Winning in Postseason Daily Fantasy – Wild Card Edition

by Taylor Smith ·

Is there a better way to ring in the New Year than with NFL postseason DFS?  Just when we thought we had a strong finish to the year, the Fantasy Gods (and the billionaires at DraftKings and FanDuel) dropped a four-game slot on us to throw money at.  The key to GPPs on these small slates is to play the chalk and then slide in some ultra-contrarian options at RB and WR.  This article will focus on tournament and cash plays from both sites through the use of advanced stats and analytics to help you win back some of those DFS taxes.  Let’s see who pops out.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB: $9000 DK, $8800 FD

The only true bell-cow back on the slate is Ezekiel Elliott, as he saw an NFL-leading 90 percent opportunity share.  Elliott is at home, his team is favored, and finished the regular season #5 among RBs in targets and receptions.  He is a cash game lock and will likely be the highest owned player on the slate.

Tarik Cohen, RB: $5400 DK, $7000 FD

One thing Tarik Cohen has is the ability to break the slate.  He is an electric playmaker, as evidenced by his top-3 Breakaway Run Rate.  The Eagles were tied for the second-most receptions given up to RBs, making Cohen a matchup nightmare that Matt Nagy will exploit.  I would trust him in cash and tournaments on DraftKings.

Lamar Miller, RB: $4900 DK, $6400 FD

If you want a discounted workhorse back, look no further than Lamar Miller.  Miller posted the third-best opportunity share among these playoff running backs and he is priced way down on both sites.  In his last three healthy games, Miller received 20, 19, and 19 touches to close out the season.  His touches alone make him a viable DFS option, and his is a home favorite with the highest total on the slate.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR: $8700 DK, $8800 FD

Once again, DeAndre Hopkins led the NFL in target share.  With only Keke Coutee competing for targets, he will be relied upon heavily in this game.  In his two games against the Colts in the regular season, Hopkins combined for 14 receptions, 205 yards, and two touchdowns.  He’ll need a truly massive game to even hit 3x value, but he is more than capable.

Amari Cooper, WR: $7500 DK, $6700 FD

Not only has FanDuel inexplicably priced Amari Cooper below all other “WR1s”, but also below Tyler Lockett and Mike Williams.  While he is fairly priced on DK, I’ll have almost maximum exposure to him on FD.  Cooper has the ability to break the slate wide open. He has been highly volatile in his tenure with the Cowboys, but these are easily predicted based on home-road splits.  Since joining the Cowboys, Cooper has averaged over 26 points at home and only 8.9 on the road, based on a nine-game sample.  Cooper is at home.

T.Y. Hilton, WR: $7800 DK, $7700 FD

With Andrew Luck throwing for over 800 yards and six touchdowns against the Texans already, we should assume that more of the same will follow.  His offensive line is fully healthy and Luck will have the protection necessary to take deep shots to T.Y. Hilton.  Hilton torched the 34-year-old Jonathan Joseph for over 300 yards in their two meetings this season and he should be near-100 percent despite his ankle concerns, according to Dr. David Chao.

Tyler Lockett, WR: $5300 DK, $7000 FD

FanDuel clearly believes in efficiency over volume.  Tyler Lockett hasn’t seen more than six targets since Week 2 and he is priced as the sixth-most expensive WR on the slate.  While he does boast the most prolific WR Rating with a perfect 158.3, he is hard to trust in a cash lineup.  Lockett makes sense in SEA-DAL game stacks for GPPs, but let others make the mistake of relying on five targets.

Michael Gallup, WR: $3600 DK, $5700 FD

Michael Gallup is an intriguing tournament play.  He has seen 25 percent of the air yards in Dallas over the last four weeks, courtesy of  Gallup has also averaged over five targets per game over his last six.  His average target distance of 14.7 shows that he runs highly volatile routes that can swing tournaments.  Box score-watchers won’t want to play him, but you should.  Gallup is the dart throw that you need to take down these small slate tournaments.

Eric Ebron, TE: $5400 DK, $6600 FD

The safest TE option on this slate is Eric Ebron.  He posted top-6 TE numbers in both matchups with Houston this year and he is significantly cheaper than Zach Ertz on both sites.  Most people will punt TE on this slate with some of the cheaper options, so paying up is a solid contrarian strategy.

Blake Jarwin, TE: $3300 DK, $5800 FD

DraftKings neglected the TE position leaving some super cheap options capable of smashing value.  Blake Jarwin just proved that he has the ability to break a slate with his 7/119/3 stat line in Week 17.  He will be a popular TE play on DK based on his salary, but he is much thinner than people think.  Prior to Week 17, he had only seen more than three targets in two games and had posted single-digit fantasy points in all but one game.

Hunter Henry, TE: $2500 DK, $4900 FD

Hunter Henry‘s status is still highly-questionable, as he is trying to make a comeback from an ACL injury in less than seven months.  If he does play, HC Anthony Lynn said they would limit his snaps.  At the “stone-min” $2500 price tag on DK, he is worth a roll to stack the higher-priced players in tournaments.