FantasyDraft NFL: Wild-Card Picks
FantasyDraft NFL: Wild-Card Picks

This article is part of our FantasyDraft NFL series.

After a nice close to the regular season, Wild Card Weekend is here with some good and bad matchups. The Jaguars could be headed for another blowout while the NFC could have two extremely tight games. With only eight teams in action, the DFS options are limited. I had to drop some players I originally wanted, but still feel comfortable about the team I put together for the opening weekend of the playoffs.

QUARTERBACK

Jared Goff, LAR vs. ATL ($12,300): My roster set up perfectly to fit Goff in at quarterback. He has one of the better matchups this weekend against an Atlanta secondary that ranks 19th against the pass, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA. The Rams base their offense around Todd Gurley, but Goff still has at least two touchdowns in his last five starts. He doesn't often reach 300 yards, but when needed, he threw for over 300 yards against teams like the Titans and Saints. Alex Smith ($12,500) is also worth a look.

RUNNING BACK

Todd Gurley II, LAR vs. ATL ($17,900): Given the lack of choices, you either have to pick Gurley or Alvin Kamara ($17,200) at running back unless you want to risk getting zero points from other players. Gurley is my choice because he gets more touches and was also on a tear in his final two starts. To keep his floor high, he also has at least three receptions in his last seven games. The Falcons don't have a terrible defense, but this game has an over/under near 50 points and the Rams are almost a touchdown favorite.

Christian McCaffrey, CAR at NO ($11,200): McCaffrey's floor is high due to receptions and that's a great reason to pick him at this price. In his two games against the Saints this season, he has 14 receptions for 134 yards. As long as he reaches 10 fantasy points, that'd be good enough and he's done that in 10 of his last 12 games. The Saints have a solid defense but have had issues against pass-catching running backs throughout the season with McCaffrey at the top of the list. James White (eight catches), Theo Riddick (five) and Tevin Coleman (four) all had success against them.

WIDE RECEIVER

Michael Thomas, NO vs. CAR ($14,000): As the most consistent receiver on the slate, I needed Thomas on the squad. He looks to be past his bum hamstring from a couple weeks ago after six grabs in Week 17. He has hit 10 fantasy points in his last 11 starts, but also provides upside as seen in his 30-point performance against the Falcons. In two games against the Panthers this season, Thomas has 12 grabs for 157 yards and two touchdowns. That's about 20 fantasy points per game.

Robert Woods, LAR vs. ATL ($12,000): The run of Rams continues with Woods, who should be ready to go after resting in Week 17. He returned from a shoulder injury in the prior two weeks and played the majority of snaps, although only had nine receptions. Before getting hurt, Woods had back-to-back weeks of eight catches and totaled 252 yards. While that's the extreme, he at least has the potential to go off and it's already known he'll be on the field most of the game, which keeps his floor high.

TIGHT END

Greg Olsen, CAR at NO ($9,000):Travis Kelce ($13,800) is the clear top option at tight end, but his price will give you major holes at other positions. Olsen hasn't produced much since going for 116 yards against the Packers in Week 15 and that's the main worry. But the reason to use him is that he has 27 targets in the last three games and Cam Newton has looked to him much more than the injured Devin Funchess. While it's possible he has one catch on nine targets again, it's also possible he surpasses five receptions.

FLEX

Sammy Watkins, LAR vs. ATL ($9,900): I didn't originally have this many Rams on my roster, but that's how the pieces fit. With Woods, Watkins, and Gurley on the squad, I'm close to guaranteeing multiple touchdowns in addition to Goff. Even better for the receivers I picked, the Falcons rank 25th in the league against both No. 1 and No. 2 WRs (per DVOA). Watkins doesn't have the same kind of numbers as Woods, but there are few other players with his upside at this price.

Eric Decker, TEN at KC ($7,400): Decker doesn't have much upside and that's seen in his price. He's in this spot because he doesn't cost anything and he's had at least three receptions in his last seven games. As a bonus, the Titans may be forced to pass if the Chiefs get ahead and that's more than possible considering Tennessee has lost three of its last four games. If you have more money sitting around, Derrick Henry ($10,600) is another good play against the league's worst rush defense (according to DVOA).

DEFENSE

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. BUF ($6,300): In my mind, there's only one spot to go at defense. The Jags not only have the best matchup but also are the best fantasy defense in the league. The Bills have given up 10 sacks the last two weeks against the Pats and Dolphins and may be without LeSean McCoy. If McCoy doesn't play, the Bills could have trouble scoring.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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