Betting

Betting, DFS Roundtable for Conference Championships

The 33rd Team’s betting and DFS experts hand out advice for the AFC and NFC championships, including props, bets to take, matchups to watch and players to add to your lineups.

DFS

AFC Championship DFS: Which Bengals Pass Catcher to Take vs. Chiefs

An AFC Championship game featuring the Cincinnati and Kansas City offenses offers no shortage of exciting options for DFS players to pick from, and in a game that should be pass-happy, the Bengals’ Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase could both have good games vs. the Chiefs, and be strong options for anyone playing that game this weekend.

Other Jennings/Vanek Previews: Chiefs, Eagles

DFS

DFS: Which 49ers Will Have Big Days in Conference Championship

With so many weapons on the 49ers side, it can be hard to pick which one will go off for DFS purposes. Jordan Vanek is leaning Brandon Aiyuk against James Bradberry, while Greg Jennings says George Kittle could excel vs. the Eagles linebackers.

DFS

Optimal DFS Plays For 2023 Two-Day Divisional Round Main Slate

If you are new to DFS, check out our introductory pieces, such as DFS 101, Contest Selection, Stacking, Rostership, Leverage, and Lineup Construction.

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.

Double Stacks

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.

Single Stacks

I’m not single stacking this week.

Mini-Stacks

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
49ers DST SF vs DAL $3,300 $4,500 21
Eagles DST PHI vs NYG $3,200 $4,800 20.5
Chiefs DST KC vs JAC $3,100 $4,200 22.5
Cowboys DST DAL @ SF $3,000 $3,900 25
Bills DST BUF vs CIN $2,900 $4,100 21.75
Giants DST NYG @ PHI $2,500 $3,000 27.5
Bengals DST CIN @ BUF $2,400 $3,400 26.75

WATCH: Best Divisional Round Sleepers, Values

DFS

Optimal DFS Plays From the 2023 Wild Card Sunday Slate

If you are new to DFS, check out our introductory pieces, such as DFS 101, Contest Selection, Stacking, Rostership, Leverage, and Lineup Construction.

Three-game slates allow more freedom in the build than a two-game slate, but I believe you can get unique by going outside the normal building rules. Play three pass-catchers with one quarterback, two running backs from the same team, or a player against your defense. This slate has one game that’s projected to be close, but the implied points from the other games are still high enough to find some value.

We also have Rostership Data for FREE, which can be found in the link below.
https://www.the33rdteam.com/dfs/how-to-utilize-rostership-data-to-win-dfs-tournaments/ 

Dolphins vs. Bills

Passing Game

Dolphins

With Skylar Thompson at quarterback, Mike Gesicki has four fewer yards than Tyreek Hill on six fewer receptions. Jaylen Waddle leads the group with 131 yards, but in this group, the only player of interest to me would be Gesicki because of tight ends not being able to score many points. Thompson is not a player I have any interest in, and it’s difficult to imagine them being able to throw the ball much against the Bills’ defense.

Bills

The Dolphins play man coverage at one of the highest rates amongst playoff teams and blitz at one of the highest rates. Against Cover 1, Josh Allen has a 3.9% interception rate and averages 5.3 yards per attempt. Cover 1 coverage accounts for 42.9% of Allen’s interceptions throughout the season. Allen will have to make better decisions against this coverage, and the Bills will have to win against the Dolphins’ man coverage. Against Cover 3, Allen averages 8.1 yards per attempt, with a 4.5% touchdown rate, and these coverages have been the primary ones for the Dolphins in recent weeks. The Dolphins have utilized a bit of Cover 2 against Allen, but I expect them to have faith in their defensive backs to cover their secondary options and hope Xavien Howard can match up with Stefon Diggs.

Diggs has a 32.5% target share against man coverage on the season and is the only player on the team averaging over 2.5 yards per route. Gabe Davis has struggled this year but has a high aDOT, and the Dolphins have struggled to defend vertical routes this season. Cole Beasley will take the spot of Isaiah McKenzie, and with this blitzing scheme, he will have a high reception total in this game because Allen will need to get the ball out quickly. Dawson Knox has the advantage on every one of these linebackers, and it was not a fluke game he had in their second matchup. Attacking the linebackers of the Dolphins will be the priority for the Bills, and once they get the safeties down to help, you will get the sideline plays for Diggs and Davis.

Rushing Attack

Dolphins

Jeff Wilson is projected to be a popular player and is the only hope for the Dolphins to move the ball on offense. I do not think he is a bad play off the potential raw point total and price, but factoring in popularity leaves him as an undesirable option. He will get plenty of carries early on, but they aren’t implied many points, and they are missing multiple offensive linemen. Even with a touchdown, I don’t believe he will end up on the optimal lineup.

Bills

This backfield is the most intriguing one on the entire slate, and I will be going with James Cook in this matchup. Cook will likely be the running back to close out the game in a big win, and I believe he will show the explosiveness he’s had all season long. Cook has averaged 1.1 more yards per carry, breaks more tackles, forces more missed tackles, and is a better player in the passing game. The Miami Dolphins have been a good run defense, but this is a game where I expect them to get worn down by their offense not being capable of putting up points. 

 

Giants vs. Vikings

Passing Game

Giants

The Vikings play soft coverage and allow you free releases, which is what these Giants wide receivers need. The Giants don’t have players who can win off press coverage and create separation, and that is why Daniel Jones was able to throw for over 300 yards in their first matchup. The Vikings allow the most yards per target amongst playoff teams on flat, shallow, and crossing routes. The Giants run these routes at the highest rate amongst any team in the entire NFL. This is another smash spot for Jones, and he has become my favorite quarterback on the slate, even with his popularity.

All three of the Giants’ primary pass-catchers have a reason for why they could be successful in this matchup. Darius Slayton averages the most yards per route on these routes, Isaiah Hodgins is targeted most frequently, and Richie James is second in both categories. They are also all in the same price range, and I will be paring two of these players for my Daniel Jones stacks over Saquon Barkley. 

I will not leave my lineups without one of these Giants wide receivers because there is plenty to love about their offense in this game. Jones is my favorite quarterback on the Sunday slate, and there are many reasons to love him.

Vikings

In a 4:30 pm game, Kirk Cousins is weaker than 1:00 pm Cousins, but the Giants will allow him to have big plays down the field because their defensive coordinator is not afraid to bring pressure. The Giants bring five or more rushers at the highest rate amongst playoff teams, leaving one less defender than normal in coverage. The Giants also utilize a lot of man coverage, and with Adoree’ Jackson back, I expect him with safety help going Justin Jefferson’s way. Xavier McKinney is also back in the lineup, and I expect him to try and slow down T.J. Hockenson, who had a massive game in the first matchup. Cousins only averages 6.8 yards per attempt against man coverage this season, but he does have an 8-2 touchdown to interception ratio. 

Jefferson is the go-to against man coverage, but I expect him to be doubled in ways he has not seen this season, and Jackson will help them in this matchup. Hockenson has been the second option for Cousins against man coverage, and the chemistry has developed into something of note for this matchup. Irv Smith Jr. is back for this team, but I don’t anticipate him getting on the field much unless they have a big lead and want to run out the clock. The player that needs to step up and win in his matchup will be K.J. Osborn. Osborn didn’t do much in the first game, but that was with Jefferson and Hockenson winning in their matchups frequently enough not to be needed. I expect one of those two players not to have a great game, which will lead to Osborn having plenty of production.

Overall, I don’t believe you need to have heavy exposure to the passing game of the Vikings, and I think the path to this game will be a Jones double-stack with Cook and a Vikings’ pass-catcher.

Rushing Attack

Giants

Saquon Barkley is well-rested and performed well in the first matchup against the Vikings. I do not expect any breaks for Barkley in this game, and he’s going to have heavy involvement in the passing game because the Vikings are good against stopping the run. Barkley had eight receptions in the first game, and that’s a number to expect him to get close to in this game. The trenches tool leans towards the Vikings’ run defense having an advantage, but with Daboll calling plays, I like Barkley’s ability to get some work done on the ground.

Vikings

The Giants’ run defense is not the strong suit of their overall defense; they give up 5.2 yards per carry and have allowed 16 attempts to go for over 20 yards. Dalvin Cook thrives off being able to break away in the long run and to protect Cousins better; they will utilize him more frequently than they did in the first game. The Giants will have their hands full defending the wide receiving concepts of Kevin O’Connell, and their linebackers will be hesitating at defending the run after Cousins had 117 yards passing of play action.

Ravens vs. Bengals

Passing Game

Ravens

If Tyler Huntley plays, it will make some of these guys slightly more desirable, but the Bengals are a menacing defense, and it’s hard to envision a lot of points for this offense in the passing game. The Bengals get hurt off of speed at WR by throwing it down the field. Sammy Watkins has gotten on the field for this team and been targeted down the field, so he’s a possible play if Huntley plays. Mark Andrews is coming in as a popular option at the tight end position, and I will not be looking to go there. 

Bengals

The Bengals’ passing game can put up over 300 yards against any team it faces, but the offensive line injuries are a concern for me in this matchup against the Ravens. The Ravens haven’t blitzed as much as in years past and play a heavy amount of Cover 2, Cover 3, and Cover 4 coverage. Joe Burrow has 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions against these coverages this season. The coverage you want Burrow to have is Cover 1, but the Ravens run that at one of the lowest rates among all playoff teams. I don’t see myself getting much of Burrow, but if I do, it’ll be off of a negative game script.

The pass-catchers of the Bengals are still in play, even with Burrow not having the best of games. Tee Higgins averages the highest yards per route against these coverages, while Ja’Marr Chase has the highest target share. Between these two players, I lean towards Higgins because the price is very cheap, and he has a high ceiling against the Ravens. Tyler Boyd doesn’t get utilized much against these coverages, and I will be going elsewhere in that price range. The only other pass-catcher of note will be Hayden Hurst, and he has the highest target per route against these coverages and comes at a position with the easiest path to being the top scorer.

Overall, I don’t mind playing one of these pass-catchers, and if I play Burrow, it will be a double with Hayden Hurst as a part of the stack. I believe the play volume in this game will be too low for a big DFS matchup, and the main game to the stack will be the Giants and Vikings.

Rushing Attack

Ravens

The only hope for the Ravens will be running the ball, which will go toward J.K. Dobbins, who took last week’s game off. The Bengals have been one of the most well-run defenses in football; however, the Ravens are amongst the most well-run offenses in football, and their offensive line is healthy. When playing Dobbins, pair it with a Burrow double-stack because that’s the best style of a game script.

 

Bengals

I am not interested in Joe Mixon this week, and the Ravens will not give him any room to work in the run game with their right side of the offensive line injured. The Ravens have one of the best linebacking duos in football, and the trenches tool gives the Ravens a significant advantage in run defense. Mixon has two games over 20 DraftKings points, and I don’t think this is where we’ll see him get his third.

Wild Card Sunday DFS Player Pool

Player Pos Team Opp DK Salary FD Salary VegasPts
Josh Allen QB BUF vs MIA $7,900 $9,200 28.25
Joe Burrow QB CIN vs BAL $6,900 $8,000 24.25
Daniel Jones QB NYG @ MIN $5,600 $7,400 22.75
Saquon Barkley RB NYG @ MIN $7,900 $8,800 22.75
Dalvin Cook RB MIN vs NYG $7,100 $7,800 25.75
J.K. Dobbins RB BAL @ CIN $5,700 $6,600 16.25
James Cook RB BUF vs MIA $4,800 $5,900 28.25
Justin Jefferson WR MIN vs NYG $8,600 $9,000 25.75
Ja’Marr Chase WR CIN vs BAL $8,100 $8,700 24.25
Stefon Diggs WR BUF vs MIA $7,700 $8,600 28.25
Tee Higgins WR CIN vs BAL $6,200 $7,600 24.25
Gabriel Davis WR BUF vs MIA $4,900 $6,200 28.25
K.J. Osborn WR MIN vs NYG $4,600 $6,100 25.75
Darius Slayton WR NYG @ MIN $4,200 $5,800 22.75
Isaiah Hodgins WR NYG @ MIN $4,100 $6,400 22.75
Richie James WR NYG @ MIN $3,900 $6,100 22.75
Sammy Watkins WR BAL @ CIN $3,300 $5,200 16.25
John Brown WR BUF vs MIA $3,100 $4,500 28.25
Cole Beasley WR BUF vs MIA $3,000 $4,600 28.25
T.J. Hockenson TE MIN vs NYG $5,100 $7,000 25.75
Dawson Knox TE BUF vs MIA $4,000 $5,600 28.25
Isaiah Likely TE BAL @ CIN $3,300 $5,000 16.25
Mike Gesicki TE MIA @ BUF $3,200 $4,900 15.25
Hayden Hurst TE CIN vs BAL $3,100 $5,100 24.25
Daniel Bellinger TE NYG @ MIN $3,000 $4,800 22.75
Bengals DST CIN vs BAL $3,500 $4,500 16.25
Bills DST BUF vs MIA $3,300 $5,000 15.25
Vikings DST MIN vs NYG $3,200 $4,100 22.75
Giants DST NYG @ MIN $3,000 $3,700 25.75
Ravens DST BAL @ CIN $2,500 $3,600 24.25

WATCH: Sleeper DFS Plays for Wild Card Round

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