For the playoffs, instead of breaking down the top four performers at each position, I will give you my “pay to play”, “stay away” and “value play” selections just like we feature on the @BlitzedPodcast.
I would like to thank everyone for another fun and hopefully profitable season of Daily Domination. Certainly, I will spend the offseason with periodic nightmares of Ameer Abdullah getting stuffed at the one-yard line costing me $100K, but alas, here is to one final week of cashing! Bon Chance everyone!
Prices indicated: Red = Negative Value and Black = Acceptable Value and Green = Great Value
Weekly Strategy – I’m fine with anyone except Nick Foles. Tom Brady is a little pricy on FD, but he is also the safest against a Jacksonville pass defense that has been beatable recently.
Pay to Play
Tom Brady, Patriots vs. JAX ($7700 DK, $9000 FD)
Even if Tom Brady’s hand was broken, he would be the safest quarterback on this slate. Jacksonville has an elite pass defense, but they have given up some points recently to upper-echelon QBs. Tom Brady definitely fits that bill. In eight of his last nine playoff appearances, Brady has thrown for multiple touchdowns. That will happen once again as we see a repeat of the back-and-forth scoring that we saw in Jacksonville’s matchup against the Steelers.
Nick Foles, Eagles vs. MIN ($4800 DK, $7100 FD)
Last Week, Drew Brees became one of only four QBs to throw for multiple touchdowns this season versus Minnesota. Compare that with Nick Foles, who has thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game three times total in the last three years. Foles will be lucky to get one score, let alone multiples.
Case Keenum, Vikings @ PHI ($6600 DK, $8000 FD)
His price isn’t that much of a value, but on a small slate he is your best money-saving alternative to Brady. The Eagles cannot be beaten on the ground, but they have allowed four different QBs to throw for three or more touchdowns this season. I don’t think Case Keenum will reach three scores, but two is pretty safe.
Weekly strategy – Dion Lewis, James White and Leonard Fournette are the best plays. I also don’t mind Jerick McKinnon and T.J. Yeldon. To save money, I will have a fair amount of exposure to either LeGarrette Blount or Corey Clement on DK at DK-FLEX.
Pay to Play
Dion Lewis, Patriots vs. JAX ($8100 DK, $7700 FD)
As good as the Jacksonville pass defense has been, their rushing defense is just so-so. Over the two playoff games they have allowed 299 combo yards to opposing RBs. This included 16 catches and 142 yards through the air. James White will eat into some of those pass-catching stats, but Dion Lewis is an adept pass-catcher as well. Lewis will be the primary ball carrier and should easily reach triple digits, with a couple of receptions thrown in for good measure.
Latavius Murray, Vikings @ PHI ($5700 DK, $6900 FD)
The one way to lose to Philadelphia is to attempt to run through the middle against them. They did struggle a little down the stretch, but on the year, only four teams have scored a running back rushing TD against them. Straight-ahead back Devonta Freeman finished last week with 10 carries for 7 yards. Compare that with Tevin Coleman, who typically carries the ball to the outside, who averaged nearly eight yards per carry. In addition, both were productive in the passing game, something that Philly has struggled with all year. For the Vikings, the outside runner/pass-catcher is Jerick McKinnon. This means he is the back you want to start this week, not Latavius Murray.
James White, Patriots vs. JAX ($4900 DK, $4800 FD)
As I stated above, Jacksonville is prone to allowing big yardage and scores to pass-catching backs. James White cedes some of those looks to Dion Lewis, but he remains the primary pass-catcher out of the Patriots’ backfield. Plus, White has been used often in the playoffs in the red zone. Over their last two playoff games, White has five touchdowns and 179 total yards.
Weekly strategy –The Vikings WRs are the best option. I also don’t mind the Patriots WRs that are not named Brandin Cooks. I also am ok with starting one Jaguar but not multiples. Nelson Agholor is the only Eagle that I would consider.
Pay to Play
Adam Thielen, Vikings @ PHI ($7400 DK, $7400 FD)
The Eagles have given up eight WR touchdowns over their last six games. The only game in that stretch that featured no WR touchdown was last week. In that game, Julio Jones still posted 9-101. Adam Thielen will face off against a secondary that plays risky. Yes, this means they get their share of interceptions. It also means they can be burned, especially by speedy receivers.
Brandin Cooks, Patriots vs. JAX ($6100 DK, $7000 FD)
You are going to want to start one/two of the high dollar WRs. The question mark then falls, which ones to avoid. Alshon Jeffery and Brandin Cooks will draw Xavier Rhodes and Jalen Ramsey. The biggest difference between the two of them is the $1.5K salary differential on DK. So, if I was forced to choose between one of the negative matchups, I’d probably go with the cheaper one (Alshon). Antonio Brown had a pretty good day last week, but Tom Brady has enough weapons that he can throw the ball away from Ramsey’s direction. This should equate to a big day for Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and the backs.
Jarius Wright, Vikings @ PHI ($3000 DK, $4900 FD)
Jarius Wright has become Case Keenum’s third-down safety valve catching anything thrown in his vicinity when the other options are covered. Last week was Wright’s best performance of the season, expect more of the same here. The odds are not good that he will score but with 4-50 a distinct possibility that is 3x-value on DK.
Weekly strategy – I like all the top-three options. There is a very high likelihood that I will use a second of them at DK-FLEX. There isn’t an obvious value play, but if you must go with one of the Jaguars.
Pay to Play
Zach Ertz, Eagles vs. MIN ($5300 DK, $7000 FD)
The Vikings have been very good about keeping opposing tight ends out of the end zone this year. That said, they have allowed a fair amount of receptions to above-average tight ends, throughout the year. With Andrew Sendejo in the concussion protocol, there is a chance that Minnesota will be playing without one of their starting safeties. If Sendejo goes, Zach Ertz will still post a solid line (as he has all season), however if Sendejo is a no-go, then Ertz will own the Vikings.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots vs. JAX ($7900 DK, $8400 FD)
I don’t dislike Rob Gronkowski. In fact, I will likely play both him and Ertz in some lineups on DK. I’m just concerned that his line won’t be $2.6K more valuable than that of Ertz. Gronk will likely finish with 5-80-1, which is par for the course for him, but it will cost you more than any WR (and all but one RB) to acquire those stats.
Ben Koyack, Jaguars @ NEP ($2500 DK, $4500 FD)
This is truly a dart throw to find a value at tight end this week. The Patriots have allowed 50+ yards to the position eight times this season so the Jaguars might be smart to throw the ball to Marcedes Lewis, Ben Koyack and James O’Shaughnessy. Any of those three could produce a solid line given the others not being there, however they will likely vulture stats from each other. Koyack scored in the Buffalo game, making him as good a dart throw, as the other two.
Weekly strategy – Choose any defense except the Eagles.
Pay to Play
Minnesota Vikings @ PHI ($3800 DK, $4900 FD)
Nick Foles had a huge game against the Giants when their secondary was in disarray. Since that game, Foles has thrown for only 448-1-2 over two plus games. That is not intimidating at all. Foles will need to be on point this week, since Minnesota is even tougher against the run than they are against the pass. Plus, the Vikings have held four of their last six opponents to ten or fewer points. Don’t be surprised when Philly doesn’t reach double-digits either.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. MIN ($3000 DK, $4800 FD)
Only two teams turned the ball over less-frequently than Minnesota. Plus, Minnesota is allowing the sixth-fewest sacks per game. Yes, Philadelphia does gamble and occasionally picks off a pass, but Case Keenum has only thrown three interceptions in his last eight games.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ NEP ($2800 DK, $4400 FD)
Will Tom Brady’s hand injury cause him to make a mistake? Jacksonville leads the league in takeaways, and averages an amazing 2.5 per game on the road. They also lead the league in sacks per game, averaging 4.1 per game on the road. So, the Foxboro advantage might not matter.