Wild Card Weekend Flowchart Results
Despite a lackluster performance from both Tom Brady (7.36 FPts) and AJ Brown (1.40 FPts) the Optimal Lineup still finished with 126.96 pts which was good enough to be in the Top 12-15% of the Large GPPs last weekend. Outside of the low scoring game stack to start things off, the remainder of the player pool in the flowchart was extremely strong! Metcalf, Thielen, and Edelman were three of the Top 6 WRs while Cook, Kamara, and Singletary (last minute Twitter swap!) finished as three of the Top 4 RBs. Having both Kyle Rudolph and the Seahawks Defense finishing at #2 at their position rounded out a really strong week for the flowchart.
Divisional Round Breakdown
Before we dig into each of the matchups, I want to touch a couple of things that slightly change with the flowchart now that we are into the smaller slates. First, the Quarterback position becomes extremely important. We were able to overcome a poor performance from Brady last week (giving up almost 20 points to similarly priced QBs), but we needed a huge day from the rest of the player pool to still end up in the money. In addition to QB, the 3rd column for Low Ownership is the key to success or failure in the Large GPPs. We don’t necessarily need players that are exactly under 5%, but we absolutely must hit on a few of the long shot guys in order to keep pace with the field.
First up on Saturday is Minnesota @ San Francisco, where we see a hot Kirk Cousins-led Vikings team head West to face a Niners team that was pretty much in control of the NFC for most of the season. We’ve seen the total in this game come down from 47.5 to 44, but I like the chances of this thing going over. Going contrarian with Emmanuel Sanders this week as I’m sure Samuel and Kittle will be much higher owned. When looking at this Vikings Defense, it’s a unit which has allowed the 8th most Air Yards in the league while holding opponents to the 3rd lowest total Yards After Catch (YAC). Sanders is 5th in the NFL in Air Yards this season while Samuel and Kittle both excel in YAC.
The Saturday Night Primetime matchup between the Ravens and the Titans has potential to be one of the more lopsided matchups of the weekend. I think Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense will score early and often and I’m not so sure that the Titans will be able to keep pace. If Mark Ingram is limited or doesn’t end up playing, Gus Edwards’ value increases exponentially. Regardless of the running back situation, Mark Andrews has been an absolute Touchdown machine over the last half of the season and I don’t think the Tennessee secondary has an answer for him.
On Sunday, we get Patrick Mahomes facing off at home against Deshaun Watson in Arrowhead. The Texans give up the 8th most explosive passing plays, the 4th highest Average Depth of Target (DADOT), and the 5th most YAC. Checking my notes…yup, Tyreek Hill excels in all three of these categories, and I think we are about to see this Houston secondary get exposed. On the flip side, the Chiefs give up 10.5 yards per reception to RBs which is 2nd worst in the league. Since we are running out a Mahomes/Hill stack (which will be the most popular this weekend), I think Duke Johnson is where we can find an angle to differentiate ourselves.
Last but not least, we get arguably the best QB matchup of the weekend in Lambeau field on Sunday afternoon. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson will go mano a mano in a game that has the potential to be an NFL Classic. I’m rolling with Jimmy Graham as a great value play this week against a Seahawks team who is giving up an average of 6 catches and 81 yards to Tight Ends in their last 6 games (excluding Arizona and Carolina who don’t really have a TE). Aaron Jones is the bellcow back that I will be trying to get into every lineup possible this weekend. Out of all four games, Jones is the most valuable skill position player to his team. With two weeks to prepare, LaFleur will have a couple of tricks up his sleeve that we haven’t seen yet this year. I also really like Tyler Lockett and his PPR potential in this one.
Good luck to everyone in what is in my opinion the best weekend of the NFL season! Make sure to check in with me on Twitter on Saturday/Sunday morning for any last-minute injury or lineup adjustments.