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Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only four games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement. The same goes for fantasy football, and managing rosters effectively is key to winning that championship.

Throughout the season, players get hot and see an increased role while others struggle and fight to stay relevant. In the playoffs, it is more about matchups and selecting the right players for your DFS lineup. In this weekly column, we’ll showcase those who have taken important steps forward and those who have taken steps back.

These are the key daily fantasy DFS risers and fallers heading into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.

Editor's Note: Get our full-season NFL and DFS Premium Pass for 50% OFF, including the playoffs. Plus, you also get our full-season NBA Premium and DFS Pass for free! Take advantage of our lowest pricing all year, and get an edge on your competition. Sign Up Now!

 

DraftKings DFS Divisional Risers

Drew Brees (QB, NO) - $6,300 on DraftKings

Drew Brees was not the fantasy QB we all remembered this season. He clearly took a step back. But that had nothing to do with any sort of erosion of ability. Now in the playoffs, it looks like the Saints are turning the team back over to Drew Brees. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram could get nothing going on the ground. But no matter. All Brees did was throw for his second highest yardage total of the season (376) and two touchdowns. The Vikings are a difficult matchup and we know about Brees' struggles on the road. However, those struggles are typically due to him playing in the cold or outside. It will be cold in Minnesota, but that won't matter inside a dome. I expect the Vikings to score points and Brees to have to score to keep up. Although he's the second most expensive QB, none of the other options are appealing.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN) - $7,300 on DraftKings

Even in a game the Titans trailed throughout, Derrick Henry still touched the ball 25 times. With DeMarco Murray's career as a Titan all but over, Henry's volume floor is quite high and I prefer him at his price to any other RB this week not named Le'Veon Bell. Henry's 191 total yards last week will likely end up as the high of the playoffs. Even if the Titans get blown out, Henry is going to play as many snaps as he can and touch the ball at least 20 times. If anything, negative game script might lead to more dump offs. The Titans experienced significant negative game script against the Chiefs and that didn't stop them from feeding Henry.

Antonio Brown (WR, PIT) - $8,100 on DraftKings

Just because it is obvious doesn't mean it is not true. The sad part is - it's not even obvious Antonio Brown is a mere $200 more expensive than Julio Jones despite being far and away the better player this season. He's just $500 more expensive than Adam Thielen, who is priced a little high, but still somehow behind Jones. Brown dropped 10-157 on a season high 19 targets the last time the Steelers played the Jaguars. Although that volume shouldn't be expected again, even coming off injury, AB is expected to be his usual self and his usual self is the clear cut best WR since Jerry Rice. He cannot be covered even by the best cornerback duo in the league. Yet, he is priced comparably to his fellow WRs. That is just plain wrong. AB should be at least $1,000 ahead of everyone on a four game DFS slate with limited options. Perhaps the fear of his health is keeping his price down? Whatever it is, capitalize and get him in your lineup.

 

DraftKings DFS Divisional Fallers

Tom Brady (QB, NE) - $7,000 on DraftKings

The greatest QB of all time isn't really a faller in the sense that he hasn't seen a decrease in value. It's just that his perceived value remains significantly greater than his actual value and that is reflected in his price. Tom Brady is the top priced QB by a sizable margin ahead of the aforementioned Drew Brees. Here are Brady's yardage numbers in games where the Patriots were double digit favorites over the second half of the season: 227, 233, 224, 190. Gone are the days of the Patriots going up big and pouring it on with Brady. When they have a comfortable lead, they tuck Brady away and run the ball. I do not expect the Titans to be very competitive. We could very well be looking at a game where Brady attempts around 30 passes. He hasn't had a 300 yard game since week 10 and didn't have a single three touchdown game over his final six contests. I'm not saying Brady will be bad. I'm just saying he's not justified as being the most expensive QB.

Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram (RBs, NO) - $7,800 and $5,600 on DraftKings

These two backs were both RB1s in the regular season. After averaging 6.07 yards per carry in the regular season, Kamara carried the ball 10 times for 23 yards against the Panthers. After catching a whopping 81 balls this season, including at least three in every game, Kamara caught just one pass last week. Mark Ingram "only" averaged 4.89 yards per carry this season and caught "just" 58 passes. Last week, he rushed nine times for 22 yards and caught one pass for 13 yards. The Saints turned the offense over to Drew Brees and I expect that to be a theme in the playoffs. They let Brees take it in easy in the regular season, but now, it's time to win on the arm of Brees. Kamara and Ingram will not see the volume they did when the games weren't as important, making them overvalued at their price.

Brandin Cooks (WR, NE) - $7,000 on DraftKings

Brandin Cooks is priced in such a way as to entice you to put him in your lineup. He is better than everyone listed below him, but his cost is more comparable to the guys ahead of him than behind him while his performance indicates he will be closer to the guys behind him. Here's a fun fact about Brandin Cooks - for a guy who is considered a burner by many (and he is really fast), Cooks only has five 100 yard games over his past two seasons and had just two this year with Tom Brady. Cooks completely disappeared down the stretch becoming a touchdown dependent option, but the biggest problem in 2017 was the lack of ceiling. An elite WR1 cannot go an entire season without catching more than six passes in a game. That's unheard of. Cooks has all the talent in the world, but he is not used, targeted, or prioritized like a top guy. In a game the Patriots won't have to throw much, Cooks is not a legitimate consideration for your lineup.

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