Ranking All the Positions for NFL Wildcard Weekend
The NFL regular season is complete, but that doesn’t mean daily fantasy is over for football fans. We still get to play throughout the postseason.
With three of the four games taking place outdoors this weekend, weather should factor into your decisions on who to play. That’s particularly going to be true in Cincinnati and Green Bay. Let’s take a look at the projected forecasts for the four different sites:
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts: Roof closes in cold weather.
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles: Kickoff temperature 27 degrees, 7-12 mph winds, partly cloudy.
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals: Kickoff temperature 36 degrees, 10-15 mph winds, 80% chance of rain and turning into snow. 1-3 inches expected.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers: Kickoff temperature -8 degrees, 12-17 mph winds, 30% chance of snow flurries.
With that in mind, let’s dive into each position. Remember these rankings are based on expected production versus their salaries.
(All salaries are DraftKings value)
1. Andrew Luck – $8,000 – The Chiefs started the year having one of the best defenses, but they’re now 25th against the pass. The Colts are stronger throwing the football.
2. Drew Brees – $9,400 – He’s definitely not the same quarterback on the road, especially when it’s outdoors. He’s only surpassed 20 FPTS twice on the road and once when he wasn’t in a dome. But the Eagles have the worst pass defense in the NFL. Don’t look for that trend to continue.
3. Alex Smith – $6,800 – Cheapest starting QB of the eight teams and is playing indoors. Smith had a poor outing against the Colts in Week 16, but that was more of a fluke as he had a 69.2 completion percentage and averaged three touchdowns over the four previous games.
4. Nick Foles – $9,000 – The Saints have had a shaky defense at times, but they actually hold the No. 2 pass defense in the NFL. Considering the Eagles have LeSean McCoy and that he’s been hot as of late, Foles is likely to have a decent day, but nothing outstanding.
5. Andy Dalton – $8,000 – The horrendous weather will hurt Dalton’s fantasy production, but the Chargers are 29th against the pass, and he averaged 29.4 FPTS in his last three home games (opponents were Ravens, Vikings and Colts). The weather wasn’t ideal for those games either.
6. Colin Kaepernick – $7,800 – Kaepernick has quietly put up over 20 FPTS for the last three games. Definitely don’t expect him to put up the numbers he’s had the last two matchups versus the Packers, but with his running ability, he could get near the 20 FPTS mark.
7. Aaron Rodgers – $8,600 – The Packers are used to cold temperatures, but not when the kickoff temperature is below zero at mid-afternoon. Rodgers put up 22.2 FPTS vs the Bears in the regular season finale, but Chicago has arguably the worst secondary. The $8,600 salary will be tough for Rodgers to match.
8. Philip Rivers – $7,200 – The Bengals are a tremendous defense, particularly at home. Rivers has played well in cold playoff games before, but it’ll be tough to throw the ball vertically in the expected nasty weather.
1. Frank Gore – $5,500 – In the frigid cold temperatures and with the Packers 25th against the run, you have to think Gore will get 20-plus touches and at least one touchdown. Fantastic value.
2. LeSean McCoy – $8,800 – The Saints are 19th against the run and McCoy is on fire having gone for over 130 yards in three of his last four games. He also has five TDs over that stretch.
3. Jamaal Charles – $9,000 – Look for the Colts to purely focus on stopping the run, but Charles will still put up a good amount of FPTS. Along with having great PPR value, he’s got 11 touchdowns in the last five games.
4. Ryan Mathews – $6,800 – Has gotten at least 24 touches in the last four games and picked up at least 99 yards. We’ve seen snow help the running game, so this could help Mathews against a solid defense.
5. Giovani Bernard – $5,000 – Still continues to get between 10 and 15 touches. He has solid PPR value, but it’s tough to rank him higher with Benjarvus Green-Ellis right behind him.
6. Danny Woodhead – $5,200 – Look for a lot of short passes in the bad weather. Woodhead is the guy for that.
7. Eddie Lacy – $7,000 – Has been a strong fantasy play as of late, but Lacy has faced a lot of soft defenses (Bears, Steelers, Cowboys). The 49ers are fourth against the run and Rodgers is back. He’ll get his 15 touches, but save your money for someone else.
8. Donald Brown – $5,100 – The Chiefs are 22nd against the run, but with Brown and Trent Richardson getting nearly equal carries, who knows who will be the lucky back that scores the TDs.
9. Trent Richardson – $4,500 – See above. Plus, he doesn’t get the red zone touches.
10. Benjarvus Green-Ellis – $4,200 – He could vulcher a touchdown, but his carries are inconsistent and has little to no PPR value.
11. All Saints RBs – Too much variance to play any of them. The Eagles are 10th against the run and 32nd versus the pass. Mark Ingram has cut into both Pierre Thomas’ and Darren Sproles’ carries. No, Sproles’ PPR value isn’t close to worth it.
1. T.Y. Hilton – $6,100 – 24 receptions for 285 yards in the last three games. Somehow he hasn’t found the end zone, but he was stopped short several times versus the Jaguars. It’s only a matter of time he gets in based on his 34 targets during this stretch.
2. Marvin Jones – $3,800 – Has three touchdowns in the last four games. Has 16 receptions for 194 yards in the last three contests. At $3,800, he’s a solid value play against the weak Chargers pass defense.
3. Marques Colston – $6,300 – Has been targeted 42 times in the last four games. He’s turned that into 28 catches for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Again, the Eagles are last in pass defense.
4. A.J. Green – $8,300 – Green is a guy that never seems to be affected by poor weather. He’s pricey, but you know Dalton will be looking for him constantly.
5. James Jones – $4,900 – Randall Cobb is back, but that still could be in a limited role. Jones caught six passes for 41 yards last week. No Green Bay receiver is a great play given the way Rodgers distributes and it’s against the 49ers. However, Jones does have solid upside and has scored double-digit FPTS eight times on the year, including the last three.
6. Anquan Boldin – $6,000 – If you want a safe pick, here it is. In the last seven games, he has five touchdowns and is averaging 6.3 catches and 86.4 yards.
7. Randall Cobb – $6,000 – I don’t think there’s a way Cobb has a big game, but if he doesn’t have a limited snap count, he could exceed double-digit FPTS easily.
8. Keenan Allen – $6,300 – He’s a popular red zone target, but it’ll be tough for the Chargers to move the ball through the air given the matchup.
9. Eagles Receivers – Saints have the No. 2 pass defense. Foles doesn’t have a favorite receiver and he loves going to the tight ends in the red zone.
10. Chiefs Receivers – Don’t even think about it.
1. Jimmy Graham – $7,500 – Great matchup. He scores touchdowns. Don’t over think this.
2. Vernon Davis – $5,800 – He’s a touchdown machine. Four catches, 60 yards and a TD? Sounds about right.
3. Jermaine Gresham/Tyler Eifert – $3,700/$3,100 – Both are listed as questionable this weekend. If you are on a daily fantasy site that allows you to switch players after Saturday’s games and only one Bengals tight end suits up, he’s a solid value play.
4. Anthony Fasano – $3,200 – Could be a huge dud, but he’s scored three touchdowns in the last four games. The Chiefs should move the ball some against the Colts and is set up for a Vernon Davis type game for a lot less money. But it’s a risk.
5. Antonio Gates – $4,800 – He should get a few receptions. Although, since it’s against the Bengals defense and Gates has been targeted less down the stretch, I’d rather gamble on a cheaper tight end of pay a little more for Davis.
6. Andrew Quarless – $3,300 – While he’s the No. 1 tight end, Rodgers has his full arsenal of receivers with Lacy at running back.
7. Zach Ertz/Brent Celek – $4,500 – How do you know which tight end is the correct play? You don’t. They’re both targeted equally and catching roughly an equal number of TDs. Just stay away,
8. Coby Fleener – $3,600 – What happened to this guy? He’s being used for blocking to help out the offensive line. Don’t expect that to change against the Chiefs pass rush.
1. Adam Vinatirei – $4,000 – He’s kicking indoors, is 35-40 on the season with a great leg and has scored in double digits the last three weeks.
2. Shayne Graham – $3,000 – Haven’t seen much of him, but he’s perfect on the season and the Saints will score. Cold weather is expected, but the winds are low.
3. Alex Henery – $3,300 – Adding onto what was said about Graham, Henry has only missed one kick in the last nine weeks and made four field goals of 40 yards or longer during that stretch.
4. Ryan Succop – $3,000 – Obviously favoring the non-weather factor, but even though he’s in a mini-slump, he should get enough opportunities.
5. Mason Crosby – $3,000 – He’s 33-of-37 with a long of 57. Packers won’t move the ball a ton against this defense, but he could sneak in a double-digit FPT game here.
6. Phil Dawson – $4,000 – Expensive for the freezing cold, but he’s at least used to kicking in horrific weather in Cleveland.
7. Mike Nugent – $3,000 – Given the weather, I wouldn’t play any kicker in this game, but might as well put the cheaper guy first.
8. Nick Novak – $3,600 – See above.
1. Bengals – $4,000 – Golden matchup. The Chargers are minus-four in turnover margin, which is the worst of all the playoff teams. Add the 1-3 inches of snow during the game, big game for the Bengals D.
2. 49ers – $3,600 – Despite a great comeback and putting up 33 points, Rodgers did not look like himself at times last week. He could have easily had more than two INTs and the offensive line is shaky.
3. Packers – $2,700 – The 49ers do have the 24th-ranked offense and have not played in weather like this. If the Packers can stop the run, this is solid value.
4. Colts – $3,000 – They’ve put up double-digit fantasy points in each of the last three weeks, including 17 against the Chiefs. But the other two opponents were the Jaguars and Texans. The Chiefs will play better than the first meeting and give away the second-fewest turnovers. For $3,000, it isn’t bad, but it isn’t as good of a pick as you think.
5. Chargers – $2,500 – Other than the weather, nothing is in the Chargers favor here. They’ve only had double-digit FPTS twice on the year, which came against the Jaguars and the Redskins. They don’t force many turnovers and get little pass rush (had zero against Cincy a month ago).
6. Eagles – $2,100 – If the Eagles completely take out the Saints run game, I could see a mistake or two by Brees. But the Saints will score enough to not make this an option.
7. Saints – $2,000 – The Saints D has been cold as far as fantasy goes. 2013 Foles INT’s = 2. 2013 McCoy fumbles = 1. Not good.
8. Chiefs – $3,900 – The Chiefs D is struggling and the Colts offense is hot. The Colts have given away the fewest turnovers in the league. Don’t rely on a takeaway for a TD.
DraftKings is offering a 100% deposit bonus up to $600 if you sign up through Fantasy Winners. The NFL season is quickly coming to a close, but there’s still time to win big on DraftKings. Use our link to sign-up today!View all posts by Nick Juskewycz