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Fantasy Football: Who to play on wild card weekend

Pete Davidson
January 05, 2019 - 9:41 am
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It’s playoff time in the NFL and the Patriots have the weekend off. So maybe this is a good week to enjoy some DFS action while all these lesser teams try and advance to the divisional round. What follows are my thoughts on how to attack this weekend’s 4-game slates. This is how I’ll be approaching things with my lineups.

When I look at these four games, one pops off the page, and you probably know where I’m going here. Not only does the Colts/Texans game have the highest projected over/under, it also features the two teams with the highest individual point totals. Every bit of research I’ve done tells me to focus on this game. Sure, there are some sensible contrarian approaches to consider, especially if you are willing to take some extra risk with your entry fees, but this is the approach I am liking this week.

Now, I’m not the only one who can read the Vegas lines or a boxscore for that matter, so it’s possible that everybody and their mother will be focusing on this same game, but don’t forget that there are a lot of Dallas fans out there, and plenty of Seahawks fans as well. Lamar Jackson is a shiny object and will draw ownership due to his exciting skill set. So I’m hoping that ownership is spread around some. Ether way, I’m going to concentrate my activity where I see the most action, and that’s in Houston, where Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson will square off. They are easily my top two quarterback plays for this week.

For the freshest insights on all the Wildcard Week action, tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour, this Sunday morning right here on 93.7.

All player pricing for this article was sourced from DraftKings.

Andrew Luck, Colts at Texans, $6,400

If I was only playing a single lineup, Luck would be my choice at QB, because he’s good at football but also because of his matchup. The Texans are one of the very best run defenses in all of football. Luck has the ability to go pass-heavy in a game like this, and my money is that HC Frank Reich opts to play it that way. Why would a smart coach opt to play against the grain and go away from his best player while simultaneously leaning into the strength of his opponent? Save for the element of surprise, I can’t see why. I’m going to bet on the Colts putting their season on Luck’s arm.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys vs. Seahawks, $9,000

Zeke is the most expensive option on the weekend slate, and he’s certainly worth rostering but I will probably mess around with some non-Zeke lineups as well. Seattle is a run-based squad and so is Dallas. This is huge in my view. These two teams want to slow things down. Seattle could theoretically benefit from a faster pace because they have a quarterback who can handle it, but their history says they will play things as per usual. Two run-first clock-eating teams in the same stadium means you’ll probably be looking at a low play count by day’s end. For me, that’s reason enough to play around with some roster constructions where I fade Zeke, but I’ll still be rostering him in most of my lineups because he gets such a huge share of his own team’s offense.

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans vs. Colts, $8,700

Hopkins played the Colts twice this year. Back in Week 4, he toasted them to the tune of 10 receptions for 169 yards and a score. They met again in Week 14, and the Colts adapted nicely—holding Hopkins to a paltry 4 for 36 line though DeAndre still scored once. These two games feel like a rough range of outcomes for this week. It’s hard to imagine Hopkins striking out fully, but expecting that Week 4 output is more than a bit on the hopeful side. The reason I will be Hopkins-heavy is due the way I see the game playing out. I see points from the Colts, and the only way to counter, is to get Hopkins as involved as possible. Maybe I’d see it differently if Demaryius Thomas or better yet, Will Fuller was still around, but alas, they are both toast. I plan on using Hopkins in about 70-80 percent of my lineups this week.

T.Y. Hilton, Colts at Texans, $7,800

Hilton hasn’t scored a touchdown versus the Texans this year. That being said, he has caught 13 balls for 314 yards in two games. Hilton is battling an ankle injury that he’s been playing through for weeks, but he’s most likely going to play, and will probably play well. There’s just no way I am going to roster Luck without also rostering Hilton. Lean in and go for it.

Eric Ebron, Colts at Texans, $5,200

I’d consider fading Ebron, but how is a guy who caught 13 touchdowns during the regular season so cheap in what looks like a plus matchup? Ebron has scored in both of his games versus the Texans this year, and he was targeted 18 times over those two contests. He’s going to be similarly involved here. He is my top ranked tight end on the slate and he’s a no-brainer stack option if you use Luck as your quarterback.

Closing thoughts:

In my favorite lineup build for this slate, I was able to roster Luck, Elliott, Hopkins, Hilton and Ebron. While there are certainly other ways to attack this weekend, especially if you want to go for top spot, I like this lineup a lot. The key to climbing the leaderboards with this build is to nail some of cheaper pieces you will need to complete your team. I’m focused on guys like Keke Coutee (or DeAndre Carter if Coutee doesn’t play), Ryan Griffin, Kenneth Dixon, Nelson Agholor, Travis Benjamin and Jordan Akins.

Good luck to all this week, and remember to play within your budget and to have fun!

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