Let’s look at some top-level talent that you should either Fade or Chase for this weekend’s Divisional Round playoff games.
Tom Brady – $7,400 (Fade)
It is bold and maybe insane to go against Tom Brady in January or any week really. The Patriots have been decimated by injuries and the offensive has struggled to keep Brady protected the last several weeks. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are going to be hunting for Brady and their secondary led by Eric Berry, Marcus Peters, and Sean Smith will try to limit Brady’s air assault. Julian Edelman is back and that is a sign of encouragement for what has been a flat offense without him. This is a football game that should be close and low scoring. There are more exciting quarterback options on the slate. Brady has only thrown five touchdowns in the last four games. I’ll play Russ Wilson, Carson Palmer, or Aaron Rodgers over Brady. I have more confidence in these three at their cheaper price tags.
Cam Newton – $7,500 (Chase)
It takes a special player to have a season like Cam Newton had without much offensive talent around him. Newton had a 104.6 passer rating at home this season and he has thrown five more touchdowns at home versus on the road. The Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is coming back which will give Newton some balance in the running game. His ceiling is as high as anyone’s and his floor is safe. The first time Newton faced the Seahawks, Newton marched 80 yards on the Panthers last two possessions for touchdowns. Newton has averaged more fantasy points per game than any other quarterback this season (25.9).
David Johnson – $6,000 (Chase)
The options are limited this weekend at running back and David Johnson provides the highest upside. Johnson just faced the Packers in week 16 and manufactured 21.7 fantasy points on 12 touches. He is the first rookie running back in NFL history that has had a minimum of 100 carries and 30 receptions for an average of 4.5 yards per carry and 12 yards per reception. The Packers allowed 117 rushing yards per game in the regular season. Vegas has the Cardinals as a -7 point favorite while the game has a point total of 50. There should be some fantasy goodness to go around in this one.
Chase or Fade?
Rob Gronkowski – $7,500 (Fade)
Gronk is the best tight end in football and it’s not close. His price on Draft Kings has reflected that. Not often does he hit value, so he is usually a tournament play only at his high cost. It’s no secret how red hot the Chiefs have been and how they couldn’t be a more nightmarish match up for the Patriots offense. It should be noted that Rob Gronkowski was not seen Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. He should see plenty of double coverage and the Chiefs have only allowed three touchdowns to tight ends all season.
Greg Olsen – $6,900 (Chase)
Greg Olsen went absolute Ham against the Seattle Seahawks during week six in Seattle. Olsen had seven receptions for 131 yards, and a touchdown. According to Football Outsiders, the Seahawks rank 26th defensively in DVOA against tight ends. They have tightened up since week eleven against tight ends only allowing 60 yards a game. With the bye, the veteran is rested and sits as the best tight end in the Divisional round.
Doug Baldwin – $6,800 (Fade)
Doug Baldwin had a tough time in week six at home against the Panthers. Baldwin was limited to just three catches for 23 yards. Russell Wilson got the memo that Josh Norman was one of the best cover corner backs in the game. The ball was thrown in Norman’s direction just once and it was a screen. It will be slim pickings as far as elite wide-outs go this week with Antonio Brown and Jeremy Maclin’s statuses up in the air. Baldwin is typically a contrarian play with more options to play. Overlooking his 15 touchdown receptions is difficult though even with a tough matchup.