It's tough to enter a divisional round daily fantasy football tournament and not have either Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes in your lineup, but with so many good QBs available, you can survive without them. That's what we attempt to do with our Yahoo DFS picks for the second round of the NFL playoffs (Saturday-Sunday slate).
By fading Jackson and Mahomes, we have more money freed up for stud pass-catchers. We still slip in one boom-or-bust sleeper at WR because every good GPP lineup needs one, but we're hoping our differentiation comes at RB, where we're fading both Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook. Our most expensive RB is coming off an injury (just like Cook was last week), and our RB2 heads up a backfield that gave fantasy owners headaches most of the season. Hopefully, some of the residual worries about Mark Ingram and Damien Williams keeps their ownership relatively low.
Clearly, this lineup depends on the Seahawks doing well, which is a risky proposition in its own right, but if we hit on even one Russell Wilson-Tyler Lockett TD and the rest of our players hit the high floors they've shown down the stretch, we'll be in good shape.
NFL Playoff Yahoo DFS Picks: Divisional Round daily fantasy football GPP lineup
QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ Packers ($31). Wilson is priced as the QB4 on Yahoo this week, and that's about right given his matchup (Green Bay allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to QBs this year) and Seattle's lack of running game. But Wilson is Seattle's whole offense, and with talented receivers and the ability to rack up yards with his legs, he'll get points. DFS owners might look at the matchup and the fact they can get Aaron Rodgers for $3 less (or Ryan Tannehill for $10 less) and fade Wilson, but we're confident he'll produce 250-plus passing yards, 30-plus rushing yards, and at least two total touchdowns -- with the upside for a lot more.
RB Mark Ingram, Ravens vs. Titans ($23). We're hoping that others fade Ingram because of worries about his calf injury. While the ailment could limit him slightly, he's fully expected to play and should see around his average of 14.5 touches (Weeks 1-15). Ingram doesn't have huge yardage upside, but with an average of 5.0 yards per carry, he provides a nice floor, and he's always a multi-TD threat given how lethal Baltimore's red-zone rushing offense is.
RB Damien Williams, Chiefs vs. Texans ($16). Williams dominated Kansas City's RB touches in Weeks 16 and 17 after returning from a rib injury, totaling 35 (28 carries, seven receptions). He posted an impressive 246 total yards and three TDs in those two games, proving that he's healthy and effective. Those numbers are similar to his two-game playoff run last season, when he racked up 45 touches, 250 total yards, and four TDs. Williams is arguably the most underpriced player on the slate, as DFS sites clearly haven't caught up with the fact that he's Kansas City's clear No. 1 back. The Texans also finished the regular season allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs, so Williams has a highly favorable matchup, too. He might be a chalky play in GPPs, but all signs point to a solid performance.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Texans @ Chiefs ($31). The Bills allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to WRs during the regular season and feature one of the top shutdown corners in the league (Tre'Davious White) -- and Hopkins still posted six catches for 90 yards against them last week. The Chiefs were actually slightly better against WRs during the regular season despite the perception that they have a leaky defense, but they don't have a top cover corner like White. If Houston falls behind by two scores in the second half -- possible, if not probable -- Hopkins should rack up cheap catches and blow past his nine-catch, 55-yard performance against Kansas City earlier in the season.
WR Tyreek Hill, Chiefs vs. Texans ($28). Hill absolutely torched the Texans back in Week 6, catching five passes for 80 yards and two scores. He has a high floor and ceiling in this favorable matchup, and it's tough to fade him in GPPs despite his relatively mediocre production down the stretch (fewer than 73 yards in each of his final five full games). Hill is priced as the WR3 in Yahoo contests, so he's not cheap, but we all know the kind of slate-breaking upside he has.
WR Allen Lazard, Packers vs. Seahawks ($13). Lazard has received 17 targets the past two games, catching nine of those looks for 114 yards and a touchdown. He's quietly ascended to WR2 status in Green Bay, and against a Seattle defense that allowed the 12th-most receptions to WRs during the regular season, he could be in line for a few more receptions than you might think. If you're in need of a value WR that might not have high ownership, Lazard is your guy.
TE George Kittle, 49ers vs. Vikings ($25). Only the Ravens allowed fewer fantasy points to TEs than the Vikings in the regular season, and we're hoping that means some DFS owners will fade Kittle for the equally monstrous Travis Kelce or cheaper options in better matchups, such as Mark Andrews or a punt-play like Jimmy Graham. To be fair, when Kittle faced the team that allowed fewer fantasy points than the Vikings, he was held to just 17 yards on two receptions, so maybe there is reason to fade him, but when you look at how he dominated over the final four games (31 receptions, 366 yards, two TDs), it's hard to expect anything other than big numbers.
FLEX Tyler Lockett, Seahawks @ Packers ($21). Fantasy owners had a love-hate relationship with Lockett down the stretch, as he struggled mightily from Weeks 10-14 only to bounce back with 120 yards and a score in Week 15 when he was on a lot of benches. He laid a complete egg in Week 16, then finished off the season with 51 yards and a score in Week 17. His modest 4-62 line last week is closer to his ceiling than his floor, but he still has plenty of upside in any matchup. Seattle's running game is so depleted that it will be forced to pass even in a matchup that favors the run, so Lockett should see another seven-plus targets. Many will opt for teammate DK Metcalf for $2 less, but Lockett has just as much upside.
D/ST Seattle Seahawks @ Packers ($12). At this point in the playoffs, there are no "favorable" matchups for D/STs. Every offense is solid, and most defenses are solid, too. Ultimately, we're just looking to save money here to fill out the rest of our lineup, and the Seahawks offer a good amount of bang for the buck. Green Bay is also $12 and has the advantage of being at home and rested, but given our Wilson-Lockett stack, we're going to fade the Packerse. In Weeks 10-15, Seattle posted 16 takeaways, nine sacks, and two TDs -- and that included games against San Francisco, Minnesota, and the Rams. Ultimately, we're just hoping for at least one big play, and Seattle has proven it can do that.