You can find me on Twitter @DelRayBoston
Happy New Year from all of us at RealDealFantasyHQ.com! In a lot of ways, 2021 was the wildest NFL Season ever with real unpredictability each week and weekend – BUT as we move into the playoffs, with only a few exceptions, it is all familiar faces. For the teams that have locked down a spot in the Playoffs, Week 18 will be all about seeding and in some cases chasing that #1 spot in their respective divisions – or in some cases the division title as well. So Week 18 should be an exciting weekend of football, starting with today’s 2 game DFS Slate.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS vs DENVER BRONCOS 4:30PM
Despite the Chiefs having locked a playoff spot and the Broncos being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (literally unless every other AFC team loses this weekend, which by the way is an impossibility), there are stakes on the line.
The Chiefs have a shot at the #1 Seed and the coveted first round bye. First and foremost, they have to win this game. If they do, then tomorrow they sit back and watch and hope for the results of the Titans Texans game. If the Chiefs win and the Titans lose, they are the #1 Seed. If both the Chiefs and Titans win, the Titans claim the #1 Seed. BUT if the Chiefs Lose today, their chance at the #1 Seed and 1st Round Bye are gone. In fact, if both the Chiefs and Titans lose than it opens the door for the Bengals and Patriots to claim the #1 Seed. So the Chiefs 100% have something to play for today.
The Broncos would love to play nothing more than Spoilers today for the division rivals hopes, especially playing at home at Mile High.
Therefore I will be playing a few showdown tournaments around this game and my primary stacks will also come from this game as I feel like we will see more of the starting lineups from both teams than we will from the later game (more on that game later). So let’s start with my favorite plays:
Patrick Mahomes $7,500. Until the Chiefs either have this game well in hand, I expect to see Mahomes under center. Now the Broncos at home is not the best matchup in the world, ranked 3rd against QBs and allowing a paltry 212 yards in passing offense on average – Mahomes is anything but average. That being said the Broncos held Mahomes to 184 yards and no passing touchdowns in Week 13 (Mahomes did have a rushing TD in that game). However given the stakes, I think we see Mahomes play at a different level – perhaps a playoff level – to secure the #1 seed. He isn’t my top QB play on the day and I don’t know how much I like him at Captain in DK showdowns ($18,000), I think it wise you have a few lineups with Mahomes at QB and in the Flex in showdowns. He will be 73% rostered in tournaments today however, so smart to try and be contrarian in your lineups elsewhere.
Drew Lock $5,300. Believe it or not, I like Lock the most of any of the 4 quarterbacks today. A couple factors here to consider. #1 He has nothing to lose! The Broncos aren’t making the playoffs and Lock isn’t even the Starting QB for this team (don’t forget Tedy Two Gloves will be back next season). So if anything, he is playing for a job! Either to remain with the Broncos or elsewhere. #2 Everyone is healthy! Lock will have all his weapons at his disposal. Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick all healthy and playing. Noah Fant healthy and playing. Both Running Backs Gordon and Williams healthy and playing. #3 The Matchup – the Chiefs DST despite playing better lately rank 25th against Wide Receivers, 18th against Tight Ends, 19th against running backs and 30th against QBs. #4 The Broncos are at home where their defense has been playing lights out all season. Lock should have plenty of opportunity for yardage and points. Lock looks to be the lowest owned QB on the slate at 11% too which I find very appealing. I think he makes an interesting Captain play in Showdowns too at $13,500.
Javonte Williams/Melvin Gordon $6,100/$5,800. I group these two players together because they legitimately have a full time share on this backfield and I think both are equally strong plays at home today. Week 13 against the Chiefs Melvin Gordon did not play and Javonte put on a show with 102 yards on the ground and 76 through the air plus a TD reception. With Gordon back today it will remain to be seen if the Broncos lean one way or the other or if they maintain the split that they have all season. For what it’s worth Williams is the far more popular play at 44% rostered to Gordon’s 20% but still I like both players at home today in the season finale. They are a lock for me in showdowns as well. Javonte is $12K at Captain, $8K at Flex. Gordon is $11,400 at Captain, $7,600 at Flex.
Darrell Williams $5,900. Williams will be the highest owned RB on the slate today at an astounding 67% ownership. Me thinks that the DFS crowd forgets that the Broncos rank 10th against runninhg backs. The ownership stems from the opportunity as Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been ruled out. Williams is a strong pass catcher out of the backfield on a high powered offense, but that ownership scares me, especially with the Broncos at home. I am actually more inclined to take a dart throw on backup Derrick Gore at $4,500 and 4% ownership… that being said, Williams’ opportunity warrants a look here. He will have little reason to not finish this game either with CEH expected back for the playoffs. He also should be a flex consideration in showdowns at $9,800. And Derrick Gore should DEFINITELY be in your Flex consideration for Showdowns at $5,400.
Tyreek Hill $8,000. There isn’t a lot to say that hasn’t already been said about Hill. At 90% ownership today Hill will be the highest owned player on the slate. In week 13 the Broncos held Hill to 22 yards. However if the Chiefs are to win and win convincingly they will need to get the Cheetah going. At 90% ownership you can look at Hill in two ways. 1. If he busts, and you didn’t roster him, you could immediately jump ahead of 90% of the field or 2. If he goes off and you didn’t roster him, you can almost certainly kiss any chance of cashing goodbye as 90% of the field just passed you. So the choice is yours. My advice, for every Tyreek Hill lineup you enter – hedge it with a non Tyreek Hill lineup.
Travis Kelce $7,000. I feel like everything I could say about Kelce has already been said about Tyreek Hill above – save that he had 5 more yards than Hill in Week 13 and he is only 70% owned in tournaments today. Only. Right. The Broncos have been stingy against Tight Ends all season, ranked 3rd against the position. Moreover, Kelce himself has not been Kelce Like, lately. In three of the last 4 games Kelce has finished with 27 or UNDER yards. In my opinion, getting Tyreek Hill going early should be a bigger priority for the Chiefs than getting Kelce going – so I actually prefer Hill today – but I will have some exposure to Kelce in tournaments, but exclusively stack with Mahomes. I also like Kelce in the flex in Showdowns at $10,400.
Broncos Wide Receivers I am grouping all of these guys together because honestly there really isn’t much standing them apart. Jerry Jeudy is $5,100. Courtland Sutton is $4,600. Tim Parick is $4,500. Week 17 Courtland Sutton saw 5 targets, Jeudy & Patrick saw 4. Week 17 both Sutton and Jeudy even finished with 60 yards each and none of the 3 had a TD. In Week 13 Jeudy clearly was the guy finishing with 77 yards, 60+ more than either Sutton or Patrick. So if I had to rank them I’d say Jeudy, Sutton, Patrick … but honestly today I am more than fine mixing and matching them in stacks with Drew Lock. I’d also recommend a similar approach in showdowns. The Matchup is just two good to ignore these guys, especially at home.
Noah Fant $5,000. Noah Fant FINALLY had a breakout this season in Week 17 with Drew Lock back under center. 6 catches, 7 targets, 92 yards and a score. I would expect Fant to be peppered with targets today against a Chiefs team that has allowed multiple top 10 Tight End performances this year. I like him in stacks with Drew Lock and as a run back in Chiefs stacks. I also like him as a contrarian Captain pick in Showdowns at $9,900.
I also think both Defenses are viable DSTs here for Tournaments & Showdowns. The Broncos DST at Home is appealing but don’t sleep on the Chiefs who put up 17 Fantasy Points in Week 13 and (as much as I like him) they are getting Drew Lock under center today. Don’t sleep on the kickers in Showdowns as well.
Additional Value/Dart Throws in this Game:
MeCole Hardman – WR – KC $3,800
Byron Pringle – WR – KC $3,900
Demarcus Robinson – WR – KC $3,400
Kendall Hinton – WR Broncos $3,200
Stacks I am considering:
Patrick Mahomes + Javonte Williams or Melvin Gordon + Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce
Patrick Mahomes + Javonte Williams or Melvin Gordon + Chiefs Pass Catcher NOT named Hill or Kelce
Drew Lock + Javonte Williams or Melvin Gordon + Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton + Noah Fant + Broncos DST
Drew Lock + Darrell Williams + Broncos Pass Catcher + Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce
Patrick Mahomes + Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton + Cheifs Pass Catcher + Derrek Gore + Cheifs DST
DALLAS COWBOYS vs PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 8:15PM
This game is like a few others this weekend where a win or loss by either team matters very little in regards to a playoff berth or seeding. The Cowboys have already clinched the NFC East title and are locked at the #4 Seed with a Playoff date with Kyler Murray upcoming. Meanwhile the Eagles are locked to the 7 seed and a playoff date with Cooper Kupp and the Rams upcoming.
So what do I expect from this game and these two teams? To be honest I do not know. On the one hand you have two division rivals squaring off so you can certainly dream up a competitive game script where the rivals slug it out. However in the “Covid” era, with every week an uncertainty of who will be available, my gut says both these teams air on the side of caution as much as possible. But that is just my gut.
Because of this feeling of unpredictability of who will be on the field, I will be avoiding this game in single game Showdowns. But can you plug any players from this game into your two game DFS Tournament lineups today? Yes…
Do I think we will see Dak, Zeke, CeeDee, Jalen Hurts all take the field to start this game – I do. Do I expect them to all be on the field by the time the 4th Quarter starts – I don’t. What we do know are two major things: Michael Gallup has been put on IR and will miss the rest of this season, including obviously today’s game. Miles Sanders has been officially ruled out today, with the hope that he can return for the Eagle’s playoff run. This leads me to Draft Kings Values in this game:
Cedrick Wilson $4,200 – with Gallup going down, Wilson will enter the starting lineup on 3 wide sets and in my opinion of the starting WRs for the Cowboys, Wilson has the best shot at a complete game today. Wilson has been a fairly regular contributor to the offense all season, Week 1 – 16 he saw multiple targets in 11 games including 7 in Week 11 and 10 in Week 12. But when Gallup left last week Wilson caught all 6 targets he received including a Touchdown and a 2 Point Conversion. If Wilson is to take the Gallup role he could be looking at 7 or more targets and a solid amount of sideline tosses and deep shots from whomever is under center. Love the pricing here too. Wilson’s ownership sits at around 30% but it is possible that skyrockets if we get any news of Lamb or Cooper sitting. So keep an eye on that.
Kenneth Gainwell $4,100 – Miles Sanders is out with injury. Boston Scott & Jordan Howard both remain in Covid-19 Protocols. Thus Kenneth Gainwell will likely lead the Eagles backfield today and I actually think you will see a lot of Gainwell throughout the game. The reality is even if Sanders can’t return for the first playoff game, the Eagles expect either Scott or Howard or both to be cleared to play by then. So I would expect them to lean on Gainwell here and use him till they use him up. Gainwell will likely be the second highest owned running back on the slate so this could be a trap here if he busts. That being said, I think you have to take some shots if you are multi-entering.
Kerryon Johnson $4,000 remember him? Johnson, now an Eagle, will play second fiddle to Gainwell and likely the change of pace option behind him – but I think he makes a sneaky flex play if you are multi-entering. Johnson has had two seasons of NFL experience behind him and if he does get hot catching passes or with his opportunities, we could see a “hot hand” scenario unfold. If you are multi-entering, stick Johnson in the flex in a couple lineups. You never know.
Corey Clement $4,000 another remember him? The Cowboys will be without Tony Pollard today so Clement will very likely be elevated to the #2 role behind Zeke. This is a REVENGE game for Clement who was a long time Eagle by the way. Do I expect to see a lot of Clement early in this game? No. But as the game wears on I think Clement’s role will only increase. At $4,000 I think he makes an interesting RB2 consideration but also a Flex Play. If the Cowboys take a big lead or are losing big, I can’t see them continue to risk Zeke in a meaningless game… I like Clement a lot here. At around 14% ownership I think he is an interesting pivot from Gainwell in this game.
Richard Rogers $2,500 another remember him? The Eagles will be without TE Dallas Goedert today and Goedert’s backup Jack Stoll, both in the Covid Protocols. That leaves Rogers and also Tyree Jackson (also $2,500) as the most likely candidates to handle the TE position. While technically Jackson sits above Rogers on the depth chart, Rogers has had a much longer track record of catching key passes including a couple famous hail mary’s in his career. If you are paying down at tight end, I’d look at Rogers or Jackson here with my lean being toward Rogers.
A Few Other Value/Dart Throws to consider:
Quez Watkins – WR – Eagles $3,800
Greg Ward – WR – Eagles $3,300
Noah Brown – WR – Cowboys – $3,300
Malik Turner – WR – Cowboys – $3,200
Jalen Reagor – WR – Eagles $3,000
Blake Jarwin- TE – Cowboys $2,500
Gardner Minshew – QB – Eagles $5,400 (Showdowns Only, unless he is announced as the starter) (Showdown Pricing $13,500/$9,000)
Cooper Rush – QB – Cowboys $5,000 (Showdowns Only, unless he is announced as the starter) (Showdown Pricing $13,500/$9,000)
Stacks from this game to consider
This game is not a game I am targeting a full game stack on. Though I do not mind some contrarian secondary stacks.
Ezekiel Elliot/Corey Clement + Cowboys DST
Kenneth Gainwell/Kerryon Johnson + Eagles DST
CeeDee Lamb or Amari Cooper + Cedrick Wilson + Dalton Schultz + Devonta Smith
Devonta Smith + Quez Watkins + Richard Rogers or Tyree Jackson + Cedrick Wilson
Jalen Hurts + Ezekiel Elliot + Cedrick Wilson or Dalton Schultz + Eagles Pass Catcher
Dak Prescott + Cowboys Pass Catcher + Cowboys DST
PS – it isn’t like I am not playing any of Dak Prescott or Jalen Hurts today, I just wouldn’t be surprised if either rested or only played a quarter. With the playoffs on the line I just think it’s too risky for either team to play them much more than that. Same can be said for for Zeke Elliot, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper & Devonta Smith. Just my opinion but I’ll be light on all of these players in my lineups.
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS + Come Back Tomorrow for:
Sunday Slate DFS Preview (Morning)
Sunday Night Football DFS Preview (Afternoon)