Things are all new and different in fantasy football with the NFL playoffs upon us. There are just four games this weekend and we are done with the standard leagues. There are two possible directions to go for your fantasy fix. There is always the Daily Fantasy route, but there is also the NFL Playoff Challenge option. Here are a few things to think about for this weekend.
You are only going to start Rodgers if you can save the cap space somewhere else. Rodgers is the most expensive quarterback in both FanDuel and Draft Kings. With the Giants defense coming into town it might seem difficult to promise it will be worth it. I will be avoiding Rodgers in my DFS leagues. Rodgers has more promise in the NFL Playoff Challenge. In the Playoff Challenge format you gain extra bonuses the longer your players stay in the playoffs. While we might like the Packers’ chances as one of the hottest teams entering the playoffs, I would think you might be better served by going with Ben Roethlisberger This selection is mostly because the AFC is so much weaker, especially with Derek Carr no longer playing. Rodgers will still have to face some combination of Atlanta, Dallas or Seattle. Reaching the Super Bowl from the Wild Card round would allow the players to attain a 4x multiplier on the fantasy score. Still, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan cannot get that amount since they are not playing this week.
Eli has had his way in Green Bay before and is $1,100 cheaper in FanDuel and $1,800 cheaper in Draft Kings. With the continuing injuries in the Packers defensive backfield this is not a terrible choice either. As the cheaper option he could make the rest of your team stronger while still getting you higher quarterback points. If you are looking for a cheaper guy with an outside chance at good production, Brock Osweiler will not overwhelm anyone but he is facing a terrible Oakland pass defense at home. Also, he is $2,800 cheaper than Rodgers in Draft Kings and $1,800 cheaper in FanDuel. Eli does not have much value in the Playoff Challenge value as the likelihood of a long Giants run is not high.
Hard to go with Montgomery as anything other than an RB2. You are still going to want one of the top three running backs: Le’Veon Bell, Jay Ajayi, or Lamar Miller. These are the top three backs and each is playing against unimpressive rush defenses. Still, Montgomery disappeared for huge periods last week when the Packers decided they wanted to focus on Ripkowski’s pass blocking abilities (and after Montgomery misplayed a screen pass). Latavius Murray is a little cheaper than Montgomery and should get plenty of carries. Montgomery will also be facing a more difficult defense than Oakland will. You probably do not want him in the Playoff Challenge. Le’Veon Bell is probably the best option from the Wild Card round as he is the top running back with the best chance of getting to the Super Bowl.
Rashad Jennings/Paul Perkins
So these two are really close. Perkins will likely get more play in this game, but FanDuel actually has Jennings as the more expensive play. In the cold, it is possible the Giants try to run more, but it seems far more likely the Giants split carries and focus on passing to keep pace with the Packers. I cannot advise starting either except in a salary cap saving move to get some stud starter. Neither makes any sense as a starter in the Playoff Challenge either.
Jordy Nelson/Davante Adams/Randall Cobb
Nelson has been one of the hottest players in football over the back half of the season. Expect the Packers to continue throwing in the home game. The Giants have a very good pass defense and Jordy is the third-most-expensive receiver in both FanDuel and Draft Kings. If you are playing on Draft Kings, Adams might be an interesting WR2 pick. Draft Kings and FanDuel have a rather sizable disagreement about WR values. Draft Kings has Adams as the seventh most expensive receiver (a full $2,400 behind Jordy and $3,800 behind Antonio Brown). FanDuel has Adams as the fifth receiver ($1,500 behind Jordy and $2,100 behind Antonio Brown). Cobb has practiced this week and might be an interesting WR3 play and is valued in the same area as Geronimo Allison. In the cold, the underneath game might be an interesting play especially with the Giants pass rush. Jordy is the Playoff Challenge play here because is more likely to be a consistent player in the coming weeks as well as this week.
Odell Beckham, Jr./Sterling Shepard
You are only starting OBJ if you are saving elsewhere. He is behind only Antonio Brown in value and only by a few hundred dollars in each format. Sterling Shepard is an interesting start as a WR2 or WR3. He is getting valued in the area of Cobb/Allison in FanDuel, but considerably ahead of them in Draft Kings. With the problems in the Packers pass defense, the fact that Shepard is $5,300 cheaper than OBJ in Draft Kings and $4,800 cheaper in FanDuel. I still do not enjoy either player in the Playoff Challenge as the odds of them getting the bonus for getting to later rounds is not in your favor. Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson are probably the two players in the first round who have the best chance of making it to the Super Bowl and getting the 4X multiplier.