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Winning in Postseason Daily Fantasy – Divisional Round Edition

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After the Wild Card games lulled us into a deep slumber, we have been woken up by explosive offenses pounding on the door.  This NFL Postseason DFS slate on DraftKings and FanDuel features our favorites: Chiefs, Rams, Saints, Colts, Cowboys, Patriots, Eagles, and Chargers.  These offenses on the slate mean that we’ll need lots of points to cash.  Intelligent, analytics-driven decisions will be needed this weekend.  Let’s see who we can identify with advanced stats and metrics.

Todd Gurley, RB: $8000 DK, $9000 FD

Todd Gurley has been a DFS lock when healthy, but we haven’t seen him since Week 15.  The team has stated that he is expected to play, so we can lock him in for 20+ touches with nearly all the red zone opportunity.  The matchup is less than ideal, as the Cowboys have held opponents to under 100 rushing yards in 7/9 games since Week 10, but Gurley’s incredible usage should outweigh any concerns.

Alvin Kamara, RB: $7300 DK, $8400 FD

The Bears downfall was not a kicker missing a field goal in the final seconds.  It was a flawed gameplan that didn’t exploit a clear mismatch in Tarik Cohen vs. the Eagles linebackers.  The Eagles had given up the second-most receptions to opposing RBs during the regular season and had struggled to contain explosive backs.  With this information, Matt Nagy decided to gameplan four total touches for Cohen.

This is something that Sean Payton will certainly not overlook.  He had already bumped up Alvin Kamara‘s passing game role over his final four games.  Kamara saw at least six targets in each of those games and averaged 11 carries.  This is promising usage for an explosive player like Kamara.  This game will be far more competitive than the Week 11 blowout was, so a Saints game stack will be a strong play.

James White, RB: $4900 DK, $7400 FD

While James White is the fourth-most expensive RB on FanDuel, he is under $4900 on DraftKings.  DFS gamers should take advantage of this mispricing, as DK offers a full point for receptions.  White does carry some risk, as Rex Burkhead‘s return has limited his touches and yards.  He has averaged under 50 total yards over his last four games.

Nyheim Hines, RB: $3300 DK, $5200 FD

Game flow did not favor Nyheim Hines last week.  The Colts jumped out to a 21 point lead and he finished with zero touches.  The good news is that game flow will absolutely favor Hines this week.  The Colts will be chasing the explosive Chiefs offense and Hines will be on the field in favor of Marlon Mack.  This game has the highest implied total on the slate and Andrew Luck could easily throw the ball 50 times, but the best reason to play Hines is that he’ll be low owned.

Michael Thomas, WR: $7900 DK, $8400 FD

Neither Sidney Jones nor Rasul Douglas has a chance at stopping Drew Brees and Michael Thomas.  They are the most accurate duo in NFL history, and they both have something to do with that.  Thomas’ catchable target rate from Brees is over 95 percent, easily best in the NFL.  Thomas also dominates in contested areas as well, as he leads receivers with a 73.9 contested catch rate.  Since Nick Foles took over, the Eagles are +34 in point differential with a 4-0 record.  They’ll be able to keep pace with the Saints, meaning more pass attempts for Brees and more targets for Thomas.

Tyreek Hill, WR: $7400 DK, $8400 FD

Any time you have an explosive playmaker on a home favorite team with the highest over/under on the slate, you have to play him.  The real question is whether you can trust him in cash or not.  I think not.

Per data from SharpFootballStats.com, Tyreek Hill‘s best deep location is deep left with a 60 percent success rate and a 129 passer rating.  The Colts best deep defense is deep left with a 30 percent success rate and a 65 passer rating.  If the Colts are able to take away his downfield plays then he’ll need to be peppered with short targets to hit value.  Hill has 10 games with single digit targets this season.  He is obviously an incredible tournament play, but he simply doesn’t see the volume that we can trust in cash.

Robert Woods, WR: $5900 DK, $7500 FD

The Cowboys have long and athletic outside CBs in Chidobe Awuzie and Byron Jones.  They are weakest in the slot with Anthony Brown, who grades out as our #50 ranked CB.  Robert Woods plays out of the slot on 50 percent of snaps, so they’ll be matched up plenty.  The Rams passing offense will run through Woods.

Chris Hogan, WR: $3900 DK, $5500 FD

Chris Hogan’s Advanced Stats & Metrics profile

The best salary relief options come in the form of cheap targets.  With Josh Gordon out of the picture, Chris Hogan saw 11 targets in Week 17.  DK and FD neglected this massive volume and priced Hogan way down.  He played on over 93 percent of snaps and saw 148 air yards, which was a 47 percent market share per airyards.com.  This is one of the best indicators of a “boom” week.  Hogan has sneaky athleticism and will be a difference maker against the Chargers.

Travis Kelce, TE: $7000 DK, $7500 FD

If Travis Kelce played WR, his 18.4 PPG would have finished as the WR11.  Finding an edge on the field in DFS is what we are all looking for, and we don’t need to look any further than Kelce.  This is going to be a high scoring slate, so we need to identify players with the best upside.  Starting a WR1 at the TE position is all the upside we need.  Kelce’s $7000/$7500 price tag will keep his ownership low and sharp players will find a way to jam him in.

Eric Ebron, TE: $5500 DK, $6600 FD

Eric Ebron is a solid pivot off of Kelce.  He doesn’t offer anywhere near the same level of upside, but his team will have to throw the ball to win.  The Chiefs cede the most fantasy points to TEs and have given up 10 touchdowns to the position this season.  Ebron will need a multi-touchdown game to smash value, but this couldn’t be a better spot for it.

Rob Gronkowski, TE: $4900 DK, $6200 FD

The Chargers coaching staff brilliantly utilized seven defensive backs to keep up with the speed of Lamar Jackson last week.  Should they do the same to limit the Patriots running backs out of the backfield, Rob Gronkowski would have a field day.  He wins with size and leverage, which is something that a smaller DB wouldn’t be able to take away from him.  Gronkowski is capable of smashing his $4900 DK salary.

Blake Jarwin, TE: $3400 DK, $5400 FD

Blake Jarwin predictably flopped against a top-10 TE defense on just three targets.  Things get better this week against a Rams defense that gives up the seventh-most points to TEs.  As their “ball control” offense inevitably fails, Dak Prescott will have a high number of pass attempts.  Jarwin should see elevated targets in a better matchup, making him a cheap option in a tight slate.