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NFL DFS RB and WR Anchors for Divisional Round - Players to Build Around for Daily Fantasy Football Lineups

Christian McCaffrey - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

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In this piece, we're looking at the top running backs or wide receivers to build your cash or tournament lineups around. Most weeks I am going to recommend two running backs and two wide receivers who you can use as building blocks, but occasionally a tight end sneaks in here, too.

Make sure you're thoroughly informed before you start building your lineups for FanDuel or DraftKings by checking out the rest of RotoBaller's top-notch Premium DFS research and analysis.


RBs and WRs to Build Around - Divisional Round

Only four games this weekend, but we have the opportunity to play both the full 4-game slate as well as both two-gamers on Saturday and Sunday. These should be pretty chalky plays based on the very small player pool this weekend, but these are four guys that I think you absolutely HAVE to have in lineups this weekend.


Running Backs

Christian McCaffrey vs. Dallas Cowboys

Another slate and yet another appearance for McCaffrey in the core plays. The matchup doesn't scream "must play" but the usage for McCaffrey in this Purdy-led offense certainly does, especially with the lack of other stud backs on the slate.

Last week, CMC "only" had 17 touches which were his fewest other than Week 18 when he was rested in the second half against the Cardinals. However, he turned those into 136 total yards and a TD (receiving TD) against Seattle. Elijah Mitchell is certainly going to continue to mix in, but McCaffrey is the goal-line guy (Mitchell's TD was late in the game last week when it was already decided) and McCaffrey's receiving upside is really what sets him apart this week. Dallas is solid on defense against the run and they have an elite pass rush, meaning Purdy is likely going to need to get rid of the ball quickly.

I think we see more catches for CMC this week and he has some of the most TD equity of any player on the slate. He's expensive, but it's really hard to feel good about a cash lineup that doesn't have him in it, especially on DK where we have full PPR scoring.

Miles Sanders vs. NY Giants

Let's not read too much into Sanders's 11-33 against the Giants in Week 18, I'd rather focus on his 17-144-2 from Week 14 instead, ha!

All kidding aside, we have a lead back here for a home favorite for only...checks notes...5700 on DraftKings!!! That's just silly and I understand the concerns with Jalen Hurts stealing touchdowns and all, but Sanders is going to have plenty of opportunities in this game to make or exceed value. The Eagles' offense is a well-oiled machine and they get a middling Giants' unit here, one that finished the regular season DEAD LAST at 32nd in rushing DVOA defense.

I'm slotting Sanders in just about every build. I think the Giants are a great story, but Philadelphia shows up big here and puts up a big number in this game. And if the Giants can score some points on the other side then we just might see this game end up as the highest-scoring game on the slate (right now it's at 48, tied with BUF-CIN right behind the KC game).


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Travis Kelce vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

So I finally caved in and made a TE a core play instead of a receiver. I think this week is a special circumstance as Kelce grades out as the best overall "pass catcher" on the board. We have to have pieces of this KC offense this week as they have the highest implied team total and their passing game, in particular, is in a tremendous spot against the pass-funnel Jags defense that ranks 11th against the run, but 30th against the pass.

Kelce's performance against Jacksonville back in November was solid, but nothing incredibly jaw-dropping as he went for 81 yards and a TD on six catches. KC was ahead in that game from start to finish and had a comfortable lead until the Jags closed the final score to 27-17 with a late TD.

I think Jacksonville is pesky enough to push KC into having to score 27 or more points again and we know Kelce is the top option for Mahomes and an elite red zone threat as he finished the regular season with a league-leading 12 receiving touchdowns.

He is expensive, but he's an incredible mismatch for these Jags' linebackers and you know that Andy Reid has all kinds of plays drawn up to get him the ball in creative ways. And when in doubt, Mahomes is going to look his way on third down and in the red zone. He has a high floor and a massive ceiling, something we just can't fade on this slate.

Richie James Jr. @ Philadelphia Eagles

James stands out to me as the best value on the slate and it's not even all that close. While I was much bigger on Hodgins last week against the Vikings, who have been worse against outside receivers than slot receivers, it's the exact opposite with Philly as they have two stud cornerbacks on the outside and some questionable defenders in the slot.

James didn't play in the Week 18 matchup with New York (he was rested as were many other starters as New York had nothing to play for). But he did pop off against Philly back in December for 61 yards on seven catches a TD. The game script here is likely one where the Giants are either playing from behind or trading scores with the Eagles. And while New York certainly wants to establish the run with Barkley, they are going to have to find success in the passing game if they stand any chance of pulling off the upset.

For what it's worth, I think the Eagles win by 10, but I think the Giants put up some points and could be in a position to rack up plenty of passing yards late in the game. James is a slam dunk play for me and it's rare that I am so confident in a cheap play that I make them a core play. But this is looking very much like a Richie James week to me and he really helps us fit the studs in that we want with some exposure to the Chiefs, Bills, and Eagles.


Good luck to everyone in your contests!  Don't forget that you can chat with me and other NFL analysts in our new premium RotoBaller DISCORD at any point during the week or hit me up on Twitter @ThunderDanDFS.

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