After upsetting the Bears during Wild Card Weekend, the Eagles will play the final game of the weekend again, this time in the Super Dome in New Orleans against the top team in the NFC. We saw this exact matchup during the regular season back in Week 11, a game the Saints dominated and won 48-7. Of course, Carson Wentz (back) was playing QB at the time, so we’ll see how much weight that previous contest will actually hold. The DK Sportsbook has the Saints as eight-point favorites in this one, and we could see a shootout with 51.5 projected points.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
ADAM LEVITAN’S TARGET PROJECTION
Ted Ginn, $9,300 Captain’s Pick, $6,200 Flex — Ginn finally returned from a knee injury in Week 16 and immediately received eight targets while being third among Saints WRs in routes run. Now he’s had two more weeks to get healthier and catches one of the best possible matchups against the flammable Eagles secondary. Look for Ginn to step back into the every-down field-stretching role he’s held for the last two years in New Orleans.
Projection — 6 Targets
FIVE BETTING TRENDS
— The Saints have lost each of their last three Divisional Round games.
— The Eagles have covered the spread in each of their last four postseason games.
— The Saints have failed to cover the spread in each of their last four home games following a loss.
— Alshon Jeffery has scored a touchdown in four of the last seven Sunday games as a road underdog.
— Alvin Kamara has scored the last touchdown in each of the last three days games against NFC East opponents.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
If the Eagles win…
Nick Foles ($9,200) did it again. Two early interceptions didn’t look good, but a pair of late touchdown passes made up for it, as Foles scored 16.5 DKFP on the road against a tough Chicago defense. Even if the Eagles don’t get the win in New Orleans, you’d have to imagine things get a little easier from a fantasy perspective in this spot. Foles gets to move indoors and face a defense that allowed the second-most DKFP to QB this season. With his salary down $800 since last week and $2,400 in the last two weeks, this is a spot we should be able to capitalize on Foles.
Zach Ertz ($7,800) could be a different story. Ertz’s salary is down $2,400 since last week, but this matchup could be a sneaky down spot for Ertz. He brought in 5-of-7 targets against the Bears last week, but TE is one of the better spots to attack that defense. The Saints, meanwhile, ranked third in DKFP allowed to TE all season, and Ertz only managed two catches for 15 yards in this matchup in Week 11. Equally as important, he was only targeted three times, meaning New Orleans did a good job covering him up. If you think the Eagles go off for a high point total, you can jam Ertz into a Philly stack, he just might not be as sharp of a play as you’d expect. Dallas Goedert ($2,000) caught a touchdown last week and makes for a punt play TE if you want to pivot to him.
Alshon Jeffery ($8,200) is not only the type of WR that gives the Saints trouble, but he’s also been playing at an elite level with Foles at the helm. New Orleans ranks dead last in the NFL in DKFP allowed to WR, and Alshon has 22 grabs for 383 yards and a touchdown during this four-game run with Foles.
Another Foles favorite has been Nelson Agholor ($5,800), but their connection was stronger in the first two weeks of the season, when Jeffery and Golden Tate ($6,400) were not on the field, at least for the Eagles. Despite failing to catch a pass in the game in New Orleans earlier this season, and bringing in just three passes for 32 yards last week, Agholor was still productive with Foles in the final two games of the regular season — 10 catches for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Tate was the hero last week with the game-winning touchdown. The 15.6 DKFP was only his second game in double-digit DKFP with Philly, so a $1,000 spike in salary leaves him as the third-most appealing WR in my mind.
Darren Sproles ($5,400) saw a shocking amount of work in Chicago, carrying 13 times, including a pair of late goal-line touches. While the carries only went for 21 yards, it came against the league’s top rush defense. Sproles also caught 2-of-3 targets for another 14 yards. While he was quiet last week, if 15 touches against the Saints are in line, Sproles is a steal at this price tag.
The odd man out in the Philly backfield was obviously Josh Adams ($1,800). He earned just one touch, compared to 10 for Wendell Smallwood ($3,600). If you think Philly tries to pound the rock, you could look at Smallwood for some value, but Sproles has much more upside against his former team.
If the Saints win…
Drew Brees ($11,000) is a player that I think is getting overlooked on the four-game main slate, and if your game script that you’re building a lineup around is that the Saints win, it’s nearly impossible to build without Brees. Brees was spectacular in seven home games this season (he rested Week 17), averaging 27.5 DKFP — more than 10 DKFP above his road average. Essentially coming off a double-bye, Brees should be ready for a Philly defense he scored 33.5 DKFP against on this field in Week 11.
Michael Thomas ($10,600) is always a fantastic option to pair with Brees, especially at home, as you’d imagine. MT averaged 26.5 DKFP in those seven home games that Brees played in, but had a down-game by his standards against the Eagles — a 4-92-1 line for 19.2 DKFP. With 40 DKFP upside, Thomas is an extremely safe play.
The Saints have been looking for that WR2 all season, trying Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall and others still on the roster. In the end, they’re most comfortable with Ted Ginn Jr. ($6,200), who’s only played in five games this season. But Ginn brought in 5-of-8 targets for 74 yards in Week 16 against the Steelers, and he has essentially rested for three weeks since then. He’s as healthy as he’s going to get, and provides plenty of upside.
Tre’Quan Smith ($5,200) has significantly less upside with Ginn off the field, but he does always have big-play potential. As a backup, you’re really only looking for one deep touchdown in a GPP from Tre-Quan, so if you’re looking for a safe play, this isn’t it.
Kieth Kirkwood ($2,400) is an even deeper option worth mentioning as a punt play. For the most part, you want to afford Thomas and Ginn for the bulk of the production. Philly ranks just 25th in DKFP allowed to WR this season, and this is clearly the way to attack this matchup.
Ben Watson ($2,200) is at least a name to consider at TE, but I think sticking to targeting the WR position makes more sense. Watson didn’t even see a target against the Eagles in their first matchup.
Alvin Kamara ($10,000) is the back to own in this matchup, as his dual-threat ability keeps his floor high, combined with monster upside. Kamara actually only had one catch in this Week 11 matchup, but it went for a 37-yard touchdown. He gained 71 yards on 13 carries in the ground game, which would be a nice line against a solid Philly rush defense. I expect some more action through the air for Kamara in this one, making him a strong play.
If you think the Saints march away with a big win here, Mark Ingram ($6,800) would be your guy. Just look at the game log from the blowout in Week 11 — Ingram pounded the rock 16 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns (25.3 DKFP). He’s a nice cheap play with upside for a game script where the Saints win by two or more scores.
I picked against Nick Foles in the Super Bowl last year. I picked against Nick Foles in Chicago last week. Am I dumb enough to do it again? Yup. The Saints have been too good this season, particularly at home. Factoring in the bye, New Orleans could get off to a slow start, but Brees should be able to take advantage of the Eagles’ secondary in ways that Mitchell Trubisky wasn’t able to. Throw the Eagles’ QB change out the window, Brees still shredded this defense for 48 points two months ago. I expect Philly to play well, and even cover, but I just can’t pick the Birds outright in this one … which makes me extremely nervous.
Final Score: New Orleans 30, Philadelphia 23
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.
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.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) 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.