard Weekend, knocking off the Saints in the dome.  WR Adam Thielen is questionable and will likely be a game-time decision for the Vikings, if he suits up – he will likely be at less than 100%, which is enough to keep him off my board this week, even if he does play.

That essentially leave us with QB Cousins, who is a pass for me.  RB Dalvin Cook has a high ceiling and should fly under the radar from a game theory standpoint, but I do prefer a couple other backs this week who have better match-ups than the versatile Cook – which keeps him off The Cruncher List, though I would recommend keeping him in your player pool.  WR Stefon Diggs will likely need to have a big game in order for the Vikings to have a chance, and even if the 9ers get up significantly in this one, I expect Diggs to get plenty of looks from Cousins.  The price point is affordable for Diggs – and I think he’s a great play this week – though there are no shortage of quality WR’s too choose from in his price range, so I wouldn’t argue with anyone that opted for a fade here.

The Cruncher List

  • WR Stefon Diggs

Good Plays

  • RB Dalvin Cook

San Francisco 49ers – Projected total: 25.75 points

The projected point total is one of the better for the Divisonal Round, though there are a couple teams projected to clear the point total for San Francisco…however, that is priced in as well – as there are a number of affordable options for the 49ers.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo checks in as a great option if you are looking to spend down at QB this week.  The Vikings defence has been playing better football of late, but it is hard to argue with the savings and how rostering Jimmy G opens up options for spending up at RB/WR/TE this week.

RB Raheem Mostert is an elite option this week.  He should be the lead back for the 49ers yet again this week, and while I wouldn’t expect him to clear 15 touches – I think he clears value this week with ease.

I prefer WR Deebo Samuel to WR Emmanuel Sanders – I have really liked what I have seen from Deebo down the stretch, and in a must-win playoff scenario, I expect him to be leaned on heavily by the 49ers – much like DK Metcalf was a week ago for Seattle.  With that said, I would keep Sanders in your player pool – and he could be a nice lower owned pivot off of Deebo from a game theory standpoint, so there is some appeal to that.

Finally, TE George Kittle is an elite option at TE this week, right along with Kelce.  I love both TE’s this week, and you can make a strong argument to roster both (assuming Kelce’s health checks out)

The Cruncher List

  • QB Jimmy Garoppolo
  • RB Raheem Mostert
  • WR Deebo Samuel
  • TE George Kittle
  • 49ers DST

Good Plays

  • RB Matt Breida (long-shot punt)
  • WR Emmanuel Sanders

Tennessee @ Baltimore (-10), Projected total: 47 points

Tennessee – Projected Total: 18.5 points

Much like last week, I have interest in two Titans this week, RB Derrick Henry and WR A.J. Brown.  Last week, I thought Henry was an elite option while Brown was worth keeping in your pool – and this week, I recommend keeping both in your player pool – but neither make the cut for The Cruncher List in this one.  Baltimore has an elite defence across the board, and I expect the Ravens to move the ball with ease on the ground, controlling the clock and keeping the Titans in a negative game script.  This has the potential to work in A.J. Brown’s favour (or other options in the passing game if you like WR Corey Davis for instance) – but all in all, I think the Titans are in tough this week.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • RB Derrick Henry
  • WR A.J. Brown

Baltimore – Projected Total: 28.5 points

QB Lamar Jackson makes line-up construction quite difficult if you pay up for him, but it’s hard to argue with his floor and ceiling, and if you find yourself loving some value plays on the board – he is far and away the best option at QB this week.

RB Mark Ingram is less than 100% – I would keep him in your player pool, but I wouldn’t go nuts with exposure here.  I love this spot for a low-moderately owned Gus Edwards.  Edwards should approach 10 touches either way, but even with Edwards backing up Ingram – I think he’s got a strong chance of having a productive week this week, and he could be a contest winner if Ingram were to see his workload limited.

WR Marquise Brown is a boom/bust option with game-breaking ability and a high ceiling – but I wouldn’t go nuts with exposure % here.

TE Mark Andrews is more expensive than he should be IMO, but he is an interesting pivot off of the likes of Kelce and Kittle, both of whom I expect to be more popular.

The Ravens DST is an elite option this week.

The Cruncher List

  • QB Lamar Jackson
  • RB Gus Edwards (not cash)
  • Ravens DST

Good Plays

  • RB Mark Ingram
  • WR Marquise Brown
  • TE Mark Andrews

Houston @ Kansas City (-10), Projected Total: 51

Houston, Projected Total: 20.5 points

The Texans have a low projected total in this one, playing on the road against a Kansas City defence that was elite down the stretch.  I may be in the minority here, but I want nothing to do with any Texans in this match-up.  I’ll keep WR DeAndre Hopkins in my player pool, and would advise the same – but outside of him, I have no problem fading the Texans this week.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • WR DeAndre Hopkins

Kansas City, Projected Total: 30.5 points

The price points are more reasonable than I was expecting for Kansas City, given the high projected total they check in with this week, fresh off of a bye week against a Houston defence that can be exposed.  There are no shortage of elite options here, and they make for a great team to rotate stacks to get as many pieces here as you can.

Mahomes is a great pivot to free up some salary vs. rostering Lamar Jackson.  While he still is expensive, line-up construction opens up a bit vs. some of the obstacles that you face paying up for Lamar.

RB Damien Williams will likely be the clear lead back for the Chiefs in this one, and at an affordable price point, he’s an elite option this week, in fact – while there is risk – he is my favourite dollar for dollar option at the position this week.

WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce as both elite plays if you can afford them as well.  I’d keep WR Mecole Hardman in your player pool for MME formats.

You won’t be able to afford all of these pieces without significantly limiting your spends in other spots, but I like the idea of rotating combinations of 3 man stacks here.

The Cruncher List

  • QB Patrick Mahomes
  • RB Damien Williams
  • WR Tyreek Hill
  • TE Travis Kelce
  • Chiefs DST

Good Plays

  • WR Mecole Hardman

Seattle @ Green Bay (-4), Projected Total: 47

Seattle, Projected Total: 21.5 points

I’m surprised the line on this one isn’t a little more tight, but I wouldn’t go nuts with a full-blown Seattle stack in this one as they will be on the road against a solid defence in Lambeau Field.  QB Russell Wilson is an elite option at QB at his price point – and I don’t mind playing him individually or as a stack with WR DK Metcalf or WR Tyler Lockett, though I wouldn’t go with all three.

RB Marshawn Lynch is a TD dependent back, but the price point is attractive, and if you think he’ll find the endzone, he is a solid option to open up value.

TE Jacob Hollister is a punt with upside at TE

The Cruncher List

  • QB Russell Wilson
  • WR DK Metcalf

Good Plays

  • RB Marshawn Lynch
  • TE Jacob Hollister

Green Bay, Projected Total: 25.5 points

RB Aaron Jones is my favourite to be the highest absolute scorer at the position this week.  I expect him to see a few more touches than usual due to there being no point of limiting his touches as we saw most of the year.  RB Jamaal Williams is worth keeping in your player pool for MME formats in case the Packers continue to oddly feature him in some games.  He could be a great diversifier for line-up builds if this happens to play out as one of those games.

As for the passing game, the only option I like here is WR Davante Adams.  He should be in line for double digit targets in this must-win game, and should end up as one of the highest producers on the slate against a below average Seattle secondary.

The Cruncher List

  • RB Aaron Jones
  • WR Davante Adams

Good Plays

  • RB Jamaal Williams

Core Four: Providing 4 Strong options when building line-ups for this weekend’s Main Slate on DraftKings….

QB Patrick Mahomes, $7,500

While he’s expensive from an absolute standpoint – there’s a lot to like about the spot for Mahomes this week.  He’s coming off a bye week, which should let him rest up to at or near 100% from his knee injury earlier this year.  He draws a match-up against a bottom of the barrel secondary.  Kansas City is projected to clear 30 points, good for the highest on the slate.  Lamar Jackson is going to put up big numbers – but I think that Mahomes has a good chance of putting up similar ones.  If you really want to pay up for ‘one more’ RB or WR, you could opt to punt with Garoppolo here – which is a viable strategy.

RB Damien Williams, $6,000

Williams looks to have solidified himself atop the depth chart for the Chiefs, and I’d expect him to end this game with around 20 touches.  When you factor in the fact that the Chiefs should be able to put up points at will, there is plenty to like here.  He’s involved in the passing game, priced affordably – and a great way to get an affordable piece that is a key cog in the Chiefs offence.

WR Deebo Samuel, $5,200

The price point is too cheap here in my opinion.  Sure, the Vikings have some talent on the defensive side of the ball, and they looked great last week against the high powered Saints offence, but I expect the 49ers to be able to move the ball in this one, and I think that Samuel will be a big part of that.  We’ve seen him come on strong in the second half of the year, a trend I expect to continue throughout the playoffs – and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we see him leaned on a little more than he was in the regular season in a must-win playoff game this week.

TE Travis Kelce, $6,400

This is pretty simple to me – both Kittle and Kelce are too cheap.  I like the idea of rostering both of them, though that will depend on your approach to RB this week.  I prefer Kelce if I was forced to pick just one.  Fin.

Best of luck to you and your line-ups this weekend!  We hope you enjoy the second round of NFL playoff action!



About Brad

Brad hates the term fantasy sports expert, so instead he is someone who specializes in NFL, NHL and MLB DFS notes and analysis. He had a 68.2% win rate in 2015 NFL cash games to go along with a 83.5% win rate for the 2014 season. For NHL he had a 58.7% win rate in the 2015-16 season for cash games and a 66.2% win rate for the 2014-15 season. You can follow him on Twitter @bradsgotmoxy.

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