The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs (week 19) is just a couple days away and it makes for some really difficult picks. A common theme when playing DFS is to focus on injuries, and this week is no different as we have a sizable amount of injuries you need to focus on up until kick off. I'll try to help you sort this mess out by rankings the top picks at the primary positions, starting with quarterback.
- Carson Palmer vs. Green Bay
Kirk Cousins posted 329 passing yards with 1 passing touchdown and 1 rushing touchdown versus Green Bay last week. In steps Carson Palmer, one of the most consistent quarterbacks this season. His salary on DraftKings is criminally low, check here for full salary comparisons. Palmer has proven his ability against the Packers and his team had a first-round-bye. Look for Palmer to pass for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.
- Russell Wilson at Carolina
Wilson was playing extremely well to close out the season. He didn't do so well in Minnesota but that doesn't scare me this week in Carolina. I fully expect the Seahawks to correct the mistakes they made and be prepared for the Panthers. Carolina is suffering from some minor injuries on defense and Wilson should be able to crack 200 yards passing and add value with his feet. 2 or 3 total touchdowns isn't outside the realm of possibility and I think he's just ever so slightly more reliable than Peyton Manning.
- Peyton Manning vs. Steelers
The 2015 version of Manning is out right scary. But now that he is healed he really could shock the world and post some 2014 type numbers. The Steelers pass defense is suspect to say the least and and they will be without two of their primary weapons on offense. I see Denver controlling time of possession by a large margin because of the injuries in Pittsburgh. Manning comes with significant risk but he'll probably be on the field more often than any other quarterback this week which makes him a great GPP play.
- I'm fading the remaining quarterbacks.
- David Johnson vs. Green Bay
Johnson has been exceptional since taking over as the workhorse back and has explosive potential as both a runner and receiver. With numerous injuries and questions marks for the other running backs Johnson is the safe bet. I'd even feel good rostering both Johnson and Palmer.
- C.J. Anderson vs. Pittsburgh
Anderson's upside is in his big play ability. I'm fairly confident that the Steelers will be punting often, especially with Brown ruled out. This extra time-of-possession will help all of the Denver skill positions, especially running back.
- Spencer Ware at New England
The Chiefs have the No. 1 red zone rush offense this season and Ware has taken the most red zone snaps as of late. The Chiefs will look to win the time-of-possession battle by running the ball down New England's throat and Ware will be the primary back to own in this match-up.
- James White vs Chiefs
For the price his risk/reward is to hard to pass up. He only needs a touchdown to reach value (for the most part) and is one of the few weapons the Patriots have. We're not sure how healthy Gronk and Edelman are which means they could scheme for White more than normal here.
- I'm fading the remaining running backs.
- Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas vs. Pittsburgh
Sanders is a solid play this week because his salary is low and he should take more snaps than the rest of the receivers based on my assumed game flow. The last time Sanders faced the Steelers he exploded for 181 yards and a touchdown. I see a lot of two WR sets in this game with play action passes going deep to Sanders.
- Larry Fitzgerald vs. Green Bay
Fitzgerald leads the Cardinals with nine touchdown catches and has 44 more targets than the next-closest receiver in AZ. The Packers have struggled against #1 receivers all year and certainly can't key on Fitzgerald considering the vast amount of weapons Arizona possesses.
- Martavis Bryant at Denver
With Brown ruled out this week, Bryant and Markus Wheaton are going to be some hot names in DFS. Last week Bryant stepped up and got us a receiving touchdown and 44 yards on a rush. Pittsburgh will need to keep the creative juices flowing against Denver if they want to move the ball against the #1 ranked pass defense in fantasy points allowed.
- Julian Edelman vs. Kansas City
Bottom-line, Edelman is very risky. Just how healthy is he? Will the rust impact his game play? We will find out this week and I'm banking that Brady's most trusted receiver is going to be a game changer. Fearless prediction: 8 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.
- Greg Olsen vs. Seattle
Olsen is Cam Newton's favorite target in the passing game. He caught 7 balls for 131 yards and a touchdown in the last meeting and Seattle ranks 26th against tight ends. Obviously Seattle will try to counter Olsen and shut him down but you'll still want some exposure and I think he's the top play this week along with Kelce.
- Travis Kelce vs. Rob Gronkowski
With Maclin at less than 100% we could see more targets for Kelce, and even if he's close to 100% New England's #1 DB isn't one to overlook. On the other hand you have Gronkowski, who is dealing with back/knee injuries and hasn't posted double digit touchdowns more than once this season. I'll roll with Kelce in this one and might even look for Olsen in the flex.
Notable: the Patriots just reissued their injury report to note that Gronk was a DNP because of a back issue on top of the knee issue.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 14, 2016