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, players that you should consider targeting for your various fantasy football leagues and lineups. The quarterbacks will be split up into three tiers - from most desirable, to most desperate.
Instead of a FAAB amount, I will list DraftKings and FanDuel prices for those looking for value DFS plays beyond the obvious QBs.Editor's Note: All you early birds can get a full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our Preseason Draft Kit, In-Season lineup tools and over 150 days of Premium DFS research. Sign Up Now!
Top Plays for Wild Card Round - Quarterbacks Targets and DFS
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams - 90% owned ($6,700 DK, $8,500 FD)
Goff shapes up as a solid quarterback option heading into the Wild Card round of the playoffs. At the helm of one of the most explosive offenses in the league, Goff's offense has the highest implied point total on the slate as the Rams get set to square off against the Atlanta Falcons at home. Goff isn't cheap on daily sites as he's the most expensive QB on FanDuel and DraftKings, but he should deliver against a Falcons pass defense that ranked 19th in DVOA in the regular season. As far as raw point projections go, Goff is the top quarterback play this weekend.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs - 89% owned ($6,300 DK, $7,800 FD)
Outside of a mid-season lull, Smith has been an extremely consistent fantasy quarterback with a high floor who has occasionally flashed high upside. That puts him squarely in play for those looking at using him in daily contests this weekend. His salary overs some savings over Goff, but he has a similar amount of upside. The Chiefs aren't projected to score as many points as the Rams are, but they still have 26-point implied total, third-highest on the slate. Tennessee's pass defense has been an issue all season, ranking 24th in DVOA, while their stout seventh-ranked run defense could funnel additional passing attempts to Smith. Smith is fine for cash and GPPs this weekend.
Drew Brees, New Orleans - 100% owned ($6,400 DK, $8,100 FD)
An improved Saints defense combined with a dominant two-man running attack spearheaded by Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara has lowered Brees' ceiling but he remains a solid fantasy option on a slate with just eight quarterbacks to choose among. Add in the fact that Brees is playing at home, where he's been dominant over his career, and the future Hall Of Famer is squarely in play as a solid option this week. The risk we run is that the Saints continue to dominate on the ground, which will limit Brees' passing attempts. The Saints obviously know the division-rival Panthers well, which makes it hard to foresee how this game will shake out. He sets up better as a GPP option as there are better cash game plays on the slate.
Mid-Tier - Wild Card Round Quarterbacks and DFS Targets
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers - 98% owned ($6,500 DK, $8,300 FD)
Newton appears to be one of the safer quarterback options on the slate, although that is a bit of a stretch if you consider his recent performances. Over the last two weeks of the regular season, Newton averaged just 170 passing yards and posted a 1:4 TD/interception ratio. Neither of those games came against particularly imposing pass defenses as Newton took on the Falcons and Buccaneers over that span. What keeps Newton on the fantasy radar is his recent rushing production. The veteran signal caller has attempted at least 11 rushes in four straight games. The matchup with the division rival Saints isn't a great one for him and Newton posted just three total touchdowns and three interceptions in their previous two meetings this season. I'm only using Newton in GPPs this weekend as he doesn't have high enough of a floor to trust in cash games.
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans - 77% owned ($5,500 DK, $7,200 FD)
Despite being a preseason breakout candidate, Mariota struggled through a disappointing third season in the NFL, passing for just 3,232 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. Even though the young signal caller struggled, he is on the radar as a fantasy option this week considering his prime matchup against a leaky Chiefs pass defense. Kansas City was one of the most generous fantasy defenses in the league to opposing quarterbacks and has the second-worst defense of all the teams in the playoffs according to DVOA. Mariota is a fine option with some upside as a GPP play.
Bottom Tier - Wild Card Round Quarterbacks and DFS Targets
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons - 96% owned ($6,100 DK, $7,500 FD)
Ryan's struggles in 2017 leave me with little confidence in him in the opening round of the playoffs. The veteran quarterback passed for multiple touchdowns just five times in 2017 and never reached three passing scores in a single game. In all, it was a big letdown after Ryan posted a career season back in 2016. His Wild Card matchup against the Rams doesn't do much to instill confidence in Ryan as Los Angeles has been excellent against the pass this season, ranking third in pass defense DVOA. I suppose you could tab him in a GPP but I will be avoiding Ryan this weekend.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars - 65% owned ($6,000 DK, $7,600 FD)
Bortles will suit up for his first playoff game against an underrated Buffalo Bills pass defense that has been bleeding points to opposing running games since trading run-stuffer Marcell Dareus to these very Jaguars. With Jacksonville possessing an elite defense and the Bills possibly being without star running back LeSean McCoy, this doesn't set up as a game where the Jaguars will need Bortles to do very much. He certainly flashed some upside over the final part of the regular season but he struggled over the final two games, tossing five interceptions and looking more like the Bortles we've become accustomed to over his career. He's just a GPP dart-throw this week.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills - 40% owned ($4,700 DK, $6,900 FD)
Taylor draws a brutal road playoff matchup against an elite Jacksonville secondary. The matchup is so bad that DraftKings has him cheaper than two backup quarterbacks, Derek Anderson and Patrick Mahomes. I'm not interested in going anywhere near Taylor in DFS cash games, but the Jaguars have shown some cracks in their armor lately, allowing multiple passing touchdown-games in two of their last four contests, which offers a glimmer of hope if you look hard enough. That being said, Taylor might be without star running back LeSean McCoy and he simply doesn't have the weapons in the passing game to overcome what has been one of the top defenses in the NFL all season. If you plan to use Taylor in a GPP, you are banking on rushing production from Taylor and will probably need a rushing touchdown from him to be happy with his final line in fantasy.