As we dive into the divisional round of the NFL’s postseason, strategic player selection in daily fantasy football (DFS) becomes even more crucial. The luxury of having a wide selection of players has diminished, making the stakes higher for each choice.
Due to their potential for delivering standout performances, high-salary players become a vital part of your lineup strategy. They might use a significant portion of your salary cap, but their ability to reach the score ceiling can make or break your game.
This piece will highlight three key players to target in this week’s main slate along with three value plays. Buckle up, and let’s navigate the thrilling world of NFL DFS picks.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
With an enticing matchup against the Houston Texans, quarterback Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens is a top pick for your NFL DFS lineup this weekend. Coming off an impressive season with 3,678 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and an additional 821 rushing yards, Jackson has been a consistent performer, averaging 21.8 points per game. He’s also ran for five touchdowns on the ground.
His showdown with a young and prone-to-mistakes Texans’ defense, which allowed 18.2 points to opposing quarterbacks in the regular season, is expected to boost his performance further. Not forgetting the home-field advantage and Jackson’s dynamic running capabilities, he is poised to exploit this matchup. numberFire’s model echoes this sentiment, projecting Jackson to lead the slate with 23.5 points. So, when considering your FanDuel DFS odds, Jackson is undeniably a prime pick for the divisional round.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Christian McCaffrey is another player to consider for your DFS selection this weekend. Dominating the season with an average of 22.6 points per game, McCaffrey is expected to continue his high-scoring streak against the Green Bay Packers.
While impressive in their takedown of the Dallas Cowboys, the Packers still allowed 32 points in their opponent’s comeback attempt. Their defense has been shaky, surrendering 95.6 rushing yards per game and 19.6 points in the regular season. The 49ers offensive line should also perform much better than what the Cowboys line did last week.
As the 49ers’ offense heavily leans on McCaffrey, he is set to play a significant role in this matchup, especially if the 49ers play from ahead as expected. He also factors to get points from catching passes. This makes McCaffrey another prime pick for your FanDuel DFS lineup this divisional round.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions
Amon-Ra St. Brown, the wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, is a player that any smart DFS player cannot afford to overlook this weekend. After a remarkable performance against the Los Angeles Rams, where he finished with seven catches for 110 receiving yards and generated 14.5 points, St. Brown is not a player to underestimate. He averages 17.1 points per game, and with a projected total of 16.2 points this weekend, he’s certainly a player capable of delivering.
St. Brown’s upcoming match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is favorable. Despite the Buccaneers’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, their performance left much to be desired, and they will undoubtedly face a more difficult challenge against the Lions. Considering their regular season defensive statistics, St. Brown is well-positioned for a huge day.
The Buccaneers have given the ninth-most points per game to wide receivers (29.6). Additionally, St. Brown racked up 12 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown in the Lions’ victory over the Buccaneers back in October.
numberFire’s model predicts St. Brown to be the top projected wide receiver of the Divisional Round slate. Given these factors, Amon-Ra St. Brown is an excellent pick for your DFS lineup this divisional round.
Value Plays To Consider
Not all your picks can be studs; eventually, you’re going to have to select some guys with lower value who could rack up points to help you win.
Devin Singletary has been money for the Houston Texans since he has taken over as the top running back. He has played close to 80 percent of the snaps for the Texans and has racked up points not just on the ground but also through the air, making him a great PPR option, a key factor if Houston should find themselves behind. Singletary’s put up double-digit points in eight of his last 10 games. Additionally, the Ravens give up 4.5 yards per carry, the fourth-highest percentage in the league.
Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield is the lowest-rated quarterback this weekend, but that shouldn’t mean you should shy away from him. Mayfield has put up 20 or more fantasy points in four of his last six games, including a 30-point performance against the Eagles. Mayfield’s only struggles came in Week 17 and Week 18 when he was dealing with sore ribs and an ankle injury, but he showed no signs of any issues Monday night and has practiced in full this week. Some locker room material from the Lions should motivate Mayfield more, who should be throwing a lot on Sunday given the Buccaneers are expected to play from behind.
Tight end George Kittle figures to play a prominent role in the 49ers game plan on Sunday. The Packers just gave up 37 fantasy points to tight end Jake Ferguson last Sunday, so Kittle must be licking his chops. Kittle has thrived against better competition, scoring more than 20 points this year against the Ravens, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Bengals, and Cowboys, all teams with winning records.