Divisional Round: FanDuel Sunday Slate Breakdown
The Sunday slate in the Divisional Round features both of the Super Bowl teams from last season.
The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers kick off the slate with the Chargers listed as 4.0-point underdogs in Foxboro. Of all the games in the Divisional Round, this matchup carries the lowest over/under (47), pitting the Chargers' fourth-ranked defense against a Patriots offense ranked as the league's fourth-best at the end of the season, per numberFire metrics.
|Matchup (Implied Team Total)||Game Total|
|Philadelphia Eagles (21.5) at New Orleans Saints (29.5)||51|
|Los Angeles Chargers (21.5) at New England Patriots (25.5)||47|
Wrapping up the Divisional Round, Nick Foles looks to continue another magical playoff run against the NFC's top-seeded New Orleans Saints. With Foles at quarterback over the past four weeks, the Eagles are 4-0, averaging 25.5 points per game. Foles and the Eagles offense will need to keep up their hot streak against a Saints offense that has averaged 34 points per game at home this season. These two teams squared off in Week 11 in New Orleans, and the Eagles were run out of the building in a 48-7 loss. The Saints piled up 546 yards of total offense in that game, their largest output in any game this season.
Among the tournaments offered on the FanDuel Sunday slate, the NFL Sunday Million costs $9.99 to enter and pays $250,000 to first. In the single-entry fields, the NFL Spike is $5 to enter and the first-place prize is $4,000.
Now, let's break down some of the top plays and values on the slate.
Lock: Drew Brees ($8,800) - Once considered a front-runner for MVP this season, Drew Brees and the Saints offense sputtered down the stretch. Brees threw for just three touchdowns in his final four games, but three of those games were on the road and Brees' starkly different home and road splits have long been a trend. In New Orleans this season, Brees is averaging 24.96 FanDuel points compared to 15.84 on the road. The Eagles pass defense has been suspect all season, allowing the 10th-most fantasy points on the season to opposing quarterbacks. Back in Week 11, Brees carved up the Eagles' secondary for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns. And just last week, Mitchell Trubisky threw for 303 yards against the Eagles after averaging 230 passing yards for the season.
Sleeper: Nick Foles ($7,700) - With the Chargers and Patriots game a potentially low-scoring affair, betting on another game of Foles magic is intriguing. Over the past four weeks, Foles is averaging 38 pass attempts per game and he's thrown for multiple scores in all but one game. The Saints pass defense ended the regular season ranked as the league's 17th-best unit, per numberFire metrics, far from an imposing matchup for Foles. It's strange to think Foles could out-duel Brees in New Orleans, but Foles and the Eagles have proven a lot of people wrong over the past two seasons.
Lock: Alvin Kamara ($8,600) - In the Week 11 matchup between the Saints and Eagles, Kamara went for over 100 yards and a touchdown on 14 touches. Mark Ingram ($6,400) closed out the blowout win with 16 carries for 103 yards and two scores himself. If the Eagles are to keep this playoff game close, Kamara would fit to benefit against an Eagles defense that has struggled against pass-catching backs. Kamara ranked fourth among all running backs in targets (105) this season and the Eagles allowed the third-most receptions (110) and sixth-most receiving yards (844) to opposing backs.
Sleeper: Austin Ekeler ($6,200) - With Melvin Gordon ($7,500) dealing with an assortment of injuries, Ekeler saw 15 touches in last week's win over the Baltimore Ravens. Gordon is fully expected to play Sunday, but Ekeler could be more involved in the game plan with Gordon nursing injuries to both knees entering the Divisional Round. Ekeler actually played the most snaps (39) among Chargers running backs in the Wild Card Round with Gordon (32) missing time due to injury. Justin Jackson played just 4 snaps in the Chargers win.
Lock: Julian Edelman ($7,700) - Over the final four games of the regular season, Edelman averaged over 9 targets per game and had at least 90 yards or a touchdown in each of those four. Despite missing the first four games of the season due to suspension, Edelman still ranked sixth among all receivers in red zone targets (20) this season and seventh in red zone receptions (14). Edelman has been the target on 29.35% of throws from Tom Brady in their past three games.
Sleeper: Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,500) - Ginn missed 10 games in the middle of the season due to a knee injury, but he returned to the lineup in Week 16 to play 41% of the team's snaps. Ginn saw eight targets in that Week 16 game, the most he's seen in any of his five games this season. He ended that game against Pittsburgh with 5 catches for 74 yards. The Saints chose to rest Ginn in Week 17 and he's ready to roll in the playoffs as a full participant in practice this week. In discussing Brees, we touched on how vulnerable the Eagles secondary has been. Tre'Quan Smith, Ginn's replacement for much of the season, had his biggest game of the year against the Eagles back in Week 11. He saw a whopping 13 targets, finishing with 10 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown.
Lock: Zach Ertz ($7,400) - The story for Ertz is similar to last week. Once again, it's not a favorable matchup, the Saints allowed the seventh-fewest FanDuel points to opposing tight ends this season. But on a two-game slate, it's difficult to look past how often Ertz is targeted in the passing game. Even in a tough matchup against the Chicago Bears last week, Ertz saw 7 targets, which he turned into 5 receptions for 52 yards. With Foles at quarterback the past four games, Ertz leads the Eagles in targets (34), ahead of Alshon Jeffery (27).
Sleeper: Dallas Goedert ($5,600) - Both Eagles tight ends are in play this week with how often they're on the field and how much the Eagles may be forced to throw against the Saints. Goedert has played at least 50% of the Eagles' snaps in each of the past six games and over that span, he has drawn at least three targets in all but one game. In the past four games with Foles, Goedert has two targets inside the 10-yard line, just one fewer than Ertz and Jeffery.
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.