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FanDuel Fantasy Football: Wild-Card

Sunday is a slight improvement from Saturday's two-game slate with a third game to choose from which to choose players. I actually think this is as good a three-game slate as we could have with each game providing great fantasy options as well as some great contrarian plays who will be extremely under-used. Let's look at some options as well as strategies for this specific slate.


The top three quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes ($8,700), Tom Brady ($8,400) and Dak Prescott($8,000) — are all obviously viable options for cash games and are much safer than their three counterparts. I actually like Prescott best as he has the highest over/under total for passing yards (282.5) and is the favorite in what's expected to be the highest-scoring game of the weekend, though all three team totals aren't too far apart. Dak comes into this home game on fire with 12 passing touchdowns in his last three games and his wide receivers face the 22nd-ranked defense against the position. Mahomes would be my second choice as I think Tampa Bay could use Ke'Shawn Vaughn (more about him later) at the goal line with Leonard Fournette (hamstring) out, limiting Tom's upside if there are rushing touchdowns. Mahomes faces a defense that ranks 16th against quarterbacks.

Ben Roethlisberger ($6,400) might have the best matchup on paper but besides the Bengals game, the Chiefs were much improved on defense in the second half. My favorite play after the top three is easily the Eagles' Jalen Hurts ($7,700). Hurts is expected to only throw for about 200 yards but his fantasy value comes from running the ball. He could get the opportunity for garbage-time production, and he's had five games with multiple rushing touchdowns.


Elijah Mitchell ($7,400) is my favorite option at the position. He has similar anytime scoring odds (-110) as Ezekiel Elliott (-120) except he's expected to rush for about 35 more yards. Mitchell has scored 15.9, 20 and 25.3 fantasy points in three of his last four games and should get his usual 20-plus carries. Look for the 49ers to lean heavily on the running attack, as usual, to keep Prescott and company off the field.

As mentioned, Fournette will not play, as he was not activated from injured reserve Saturday, and Ronald Jones was ruled out Friday. That makes Ke'Shawn Vaughn ($5,400) almost a must-start given his role combined with opening up salary cap space.

Darrel Williams ($6,600) is best left for GPPs this week, though he has high upside being the main running back for Kansas City. The Steelers haven't been against running backs this season and if you're fading Mahomes, it makes sense to at least use Williams if you think that's how the Chiefs get into the end zone. There was a low floor for Williams (6.2 fantasy points) last week but also a high ceiling (24.2 fantasy points) the week before.

Other players to consider for GPPs: Tony Pollard ($5,700), Ke'Shawn Vaughn ($5,400, even if Fournette does play), Miles Sanders ($5,900)


Here's the position where I think tournaments are going to be won given the plethora of options. Deebo Samuel ($8,700) by far has been the best player at this position this season and should have a nice floor. His salary cap hit means he has to hit a floor of about 15 fantasy points, but he's done that in six of his last seven games. Mike Evans ($8,200) is supposedly 100 percent healthy and without Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin or Cyril Grayson, he should be penciled in for double-digit targets. The ceiling is there but the floor isn't; he's been very touchdown dependent and hasn't had a 100-yard game in any of his last 11 games.

Tyreek Hill ($8,000) is coming off a heel injury and won't make my cash-game lineup this week as a result. He was limited to 14 snaps last game and I don't want to risk a re-injury, plus he could rest late in the game if the Chiefs get a big lead. He's still a great home-run threat but will only be in tournament lineups for me. Similarly, CeeDee Lamb ($7,300) enters without scoring more than 8.4 fantasy points in any of his last four games, making him a pass for cash games. The low production, however, should keep him roster levels down, making him a great tournament play given his upside.

Other players I like for GPPs: DeVonta Smith ($6,200), Brandon Aiyuk ($6,100), Cedrick Wilson($6,000), Breshad Perriman ($5,200)


Despite Travis Kelce ($7,500) averaging more fantasy points per game this season, my preference for cash games this week is Rob Gronkowski ($7,400). He's had 10 targets in each of his last two games and parlayed those targets into 252 receiving yards. He's shown he doesn't need to score to be effective for fantasy purposes but if he does, eclipsing 20 fantasy points is definitely in reach. I have no problem using Kelce if you prefer him and obviously he should be in some tournament lineups, especially in a stack with Patrick Mahomes. As usual, there's nothing wrong with using two tight ends listed in this section for a big GPP.

George Kittle ($6,400) has primarily been used as a blocker the last few games and his 3.5, 4.0 and 3.1 fantasy points in his last three games reflect that. He will be low-rostered this week as a result but is always in play for tournaments. It's strange to say, but on the other side of the ball, Dalton Schultz ($6,200) has a higher floor than Kittle. He has four touchdowns in his last four games, averaging 14.7 fantasy points over that stretch. Schultz is extremely touchdown dependent (as with most tight ends), but it appears he has Dak's trust.

Other players I like for GPPs: Pat Freiermuth ($5,400), Dallas Goedert ($5,900), Blake Jarwin($4,300)


I'd have a hard time justifying using the Pittsburgh Steelers ($3,100) this week just given difficult away matchup in a game that should be a blowout. The Kansas City Chiefs ($4,800) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,200) are both solid choices and if anything, I'd lean Tampa Bay to save a little on cap space. These are the two I'd use in cash games.

The Dallas Cowboys ($4,100) and San Francisco 49ers ($3,700) are both intriguing tournament options. Normally, using a defense in the game with the highest projected total of the slate doesn't make sense but with only three games to choose from, both should be considered. My lean here is Dallas given they're home and I trust Dak Prescott over Jimmy Garoppolo.

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