NFL Divisional Weekend Breakdown
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NFL Divisional Weekend Breakdown

Divisional Round - 4 Games


  
Rams @ Packers (GB -6, 45.5)
 
Not to often do you find yourself looking at a Packers game that is the lowest implied total on the slate. Well, that is how good the Ram's defense is and they proved themselves last week stifling the Seahawks. Can they repeat that success once again on the road? Time will tell, but I really think the Vegas implied spread might be a bit higher than it should. They say defense wins championships and I totally agree with that. I don't think this will be an easy game for Rodgers and Co. even in their own element. This could end up being a knock down, drag out game where it comes down to the final possession to determine a winner. This should be a very entertaining opening game, but might not offer the most in the way of DFS production. 

Playing the Packers at Lambo in the winter is like invading Russia during the winter: it is almost a recipe for failure. I think if there is one team to actually give them issues, it would be the Rams. Aaron Rodgers ($6,900) will likely see a drop in production from his season average of 25. The Rams are just so good in the secondary and matchup almost perfectly to make it hard to hit his favorite target Davante Adams ($8,600). If I am going to shell out that type of price for two guys, I want them in a perfect situation which is something they just don't have. It seems extremely sub optimal given the other games having implied totals 10+ points higher to stack the Packers unless you just want to be different. I do like a few of the other plays from this team starting with Allen Lazard ($3,900). He is still playing the 2nd highest number of snaps on the team. My only concern is the targets. That might have been due to the easier matchups for Adams so obviously Rodgers was just going to look his way. However, this week Adams is not exactly in the best spot. You could see an increase in target share purely because of that. He is extremely cheap and does offer a high upside. Considering the Rams hold teams to the lowest yards/completion, it does seem like the best spot to go after Marques Valdez-Scantling ($3,800). While he is boom or bust, he makes most of his plays deep down the field where the Rams have allowed the 2nd fewest in league just behind Baltimore. I would much rather pay the $100 more for Lazard who has a better matchup as well. Piggy backing off of that, the Rams also have the 1st ranked TE DvP, so Robert Tonyan ($4,200) isn't exactly on my radar either. I really can't get behind his average of 2.5 targets over the last 3 games either. Lastly, Aaron Jones ($6,800) is going to have very low ownership, but that just makes me like him even more. His usage is still very good and he is seeing a lot on the passing game as well. It is hard to beat the Rams through the air, but I think with Donald a bit banged up you can take advantage on the ground. This is more of a volume play where the Packers just run the ball to tire out the Rams and if that doesn't work, he will still see quite a few pass attempts come his direction. That is about it for the Packers.

Like I said above, it is never fun to have to play the Packers in Lambo in the dead of winter. It usually doesn't end well. Couple that with the fact that Cooper Kupp ($5,300) is banged up and Robert Woods ($5,900) is in an awful spot against Jaire Alexander leaves the Rams in an awful spot. Jared Goff ($5,200) will have his hands full with little options to go to. I think this bodes extremely well for Cam Akers ($5,700) who I think is in a really good price range. He is coming off of a massive performance against the Seahawks where he basically carried the team to victory. The Packers are most vulnerable on the ground anyways so Akers is certainly in play. The Packers have allowed 4.5 YPC this season along with 16 TDs which is basically 1 rush TD/game. Akers is the primary back currently and I really only see him scoring if its a rush. I don't think it will be hard for him to hit value here. I really think one of the only positive spots to target in the secondary is by throwing at Kevin King. He should draw Josh Reynolds ($3,200). Reynolds has 6 and 10 targets in his last two games and this game he could get closer to the 10 number. I really don't think Kupp will be that useful even if he plays and Woods is going to get the Jaire treatment which hasn't been to good for opposing WRs this season. I really don't think you can beat the price either. Load up on Reynolds if you trust Goff can get him the ball. The other guy I like is Tyler Higbee ($3,000) who is in a similar spot. He is averaging 5 targets over his last 3 games and could see an increase in this one. The type of game and weather cater to short passes which Higbee is good for. His ADOT is around 8 yards which fits perfectly into the script this game has. It is also why I kind of think Robert Woods might actually be useful given his ADOT is only 6.93 yards. He could see a lot of short yardage volume near the line of scrimmage where it doesn't matter if Jaire is on him. 

This game ultimately should not be stacked. It is always nice on a short slate when you can just count an entire game out of that equation. I think mini-stacking is perfectly fine. If you go that direction, I would suggest a Jones/Reynolds stack. Most people will be off of Jones so maybe you can get an ownership advantage. I also think the price on Reynolds to be very hard to pass up this week. Again, this isn't my favorite game so one-offs seem like the best idea. You are better off targeting the other games.

Favorite Plays: Josh Reynolds and Aaron Jones
Biggest Fades: Jared Goff and Aaron Rodgers
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Ravens @ Bills (BUF -2, 49.5)

This game features two of the most polarizing QBs in the league not named Patrick Mahomes. It is likely that whoever wins this game is going to face him in the Championship round which both have been licking their chops all season to get the chance to do. Josh Allen is playing out of his mind right now, while Lamar Jackson is running out of his mind as well. This game could go way higher than the implied total, but could way under given the history these teams have of turning the ball over. This one should be the best overall game to watch that also has a lot of DFS implications on the line. I sure am excited!

This Bills offense is just so fun to watch now that Josh Allen ($7,400) has taken the next step as a QB. I am a bit hesitant to go with him this week though given the strength of the Raven's defense. They just stifled the mighty Titans offense which seemed to have everything going for them. I think that Allen should pose more of a threat than Tannehill, so you should see more scoring from the Bills end than the Titans were able to amass. Stefon Diggs ($7,300) is just playing too good right now to exactly pass up and the matchup with Everett is in his favor. He also got priced down after a massive performance which just further helps his value. One guy I would stay clear of is Cole Beasley ($4,900). The Ravens had been putting Marlon Humphrey on the slot WR quite a bit outside of last game where he guarded AJ Brown. I think that was due to the fact the Titans didn't have a slot WR, so why waste him there. Well, the Bills do in Beasley and I fully expect Humphrey to go back to the slot and guard him. Marlon is an all-pro level CB that isn't going to make it easy for Beasley. I just really don't see it working out for him in this one. You then have goose egg John Brown ($4,600) who is going to see a significant drop in ownership following his awful performance last week. This might be the perfect time to go back given that and the price decrease. The odds that he is a let down twice in a row against Marcus Peters seems unlikely. It certainly is risky, so I wouldn't get cute and try going Brown in cash, but he is certainly in play for GPPs. As for the other pass catchers in Gabriel Davis ($4,000) and Dawson Knox ($3,000), I just don't think the opportunities will be there for them to really repay value. The ceiling just isn't high enough and the price just isn't low enough to warrant playing them. Lastly, Devin Singletary ($4,500) is going to be the primary back with no Moss. I really like his price given the circumstances. His volume should be much higher than usual and regardless of the matchup on the ground he is going to see targets in the air. He is very similar to Aaron Jones for me this week who is priced a lot higher. I don't think you can go wrong here. He is probably my favorite pay down RB on the slate. 

The best way to describe the Ravens here is going to be RUN. I could 100% see them doing that all day long. The Bills are weakest against the run and they should take advantage of that. Lamar Jackson ($7,600), JK Dobbins ($6,000) and Mark Andrews ($5,000) are likely to be the main focal points of this offense with Marquise Brown ($5,200) somewhat held in check with Tre White on him. I can understand fading Jackson due to the limitations in the pass game, but he should be able to do basically whatever he wants on the ground here. Same for Dobbins, but to a lesser extent. However, if I had to choose a guy to play from this team it is going to be Andrews. The Bills have shown this season that they can vulnerable against TEs and Andrews is going to play almost every snap and run every route for them. I think the game script was kind of off for them last week and they should get right back down to business in this one. Andrews is the clear red zone pass catching option. As long as they try to throw the ball even sometimes, it is likely that Andrews will be the target with Brown in a really tough matchup. If there was one guy of the bunch to fade, it would be Dobbins. You would think at $6,000 he should be getting a lot more touches than he is. He only got 9 carries last game and was pretty much saved by a TD. This is likely to once again be the Lamar show with Andrews as the main pass catching benefactor. Other than these four guys, I have no interest in anyone else. I really don't think it would be wise to play any of Willie Snead ($3,200), Miles Boykin ($3,100) or Dez Bryant ($3,000) given they barely get targeted. You would be praying for a deep TD which typically doesn't happen. Plus, you have Reynolds at the same price and is getting quite a few more targets. 

I amp perfectly in line with Vegas here in thinking this will be a closer game with Buffalo likely pulling it out in the end. The passing game for the Raven's just isn't good enough and the Bills have the pieces to possibly slow it down. That being said, it is likely they don't so I still like both sides of the football. I would most prefer an Allen/Singletary/Diggs/Andrews stack if I were stack here. Singletary brings the price down enough that you can go after atleast one more high priced option. Other than that, mini-stacks and one-offs of this game are still in play considering the next game is going to be the hammer!

Favorite Plays: Stefon Diggs, Devin Singletary and Mark Andrews
Biggest Fades: Marquise Brown
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Browns @ Chiefs (KC -10, 57)

There is no point in wasting your time reading this here. This is going to be the game of the day. I would put money on it having the highest combined score, so lets just jump right in.

I know it is risky, but I am starting every one of my lineups with Patrick Mahomes ($8,000)and Travis Kelce ($7,800). For their position, both of them given the matchups have the highest upside and are most likely to hit their ceilings over every team. The Browns just let Big Ben come back and put up 500+ pass yards on them. I get that Mahomes is likely to not do that given he won't be trailing the whole game, but my point is still valid. You can throw on the Browns a lot easier than you can run on them plain and simple. I also love Tyreek Hill ($8,000), but I just can't get over the fact that Kelce has put up 20+ DK points in 8 of his last 10 games. Hill is on a crazy pace as well, but he does it on far fewer targets which is not something that is typically sustainable. Honestly, if you can find a way to fit all three in your lineup than you should. The Browns did just allow 13/157/1 to Juju who is playing in the same spot as Hill. As for Kelce, they allowed 5/72 to Ebron. Not as good, but all Kelce has to do is get an extra catch and a TD which it is likely he will and you have 20 DK points. All I am saying is try to start your lineups with all 3 of these guys and have atleast 2 if you want to have the highest probability of success. Carrying on to the rest of the team, you will need to keep an eye out on the availability of Sammy Watkins ($4,800). If he is a no go, which it is what is looking like will happen, then Demarcus Robinson ($4,300) is a really solid option as a pivot off of Hill or Kelce if you want to get some other high priced guys in your lineup. He ended the season with back to back double digit scoring games and will be thrust into a large snap count. His price is tolerable enough that he doesn't have to go crazy to hit value, but still has the upside to do it with Mahomes throwing him the ball. I really can't get behind Mecole Hardman ($3,900) given he usually only sees an increase in snaps when Hill is out. Lastly, Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($5,500) might also be out and if that is the case then Darrell Williams ($4,000) would be my pick to get the bulk of the snaps. At the minimum price, I don't think he can fail you, but with it still likely to be a split with Leveon Bell ($5,100) and the Brown's rush defense being solid I don't think it is the best play. However, the game script could heavily be in their favor which bodes well for volume. If I had to choose one, I would go Williams over Bell just due to the price. 

I can't believe the day would come where the Browns would win a playoff game, but boy did they do it in the best of fashions. The Chiefs have been keeping things close lately and is much due to their defense, so I think the Browns should be able to move the football. The best way to beat the Chiefs is on the ground, so lock in Kareem Hunt ($4,800) and Nick Chubb ($6,600). It seems more likely that they trail which pushes the needle in Hunt's direction. I still think that Chubb will get his after Hunt got the TDs last week. It is tough to call, but I would still lean Chubb. He has scored in 7 straight games and I doubt this is the spot he slows down. In the two losses the Chiefs have faced, the opposing team was able to effectively run the football and that is something the Browns do very well. The also have allowed 16 TDs and 4.3 YPC which are around league average. Given the prices of both, I think they return almost identical value, so it is up to your roster construction as to whether you can play Hunt or Chubb. Both are very good options. As for the passing attack led by Baker Mayfield ($5,300), I think given the price and game script that is likely Baker is in a really good spot. I think he will go massively under owned for being a QB in the highest implied scoring game. His favorite targets Jarvis Landry ($5,600) and Austin Hopper ($3,800) are both priced quite low I think for the game and matchups they have. I really don't know who is going to run slot CB for the Chiefs, so kind of disregard that I put Reshad Fenton above. The guy guarding Landry could very well be Mathieu and if that is the case it really isn't the best. Matheiu has only allowed 2 TDs and a QBR of 60 this season when targeted. Hooper on the other hand is priced a lot less than Landry and has put up some really nice stat lines. In his last 4, he has yet to go under 10 DK points and has averaged almost 8 targets/game over that span. I think from a value perspective, he is up there with Kelce this week and needs to be considered. I also looked at the box scores and the Chiefs in their last legit game where they didn't bench everyone (against the Falcons), Hayden Hurst put up 5/47/1. No reason you can't go two TE's here and play Kelce and Hooper from the same game. As for everyone else, I really wish Baker was connecting with Rashard Higgins ($4,100) more. Higgins only caught 2 of his 7 targets last week which is not that great. I still like the 7 targets though and with Landry possibly in a tough matchup, those 7 targets might come once again and I would bet they convert on way more than 2 this time around. His matchup against Breshad Breeland isn't exactly the best, but game script is going to be in his favor. I think Higgins will come in under owned due to these factors when in reality he could be a steal at this price. He has 20 DK point upside and this is the perfect spot to hit that. Outside of all of these guys, Donovan Peoples-Jones ($3,000) is probably the only other guy worth mentioning. He is the min. price and has similar upside down field. Charvarius Ward is also a much better matchup, so DPJ could be a sneaky play here. 

I love the prospect of stacking this game, but really can't get away from starting with Mahomes/Kelce/Hill. I really think you can go ahead and pick anyone to run it back with. It is purely up to you how you want to construct your rosters. If you want to go the opposite direction for game script purposes, stacking Baker with any of Hooper/Higgins/DPJ seem from a analytical standpoint to be your best options. You can also pair Baker with Hunt or Chubb, but from a correlation standpoint that seems a bit negative. All in all, the likelihood that this game is the optimal stack is quite high and you should be playing atleast Hill/Kelce in almost every lineup. There is enough value to pull that off and feel like your roster isn't too boom or bust. Good luck finding the correct combo!

Favorite Plays: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Austin Hooper
Biggest Fades: Jarvis Landry
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Buccaneers @ Saints (NO -3, 52)

The Saints have managed to beat the Bucs twice this year and it typically doesn't happen three times in a row. Nonetheless, I think this game will look a lot more like the 34-23 game than the 38-3 game. With the second highest implied total, I think there are a few guys that will be necessary from this game, but a full game stack here seems quite unlikely to be optimal given the defensive strengths. This could be a Brady vs. Brees matchup for the ages and ultimately could end as Bree's final game of his career! I like how they chose this game to end the weekend as it is likely to have the most drama surrounding it. Let's jump right in!

The Saints should be able to pick apart the Bucs defense through the air quite easily. I still can't bring myself to play Drew Brees ($5,600), but a few of his options are quite nice, most notably Michael Thomas ($6,700). He found his groove in the wild card round and was able to put up 5/73/1. He gets the matchup of the day against Carlton Davis who conceded the 5th most yards in the entire league this season. Thomas is a target and reception machine and is just not priced correctly given his ceiling. He is in a smash spot. I want to retract my previous statement that he is in the best matchup on the slate, because that goes to Emmanuel Sanders ($4,500). It helps that he underwhelmed in the wild card round, because now he has a bottom dollar price and is drawing Sean Murphy-Bunting who allowed THE MOST yards in the entire league this season. Sanders ended the year, granted it was without Thomas, with 4 straight double digit scoring games. He is still going to be used heavily here given the matchup. I also think the fact that the Bucs had the best rush defense in the league this year which might keep Alvin Kamara ($7,900) at bay will be in Thomas and Sander's favor as well. Not that Kamara is going to get shut out here, I just think that he won't be able to run the ball efficiently. He is still going to get his value in the pass game, but they will likely not run the ball as much. Kamara still hit 15 and 23 DK points on an average of 23 rush yards/game against the Bucs. He will do just fine here, but limit your expectations of a ceiling game which is why I am not entirely high on him. Lastly, the likes of Deonte Harris ($3,500) and Jared Cook ($4,000) are certainly options, just not good ones. Harris put up a ridiculous stat line last week out of no where. He led the team on yards and receptions... on only 14 routes run. That is not sustainable so hard pass on chasing Harris here. As for Cook, the matchup is fine, I just don't like the price considering Thomas is back and you have Hooper and Higbee cheaper that will likely get just as many if not more targets. That is about it for this team.

The Bucs are likely to be playing pissed off here and rightfully so. They lost twice to the Saints this year and revenge is on their mind. Tom Brady ($6,300) is a natural winner in the playoffs and I truly think will find a way to win this game. That doesn't mean I want to play him at this price. Against the Saints this year he has 5 and 22 DK points which I don't think is going to be enough to beat Mahomes or Lamar this week. His targets will be spread out between Mike Evans ($6,400), Chris Godwin ($6,100) and Antonio Brown ($5,400). I am going to count out Evans already because he just doesn't typically have success against Marshon Lattimore. That leaves me with Godwin and Brown and considering Brown is the cheaper option with the better matchup, I will go that direction. I like both of them since they are both insanely talented. The biggest concern is that neither really produced in the Saint's matchups this season. I will say Brown's first game as a Buc was against the Saints and he still got 5 targets. Now that he is acclimated with the offense, he might be able to be more efficient and get more targets this time around. You also have Rob Gronkowski ($3,600) looming around who burned everyone last week, including myself. There is some bad blood in the air there and it is going to bring his ownership way down. This might be the perfect game to go back to him though, but it just isn't the play for me. He only put up 1 and 3 DK points in the two previous Saints matchups. Couple that with his goose egg last week leaves me with little confidence he can muster up a good game here. Lastly, Ronald Jones ($5,200) and Leonard Fournette ($4,900) are a mess that I want no part of. They will likely completely split. The only way I take Fournette is if Jones is out which could possibly happen. If both are active, I would say fade both due to the fact that the Saints had the 4th best rush defense in the league this season and neither broke 11 DK points in either of the Saints games this season. 

I want to like this game a lot more than I am, but it really seems more optimal to run these guys as mini-stacks or straight one-offs. These teams hate each other and that usually caters more towards a defensive game. I really like Sanders and Thomas over any of the Bucs options, so those would be my first targets from this game and then everyone else is pretty much in the same boat. Both of these QBs will go down as Hall of Famers, but so will Mahomes likely and he is in a 10x better spot than these guys. All in all, great game to watch that might let you down on the DFS front. Treat lightly. 

Favorite Plays: Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown
Biggest Fades: Mike Evans and both QBs.
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Again, thank you so much for reading this week's DFS breakdown. I will be running these out every week going forward so be on the lookout. I will also start doing Monday and Thursday Night Football Showdown slate breakdowns and much more! I want to build this community from the ground up backed by solid analysis and not going with stupid chalky takes like most writers do. I think I accomplished that in this article and hope you come back to read more. All the support is much appreciated and if you want, please look into donating to my Patreon or PayPal. Follow us on Twitter @HeatingUpDFS and any helpful tips to grow the website or articles email me at heatingupdfs@gmail.com. Things are just now Heating Up!
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By Kyle Young 19 Mar, 2021
Hello all! I hope everyone has had a fantastic day so far and hope we can continue that with winning some money!! There are four key things I look for in a player to have the highest probability of being optimal! Price Opponent DvP Minutes Usage These four statistics paired together are the best suitors to find a gem. Almost everyone I mention below hits on atleast 2 of these if not all of them! Hopefully this will help you be more successful while building lineups and give you a higher chance of winning the big bucks! I would also like to note that I write these articles early in the day. It is always beneficial to check @FantasyLabsNBA for lineup changes. Those changes could have a direct effect on some of my "favorite plays" in the sense that if a cheap guy that was one of my favorites doesn't start, then they might no longer be a favorite play or even a play at all. Check out my Twitter @HeatingUpDFS for any updates on favorite play changes!
By Kyle Young 18 Mar, 2021
Hello all! I hope everyone has had a fantastic day so far and hope we can continue that with winning some money!! There are four key things I look for in a player to have the highest probability of being optimal! Price Opponent DvP Minutes Usage These four statistics paired together are the best suitors to find a gem. Almost everyone I mention below hits on atleast 2 of these if not all of them! Hopefully this will help you be more successful while building lineups and give you a higher chance of winning the big bucks! I would also like to note that I write these articles early in the day. It is always beneficial to check @FantasyLabsNBA for lineup changes. Those changes could have a direct effect on some of my "favorite plays" in the sense that if a cheap guy that was one of my favorites doesn't start, then they might no longer be a favorite play or even a play at all. Check out my Twitter @HeatingUpDFS for any updates on favorite play changes!
By Kyle Young 17 Mar, 2021
Hello all! I hope everyone has had a fantastic day so far and hope we can continue that with winning some money!! There are four key things I look for in a player to have the highest probability of being optimal! Price Opponent DvP Minutes Usage These four statistics paired together are the best suitors to find a gem. Almost everyone I mention below hits on atleast 2 of these if not all of them! Hopefully this will help you be more successful while building lineups and give you a higher chance of winning the big bucks! I would also like to note that I write these articles early in the day. It is always beneficial to check @FantasyLabsNBA for lineup changes. Those changes could have a direct effect on some of my "favorite plays" in the sense that if a cheap guy that was one of my favorites doesn't start, then they might no longer be a favorite play or even a play at all. Check out my Twitter @HeatingUpDFS for any updates on favorite play changes!
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