The second round of the NFL Playoffs kick off Saturday, and with it comes four games and a host of NFL DFS contests that allow you to hold onto that fantasy feeling for a little while longer. When putting together daily fantasy football lineups for the Saturday-Sunday slate, you're choosing from some of the game's biggest offensive stars. However, you're also choosing players in mostly unfavorable matchups. Balancing talent, matchups, and budget is more important than ever, and we feel we've done a good job of that with our divisional round FanDuel GPP picks.
Our primary strategy involves attacking the worst defense left in the playoffs -- Houston. By stacking Chiefs against them, we're getting high-floor, high-ceiling players, and we're actually able to get one of them at a discount. We're also going with a correlating Houston player to complete our game stack, and then filling in our lineup with a high-target WR1, big-play WR2, and boom-or-bust WR3. We're also going with a two-TE lineup construction that will hopefully further differentiate our picks.
NFL Playoffs DFS Picks: FanDuel GPP Lineup
QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs vs. Texans ($8,600). Mahomes has been downright "ordinary" over his past six games, averaging 234.2 passing yards and accounting for 10 total TDs. Hopefully, that means others will fade him. Mahomes is still a lethal passer with big-play weapons, and we expect the Chiefs to fully unleash him in this favorable matchup against a Texans defense that allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs during the regular season. Mahomes has added some value with his legs down the stretch (22.7 rushing yards per game, two rushing TDs over his past six games), and he's already carved up Houston once this year (273 yards, three TDs), so you know the floor and and ceiling are high.
RB Damien Williams, Chiefs vs. Texans ($6,900). Williams is priced as the RB5 on FanDuel, which isn't egregious but still makes him a value play. He returned from a rib injury in Week 16 and clearly cemented himself as Kansas City's lead back. Over the final two weeks of the season, he totaled 35 touches (28 carries, seven receptions), 246 total yards, and three TDs, which was similar to his two-game playoff totals last year (45 touches, 250 total yards, four TDs). This week, he faces a Texans defense that allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs during the regular season. He makes for a solid stacking partner with Mahomes because of his involvement in the Chiefs passing game, and he might not be as chalky as he should be because of his lengthy layoff earlier in the year.
RB Duke Johnson, Texans @ Chiefs ($5,600). It can be dangerous to try to predict game script, especially in the playoffs, but we fully expect the Chiefs to score early and fairly often against the Texans. If Houston falls behind by two possessions, expect to see Johnson on the field more than Carlos Hyde. That could means big things for the ace receiving back, who typically sees around eight touches per game. If that number can bump up to double-digits (something that happened four times this season), Johnson will have a solid floor, especially when you factor in that Kansas City allowed the third-most receptions and most receiving yards to RBs this season. Johnson posted 54 total yards and a score on seven touches against the Chiefs earlier this year, which shows he can easily pay off at his modest price.
WR Davante Adams, Packers vs. Seahawks ($8,400). Adams is the best bet for targets this week, as he's averaged 11.4 since returning from a foot injury in Week 9. That yielded 619 yards and five TDs, including at least 93 yards in each of the past three games. The Seahawks are relatively mediocre against WRs, allowing the 12th-most WR receptions during the regular season, so Adams should rack up catches and has 100-yard, multi-TD upside.
WR Deebo Samuel, 49ers vs. Vikings ($6,100). Samuel averaged 5.4 targets per game during the regular season and had nine carries for 122 yards and a TD over the final five games. He's going to touch the ball -- and often in advantageous spots -- and that gives him a slightly higher floor than most second-tier receivers. This is a favorable matchup, too, as Minnesota allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to wide receivers during the regular season.
WR Tajae Sharpe, Titans @ Ravens ($4,900). If Baltimore struggles anywhere in pass defense, it's against slot receivers. That was shown by Cole Beasley and Jamison Crowder combining for 10 catches, 119 yards, and three TDs against Baltimore in Weeks 14 and 15. Sharpe is most likely to work out of the slot with Adam Humphries (ankle) banged up, so if you need a low-owned, lotto-ticket receiver in a GPP, Sharpe has a decent amount of upside.
TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Texans ($7,500). In Weeks 11-15, Kelce had at least 90 yards three times and scored three total touchdowns. He's essentially a stud wide receiver you can plug-and-play at tight end, and against the Texans, who allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to TEs, he's close to a sure thing (despite catching just four passes for 58 yards against Houston in Week 6). George Kittle at $7,400 is a fine play (despite the much tougher matchup), but since we have Mahomes at QB, we're going with the stack and hoping for multiple TD connections.
FLEX Mark Andrews, Ravens vs. Titans ($6,800). Kelce and Kittle have higher floors than Andrews, but he has just as high of a ceiling. Despite a nagging ankle injury, Andrews scored seven TDs over his final seven games, twice posting multiple scores. The Titans allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to TEs during the regular season, so this is a great matchup, too. Most DFS owners don't like starting two TEs, and with Kittle and Kelce available -- or a host of much cheaper options -- Andrews might fall through the cracks more than he should. Either way, we'll have slightly differentiated our lineup by having two of the top TEs.
D/ST San Francisco 49ers vs. Vikings ($4,600). Kirk Cousins got the "big-game monkey" off his back last week, but that doesn't mean it's only onward and upward from here on out. The 49ers defense hasn't been as good down the stretch, but with Dee Ford (hamstring) and Kwon Alexander (pectoral) expected back and a week to prepare for Cousins and the Vikings, we expect a few big plays. Because we can afford it, we're paying up and hoping others are punting the position and paying down for an even riskier D/ST.