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DraftKings Power Pivots: NFL DFS - Divisional Round

Hello folks and welcome back to Power Pivots! We are grinding through the NFL Playoffs and are in search of some alternative player options in DraftKings GPPs.

We have a four-game slate on tap this weekend for the NFL's Divisional round. Things look much prettier from a DFS perspective this week, as the Wild Card matchups were just plain ugly. This will be an exciting slate, as we can pick and choose from the high-flying offenses we have relied on throughout the season.

We don't normally think of a four-game slate as containing lots of options, but this one is actually pretty plentiful. Things will start to get very tight from a player selection standpoint after this weekend, when we head into the conference championship games, so let's enjoy this slate. Thanks for joining me, here we go!

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Divisional Round NFL DFS Power Pivots for DraftKings GPPs

All ownership projections in this article are courtesy of the awesome folks at UFCollective. They provide the most accurate ownership projections that I have found in the DFS industry and now offer their content directly to the public. It is a premium product that is worth every penny and available here. They offer NFL, NBA, and MLB content for both DraftKings and FanDuel. You can follow them on Twitter @UFCollective.

As I mention every week, ownership considerations should come at the end of your weekly research process. Ownership projections change throughout the week, and I highly recommend that you refer back to this column before finalizing your lineups. I will update ownership projections and add injury notes with additional strategy thoughts on Saturdays.


QB CHALK: Patrick Mahomes ($7,000)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 43%

POWER PIVOT: Andrew Luck ($6,200)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 16%

Some things never change. Patrick Mahomes dominated DFS ownership on a weekly basis throughout the regular season and he is projected to be massive chalk in the Divisional round. As I've said many times before, I'm not going to be the guy who tells you not to play Mahomes...but a pivot away from the KC gunslinger will give us leverage in GPPs.

The QB I'm rostering will be playing in Arrowhead this weekend, he'll just be wearing a different color jersey. Indy's Andrew Luck is reminding us why he was considered "the next great QB" not so long ago (though it feels like forever). Luck's return has thrust what was a disastrous franchise just a year ago, into the Divisional round of the playoffs. He's led the Colts to a 10-1 record over their last 11 games, including a road playoff win at Houston last week. This spot will not be too big for Andrew Luck.

Though he's playing on the road, this is a juicy spot for Luck. He gets a Chiefs defense that has struggled to stop anyone this year. KC is a middling 16th in yards allowed per pass, but that doesn't really paint an accurate picture, as the Chiefs have allowed more pass plays of over 20 yards than any team in the NFL. This tendency to give up big plays sets up well for Luck and playmakers like T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron.

This game has the highest Vegas Over/Under of the weekend with a projected total of 57 points. There just doesn't seem to be a scenario where this game doesn't turn into a shootout. The Colts probably don't want that to happen, but all the signs point to loads of points in this one. Luck has flourished in high-scoring games, averaging 27.48 DK points in the eight games that Indy and an opponent have combined for over 50 points.


RB CHALK: Todd Gurley II ($8,000)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 48%

POWER PIVOT: Ezekiel Elliott ($8,200)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 31%

Todd Gurley should be well rested and DFS players are ready to jump on board to the tune of almost 50%. It's not often that we see a player priced higher than Gurley, but that's where things are this week, as Dallas' RB Ezekiel Elliott comes in a couple hundred bucks more expensive.

Choosing between these two is kind of like being forced to choose between your two favorite flavors of ice cream. No matter which way you go, you're probably going to walk away pretty darn happy. Since he has an ownership projection that's significantly lower, I'll take two scoops of Zeke this week.

While it's a little weird seeing Elliott with the higher DFS price tag, it's probably justified. He draws a better matchup than his RB counterpart, as the Rams are DEAD LAST in the NFL in yards allowed per carry. We know the Cowboys will want to run the ball and slow this game down, L.A.'s weakness in stopping the run will only encourage Dallas to follow a run-heavy game script.

It's not like Dallas needs an excuse to get Zeke the ball. Elliott has been proven to be one of the NFL's last true workhorse backs this season. Since Week 10, Zeke has failed to get over 25 touches only once. His role in the passing game has expanded throughout the year and he tallied an impressive 77 catches out of the backfield this season. His role in the Dallas pass offense is more than a nice little bonus this week. The Cowboys will want to run the ball, but there's a very real possibility that they could be playing catch-up in this one. Zeke's effectiveness catching ball gives him a tremendous floor that's not game-script dependent.


WR CHALK: Michael Thomas ($7,900)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 42%

POWER PIVOT: T.Y. Hilton ($6,700)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 36%

I really wanted to give you an option at WR outside of the KC/Indy game, I really did, but for a slate that has so many talented receivers on the board, their honestly isn't a lot to like when we examine their matchups. Philly will sell out to stop Thomas, similar to what they did when these teams squared off during the regular season. Tyreek Hill draws a Colts secondary that just locked down DeAndre Hopkins. Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks face a stingy Cowboys D, while Amari Cooper has been more "bust" than "boom" lately. I want no part of Alshon Jeffery against Marshon Lattimore. Keenan Allen draws a tough matchup in a game the Chargers will attempt to go run heavy. that we've covered what's wrong with every receiver, let's talk about why T.Y. Hilton feels oh-so-right. He has a far superior matchup than those of comparably priced WRs. As mentioned when highlighting Andrew Luck, this Chiefs secondary is very susceptible to big plays, which happens to be Hilton's calling card. The Colts wideout averaged just over 18.50 yards per reception this season and is capable of taking any play to the house.

We've discussed the anticipated game script for this matchup. Hilton has had 10 or more targets in four of the Colts last seven and I fully expect him to get double-digit looks this week. It's tough to imagine Hilton really failing in this spot.


TE CHALK: Travis Kelce ($7,000)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 37%

POWER PIVOT: Gerald Everett ($2,700)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 10%

While there is lots to like this weekend, we are still talking about a slate that only has four games. Travis Kelce is in a juicy spot, as the Colts have been killed by TEs this season. I would LOVE to squeeze him in my lineups if I can afford him. However, with limited value options, we will need to save salary somewhere in our lineups. If you can't squeeze Kelce in, Rams TE Gerald Everett is a very interesting (and very cheap!) pivot option.

I don't expect Everett to break the slate, but while the Cowboys have succeeded at slowing down WRs, they've struggled against the TE position throughout the year. Dallas allowed the fourth-most receptions to TE's in 2018 and were routinely gashed by division-rival TEs like Zach Ertz and Evan Engram.

Gerald Everett won't be confused for Ertz or Engram anytime soon, but the second-year TE carved out a role in the Rams high-octane offense as the season progressed. He received six or more targets in three of the Rams last four games. The downside his is inconsistency, due to his place in the pecking order of this offense. After the string of solid games to close out the year, Everett received only one target in L.A.'s regular-season finale.

Obviously, at a salary of just $2,700, we aren't expecting huge things from Everett and we are bringing a scary-low floor into play by rostering him. However, we can reasonably expect him to get five to seven looks, with something like five catches for 50 yards (10 DK Points) being a realistic possibility.


D/ST CHALK: New England Patriots ($2,600)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 22%

POWER PIVOT: Philadelphia Eagles ($2,000)

Projected DraftKings Ownership: 5%

In last weekend's Wild Card round, we felt "ok" about pretty much any defense on the board. This weekend is a different story, as no DEF/ST really stands out as one we are excited to roster. Similar to the TE position, I'm always looking to save salary at the DEF/ST spot and the Philadelphia Eagles come in at the stone-cold minimum price this weekend.

They are cheap for a reason. The Eagles have the daunting task of facing the Saints in their dome. There's honestly not a lot to like statistically, which makes this a pure "dirt cheap salary + low ownership" GPP play. However, we have to remember that this is an Eagles team that is 6-1 in its last seven games. The Eagles DEF/ST is averaging almost 8 DK points per game during that stretch.

Yes, the play is dangerous...but we have to remember this is a four-game slate. It gives us a lot of leverage on tournament fields and the highly-volatile DEF/ST position isn't a bad place to take a calculated risk.

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