featured Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

01/03/2019
James Davis

Daily Fantasy Football Cash Game Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Wildcard Round - Sunday

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“Chargers” Los Angeles Chargers (2.5) vs. “Ravens” Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)

Sunday's slate starts off with a rematch of a week 16 game that both teams likely viewed as a must-win. The Ravens got it done, containing the Chargers' high-flying offense to just 10 points. They managed to relegate Melvin Gordon to just 53 total yards on 15 touches. Yikes. The Ravens didn't fare a whole lot better from a fantasy perspective, scoring just 22 points. Lamar Jackson was not awful, and "Mark Andrews" had 83 yards and a touchdown on 2 targets, but there isn't a whole lot to look at here. Still, it's very tough to ignore a game altogether on a two game slate. Let's do our best, shall we?

Melvin GordonMelvin Gordon FD 8400 DK 7700
Opponent BAL
Proj Points FD - 11.84 DK - 12.93
It's telling that Gordon is showing up in our optimal lineups even on such generally terrible projections. The reason is pretty simple: the other teams on the slate are Philly, Chicago, and Baltimore. None of those teams really boasts a fantasy relevant running back on a normal slate, and as bad as Gordon was in his previous meeting with Baltimore, he's many cuts above the other guys on this slate. There are obviously plenty of scenarios where Gordon just goes off here, too, as I believe we see the Chargers go all in on him here. In the middle of the season Gordon was touching the ball 24-26 times per game, and the combination of his ankle and the Chargers being pretty well situated in the playoff picture saw those touches decline toward the end of the season. Now that every game has the potential be the last one of the season, we'll see Gordon from beginning to end in this one.

Keenan AllenKeenan Allen FD 7700 DK 6900
Opponent BAL
Proj Points FD - 12.99 DK - 15.95
Throwing to Keenan Allen was basically the only profitable play the Chargers could run against the Ravens in week 16, if only barely. He turned 8 targets into 5 catches and 58 yards, and while that's nothing to write home about, the Chargers clearly thought he was their best option in the passing game. Again, we're on a slate with 3 teams that barely have a reasonable offense. Two of the other teams are playing back-up quarterbacks, and the other has made it to this point on the basis of their defense. You're playing Allen here.

Lamar JacksonLamar Jackson FD 8400 DK 5800
Opponent LAC
Proj Points FD - 18.46 DK - 18.42
Arguably the highest floor quarterback on the slate? I think so. I've been saying it for weeks, but teams with a run-first quarterback always have the option to throw caution to the wind and just let their quarterback run as much as he wants, regardless of how dangerous that can be for a QB's long-term health. Given that the Ravens have been in must-win situations for half of the season, we've seen that they are willing to do exactly that. Jackson had 20 carries for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns against Cleveland last week, and by now it's apparently that the Ravens are willing to go down with this particular ship. Jackson had a few less carries against the Chargers in their last meeting, but that's only because the game was so thoroughly in hand. If this one stays closer, I think Jackson tops 20 carries and pays these prices easily. And if he passes a few times as well? Well, let's just hope he doesn't throw any interceptions.

Gus EdwardsGus Edwards FD 7200 DK 4200
Opponent LAC
Proj Points FD - 10.89 DK - 10.68
Edwards and Dixon were in a straight up time share in Baltimore's week 17 game against Cleveland, and it's very hard to credibly recommend either here, but again, two game slate. I give the nod to Edwards because he was utilized more against the Chargers in their last meeting, touching the ball 15 times to Dixon's 10. He has looked good as a part of the run-run-sometimes pass option, and given that every other team besides the Chargers is on a time share too you have to decide on somebody. Still, it's troubling that Dixon has been eating more and more into Edwards' opportunity as the weeks have passed, and this hardly feels "safe."

 

 

“Eagles” Philadelphia Eagles (5.5) vs. “Bears” Chicago Bears (-5.5)

Two teams with running back-by-committee situations, a back-up quarterback, a great defense, and Mitch Trubisky. I get that this game is a cool one from a real-life football perspective, but from a DFS perspective it's sort of a yikes. Let's see if we can find any value.

Mitch TrubiskyMitch Trubisky FD 8100 DK 6200
Opponent PHI
Proj Points FD - 18.84 DK - 19.13
If you don't have the stomach for Jackson, Trubisky is probably the other guy you're looking at here. With Foles and Rivers going up against two of the best defenses in the league, we're not left with many other options. In spite of being a mess recently, Trubisky still managed 19.6 fantasy points a game on FanDuel this season thanks largely to racking up the 5th most rushing yards of any QB in the league. He's a serviceable passer, and has recently found a little more synergy with guys like Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. The big feather in his cap here, though, is just the match-up. The Eagles are by far the worst passing defense on this slate. The Chargers, Ravens, and Bears each rank in the top 9 in terms of both passing yards per attempt allowed and yards allowed. The Eagles have allowed the 14th most yards per passing attempt, and the 3rd most yards. The Bears have the highest total on the slate, such as it is, and Trubisky obviously figures to be a big part of that.

Allen RobinsonAllen Robinson FD 6500 DK 5600
Opponent PHI
Proj Points FD - 12.94 DK - 14.7
Taylor GabrielTaylor Gabriel FD 5000 DK 4500
Opponent PHI
Proj Points FD - 7.85 DK - 9.36
It's becoming obvious that we'll need to find some savings in the passing game for this slate, and Robinson seems to be very clearly the cream of the crop. He's cheap, averaging 8 targets a game in his last 4 games, and is the first guy Trubisky looks for on nearly every down where he drops back to pass. I suspect he'll be the highest owned wide receiver on the slate. The case for Gabriel is a little more convoluted. Normally we'd hate to play a guy who's seeing 3-4 targets per game, but you almost have to pick among these guys for this slate. With a gun to my head I'm picking Gabriel. Passes to him have actually been among the Bears' best plays recently. He's hauled in all 10 of his targets in the last 3 games, and if the Eagles go after Robinson he could have a big game. He could also really suck. But you can't just not fill a position, and that third wide receiver this week is just going to be somebody speculative.

Jordan HowardJordan Howard FD 7600 DK 4600
Opponent PHI
Proj Points FD - 11.71 DK - 11.71
I may have overstated the case with time sharing today, at least as it pertains to the Bears. While Howard is basically a two-down back, he IS the guy they want to give the carries to. In their last four games Howard touched the ball 22, 15, 20, and 20 times. That's pretty good opportunity. Now he wasn't exactly explosive on that opportunity, but like with Trubisky, he has by far the best match-up of any running back on this slate. It's unexciting, but unexciting might pay the bills here.

Zach ErtzZach Ertz FD 7600 DK 6400
Opponent CHI
Proj Points FD - 13.66 DK - 17.22
On the Eagles side, things get awfully tough. You aren't playing Foles against one of the league's best defenses. You aren't playing Adams or Smallwood in a full on time share. Alshon Jeffery is getting 5 targets a game right now. Eek. That leaves us with Ertz. It's actually kind of nice to have Ertz on this slate, because tight end is just so bad in general that there were no guarantees that we'd get a real tight end in any of the weeks of DFS football for the playoffs. Ertz was basically absent against Washington, but that game was so in hand that the Eagles just grinded it out on the ground. I don't expect them to try the same thing against a Bears defense that should have no issue dealing with the Eagles' RBBC. When teams get to the playoffs they go to their best options, and if Ertz's 16 target game against Houston is any indication, that's certainly how they see him right now.
 

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