With only eight teams left in the NFL Playoffs, things are sure to get even more entertaining. It will certainly make for interesting choices regarding Fantasy Playoffs Start ‘Em Divisional Round.
For more information on Fantasy Football formats for the NFL Playoffs, check out last week’s Wild Card Round article.
In the AFC, Lamar Jackson makes his 2019 playoff debut against Ryan Tannehill, who is fresh off an upset over Tom Brady and the Patriots. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes hopes to lead the Chiefs to a second straight AFC Championship as they face Deshaun Watson and the Texans.
In the NFC, Jimmy Garoppolo and the young 49ers finally get a crack at the big stage. They go against the Vikings, who are led by Kirk Cousins, as they are coming off an unlikely victory over one the favorites to win the NFC, the Saints. Elsewhere, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will host the Seattle Seahawks.
There is a lot of intrigue in the Divisional Round and plenty of matchups to exploit. Lucky for you, my job does not stop and I am here for a few more weeks to help you earn a little more bragging rights.
At the quarterback position, it is easy to throw Lamar Jackson into your lineup and ensure you get to use him at least once this playoff season. However, Jackson will be twenty days removed since the last time he played in a game. For me, it is concerning when a quarterback has not played in that long and when there are such limited options, it makes me rather weary.
Personally, in all formats, I like the idea of starting Patrick Mahomes against the Texans. Not only is Mahomes one of the best in the game, but Houston gives up the most passing yards of all teams left in the playoffs and are the fourth-worst among the entire league.
Top Option: Patrick Mahomes
Other Options: Aaron Rodgers
Following a monster performance against the Patriots, Derrick Henry will be a popular play this week. Despite the Ravens’ impressive rush defense, Henry is a good choice. However, Aaron Jones is my top play at the position this week. Seattle allows 117.8 rushing yards per game this season and the Packers will be relying on Jones to have a productive day.
Dalvin Cook and Damien Williams are other players at the position I really like this week. Cook can run the ball against anybody and will again be the focal point for the Vikings offense. Williams has a chance to continue his tear from Week 17 and should get double-digit touches against a subpar Texans defense.
Top Option: Aaron Jones
Other Options: Dalvin Cook, Damien Williams
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I really like DeAndre Hopkins this week. Watson will likely be throwing the ball often on Sunday. Hopkins is the most trustworthy receiver on the Texans and has the best chance of getting open. Adam Thielen is another very safe option coming off of his monster game against the Saints. I think one of the Vikings WR is bound to do well, despite the matchup. It just makes sense for the Vikings to try and force the passing game late. While there is some concern after Thielen aggravated an ankle injury at practice this week, he’s still one of my favorite wide receivers this week.
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AJ Brown seems like a popular pick as well this week. Tannehill and Brown have become a dangerous duo and could produce against an overconfident Baltimore defense. Deebo Samuel is a deep sleeper pick to consider when filling out your lineup. The 49ers may have a confusing offensive dynamic without a true superstar wide receiver. George Kittle is one of the few truly elite tight ends in the league, but somebody else on the 49ers has to make plays. Samuel’s athleticism is unmatched and has the potential to change the course of a game at any time.
Top Option: DeAndre Hopkins
Other Options: Adam Thielen, AJ Brown, Deebo Samuel
Of all positions, tight end was the easiest position to narrow down. George Kittle is your best option here. There is not much explaining to do as Kittle was the clear cut TE1 during the regular season and is the 49ers #1 option on offense. He is a slam dunk start.
Mark Andrews is also another great play. Jackson has to look for someone as a passing option and he tends to look for his tight ends, which happens to be Andrews on most plays. Travis Kelce is yet another great play here and will prove to be a valuable asset to your roster. The only risk with Kelce is the abundance of talent throughout the Chiefs roster. Perhaps he won’t see that target share that Kittle or Andrews will receive. Either way, starting these three almost guarantees you above-average production at this position.
In terms of a sleeper, Hayden Hurst is the most appealing play, but his production is limited by Mark Andrews. Irv Smith is another very deep sleeper who could fit into your lineup this week. I would much rather play one of the top three at Tight End, but these two other options are acceptable if you’re looking to save money (depending on what format you are playing on).
Top Option: George Kittle
Other Options: Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce
Top Option: Justin Tucker
Other Option: Mason Crosby
Top Option: Ravens
Second Option: Packers