The second round of the NFL Playoffs is packed with good teams and plenty of potential and sleeper stars of value for the NFL DFS tournaments. You have to take some level of strategic risk, whether that means wiping out a team entirely or going with a bunch of cheaper opposing plays to fit in two or three of the more expensive stars. We’re combining those strategies with our full list of FanDuel lineup picks for divisional-round action on Saturday and Sunday, fading the Bengals and going all-in with our top pass receivers.
Before we get into this week’s lineups, here are the basic rules for FanDuel contests. Scoring is pretty standard, and the only notable settings are Four Point Passing TD Y half point PPR.
FULL SLATE DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings
Complete Divisional Round FanDuel Picks: NFL DFS Lineup Tips
Saturday main roster, $60,000 budget, no more than four players from a team
QB Ryan Tannehill, Titans vs. Bengals ($7,300)
You can make a case for each starting quarterback this week, but we opted for a cheaper call sign to accommodate more expensive pass receivers. Tannehill is the second-cheapest starter, but he has plenty of upside, especially when you factor in his running ability. This is primarily a differentiation play, though, as many will opt for higher-ceiling guys like Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen, and even more Tannehill will fade with the return of Derrick Henry (foot). We’ll take advantage of our opportunities with Tannehill against a decent (but not great) Bengals pass defense that could be shorthanded by some players on the defensive line.
RB AJ Dillon, Packers vs. 49ers ($6,100)
Apparently, Dillon took over as Green Bay’s primary ball carrier. He doesn’t do much as a receiver, but with the sacks lacking in emphasis in FanDuel compared to DraftKings, he can easily pay his RB7 price. Dillon has had 14 carries in each of the last two games, scoring twice in Week 17. The 49ers have been tough against running backs this year, but Dillon is the kind of physical running back who can rack up yards against anyone. We’re confident the Packers will win this game and Dillon will be called up to seal the victory on the field.
RB Cam Akers, Rams @ Buccaneers ($5,700)
The Bucs have been one of the most dominant running defenses in the NFL the past two seasons, so it’s a counter move to use a RB against them, especially one that splits runs. Still, it’s clear the Rams want to be a run-heavy offense, and Akers is fresh and talented. He’s also Los Angeles’ preferred wide receiver, so regardless of whether the Rams are up or down in this game, he should be in it. We’ll look for differentiation again here and hopefully Akers can find the end zone.
WR Cooper Kupp, Rams @ Buccaneers ($9,500)
Kupp was “kept in check” with just five receptions, 61 yards and a touchdown last week, showing just how high his floor is. No matter how much LA wants to run, he can’t walk away from Kupp in a premium matchup. Once again, regardless of whether the Rams are up or down, Kupp will be heavily involved. He’s a chalk pick, but if he does go (which he probably will), he’ll be needed in any lineup that wants to compete for a high end.
WR Tyreek Hill, Chiefs vs. Bills ($8,200)
Hill’s ceiling is as high as any other player on this list, so while he’s been relatively quiet lately, we want him in our lineup. The Bills did a good job of keeping him when these teams met in Week 5 (seven catches, 63 yards), but the Chiefs won’t hesitate to use Hill in a variety of ways if needed. His career postseason numbers speak to this, as he averaged 6.2 receptions and 90.1 total yards in 10 playoff games with Patrick Mahomes.
WR AJ Brown, Titans vs. Bengals ($7,600)
With Tannehill as our QB, we needed to stack him with at least one of his WRs. Brown is obviously the better option, and he’s the one most likely to be in a big game. He has scored in two of his last three outings, and the Bengals have been below average against WR most of the year. Brown has just three monster games this year, but he’s always a candidate for 150 yards and a touchdown.
TE George Kittle, 49ers @ Packers ($6,400)
Kittle has done almost nothing in the last four games, but we all know he’s one of the elite tight ends, both in terms of overall impact and receiving yardage ability. With studs like Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski and Dawson Knox on the board, many will pay for them; others will pay for a touchdown or bust guy like Anthony Firkser or Joseph Deguara. We’re going with the underwhelming star who seems “overcome,” hoping others will steer clear of Kittle, who still has a sky-high ceiling.
FLEX (WR) Tyler Johnson, Buccaneers vs. Rams ($5,000)
We needed a cheap flex, and Johnson has as many advantages as anyone in this price range. He only had two catches on three targets last week, but he played 77 percent of the snaps. In what is expected to be a closer game, Johnson could be heavily involved, especially if Jalen Ramsey can lock down Mike Evans. Based on the snapshots, he’s easily Tampa’s No. 2 wide receiver, so he’s worth a shot at this ultra-low price.
DEF Tennessee Titans vs. Bengals ($4,100)
There are no obvious D/ST plays this week, as even Green Bay has some warts. We’re going all in with our Titans stack and hoping they can rack up a bunch of sacks and force a couple of turnovers. Tennessee finished tied for ninth in QB sacks during the regular season, while Cincinnati allowed the third-most sacks. It’s an exploitable situation for Tennessee, so we’ll take a chance against Cincinnati’s powerful offense.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.