After last week’s defensive-minded battles that saw no team score more than 24 points, those in NFL DFS second-round playoff contests should be able to benefit from some offensive fireworks this week. The Saints, Rams, Chiefs and Patriots all return to action, giving us no shortage of potential daily fantasy football picks despite the limited divisional round slate. Our FanDuel GPP lineup targets three of these teams, but our primary stack is a much riskier option that didn’t exactly light up the wild card round.
We’re hoping ownership is low for the Chargers, who will be playing in their third straight road game and could face bad weather. If the forecast is too ugly, we’ll make some pivots, but for now, we’re willing to take advantage of low prices for Philip Rivers and his receivers. Because of the Bolts bargains, we’re able to to jam in two stud RBs and a stud TE, which is a luxury not everyone can afford. Sure, we’re fading chalk plays Marlon Mack and Eric Ebron, but you have to take a few risks in tournaments with only eight teams in action.
DIVISIONAL ROUND DFS: Y! GPP Lineup | DK GPP Lineup | Lineup Builder
NFL Playoff FanDuel Picks: NFL DFS tournament lineup for second round contests
QB Philip Rivers, Chargers @ Patriots ($7,300). We’ll be ready to pivot based on weather reports, but if things look manageable, we like Rivers as the cheapest — yes, the cheapest — starting QB on the slate. After throwing at least two TDs in each of his first 12 games, Rivers has only accomplished that feat once in his past five. He’s also thrown six INTs in that span after throwing six total in his first 12. Melvin Gordon’s injury likely didn’t help, but some tough matchups, at least in the past three games (vs. BAL, @ DEN, @ BAL), likely made things tougher. New England isn’t nearly as difficult, as the Pats are below average against fantasy QBs. A strong finish bolstered their numbers, but their matchups weren’t overly difficult down the stretch. Look for Rivers to air it out more often and pay off at this bargain price.
RB Todd Gurley, Rams vs. Cowboys ($9,000). Gurley has missed the past two games because of a knee injury, but he should be ready to go against the Cowboys. Fantasy’s most bankable commodity had a few slight hiccups down the stretch, but we know what he’s capable of in any matchup. The Cowboys were solid against RBs this year, but they’ve allowed at least one RB touchdown in each of the past five games (as well as two 100-yard rushing performances in that span). Even at his sky-high price, Gurley is a solid option.
RB Alvin Kamara, Saints vs. Eagles ($8,400). This is fairly risky pick, especially when you factor in the price, but Kamara always has major upside. The stud second-year back had over 100 total yards in each of his final two games, scoring three times in that span. He did it all on 32 touches and was held out of Week 17 — something Mark Ingram wasn’t — which would seem to indicate New Orleans is gearing him up for a big workload this week. The Eagles were struggling against RBs in the second half prior to mostly shutting down the Texans, Redskins, and Bears in the past three games, but they were shredded by the Saints in Week 11, with Kamara going for 108 total yards and a score and Ingram adding 103 rushing yards and two scores.
EARLY 2019 FANTASY RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
WR Keenan Allen, Chargers @ Patriots ($7,100). Allen is priced all the way down as the WR8 this week. Like many members of the Chargers passing game, Allen has slowed down a bit over the past four games, but we know what kind of potential is there. This is simply a value play for a proven stud receiver, and given our stud RBs, we need to find options like this.
WR Tyrell Williams, Chargers @ Patriots ($4,900). Williams has had fewer than 24 yards in five of his past six games, so this is real longshot, but he’s a proven big-play guy who can pay off with one long catch. We need to spend down given our RBs, so we’re taking chances here. We’re ready to pivot to Chris Conley ($4,700) if the weather forecast turns south, but for now we’ll stick with this (hopefully) low-owned receiver.
WR Josh Reynolds, Rams vs. Cowboys ($5,600). We wanted a piece of the Rams receiving game, and Reynolds comes in at the best price. With at least seven targets in three of his past four games, he has upside even if he’s the No. 4 option after Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Gurley. The Cowboys are strong against WRs, but since the start of Week 12, secondary receivers like Keith Kirkwood, Trey Quinn, Cody Latimer have scored against them, so there’s plenty of hope for Reynolds.
TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Colts ($7,500). The high price is worth it given Indy’s struggles against TEs (sixth-most fantasy points allowed). Paying up for Kelce is like paying up for a good No. 1 WR. We could’ve gone cheap here and paid up for someone like Robert Woods as our WR2, but your TE (likely Blake Jarwin or Gerald Everett) would have had even less upside than guys like Reynolds and Williams, who are more likely to pay off with one big play.
MORE SECOND ROUND DFS: Top stacks
FLEX Damien Williams, Chiefs vs. Colts ($5,100). It feels like Williams has earned the starting RB spot even if Spencer Ware (hamstring) is active. We expect Ware to be involved, but Williams flashed all kinds of ability and versatility as a runner (203 yards, 6.0 yards per carry, three TDs) and receiver (14 catches, 119 yards, TD) in his three starts. The Colts were 22nd in fantasy points allowed to RBs during the regular season, but it’s worth noting they ranked tied for second in receptions per game (6.9) and seventh in receiving yards per game (52.1) allowed to RBs, so Williams has more upside than the average back given his role in Kansas City’s high-powered offense. His price makes him a chalk candidate, but we’ll take the bait.
DEF Chargers @ Patriots ($4,300). The Chargers’ pass rush is the type that could give Tom Brady problems, and even a hint of bad weather raises the ceiling here. With basically no favorable matchups for D/STs on paper, we’re going with a cheaper, big-play option to get us through the week.