The divisional round brings four of the NFL’s best teams into play. It also gives us two of the best fantasy QBs in history (Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes) as well as two of the best pass-catching tight ends the league has seen (Travis Kelce, George Kittle). Figuring out how to build around these pieces will be a key to the slate.
The point of this column is to use the news, snap counts, usage, matchups and trends to both be a little contrarian and avoid whiffs. Note that I am discussing the DraftKings main slate only, aka the four Divisional Round games.
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MATCHUPS TO EXPLOIT
Tyreek Hill against the TexansWhen Hill ($7,600) last saw the Texans (Week 6), he was just coming off a shoulder injury and only played on 28-of-55 snaps. He still went off for 5-80-2 on 10 targets. This Houston secondary has struggled badly to contain the big play all season, ranking 24th in yards per pass attempt allowed, 25th in pass plays of 20-plus yards allowed and 24th in pass plays of 40-plus yards allowed. Hill ranked 6th in 40-plus yard pass plays this season and was 1st in 2018. Although Tyreek hasn’t had a 100-yard game since Week 10, note that the Chiefs have faced a soft schedule leading to blowouts and depressed Patrick Mahomes ($7,500) pass attempts. Hill’s usage, catch rate and efficiency metrics have remained elite.
SITUATIONS TO CAPITALIZE ON
Depressed pricing at the tight end positionIf George Kittle ($6,200), Travis Kelce ($6,400) and Mark Andrews ($5,600) were labeled as wide receivers instead of tight ends, they would be priced at least $500 more. We could make similar cases for Jacob Hollister ($4,000), Kyle Rudolph ($3,400) and even Jimmy Graham ($3,300). The typical problem with playing a tight end in the flex and/or spending up at the position is the opportunity cost. In other words, there are almost always better ceiling and point-per-dollar plays at running back and wide receiver due to injuries or more severe mispricing. But on this specific slate, the opportunity cost is not as great because pricing is tight and three of the best raw plays are tight ends. It’s a rare combo, but that’s what happens when we get Kittle, Kelce and Andrews together in plus matchups at depressed pricing.
CONTRARIAN GPP STACKS
Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams and Allen LazardI expect Lamar Jackson ($8,400) and Patrick Mahomes ($7,500) to soak up a majority of the ownership at quarterback. While Aaron Rodgers hasn’t shown the consistently high ceiling like those two, he does still have it in him. Rodgers scored 30 or more DraftKings fantasy points three times this season and even went off for 46.76 in Week 7. At $6,500, we get major savings and we know where Rodgers will be throwing. The corpse of Jimmy Graham is dead and the Packers have pushed both Geronimo Allison ($3,600) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($3,000) to the side. Davante Adams ($7,800) has seen at least 10 targets in nine of his last 10 games, and Allen Lazard ($4,500) has seen 20 targets over the last three weeks for a 15.8% share. This stack also provides leverage off Aaron Jones ($7,400), who I expect will be one of the slate’s most popular RBs.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is adamlevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.