The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Divisional Round WEEKEND UPDATE January 13, 2017  |  Doug Shain

The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the WEEKEND UPDATE where I look at your GPP plays for the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. If you want to know more about my article and what it’s all about, please click here.

Very little has changed since Monday when I wrote the First Look. If anything, I feel even more strongly about my plays. I will include any new thoughts in bolded italics and of course we will take a look at who are officially going to be “my guys” as we head into the best weekend of football.



Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Aaron Rodgers (GB) @ DALDak Prescott (DAL) vs GBBrock Osweiler (HOU) @ NE
Matt Ryan (ATL) vs SEARussell Wilson (SEA) @ ATLBen Roethlisberger (PIT) @ KC
Tom Brady (NE) vs HOUAlex Smith (KC) vs PIT

– I could very realistically see all three of the public QB’s at 30% or higher in a GPP. Ryan at home is gold, while Brady is a 16 point favorite and it matchup-proof. Nobody is playing better than Rodgers and if I wasn’t worried about ownership, he’d be my hands-down top play of the week. With such a short slate I’m still going to be using Rodgers and Ryan, but I won’t put all my eggs in that basket. Brady, on the other hand, is a full fade for me since I think this game gets out of hand fast and Brady’s upside is very limited. I still feel the exact same way about all three players. I’m still in full fade mode with Brady. I just don’t see him putting up a monster game against a top shelf pass defense that is coached by a guy Belichick doesn’t dislike. There’s no need for him to throw for 400 yards when NE will be up 21-0 early. I’m still in on both Rodgers and Ryan, although both fall a step below my top play at QB for this weekend.

– Unfortunately, we do have to worry about ownership so I’m going to take a look at two QB’s that I think may go under the radar. The first guy is Dak Prescott against a sad Packers’ secondary. Make no mistake about it, the Pack looked like garbage against the Giants on defense. It’s just that the Giants dropped multiple passes that could have kept that game close. The Cowboys just don’t make mistakes like that and Prescott is more than capable of getting the ball to the open players. The other guy I’m going to look at, and look at a lot, is Big Ben. He’s hurt, he’s on the road, and he’s an underdog. That’s going to keep his ownership down and if I can get any edge on a four game slate, I’m going to take it. Roethlisberger lit up the Chiefs earlier this year, albeit at home, so we know he’s capable of putting up a big game. He’s not my top QB play for the week, I don’t think, but he’s surely in the mix. Well, I’ve thought more about it and I’m really not in love with Big Ben anymore this week. The injury plus his inability to play well outside of Pittsburgh plus a solid defense plus frigid temperatures leads me to believe that this is a Le’Veon Bell game. I’m probably going to pull my shares of Big Ben and split them between Ryan and Rodgers. As I said, they are good plays, but they are behind Prescott as my top play of the week. The more I think about it the more I realize that he’s going to have to throw to keep up with Rodgers and the Packers offense. With Ezekiel Elliott projected to be at about 50% ownership, I think we have a nice window to grab some ownership value by stacking the Cowboys’ passing game.

– I could make a case that Alex Smith is a worthwhile mega-contrarian play. He’ll be the second least owned QB and it’s not crazy to think that he puts up 220 yards and 2 TD against the Steelers. If he allows you to load up elsewhere, then it’s not the worst play you could make.

My guys: Dak Prescott, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Thomas Rawls (SEA) @ ATLTy Montgomery (GB) @ DALChristine Michael (GB) @ DAL
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) vs GBDevonta Freeman (ATL) vs SEATevin Coleman (ATL) vs SEA
LeVeon Bell (PIT) @ KCLeGarrette Blount (NE) vs HOULamar Miller (HOU) @ NE
Spencer Ware (KC) vs PITDion Lewis (NE) vs HOU
Charcandrick West (KC) vs PIT

– The most common RB duo this weekend is going to be some combination of Thomas Rawls along with Elliott or Bell. All three are capable of huge games but, wow, they are going to be hella chalky. I’m going to probably look to use only one of the two on a site like Fanduel, while I’ll probably use two of them on a site with a Flex position, but no way do I touch all three. I need some differentiation.  I’m pretty much off of Elliott completely with his high ownership projection and my belief that Dallas is going to have to throw a ton, but I just can’t stop using Rawls. He’s priced well and there’s no reason to think that he won’t have a nice game against a poor Falcons run defense. If I want to spend up at RB I’ll pair him with Bell, but I might be fading the Steelers completely this weekend and looking elsewhere for my RB2/Flex play.

– I think that Devonta Freeman is going to go criminally underowned this week. I don’t have much to go on at this moment, but that’s a feeling I’m getting right now. I plan on using his for sure at his reasonable price and very high ceiling. Seattle has been susceptible against the run recently and if ATL finds it difficult to pass, then it could be on the RBs to move the ball. This is not an unrealistic scenario at all. I also can see LeGarrette Blount having a big day once the Pats get up 21-0 early in the 2nd quarter against an overmatched Texans team. There’s no way that Belichick is going to rub it in against his buddy, Bill O’Brien. I love love love Devonta Freeman this weekend. I could see myself settling in on a Freeman/Blount pairing and avoiding the top RBs altogether. That would be a pretty bold strategy, but it could allow me to go big at WR in a week where most people are going to spend up at RB (more on that later).

– The only way that Houston can keep things close against the Pats is if they control the clock. They’ll try to do that with short passes to CJF and a heavy dose of Lamar Miller. It won’t work most likely, but on the off chance that it does you have to at least think about using Miller. If my thought process about the Falcons/Seahawks game is correct, then it would make sense to think that Tevin Coleman is a viable play as a flex this weekend. I wouldn’t use him on Fanduel.  Christine Michael looked really good against the Giants, for at least one drive, and at some point the Packers are going to give carries to an actual RB. This could be that week. This could also be the week where Charcandrick West screws fantasy owners everywhere if he is the primary ball carrier for the Chiefs. He’s looked good when spelling Ware, and it’s not like Ware has been making anyone forget Jamaal Charles. There is always a wonky play that hits in the playoffs.  Either he or Christine Michael are going to be that guy at RB this weekend. I’ll have exposure to both in secondary lineups.

My guys: Devonta Freeman, LeGarrette Blount, Thomas Rawls, Christine Michael, Charcandrick West, Tevin Coleman





Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Antonio Brown (PIT) @ KCMohamed Sanu (ATL) vs SEATerrance Williams (DAL) vs GB
Randall Cobb (GB) @ DALDeAndre Hopkins (HOU) @ NEJermaine Kearse (SEA) @ ATL
Davante Adams (GB) @ DALJulian Edelman (NE) vs HOUJustin Hardy (ATL) vs SEA
Doug Baldwin (SEA) @ ATLEli Rogers (PIT) @ KCMichael Floyd (NE) vs HOU
Paul Richardson (SEA) @ ATLJeremy Maclin (KC) vs PIT
Julio Jones (ATL) vs SEADarius Heyward-Bey (PIT) @ KC
Tyreek Hill (KC) vs PITDemarcus Ayers (PIT) @ KC
Dez Bryat (DAL) vs GB

– As usual, the WR position is the most loaded on this slate. We’ve got very good matchups for Antonio Brown, Julio Jones (when he’s at home, every matchup is good), Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Doug Baldwin. Narrowing down your choices is going to be tough. The one thing that might work in your favor with these high end WRs is that people are going to spend up on RBs, so if you want to be contrarian, there’s going to be an opportunity to do so by spending down at RB and up at WR. This is a unique case of being contrarian with high end plays. I love when I can do that because these big boy WR can put up even bigger numbers than their RB counterparts, they just do so less consistently.  I really like the idea of using Julio Jones as people might be scared off because of the Seattle secondary. Give me a low owned Julio at home all day long. I’m probably going to fade last week’s golden boy, Paul Richardson, while I’ll most likely have shares of Mr. Boom or Bust, Tyreek Hill. I don’t know who I’m more mad at, myself for not remember to put Dez into my initial write-up or none of you all for calling me out. Dez is my top WR this weekend. What in the world was I thinking?!?!?!?!? I’m all in on using an Adams/Dez/Julio trio at WR and spending down elsewhere. They are going to have a reasonable ownership (Adams because Cobb is the flavor of the week, Dez because people are going to be on the Dallas running game, and Julio because of Sherman) and I love the matchup for each of them. Let’s not forget that, while Richard Sherman did hold Julio in check the last time the played, Jones ran one-third of his snaps from the slot (where Sherman does not roam) and he went 4-90-1 on those plays. I’m not worried at all about him.

– Someone on New England is going to have themselves a day but I’m just not sure who. I think Blount should be just fine, and I like Marty B a lot at TE, but one of these WR is going to pop off. Julian Edelman is going to be the more popular play among the Pats’ WRs, but for my money I’m going to take a chance on Michael Floyd. I like how he looked in Week 17 and now Brady has had two more weeks to build a rapport with him. He’s a head case, for sure, but he’s so talented that if he can keep his head on straight he can’t help but be successful. As for some longer shots at WR, I kind of dig Justin Hardy (if you’re fading Julio Jones) and DHB for the Steelers (for that long ball opportunity). I also can see Russell Wilson making an effort to get the ball to Jermaine Kearse after Doug Baldwin bogarted his TD last weekend. Terrance Williams is quickly becoming a favorite target for Dak Prescott, and he has a knack for getting open long. If you’re going to hit up the Dallas passing game, you might as well throw a lineup in there that has Dak/Dez/Williams and really go all in. My love for Floyd has not waivered; he is going to crush value with Malcolm Mitchell not playing. Demarcus Ayers has big play potential and he looks like the #3 WR in PIT right now. He’s total boom or bust, but worth a shot if you need a punt.

My guys: Dez Bryant, Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Michael Floyd, Terrance Williams, Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
CJ Fiedorowicz (HOU) @ NEJason Witten (DAL) vs GBJared Cook (GB) @ DAL
Jimmy Graham (SEA) @ ATLJesse James (PIT) @ KC
Travis Kelce (KC) vs PIT
Martellus Bennett (NE) vs HOU

– TE is actually a pretty loaded position this weekend, all things considered. Jimmy Graham and Travis Kelce are the most talented TEs on the slate and should be owned if you’re looking for safety with some upside. I think Kelce is going to be the most widely owned TE, but with his upside it’s worth considering anyway. The one player from the public list who may see his ownership drop a little is Martellus Bennett. He’s the guy I’m going to target in a great matchup against the Texans. He’s a lot cheaper than Kelce or Graham, and he has insanely more upside than Fiedorowicz. To me, CJF is more of a cash game play than anything.

– I don’t know how much action there’s going to be past the top 4 TEs, but if I’m going to look anywhere else it’ll either be Witten (for safety) or Cook (for upside). I really do like the idea of using Witten if you’re going to use a riskier lineup because, while he won’t win you a GPP, he surely won’t lose it for you either. He’s like a much cheaper version of Fiedorowicz. Cook is so hit or miss that he’s the TE you’re going to use if the rest of your lineups is pretty safe. With Ladarius Green not playing, James is an interesting punt play. He’s got limited upside, but at his price you don’t need too much upside.

My guys: Martellus Bennett, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Jason Witten, Jesse James





Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
New England Patriots vs HOUKansas City Chiefs vs PITSeattle Seahawks @ ATL
Atlanta Falcons vs SEAPittsburgh Steelers @ KC

– I’m not going to lie, defense is really ugly this weekend. It makes sense, we’ve got the best of the best playing (and Houston), so it’s not a surprise that you’re not going to want to play anyone against these offenses. Wait, what was that?? I said “and Houston”?  Yeah, you pretty much want the Patriots this weekend, but in a GPP is that the best decision? New England’s defense is the chalkiest chalk that ever did chalk, and I’m going to try to work my way around having to use them. The team that I can see myself using more than New England is the Steelers. They have looked pretty good defensively the last few weeks and KC is the weakest non-Houston offense left. It’s a risky move to use Pittsburgh on the road against a team that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but there aren’t really many other places to go. The only other team I can see myself warming up to is the Falcons against a Seattle team that isn’t great on the road.  Like I said, defense is ugly.

– Ok, so I’ve totally talked myself into the KC defense against “Road” Big Ben. There are a lot of factors that favor KC in this one and with how weak defense is, why not? Yep, that’s where we are with this.

My guys: New England, Kansas City, Atlanta



Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets.You’ll find a ton of analysis, and data. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.

Your feedback is always welcome.  You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments.  I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.



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