News & Analysis

DFS deep dive: QBs in Wild Card week

By Scott Barrett
Jan 5, 2018

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Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass as Buffalo Bills defensive end Eddie Yarbrough (54) defends in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

All season I’ve been writing this column for looking at the top DFS plays at each position. This week, we’re back on PFF and behind the paywall for the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. We’ll be looking at each positional grouping for each team, and examining their DFS value and upside on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Below is the look at the quarterbacks.

(Click for running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends)

Before digging too deep into the specific players on this slate, I did want to mention two important notes this week:

  • On a typical full-game slate, I want to feel comfortable with every player I’m rostering. Ideally, even my punt-plays are tremendous values with high-upside. On a shorter slate like this (four games, eight teams) it’s okay to roster a relatively “gross” name if you feel they give you a stronger lineup overall – allowing you to pay up elsewhere.
  • I can’t stress enough the importance of late-swap on these smaller slates. If you have any tournament lineups that, after a bad game or two, seem unlikely to cash, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding exposure to some “riskier” lower-owned players. This was the case for me last season in the playoffs when I shifted exposure to Randall Cobb on a number of presumably dead lineups. Cobb was not an on-paper good play up against the Giants’ Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the slot, but Rodgers-Cromartie suffered an injury within the first few snaps of the game and Cobb exploded for 116 yards and three scores. I profited by thousands of dollars that week, despite making some poor decisions elsewhere.

Notes: All numbers in parentheses refer to a player’s salary rank on each site.

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

(DK: QB7, FD: QB7)

By all accounts, 2017 was an abysmal year for Mariota as a passer. His prior career passer rating had been 93.8, but was only 79.3 in 2017, while his touchdown to interception ratio of 2.37 was only 0.87 this year. He did hit a career high in rushing fantasy points per game (4.1), but also averaged just 11.8 rushing yards per game over his previous six games prior to Week 17’s 60-yard outing. On paper, the matchup looks fine, with Kansas City ranking 10th-worst in schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to the quarterback position this season and over their past five games.

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