NFL Divisional Round Top Plays

By Will Colello

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Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers $21,550

This has been a pleasure to watch, and it could definitely continue. The Cowboys have been the 26th ranked team against the pass, but could also provide the most trouble for Rodgers. The Cowboys are really good against the run, and held Rodgers to just 13 fantasy points back in October. He was a different QB back then, and I would expect a much better performance. I give Rodgers a floor of 20, and a ceiling over 35. This game figures to be high scoring, and I will have a lot of exposure. Rodgers will force you to pay down at 2 spots, so he is tough to roster. If you want to go a little bit cheaper, let’s take a look at the next guy.

Alex Smith $13,050

Alex Smith has been somewhat consistent as of late, and the numbers have been there. He has over 23 in 2 straight, and I think he gets it again here. The Steelers are not good against the pass, and we saw Matt Moore have a very nice game against them. I see no reason to not pay down for Smith. He has the best match up on the board, let’s you pay up elsewhere, and has plenty of safety. He may not be the best option in tournaments, but he will be my main cash guy. Smith also has some running potential, which does help his upside quite a bit. This game could turn into a shootout, and Smith could stand to benefit.

Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott $15,050

Ezekiel Elliott is the best running back in the best match up this week. The Packers have been pretty solid against the run, but have shown the ability to get torched by numerous runners. Ezekiel Elliott was one of them, going for 157 yards on the ground. I expect a similar performance and he will likely get in the endzone at least once. Elliott has the best floor for his price, and I don’t see him falling under 15 fantasy points. The upside is insane, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish with 250 total yards and 3 touchdowns. He has shown the explosiveness, and you know the Cowboys will get him the ball all game long. He is the bell-cow back, and he is going to get a lot of touches.

LeGarrette Blount $12,300

Talk about a bell-cow back, we have the monstrous Blount. He is probably the strongest runner in the game, and runs through most tackles. The Texans are generally good against the run, but not so much in the redzone. Earlier this season, Blount ran for 105 yards and 2 TD’s on this same team. They will feed him when needed, and he will come through. He may also get a few targets, as his running could set up some perfect play action type screens. The Patriots have been known to do some weird stuff, but I think Blount getting 15 touches is a safe bet, no matter how this game goes. Vegas has the Pats favored by 16, which in turn would suggest Blount will be getting a ton of run the clock out carries. Blount is very safe, and has plenty of upside in TD’s.

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Wide Receiver

Dez Bryant $12,150

Dez played the Packers 2 years ago, and had the controversial “Dez caught it” catch, or drop. He is a very vindictive person, if I have learned anything watching him over the years. He will want the ball, and he is in a good spot to get it. We saw the Giants receivers beat the Packers on multiple occasions, but either dropped the pass or got thrown a bad ball. I doubt that happens here, and Dez should get at least 8 targets. Micah Hyde will get a lot of the over top coverage, and he is just not big enough to stop Dez. Dez does have a lower floor, but his ceiling is higher than anyone.

Paul Richardson $5,000

Paul Richardson was a guy I ended up having a lot of exposure too last week, and it definitely paid off. Richardson is a little slot guy, that will get redzone targets and possibly a few runs as well. Basically, he is taking over the Tyler Lockett role. At minimum price, he is basically a must play. The Falcons defense is one of the weakest on the slate, and their only real strength is Vic Beasley, who will be rushing Russell Wilson. With Wilson’s escapability and the likelihood of him having make plays out side the pocket, this could force some extra targets to Richardson, who has shown the ability to do great things with the ball.

Tight End

Travis Kelce $11,600

I don’t really like Graham this week, even though the Falcons are bad against the TE. If you watch the Seahawks, Wilson just doesn’t have much interest in throwing his way. His eyes always start from the outside and work there way in. Graham is usually the safety blanket, and will catch a few passes that way. I would much rather go down to Kelce, who is looked at as a focal point of the offense. Alex Smith is going to force him the ball, and he will probably get at least 5 redzone targets. Kelce is cheaper than Graham, and I think both his floor and ceiling is just as high, if not higher. The Alex Smith + Travis Kelce combo has a lot of upside, and is way under priced.

Jared Cook $6,600

Jared Cook is still way too cheap, and Dallas can give it up to the tight end. I wouldn’t expect a crazy game out of Cook here, but 5 catches for 70 yards seems in play. At his price, we will take that every time. The only problem is if one of the studs guys go off. If Graham or Kelce have a huge day, you are left catching up at other spots. On such a small slate, it can be hard to do. Cook has been a big part of the offense lately, and with Nelson’s status in question, he could see more targets. Either way, I think both of these guys can be considered and you have to know that Kelce is the much safer option.

Defense/ST

Patriots $8,600

I am not personally using any other defense. The Patriots are favored by 16, and face the worse offense left, by far. The Texans aren’t a good team, and the Patriots should destroy them. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a defensive TD here, and a few other turnovers. You can combine the Pats D with Blount, and hope for a blowout with a lot of rushes. I will definitely have at least 70% of that stack. With all of that being said, I see the point of using any of the other defenses. The Pats will be crazy high owned, and there is always a ton of variance in defensive touchdowns.

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