The excitement of the NFL Playoffs kicks off this weekend. The unfortunate news stemming from that is it means we longer have the luxury of 32 teams to choose from in picking our fantasy lineups. With a four-game slate this weekend, it’s slim pickings for sure, and it will be tough to stand out from the crowd in GPP lineups. It does, however, make for a better opportunity for a nice payout in the right lineup with the limited options available. Here’s a look at my suggested plays this week on DraftKings of who I believe will be on rosters at the top of fantasy boards.
The Gamefly DraftKings GPP Plays for Wild Card Weekend
Jared Goff (LAR) vs. ATL $6,700
I understand that Goff is the top play at the position for the week, but with such a minimal difference between him and the other seven starting quarterbacks, I still feel like he possesses the highest ceiling this weekend. He had an extra week to rest and prepare by sitting the final week of the regular season. That will help him come out sharp on Saturday, and probably firing on all cylinders in front of the home crowd. Goff is coming off one of his best personal games in his short career, with the opportunity to repeat it, and show everybody that the Rams are for real.
Alex Smith (KC) vs. TEN $6,300
Smith is my next highest rated quarterback this week, slightly behind Goff. Smith has an excellent ceiling as well against the same Titans team that allowed Goff to throw four touchdown passes against them just two weeks ago. Yes, the Titans defense played well against Blake Bortles last week, but it’s Blake Bortles. Smith and the Chiefs had their struggles midway through the season, but they’ve won four straight now, and look to be back on track at the right time. The inexperienced Titans will probably give up a ton of points to this well-balanced offense.
Other Notables: Cam Newton (CAR) @ NO $6,500
Devonta Freeman (ATL) @ LAR $6,300
Before I continue, yes, you should absolutely use your salary on Todd Gurley. No matter the cost. You have to pair him with at least one other back, however, and you could do it with the lead back from the other sidelines. Tevin Coleman continues to receive his fair share of touches out of the Falcons backfield, but Freeman has still seen at least 20 touches in three of the last four games. He could do nothing rushing against the Panthers in the backfield, but he was excellent in the passing game, finishing with nine catches for 85 yards and a score.
The Rams finished the regular season giving up the 6th most fantasy points to opposing backs, and 5th most in yards rushing. He may not have the same fantasy appeal as Gurley, but another high volume game could result in a strong performance from Freeman.
Derrick Henry (TEN) @ KC $6,000
DeMarco Murray‘s status remains questionable for Saturday, but I peg him more as doubtful. The fact that their game is a day earlier than usual doesn’t help his chances any for suiting up. If he doesn’t, Henry will be in another prime position in his first career postseason game.
Henry touched the ball a staggering 29 times last week against Jacksonville. He virtually did next to nothing with 28 carries, but was able to take his lone reception to the house for a 66-yard touchdown. Should Murray miss, Henry would then again have another high volume game that’s sure to produce quality production, even if it comes at a poor rate.
Other Notables: Mark Ingram (NO) vs. CAR $6,900
Tyreek Hill (KC) vs. TEN $6,800
Tyreek Hill is my favorite wide receiver pick this week with both Julio Jones and Michael Thomas battling injuries. Neither are in doubt for their respective games, but Hill has no injury to report, and is well rested after his absence in Week 17. I said earlier in evaluating Alex Smith that I thought the Chiefs would score a lot of points in this game, and my guess is it will be featured by this guy. Hill has been red hot as of late, and the Titans don’t have anyone that can come close to his speed.
Cooper Kupp (LAR) vs. ATL $5,800
Both Kupp and Goff will be playing in their first ever playoff game, and it’s against the defending NFC champions. The experience factor is evident, but I still think the Rams offense is going to look superb. Similar to Hill and Smith, Kupp and Goff are a great pairing in my eyes. Robert Woods remains the Rams go-to guy, but Kupp has shown he can still produce at a high level with Woods in the lineup.
Ted Ginn Jr. (NO) vs. CAR $5,200
Ted Ginn would love nothing more than to eliminate his old team from the postseason, and he could be a major factor if that were to come true. Ginn doesn’t get a ton of catches, but he’s always a dangerous deep threat that can get behind defenses. Ginn could see extra work as well if Michael Thomas‘ hamstring injury happens to flare up by Sunday.
Other Notables: Mohamed Sanu (ATL) @ LAR $5,600
Charles Clay (BUF) @ JAX $4,000
It comes as no surprise that Jacksonville has been fairly solid against tight ends this season. They did finish with the best overall defense after all. But the Bills may be in a different position than usual with LeSean McCoy expected to be a game-time decision. Should McCoy miss, Buffalo’s offense will need to be creative if they want to continue their playoff run. That could include a deeper game plan with Charles Clay.
Clay has been dealing his own knee injury, but he hasn’t missed in any of Buffalo’s last eight games. He’s been more involved as of late too, making him an intriguing play even if McCoy suits up.
Other Notables: Delanie Walker (TEN) @ KC $4,700
Buffalo @ JAX $2,500
This could turn into a defensive battle on Sunday. Jacksonville is obviously a solid selection to roster, but so is Buffalo given the recent struggles of Blake Bortles. Bortles has thrown five picks in the last two games. This after he had just one in the five games prior. Buffalo has the personnel to continue discouraging Bortles with their terrific pass defense that can create turnovers. They finished 2017 with 18 interceptions, and will look to add to Bortles misery.
Other Notables: Los Angeles Rams vs. ATL $2,700