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Joe Burrow
Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football DFS Advice: Wild-Card Weekend Start/Sit

  • Zach Cohen
  • January 13, 2022
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Are you trying to win some big bucks in the playoffs? If so, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve picked out some players you should consider plugging into your postseason lineups, as well as players you should avoid altogether. I tried to not include the obvious players, such as Patrick Mahomes or Cooper Kupp. Instead, these players probably come at lower values in whatever format you’re playing in. If you have any more fantasy questions—especially in DFS or playoff best ball—hit me up on Twitter @ZachCohenFB! QUARTERBACKS

Start: Joe Burrow vs. LV 

There’s a saying in fantasy football that bodes well for Burrow’s case: Ride the hot hand. Did I loosely make that up to get my point across? Perhaps, but it still doesn’t change how great Burrow has looked in his last two games played. Burrow averaged 36 points on Weeks 16 and 17. Albeit, the Ravens and Chiefs' secondaries haven’t been the best or healthiest. This week, Burrow gets a juicy home matchup against a Raiders defense that just surrendered 27.4 points to Justin Herbert. This is the same defense that’s been very susceptible to good quarterbacks. Ironically, the Raiders’ best defensive performance against a playoff quarterback came against Burrow in Week 11. I’d imagine Burrow and the red-hot Bengals want their revenge. Other Players to Consider: Jalen Hurts at TB

Sit: Matthew Stafford vs. ARI

You know who hasn’t been hot? Stafford. He has eight passing touchdowns and eight interceptions in the last four games. That’s not good! Stafford has also failed to reach 18 points in that span, too. Now, Stafford has played well against Arizona this season, but playing him this week is too risky considering how poorly he’s played against recent teams. Stafford only scored 14.5 points against the league’s worst-ranked pass defense, Baltimore, just two weeks ago. He also scored just 6.7 points against the fifth-ranked pass defense, Minnesota, a week prior. Translation: Don’t bank on Stafford finding his groove this week. Other Players to Consider: Derek Carr at CIN RUNNING BACKS

Start: Josh Jacobs at CIN

Why aren’t more people talking about Jacobs? He hit double-digit points in all but one game this season while averaging 15.1 points. Jacobs has also seen 26+ carries in two of his last three contests. There’s no doubt he’s getting the ball, which already makes him a rock-solid RB1 in DFS. As for Jacobs’ matchup, Cincinnati is 21st in FPA (fantasy points allowed) to running backs. That includes five rushing touchdowns allowed in the last six games. Luckily, Jacobs is capable of carving out fantasy points without a touchdown. Like I said, you can expect at least 10 points from him. Jacobs is a trustworthy RB1 in Round 1. Other Players to Consider: Darrel Williams vs. PIT, Damien Harris at BUF

Sit: James Conner & Chase Edmonds at LAR

The Cardinals’ running backs have had one heck of a season. Unfortunately, both backs have played their best with the other one sidelined. Edmonds missed five games before returning in Week 15. Conner played in Week 15 before missing Weeks 16 and 17. So when the duo suited up together in Week 15, it was essentially the same story we saw in the first half of the season. Conner was a bit more involved, but each running back still saw fewer than nine carries, three targets, and 45% of the team’s snaps. Could Conner or Edmonds pop off with a score or two? Of course they can. You’re just better off targeting running backs who will see a larger share of his backfield. The Rams are also ninth in FPA to running backs, as if you weren’t dissuaded enough. Other Players to Consider: Miles Sanders at TB, Cam Akers vs. ARI WIDE RECEIVERS

Start: Brandon Aiyuk at DAL

There are plenty of good wide receivers to start this week, though that shouldn’t discourage you from sliding Aiyuk into your lineups. After a cold start to the season, Aiyuk has heated back up, especially over the last three weeks. He’s averaged six targets and 14.3 points in that span. But what makes Aiyuk an even better start this week is his matchup. The Cowboys have allowed the fifth-most points to wide receivers this season. In their last 10 games, Dallas has allowed a whopping 10 wideouts to reach double-digit points. With how well he’s been playing, I expect Aiyuk to be the next wide receiver to far surpass that benchmark. Other Players to Consider: Christian Kirk at LAR, Cedrick Wilson vs. SF

Sit: DeVonta Smith at TB

Trivia time! Excluding Smith’s 19-point performance in Week 16, when was the last time Smith hit double-digit points in a game? I’ll give you a hint: It’s been a while. Smith last reached that coveted threshold in Week 11 when he scored 10.1 points against the Saints. He was looking real good at the midpoint of the season, only to quickly come back down to Earth. Don’t fall into the trap of starting Smith this week. He’s seen more than six targets just once since Week 7. Even if Philadelphia is playing from behind, they still have to face a Tampa Bay defense that’s ninth in FPA to wide receivers. Smith doesn't have much plausible upside this week. You’re better off choosing cheaper options that have more upside. Other Players to Consider: Jakobi Meyers at BUF, Chase Claypool at KC TIGHT ENDS

Start: Zach Ertz at LAR

Ertz has been on fire lately. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at his averages over his last four games.
  • 10.8 targets - 2nd-most among tight ends
  • 63.3 receiving yards - fourth-most
  • 13.3 fantasy points - fifth-most
Clearly, DeAndre Hopkins’ absence has led to a drastic boost in Ertz’s production. He’s a must-start as long as Hopkins misses time. It helps that Los Angeles is 11th in FPA to tight ends, too. When they played Arizona in Week 14, Ertz scored a respectable 9.2 points with Hopkins in the lineup. Tyler Higbee is also a great start. He’s been a bit more inconsistent than Ertz, yet he’s put up more fantasy points. Other Players to Consider: Tyler Higbee vs. ARI

Sit: Dawson Knox vs. NE

I get the allure of Knox. He was a top-five tight end prior to missing Weeks 8 and 9. But there’s no questioning his inconsistency since then. It’s generally touchdown or bust for Knox. The last four games have been even harsher for Knox. He’s seen 15 total targets in that stretch while failing to crack double-digit points. If you play Knox, you’re banking on a touchdown or two. The Patriots have allowed just four scores to tight ends all season, including just two since Week 6. In fact, only two tight ends have scored double-digit points against New England—and both failed to scrape 13 points. It’s all an overwhelming sign to keep Knox out of your lineups. Other Players to Consider: Hunter Henry at BUF

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Zach Cohen