Victiv Divisional Round Picks
January 9, 2015 | Justin Edwards
Divisional Round playoffs! One step closer to the Super Bowl, but also one step closer to fantasy football being over for a loooonnnng time. So go deposit some money on Victiv and win some money while you still have the chance! Here, I’ll help you:
Three tiers or levels of players I will be looking at:
Arrogant Bastard: Some of the best around and a price tag to match
Budweiser: Solid choice with a solid price
Natural Light: The cheapest you can find while still obtaining value
Arrogant Bastard – Aaron Rodgers ($11,600)
Over a season of play in Lambeau Field (last 16 games) ARod’s numbers are just nasty: 4,341 yards, a 68% completion percentage, 38 TDs and ZERO friggin INTs. Green Bay finished 2014 with the highest scoring offense in the league and they’ll be facing Dallas, the fifth highest scoring offense. This game should prove to be a high scoring affair as it is tied for the highest Vegas O/U of the week with the Packers favored by less than a TD. Mike McCarthy won’t have the luxury of taking the foot off the pedal here.
Budweiser – Peyton Manning ($9,500)
Peyton Manning in the second week of the playoffs is a far cry from Peyton Manning in the second week of the regular season. Fivehead hasn’t had more than 2 TDs since Week 11, and has only thrown for 300+ yards once since Week 10. Nonetheless, this is still a Hall of Fame quarterback coming into the game with 39 TD passes on the year. Whether this Denver team has turned into a run-first offense or not, the fact remains that the ceiling is still very high against a Colts pass defense that was great against bad QBs and bad against great QBs all season long.
Natural Light – Joe Flacco ($8,800)
The second cheapest QB out of the eight starters is the man who mans the Baltimore Ravens offense. When it comes to playoff games, Joe Flacco seems to be the ultimate game manager. Joe averages 209 YPG 1.5 TDs and .38 INTs, including 13 TDs and no INTs, in the last 5 playoff games. With numbers like that you aren’t going to be winning a whole lot of tournament plays, but it just seems like Flacco doesn’t make bad plays in the postseason, which will give you a great floor. This New England secondary has been pretty damn good down the stretch so his main wide receivers (Smith & Smith) might have a hard time creating space, but he’ll find a way to incorporate all of his weapons.
Arrogant Bastard – Marshawn Lynch ($8,100)
Though the Carolina Panthers have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in the last nine weeks, they have not faced a rushing offense like the Seahawks, especially in a place like Seattle. In 34 home games including the playoffs that Marshawn Lynch has played with Seattle since 2011, he has 36 rushing touchdowns and 88 YPG. Those numbers look even more enticing now that there is news that Carolina’s big DT Star Lotulelei had to have surgery on his foot, leaving him out for the game this weekend.
Budweiser – C.J. Anderson ($7,400)
In the six games since the Broncos’ miserable performance against the Rams in Week 11 Denver has decided to switch their offensive focus, letting CJ carry the ball 23 times a game. Anderson has scored seven touchdowns in their last four games while Peyton has tossed only three. Ronnie Hillman returned from injury in the final regular season game, but that had no bearing on CJ’s production as he turned his 15 touches into 107 total yards and 3 TDs.
Natural Light – Shane Vereen ($3,800)
There has been a lot of talk about “Shane Vereen” types of games and this is definitely one of those. The Baltimore defensive strength is Haloti Ngata and the up-the-middle pressure they get, which doesn’t bode well for Blount or Jonas Gray who have had their big games by taking the ball straight up the gut. Look for Brady to check down with dump-offs and take advantage of the Ravens’ pass rush with some draw plays for Vereen.
Arrogant Bastard – Jordy Nelson ($7,400)
In the eight games that the Packers scored at least 30 points (which is what Vegas is predicting they will need to win this week) Jordy Nelson averaged a 6-119-1.25 statline. Last week Matthew Stafford targeted Dallas CB Brandon Carr 10 times, completing 8 catches and 105 yards. I like pairing Jordy with Rodgers this week if you’re going to be using the latter.
Budweiser – Doug Baldwin ($4,100)
Baldwin makes for a great GPP play this weekend with a relatively safe floor and the ability to sneak up to 20 points. If Carolina has a weak spot in its secondary, it is against the opposing team’s WR1. Dougie didn’t totally take advantage of this in these two’s Week 8 fight in which he went 6-61, but this is a cheap price to pay for any team’s #1 receiving option.
Natural Light – Donte Moncrief ($2,800)
If Moncrief can see action in the playoffs against a team that could run on them but couldn’t score (Bengals), then he will certainly see action against a team that can run on them and will score (Broncos). Andrew Luck threw the ball 44 times against a Cincinnati defense that is ranked 28th in Rushing DVOA and ended up winning 26-10. Denver, on the other hand, is ranked 3rd in Rushing DVOA and will end up scoring a lot more then 10 points. What I’m getting at here is the fact that Luck could easily throw 55 times this week, so you’ll want to use one of his receivers for a price this low.
Arrogant Bastard – Rob Gronkowski ($6,200)
It’s lonely at the top, Rob. It’s been three long weeks since our favorite brochacho has stood atop the list of tight ends, but he’s back and he’s begging to be in all your lineups. It might be hard to squeeze him into all of them, but you can’t fade him in your 50/50s. The gap in talent and opportunity between him and every other TE left in the playoffs is massive. Baltimore is in the bottom third of the league against the TE spot, but it really doesn’t matter who Gronk is facing off against — he’s going to get his. Only three times this year has Rob scored in single digits, and in his final eight games of the season he’s average 89+ yds/gm and 1.0 TD/gm.
Budweiser – Jason Witten ($3,900)
The Cowboys’ TE should have a much easier go of it this weak against a much softer defense in Green Bay. Witten has been an integral part of the offense for most of the season; owing his lowered production to just a few games in which they barely looked his way. All he needs for a good day that will pay for this price tag is a few catches up the seam from Tony Romo, who will undoubtedly be looking to move the ball in chunks against a high powered Packers team.
Natural Light – Owen Daniels ($2,900)
I feel like I’ve had ol’ Owen in this spot too many times, but for such a cheap price and the possibility of 6+ targets (seven times this season) he’s just hard not to use as a punt play. According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA New England ranked as the 30th defense against tight ends in the regular season, not to mention they gave up the third-most yards to the position.
Arrogant Bastard – Seahawks ($8,100)
Seattle hasn’t been an easy team to bet against at home this season and this week will be no different. The Seahawks haven’t had any problem with the Panthers or Cam Newton in any of their matchups over the past few years. Cam has gone 0-3 with a 54% comp pct, managing only 1 TD while being sacked 8 times. And all those games were in North Carolina. Seattle has a high floor for any 50/50 lineups after they kept their last five opponents to single-digit point totals and had a bye week to help some of their guys recover from nagging injuries.
Budweiser – Patriots ($6,200)
If the two big New England CBs can control the two wide receiving Smiths, Flacco could have a hard time getting the ball to his other options. The Ravens will not like the results if Justin Forsett is the only thing can use while Tom Brady is on the other side slinging the ball around to his plethora of options.
Natural Light – Broncos ($5,300)
You’ll notice a theme here: home teams. None of these games are going to be an easy call from a defensive perspective, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s the playoffs, after all. Andrew Luck is the most turnover-prone QB remaining in the playoffs, having tossed 16 picks and lost 6 fumbles throughout the regular season. If you match his propensity for turnovers with the Denver defense – the home team with the most sacks still remaining in the playoffs – and you have yourself some points.
Here’s how I’m going to incorporate my mixed bag of good, decent, and cheap beer bottles into a winning 9-pack:
QB Joe Flacco
RB CJ Anderson
RB Shane Vereen
WR Donte Moncrief
WR Cole Beasley
TE Rob Gronkowski
FLEX Owen Daniels
FLEX T.Y. Hilton
Seattle is expensive as all hell, but I can’t keep myself from plugging them into my cash games. There aren’t as many “guarantees” as I’d prefer to have in here, but that’s not as easy to accomplish in such a small slate. I’ll be making adjustments but there you have it; my Divisional Round 50/50.
If you think these are awful picks and would like to let me know how your lineup is better, feel free to comment below or holla at ya boy on twitter.
Good luck fantasy nerds, hope you’re rolling in profit soon, and if not remember: “That’s the way she goes. Sometimes she goes, sometimes it doesn’t. She didn’t go. That’s the way she goes.”