Daily Fantasy Optimal Plays: Divisional Round

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Published: January 10, 2014

Daily Fantasy Football Optimal Plays: Divisional Round Playoffs

Fantasy FootballThe wild card week was definitely full of surprises. For most everyone that played any daily fantasy games, it didn’t go quite like most predicted. While I did say to go cheap at the quarterback position, I never would have thought that Andrew Luck and Alex Smith would have been the week’s leaders in fantasy points at their positions. After looking at some of the values across some of the top daily fantasy sites for this week’s divisional playoff match ups, things are looking pretty interesting once again…

Quarterbacks: Last week I recommended going cheap at QB to free up more money at other positions. That’s not as much of a good idea this week. After putting a few lineups together for this week, I was able to get some good players at other positions, while still including some of the top quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is the obvious play due to the match-up and the fact that Denver throws so much. I think Tom Brady is the next best play if you need to move down a tier for salary cap reasons. After that the rest are all kind of the same in my opinion.

Running Backs: Running back seems to be a bit shallow at the top, with the rest having some sort of question mark. Marshawn Lynch seems like a obvious choice, however he has a high salary cap cost industry wide and struggled against the Saints earlier in the year. One guy that stands out from the rest this week is Donald Brown. I think Brown has re-emerged as the Colts main back. Also, the Patriots have had a tough time against opposing running backs this year and with Brandon Spikes out for this game, that won’t help the porous Patriots run defense. Brown is a mid-priced option that you should be able to fit into most, if not all, of your lineups this week. With his recent track record, LeGarrette Blount could also be a sneaky cheap play, but just know that when you play with Bill Belichick running backs, you’re playing with fire.

Wide Receivers: To me, many of the receiving options seem the same this week. Most of the good options, that we have used throughout the year playing daily fantasy football, are all around the same price and pretty much any of them could boom or bust any given week. That is why for this week’s strategy I’m recommending using the “stacking” technique. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means pairing receivers with your starting quarterback. This means you could potentially double up on points between your quarterback and receivers, giving you a nice scoring advantage. Two solid combos for this week would be Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola if you are rolling with Tom Brady this week, or any combo of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker if you’re going with Peyton Manning

Tight Ends: A little more depth this week at the tight end positions. Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas are the top plays. If you go with Drew Brees or Manning as your QB this week, make the selection easy and pair them up with their tight end. Greg Olsen become value plays this week, but could maybe pay off in large format daily contests.

Kickers: Pick whichever one is the cheapest. Graham Gano seems to be the cheapest across the industry, so he’s my pick. I guess if for some reason you have a little money left over you could try and get either Matt Prater or Stephen Gostkowski.

Defense/Special Teams: The top options for me this week are in the same game. The 49ers and the Panthers game could be a defensive slug fest and with both quarterbacks being prone to sacks due to their style of play they could be solid plays. If you don’t want to spend on a defense though, (depending on the site) you may take a look at the Broncos. On most sites, they are close to, if not the cheapest defense available for this week. Yea, they aren’t great on defense, but Trindon Holliday could break a kick return for a TD at any time and Phillip Rivers is always up for a few sacks and an interception.

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