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Divisional Playoff Game #3: Houston @ Kansas City
The only regular-season rematch of the weekend, this is the highest projected scoring game of the week. There are a lot of ways you can build your lineups around this game.
- The obvious spot Houston should be attacking the Chiefs at is through the run game (29th DVOA vs Rush). Carlos Hyde (6,200) had 26 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown in the first matchup (also gets a #RevengeGame narrative as he was with the Chiefs in the preseason), and did have 16 carries last week in a game where Houston was trailing for most of the game. Hyde did outsnap Duke Johnson (6,000) 40-27 last week. The Chiefs are 20th in DVOA vs pass-catching RBs, so if you wanted to go with Duke Johnson, he should be viable. I prefer Hyde more of the two. We can also talk about DeShaun Watson (11,000) and his running ability here. He carried 10 times for 42 yards and two touchdowns back in Week 6. Last week, Watson carried 14 times for 55 yards. If he's going to run the ball this often again, he has to be considered, especially if you think they will be trailing and he has to throw a lot.
- Houston's passing options are intriguing and will heavily depend on the inactives they have. Of course, DeAndre Hopkins (10,000) is not a concern, other than the price. He went 9/55 in the first matchup on 12 targets. I could see a simlar type of target distribution but would expect more yards.While he can always just go off, I don't see him as someone you must fit into your lineup. I prefer Hill over him. Will Fuller (7,000) is questionable but sounds like he will play, though it could be limited. I don't think I would play him even if active. Kenny Stills (5,800) is TD dependent but would get a boost if Fuller is out or on a snap count. DeAndre Carter (1,800) did play 80% of the snaps last week, but only saw two targets. Still, if he's on the field that much, he will be a viable punt play and hope one of his few opportunities is a big play. The Tight End situation is a mess but may be the key to value in this game. Darren Fells (4,600) was a late addition to the injury report and is Questionable. Jordan Akins (800) is also Questionable after missing last week. If one misses, the other is viable, especially if that one who plays is Akins at 800. If both miss, Jordan Thomas (200) becomes a great punt play as the remaining tight end option. He may not get to 10 points, but if he got to 4-5 points, and you use the remaining salary to get the better plays, he would be worth it.
- Houston's Defense is Bottom 10 vs both the pass and the rush. So it basically comes down to how you think this game plays out to determine what Chiefs you want to play. Patrick Mahomes (12,800) has 30+ point upside and is in a great spot. If you want reasons to fade, here they are: Only threw for 273 yards (did have 3 TDs) in Week 6, getting 20.82 fantasy points. Also, in the last six games of the season, he only topped 300 yards passing once and threw for multiple touchdowns twice (only 2 in those games, though Week 16 did have a rushing TD). I'm not saying you should fade him: as I write this, he's my main QB in the 4-game slate. But from a showdown perspective at 12,800, there may be a case to not use him because of the price. Damien Williams (8,000) will be chalk on the 4-game slate and should be popular here as well. Houston is bad against both the run and pass-catching RBs, and Williams was heavily relied upon in the final two weeks of the regular season. 8,000 is just too cheap for him and I expect him to be a heavily used captain option.
- At receiver, it's basically Tyreek Hill (10,400) or Travis Kelce (9,000). I will probably hedge in my weekend contests by using one in showdown and one in the 4-game weekend slate. Houston is 14th against WR1 and 15th against TE. In Week 6, Hill went 5/80/2, whereas Kelce went 4/58. I do prefer Hill over Kelce, but you can't go wrong with either pick. Ouside of those two, I don't know if there's anyone else I would strive to get. Sammy Watkins (5,200) hasn't had a touchdown since Week 1, and is trending towards being popular in the weekend slate. I assume that means he will be popular in showdown, and a chalky Sammy Watkins usually doesn't end up well for people. The only other case you could make is Mecole Hardman (3,600) as he does have big play ability and a chance to return a kick for a score. But, he's probably more of a multiple lineup type of play.
- I don't have any interest in the Texans Defense (2,600) or Ka'imi Fairbairn (3,800). I do like the Chiefs Defense (4,200) as Watson does take a lot of sacks and the Chiefs have had multiple sacks in every game since Week 9. Harrison Butker (4,000) has only two games this season under 6 points. Getting 8-10 points at 4k is good value and makes for a good cheap option to consider.
Texans I am Considering: Watson, Hyde, Hopkins, Johnson, Akins/Thomas (if Fells is Out)
Chiefs I am Considering: Hill, Mahomes, Kelce, Williams, Chiefs Defense, Butker
Divisional Playoff Game #4: Seattle @ Green Bay
It is expected to be a typical night game in January at Lambeau: around 20 degrees. But, that shouldn't bother either team that much so unless something else develops on Sunday, there's no reason to treat this game any differently due to weather.
- For Seattle, it should be a run-heavy approach, as the Packers are 23rd in DVOA against the run. Travis Homer (6,600) did outsnap Marshawn Lynch (6,800) 44 to 18 last week. However, it was Lynch who got the goal line carry for the touchdown. Pete Carroll has already mentioned how he thinks Lynch is ready for more work this week, and the matchup is good. I prefer Lynch for that reason and his goal-line opportunties. However, if you wanted to play a lower owned Homer, I don't have any issues with that. In the same way I liked Watson against the Chiefs up above, I think we can also like Russell Wilson (11,000) for the same reasons. He has rush attempts of 8 and 9 in his last two games, getting 29 and 45 yards respectively. Those bonus points can add up and if one of these attempts is a touchdown, you can bet he will probably be in the winning showdown lineup. Wilson also did throw for 300+ yards last week and I can see the passing game getting going here. He's my favorite QB of the two in this game.
- All of the Seahawks receivers look to be healthy, so it would be a total dart throw to figure out which one not named D.K. Metcalf (9,600) or Tyler Lockett (8,600) would hit. I prefer Lockett this week with the discount and bigger play ability (note: I don't get Lockett right very often). He has seen 6 more targets than Metcalf the past four games, but Metcalf has seen 21 targets the past two games. Both can be used: I'm just taking the discount with Lockett. Jacob Hollister (5,400) is also viable as the Packers have struggled against the TE position this year. His targets have decreased lately but I could see a spot where it picks back up this week.
- My favorite captain right now is DaVante Adams (10,800) due to his consistent usage, seeing double-digit targets in all but one game since coming back from his injury. I think he's safer than teammate Aaron Jones (10,000) who I think many people will go to, considering Seattle ranks 26th against the rush. As usual with Jones, he has massive upside; however, I think people are undervaluing the return of Jamaal Williams (5,800) and the impact it will have. Jones is certainly fine to use in this spot but I'm not sure I would choose him over someone like Russell Wilson for 1,000 more. Williams is more of a specualtive play here in my opinion.
- For the rest of the Packers, Aaron Rodgers (10,400) finally got over 300 passing yards in Week 17: only the fourth time all season. This matchup doesn't scream to be a heavily passing one, so I don't think I'll be using him. FWIW, I would take Jones over Rodgers just due to the potential upside of Jones. Allen Lazard (6,000) has emerged as the WR2 for the Packers and has seen 17 targets the past two games. The price is fair and I don't mind him at all. The lower-floor, higher ceiling (and also #RevengeGame) player here is Jimmy Graham (4,800). Seattle has struggled against tight ends this season and Graham did see 7 targets in Week 17. He's not a bad risk to take if you can live with his 2-3 point floor.
- Colder weather will have me avoiding the kickers, as the ball it a little harder to kick and won't travel as far. I also don't love either defense; though they could be used as a last player into your lineup type of play.
Seahawks Players I am Considering: Wilson, Lynch, Lockett, Homer, Metcalf, Hollister, Sehawks Defense
Packers Players I am Considering: Adams, Jones, Lazard, Graham, Packers Defense