Divisional Round: FanDuel Saturday Slate Breakdown
The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs kicks off Saturday with what could be the highest scoring game of the weekend when the Indianapolis Colts visit the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are 5.0-point home favorites in a game given a 57.0-point over/under by oddsmakers.
Andrew Luck and the Colts have gone 10-1 in their last 11 games while the Chiefs lost two of their final three games to end the season before locking up the top overall seed in the AFC and securing home-field advantage.
|Matchup (Implied Team Total)||Game Total|
|Indianapolis Colts (26) at Kansas City Chiefs (31)||57|
|Dallas Cowboys (20.75) at Los Angeles Rams (28.25)||49|
Elsewhere on the Saturday slate, the Dallas Cowboys are 7.5-point underdogs as they head on the road to take on the second-seeded Los Angeles Rams. Todd Gurley sat out the final two games of the regular season with inflammation in his left knee, but he was removed from the injury report Thursday and should be ready Saturday for what will be his first game action in about four weeks.
Among the FanDuel tournaments posted on the Saturday slate, the NFL Saturday Million costs $9.99 to enter and pays out $250,000 to whomever emerges atop the leaderboard. The $30,000 NFL Kickoff costs $22 to play and pays out $5,000 to first place. Single entry contests include the $30,000 NFL Spike, a $5 entry contest that rewards first place with $3,000.
Now, let's break down some of the top plays and values on the slate.
Lock: Patrick Mahomes ($9,000) - Coming off his 50-touchdown season, Mahomes faces a Colts defense that just held Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans offense to only 7 points. Over their past 11 games, the Colts defense has actually allowed just 15.5 points per game. But the opposition hasn't mattered much for the Chiefs offense this season. Kansas City averaged a league-best 35.3 points per game, never scoring fewer than 26 in a game. Mahomes himself accounted for multiple touchdowns in all but one game this season (Week 5). In what could be the highest scoring game of the entire weekend, both Mahomes and Andrew Luck ($8,500) are top plays.
Sleeper: Dak Prescott ($7,800) - Whereas Jared Goff ($8,000) struggled over the final five games of the regular season, throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns (6), Prescott excelled down the stretch. Including this past weekend's win over the Seattle Seahawks, Prescott has accounted for multiple scores in four of his past five games. That stretch also includes Prescott's first 400-yard passing game as a pro -- Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles. It's difficult not to play Mahomes or Luck on this two-game slate, but Prescott's rushing ability gives him some additional upside as the cheapest quarterback option on the slate.
Lock: Ezekiel Elliott ($8,800) - Coming off an extended absence, Todd Gurley ($9,200) is certainly in play as a big home favorite. But during the regular season, no running back handled a bigger workload than Elliott (26.9 touches per game). And run defense just so happens to be where the Rams can be exploited. At the end of the regular season, the Rams run defense ranked as the league's 11th-worst and they allowed the 8th-most rushing yards to opposing backs this season. Zeke has cleared 100 total scrimmage yards in each of his past 9 games.
Sleeper: Nyheim Hines ($5,200) - Hines was a no-show last week, playing just 9 snaps in the Colts' Wild Card win. He didn't record a single carry or see one target. After the game, Colts' offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said Marlon Mack had the hot hand and the Colts wanted to run with that. But Hines' disappearance was puzzling after he had seen no fewer than four touches in any game this season in the Colts' backfield rotation. After putting up a goose egg last week, Hines' ownership this week is sure to take a hit, but he may be in line to bounce back, especially since it's unlikely the Colts' defense shuts down the Chiefs offense like they did the Texans. On the season, the Chiefs allowed the fifth-most receiving yards to opposing running backs and six touchdowns, which tied for the most league-wide.
Lock: T.Y. Hilton ($7,900) - Hilton has been missing practice time for weeks now as he deals with an ankle injury, but that hasn't limited his production in recent games. Over his final five games, Hilton has had fewer than 85 yards just once and he's gone over 130 yards twice. While Hilton's yardage totals have been impressive, he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 11. Should Hilton break that streak this week, it will come against a Chiefs pass defense that ranked middle of the pack (18th) at the end of the regular season, per numberFire metrics. Hilton is particularly attractive this week because of the projected game flow of this matchup. It has the highest projected total of the weekend by far, giving Hilton plenty of opportunities to pay off as Luck's top target.
Sleeper: Sammy Watkins ($6,000) - Watkins hasn't played for the Chiefs since Week 11, but after logging multiple limited practices this week, he looks likely to suit up Saturday. If he does, Watkins will be appealing in this potential shootout. Over the first 9 games of the season, Watkins averaged 6 targets, 4 receptions, and 57 yards per game for the Chiefs. But he injured his foot in Week 9, made a cameo appearance in Week 11, and has been sidelined ever since. A wide receiver coming off a foot injury is certainly worrisome, but Watkins offers a contrarian stacking option with Mahomes instead of Tyreek Hill.
Lock: Travis Kelce ($7,500) - One of the premier plays at any position on this slate, Kelce faces a Colts defense that has been generous to opposing tight ends all season. In the regular season, the Colts allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, including the most receptions (106) and yards (1,234). Meanwhile, Kelce averaged over 9 targets and 83 yards per game to go along with his 10 touchdowns. Only Eric Ebron (13) scored more touchdowns than Kelce among tight ends this season.
Sleeper: Gerald Everett ($4,800) - Among the tight ends not named Travis Kelce or Eric Ebron, Everett is worth a look on this slate. Over the final five games of the season, Everett was on the field for at least 35% of the team's snaps in every game and he saw six or more targets in three of those games. On the other side, the Cowboys gave up the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, including the sixth-most receptions (86).
Blair Ames is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Blair Ames also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Bames31. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.