If you're still playing DFS, there's no bigger risk-reward option this week than Vikings WR Adam Thielen
Unfortunately, which site you play on might impact how you use my daily fantasy football (DFS) picks for this week's Divisional Round playoff games.
We can all guess as to why, but the fact remains that DraftKings and FanDuel are offering two menus this weekend. I know I prefer the DraftKings menu, but alas, I do not run the world. DraftKings is emphasizing the entire weekend slate while FanDuel's focus seems to be more intent on splitting up the weekend.
I have split the picks up my own way, however, into AFC and NFC options. The beauty is that either way you can use the picks below. I have suggested one pick for cash games (i.e. 50/50 and double ups), one pick for GPPs, and one player to consider fading. Good luck!
Safe Pick: Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens vs. Titans
"He was sick last week."
"Ravens will be rusty."
"The Titans held Brady in check and Brady has far more playoff experience than Lamar".
Whatever you need to tell yourself to justify leaving Jackson out your lineup, fine by me. I'm not buying it. I rode Lamar all year, I'm not stopping now. Beleedat!
High Risk/Reward Pick: Chiefs DST vs. Texans
I suspect that many will either go with the cheaper options on defense or will spend up and grab the Ravens DST. The Chiefs are the NFL's 16th-ranked defense, giving up nearly 350 yards a game. But they also are one of the NFL's most improved units. They have double-digit fantasy points in five of their last six games. Texans LT Laremy Tunsil is questionable for this game and Houston's offensive line has not exactly been impenetrable like Fort Knox this year. Watson has been sacked more than all but five quarterbacks and he was taken down six times last week. Throw in the home-field advantage of Arrowhead and the Chiefs DST will definitely be in a few of my GPP lineups this weekend.
Fade: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans at Chiefs
Of course if you're going to grab the Chiefs DST, it makes sense to fade Hopkins as well. I originally put Derrick Henry in this spot as fortune favors the bold and fading Henry is a bold pick. I do like fading Henry in my GPP lineups, but I'm pretty much fading Hopkins across the board. First off, you have all the reasons I highlighted above under the Chiefs DST section. Second, it has been over a month since Hopkins has scored a touchdown. He is the Texan most likely to score a TD this week, but at this salary, he has to in order to hit value. No thanks.
Safe Pick: Aaron Jones, RB, Packers vs. Seahawks
The only RB who had more fantasy points this year than Jones was Christian McCaffrey. Meanwhile, the Seattle defense gave up multiple-touchdown performances eight times this season, including each of their last four. Furthermore, the weather forecast is not looking passer-friendly for this game. If the Packers are going to win this game, it will not because of Aaron Rodgers. It will be because of Jones.
High Risk/Reward Pick: Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings at 49ers
For starters, Thielen might not even play after receiving stitches for an ankle injury suffered in practice earlier this week. And even if he does, he still might not be at 100 percent:
#MINvsSF injury report— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 9, 2020
OUT: Mackensie Alexander
DOUBTFUL: Jayron Kearse
QUESTIONABLE: Adam Thielen
But, should Thielen play, I think he'll do enough to help his team possibly upset the 49ers. He is coming off a nine-target, seven-catch day for 129 yards last week. A 25-point fantasy day would not surprise me, but the risk is obviously there too.
Fade: Jacob Hollister, TE, Seahawks at Packers
I know, deciding to fade Hollister is not exactly the same as fading a DeAndre Hopkins or Derrick Henry. But I've been seeing a lot of support lately for rostering Hollister this weekend. The arguments include the fact that Green Bay has been just middle of the road against tight ends this season, compared to very good in limiting the damage done by wide receivers. Or that Hollister has 18 targets the last three games.
Swell. He also has yet to notch 65 receiving yards in a game and has not scored a touchdown since Week 10.
I'm either paying up for George Kittle, going with one of the TEs on the AFC side of the bracket, or spending down and taking my chances with a guy like Jimmy Graham. Speaking of Graham, Seattle gave up the second-most fantasy points to TEs during the regular season.
Enjoy the Divisional Round!
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.