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I have to admit I'm a bit peeved that LeSean McCoy miraculously healed from his ankle injury in time to ruin my Marcus Murphy sleeper pick. Otherwise, I might have gone six-for-six on my Hero picks last week. Sure, Kareem Hunt didn't put up huge numbers, but he did score a touchdown to at least touch double-digit fantasy points. Hey, it was a lot better than going with Mark Ingram or Leonard Fournette. Still, when you can successfully identify players like Demarcus Robinson and Josh Hill as fantasy assets, it's a good week. FWIW, only Blake Bortles bucked the Zero tag I slapped on him for Wild Card weekend. Let's keep it rolling in the divisional round where I can smell some more upsets coming...

If you're here for some DFS advice, you've also come to the right place. While I won't get too detailed into prices and game types, I will recommend some viable tournament plays that could help you cash out, in a week where the choices are slim.

Now, let's get to my fantasy "heroes" and "zeroes" at each position for the NFL Divisional Round Playoffs. For a full set of rankings, look no further than our very own RotoBaller consensus weekly rankings.

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Divisional Round Lineup Heroes


Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons - It's pretty hard to get excited about Matt Ryan these days. He threw just 20 touchdowns this season, didn't put up three scores in any single game, and exceeded the 300-yard mark four times. In other words, he went back to being Matt Ryan. In 2016, against a not-altogether-dissimilar Eagles team, he threw for 267 yards and one touchdown. The Eagles of 2017 had the fourth-best scoring defense in the league! Their pass defense was not quite as sharp, however, coming in 17th. This alone doesn't mean a big game is coming for Ryan, but game flow might work in his favor if the Falcons can't generate any action on the ground. Devonta Freeman hasn't looked right for a while and is averaging barely three yards per carry in the last three games, including the Wild Card win. By contrast, in his last six playoff games, Ryan has a 16:3 TD:INT ratio, which includes more than just last year's historic run. I can't say Ryan will approach Tom Brady this week, but given the tough matchups that Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger have and the inexperience of every other QB on the slate, Ryan might be the next best thing going.


Latavius Murray, Minnesota VikingsTo paraphrase myself, momentum is everything late in the season. Murray and the Vikings certainly have it. Here are the statlines from Murray's last three games: 61 carries, 256 yards, three TD with three receptions for 37 yards. By contract, backfield mate Jerick McKinnon: 28 carries, 110 yards, zero touchdowns and eight receptions for 123 yards. Murray has become the lead back and has owned the red zone role all year, nearly tripling McKinnon in carries where it matters most (47-17). If the Vikings fall behind early, it could force them to pass more than they'd like and involve McKinnon more, but with the way they beat New Orleans earlier this year and the level their defense is playing at, I don't foresee that happening.


Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans - I could say that Julio Jones is a really good bet to get a ton of targets and will probably be the top-scoring WR, but that bit of information isn't likely to help much with lineup decisions. Instead, let's go a bit off the radar with Matthews as an WR2. New England gives up the third-most points per game to wide receivers. The Patriots are still sticking Malcolm Butler on the other team's top receiver, but that doesn't mean Matthews will get shutout. The Belichick gameplan is to take away what the other team does best. In this case, it's a power run game that creates play-action opportunities for Marcus Mariota. The Titans could be forced to drop back more often than they want if the running game gets clamped down and they are in a big hole in the second half. Matthews presents more upside than any other Titans receiver, so I'm betting he'll come down with the best receiving day.


Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Foles has been derided quite a bit over the last couple of weeks, but it's not as if he morphed into Kordell Stewart all of a sudden. Despite being underdogs at home, Foles should get the ball into the hands of his most capable receivers, with Ertz being the primary target. In the two full games Foles started in Weeks 15-16, Ertz caught 15 of 23 targets for 137 yards and a touchdown. You may remember that Ertz ended 2016 on a hot streak as well, but didn't get the chance to make a playoff appearance. This time I'd bet on Ertz to top the TE charts, over even Gronk. At the very least, you can get similar production at a cheaper price point in daily leagues. Plus, if you're in a one-and-done player league, you may as well use your TE position on Ertz before the Eagles are eliminated early from the playoffs.  ;)-


Divisional Round Lineup Zeroes


Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers - Really going out on a limb here, aren't I? If you don't think Big Ben will throw five picks against the Jags again, then I'm totally fine with that assessment. The problem is that I see him as the QB3 on the expert consensus for FantasyPros right now and am starting to wonder what some of the sharpest minds in the fantasy world are smoking. Home-field advantage means nothing; that five-pick game that almost caused Roethlisberger to retire mid-season was also played in Pittsburgh and that was with a 100% healthy Antonio Brown. Redemption is a fine theme for newspaper writers looking for a headline ahead of Sunday's game, but are you going to stake your fantasy playoff life on it? Reminder: Jacksonville has allowed 17 passing touchdowns in 17 games (including playoffs) while forcing 22 interceptions. Differentiation is fine if you're rolling out 20+ tournament lineups and want to throw Big Ben into one, but those of you who play in a pick 'em league with one QB shouldn't even consider the risk here.


Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints - To show how far I'm going with this call, I made my bold prediction on this week's podcast that Ingram would be outscored by Corey Clement this weekend. Now, I'm not putting money on that prediction, but that's why we slap the "bold" in front of it. Ingram isn't just facing the top rush defense in the league, he's also slowly getting phased out for new superstar Alvin Kamara. Wild Card weekend marked the first time all season that Kamara outrushed Ingram (10-9) and it was Kamara getting the short touchdown via red zone carry late in the game. Coach Sean Payton has loved Kamara before he was even drafted by the team and Ingram has had his ups-and-downs through the years while the team constantly searches for a replacement. He may be favoring his new toy even more in a must-win playoff game, especially if the interior runs with Ingram fail early. The fact that New Orleans will be missing starting LG Andrus Peat (fibula, ankle) doesn't help his prospects either. I also believe Kamara will be more involved in the passing game, which makes Ingram a hard fade for me this week.


Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings - Diggs gets matched up with rookie Marshon Lattimore and it could be a shadow situation. It shouldn't be understated how much that could negatively impact Diggs' fantasy value. Lattimore graded out as the fourth-highest cornerback in 2017, according to ProFootballFocus. Diggs had a nice three-game scoring streak to end the season, but none came against teams with top-flight CBs (Cincy, Green Bay, Chicago). He will be touchdown-dependent, which isn't what you want out of a WR1 in the playoffs.


Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers - It's a rough slate to choose from when Jesse James is the fifth-most expensive tight end. James gets one of the worst matchups at the position, going up against the Jaguars. Safety Barry Church has helped this unit limit opposing TEs to the fourth-fewest fantasy points allowed. The Steelers finished just ahead of them, allowing just two touchdowns to a tight end all year, but telling you to bench Marcedes Lewis would probably be a waste of time. After all, it's Brad Koyack you should be targeting, right?


More Divisional Round Lineup Prep