The NFL postseason has arrived, and it begins with a Wild Card Weekend that appears to have some intriguing matchups as well as some lopsided ones.
The good news is that all six matchups are rematches from the regular season, which gives us some data to look at as far as how players performed against their opponents when evaluating player props and daily fantasy values.
We’ve once again got our top passing, rushing and receiving player prop values for the week along with the matchups to target when setting a DFS lineup.
TOP PROP PLAYS
Player prop odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
Passing top play
49ers QB Brock Purdy UNDER 214.5 yards (-114) vs. Seahawks
Purdy has held his own as a starting quarterback, but he’s been at his best as a game manager as opposed to a high-volume passer. The 49ers running game should be able to lead the way to where Purdy likely won’t be asked to throw much against the Seahawks in what should be a low-scoring affair with heavy rain expected.
Passing honorable mention
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence OVER 245.5 yards (-114) vs. Chargers
Lawrence and the Jaguars haven’t needed to air it out much in recent weeks, but that projects to change while facing a Chargers offense that’s capable of putting up points in bunches with Justin Herbert. The Chargers’ defense is solid against the pass, but the matchup against Herbert will likely force Lawrence into throwing, and he has the weapons to do so.
Rushing top play
Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette OVER 38.5 yards (-114) vs. Cowboys
The Buccaneers have struggled to run the football all season, but ‘Playoff Lenny’ is in a great get-right spot this week against a Cowboys defense that got gashed last week by the Commanders’ backup running backs. Fournette should get enough work to rack up yardage despite having to split time with Rachaad White since he’s been reliable for Tom Brady before in the playoffs.
Rushing honorable mention
Bills RB James Cook OVER 36.5 yards (-114) vs. Dolphins
The Bills have gotten Cook more involved in the offense down the stretch, as he’s now in a near-even split with Devin Singletary as the primary ball carrier. While Josh Allen is still the focal point, the Bills project to have the lead early and often and be able to lean on the run to where Cook should go well over the 38 yards he had in his last outing against the Dolphins.
Receiving top play
Chargers WR Keenan Allen OVER 77.5 yards (-114) at Jaguars
The Chargers passing game could be without a key weapon in Mike Williams, but Allen is set to thrive whether Williams goes or not since he’s the clear-cut top receiving option for Justin Herbert. Allen is set up for another busy day in which Herbert will have to duke it out against Trevor Lawrence, and they should have success doing so against a vulnerable Jaguars secondary.
Receiving honorable mention
Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson OVER 51.5 yards (-114) vs. Giants
The Giants’ defense is vulnerable against tight ends, and Hockenson made that known with a huge outing against them in Week 16. Not much appears to have changed since then, so Hockenson is in line for another strong day in what could turn into a shootout with the struggling Vikings defense forcing Kirk Cousins and company to keep their foot on the gas nearly every week.
TOP MATCHUPS TO WATCH
DFS player prices via DraftKings
Shootout of the Week: Chargers at Jaguars
Both the Chargers and Jaguars are much more complete teams than last season having upgraded their defenses, which helped them make the playoffs, but the bottom line is that they’ll need their young franchise quarterbacks to step up if they want to advance. Elite talents Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence both have enough weapons around them to where the opposing defenses are set to take a step back in what I see is the most entertaining contest of the weekend.
DFS values: Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence ($5700), Jaguars RB Travis Etienne ($6000), Chargers WR Keenan Allen ($7000), Jaguars WR Zay Jones ($4300), Chargers TE Gerald Everett ($3800)
Low-key shootout: Giants at Vikings
It’s tough to call Vikings games low-key shootouts anymore since most DFS players have caught on to the fact that their porous defense usually allows them to put up big numbers, but there are several players in this matchup that could offer value. While the majority of the public will likely roster Justin Jefferson, there are other options to keep an eye on that offer value.
DFS values: Vikings QB Kirk Cousins ($5900), Giants RB Saquon Barkley ($7900), Vikings WR K.J. Osborn ($4600), Giants WR Richie James ($3900), Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson ($5100)
Stay away: Seahawks at 49ers
While the 49ers’ offense is capable of putting up points in bunches, the Seahawks’ defense has stepped up down the stretch. The Seahawks’ offense has taken a step back though and likely won’t get right against the elite 49ers stop unit, so the defenses should dominate with heavy rain expected.
REGULAR SEASON PROP RECORD
Passing: 16-16 (top play 7-9, HM 9-7)
Rushing: 17-15 (top play 9-7, HM 8-8)
Receiving: 21-11 (top play 10-6, HM 11-5)
Spencer ‘the Guru’ Urquhart (@spencertheguru) has been a fantasy football analyst since 2014, founding a community of over 6,000 followers