Teaching You How to #Win – NFL Wildcard Saturday Fantasy Breakdown

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AFC_WildcardThe New Year has begun and the NFL playoffs are just about to get started. In daily fantasy this means that you only have 3 weeks left to finish off your season and so we wanted to change things up a bit and breakdown each matchup for you from a daily fantasy perspective. Today we will breakdown the Saturday matchups and on Friday we will breakdown the Sunday matchups. On Saturday morning, we will be publishing our final lineups for this weekends contest for all games as well as Saturday only. On Sunday morning we will provide our Sunday only lineup considerations and any roster changes that you should consider. Starting next week we will be kicking back off our NBA Daily DiRTy Plays with full analysis each day so look for that as well. So let’s get it on!


Kansas City vs Houston

How many people knew that on week 1 of the NFL season you were watching the first NFL Wildcard matchup as the Chiefs took on the Texans. You might not remember but in week 1 Alex Smith was the top fantasy QB per dollar spent in week 1 and was the top overall sleeper as he lit up the secondary of the Texans along with Travis Kelce. The two players combined for just over 50 fantasy points. Maclin was yet to really get involved in the offense and everyone was wondering what happened to the Texans defense. The other player that kicked off the season on a hot streak in this matchup was DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins went for over 30 fantasy points in that contest just as he did an additional 6 times throughout the regular season. What does that mean for this weekend, let’s breakdown the numbers and see if these fantasy studs from week 1 should be considered again this week.

  • Houston Defense – Has produced at least 12 fantasy points in 5 straight contests, including 22 in week 16 and 29 in week 17.
  • Jeremy Maclin – Has scored at least 12 points in 9 straight contests and over 15 in each of the last 4 games.
  • DeAndre Hopkins – Finished the season with 115 catches and over 1,500 yards while being in top 5 for targets in 13 of the 16 weeks he played this season. The Chiefs defense is also 23rd against the WR1 position this season.
  • Chiefs RB’s – The question here is, who is going to get the ball, whomever it is from week to week, one thing is true, they will get at least 75 yards and one TD.

Obviously weather has no impact here so let’s just compare the two QB’s for this contest.

  • Brian Hoyer – He only averaged 14.3 fantasy points per game at home this season, including 11.3 in week 1.
  • Alex Smith – He averaged 18.3 in road games this season, including 23.2 against the Texans in week 1

Vegas has this game with the over/under at 40 points with the Chiefs a road favorite at -3 as of today. This means that Vegas is saying the Chiefs will win this game 21.5 to 18.5. What that really means is three TD’s by the Chiefs and 1 TD for the Texans with some field goals mixed in. How will these points get scored. In reviewing our Odds page here, we show the following projections:

  • Kansas City wins 23 – 22
  • Both QB’s will pass for around 240 yards
  • Both teams will rush for about 118 yards give or take a yard

fanduelWhat do all of these stats mean for your daily fantasy lineup this weekend. The guys to consider in this game should be Maclin and Hopkins, beyond that, either QB could be a nice play for a cheap option but the chances of either of them going for over 30 fantasy points this Sunday is pretty unlikely. The defenses on both sides are really the strengths of these teams and so taking one of those defenses are the best option for you.

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Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati

This Saturday night, we get to see the grudge match between the Bengals and the Steelers. Each team won at the other’s place this season and the Bengals are 2 – 13 over their last 15 home games against Pittsburgh. Combine that with the fact that the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the early 90’s and the last time these two met in a similar situation the Steelers torn the knee up of Carson Palmer and eventually went on to win the Super Bowl. While Palmer might get his revenge this season, that is because the Cardinals have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl this season but what does that mean for the Steelers. If you were to ask any analyst three weeks ago, who you got in the AFC, most would have said the Steelers simply because of the injuries to New England, Dalton had gone down against these Steelers and no other team that was going into the playoffs had a QB to be that concerned with. So now you have Big Ben getting a back door visit to the playoffs because the Jets can’t seem to beat the Bills and they will most likely play against McCarron this time around. McCarron played decently in the second half against these Steelers, after Dalton was knocked out with a broken thumb which included a long bomb (78 yard TD) to AJ Green but the Steelers still had a pick 6 and took care of the Bengals in that matchup. The one thing that most don’t know is that the Bengals are one of very few teams that have shut down the offense of the Steelers and so for those of you who have to play the Big Ben and Brown combo, here are some numbers to consider.

  • Ben Roethlisberger – Scored just 10.8 points against these Bengals in Cincy last time and 11.48 in their first contest this season.  That is an average of only 11.14 and the weather isn’t going to be any better this time around.
  • Antonio Brown – He had his 3rd worst performance of the season, scoring only 15.7 points against the Bengals in their last contest.
  • DeAngelo Williams – He was the lone bright spot aside from the defense against the Bengals this season scoring 15.0 points in their first contest and 23.1 in Cincinnati in December. The problem there is, will he play?
  • AJ Green – While having his worst statistical season of his career this year, that certainly wasn’t the case against the Steelers, putting up 31.8 points in their first contest and 28.2 in the game at home a few weeks back. He is an #AbsoluteNotable this weekend.

The weather as of today is expected to be a high of 48° with some light rain and another thing to note here is the fact that neither Bernard nor Jeremy Hill cracked 10 fantasy points in either game against the Steelers this season. In fact, not even Eifert was able to have much impact against Pittsburgh this year. All these stats are pointing to one thing and that is a Pittsburgh victory. DC*3PO shows a slight advantage to Pittsburgh as well with less than a yard of separation in terms of overall projected yardage.

The main guys to target in this matchup are going to be AJ Green and then DeAngelo Williams if he plays, if he doesn’t you almost have to ride with Todman simply for value and take your chances that Big Ben won’t be able to chuck it 60 times for 500 yards in this game.

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