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Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find part two of our Wild Card NFL matchups & fantasy football start/sit analysis for the 2016 NFL football season. Pierre Camus (@pfunk00) breaks down the Sunday games of the Wild Card matchups to help you prepare your lineups to win this week. Be sure to also check out part one of this week's matchups analysis by Ben Ruppert (@Ben_Ruppert_21).

Each week of the NFL season, we will be breaking down individual matchups and providing you with some fantasy football advice and lineup recommendations based on matchups that we love, matchups that we hate, and some high-risk/high-reward players, as well. It’s essential to analyze the weekly NFL match-ups to find lineup sleepers and gems, while also avoiding those players who may turn out to be busts.

Editor's Note: New users that sign up on FantasyAces, make a $20 deposit, and enter any game will receive BOTH our full season NFL and NBA Premium Passes for free, a $119.99 value. Just email info@rotoballer.com with your new FantasyAces username - and boom, that's it! We will email you with your Premium Passes.

 

Dolphins @ Steelers - Sunday 1/8 @ 1:05 PM EST

Matchups We Love

Le'Veon Bell (RB, PIT) - There's little reason not to love the player who obliterated all others over the final quarter of the season. Bell only played one game this season in which he didn't reach 100 total yards, barely achieving the feat against Miami in Week 6 with 108. He got stronger as the year went on, averaging over five yards per carry in the second half. His involvement in the passing game keeps his floor among the highest in the league. Bell averaged 6.3 receptions and 51.3 receiving yards per game, making him the top RB in PPR formats.

Ben Roethlisberger (QB, PIT) - Miami's defense loosened up over the course of the season to the point they allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Big Ben had a lousy game the first time around versus Suh and company (189 yards, one TD, two INT), but you may recall that as the week he injured his knee. He will likely get redemption this game, but it's not clear to what extent he'll help fantasy owners. He hasn't gone over 300 passing yards since Week 10 and finished the season with a 6/6 TD/INT rate in the last four games he played. Given some of the tough matchups and number of backup QBs playing this weekend, Big Ben may be one of the top three QB plays by default.

Jarvis Landry (WR, MIA) - The most dependable player in Miami's offense should see a majority of the targets in this game. He caught seven of his team-high nine targets for 71 yards in Week 6 versus Pittsburgh, leading all receivers in that game. He has thrived with Moore at QB, scoring twice in the last three games and averaging 71 yards in those games. He may not have a tremendous ceiling against a very good defense, but he is a safe enough WR2.

Matchups We Hate

Matt Moore (QB, MIA) - There's still an outside chance Ryan Tannehill plays if he can get in a full practice on Friday, but that remains a risky proposition. Otherwise, backup Matt Moore will start his fourth game of the year. No offense to the veteran, but he may be overmatched in this game. While he has been mostly efficient, throwing for eight TD and 3 INT while completing 63% of his passes, he'll be facing the Steelers in a cold weather game. Pittsburgh's defense didn't allow an opponent to pass for 250 yards in the last seven games of the year. Moore has no playoff experience in his nine-year career and this is one of the worst environments to make a debut.

DeVante Parker (WR, MIA) - In the first game between these two, Parker came away with just 28 yards. He has been up and down throughout the season, but it has been mostly down in the latter half. His five receptions in Week 17 were his most since Week 11. He has found the end zone three times in that time frame, but that's unlikely to happen here. The Steelers are the only defense other than the Broncos to hold opposing wide receivers under 10 TD all season. With the exception of a 106-yard game against the Patriots in Week 1, Parker did most of his damage against lesser opponents such as Buffalo, Cleveland, San Diego and L.A. Don't anticipate Ross Cockrell or William Gay letting the lanky receiver break free very often.

Cobi Hamilton (WR, PIT) - The Steelers are going to be without Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton throughout the playoffs, but that doesn't give Hamilton the same type of value. Starting out of sheer necessity, Hamilton hasn't caught more than three passes all season and waited until overtime of Week 17 to notch his first game of 50 yards or more. That play also resulted in his second TD of his career. Steelers fans may remember that the first one came earlier this year against... Miami. The fact is that TD came in the final minute of a lopsided loss by the Steelers. It's a big stretch to think Hamilton will exceed 21.3 Y/G average in this contest.

Notable Players

Jay Ajayi (RB, MIA) - Which Ajayi will show up this game? In Week 6, Ajayi decimated the Steelers for 204 yards and two touchdowns in the first breakout game of his NFL career. That game, along with the rest of his torrid mid-season four game stretch, came with a healthy offensive line and Ryan Tannehill at QB. Ever since Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey was ruled out for the season, Ajayi has struggled to make big plays, with the exception of one game against Buffalo. That first contest against the Steelers took place in Miami, where the Dolphins were 6-2 on the season. The Steelers were also 6-2 at home and will be the hosts this weekend. The advantage in late-season performance should go to the Steel Curtain defense, but Ajayi still has a decent shot to find the end zone.

 

Giants @ Packers - Sunday 1/8 @ 4:40 PM EST

Matchups We Love

Aaron Rodgers (QB, GB) - Rodgers' recent numbers when facing the Giants can be thrown out the window, since this defense in no way resembles the one of the last few years. Rodgers was adequate in Week 5 when the Giants came to town, throwing for 259 yards, two scores and two picks. That was before the Pack decided to run the table and Rodgers turned back into an MVP candidate. It's fair to think that Rodgers won't have his best game, since the Giants rank second defensively in touchdowns allowed and held QBs to a 15/17 TD/INT rate. But this is Aaron Rodgers playing at one of the highest levels of his career. He should be a notch just below Eli and Big Ben in terms of fantasy value this weekend.

Eli Manning (QB, NYG) - The playoffs are Eli time, right? He has an 8-3 career playoff record and ran the table with four straight wins in 2011, the last time the Giants were in the postseason. He posted a 9/1 TD/INT rate that postseason, including three touchdowns and 330 yards in a blowout of the Packers. This Green Bay defense isn't any better defensively than the team from five years ago. They gave up more passing yards than any team in the league, finishing the season by allowing three straight 300-yard passing games. Manning didn't crack 200 yards against them in Week 5, but things were a bit different then. The Giants had no semblance of a running game (Orleans Darkwa and Bobby Rainey were sharing snaps), while the Packers still had Eddie Lacy to grind out yardage. The Packers will try to turn this into a shootout, which could work in Manning's favor. He is as unpredictable as any QB in the league, but this week the matchup should point him toward a big point total.

Odell Beckham (WR, NYG) - Beckham finished 2016 a bit down from the previous year, settling for a mere 1,367 receiving yards and 10 TD. This will be Beckham's first playoff game, but we don't exactly see him as the nervous type. Ladarius Gunter will have his hands full all afternoon trying to stop ODB. Beckham put up his highest reception (31) and yard (408) totals in December, showing that he is ramping up for the playoffs. He scored a touchdown earlier this year against the Pack and is a good bet to do so again in the Wild Card game.

Matchups We Hate

Randall Cobb (WR, GB) - Janoris Jenkins should be a full-go for this game, which means Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie moves back to cover the slot position. DRC graded out as one of the top slot corners in the league this season, which is bad news even for a healthy Cobb. He missed the last two games of the regular season with an ankle injury and is questionable for this game. He did practice Wednesday and hopes to play, but may not be worth the risk. During the first three games of the Packers' winning streak, Cobb caught a total of 12 passes for 93 yards. At best, he is the third target option who will be blanketed by a tough defender this Sunday. It's advisable to take your chances elsewhere for a WR3.

Paul Perkins (RB, NYG) - Don't let recency bias fool you. His Week 17 showing (102 rush yards on 21 carries) was impressive, but Rashad Jennings also received 18 carries and was the back utilized near the goal-line. In a road playoff game, there's a good chance the Giants are going to lean on Jennings and use Perkins as a change-of-pace back. Moreover, this game has a good chance of turning into a high-scoring affair, which could neutralize the running game. The Giants have been able to win several games this season by shutting teams down on defense and pounding the ball with the running game rather than relying on Eli Manning to air it out. The Packers aren't likely to be shut down on offense. Any Giants running back is a risky play this game, but if you are on the fence, go with Jennings.

Notable Players

Jordy Nelson (WR, GB) - If anything, Nelson's knack for reaching the end zone makes him a viable option each week. A league-high 14 receiving touchdowns makes him a lock as a WR1. The prospect of being covered by Janoris Jenkins puts a bit of a damper on his value in daily leagues, but he did manage to score in Week 5 against the Giants despite catching just four of 13 targets that day. With so few options available in the four-game slate this weekend, Nelson could still be worth the price in a stars-and-scrubs lineup.


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!