DraftKings Optimized Lineup: Divisional Round Edition:

By Matt Johnson on Monday, January 8th 2018
DraftKings Optimized Lineup: Divisional Round Edition:

We're now in the divisional round of the playoffs. Eight teams remain in the hunt for a trip to the Super Bowl and this week trips to the AFC and NFC Championship are on the line. The latest and final round of eight teams brings us the best matchups with the return of four teams on a bye week, some of your favorite plays from throughout the season return to the fold.

DraftKings offers plenty of contests to choose from this weekend, whether it's a GPP or 50/50 contest you're looking for, DraftKings offers it this weekend. Now it's all about building the right lineup. Combining the right value plays at certain spots, hitting on the elite plays and having it all roll into one to help give you a lineup that will put you in the green.

Quarterback - Case Keenum, MIN vs. NO, ($6,100)

In a 50/50 contest, it came down to Keenum and Marcus Mariota. Both are around the same price, though Keenum is slightly more expensive. In the end, the edge goes to the quarterback who plays at home and is more likely to be in a favorable contest and conditions. Both Mariota and Keenum will be used in variations of lineups, but we give the slight Keenum edge.

While the Saints defense rates well, they lack the resources defensively to match up with all of Minnesota's weapons. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore can take away one of the Vikings' receivers, but that still leaves Kyle Rudolph, Jerick McKinnon and one of Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs. New Orleans allowed over 200 receiving yards combined to tight end Greg Olsen and running back Christian McCaffrey last week, now they'll face Pat Shurmur's offense and he'll look to exploit them in similar ways. With the weapons around him, Keenum is a safe play with some nice upside and all coming at a reasonable rate.

Running Back - Le'Veon Bell, PIT vs. JAX, ($9,600) and Dion Lewis, NE vs. TEN, ($6,600)

Typically we aim to go with top plays at wide receiver, but due to matchups things get shaken up this week. Bell is the top target in DFS this weekend given the volume he'll receive and his matchup against the Jaguars' run defense. The Jaguars allowed under 600 total rushing yards combined in their past six games, which puts them in the middle of the pack of the NFL.

Bell should see 25-plus touches in this game and given Jacksonville's strength is against the pass, the Steelers would be smart to treat Bell as their best chance at punching a ticket to the AFC Championship. With 25-plus touches, potentially seven-plus targets coming via the passing attack, Bell will be put in space and have the opportunities to rack up yards. He is the best player on the divisional slate and with a good matchup, he must be rostered.

Lewis may not see the workload Bell does but he is a multi-purpose back who the Patriots rely on in every part of the field. Whether New England is running the ball between the 20s or is inside the five-yard line and gets the ball off on a short pass to Lewis who walks into the end zone. We should especially see Lewis used as a pass catcher given the Titans allowed the most receiving yards to running backs (414) in the last six weeks of the regular season. Lewis will receive 15-plus touches in this game and offers the potential for 90-plus total yards and a touchdown.

Wide Receiver - Mohamed Sanu, ATL@ PHI, ($5,700), Dede Westbrook, JAX @ PIT, ($4,400), Corey Davis, TEN @ NE, ($3,400) and Danny Amendola, NE vs. TEN, ($4,100)

We're hitting the lower end wide receivers for this slate, but it shouldn't come at a dramatic cost. Sanu is in a Falcons' offense that will see Julio Jones matched up on Philadelphia's best cornerback, while Sanu gets to face the lesser competition. Given Sanu's involvement in the passing attack, he is a great option.

Matt Ryan targeted Sanu 19 times total in the past two games and finished with 70-plus receiving yards in each of the contests. Ryan is comfortable with Sanu and this should be another game where he targets him eight-plus times both on short and deep passes. Sanu offers the upside for 14-plus points on DraftKings and comes at a great price.

Westbrook is another quality option who offers a surplus of targets at a great rate. While Joe Haden matches up on Marqise Lee, Westbrook will draw Pittsburgh's secondary cornerbacks. The rookie receiver is a favorite of Blake Bortles with seven-plus targets in each of the last three games. Pair that with some targets in the red zone and a Jaguars' offense that should throw quite a bit in this game as an underdog, Westbrook is a quality value play.

Davis is the bargain play of the slate and comes at a price that would make you believe he only sees three targets per game. Instead, the rookie receiver is a key fixture in the Titans' passing attack and that stands out even more given the offense will need to play catch up against the Patriots. With six-plus targets and his natural ability, Davis offers solid upside and a level of targets we can trust at the price.

Tight End - Rob Gronkowski, NE vs. TEN, ($7,100)

Take a moment to look back on what Travis Kelce did in a short amount of time against the Tennessee Titans. Four receptions for 66 yards and a score, then a concussion forced him out before Kansas City even reached halftime. If Kelce never suffers that concussion, we might be talking about a 100-plus yard, two-touchdown performance.

Now enter Gronk against the same Titans' defense. Tom Brady watches plenty of film and he will pepper Gronkowski with targets in this matchup. Gronk is one of the game's elite players and plays at a position where that carries even more weight. With Kelce now gone and Zach Ertz dealing with a backup quarterback, Gronkowski at tight end is an even greater advantage.

Defense/Special Teams - Minnesota Vikings v. New Orleans, ($2,900)

While the Vikings' price on DraftKings may fall because they're facing a high-scoring offense, this is the defense we most want to target for value this week. Possessing one of the better pass rushes in the NFL, Minnesota will create problems for Drew Brees and the Saints.

Not only can Minnesota limit New Orleans' running game and put pressure on Brees, but the home atmosphere paired with the shutdown abilities of Xavier Rhodes matched up on Michael Thomas makes things even worse for New Orleans. Minnesota's price is a bargain and while others might want to avoid this matchup, the Vikings match up very well against New Orleans and we'll ride with the SKOL defense in DFS.

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