LAR (22.75) @ TB (25.25)
The Sunday games may be the preferred DFS targets for this divisional round. This one between the Rams and Buccaneers shapes up to be a close contest with plenty of offensive fireworks to go around. Both quarterbacks should get some ownership on both sites, although Tom Brady looks more chalky than Matthew Stafford. Both have similar, significant upside despite a lack of rushing ability. I’d be inclined to take an ownership and price discount on Stafford.
In the running game, it will be hard to trust anyone on LA against Tampa Bay’s stout run defense. On top of it, you have a questionable time-share between Sony Michel and the now-healthy Cam Akers. I would mostly avoid this situation, particularly if they get any ownership. The Rams are likely to focus on the passing game. Leonard Fournette is questionable for the Buccaneers. If he suits up, he is an acceptable option across sites. Giovani Bernard and Ke’Shawn Vaughn become good value choices if he does not.
Since Tampa Bay’s run defense is challenging, it makes sense to look heavily at the Rams’ passing attack. Cooper Kupp is, of course, likely the top receiver in all of football for DFS and real-life alike this year. He is the best WR option on the slate outside of Davante Adams and should be in any lineup in which you can afford him. Odell Beckham Jr. is the definite number two in Los Angeles and makes sense in Stafford stacks as a fairly low-owned one-off in what should be a pass-heavy Rams attack. Tyler Higbee at tight-end has been more involved in the offense of late and should be a reasonably popular value option at the position. I would likely not look to WRs 3 and 4 Van Jefferson and Ben Skowronek outside of two-game and showdown slates.
While theoretically, the Tampa Bay passing attack led by Tom Brady would look like an excellent place to focus, they are severely hamstrung in terms of personnel at this point. Mike Evans is the clear alpha WR, yet the Rams should, in turn, put considerable focus on shutting him down. Outside of him and Gronkowski, the Bucs are sending out guys that would have barely seen the field, if at all before the loss of Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. It is also hard to trust where targets will go, even if taking a shot on these guys. You could use ancillary receivers like Cyril Grayson (questionable), Tyler Johnson, and Scotty Miller on two-game and showdown slates or in Brady stacks. Yet, they are largely GPP dart throw plays. I’d primarily focus on Evans and Gronk here.
All in all, despite Tampa Bay being home favorites, I lean more toward the Rams side of the ball here. They have a solid 1-2 in the receiving game of Kupp and Beckham. Suppose the Rams can just shut down Mike Evans. In that case, the Buccs are left with little to work with, mainly if Leonard Fournette is unable to play or limited. Still, never count out Tom Brady, potent weapons around him or not.
I don’t mind either defense since ownership will not be too high. Both are among the better DSTs on the slate, yet they should go pretty low-owned since this looks like more of an offensive shootout.
BUF (26) @ KC (28)
By all accounts, this matchup between the Bills and Chiefs looks like the strongest of the weekend for DFS. We should see ownership go along, with Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes being the highest-owned QBs of the week. While both likely have the most immense ceilings on the slate, there is some merit to looking elsewhere based on ownership in large-field contests. Particularly on FanDuel, where the popularity of these two should be notably astronomical.
The running game is pretty cut-and-dried here. While the Bills’ running game was previously nothing to touch for DFS, that has changed. Devin Singletary is now a solid option as the clear RB1 in Buffalo. The Kansas City running game is hard to trust outside of taking a shot in large-field contests. If Clyde Edwards-Helaire (questionable), Jerick McKinnon, and Darrel Williams (questionable) suit up, the situation is a bit murky. If Edwards-Helaire and/or Williams sit, it could provide a good bit of value and some decent DFS possibilities. As of the moment, I’d really only look at Devin Singletary for RBs in this game.
The passing game will be the more popular aspect of this matchup for DFS. On the Bills’ side, we have an interesting situation where WR1 Stefon Diggs should actually see pretty low ownership for his role, particularly on FanDuel. Even despite Josh Allen being a chalky QB. Because Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams are available to pay up for, Diggs will be a bit of an odd man out by default. On top of it, the Bills have Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis as attractive savings options. We’re likely to see a lot of builds where people pay up for Adams/Kupp and use the cheaper Bills guys for salary savings. This does make Diggs an attractive GPP target in and outside of Allen stacks. Dawson Knox is a good option in GPPs at tight-end as he should not see a ton of ownership and has a good bit of upside in a ceiling game.
The Kansas City passing attack is pretty easy to suss out, with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce picking up most of the work. Both are top options across sites in and outside of Mahomes stacks. Byron Pringle and Mecole Hardman are decent salary savings options, particularly in KC passing stack builds. Like Diggs, Hill should also see lower ownership than Adams and possibly Kupp making him a solid GPP target. Usually, Travis Kelce would be a high-owned FanDuel target since it’s generally easier to have the money to pay up at the tight-end position. However, this week, he may be a good GPP play at lower ownership since George Kittle has similar upside and is so much cheaper. He looks to actually be higher-owned on DraftKings based on current ownership projections.
I would theoretically expect these DSTs to be very low-owned since this looks like the offensive shootout of the weekend. Yet, because the price on Kansas City’s defense is low, they may actually get a good bit of traction. We’ll see how ownership actually shakes out. The Bills’ DST will be low-owned and is a super contrarian GPP option.