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The NFL regular season might be over, but the under-the-radar booms and busts will not stop until a team wins the Super Bowl!

The wacky Wild Card weekend is upon football fans and fantasy players. This gives fantasy football addicts four games to concentrate on and a larger player pool to work with than later in the playoffs when there are only two games when the AFC/NFC Championship weekend happen and just one the week of the Super Bowl.

Here are some under-the-radar booms and busts for the first week of NFL playoff action to help you set a winning lineup. Good luck RotoBallers!

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Wild Card Round Under-the-Radar Booms

Mohamed Sanu (WR, ATL) at LAR

Sanu proved he was a playoff performer last postseason when he caught two touchdown tosses from Matt Ryan in three games during Atlanta’s run as a Super Bowl runner-up. He led the Falcons with five touchdown catches this season and has become more of a red-zone threat than Julio Jones. The Rams’ 13th-ranked pass defense could be a little overrated due to a schedule that was not loaded with high-powered passing attacks (only three games versus top-10 passing offenses, and one was against San Francisco pre-Jimmy Garropolo). In a game that could turn into a shootout the O.K. Corral would love to host, Sanu should be able to have 60-75 yards and score a TD.

Jonathan Stewart (RB, CAR) at NO

Stewart missed Carolina’s final regular-season contest with a tight back and rolls his ankles as easily as a baker rolls out dough. While fantasy players may be shy about using Stewart in a tough road playoff game against an improved New Orleans defense, you have to give some credence to what Stewart has done in the past against the Saints. Stewart has scored six touchdowns over his past eight games against his division rival. Even though Stewart’s 3.4 yards per carry this season is the lowest of 10-year career and he splits time and touches with rookie runner Christian McCaffrey, his past history against the Saints (and recent history since he scored against them this year) cannot be discounted. Carolina could lean on Stewart a little more this weekend due to his past playoff experience as well.

Albert Wilson (WR, KC) vs. TEN

Wilson is Alex Smith’s fourth-best option in Kansas City’s passing attack behind Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and top tailback Kareem Hunt, but he could come up with a couple big plays of his own this week against Tennessee’s 25th-ranked pass defense. Wilson is coming off the best game of his career (10 receptions for 147 yards versus Denver) and has been getting targeted more often by Smith in recent weeks (22 targets in first seven games, 40 targets in last six games). If Tennessee shifts its coverage to Hill and Kelce and leaves the improving Wilson one-on-one against one of its lesser cornerbacks, the Chiefs might look to send a couple more passes Wilson’s way.

 

Wild Card Round Under-the-Radar Busts

Charles Clay (TE, BUF) at JAC

Kelvin Benjamin has been a bigger flop this year than Blade Runner 2049 and has done nothing to revitalize Buffalo’s woeful passing attack. When quarterback/scrambler Tyrod Taylor needs a first down, he looks to his tight end. But while Clay has been the Bills leading receiver with 558 yards and has 169 yards over his past three games, do not expect him to run roughshod over Jacksonville’s top-ranked pass defense.  The Jags have only allowed one tight end to have more than 19 yards against them in a game over their last five contests. Even if Buffalo gets blown out and has to pass a ton in the second half, it is difficult to fathom Clay having a decent day against the secondary in football.

Sammy Watkins (WR, LAR) vs. ATL

Watkins is not getting the volume of targets that many probably predicted he would get with the Rams, but he has been making the most of the passes thrown his way, catching four touchdowns over his last five games. Do not be surprised to see the Rams call more conservative plays and lean heavily on MVP candidate Todd Gurley in their playoff game against the experienced Falcons, though. Jared Goff had a super sophomore season, but this will be the toughest test of his young career. With Goff possibly throwing a little less and Watkins having to share the target wealth with now-healthy receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, the

Allen Hurns (WR, JAC) vs. BUF

Hurns returned after missing a month-plus due to injury and has three receptions for 38 yards last Sunday. That is all well and good, but while he was absent Jacksonville’s receiving corps was bolstered and boosted by the emergence of rookies Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook. Throw Marquise Lee into the pass-catching mix and the fact that the Jaguars will probably pound Leonard Fournette into Buffalo’s 29th-ranked rushing defense and keep the chances of Blake Bortles throwing the game away to a minimum and this is a fantasy recipe for a two-catch, 25-yard game for Hurns.

 

More Wild Card Round Lineup Prep