It is championship week for most leagues. The good news, if you are not in the final, is DFS is always there to compete in. The competition is better, and so are the prizes. Last week, we pointed to T.J. Hockenson as an excellent play. This week, we will try again to find those must-have players who can win you a big tournament.
Stat to Know
Let’s target defenses that allow a lot of points and a lot of passing yards. Teams playing against bottom-10 scoring defenses and bottom-half passing defenses.
Betting Stats to Know
The Lions (-6) will host the Bears under a dome roof. Unfortunately, Justin Fields is not the healthiest QB on the slate. If he plays, he will have a monster game. However, Chicago is not fighting for a playoff spot like Detroit. I could see a close game with Fields in at QB.
Atlanta (-3.5) hosts Arizona in another dome game. We get another Kliff Kingsbury late-season game to exploit with Kyler Murray on IR. Despite the Falcons being eliminated from the playoffs, all indications point to taking the Falcons ATS.
Green Bay (-3) has turned on the burners for the home stretch, while the Vikings keep squeezing out one-possession victories. This game is outdoors, a divisional matchup and not a compelling avenue for high-confidence betting. My only inclination here is under 48.
The resurgent Jaguars (-4.5) visit the Texans in a meaningless game, so Jacksonville could take their starters out at some point. Check the updates leading up to game time. I would guess the game stays close, so lean toward Houston.
The sad Raiders (+6) will face the juggernaut 49ers. Las Vegas is outmatched on offense, defense and coaching, so I would lay the points and take San Francisco.
DFS Stats to Know
Bears players to target depend primarily on the status of Fields. If he is in, play him. If not, fade them all. Dante Pettis has been getting looks recently from the slot, where Detroit’s defense is 32nd in EPA. Bring it back with Amon-Ra St. Brown facing Chicago's 25th-ranked slot defense.
The Falcons have their rookie Tyler Allgeier to lean on as a runner against the Cardinals’ 23rd-ranked rush defense by EPA. The other (more notable) way to attack Arizona is with TEs. But Atlanta put Kyle Pitts on IR and has a committee of no-names filling in.
The Cardinals' offense is in shambles and should be mostly avoided. The exceptions are James Conner at RB and Greg Dortch at WR. Dortch lines up in the slot a significant amount of time and will face the 28th-ranked slot WR defense.
Green Bay may be without their biggest offensive weapon for this must-win matchup. Christian Watson suffered a hip injury last week, so stay aware of his status. Hopefully, he can return to face the worst team at defending against non-slot WRs. Otherwise, it might be time to slide Allen Lazard into some of your lineups.
Jacksonville has playoff hopes; however, the Texans have played well the past few weeks. I think it will be time to get back onto the Zay Jones train since Houston is 27th against non-slot WRs. Trevor Lawrence is developing well and loves punching in rushing scores.
San Francisco is steamrolling their way into the playoffs, and the next victim should be the Raiders. Due to the Raiders' defense ranking fourth against the run, Brock Purdy and Brandon Aiyuk are in play. TE George Kittle has been on a tear with Deebo Samuel out and could get the necessary volume to overcome the mediocre matchup.
Waivers Wire Advice
Check out what my colleagues are saying about waiver pick-ups.
Check in again next time for The Wednesday Watchman: Week 18.
(Data courtesy of SIS and TruMedia Networks)