This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
Welcome to the playoffs! The good people at FanDuel have elected to have two separate Main Slates of games, one two-game set for Saturday and another two-game set for Sunday. The top tournament has a $9 entry fee for each slate and has $1 million in prize money returned. As a result of these formats, I'm going to break down the playoffs this weekend by the two slates.
The wide receiver/corner back matchups in these two games are fascinating. You've got Tre'Davious White locking up with DeAndre Hopkins ($8,700) while Stephon Gilmore will look to slow down A.J. Brown ($8,300). Gilmore did not allow a defensive touchdown while in coverage this season, and Gilmore is currently the odds-on favorite to win DPOTY. I'll be avoiding both receivers in cash but sprinkling them in GPP lineups. There was some great footage of Derrick Henry ($9,500) at practice this week with two coaches running alongside him punching him and hitting him with a stick. Henry's over/under for rushing yards is around 95, and at -143, he has the best odds to score a touchdown as well. I'll start with him in cash and build from there. For the other running back spot, the Bills' Devin Singletary ($6,500) is the lowest priced starter on the slate and has the best matchup against the Texans. He's had at least 14 carries in six straight games, and the Texans have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points this season to opposing running backs. Carlos Hyde ($6,700), Sony Michel ($7,200) and James White ($6,200) are all GPP options. Looking at the quarterbacks, Deshaun Watson ($8,500) and Josh Allen ($8,200) are the two best options for cash games. On paper, Allen has the better matchup between the two but is also making his first post-season appearance. Ryan Tannehill ($7,900) has been a great story and was the reason the Titans got into the playoffs but literally has the worst matchup possible. Tom Brady ($7,800) has been dominant at home in the playoffs throughout his career but has scored more than 19 fantasy points only once in his past 10 games. Looking at the receivers, Julian Edelman ($7,200), John Brown ($6,800) and Kenny Stills ($5,800) are all good cash game options. It doesn't look like Will Fuller V ($5,500) will be able to play, barring a miraculous recovery, leaving Stills as the second-best receiving option for the Texans. The Titans have merely been league-average against opposing wide receivers, putting a banged up Edelman in as a good option. On the other side of the ball, Corey Davis ($5,400) is a sneaky GPP play. He's played New England twice in his short career and put up lines of 10-7-125-1 last season and 8-5-63-2 two seasons ago. He should see an uptick in targets this week with the Gilmore/Brown matchup. At tight end, Jonnu Smith ($6,300) is a must for cash games. While he's coming off a 0.7 point-performance, he had more than 10 fantasy points in three straight games before that. Dawson Knox ($5,500) and Darren Fells ($5,200) are the next best two options, and the long shot for GPPs is Matt LaCosse ($4,500). Note that the Titans have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. At defense, the Patriots ($4,900) seem to be the best option for cash even if you're using Derrick Henry. The Texans ($4,400) and Bills ($4,200) in that order would be the next two teams to use for tournaments. It's possible Josh Allen completely falls apart in his first playoff game, and it's on the road (although the Bills have been great away this season).
While Saturday could turn into two defensive battles, Sunday should have more offense on display with the NFC teams squaring off. For cash games it starts with the Saints' Michael Thomas ($9,200). Using the .5 PPR FanDuel format, Michael Thomas had games of 17.1 and 14 fantasy points in his first two games at home this season. He had at least 21.1 fantasy points in each of his final six games at home, averaging 25 fantasy points per game over that span. It comes as no surprise that Drew Brees ($8,700) has at least 21.8 fantasy points in five of his six home games this season and is arguably the top option at the position. There's a solid floor for Brees and Thomas in cash. Alvin Kamara ($8,400) has been fantastic his last two games (18.7 and 26 fantasy points) but is extremely touchdown dependent (two scored in each of those games). While he's -143 to score a touchdown, he's not going to get enough touches/yards to make value if he doesn't score. Dalvin Cook ($8,200) would normally be a solid option but he's coming off an injury and faces a home defense giving up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Cook and Kamara are both tournament plays for me. The Philadelphia backfield is an interesting situation to monitor. Miles Sanders ($7,500) "plans" to play and has the "questionable" tag attached to him right now. Should he be ruled out (it's the later game, unfortunately), Boston Scott would be a must-start. He put up more than 33 fantasy points in relief of Sanders last week, and the Eagles showed they were willing to use him at the goal line. Scott has a fresh set of legs and has showed outstanding elusiveness when given the opportunity. Seattle is on the road and has only been league-average against opposing running backs. Watch to see how this unfolds over the weekend. The other player to consider for a running back spot is the Seahawks' Travis Homer ($6,100). Even in a tough matchup against the 49ers last week he managed 92 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches, finishing with 11.7 fantasy points. He should be in line for a similar workload, although Marshawn Lynch ($5,900) should get the goal line work. Sticking with that game, there's an argument that Russell Wilson ($8,200) is right there with Brees for cash games. Wilson averaged more than 20 fantasy points per game this season, and the Eagles are extremely banged up on the defensive side of the ball. Kirk Cousins ($7,700) and Carson Wentz ($8,100) are options for tournaments given there are only four viable quarterbacks. After Michael Thomas, Stefon Diggs ($7,600) is the safest options with at least 10 fantasy points in three straight games. Adam Thielen ($6,200) has an extremely low floor after posting a goose egg last game but is usable at that price in tournaments. Greg Ward ($5,900) quietly has been effective for his price over his last three games with 7.3, 9.6 and 15.6 fantasy points in those games. Tre'Quan Smith ($5,500) is an excellent GPP play who can be used in a stack with Brees and Thomas. Looking at the tight ends, they're much more interesting today than the ones available Saturday. It's hard to trust Zach Ertz ($6,900) even if he plays (again, the late game) given he's nowhere near 100 percent. Dallas Goedert ($6,600) is the best option for cash given that the Seahawks have been the third-worst team against tight ends this season. He has 10 and 12 targets in his last two games, and while Jared Cook has an argument as the top player at the position, he's relied on big plays with limited targets to reach high fantasy point totals. A few quiet games coupled with the return of Luke Willson ($4,100) should keep Jacob Hollister's ($5,700) ownership down, making him a great GPP play. As always, using a combination of two tight ends could be the winning formula in a big tournament. For the defenses, it makes sense to use the Saints ($4,800) in cash games. They'll have home field advantage and are the biggest favorite of the weekend. The Seahawks ($4,100) and Eagles ($4,000) would be the next two options for tournaments.