This weekend, we kickoff the divisional round of the NFL playoffs which means you only have this weekend and next weekend left in daily fantasy for the NFL season. The good news is that this week, there are actual offenses playing and so we should actually get some scoring this upcoming weekend. We kickoff the weekend in New England, where the Patriots are expected to be close to full strength and then the Saturday night game features the top projected scoring contest of the weekend, according Vegas. I suspect that there won’t be as many penalties in that game compared to last Saturday but this should be just as exciting so let’s breakdown these matchups for your daily fantasy lineups!
Kansas City @ New England
The Patriots come into this contest having lost 2 of their past three, including their last game against Miami which cost them home field throughout the playoffs. This was very surprising as Miami’s defense put a strangle hold on the Patriots offense, holding down everyone including the worst performance of the season from Brady. In fact Brady limped away from this game with an injured ankle but that is all in the past and now we are onto the playoffs. This is where the Patriots have thrived and Brady is 9 – 2 in the divisional round in his career. In come the Chiefs, riding an 11 game winning streak and utterly destroying the Texans last weekend on the road 30 – 0. The projected outcome this week from Vegas is New England 23.5 Chiefs 18.5 as the Chiefs are a -5 dog on the road. The over/under in this matchup is 42 points so let’s breakdown this game for both sides.
New England Notable Players Breakdown
- Tom Brady – Avg. 26.1 fantasy points at home but only 18.38 over his last 5, including 5.3 in week 17, his lowest performance of the season. In fact Brady has gone for 18.6 or less in each of his last 4 contests.
- Rob Gronkowski – Avg. 19.6 fantasy points at home and only 14.46 in his last 5 games which also included a lacking 3.8 in week 17. With all of the weapons hurt at the end of the season except Gronk, the opposing defenses have covered him with 2 or 3 guys and dared the nobodies of New England to beat them and they couldn’t. One thing to note is that Gronk did go over 20 points 6 times this season which is 35.3% of the time.
- Julian Edelman – Averaged 18.2 fantasy points at home prior to his injury. The trend here to consider is that while KC was ranked 26th against the WR position in week 9, they finished at 20th by the end of the season and really shut down Hopkins last week. With the foot injury he is coming back from, he will most likely be low owned but is a risk considering we haven’t seem him play since week 10.
- James White – Avg. 12.0 fantasy points at home this season but 17.72 over his last 5 contests. He lead the backfield in the passing game, catching 28 balls over the last 5 games but his salary this Sunday is the highest it has been of the season, making him no longer a huge value play.
- New England Defense – They only averaged 8.3 points at home this season but 9.2 over their last 5 contests. That said, they only eclipsed 10 fantasy points or more 5 times in the entire season. They won’t give up much yardage in this game nor should they allow very many points so they should be considered, the issue here will be creating turnovers.
Kansas City Notable Players Breakdown
- Alex Smith – Averaged 17.8 fantasy points per game on the road this season and only 15.24 over his last 5 games. In fact, he only went over 20 fantasy points 5x all season and hasn’t hit that mark since week 13.
- Jeremy Maclin – He is hurt and will most likely not play in this game but if he does, he did average 15.8 fantasy points on the road this season and the last time he was under 10 fantasy points it was week 11 and the next week he had his best game producing 34 fantasy points. That said, don’t take him, too risky this week.
- Travis Kelce – He might be the only Chief that has any offensive production, just like last week as he is the only Chief to have a significant uptick in fantasy points per game on the road this season at 14.8 fantasy points per game. The thing to consider here is the fact that the Patriots are known for taking away the #1 options and that is clearly Kelce for the Chiefs.
- Kansas City Defense – This has been the reason the Chiefs are still around this season and that is due to their performance on the defensive side of the ball. They are averaging 12.9 fantasy points on the road this season and 17.6 over their last 5 games. Fact, they only went under 10 points 2 time all season. If they take a look at the Dolphin tape, they could shut down the Patriots and this could be a closer game than expected.
Overall, what does all this mean for this matchup. DC*3PO has this game as a blowout with the Patriots winning 27 – 12 and that is pretty likely considering the offense of the Chiefs and most of the weapons returning for New England. On FanDuel this means Santos as your Kicker, unless you can afford Gostkowski in which case he should always be your option. Aside from that look for the Chiefs to punt often and the Patriots to hit a couple of big plays. One sneaky play here would be Albert Wilson for the Chiefs. If Maclin is a no go, look for a lot of targets to come his way and so he might be a cheap option for value this week. Chalk play here is Gronkowski and really you should stay away from everyone else. The Chiefs backfield is completely up in the air with Ware having an ankle injury and West’s production on the decline, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Knile Davis have a role in this game but no Chief back will go over 10 fantasy points.
Green Bay @ Arizona
This Saturday night, we get to see the grudge match between the Packers and the Cardinals. In the last contest, it was all about the Arizona defense as they lead the daily fantasy world in week 16, producing 33 fantasy points. The sacked Rodgers 9 times in that game and had 2 return TD’s. Rodgers played well last week and came out with a “W” in Washington but this Cardinals team is no joke. They are a high powered offense with a play makers all over the field. They can also score on defense. Does this mean they will slaughter the Pack again this Saturday night….NO….but will they win this game, YES! Just don’t expect this to be a blowout with this game coming down to the 4th quarter and the Cardinals holding a late lead to move onto the Championship game. Now let’s breakdown all of the notable players for each team from a daily fantasy perspective.
Green Bay Notable Players Breakdown
- Aaron Rodgers – He averaged 18.7 fantasy points per game on the road this season but only 10.94 against the Cards in their last matchup. He did put up an 18.3 in his last game but has only gone over 20 points 3 times since week 3. Don’t take him!
- Eddie Lacy – He produced 9.4 fantasy points on the road this season but was one of the only bright spots against the Cardinals in week 16, producing 15.8 fantasy points in that game. Something of note here is that Lacy has cracked the 10 point barrier in every other contest, dating back to week 11 and he did get over 10 last week against Washington. He is also dealing with an injury that limited him in practice yesterday.
- James Starks – He was one of our value plays last week and he produced well for us as one of the leading backs of the weekend. Against the Cardinals he only put up .1 points which brought his road average down to 7.9 this season. If Lacy doesn’t go, you should play Starks.
- Randall Cobb – While getting 10 plays at RB last week, Cobb has been a consistent player this season. He averaged 12.0 fantasy points on the road this season but was only a 4.7 against the Cards last time around. In fact that was the only game over his last 10 where he didn’t get at least 10 fantasy points.
- James Jones – He is the only Green Bay player to play better on the road this season. He played well against Washington last week, cracking 100 yards and averaged 13.6 fantasy points on the road this season. He did get 11.6 against the Cardinals last time around and that was his lowest output over his last 4 games.
- Richard Rodgers – The only thing you need to know here is that he has only been over 6 points 1 time in his last 6 games which is when the head coach took over play calling duties. Stay away from him….you know who I’m talking to!
- Green Bay Defense – Another glaring stat for them is the fact that they only produced more than 10 fantasy points 2 times since week 5. The Cardinals are going to score and score often.
Arizona Notable Players Breakdown
- Carson Palmer – While playing well at home, averaging 21.1 fantasy points per game, he hasn’t scored over 20 since week 14 and only put up 17.6 against the Pack in their last game. That was largely due to the fact that it was a blowout early in that game and the Pack have given up at least 20 fantasy points to the opposing QB in 5 straight games.
- David Johnson – This guy is electric and has been on a tear since taking over the starting RB job in Arizona. Since that time he has averaged 23.16 fantasy points and had 12 TD’s this season.
- John Brown – He was 2nd on the team in home average at 13.5 fantasy points per game and went over 10 fantasy points in all but 3 contests this season.
- Larry Fitzgerald – While leading the Cardinals in home average at the WR position at 16.4 fantasy points per game, he only averaged 12.1 over his last 5 games and only 12.9 against the Packers in their last matchup.
- Michael Floyd – He was huge against the Packers last time around producing 20.1 fantasy points and 2 TD’s in that game compared to his 11.1 average at home this season. Something to note is that he has the highest average at 15.86 over the last 5 games for the Cardinals.
- Arizona Defense – We already noted that they put up an amazing 33 fantasy points against the Packers last time around but having a -3.0 against the Seahawks in week 17 brought their season average down. If you take that game out the Cardinals averaged 12.8 fantasy points at home this season and have gone over double digits in 3 of the last 4.
With Vegas expected this one to be higher scoring as the over/under is at 50 points as of today, the Cardinals are a 7.5 home favorite. DC*3PO has this game projected to be an upset with Green Bay winning this game outright 25 to 24. Still taking the under in this one and I agree that Green Bay will cover but I think the Cardinals pull it out late. Some team stats to consider would be that the Cardinals are expected to out gain the Packers by approximately 120 yards in this game and if Palmer gets the passing game going, this could be a blowout again. Chalk plays in this one are Palmer & Johnson. I think that Brown is the play at WR for the Cardinals but you can probably take all three and be just fine with Antonio Brown’s availability in question and Edelman coming back from his broken foot, you can save on WR this week and ensure you take Gronkowski! You should expect that most of the public will take the Cardinals defense this weekend simply because of their last matchup so be cautious there as defense might be the one that determines the winners again this weekend.
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