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NFL Wild Card DFS Rundown

Playoffs.

Something I have seen only a handful of times as a 23-year old Raider’s fan.

But that’s okay.

Because the games we have this Weekend will make up for my pain and suffering and then some.

I mean starting me off with IND @ HOU?

Which I am going to call the battle of the Next Great QB because Andrew Luck (39) & Deshaun Watson (31) have combined for 70 TDs this season and are both hitting their prime.

Then we get SEA @ DAL.

Remember when Tony Romo fumbled the snap and Dallas lost by 2? Look I know it was 11 years ago now, but fans and players alike will remember trust me. Dallas will be motivated this Saturday.

Now that is just Saturday’s games.

On Sunday we start off with LAC @ BAL.

The Chargers lost 22-10 when they played them in Week 16 and had a very hard time scoring on this vaunted Ravens Defense. I think this Sunday will be a little different with a chance to move onto the Super Bowl on the line.

Then we finish off with PHI @ CHI.

I’ve heard Nick Foles is starting for the Eagles which is great news. Also, kind of funny but the Bears beat the Vikings to allow the Eagles to even make playoffs and now risk getting knocked out by the Eagles in the playoffs. LOL

 

So these are our 4 wild-card games that I will be diving into a little deeper.

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

 

Wild Card Game #1: IND (23.8) @ HOU (24.8) – O/U: 48.5

 

Andrew Luck looked unstoppable in the Colts Week 17 win-or-go-home game vs TEN when he threw for 285 yards and 3 TDs with only one interception. Look, Luck has only scored below 20 fantasy points in a game 4 times this entire season and remember the guy threw for 39 TDs this year, pretty insane. His main receivers this year have been Eric Ebron, T.Y. Hilton, Dontrelle Inman and Chester Rogers. Now I am sure you have all heard about how Eric Ebron broke Dallas Clark’s Franchise Record for single-season TD catches as a TE. This is because Ebron is one of the most athletic and natural pass catching TEs I have ever seen. This week he gets a matchup with HOU who he has torched this season (2 games) catching 9 passes for 105 yards and 2 TDs. Ebron isn’t the only one torching this Texans pass defense, T.Y. Hilton has also done his fair share of damage with 13 catches for 314 yards receiving in only 2 games. Fellow receiver Dontrelle Inman will be making his first appearance vs HOU as he failed to make any regular season appearances due to injuries. Then we got Chester Rogers who I will mention is a slight flex play but do not get too excited. Andrew Luck has been known to share the ball around to basically everyone which bodes well for Rogers, but the shear amount of bodies Luck has to throw too scares me. I’d much rather talk about Marlon Mack who had a hell of game last week vs TEN. 25 carries for 119 yards and 1 TD is nothing to bat your eyes at. It’s impressive, but this week he gets a matchup with the 3rd ranked rush defense in the NFL. In a previous matchup vs HOU Mack was held to only 33 yards on the ground but salvaged his day somewhat with a TD. Look, Mack is a workhorse and the Colts Offensive Line is playing out of their minds right now. I think you roll with him even though the stats are saying avoid him. Finally we have Nyheim Hines who has track star speed but just doesn’t get the touches to show it off. Playing him is like playing Theo Riddick, I mean you can do it but the ceiling is just so low.

 

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On the other side of the ball we have the 11-5 Texans who will be led by Deshaun Watson. Lamar Miller finally got healthy last week and is coming into this one with no injury designation. I would worry about playing him though, this season vs IND he has rushed for 82 yards on 28 carries which is not good to say the least. The Colts Defense is sneaky good against the run, ranked 8th in the NFL, and they only allow 3.9 yards per carry. They are susceptible to the pass though which is why I really want to highlight this matchup Deshaun Watson to Keke Coutee. Keke has only played a handful of games this season due to a lingering hamstring injury that lost him over half the season. But this week he logged a rare full-practice and will start this Saturday vs IND. Demaryius Thomas is out for the year at this point which means Houston needs a lot of help at WR. Coutee is cheap and has a huge opportunity ahead of him, starting in his first ever NFL Playoff Game. Now they also got guys like Vyncint Smith and DeAndre Carter but I think we avoid these guys because of Coutee coming back into the mix. I still need to mention DeAndre Hopkins who I think will be a big-time performer come Saturday. Hopkins lives for this stuff and seems to get better when there is more pressure on the line. Also I just saw a stat that he dropped 0 passes this year which is freaking amazing. Hopkins comes into this one banged up but honestly who cares I think he was hurt last week too and look what he did. 39 targets over his last 3 games, yea I want some of that.  

 

Final Verdict: IND 23 – HOU 20

 

Wild Card Game #2: SEA (20.8) @ DAL (22.3) – O/U: 43.0

 

Hello Chris Carson or should I say the MVP of this team. Okay idk about MVP of the season but he has to be MVP of the last 3 weeks for this Seahawks squad. I mean look at these stats – 68 carries for 357 yards and 4 TDs. Carson is a beast when he gets a lot of touches and that is exactly what has been going on recently. In week 3 vs DAL, Carson ran for 102 yards on 32 carries and scored 1 TD on the ground. Okay enough about Carson, what about this passing game? Russell Wilson throwing it to Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett is usually what the jingle is. David Moore and Jaron Brown play wide receiver too, but their inconsistency makes me want to throw up. Neither have performed well over the last few weeks so I say avoid them at all costs. So that literally leaves me with three people left to talk about because the TEs in SEA are hardly ever used anymore with Nick Vannett and Ed Dickson doing nothing. First, Doug Baldwin who is expected to play this Saturday even though he is dealing with a knee injury. 2 catches for 27 yards on 5 targets last week shows that it was more of a tune up game than anything serious for Seattle. Look at the two weeks previous against SF & KC, Baldwin had 11 catches for 203 yards and 3 TDs showing that his rapport with Russell Wilson is just fine. Then you got Tyler Lockett who is a real boom or bust kind of guy especially with his knack for the big play this season. Good news is Lockett had a big game last time Seattle played Dallas and all he needs is one big play to pay off. Finally, Russell Wilson has been doing just fine this year with a career-high 35 TD passes compared to only 7 INTs. Wilson will be gunning the ball a lot to Lockett and Baldwin who are his two favorite receivers. I think Seattle has trouble scoring in this game though besides maybe one or two broken coverages that might lead to big plays for Lockett.

 

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On the other side of the ball we have the Cowboys who will be led by Ezekiel Elliott like always. But wait, first off can we talk about Blake Jarwin catching 3 TDs in one game? The guy didn’t even have 1 TD prior to Week 17 and now the guys got 3. I think this little outburst is a way of showing us hey I am getting pretty involved on this offense please put me in your lineup. Well I’ll think about it Blake! Anyways, Dak had an amazing game and has really improved his game in the second half of the season since the addition of Amari Cooper. Listen I know Cooper’s recent games are ugly like really ugly but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from him this weekend. And here is why: Seattle’s pass defense is ranked 17th in the NFL and they will have a hard time covering Cooper. I have seen Cooper do some crazy things this year and a playoff matchup vs SEA at home seems like another recipe for some magic. Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley could be nice little flex plays at their price. Ezekiel Elliott is about to go beast mode on this Seattle defense that is allowing 4.9 yards per carry. Nice. Elliott had a week off to rest and get himself in the zone, I can’t wait to see how nasty he does this Seahawks defense on Saturday. Then we have Dak Prescott who has a terrible history vs SEA, do we play him or sit him? I say we play him because my mans is a different player at home when he has that crowd behind him.

 

Final Verdict: SEA 26 – DAL 31

 

Wild Card Game #3: LAC (19.0) @ BAL (22.0) – O/U: 41.0

 

These two teams already met earlier in the year and it was not good for Los Angeles as the Chargers lost by a score of 22-10. And this was with a healthy Melvin Gordon and a healthy Keenan Allen. So, what happened to this once high-powered offense? Well, nothing. The offense is the same. You have a 37-year old Philip Rivers leading the offense and he is not as mobile as he used to be. This leads to an offense that can get stagnant at times especially when you throw in a defense that allows only 17.9 PPG which is the 2nd lowest in the NFL. I have heard analysts saying that the Chargers offense will overpower the Ravens defense. Well how did that work out in Week 16? When the Chargers offense only scored 10 points. I worry about LA in this one because, Melvin Gordon is not as good as people think which leads to the Chargers being ranked 15th in the NFL in Rushing. Yea I said it, Melvin Gordon isn’t even that good and his price is way too high for a matchup in Baltimore. I mean 12 carries for 41 yards and 1 TD isn’t sufficient for someone I want to put in my lineup. Honestly I have had one rule that I always stick to and it has never done me wrong, and that rule is don’t play anyone vs BAL. So with that in mind I will stop writing about LAC now, thank me later you dawgs.

 

On the Baltimore side of the ball I find myself getting way more excited mainly because of Lamar Jackson. Jackson is the reason the Ravens even find themselves in the playoffs with him leading them to 6 wins out of their last 7 games. And he has done all of this work with a little something called the Read Option. Heard of it? Yea it is one of the most frustrating offenses to try and stop because of the constant misdirection. Most of the time you don’t even know who has the ball because of the constant fakes. Anyways, Lamar Jackson (The Former Heisman Winner) has been doing his best RG III impression and I love it. Last week my guy Jackson had 20 carries for 90 yards and 2 TDs vs the Browns which is a pretty solid defensive unit. The only problem with Jackson at QB is that he has trouble passing the ball which is kind of a big issue. This means Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown have all fallen heavily in price and in usage. I mean over the last 3 games Crabtree has only seen 7 targets which is abysmal for a WR. The lone bright spot seems to be Mark Andrews who has 6 catches for 137 yards and 1 TD over his last 2 games. He has been the Ravens top receiver and he is playing TE. Finally, we have to talk about Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon who are sharing snaps at RB right now. Gus is going to play more snaps than Dixon but has a little bit less of an excitement factor. I mean look at these stats for Gus last week – 12 carries for 76 yards and 0 TDs. Now look at the stats for Dixon last week – 12 carries for 117 yards and 0 TDs. They had equal touches last week but to me Dixon is the more exciting back.

 

Final Verdict: LAC 16 – BAL 27

 

Wild Card Game #4: PHI (17.3) @ CHI (23.3) – O/U: 40.5

 

The final game of the Wild Card Playoffs. We have the Eagles coming into this one in top form and looking like super bowl contenders again. They are facing off vs the best defense in the entire NFL. Should be a great game on both sides. So, Nick Foles will get the starting nod for the Eagles while Carson Wentz deals with an injury. Literally seems like the exact same formula the Eagles had last year to win the Super Bowl, but we will see. I love what this offense has been doing with Foles under center, Alshon Jeffrey’s stats are up, Nelson Agholor’s stats are up, Zach Ertz’s stats are up (not last game), I mean the man has been slinging it around.

Alshon Jeffrey last game stats – 5 catches for 59 yards and 1 TD

Nelson Agholor last game stats – 5 catches for 40 yards and 2 TDs

Zach Ertz stats vs HOU (Week 16) – 12 catches for 110 yards and 2 TDs

 

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Then we have the RB situation which is really quite confusing. It’s a three-way between Darren Sproles, Josh Adams and Wendell Smallwood. Sproles got the most snaps (27) last week but the least touches (9). Smallwood had the most touches (16), was only 1 snap behind Sproles (26) and he had the best fantasy day. Adams was relegated to only 18 snaps, but he had 14 touches which was 5 more than Sproles and he turned that into 11.3 fantasy points. Honestly this RB committee scares me because of how even they all are, any one of these guys could go off for a big run and I wouldn’t have a clue who it would be. Your best bet would probably be Smallwood or Adams based off their number of touches and the production they had.

 

On the other side of the ball we have the best defense in the NFL. Their defense is led by Danny Trevathan and Khalil Mack and has only allowed 17.7 PPG which is 1st in the NFL. I mean look at these numbers – 27 interceptions, 50 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, 4 defensive touchdowns, only 283 points allowed all season. This defense is as nasty as it comes, and it will be a joy to watch them this Sunday. But enough about the defense, we still have a whole offense to cover! Mitchell Trubisky is back and healthy but still not performing like he was earlier in the year. I watched a few of his games and it looks like he is just not making very accurate throws right now. Good news for Mitch, he gets his favorite target (Allen Robinson) back from an injury. Robinson is an interesting play versus an Eagles defense that has been very suspect vs the Pass (30th in the NFL in Pass Defense) and will likely be playing the highest snap count on the team. Love his price too. Then we have the mirage of Tarik Cohen who is messing with the real value player Jordan Howard. Look I love Cohen’s skillset and I have mentioned him before, but he is getting in the way of Jordan Howard’s limelight. Howard has scored over 14 fantasy points in 4-straight games, and last game he went off for 109 yards on 21 carries and scored 2 TDs on the ground. This looks like what Chicago’s recipe for their offense is going to be, establishing the run with Howard and working the rest of the offense off that. This type of offense is especially savvy when you have a legitimate defense like theirs. They can use this to essentially keep their opponent’s offense off the field and grind out a win the old-fashioned way. Mike Ditka would be proud.

 

Final Verdict: PHI 19 – CHI 17

If anyone made it this far, thank you.

Playoffs begin this Saturday at 1:35 PM, good luck to anyone with a horse still in the race!

 

My name is G.R. Bunch aka the Daily Fantasy Hitman.

Catch me on Twitter @DailyHitman

 

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