While most daily fantasy players are more familiar with the usual salary-cap structure, DraftKings also has tournaments in a pick’em style: There are no player salaries. You simply select one player across each tier.
This style of game allows you to quickly create lineups because you don’t have to spend time weighing cap costs against points. Just choose the best player. For FantasyLabs readers, our Models—powered by Sean Koerner’s No. 1 in-season rankings—are a massive edge in choosing the best players and making weekly profits in Tiers.
Here’s a breakdown of the DraftKings Tiers slate for the Divisional Round.
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Tier 1: Elite Passers
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes fell .9 DraftKings points short of the single-season record for quarterbacks at 461.08. His 50 touchdowns tied for second-most in a single season. He’s one of only 11 players to throw for more than 5,000 yards.
This week he’s the Models’ highest projected passer by more than two points. Mahomes is a good play no matter the ownership.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck has a median projection 2.5 points lower than Mahomes, but their ceilings are separated by fewer than one point. Mahomes and his opposing passer have had a .68 correlation coefficient this season, which is .1 higher than league-average.
The Colts-Chiefs matchup has the highest total at 57 points (see live odds here). In a shootout, leveraging the Chiefs offense via Luck is the best way to get off Mahomes.
Tier 2: The Next Quarterbacks
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
Goff and Mahomes are the only two passers to record multiple 40-point games this season. He also finds himself on the right side of his home/road splits and in a shootout — a spot that he’s crushed in the past two seasons (per our Trends Tool).
Goff is a top-three quarterback play according to the Models and the clear favorite in Tier 2.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles has played 11 full games during his second stint in Philly. He’s averaged 277.3 yards, 1.8 touchdowns and 19.5 fantasy points per game. He’s also gone over the 25-point mark in four games.
The Eagles are 8-point underdogs, which will likely see them throwing from a deficit early and often. This sets up well for one final show from Foles.
Tier 3: Elite Flexes
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Despite missing his final two weeks, Gurley still led the NFL with 64 red-zone attempts. He also had the most carries inside the 10- and 5-yard lines. On top of this, he was third among running backs with 19 red-zone targets.
The Rams have the third highest implied team total at 28.25 and Gurley is their best scoring option. Just don’t play him with Goff, who he has a -.24 correlation with.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have unleashed Zeke since their Week 8 bye:
- Weeks 1-7: 18.9 carries, 5.1 targets, 19.5 points per game
- Weeks 9-Wild Card Round: 22 carries, 7.1 targets, 27.2 points per game
The increase of two targets per game is the most significant change. A boosted receiving role eliminates any risk of Zeke not getting the ball if Dallas is trailing. Zeke has the most secure role of any player this week.
Tier 4: Passing Stacks
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce has failed to hit 20 points since Week 14, but he’s been targeted at least nine times in every game since then. The volume is there but a few unlucky performances should serve to keep his ownership in check.
The Colts are 29th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA against tight ends and top-20 against all other positions. They also allow the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Kelce should be funneled volume and bounce back this week.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
When healthy, Hilton has been the Colts’ go-to weapon in the passing game. He owns 22% of the team’s targets and 34% of the air yards. Hilton also has the fourth-highest ceiling of any flex player this weekend.
Stacking Luck and Hilton is a great way to attack the highest total.
Tier 5: Chasing Volume
Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles and Ertz have a massive .85 correlation, so lineups with Foles should have his favorite target as well. Alshon Jeffery — who is also available in this tier — has a negative correlation with St. Nick. No tight end has ever caught more passes than Ertz’s 116 or been targeted more than his 156 looks.
Volume and stacking make Ertz a high-upside play.
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Woods has started to take over as the Rams’ lead receiving in the absence of Cooper Kupp.
Weeks 11-17 (after Cooper Kupp ACL tear):
Robert Woods: 52 targets, 553 air yards
Brandin Cooks: 43, 513
Josh Reynolds 41, 516 pic.twitter.com/dWt0fhNbMj
— Kyle Dvorchak (@ffkylethekid) January 9, 2019
Since then, Woods has outscored Brandin Cooks and Josh Reynolds by 20 points as well. Woods is the Models’ pick out of the Rams receivers. Volume points to Woods as the best Rams’ pass-catcher, too.
Tier 6: Find the End Zone
Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Ebron finished the regular season 10th in red-zone targets with 21. He scored 13 times, behind only Antonio Brown for the most in the NFL. Ebron saw two more red-zone targets in the Wild Card Round and scored again.
Stacking Ebron with Luck is a great way to capitalize on Colts’ red-zone trips. It can also be used to complete the game stack: Luck-Ebron-Kelce
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
If Vegas is right, the Saints should have a comfortable lead for much of their outing with Philly. In the past two seasons, Ingram has put up tremendous lines when the Saints are projected to win by more than a touchdown:
- Favored by over seven points: 13.3-79.7-1.2
- All other games: 13.1-58.1-.5
Ingram is in a great spot to go off.
Tier 7: Deep Threats
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints
Through four weeks, Ginn owned a team-high 29% of the Saints’ air yards. He then injured his knee and was placed on Injured Reserve. Ginn returned in Week 16 to lead the team in air yards again en route to a five-catch, 74-yard game.
Given Week 17 and a bye to rest, Ginn should be healthy. He’s a high-variance play who could pay huge dividends if he reels in just one deep ball.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Williams led all receivers in touchdown percentage this season. He scored 10 touchdowns on 66 targets, good for a 15.2% rate. Williams was also a consistent deep threat with a 14.6 average depth of target (aDOT).
He faces the Patriots, who saw the second-highest aDOT attempted against them this season at 9.4. Williams is the Chargers’ best fit for attacking New England.
Tier 8: Low-End Flexes
Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Sproles has been integrated into the Eagles office as a runner in previous weeks. He’s carried the ball 13, seven and nine times in three games. Over his past five games, Sproles has averaged 3.8 targets as well.
With a more complete role, Sproles should be able to take advantage of a friendly Saints defense. The Saints allow the third-most points per drive (2) and the second-most yards per drive (36).
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Gallup has outscored Amari Cooper in two of their past three games and has scored two touchdowns as well. After losing Allen Hurns to injury, Gallup could be asked to do more as well.
Gallup and Hurns’ aDOT’s — 13.9 and 12.6 — are the only two above 10 on the team.
Tier 8 is full of landmines. Gallup the best chance at avoiding them outside of Sproles.
Pictured: Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports