FanDuel Divisional Round Slate Breakdown with Cash and GPP Picks
On a short slate, owners should strongly consider cutting back heavily on their overall money in play compared to the regular season and allocate a larger portion of their games to large-field tournaments. With so few options in the player pool, there will be massive overlap in lineups, leading to much more variance in short-term results.
The standout studs in great matchups are LeVeon Bell and Rob Gronkowski, two players priced well above the field at their respective positions. The difference between a profitable week and a losing one could come down to exposure to these two expensive plays.
*This week, FanDuel is running two main slates, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The following will reflect pricing for the Saturday-Sunday slate followed by each player’s price on their single day slate. The Lineup Generator currently reflects pricing for the full four-game slate.
Case Keenum ($7,600 Full Slate/$7,600 Sunday) projects as the top quarterback value in a game where the Vikings are favored at home and have the second-highest implied point total of the week (25.25). Only one quarterback remaining in the playoffs scored more fantasy points per pass attempt over the final six weeks of the season than Keenum. New Orleans has a solid secondary and ranks in the top half of the league in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to quarterbacks but they have been inconsistent in preventing big games—only seven defenses allowed more 20-point games to quarterbacks this season.
The only quarterback with better odds to hit cash or GPP value this week is Tom Brady ($8,800/$9,000 Saturday). New England is the only team projected to score more than 30 points and while Brady hasn’t exceeded 16.6 points since Week 12, this matchup favors a heavy passing day from the Patriots. Only five teams allowed more passing yards than the Titans this season and teams often chose to attack Tennessee through the air near the goal line—the Titans faced the sixth-highest passing rate inside the red zone and no remaining playoff team allowed a higher touchdown rate inside the 20 than Tennessee.
Blake Bortles ($7,100/$7,100) has the best on-paper matchup against a Steelers defense that ranks 28th in quarterback aFPA, but the Jaguars quarterback has seemingly had his confidence shaken over the past few weeks, struggling to even complete dump-offs last week. The preferred correlation play this week is Marcus Mariota ($7,500/$7,600), who projects as a top-three value at his position. After giving up 23.2 fantasy points per game to opposing passers over the first seven weeks of the season, the Patriots allowed just 13 per over their final nine but the Titans have turned their quarterback loose on the ground in consecutive must-win games—Mariota has at least 8 attempts for 46 yards in his last two contests. In a game where the Titans are 13.5-point favorites, game script and fantasy production could largely mirror what we saw from the Titans quarterback in the Wild Card round.
Ben Roethlisberger ($8,000/$7,700) is a reasonable contrarian option for the simple fact he finished the season with one of the most efficient stretches in the league, scoring the fourth-most fantasy points per pass attempt over the final six weeks of the season. The matchup against a tough Jaguars secondary is obviously a concern but Pittsburgh's 24-point implied total suggests multiple red zone trips for Big Ben. While Roethlisberger will be relatively unpopular on the full slate, he’s the clear QB2 behind Keenum on the Sunday main slate.
Matt Ryan ($7,700/$7,800) and Drew Brees ($8,100/$8,000) both face defenses ranked in the top five in quarterback aFPA. However, the Eagles have been much more inconsistent than the Vikings as Philadelphia has allowed five quarterbacks to score at least 20+ fantasy points compared to just one such game against Minnesota this year.