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Quarterback Targets for DFS and Playoff Leagues: Divisional Round

If your regular season fantasy teams didn't perform as planned, no need to worry, you don't have to wait until next year for redemption. There are plenty of playoff leagues and daily fantasy leagues available which allow you to keep your competitive spirit sharp while at the same time possibly winning some money and/or bragging rights.

This article will aim to highlight playoff league targets and DFS plays for quarterbacks in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, players that you should consider targeting for your various fantasy football leagues and lineups.

I will list DraftKings and FanDuel prices for those looking for value DFS plays beyond the obvious QBs. The quarterbacks will be split up into three tiers - from most desirable, to most desperate.

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Top Plays for the Divisional Round - Quarterbacks Targets and DFS

Tom Brady, New England Patriots - vs. TEN ($7,000 DK, $8,800 FD)

After a bye week that was marred by a stunning ESPN expose which suggested there is a fracture between Brady, head coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft, the Patriots are surely itching to get back to just playing football. Drama aside, don't expect the  Patriots to have much trouble against a Titans team that barely snuck into the playoffs and shocked the Chiefs in the Wild Card round. Brady is the most expensive option on both DraftKings and FanDuel but his price isn't all that prohibitive. Unlike the other similarly-priced top quarterbacks on the slate, Brady has a plus matchup against a leaky Tennessee pass defense that ranked 24th in DVOA in the regular season. Brady is the top QB option on the slate by a wide margin and can be used in cash or GPPs. He should be the first quarterback selected in weekly redraft sites like Draft.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints - @ MIN ($6,300 DK, $8,100 FD)

Brees draws a tough matchup against a Vikings pass defense that ranked fourth in DVOA over the regular season. That being said, the future Hall of Famer came up big against a tough Panthers pass defense in the Wild Card round, passing for 376 yards and two touchdowns to down their division rivals. The 39-year-old signal caller was leaned on more extensively after the Panthers were able to slow the New Orleans ground attack. That could happen again against Minnesota and Brees is talented enough to be dangerous against any pass defense. Brees is worth a look this week, especially as a GPP option,

 

Mid-Tier - Divisional Round Quarterbacks and DFS Targets

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers - vs. JAX ($6,200 DK, $8,000 FD)

I was really close to placing Roethlisberger in the bottom tier and he will be a bottom tier option if star wide receiver Antonio Brown doesn't play. For now, reports on Brown have been optimistic but we won't know more until the team starts releasing practice reports on Wednesday. The Jaguars have employed a fearsome pass defense this season, ranking first in DVOA. I'm not too interested in Big Ben in cash games but he has some appeal as a low-owned tournament play, but only if Brown plays.

Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings - vs. NO ($6,100 DK, $7,600 FD)

Keenum's success in 2017 was one of the better stories of the season. The former journeyman quarterback leaned heavily on the talents of Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph, Latavius Murray, and Jerick McKinnon to post a career-best 3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns while only tossing seven interceptions. Coming off a first-round bye, Keenum will have his work cut out for him as the Vikings welcome a New Orleans pass defense that finished the season ranked fifth in DVOA. Keenum isn't a safe play but he's on the radar as a decent option based on the limited options on the slate and on how excellent his offense has been this season. Vegas likes the Vikings' chances as they have them as four-point favorites in a game with a decent 45-point over/under.

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans - @ NE ($5,900 DK, $7,500 FD)

Mariota came to play against the Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs, throwing for 205 yards, two touchdowns and adding 46 rushing yards. His final line was buoyed by an improbable play which saw him throw a six-yard touchdown to himself on a pass that was batted by the defense. That play alone gave him 10 fantasy points on both DK and FD. While that won't happen again, the Titans will likely have to abandon their run-first offensive attack to keep up with a Patriots offense that has the highest implied team total of the entire weekend. The New England defense got progressively better as the season went on but they still finished as just the 21st ranked unit in DVOA.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars - @ PIT ($5,000 DK, $7,100 FD)

It was an ugly day for the Jacksonville offense in the Wild Card round, which managed just 10 points against the Bills. Bortles struggled, completing just 12-of-23 passes for 87 yards. In a stat line that's almost as surprising as Mariota throwing a touchdown to himself, Bortles eclipsed his passing yards with 88 rushing yards on 10 attempts to lead the Jaguars in rushing. While that won't happen again, Bortles' recent rushing production is not a fluke. The Jacksonville signal-caller has been a weapon on the ground this season, rushing for 322 yards in the regular season. The upside he offers as a rusher along with his low prices keeps him as a mid-tier QB option this week, even against a solid Pittsburgh pass defense.

 

Bottom Tier - Divisional Round Quarterbacks and DFS Targets

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons - @ PHI ($5,700 DK, $7,700 FD)

Ryan's 2017 struggles continued in the first round of the playoffs. Even though Atlanta finished with 26 points, Ryan threw for only 218 yards and one touchdown against the Rams. Ryan has performed as a QB2 in fantasy all season and I don't see that changing when he takes on the Eagles in the Divisional Round. Philadelphia has been tough against the pass this season, ranking seventh in DVOA and allowing the 11th-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. I'll be avoiding Ryan in all formats as he has yet to pass for more than two touchdowns in a single game this season and only reached multiple touchdowns five times all year.

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles - vs. ATL ($5,200 DK, $7,200 FD)

Foles came back to earth after a surprising Week 15 performance which saw him throw four touchdowns against the Giants. While he didn't play much in Week 17, he still threw just one touchdown and two interceptions over the final two games of the season. He could surprise against the Falcons in the playoffs but I'm not betting on that happening. For what it's worth, Vegas has no confidence in Foles, either, installing the Falcons as 2.5-point road favorites against an Eagles team that lost just three games all year. Foles is okay for a tournament lineup or two but I will be limiting my exposure to him this weekend.

 




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