There’s really a case to be made for all 8 QBs playing this week, price considered.
But the slate includes each of the top 3 scorers in the regular season – Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts – who have all flashed 35+ point upside.
I think there’s a good chance 1 of those guys has a blowup game, which will be especially valuable considering there are fewer QBs to compete with that big game.
So I’ll be primarily focused on the high-end QBs, 2 of them in particular.
It’s tough to imagine the Chiefs not scoring a boatload of points on Saturday. They’re at home for the Jaguars, who finished the regular season 24th in total defense and 26th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA. Oh, and the Chiefs are coming off a bye, where HC Andy Reid is 28-5 in his career.
Jacksonville ranks 28th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs and 30th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA. Mahomes smoked ‘em for 331 yards and 4 TDs back in Week 10.
The Chiefs’ 30.75-point implied total is 3 points higher than any other team on the slate.
Allen is coming off a 28.1-point game in last week’s win over the Dolphins. He’s been a fantasy monster in the playoffs, averaging the following:
The Bengals finished the regular season 2nd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. But they haven’t been as good since losing top CB Chidobe Awuzie in Week 8. Prior to that point, Cincinnati ranked 9th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA. They’ve dipped to 14th since.
Burrow is interesting, if only for what figures to be low ownership. He’s sandwiched between the 3 elite QBs and intriguing cheapies in the $5K range. We currently project Burrow for just 3% ownership.
To be honest, there’s nothing positive to say about his spot. He gets the Bills’ 3rd-ranked QB defense and will likely be without 3 starting offensive linemen. The Bengals are implied for just 21.75 points – 3rd lowest on the week.
But we’re talking about Burrow at single-digit ownership on a 4-game slate. He doesn’t have quite as much upside at Mahomes, Allen and Hurts – but Burrow topped 30 DK points 4 times this season.
At the top of the board, I’ll be fading Saquon Barkley ($7,900) against a much-improved Eagles run defense. Philadelphia ranked 25th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA through Week 12 but jumped to 3rd from Week 13 to 17.
Christian McCaffrey ($8,000) is, of course, a rock-solid play. But I don’t view him as a ‘must’ considering the work he’s been losing to Elijah Mitchell, especially at the goal line.
My 2 favorite plays at the positions:
McKinnon rolls into the playoffs on an insane TD run: 9 scores on 60 touches over his last 6 games.
We can’t count on that continuing. But I also think there’s a chance we see McKinnon take on a bigger role in the postseason.
Remember that it wasn’t until the playoffs last year that McKinnon really emerged. He totaled just 12 carries and 20 targets during the regular season – and then racked up 34 carries and 17 targets in 3 playoff games.
We could see similar usage starting on Saturday, especially with RB Isiah Pacheco’s role seemingly heading south. Pacheco totaled just 17 carries on 45% and 36% snap rates in Kansas City’s last 2 games.
Jacksonville brings a decent run defense to town but allowed the 3rd most catches and 4th most receiving yards to RBs during the regular season.
There’s downside to this play. Sanders tallied just 12 and 11 carries in the Eagles’ last 2 games. He played 40% of the offensive snaps in both games – his lowest mark of the season.
But if Philly goes back to Sanders as the clear lead back, it’s a smash spot. The Giants finished the regular season 32nd in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA and rank 31st over their last 5 games.
They posted their worst run defense DVOA mark in the Week 14 meeting vs. the Eagles, when Sanders exploded for 31.5 DK points on a 17-144-2 rushing line.
Also consider: Joe Mixon ($6,500), Tony Pollard ($6,100), Elijah Mitchell ($4,700)
The high-priced elites are all worth getting exposure to, especially with their price tags down. But check out the Lineup Generator and you’ll find mostly cheaper WRs at the top of the dollars-per-point rankings.
These are my favorites:
Clearly over the knee and ankle injuries, Samuel erupted for 31.5 DK points on 9 targets and 3 carries. He’s now totaled 19 targets on a 28.4% target share in 2 full, healthy games with QB Brock Purdy.
Samuel gets a banged-up Cowboys secondary on Sunday that ranks 26th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs.
This, frankly, is a disrespectful price tag on Higgins.
Yes, he’s been quiet the past 2 weeks, catching just 5 of 13 targets for 44 scoreless yards. But he went for 29.8 DK points in the game before that and has 4 total games of 26+ DK points this season.
Simply put, his ceiling rivals any other WR on this slate. And he’s about $2,000 cheaper than the top-priced guys.
We’ve been attacking Philly’s defense with slot receivers all season. The Eagles finished 31st in adjusted fantasy points allowed to slots and were particularly bad without CB Avonte Maddox, who’s out for Saturday night’s game.
That gives James the best matchup among Giants WRs. He’s played 80% of his snaps in the slot this season.
James was quiet in last week’s win over the Vikings but put up 19.1 DK points vs. the Eagles back in Week 14 and also has 17.0 and 20.6-pointers among his last 4 outings.
Also consider: Ja’Marr Chase ($7,800), Stefon Diggs ($7,700), A.J. Brown ($7,600), CeeDee Lamb ($7,300), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5,100), Zay Jones ($4,700)
Kelce averaged 6.4 more DK points per game than any other TE on this slate – a gap much bigger than you’ll find at any other position.
Kelce has the potential to run away from the rest of the TE pack this weekend, especially in a matchup with a Jaguars defense that Football Outsiders ranks dead last in TE coverage.
Kelce caught 6 balls for 81 yards and a score vs. Jacksonville back in Week 10.
Goedert draws the Giants defense that just got smoked for 129 yards by Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson last week. The G-Men also allowed a 13-109-2 line to Hockenson in Week 16 and a 2-score game to TE Dalton Schultz a few weeks earlier.
Goedert went for 46 yards on 6 catches against New York in the regular season finale but has Hockenson-esque upside this weekend.
Also consider: Evan Engram ($4,300), Dawson Knox ($3,800)