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NFL Divisional Round DFS WR Plays

The injury to Antonio Brown will make us pause for a moment.  He is once again the highest priced WR, but he now has the most uncertainty.  The "good" news is with this being a concussion if he does get cleared to play he will be 100%.  If it were a leg issue, you would not know the severity of the injury until the game started.

This is a strange week for the WR position.  There is a massive gap between Brown ($9800) and the next highest WR, Julian Edelman ($7100).

If I were ranking my WR's this week, without taking price into consideration, I would have Michael Floyd as my top wideout.  The interesting thing is, he is the 12th most expensive WR this week at $5100.  Floyd is not quite the household name like Antonio Brown so I do not believe his ownership will be too high.

1. Michael Floyd ($5100)

Green Bay 50
Arizona -7

For those of you that have read my column, my love affair with Floyd goes back to the beginning of the season (well, really his rookie campaign).  Floyd looks and acts the part of a true #1 WR and I believe that is his future role with this franchise.  He is due a lot of money this year and I believe the Cardinals would be making a mistake by letting him walk.  Floyd piled up 100-yard games for the Cardinals this year having five in the last eight games of the season.  I would not consider two of those weeks, one he was hurt, the other was Week 17.  As Larry Fitzgerald puts the finishing touches on his HOF career, Floyd continues to make his pitch as Carson Palmer's new favorite target.  Sam Shields once again looks like he will be a no-go this weekend.  With Shields out, the Packers will be forced to roll coverage advancing the chances for Floyd to have a big game.  Michael Floyd will be a tent pole of mine for the Divisional Round games in DFS.

2. Demaryius Thomas ($7000)

Pittsburgh -
Denver -

Demaryius Thomas has some of the most remarkable raw skills I have ever seen at the WR position.  When his head is on straight and he is focussed, Thomas is the prototypical #1 WR that will light up the scoreboard for 165/2.  He will then follow up those moments up with games like Week 12 vs the Patriots where he was only able to haul one of 13 targets in.  There is a good chance Thomas is matched up with Antwon Blake, PFF's 115th (out of 119) ranked DB.  If that is the case, Manning will take advantage of this match up the best he can.  The problem is, the best Manning has to offer right now falls somewhere between Landry Jones and Brian Hoyer. His mental capacity is performing just fine, his arm strength simply does not match up with what his mind/eyes sees.  It would be a nice story for Manning to have a couple nice playoff games mentally erasing his Week 10 disastrous performance which ultimately got him benched for Brock Osweiler.

3. Julian Edelman ($7100)

Kansas City 42.5
New England -5

Reports coming in indicate Edelman is running at full speed during practice.  He reportedly will be wearing a protective shoe (steel plated) but it is not believed to slow him down.  He has not played since Week 10 but did lead the team in targets before the injury set him back.  Brady has had a hard time finding a dependable target outside of Gronkowski since Edelman got injured. Assuming Brady/Edelman were able to rekindle their connection over the extra long break the Patriots earned, Edelman could easily be in for a double-digit target/reception day.  The weather looks like it could be tricky this weekend in Foxboro with wind and rain, but I would count on Brady to lean on his experience in these situations here.  I am not convinced Brady has a monster day.  I do like Edelman in this match up.  The entire Chiefs secondary is quite strong, they may decide to double up Gronkowski leaving their corners in man.  In that event, Edelman is certainly quick enough to find the holes in the defense he has made his living doing.

4. Doug Baldwin ($6800)

Seattle 43.5
Carolina -2.5

NFL DraftKings DFS WR
Keith Allison Flickr
Essentially, all of the best defenses in the NFL made the playoffs.  You have to pick your poison in terms of match ups. The Seahawks move Doug Baldwin all over the field. Conversely, the Panthers typically line their top DB, Josh Norman, on a side.  Both Odell Beckham and Julio Jones had nice success against the Panthers and both were moved all over the field in those games.  Both players were used extensively in the slot as their offenses looked to create space for their top playmakers.  Doug Baldwin is used similarly.  I expect Baldwin to once again be moved attempting to not allow Josh Norman to shadow him.  If the Seahawks are successful in this chess match, look for Baldwin to benefit from the coverage.  Baldwin has caught 12 of his 14 touchdowns over the last eight weeks.  There is clearly a trust factor between him and Russell and I fully anticipate this trend to continue as we head into the Divisional Round.

Now that I have put the top 4 plays out for consumption, let's take a look at some less expensive options that will help fill out our rosters.

1.  Chris Conley ($3000)/Albert Wilson ($3800): As of 8:15 Thursday morning, the status of Jeremy Maclin is unknown.  It was first thought he tore his ACL.  After further examination, it was later determined to be a more optimistic high ankle sprain.  High ankle sprains are also a very scary injury.  These injuries will usually sideline a player for several weeks during a regular NFL season.  In the event Maclin does not play, I fully expect the Patriots to do whatever they have to do to take Travis Kelce out of the game.  If that is the case, Conley may have opportunities to make an impact in the playoffs his rookie season.  Jeremy Maclin missed Week 7 of the regular season due to a concussion.  In that week, Chris Conley and Albert Wilson both saw increased targets.  Conley converted seven targets into a 6/63/1 stat line.  Conley has the physical tools (6'2"/213 lbs 4.35/40) to make a strong NFL WR.  We are looking for a difference maker in our line-ups, I believe either Chris Conley or Albert Wilson could offer a nice addition to our GPP cards.

2.  Tyler Lockett ($4400):  It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks move all of their chess pieces. Either Lockett or Baldwin will benefit from not having Josh Norman cover them. Baldwin seems like the more likely beneficiary though Lockett has the speed (4.40 40) and open field ability to break one open. Keep in mind, Lockett touches the ball in the offense as well as on special teams.

3.  Jared Abbrederis ($3000): It looks like Davante Adams suffered a sprained MCL in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.  That will likely move Randall Cobb to the outside leaving Abbrederis to the slot. The Cardinals DB's should have little problems covering the Packers outside WR's in man coverage.  That gives Abbrederis opportunities underneath allowing him to possibly pile up some catches.

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