It’s playoff time this weekend in the NFL, and thanks to the beauty of one-week fantasy football, your season can continue with a solid four-game slate each of the next two weekends. With eight teams, there are limited options to consider, but there are still some nice value plays to consider. You’ll need to spend your salary cap carefully and consider each matchup as you look for just the right matchups to exploit. Check out who I think will deliver good production at affordable pricing this Wild Card Weekend.
QUARTERBACK($6,000 and under)
Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. LAC, $5,800 – I think Dak Prescott ($5,500) has a higher ceiling because of the offensive system and receiving options at his disposal, but Jackson is my favorite QB bargain option of Wild Card Weekend and is a safer play due to his production on the ground. Since taking over as starter in Week 11, Jackson has at least 19 DKFP in four of his seven games and has never produced fewer than 16 DKFP. He has a high floor at home against the Chargers because of his running ability. Los Angeles actually did a good job containing him on the ground, allowing him his lowest rushing total as a starter with just 39 yards, but Jackson did pass for a season-high 204 yards against them and still totaled 16.06 DKFP. Jackson ran for 90 yards and two scores against the Browns in Week 17 to total 27.16 DKFP and get the Ravens the division-clinching win they needed. He might not find that kind of room to run against the Bolts this week but still offers enough upside to be a safe way to save salary at QB so you can spend up at other spots.
Dak Prescott, DAL vs. SEA, $5,500 – Prescott played the entirety of Week 17 and led Dallas to a meaningless but satisfying 36-35 comeback win over the Giants. He threw for a massive 387 yards and four touchdowns on his way to a season-high 36.48 DKFP. Like the Cowboys as a whole, Dak started the season slow and was plagued with inconsistency at times, but the third-year QB finished strong with five games of at least 15 DKFP in his final six and more than 27 DKFP in three of those six contests. When Dallas visited Seattle back in Week 3, he was held to just 10.82 DKFP, but the Seahawks’ defense has been beatable by opposing QBs for much of the season and allowed multiple passing touchdowns in seven of its past 10 games. They were the best QB matchup of the eight teams in action this weekend, so Prescott should be able to continue the momentum from his successful Week 17.
RUNNING BACK($5,000 and under)
Jordan Howard, CHI vs. PHI, $4,600 – Howard has shared work all season with Tarik Cohen ($5,400), who has provided plenty of highlight reel contributions and offers big-play sizzle. Howard has remained consistently involved, though, and finished the season with several strong games in a row. He had at least 14 DKFP in each of his past four games and had more than 15 carries in five of his past seven. He ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns last week for 27.4 DKFP against a tough Vikings run defense and has four scores in his past three contests. The Bears will try to move on to the divisional round by relying on Howard and Cohen along with their elite defense against the defending champs.
Kenneth Dixon, BAL vs. LAC, $4,000 – Dixon has battled injury throughout his career, and 2018 was no exception. After returning from IR, though, he has been able to work his way into a timeshare with Gus Edwards ($4,200) and outgained the Gus Bus with 117 yards on 12 carries in Week 17 against the Browns. Dixon is loaded with big-play potential, so I like his upside if he keeps getting even work with Edwards. Dixon is a high-risk, high-reward play but could emerge as a key piece against a Chargers defense that was a better-than-average matchup for RBs this season
WIDE RECEIVER($5,000 and under)
Dontrelle Inman, IND at HOU, $4,300 – Inman finished the season with back-to-back strong games that included trips to the end zone resulting in 14.6 DKFP against the Giants and 18.7 DKFP in the season finale against the Titans. He has been playing through a shoulder injury but has been able to establish himself as the Colts’ second receiver behind T.Y. Hilton ($7,800). If the Texans focus on shutting down Hilton and TE Eric Ebron ($5,200), Inman could get plenty of room to work. He missed Indianapolis’ first two meetings this season with Houston, so this will be the first time he takes on the Texans this year.
Keke Coutee, HOU vs. IND, $4,000 – Coutee hasn’t played since Week 12, but his potential return this week will be a key storyline to watch for the Texans since they don’t have much WR depth across from DeAndre Hopkins ($8,700). Coutee battled a balky hamstring all season but was involved when on the field, including an 11-catch NFL debut against the Colts, which resulted in a season-high 24.7 DKFP back in Week 4. Coutee needs to prove he’s healthy, but if he is he will have a high ceiling in Saturday afternoon’s AFC South contest.
Michael Gallup, DAL vs. SEA, $3,600 – Gallup caught a key touchdown in Week 16 on his way to 14.3 DKFP and followed that with 10 DKFP in the Cowboys’ Week 17 win over the Giants in which he caught the game-winning two-point conversion. Gallup has fit in nicely to his second-receiver role since the arrival of Amari Cooper ($7,500) and usually gets enough targets to give him solid upside. He had a weird no-show against the Colts in Week 15 but has averaged 6.4 targets per game over his past five games if you exclude that game in Indianapolis.
TIGHT END($4,000 and under)
Mark Andrews, BAL vs. LAC, $3,500 – The Ravens have rotated TEs most of the season, but Andrews emerged down the stretch as one of the key targets in Jackson’s limited passing offense. Andrews caught a 68-yard touchdown against the Chargers in Week 16 on his way to a season-high 16.3 DKFP. He followed that up by matching his season high for catches in Week 17 and posting 9.4 DKFP with four catches for 54 yards. The rookie from Oklahoma is boom-or-bust against Los Angeles but does come in with positive momentum.
Blake Jarwin, DAL vs. SEA, $3,300 – Jarwin exploded for 39.9 DKFP in the Cowboys’ season finale with seven catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns. He hadn’t had a touchdown in his NFL career before his breakout and had played only a limited role in Dallas’ passing offense all season long. While the touchdown production is likely unrepeatable, he did get at least seven targets in three of his past four games. He has become the top receiving TE since Geoff Swaim (wrist) was placed on IR and should get enough targets to produce solid yardage even if he can’t get into the end zone against Seattle.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS($2,800 and under)
SEA at DAL, $2,600 – The Cowboys were the best matchup for DSTs of the eight teams in action this week, and Seattle had 15 DKFP against them back in Week 3 when they met. In that contest, the Seahawks forced three turnovers and dropped Dak five times. They finished the season strong with 10 DKFP against the Cardinals and recorded multiple sacks in four of their past five games. Seattle’s defense thrives on the 12th Man when at home, but even on the road I like its matchup this week with the Cowboys’ inconsistent offense.
IND at HOU, $2,300 – The Colts’ DST has been on my bargains list a lot this season and the young, improving unit has usually come through for me. It finished the year with double-digit DKFP in three of its final five matchups and had 5.0 and 8.0 DKFP in its two matchups with the Texans. Indy’s defense only allowed 11 points to the Titans’ offense in the Week 17 win that carried the Colts to the playoffs, and the unit is a solid cheap play even against Deshaun Watson ($6,700).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.