The Fantasy Football Ghost navigates us through the insanity of the NFL playoffs and serves us suggestions for FanDuel NFL cash line ups in Playoffs Week 2.
Week 1 of the NFL playoffs was filled with some pretty miserable officiating, even more miserable performances, and some teams advancing to the next round that few thought would make it this far. Nonetheless, Week 2 figures to be much more entertaining and, frankly, watchable than what NFL fans were forced to suffer through last week.
This also figures to be the last time this season that I’ll share my insights with you as the field will narrow too much next week. I hope everyone reading has enjoyed the column and won your fair share of FanDuel NFL cash games. Let’s just get through this before I start to tear up. Good luck everyone.
FanDuel NFL Cash Plays for Playoffs Week 2
Tom Brady – $8,800
It doesn’t take a lot to figure this one out. Tom Brady is one of the best to ever play the game, and he’ll go against one of the worst remaining defenses against the pass. Tennessee has the worst defensive DVOA against the pass and the third-most FanDuel points to quarterbacks of the final eight teams. The Titans gave up 1.7 passing touchdowns per game in the regular season, the most in the Divisional Playoffs, and 240.2 passing yards, the second-highest total of the remaining teams. Tennessee also has given up the second-most air yards of the teams in this round. Brady should make short work of the Titans and is positioned to be the highest-scoring QB on the slate.
Nick Foles – $7,200
Brady is the play this week, but if you’re looking for some value at QB, then consider starting Nick Foles. Atlanta is giving up the second-most FanDuel points to QBs and has the third-worst pass DVOA of the remaining teams. The Falcons allowed an average passer rating of 92.2, the highest rating of any team left in the Divisional Round. Atlanta also allowed 65 percent of all passes to be completed, the highest percentage of any team on the slate. Foles is going to be in a tough battle with a strong Falcons team, but the opportunities should be there for him to post a solid return on investment.
Latavius Murray – $6,800
Latavius Murray isn’t exactly the player I imagined leading with prior to writing this piece, but his matchup is by far the best at running back. Murray will square off against a New Orleans defense that has the second-worst rush DVOA and the second-most FanDuel points to RBs of the remaining teams. The Saints allowed an average of 111.4 rushing yards and 0.6 rushing TDs. New Orleans also allowed 4.4 yards per rush, the second-highest average on the slate, indicating that volume wasn’t what pushed their yardage totals as high as they were. Murray’s price tag is low, but his opportunities should be plentiful.
Derrick Henry – $6,700
Derrick Henry had an excellent game against Kansas City last week, posting 26.1 FanDuel points, and yet his match up against New England this week is even more tantalizing. The Patriots have shown weakness against the rush all season long. Of the remaining teams, New England has the worst defensive DVOA against the rush, allows the third-most FanDuel points to the position, and gave up the second-most rushing yards. Furthermore, the Patriots are allowing 4.7 yards per carry, the most on the slate, and are giving up an average of 6.8 yards per pass attempt to RBs. Henry won’t have to contend with DeMarco Murray, which will be favorable for the amount of carries he’ll see. If the Titans have any hope of defeating the Patriots, Henry will play a central role in that effort.
Brandin Cooks – $7,700
If Tom Brady is a good play, then it stands to reason that Brandin Cooks, his top receiver, would be a good play as well. For many of the same reasons that I mentioned with Brady, Cooks should see a nice workload. The Titans are giving up the most receiving TDs of the remaining defenses and the second-most receiving yards. Tennessee is also allowing the second-most yards after the catch for all the teams on this slate. New England has the top-ranked offensive passing DVOA and are 13.5-point favorites with an implied point total of 30.5 points, numbers which suggest extensive use for Cooks, New England’s top receiver.
Alshon Jeffery – $7,200
Atlanta and Philadelphia look to be headed for one of the closest games this weekend with only three points separating the two teams according to Vegas lines. The player who could benefit the most is Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery will face a Falcons secondary that has the second-worst defensive DVOA against WR1s of all the teams playing this weekend. Atlanta is also allowing 52 percent of all passes to wide receivers to be successful, the highest percentage of all defenses in the playoffs. The Eagles meanwhile have the fourth-highest offensive passing DVOA and are scoring 2.4 receiving TDs per game, the most of any team on the slate. Jeffery will need a big game for Philadelphia to advance, so expect a lot of targets.
Rob Gronkowski – $8,500
The best tight end in the league has the best matchup in this slate of game. Rob Gronkowski faces a Tennessee defense that is the most susceptible to the TE of all the teams playing this weekend. The Titans are giving up the most FanDuel points to TEs and have the worst defensive DVOA against the position. Meanwhile, New England gained an average 8.8 yards per pass attempt to their TEs, the highest of any team on the slate, and Gronkowski himself has the second-highest DVOA rank of the TEs left in the playoffs. Gronkowski may be the third Patriot featured in this article, but he is the most likely of the three to have a dominant game.
Zach Ertz – $7,200
Outside of Gronkowski, the TE position has some pretty tough match ups. Zach Ertz though has the easiest of the remaining players and just so happens to be one of the most talented. Ertz will square off against a Falcons team that has the third-worst defensive DVOA against the TE and is giving up the third-most FanDuel points to the position of the remaining teams. Meanwhile, Ertz has the third-highest DVOA of the remaining TE starters, and the Eagles have gained an average of 7.1 yards per pass attempt to the position, the third-highest average of the teams on the slate.