We are entering one of the two best weeks of the NFL season – the first round of the playoffs, or Wild Card Weekend.
This week and the next we get two games each on Saturdays and Sundays, and there will be a couple of games in the next two weeks that will be riveting television. It’s by far my favorite time of the NFL season.
In the Wild Card round, we have potentially really ugly football game, and a couple that could be shootouts. Here’s the schedule of games we are going to be playing in DFS:
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Oakland at Houston, 3:35 p.m. CST
Detroit at Seattle, 7:15 p.m. CST
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Miami at Pittsburgh, 12:05 p.m. CST
NY Giants at Green Bay Packers, 3:40 p.m. CST
The marquee matchup here is clearly the Giants and their elite defensive unit on the road at Lambeau Field to face one of the hottest teams/offenses in football, the Green Bay Packers. I am a Cowboys fan, but I absolutely love watching the Packers in the playoffs, especially at home. This year will be no different, and I love it even more when the temperatures are frigid, which this matchup is expected to be played in very cold temperatures.
This week’s Value Index will focus on one play at quarterback and tight end that I love, and two plays at running back and three wide receivers. I won’t be suggesting Le’Veon Bell as i think that is obviously the premiere play of the week and basically a free square (though you can always make a case to fade some in tournaments as ownership will likely be through the roof for the highest-priced player of the slate). I also won’t be suggesting Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson and Odell Beckham, as they too are in great spots and will likely draw the highest ownership at receiver.
Good luck this week, and we will return next week for one final installment of the the Value Index, which will then switch over NBA thereafter.
Quarterback – Russell Wilson – Seahawks – $7,000
Analysis: You can make your case for Aaron Rodgers and Big Ben at home, and they have been really good. But let’s not gloss over Russell Wilson who has this line at home this season: 2181 yards,13 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. He always has a higher floor with his rushing ability, and though he isn’t a run first quarterback, he will use his legs when needing to pick up a first down when under pressure. I might play Russell in every lineup this week. He’s got the upside and a safe floor, and his team can’t run the ball whatsoever. The Lions’ secondary has been picked apart all season long, allowing 250 yards passing and 22 points per game. A home game in the playoffs for this Super Bowl champion at a reduced price from Ben and A-Rod has been salivating.
Running Back #1 – Lamar Miller – $6,100
Analysis: As long as Alfred Blue doesn’t eat into his touches, I think Lamar is RB2 on this slate. This game has been played already this season, and Miller went over 100 yards and scored a touchdown. That game was in Mexico City and now the shorthanded Raiders have a rookie QB starting his first ever NFL game, thus this means a chance for turnovers and hopefully short yardage situations for the Texans, who need to lean on Miller to hide the shortcomings of Crock Osweiler. My only hang up here is that I love the Raiders defense against Osweiler, but I would think this is going to be a ground and pound week for the Texans with a team total under 37.
Running Back #2 – Paul Perkins – Giants – $4,100
Analysis: It’s taken 17 weeks for the Giants to realize Paul Perkins is greater than plodder Rashad Jennings. Perkins has had the praise of his teammates from his practice performances, and this could be a coming out party against a Packers defense that isn’t as good against the run as their stats suggests. Perkins was an elite talent coming out of UCLA and finally showed that last week against the Redskins. Perkins might be the chalkiest value play on the slate outside of Paul Richardson, but that’s OK, he should get the touches.
Wide Receiver #1 – Golden Tate – Lions – $6.300
Analysis: This one almost feels like a free square. 1. #Revengenarrative. 2. Best way to attack Seahawks in the middle of the field. 3. Lions should be throwing a ton of passes with struggles to run the ball.
Wide Receiver #2 – Jarvis Landry – Dolphins – $5,100
Analysis: Well, we have another funnel situation here.The Steelers were destroyed by Ajayi way back when, but the Dolphins have Matt Moore now and their offensive line isn’t as strong as it once way. Not to mention this is a road game for Miami and against a team that has arguably the best offense of the slate and perhaps the entire playoffs. Pittsburgh is a legit Super Bowl contender this year and should have no trouble scoring on the Dolphins, who give up almost 70+ more passing yards per game on the road than at home. The Patriots hung 30+ points on this team twice and Big Ben got hurt in these two teams’ first meeting, and Big Ben should eat along with the other staples of the Steelers, meaning the Dolphins should be throwing often. Moors has locked on to Landry, who has 15 catches on 22 targets for 213 yards and 2 TDs in the three games Moore has quarterbacked since Tannehill went down.
Wide Receiver #3 – Paul Richardson – Seahawks – $3.400
Analysis: So many big names to play this week and so we need value. Since Tyler Lockett’s injury, Richardson has 8 catches on 12 targets for 82 yards and a score. He’s also the team’s kick off returner. Richardson was a shining star while at the University of Colorado. The talent is there and he could very well be the value guy that tilts this slate. I love Russell Wilson and not sure how much I want to pay up for Baldwin and chase his recent big performance, so Richardson feels like a safe value option at wide receiver this week, especially with Randall Cobb coming back, which should send Geronimo Allison back to the bench.
Tight End – C.J. Fiedorowicz – Texans – $4,200
Analysis; Brock Osweiler’s favorite target and is the safest bet in the Houston passing game. Since Week 3, C.J. has had less than 7 targets just three times and none of those games were below 5 targets. The Raiders are vulnerable in the middle of the field. He aced this game last time out with 6 catches for 82 yards on 10 targets. There’s no safer TE on the board this week with Jimmy Graham having the higher upside with the lowest ownership.