The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs is going to look much different for DFS than the Wild Card Round did. In the Wild Card round, there was simply no reason to spend big at the running back position allowing us to spend more at the WR position. As I initially go through the process, this weekend looks much different.
I will re-iterate what I said last week. You should not be looking to significantly increase your bankroll through tons of cash games. We do not have the same edge as we would in Weeks 1-17. Instead, you should be playing in a couple cash games and play a few more GPP contests than you normally would.
1. Carson Palmer ($6500)
Green Bay 50
The last time we saw Carson Palmer was two weeks ago vs Seattle. It was quite clear the Cardinals mailed it in for the second half. The reasoning is not really important, the fact is, they did. This game has the highest total on the board this weekend. The Cardinals are the best overall team in the NFL and have the highest team total of the weekend. They have the best running back (hint, hint) and by far the best receiving corp. As it stands right now, the Cardinals are the largest favorites in the eyes of Vegas. I agree 100%. There is a chance Cam Newton ($7500) has as slightly better statistical day than Palmer, but I really like the $1K price reduction here allowing me to spend a little more on other positions.
2. Cam Newton ($7500)
Cam Newton is the definition of a dual-threat QB having a 35/10 TD/INT ratio along with 10 rushing TD's. Newton is able to run one in from just about anywhere on the field. The Seattle defense has played pretty well as of late though Roethlisberger did throw for 456 yards in Week 12 showing some vulnerability to this unit. It looks like the Panthers will be getting Ted Ginn and Jonathan Stewart back from injury giving Newton more options at his disposal. Newton may go under-owned this week because of the low total in the game and playing the Seattle defense. The Seahawks may have a blueprint of sorts with the Falcons holding the Newton and the Panthers to 142 yards passing in Week 16. While Newton did add a rushing score that week, it is the kind of performance you can not afford from the most expensive QB on the board. I again think Cam Newton has the best statistical day though I am not convinced the $1K price different is paid back.
Edit To Add:
One of my trusty readers pointed to the fact I forgot to talk about Russell Wilson. he was right, I did forget.
Russell Wilson: Rumor has it, the issues Wilson had in Wild Card weekend resulted from communication issues in his ear piece. Either way, he consistently looked confused calling many costly time-outs. Wilson will almost certainly have a better day against the Panthers but will likely be heavily owned due to his name value. He cost $300 more than Palmer and I am not convinced his point production will match his price tag. Playing in more GPP contests, I do not see a massive day from Wilson warranting us to put him in our line-ups.
Aaron Rodgers: I hate this match up for the Packers. I fear the Packers WR's will have serious issues with getting open this week. I think Rodgers and company are in for a very long day. The game against the Redskins may have been a mirage.
Ben Roethlisberger: His injury scares the hell out of me. I am not willing to pay up for a quarterback with torn ligaments and sprains in his throwing shoulder. I do believe he will gut this one out but I do not thing he will be nearly as effective as you will need him to be. It is also unknown whether or not Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams will be playing.
Peyton Manning: Nope.
Tom Brady: He is a little bit intriguing, but the KC pass rush gives me a major concern. It is believed the Patriots will get Sebastian Vollmer back this week which certainly helps bolster their OL. The weather looks to be cold, rainy, and windy in Foxboro on Sunday. This game has a low scoring 20-17 type of feel to it.
Alex Smith: See Payton Manning
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