The Divisional Round of the 2017
NFL postseason continued a recent trend as the most exciting round
of the playoffs, with the Vikings defeating the Saints on a last-second
improbable touchdown grab by Stefon Diggs, and the Jaguars going
into Pittsburgh to beat the overconfident Steelers for the second
time this season.
Fournette and Le’Veon
Bell dominated for DFS owners, with the two players combining
for five touchdowns in what turned out to be a shootout at Heinz
Field. In the AFC, Tom
Brady cruised to a 337-yard, three touchdown game as the Patriots
easily defeated the Titans in route to their seventh connective
AFC Conference Championship game.
I was fortunate to own both Brady and Bell on my cash game ticket
this week, but unfortunately, the surrounding cast in my lineup
did not come through with enough supporting production to defeat
Below is a review of my losing cash game ticket, including an
explanation why I went with two tight ends.
Brady was the no-brainer start in cash games for a multitude
of reasons. First, the Patriots had the easiest opponent of the
four games this weekend, and I love playing Brady at home in the
playoffs. Second, an angry Tom Brady is always a good thing to
own in DFS, as the Patriots took out their frustrations of having
to deal with a reset article suggesting dissension between Brady,
Belichick, and Robert Craft. Although he didn’t go bananas
against the Titans, I am more than happy to get nearly 30 points
in a cash game from my quarterback.
I identified Brady and Bell as my foundation players for this
stack based on the theory that they would give me at least 50
points to build around. With Bell Scoring 36.6 and Brady posting
28.68, that assumption proved to be correct.
Murray seemed to have the best chance of scoring a touchdown
among the sub 6k running backs and his relatively small salary
allowed me to spend up for Brady and Bell. Murray’s 2.6
yard per carry average was a disappointment against a Saints team
that allowed the 18th-most points to opposing running backs, but
he did manage to score a rushing touchdown and salvage his day.
The remaining players on my ticket after Bell and Brady all disappointed,
starting with my receiving corps of Hogan, Agholor, and Lee. The
three wide receivers combined for just nine receptions on the
day, with only Hogan managing to reach the end zone.
I knew that going with two of the most expensive players in Bell
and Brady would limit my options at wide receiver, but this was
a calculated idea based on the fact that I was not very excited
about the elite level of wide receivers. Antonio Brown was a consideration,
but I was worried he would re-aggravate his calf injury.
I was high on Agholor as a possible high volume player for Nick
Foles, with Desmond Trufant shadowing Alshon Jeffery on the outside.
Instead of Foles looking to Agholor as an outlet, Foles spread
the ball around to eight different receivers, completing 23 of
30 passes for a modest 243 yards.
Rudolph caught a touchdown when Vikings played host to the Saints
Week 1, and he has been more active in games against opponents
with strong cornerback play. The logic behind him garnering more
action against the Saints proved to be correct, as Rudolph posted
a season-high eight targets. Unfortunately, he managed to only
turn those targets into five catches for 28 yards and zero touchdowns.
I had 5k left to spend from my budget, and I was not impressed
with my options at wide receiver and running back for my flex
play. Of the remaining players available to start for 5k or less,
Walker appeared to have the most volume upside as Marcus Mariota’s
most reliable option. The volume was there with six targets for
49 yards, but Walker did not reach the end zone as anticipated.
D/ST: New England Points: 9
Picking a DST in the playoffs is a bit more challenging than
in the regular season, as playoff teams by nature are usually
well coached and do not give up D/ST touchdowns. A return touchdown
is always a bonus, by I usually target a D/ST that is playing
against a quarterback who will extend plays and open themselves
up to getting sacked. I went back and forth between Pittsburgh
against Blake Bortles and the Patriots vs. Marcus Mariota. My
budget did not allow me to go with Pittsburgh, and in hindsight,
the Patriots turned out to be the better play.