Welcome to Super Wild Card Weekend! Sunday features a three-game slate starting at 1:05 p.m. ET.
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The Ravens’ offense has been rolling over the past five weeks. Baltimore has averaged more than 430 yards per game over that time frame, and it’s scored at least 34 points in four of those games. Those performances have come against lackluster competition, but it still represents a massive improvement over how it played to start the year.
Lamar Jackson has been at the center of that production. He’s averaged 28.51 DraftKings points over that time frame, and he’s scored at least 22.32 DraftKings points in all five contests. Jackson has been solid with his arm — he’s averaged 8.94 adjusted yards per attempt with 11 touchdowns — but the majority of his fantasy production has come on the ground. He’s averaged 86 rushing yards per game over his past five contests while adding in four rushing touchdowns.
Jackson is in an interesting spot against the Titans. Their defense has been atrocious this season, but they have struggled more against the pass than the run. That would typically be a good thing for a fantasy quarterback, but it might not be for Jackson. If the Ravens can’t get their run game going, it remains to be seen whether or not Jackson is good enough to beat teams solely with his arm.
Drew Brees is way too cheap on DraftKings. His $5,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%, and the Saints’ implied team total of 28.75 is the second-highest mark on the slate.
Brees should also benefit from playing at home in the Superdome, where he has historically posted an average Plus/Minus of +7.20 with a comparable price tag (per the Trends tool). This is also the only indoor playoff game of the entire weekend, and those tend to be higher scoring than outdoor playoff games.
Ben Roethlisberger has arguably the best matchup on the slate. The Browns defense has struggled vs. the pass this season, giving Roethlisberger an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.6 on DraftKings.
Now, Cleveland will have to play without Olivier Vernon. He ranked second on the team with nine sacks this season, so Roethlisberger should have plenty of time to allow his talented group of pass-catchers to get open.
Ryan Tannehill is a bit pricey compared to Brees and Roethlisberger, but he’s been fantastic this season. He averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.20 over his 16 regular-season games on FanDuel, and he finished with 22.86 FanDuel points in his previous matchup against the Ravens. The game between the Titans and Ravens owns the highest total on the slate, making him an interesting option.
The Saturday DFS slate lacks a true stud running back to pay up for, but the Sunday slate has the opposite problem. There is an abundance of high-end RB options for a three-game slate.
Alvin Kamara stands out as arguably the best option. He hasn’t been able to practice this week after landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but he is eligible to return before their contest against the Bears as long as he tests negative. Kamara is coming off a dominant performance in his last game, tying an NFL record with six touchdowns vs. the Vikings.
The Bears represent a tough matchup — Kamara owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -3.7 on DraftKings — but Kamara is not a typical running back. He can rack up fantasy points on the ground and through the air, so he’s as matchup-proof as it gets. He leads the position with nine Pro Trends on DraftKings and 13 Pro Trends on FanDuel.
The Steelers’ running game has been virtually non-existent recently, which has caused James Conner‘s salary to plummet across the industry. It’s been especially pronounced on DraftKings — he’s seen a price decrease of -$1,200 over the past month — which makes him an interesting buy-low option.
Historically, players with a comparable salary and monthly salary change have averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.55. The Steelers are also six-point favorites, which could lead to a favorable game script. Overall, he leads the position in projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
It’s hard to argue against Derrick Henry. He’s had a massive fantasy season, finishing with more than 2,000 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, but he might be overpriced for this matchup against the Ravens. Baltimore has been excellent against the run this season when at full strength, giving Henry an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.6 on DraftKings. Henry also doesn’t catch many passes out of the backfield, so he has bust potential if he fails to go over 100 yards and/or score a touchdown.
J.K. Dobbins is one of the top plays of the day on FanDuel, where his $6,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%. He has emerged as the clear top RB in the Ravens’ backfield, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six straight games. His Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.6 is also the top mark at the position.
Michael Thomas is not the most expensive option at the position, but it’s hard to argue against him as the top wide receiver as long as he’s active. He was placed on IR back in Week 14, and the Saints have to activate him on Saturday if he’s going to suit up against the Bears. He was able to practice this week, so that’s tentatively expected to happen.
If he’s anywhere near full strength, he’s massively underpriced across the industry. Thomas was considered the best fantasy receiver in football before this season, so getting him at $6,300 on DraftKings feels like larceny. He has historically been priced in a comparable range in just seven previous occasions, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +9.54 in those contests. The Bears also represent an excellent matchup for Thomas, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.4 on DraftKings.
The top value at WR likely comes down to which site you’re playing on.
On DraftKings, it’s hard to look past Corey Davis at just $4,800. It results in a Bargain Rating of 90%, and Davis has posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.95 over his past 10 games. His matchup against the Ravens is also solid, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.70.
On FanDuel, Marquise Brown looks like the stronger option. He’s slightly cheaper than Davis — his $6,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 75% — and he has arguably the best matchup on the slate given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.3. Brown got off to a slow start this season with Jackson and the Ravens’ offense struggling to move the ball, but he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past six contests.
It’s hard to know exactly which member of the Steelers’ passing attack is going to smash, but odds are that one of Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, or Chase Claypool will have a big game.
Johnson is the safest option given his massive target volume, but Claypool is the big-play threat. He torched the Browns for over 100 yards and a touchdown last week, and that was with Mason Rudolph at quarterback. That said, Smith-Schuster owns the best individual matchup in this contest, according to Pro Football Focus. He plays most of his snaps in the slot, which sets up a very winnable matchup against M.J. Stewart.
It’s tough to trust the Bears passing attack against the Saints elite defense, but Allen Robinson stands out as a strong value on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $7,200, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 82%, and Robinson has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.06 with a comparable price tag as a member of the Bears.
Mark Andrews is the clear top choice at TE on Sunday’s slate. He leads the position in virtually every category in our NFL Models: projected ceiling, floor, median, and Plus/Minus on DraftKings and FanDuel. Like Brown, he’s also benefitted from the Ravens’ recent offensive explosion, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five of his past six games on FanDuel.
The biggest question is whether or not you can afford him. There are plenty of expensive players at other positions, so lots of people will likely sacrifice Andrews to fit another stud RB or WR. Ultimately, the gap between Andrews and a value TE is smaller than the gap between a stud and a value at other positions when thinking in terms of ceiling. That’s why paying down at the position has been such a viable strategy for most of the season.
Jonnu Smith has seen his playing time fluctuate a bit this season, and he’s pretty touchdown-dependent from a fantasy perspective. That said, he’s still too cheap across the industry. Most tight ends are touchdown-dependent, so picking one from the game with the highest total seems like a +EV decision.
Cole Kmet started the year playing behind Jimmy Graham, but he has become the Bears’ clear top option at the position. He’s finished with at least six targets in four of his past five games, and his $3,000 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%.
Eric Ebron can occasionally be overlooked when talking about the Steelers’ pass-catchers, but he’s been highly involved in their offense recently. He’s seen at least seven targets in four of his past five full games, and he’s garnered 11 targets in two of them. His matchup against the Browns results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.0 on FanDuel, and he also leads the position with eight Pro Trends.
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Pictured Above: Michael Thomas.