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Divisional Round DraftKings Picks

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT


QBs

Despite checking in at $8,400, Lamar Jackson is easily the top value at QB according to our projected dollars per point. He should be fresh after getting the last 2 weeks off and draws a Titans squad ranked 12th worst in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA. Jackson faced 6 bottom-12 pass defenses this season. His passing lines in those games:

324-5-0

272-2-0

236-0-0

223-3-0

222-4-0

212-5-0

And that’s on top of 85 rushing yards and .3 TDs per game in those 6 outings.

Both QBs in Sunday’s Texans-Chiefs game are squarely in play. Deshaun Watson ($6,700) comes in as the 2nd-best QB value on the slate. Kansas City finished the regular season 6th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense rankings and 13th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. But Watson just dropped 29.4 DraftKings points on the Bills, who ranked above the Chiefs in both of those metrics.

Patrick Mahomes ($7,500) got rolling down the stretch, completing 70% of his passes and averaging 7.9 yards per attempt over his final 4 games. This looks like a major mismatch against a Texans squad that ranks 26th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA and 25th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. If any QB is going to out-score Jackson this weekend, it’ll most likely be Mahomes.

A flier to consider for tournaments: Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,600). He’s dirt cheap and has flashed big upside this season, topping 30 DK points 3 times. That’s just 1 fewer than Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Minnesota’s secondary is beatable, especially with recent injuries to CBs Mike Hughes and Mackensie Alexander.


RBs

Damien Williams ($6,000) is your top value at RB. He operated as Kansas City’s clear lead back over the final 2 games of the regular season, playing 57% of the offensive snaps, carrying 28 times and garnering 10 targets. Williams posted 18.2 and 34.4 DK points in those 2 games. He gets a Texans defense that just allowed 4.5 yards per carry to Bills RB Devin Singletary last week, despite getting J.J. Watt back.

I’m done fading Derrick Henry ($8,200). He’s now rushed for 149+ yards and/or multiple TDs in 6 of his last 7 games. He just ripped off a 34-182-1 rushing line against the Patriots, who rank 6th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA. The Ravens rank 19th.

Outside of Henry, Dalvin Cook ($8,000) is the best touch bet on the slate. And he looked fresh in last weekend’s upset win over the Saints. The ‘Niners finished the regular season 3rd in DK points allowed to RBs and 2nd in adjusted fantasy points allowed. But note that Football Outsiders ranks them just 11th in run defense. San Francisco has surrendered a middling 4.2 yards per carry to RBs.

Aaron Jones ($7,400) feels a bit overpriced compared to Henry, Cook and Williams — especially with Jamaal Williams expected back on Sunday. But that might just make Jones a great tournament play. He’s displayed week-winning upside throughout the season, with 6 games of 27+ DK points. And he gets a Seahawks defense ranked 22nd in DK points allowed to RBs and 26th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA.

I’ll be trying to get some combination of those 4 RBs in my lineups. But if you need to go cheap, consider Marshawn Lynch ($4,800). HC Pete Carroll said earlier this week that Lynch is ready for a bigger role in his 3rd game back. Seattle should have more success on the ground against the Packers this week than they did last week in Philadelphia. Green Bay sits 23rd in Football Outsiders’ run defense rankings and allowed 4.9 yards per carry to RBs during the regular season.

Keep an eye on Mark Ingram’s status when Ravens inactives come out around 6:45 ET on Saturday night. If he’s out, Gus Edwards ($4,900) will be in play as Baltimore’s lead back. If Ingram is active, I’ll be avoiding this backfield.


WRs

Despite being the most expensive WR on the slate, Davante Adams ($7,800) checks in as the top value. He’s been a volume hog since returning from that toe injury, averaging 11.4 targets, 7.3 catches, 77 yards and .6 TDs across 8 games. Adams closed the season with 3 straight games of 22+ DK points. He’s home on Sunday for a middling Seahawks pass defense that ranks 14th in DK points allowed to WRs.

Deebo Samuel ($5,200) is your #2 value at WR. The rookie has posted 13+ DK points in 7 of his last 8 games, with 3 outings of 22+ points over that span. He’s averaged 6.1 targets — plus 1.1 carries — in those 8 games. Credit the Vikings for doing a good job on Michael Thomas last week, but this remains a susceptible secondary. They’re dealing with the aforementioned injuries to Mike Hughes and Mackensie Alexander. And supposed #1 CB Xavier Rhodes allowed more fantasy points per route covered than any starting CB still alive in the playoffs. That also makes Emmanuel Sanders ($5,400) a viable play.

No WR on this slate can match Tyreek Hill’s ($7,600) ceiling. Over the past 2 seasons, he has 9 games of 25+ DK points. The Texans rank 21st in DK points allowed to WRs — and only 6 teams allowed more completions of 40+ yards during the regular season.

The Seahawks WR corps turned out exactly like we expected last week, with D.K. Metcalf going off against an Eagles defense that struggled all year vs. outside WRs. This Sunday’s matchup vs. the Packers doesn’t have a clear edge for Metcalf or Tyler Lockett ($6,600). Green Bay ranks 16th and 8th in fantasy points allowed to the outside WRs spots and 10th vs. slots. So with Metcalf now more expensive than Lockett — and likely to be higher owned — go with Lockett in tournaments.


TEs

Travis Kelce ($6,400) is not only the best value at TE — he’s the best value among all TEs, WRs and RBs. So if you don’t use him in your TE spot, strongly consider getting him into that flex spot. Fantasy’s #1 TE gets a Texans defense sitting 15th in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage rankings and 19th in DK points allowed to TEs.

A full fade of George Kittle ($6,200) on a 4-game slate is scary. But it’s at least worth noting that he runs into a tough matchup this weekend. The Vikings rank 1st in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage DVOA and 7th in DK points allowed to the position.

I prefer Mark Andrews ($5,600) over Kittle — especially if he comes at lower ownership. He had the same number of 20+ point games (4) as Kittle this season. And Andrews gets a better matchup against a Titans defense that ranks 23rd in DK points allowed to TEs and 27th in adjusted fantasy points allowed.

On the cheaper side, look to Jacob Hollister ($4,000). Last week was just the 3rd game among his last 9 that he saw fewer than 6 targets. He should see nice volume vs. a Packers defense that’s tougher on WRs than TEs. In fact, Football Outsiders’ DVOA has Green Bay as the worst defense in TE coverage among the 8 teams still playing.


DSTs

The 49ers ($3,000) bring the best combo of floor, ceiling and price. Their 10.1 DK points per game leads all 8 DSTs playing this weekend. They’re 7-point home favorites vs. the Vikings on Saturday. And they’re getting DE Dee Ford, LB Kwon Alexander and S Jaquiski Tartt back from injury.

On the other side of that game, the Vikings ($2,700) are an intriguing tournament play. We saw last week that this can be a dominant unit (despite the secondary problems). And Jimmy Garoppolo has been 1 of the most volatile QBs in the NFL this season. He turned it over multiple times in 5 different games this season. If Bad Jimmy G shows up, Minnesota’s DST could have a big one.


Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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