The divisional round of the NFL playoffs is upon us. We have a plethora of DFS options available to us. We’ve got the main four-game slates encompassing Saturday and Sunday’s games, two-game slates for both days, as well as single-game showdowns for all four affairs. I’ll cover all four games in these articles, emphasizing the four-game main slate. Still, much of this can apply to the two-gamer and the showdown contests.
CIN (22) @ TEN (25.5)
Here we have the Titans squaring up at home against the Bengals in what should be a close one. There are higher total games this weekend that may be primed for more DFS scoring, but this one has some meat on the bone for sure.
In this game, we should see both QBs in Joe Burrow/Ryan Tannehill somewhat owned on the main DraftKings slate. They come at significant savings compared to some of the more expensive quarterbacks. Burrow, in particular, has immense upside in a ceiling game as well. On FanDuel, it is easier to jam expensive players into lineups, and both should be sneaky options at their prices.
In the running game, stalwart back Derrick Henry (probable) is slated to return for the Titans. He should see significant (30-40%) ownership on DraftKings on the four-gamer. He will likely be under-owned on FanDuel due to his highly prohibitive price. Yet, his game is better suited to FanDuel scoring, where touchdowns are favored over receptions. He’s the highest upside running back option on the entire slate if he’s a full go, but, comes at a premium. We’ll have to keep an eye on reports as it really remains to be seen if he will be limited in his return to action and to what degree.
On the Cincinnati side, Joe Mixon looks to be a very popular running back option on both sites as he’s priced a bit too low for his firm RB1 role. His involvement in the passing game comes and goes, and when it goes, it caps his upside and lowers his floor. Still, he’s going to get the vast majority of the work out of the Cincinnati backfield. He is underpriced for the workhorse that he is on DraftKings.
The Tennessee passing game should be impacted by Henry being back. They should take every opportunity to feed him the ball, assuming he is not too limited. Still, A.J. Brown should be one of the higher-owned WR options on the slate across DFS sites. Julio Jones comes at a lower price and should see considerably lower ownership. While he has not been the Julio of old, there is undoubtedly some merit to taking a shot on him over Brown in tournaments. Any other Tennessee receiver would be a pure tournament dart throw at best. I’d likely reserve anyone else for the showdown or possibly two-game slates. The tight-end situation falls in the same category with a questionable time-share between Geoff Swaim and Anthony Firkser.
Cincinnati may be the preferred passing attack here, and all of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd are firmly in play. If stacking with Burrow, you can easily just play two of them. Otherwise, you have to decide, and really any of them can have a big game. Chase is the WR1 in a vacuum but is also the highest priced. Higgins is the second choice regardless of cost, and Boyd is the third.
Higgins is likely to be highly chalky on FanDuel at just $6,400. In turn, we should see very low ownership on Chase and Boyd, making them significant tournament pivots. On DraftKings, we should see a good bit Higgins be more popular than Chase, but the gap should not be as extreme. Boyd should go largely overlooked. C.J. Uzomah is getting the bulk of the tight-end work for Cincinnati and is a decent option on this slate, particularly on DraftKings. Despite the relatively low team total, a Joe Burrow-led Cincinnati packing stack with one or more of his receivers is one of the better stacking options on the slate.
Both defenses should be among the more popular on the DraftKings slate with reasonable prices. I’d consider looking elsewhere in tournaments. On DraftKings, the Bengals’ defense should be overwhelmingly chalky. They are way too cheap at $3,400. I’d definitely look to play other DSTs in large-field tourneys.
SF (20.75) @ GB (26.25)
San Francisco has the lowest team total on the slate and is a reasonably significant dog here. Jimmy Garoppolo should be the lowest-owned quarterback on the entire slate. At the same time, Aaron Rodgers should pick up some ownership on DraftKings on the Green Bay side of the game. I would expect him to be lower-owned on FanDuel. Any time Rodgers takes the field, he has to be in consideration. Yet, his upside may be a bit capped if this game is not entirely competitive. It will also be frigid in Green Bay. Garoppolo should only be considered a deep tournament play on the main slate. There is some merit to pairing him with Deebo Samuel and/or George Kittle in large-field tourneys.
Eli Mitchell on the San Francisco side should be a popular value running back option on DraftKings. Aaron Jones for Green Bay is likely to go under-owned as much of the field will flock to Davante Adams in the receiving game. While the time-share with A.J. Dillon should cap ownership on Jones, Dillon himself should be all but unowned and could be a deep tournament play. On FanDuel, none of the running backs from this game should get much ownership at all, making them decent GPP options.
Deebo Samuel is the only wide receiver for San Francisco worth giving a considerable look on the main slate. Brandon Aiyuk and any ancillary receivers would likely be reserved for the two-gamer and showdown outside of very fringe GPP darts in huge contests. Samuel should be pretty owned on both sites but not overwhelmingly chalky. George Kittle will be a prevalent tight-end option on FanDuel, where it is easier to pay up at the position. On DK, pricing should keep his ownership in check. I don’t totally hate a Jimmy Garoppolo stack with Kittle on FanDuel. Kittle should be 30+% rostered, yet Garopollo will see next to no ownership.
Outside of Cooper Kupp, Green Bay’s Davante Adams is the top WR option on the slate by a considerable margin. He will see significant ownership on both sites but likely far more on FanDuel, where it is easier to pay up for him. It may approach or exceed 50% there, and a tournament fade based on ownership could be warranted. Playing Aaron Jones instead is a great direct leverage pivot hoping for one of those Aaron Jones games that overshadows Adams. On DraftKings, ownership should be a lot more reasonable on Adams.
The likes of Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and other Packers wideouts should likely be reserved for the two-gamer, showdown contests, and the largest field GPPs on the four-game slate. That is, of course, outside of Aaron Rodgers stacks. Tacking one of these guys onto a GB passing stack for value is always in play. Josiah Deguara could be used as a value tight-end, but I’d mostly just be inclined to play him as an add-on to Rodgers/Adams stacks.
Neither of these defenses should be too chalky, making both solid options in tournaments. There’s a lot of merit to playing the Packers’ DST, considering the Niners’ lowest team total on the slate.