Two-game slates force a player to be close to perfect, and the normal rules do not exist. Play three pass-catchers with one quarterback, two running backs from the same team, or a player against your defense. I already broke down the matchups, so I want to take you position by position with my thoughts before telling you my favorite stack, favorite play, and favorite fade.
For the full breakdown of coverage analysis, click the link below!
We also have Rostership Data for FREE, which can be found in the link below.
- Patrick Mahomes is not coming in popular with that ankle injury
- In 2019, he had a high ankle sprain in Week 1 on the opposite foot, and in the next six weeks on the injury report averaged 300.3 yards passing and two passing touchdowns
- The Cincinnati Bengals will likely play Cover 0 and Cover 1 at a high rate; Mahomes ranked ninth in yards per attempt amongst QBs with at least 100 snaps against it
- Pair Mahomes with two pass-catchers in every build; for large field tournaments, three can be viable
- The San Francisco 49ers will play a lot of zone coverage, and Jalen Hurts ranked third in yards per attempt against zone amongst QBs with 100 snaps against it
- Hurts is the only QB on the slate with an ability to run, and I expect him to use his legs against this 49ers defense
- The game script can go either way, and I believe we will see a big game from Hurts
- Hurts is my favorite quarterback on the slate, and I am willing to eat the chalk
- The Kansas City Chiefs will run a lot of Cover 1 or Cover 2 coverage against Burrow
- Joe Burrow averages 8.6 yards per attempt and a 70.4% completion percentage against these two coverages
- Against the Chiefs, Burrow led seven drives of at least eight plays. Five of his drives lasted four minutes of game time, and they will likely attempt to do that again
- The ceiling game for Burrow comes down to the offensive line holding up and his ability to continue attempting quick yardage throws
- Burrow is ranked third amongst QBs, and I will be underweight compared to the field
- I will not be playing Brock Purdy this weekend; the pricing doesn’t generate enough of an advantage for paying down, and I don’t believe he has a high enough ceiling
- The 49ers have the advantage in the run game, and Christian McCaffrey is chalk I am willing to buy into
- McCaffrey has an injury to monitor, but Shanahan knows he has to dial up the run game for his rookie quarterback on the road
- The Eagles have given up over 100 yards rushing in six straight weeks
- The trenches tool gives the 49ers a significant advantage in the run game
- If you are not playing McCaffrey, I recommend getting to Elijah Mitchell
- Slow, methodical drives will lead to Joe Mixon rushing attempts
- Mixon did not play in the first matchup. Samaje Perine ran for 106 yards and had six receptions for 49 yards
- Mixon is a target for Burrow out of the backfield and will get usage near the red zone
- I don’t believe Mixon is a must-have, but the slate of RBs is weak, and it won’t take a big game to be in the optimal build
- Jerick McKinnon is the Chiefs running back I want because of his ability to pass protect. Isiah Pacheco will out-carry him, but McKinnon will make it up in the passing game
- McKinnon played 65% of the snaps against the Jaguars, and I believe that was because of the Mahomes’ injury
- McKinnon is projected to be more popular than Pacheco
- I will not be getting Miles Sanders; I think the Eagles throw a lot more than run, and near the red zone, it will be Hurts
- McCaffrey is nursing an injury, and so is Mitchell, but I expect him to get enough carries to be viable
- Mitchell is my preferred punt play at running back because I expect the 49ers to be run-heavy
- Perine played extremely well against the Chiefs and has played over 40% of the snaps in each of the last two weeks
- The only problem with Perine is he is more popular than Mitchell, and Mitchell will likely see more touches
- The most popular wide receiver on the entire slate, and it’s for a good reason
- Ja’Marr Chase averages 139 yards against the Chiefs and has four touchdowns in three games
- This season, he came off an injury and had seven receptions for 97 yards in that game, and whenever they saw Cover 1, it was an easy play for him to make
- If the Chiefs can play Cover 2 for most of the game, I don’t believe he will have a big game to pay off the price. If they get the lead and force them into Cover 1, the explosive play is just waiting to happen
- The 49ers’ corners can be beaten on the outside, and A.J. Brown will be able to out-physical them the way we saw DK Metcalf do in the wild-card round
- If the 49ers attempt to play more Cover 3 coverage, Brown will be the player to have, but in Cover 4, Smith has been the preferred option
- Crossing routes have hurt the 49ers this season, and Brown has 19% of his targets on these routes
- DeVonta Smith has been the go-to for the Eagles against Cover 4, and in games where the 49ers will have the lead or be in a one-score game, they will play plenty of that coverage
- Smith has had eight targets in every game since Week 10, and I don’t think he will be under that number in this one
- Brown has the highest ceiling, but Smith can have a big game
- I don’t trust Purdy enough to make plays down the field against a defense that is one of the best in the NFL. Deebo Samuel has not been getting much usage in the ground game to compensate for that
- Burrow spreads the ball against Cover 2 coverage, and I think that style of play will limit the pass-catching group
- Tee Higgins is priced in a spot where he will be popular, but it is chalk I am willing to go to because he has a high ceiling
- In Cover 1, I expect Chase to be the main focus for this defense, and they will try to trust their corners on an island vs. Higgins
- JuJu Smith-Schuster is not great against man coverage. However, he will have the opportunity to run routes one on one with Eli Apple, and can win in that matchup
- The Eagles’ safeties stay over the middle of the field, and James Bradberry gets beat in man situations down the sidelines
- The only concern I have for Brandon Aiyuk is Purdy’s ability to make the throw, but out of the 49ers’ pass-catchers, he is my preferred option
- Tyler Boyd led the team in yards against Cover 2 coverage and is someone Burrow likes to target
- In Burrow stacks, I will get plenty of exposure to Boyd
- Kadarius Toney is the most explosive player after the catch for the Chiefs, and I believe he is key to their offense performance.
- The Bengals will play man-to-man coverage and bring pressure; the deep play will be there for the Chiefs’ pass catchers like Marquez Valdes-Scantling
- Quez Watkins is my favorite option under $4,000, and I believe he will have the opportunity to have a big play touchdown in the game
- Travis Kelce will get plenty of work in this game, and you shouldn’t be concerned about what he can do
- The Bengals have a great scheme, but the chemistry between Mahomes and Kelce is too great
- George Kittle scares me off because of his price and because he might be needed a lot more in pass protection and blocking in the run game
- Kittle has a defensive scheme he can play well against, but like the wide receivers, I am not sure that Purdy can get the job done
- The 49ers have one of the best linebacking crews in the NFL, but they will have plenty to deal with against this Eagles’ run game and wide receiver room
- Dallas Goedert is way too cheap on DraftKings, and is a strong play on the slate
- Like the quarterback position this weekend, I don’t think Hayden Hurst can keep pace with the top portion of the tight end room
- The 49ers are viable, and I will be loading up those builds with the Chiefs-Bengals game
- The safest defense on the slate is the Eagles’; they are at home and going up against a rookie quarterback
- I would correlate them with Hurts’ stacks because you want them to play with the lead and get after Purdy
- Their defensive line is very motivated, and I am not buying into how well the Bengals’ offensive line played against the Bills
- Chris Jones can be a game-wrecker, and I will be banking on him in this matchup
- Lou Anarumo has slowed this team down and confused them in coverages
- They are the cheapest defense on the slate against a limited Patrick Mahomes
- QB Jalen Hurts, WR AJ Brown, WR Quez Watkins
- Runback: RB Christian McCaffrey
- QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Kadarius Toney, TE Travis Kelce
- Runback: WR Ja’Marr Chase
- QB Joe Burrow, WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR Tyler Boyd
- Runback: WR Kadarius Toney
|Player||Pos||Team||Opp||DK Salary||FD Salary||VegasPts|
|Patrick Mahomes||QB||KC||vs CIN||$7,600||$8,500||24.5|
|Jalen Hurts||QB||PHI||vs SF||$7,200||$9,200||24.25|
|Joe Burrow||QB||CIN||@ KC||$6,800||$8,300||23.5|
|Christian McCaffrey||RB||SF||@ PHI||$8,000||$9,000||22.25|
|Joe Mixon||RB||CIN||@ KC||$6,500||$8,100||23.5|
|Jerick McKinnon||RB||KC||vs CIN||$5,400||$6,500||24.5|
|Eli Mitchell||RB||SF||@ PHI||$4,900||$5,600||22.25|
|Samaje Perine||RB||CIN||@ KC||$4,500||$5,300||23.5|
|JaMarr Chase||WR||CIN||@ KC||$7,600||$8,600||23.5|
|A.J. Brown||WR||PHI||vs SF||$7,000||$8,000||24.25|
|DeVonta Smith||WR||PHI||vs SF||$6,800||$7,700||24.25|
|Deebo Samuel||WR||SF||@ PHI||$5,700||$7,000||22.25|
|Tee Higgins||WR||CIN||@ KC||$5,400||$6,700||23.5|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster||WR||KC||vs CIN||$4,700||$6,100||24.5|
|Brandon Aiyuk||WR||SF||@ PHI||$4,400||$6,000||22.25|
|Tyler Boyd||WR||CIN||@ KC||$3,800||$5,300||23.5|
|Kadarius Toney||WR||KC||vs CIN||$3,700||$5,600||24.5|
|Marquez Valdes-Scantling||WR||KC||vs CIN||$3,600||$5,100||24.5|
|Quez Watkins||WR||PHI||vs SF||$3,100||$4,800||24.25|
|Travis Kelce||TE||KC||vs CIN||$7,800||$8,500||24.5|
|George Kittle||TE||SF||@ PHI||$5,200||$6,800||22.25|
|Dallas Goedert||TE||PHI||vs SF||$4,100||$6,400||24.25|
WATCH: Finding a DFS Big Play Option From 49ers
When Marc Trestman watched the 49ers play against Dallas in the NFL Divisional Round, he noticed San Francisco run a play he called back in 1995 for Jerry Rice against the Cowboys. This time, it was Brandon Aiyuk on the receiving end from Brock Purdy as he broke open on a slant with a linebacker in coverage. Trestman goes in-depth to break down why both plays worked.
The 2023 fantasy football season is still over half a year away from starting, but there are already some worrying signs concerning three players that owners relied in this past season, that will make it difficult for them to replicate this season’s point totals in 2023.
This weekend’s main slate lasts two days, so late swapping will benefit those who utilize players from Sunday’s games. I have a Divisional Coverage primer that you should look at because this piece will reference a lot of data from that piece. There are many ways to get unique on this week’s main slate and leverage spots at certain price ranges. I will be looking to flip the script with some of my builds based on the popularity of the expensive quarterbacks.
We also have Rostership Data for FREE, which can be found HERE.
Stack: QB Jalen Hurts, WR DeVonta Smith, TE Dallas Goedert
The week of rest couldn’t have been more important to any playoff team with Hurts’ shoulder injury. A fully healthy Jalen Hurts can put up big numbers against the Giants, and there’s a blueprint to put up big numbers on them. Dallas Goedert has to watch the film of T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews and be ready to win in man-coverage situations.
A.J. Brown is the No. 1 receiver in the NFL against man coverage. However, Martindale has his former Titans teammate in Adoree’ Jackson, and I think they will have a good game plan for this matchup. DeVonta Smith is also a top wide receiver against man coverage, and I think being looked at as a second option in this game will allow him to work freely. I don’t believe I want to run it back in this game because of how good this Eagles’ defense is and how the Giants can utilize multiple wide receivers.
Stack: QB Trevor Lawrence, WR Christian Kirk, WR Zay Jones
Runback: TE Travis Kelce
The Jaguars-Chiefs game features the highest point total on the entire slate, and Trevor Lawrence isn’t projected to be one of the most popular quarterbacks on the slate. When Lawrence gets man coverage, who he targets has been relatively consistent week-to-week, and it’s Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. Since Week 10, Lawrence saw a high man coverage rate against the Chiefs, Lions, Titans, and Cowboys. During that span of weeks, Kirk had a 33.3% target share, with Jones at 29.6%, and with the game flow, I believe it’s the spot for the Jaguars to find success. The Chiefs are one of three teams to give up 20 or more touchdowns to wide receivers this year, and these two wide receivers combine for a 55.8% target share.
Travis Kelce has had 90 yards receiving in six straight playoff matchups and has scored in five of the last six games. All of these team’s games planned to slow down Kelce and couldn’t find any success, and I don’t expect that to change here. The Chiefs have a wide receiver rotation that I don’t plan on trying to guess in tournaments because I think the number of players they utilize will limit the upside of breaking the slate with the value at wide receiver this week. Kadarius Toney is the one Chiefs wide receiver I would bet on, and if Clyde Edwards-Helaire is activated, I have no interest in this running back room.
I’m not single stacking this week.
WR Tee Higgins, WR Gabriel Davis
Greg Jennings believes we could see Tre’Davious White shadow with Ja’Marr Chase, and with three starting offensive linemen, I think Joe Burrow throws Tee Higgins’ way in contested coverage. Higgins has been the best player against Cover 3 coverage, and with the Bills’ struggles against the run, I think we see plenty of that coverage for Higgins to exploit.
Gabriel Davis will get Eli Apple in this matchup, and Stefon Diggs will deal with bracketed coverages. Davis has to win in his matchup against the Bills for this offense to find success and score points. Last weekend, Demarcus Robinson was able to win deep on Apple, and Davis will have plenty of film on the matchup to be able to replicate that double move.
RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Brandon Aiyuk, WR CeeDee Lamb
Christian McCaffrey is a chess piece that Dan Quinn has not seen Kyle Shanahan have on his board before, and he will need to get going if they want to slow down the pass rush. Mike Martz believes that the Cowboys are weak in their interior defensive line and that McCaffrey can exploit that area of the field.
Brandon Aiyuk is a lethal route runner and the 49ers’ pass catcher that can get the job done down the field against the Cowboys’ secondary. Aiyuk is the down-the-field threat with Brock Purdy, and I believe he will continue that trend in this matchup.
The Cowboys should be looking at the Davante Adams film against the 49ers and getting every bit of the route combinations he ran for CeeDee Lamb to get free against the 49ers. The 49ers’ weakest point is the slot, and Lamb will frequently align in that area. The 49ers’ primary coverages also bode well for Lamb because he has a high target rate against them, with Dak Prescott as the starter.
Divisional Round DFS Player Pool
|Player||Pos||Team||Opp||DK Salary||FD Salary||VegasPts|
|Jalen Hurts||QB||PHI||vs NYG||$7,600||$9,000||27.5|
|Trevor Lawrence||QB||JAC||@ KC||$6,000||$7,600||22.5|
|Christian McCaffrey||RB||SF||vs DAL||$8,000||$9,200||25|
|Saquon Barkley||RB||NYG||@ PHI||$7,900||$8,500||20.5|
|Joe Mixon||RB||CIN||@ BUF||$6,500||$7,700||21.75|
|Travis Etienne||RB||JAC||@ KC||$6,400||$6,800||22.5|
|Tony Pollard||RB||DAL||@ SF||$6,100||$7,100||21|
|Jerick McKinnon||RB||KC||vs JAC||$6,000||$7,000||30.5|
|Miles Sanders||RB||PHI||vs NYG||$5,700||$7,200||27.5|
|James Cook||RB||BUF||vs CIN||$4,800||$5,800||26.75|
|Eli Mitchell||RB||SF||vs DAL||$4,700||$5,400||25|
|A.J. Brown||WR||PHI||vs NYG||$7,600||$8,300||27.5|
|CeeDee Lamb||WR||DAL||@ SF||$7,300||$7,800||21|
|DeVonta Smith||WR||PHI||vs NYG||$7,200||$7,400||27.5|
|Christian Kirk||WR||JAC||@ KC||$6,000||$7,600||22.5|
|Deebo Samuel||WR||SF||vs DAL||$5,900||$7,100||25|
|Tee Higgins||WR||CIN||@ BUF||$5,800||$7,000||21.75|
|Brandon Aiyuk||WR||SF||vs DAL||$5,000||$6,500||25|
|Gabriel Davis||WR||BUF||vs CIN||$4,800||$6,600||26.75|
|Zay Jones||WR||JAC||@ KC||$4,700||$6,500||22.5|
|Kadarius Toney||WR||KC||vs JAC||$4,100||$5,800||30.5|
|Michael Gallup||WR||DAL||@ SF||$3,800||$5,700||21|
|Isaiah McKenzie||WR||BUF||vs CIN||$3,300||$5,100||26.75|
|T.Y. Hilton||WR||DAL||@ SF||$3,200||$5,000||21|
|Travis Kelce||TE||KC||vs JAC||$7,700||$8,000||30.5|
|George Kittle||TE||SF||vs DAL||$5,700||$7,100||25|
|Dallas Goedert||TE||PHI||vs NYG||$4,500||$6,300||27.5|
|Dalton Schultz||TE||DAL||@ SF||$4,200||$6,400||21|
|Hayden Hurst||TE||CIN||@ BUF||$3,200||$5,000||21.75|
WATCH: Best Divisional Round Sleepers, Values
Ten of the best value player props available to bettors in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Reynolds’ Top Props
Trevor Lawrence OVER 249.5 Yards Passing (-115 DraftKings)
- Lawrence has beat this in nine of 18 games, so this is kind of his baseline performance. He also beat this earlier in the year against Kansas City… This is like a 65% outcome for me.
Lawrence UNDER 0.5 Interceptions (+115 DraftKings)
- Lawrence has thrown a pick in only seven games this year, and did not throw one against Kansas City.
George Kittle UNDER 51.5 Yards Receiving (-114 FanDuel)
- He’s under this number in five of Brock Purdy’s seven games. Dallas is giving up the fifth-fewest yards receiving to tight ends… I could see him being used more directly as a blocker in this matchup.
Larky’s Top Props
Christian Kirk OVER 63.5 (DraftKings -115)
- I think we’d all take this into the high 60s. Kirk is over this number in 10 of 18 games this year. When the Jaguars and Chiefs played earlier this year, he caught nine targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns. On the season, the Chiefs allow the seventh-most fantasy points to the slot.
Travis Etienne OVER 17.5 Yards Receiving (-125 DraftKings)
- Travis Etienne has been over this in nine of 18 games this year… In 17 games this year, 20 running backs were over 17.5 yards receiving against Kansas City. Overall, Kansas City allowed the fourth-most yards receiving to running backs this season.
Lawrence OVER 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-110 FanDuel)
- We love this matchup. Every quarterback who faced Kansas City this season threw at least two touchdowns except Malik Willis, Bryce Perkins, Geno Smith (without Tyler Lockett), Russell Wilson in Week 17 (with two rushing touchdowns), and Jarrett Stidham.
DeVonta Smith OVER 63.5 Yards Receiving (-115 DraftKings)
- In 10 of his 16 games since Week 1, he’s been over this number… He had eight targets in both games against the Giants, with 64 and 67 yards… Everything is pointing at both A.J. Brown and Smith to have great days.
Wolby’s Top Props
Brandon Aiyuk OVER 53.5 Yards (-115 DraftKings)
- He’s averaging 12 more yards than this with Brock Purdy as his passer, and he’s 5-1 over this number… Wide receivers against Dallas with Aiyuk’s minimums, those receivers went 12-3 over this number.
Jerick McKinnon OVER 34.5 Yards Receiving (-120 DraftKings)
- He’s been averaging 44 yards per game since the team’s bye week (removing Week 18)… The Jaguars allowed the second-most receptions and yards receiving to opposing running backs. Running backs are averaging five targets and four receptions per game against the Jaguars.
Patrick Mahomes Longest Completion OVER 38.5 Yards (-115 DraftKings)
- He has the most completions of this long in the NFL… What I love most about this: 9-2 in the playoffs, with the two games he didn’t have a pass this long being his first career playoff game and the Super Bowl where his team only put up nine points… The Jaguars have the third-worst pass DVOA in the NFL.