The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Divisional Playoffs FIRST LOOK January 13, 2016  |  Doug Shain



The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Playoff – Divisional Round Hail Mary. This is going to be a REALLY abbreviated version of the Hail Mary with only 4 games on the schedule. I’m going to do the article a little differently this week since there are so few games. I’m going to just rank the players based on how much I like them for a GPP within each position. Keep that in mind as I’m not just listing the players with the best names; ownership percentage and cost factor in heavily here. I’ll give some analysis for each position as always. Best of luck!

To take a look at a list of “musts” when building my GPP lineup, click here. Best of luck this week!


The Depth Chart – The Plays of the Week



1) Aaron Rodgers – GB

2) Peyton Manning – DEN

3) Cam Newton – CAR

4) Carson Palmer – ARI

5) Tom Brady – NE

6) Russell Wilson – SEA

7) Alex Smith – KC

8) Ben Roethlisberger – PIT


– Yes, it’d be ultra-contrarian to go with Alex Smith (or Landry Jones, if he starts for Big Ben) this week at QB. No, I’m not going to go that far off the reservation at QB. I think the most popular plays this week are going to be Brady, Palmer, and Peyton so I’m going to try to avoid them for the most part even though I think all three have decent weeks. I can see SEA/CAR being low scoring so I’ll want to mostly avoid Wilson and Newton, though Cam makes my top 3 based on his tremendous upside and expected low ownership. My top play, by far, is Aaron Rodgers. I think the whole world is going to be off of him because of how poorly GB has played down the stretch this year (including a drubbing at the hands of Arizona last month). It is true that the matchup is very bad, but if anyone can overcome that it’s Rodgers. His upside is tremendous, but his floor is shockingly low. He is the epitome of a boom or bust GPP play (and I love that when I’m playing such a short slate).



1) David Johnson – ARI

2) Marshawn Lynch – SEA

3) Jordan Todman – PIT

4) CJ Anderson – DEN

5) James White – NE

6) James Starks – GB

7) Jonathan Stewart – CAR

8) Ronnie Hillman – DEN

9) Eddie Lacy – GB

10) Steven Jackson – NE


– DJ is basically unfadable this weekend. He’s got a ton of upside and if you don’t play him you run the risk of being left in the dust. My RB1 position is not where I’m going to differentiate my lineup from everyone else. I’ll join the 75% of the field in putting him on my roster. If he goes busto then I probably don’t win the GPP, but I can still cash if everything else falls right. That’s a nice fallback if Johnson underwhelms.

– I want to spend up at WR and TE this week so I’m going to once again save my money at RB. I love the idea of going with a couple of pass-catching backs (such as James White, James Starks, or Jordan Todman) or a couple of guys who I think will be salting the clock that I can stack with a defense (CJ Anderson and Steven Jackson come to mind).

– Nobody knows how Seattle is going to play things, but if Lynch is indeed both healthy and playing he could be a key to a big GPP win. Seattle probably isn’t going to win a shootout with Carolina so they are going to want to control the clock. If Carolina has a weakness on defense it’s in defending the run. Lynch is very pricey and can destroy your team if he tanks, but if he hits he can be a GPP winning play.

– You’ll notice I have no Chiefs on my top 10 list right now. That’ll probably change in the weekend update once we have a little more clarity on Jeremy Maclin and Spencer Ware. I don’t love either of the RBs against NE, but if Ware is going to be healthy enough to play and Maclin isn’t then I’d have some interest in the RB because of how much Reid uses his RB when Maclin is out of the lineup.



1) Randall Cobb – GB

2) John Brown – ARI

3) Demaryius Thomas – DEN

4) Emmanuel Sanders – DEN

5) Doug Baldwin – SEA

6) Larry Fitzgerald – ARI

7) Ted Ginn – CAR

8) Julian Edelman – NE

9) Tyler Lockett – SEA

10) Martavis Bryant – PIT

11) Michael Floyd – ARI

12) James Jones – GB

13) Albert Wilson – KC

14) Danny Amendola – NE


– If I’m going to go with Aaron Rodgers as my #1 GPP option then I’m going to try to maximize points with Randall Cobb as my #1 GPP WR. What I really liked last weekend was how they were getting him the ball out of the backfield as well. Those 20-30 rushing yards could make a huge difference in value for Cobb if they continue to use him that way.

– I think the two teams that I’m going to really want to target for WR are DEN and ARI. I think both teams should put up a big score and have proven that they can spread the ball around and give value to all of their top guns. In a cash game I prefer the safety of Emmanuel Sanders and Larry Fitzgerald, but in a GPP I want the home run potential of Demaryius Thomas and John Brown.

– I really don’t want any part of the NE, CAR, PIT, and KC WR’s this weekend. There’s some upside with Martavis Bryant and Ted Ginn, and they are usable if you’re spending up at QB/RB/TE, but since I’m saving money at RB I’ll probably go with some safe options at WR.

– The most interesting play this weekend could be Doug Baldwin. He’s been on fire, but he’s also facing one of the best pass D’s in the league. Right now I think he’ll be underowned, which makes him a pretty solid GPP play, but if I get the feeling that he’s going to be a popular play I’ll pass on him. This will be addressed further in the weekend update.



1) Greg Olsen – CAR

2) Travis Kelce – KC

3) Rob Gronkowski – NE

4) Heath Miller – PIT

5) Owen Daniels – DEN

6) Richard Rodgers – GB


– This is a three horse race for me with Olsen, Kelce, and Gronk. I’d probably be more comfortable using Gronk and his expensive price tag in a cash game so I’m really focused on Kelce and Olsen. Kelce had a great game last weekend and could be the top pass catching option for Alex Smith if Jeremy Maclin is too hurt to play. I love the upside there. Given my druthers, though, I’ll probably end up with Greg Olsen on most of my teams. Seattle doesn’t cover the TE all that well and Olsen has already had a good game against them this year. Seattle held Kyle Rudolph in check last weekend, but Kyle Rudolph is no Greg Olsen. He should be worth the price you’re going to pay for him.



1) Denver Broncos

2) New England Patriots

3) Arizona Cardinals

4) Carolina Panthers

5) Kansas City Chiefs

6) Seattle Seahawks


– I’m not getting too cute with defense this weekend. There are two teams that have great matchups and they are the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. In cash I’m using Denver and in a GPP I’m using New England. The deciding factor here was strictly ownership percentage (Denver should be higher, so I’m going with NE).

– If I was going to get a little cute then I’d use the Chiefs. They’ve been playing lights out lately and the Patriots have looked beatable over the last month or so. I’m not that gutsy, but I wouldn’t blame you at all if you were trying to shoot the moon and used the KC Defense.


Check out the Fake Football Cheat Sheets for my sample lineups. I do the DraftKings section, but the process of selecting the lineups is the same on all the sites.

Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 and good luck with your Hail Mary!


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