Mon Jan 6 8:51am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Cook has big game in return
The games this weekend were very exciting. All were decided by a touchdown or less, and two games went to overtime. It was quite the exciting week of playoff action. Fantasy production was not the best, though. There was not a team this weekend that scored in the 30s, and the highest scoring team of the weekend was the Vikings with 26 points. So fantasy scores were not too high this weekend. It was a pretty low scoring weekend from a fantasy perspective. We did have a few big-time performers, so hopefully you had some of those studs this first weekend of the playoffs.
Texans 22, Bills 19
Fantasy Stud: Devin Singletary. Singletary had a really good showing for the Bills. He produced on the ground and as a receiver. He ran 13 times for 58 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He also led the Bills in receiving, catching six passes for 76 yards. He had 134 total yards in the game. His receiving yards were a season high. He did not top 50-receiving yards in a game before this showing. Singletary showed his huge fantasy potential as the lead back for the Bills gong forward. He could be an elite back next year.
Fantasy Dud: Cole Beasley. Beasley had a pretty quiet game despite a favorable matchup against a defense that has given up some big receiving games. Beasley caught four passes for 44 yards. He had a 100-yard game his last time out, so you had some high hopes for Beasley in playoff leagues. He did not come through for all his owners, though.
Game Notes: Deshaun Watson had a big second half, leading his team to victory. He led the team in rushing and passing. Watson was 20-of-247 yards and a touchdown without a turnover. He also ran 14 times for 55 yards and a score.
John Brown didn’t catch a touchdown pass, but threw one. He had four receptions for 50 yards and was 1-of-1 for a 16-yard touchdown pass.
Titans 20, Patriots 13
Fantasy Stud: Derrick Henry. Henry continued his red hot play, carrying the Titans offense to victory. He ran 34 times for 182 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 22-yard reception, giving him more than 200 total yards. Henry has 100-yard games six of his last seven games. He is having a monster finish to his season. He might not catch passes but his fantasy value remains high because of the scores and all the rushing yards.
Fantasy Dud: Tom Brady. Brady did not score a touchdown, having another down fantasy performance. He was 20-of-37 for 209 yards with an interception, which was returned for a Titans touchdown. Brady had one or no scores eight times this season. He did not have near the season of recent years. Brady indicated after the game he likely will play another year, but nothing is 100 percent certain at this point.
Game Notes: Ryan Tannehill didn’t even throw for 100 yards, going 8-of-15 for 72 yards with a touchdown and an interception. It was not a great showing for him, but he led his team to a win, which is all the really matters.
Julian Edelman had three receptions for 30 yards. He did run in a score, rushing two times for 12 yards and a score. Edelman was banged up down the stretch and it showed in his play, having fewer than 35-receiving yards three of his last four games.
Vikings 26, Saints 20
Fantasy Stud: Dalvin Cook. Cook returned from injury and looked great. He ran 28 times for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 36 yards, giving him 130 total yards in the game. Cook’s shoulder injury didn’t seem to be an issue at all. He missed a couple games because of injury once again this year, but had a huge season when on the field, showing his big-time fantasy ability.
Fantasy Dud: Stefon Diggs. Diggs did very little, watching teammate Adam Thielen finally have a big game once again. Diggs had two receptions for 19 yards and carried the ball twice for eight yards. You just expect more from the Vikings No. 1 receiver in their playoff opener. Diggs has been a little up and down all year, though, so this game isn’t a complete shock from Diggs.
Game Notes: Taysom Hill did a little bit of everything in this game. He led the team in rushing, running four times for 50 yards. He also was 1-of-1 passing for 50 yards. He also caught two passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Adam Thielen had seven receptions for 129 yards. This was his second 100-yard game of the season and first since Week 5. Thielen had just 27 yards his last two games before this big showing.
Seahawks 17, Eagles 9
Fantasy Stud: D.K. Metcalf. Metcalf had another big showing, leading the way at receiver for the Seahawks. He had seven receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown. This was his second 100-yard game of the season. He has touchdowns three of four games. Metcalf also has 75 or more yards four of six games. He has emerged as the top target in this passing game.
Fantasy Dud: Travis Homer. Homer had the most carries for the Seahawks but couldn’t do much with all the work. He ran 11 times for just 12 yards, and caught a pass for five yards. It is hard to trust any Seahawks running back right now. Russell Wilson led the Seahawks in rushing in this game, running nine times for 45 yards.
Game Notes: Carson Wentz did not last long in this game. He suffered a concussion very early and was unable to return. He was 1-of-4 for three yards. Josh McCown played in relief and did pretty well, considering the circumstances. McCown was 18-of-24 for 174 yards without a touchdown or an interception.
Zach Ertz was active for the game and caught two passes for 44 yards. It was an impressive showing for Ertz, who played with a broken rib.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
The Green Bay Packers Defense faces a tough task this weekend in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. In their regular-season meeting, the Packers gave up 37 points and only dropped Jimmy Garoppolo only three times. They also failed to generate any turnovers. Green Bay's defense may need to lend their offense a helping hand by creating a turnover or two to swing the field position game. If Za-Darius and Preston Smith can ramp up the pressure, the Packers will have a good chance of generating a turnover or two and winning the game. It certainly won't be easy, considering how formidable the 49ers offense has been this season.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham gets a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game. Graham has back-to-back 49-year receiving performances, but those games came against teams that struggle to defend the tight end position. The 49ers are not one of those teams. They allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends all season and were the league's stingiest pass defense. Maybe Graham makes a play in the red zone. Still, he's a cheaper DFS play but by no means a comfortable one.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison (illness) is trending in the right direction to play in the NFC Championship game this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers. Even if available, Allison isn't an option in any fantasy format. The 25-year-old hasn't caught more than four passes in a game this season. It sure doesn't seem like he'll eclipse that mark against the league's best defense with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (ankle) is currently questionable for the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. There's certainly a risk for injury, considering he re-aggravated the ankle in last week's playoff game. Still, it's hard to ignore the two-game stretch Lazard had to end the season, where he saw 17 targets. That alone makes him worth a gamble, particularly in a must-win game for a Packers team in desperate need of another threat at receiver. Just beware, the matchup isn't ideal. The 49ers allowed only 172 passing yards to the Vikings last week.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams gets a tough matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game this weekend. Adams produced only 43 receiving yards and a score against San Francisco in the regular season but still had 12 targets. The star receiver has seen double-digit targets in nine of 13 games played this year. There's not many receivers that you can virtually pencil in for double-digit targets- but Adams is one of them. If fellow receivers Geronimo Allison (illness) and Allen Lazard (ankle) suit up, they may be limited. Adams could be looking at more work than usual, even in a matchup this difficult.
The San Francisco 49ers Defense enter Championship weekend as the highest-priced fantasy defense. The Niners face the Green Bay Packers, who they demolished 37-8 in Week 12. In that previous contest, the Niners relentlessly harassed future Hall of Famer quarterback Aaron Rodgers, dropping him five times and forcing a fumble. The Packers were a meager one for 15 on third down conversions. The 49ers will need to follow that blueprint again in the critical NFC Championship to emerge victorious. With a higher-intensity contest expected, it could be difficult to splurge on a defense in fantasy compared to other addressable positions.
San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Emmanuel Sanders both offer solid fantasy value in the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. Both players were limited to under 45 yards apiece in last weekends Divisional Round blowout but were featured early on when the game was still in question. The rookie Samuel has emerged as a consistent dual threat in the latter half of 2019 and is likelier the safer floor. Sanders, the savvy vet has proven himself as a reliable chain-mover with big-play potential. Against the Packers 10th-best pass defense by DVOA, either option seem primed to pop in Sundays winner-take-all battle.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams will face off with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game this weekend. Williams has been playing second fiddle to Aaron Jones quite a lot recently, as he hasn't seen double-digit carries since Week 13 against the Giants. It's worth noting that Williams played a large role in the regular-season game against the 49ers, which saw him rack up 18 touches. Green Bay very well could utilize Williams in spurts to keep San Francisco guessing, though his recent downtrend in usage makes him hard to trust.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is a reasonable DFS bet for Sundays NFC Championship matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Priced as the third-best quarterback, Jimmy G squares off against a strong Packers defensive line that ranked 12th-best in adjusted sack rate during the regular season. Garoppolo was not pressed into service in the Divisional Round blowout win, but will likely be tasked with a tougher test on Sunday. While the Niners have mostly ridden its dominant running game throughout the year, Garoppolo has answered the bell in multiple occasions with three four-touchdown games. With dangerous weapons surrounding him, Garoppolo shouldnt be ruled out in the biggest game of his career to-date.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones will take on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game this weekend. The 49ers Defense held Jones to just 38 rushing yards in their regular-season meeting. However, the star back has been playing some seriously good football in his last five games, with 501 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. He's also had 20-plus carries in three straight contests. Expect Green Bay to utilize Jones early and often in screens and runs to combat the 49ers mighty pass rush. Even if Jones doesn't pile up over 100 yards, his propensity to find the end zone and role in the passing game make him a safer play this weekend.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will take on the San Francisco 49ers this weekend with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The 49ers Defense held Rodgers to just 104 passing yards and one touchdown in their regular-season meeting. However, there are a couple things that are different ahead of this matchup. First, tackle Bryan Bulaga will play in this game after being injured in the first quarter against the 49ers previously. Rodgers should have better protection than he had when these teams met. Secondly, Rodgers himself is playing better football than he was during the regular season before this matchup. He has 566 passing yards and four touchdowns in his last two contests. There is also the added motivation of denying a Super Bowl berth to the team that could have drafted him. Play Rodgers on Sunday, despite the tough matchup.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne is worth a gamble for Sundays NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. Bourne scored the only receiving touchdown for the Niners in the Divisional Round, adding to his 2019 resume as a legitimate red-zone threat. The third-year pro has just 33 catches this year, including the playoffs, but collected six scores. Despite his risks as a zero-floor fantasy option, Bourne has emerged as a trustworthy target in clutch situations.
San Francisco 49ers running backs Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert are both bankable DFS options in Sundays NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. The two backs combined for 163 rushing yards in the Divisional Round, with Coleman riding a hot hand to two touchdowns. Considered a backup for the latter half of the regular season, Coleman played 46 percent of snaps last Sunday compared to Mosterts 34 percent. While the touch forecast for either back is cloudy, the Niners draw one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. The Packers ranked 23rd in rushing DVOA during the regular season with the second-worst defensive line in the league, yielding 4.96 adjusted yards per carry. With a likely floor of 10 touches for each Coleman and Mostert, both runners have great opportunities to make a splash.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (ankle) was a full participant in Thursdays practice and should be fine for Sundays NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. Kittle scared Niner Nation with soreness on the left ankle he chipped earlier this year, but confirms he feels fabulous. Kittle factored more as a blocker in last Sundays Divisional Round blowout but the Niners passed just 19 times. The All-Pro is an integral piece in all facets of the offense so is worth his premium TE1 price in DFS on Sunday.
Detroit Lions WR Danny Amendola is set to become an unrestricted free agent, but he's a 'prime candidate' to be re-signed, in the opinion of The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett.
Free-agent WR Antonio Callaway (Browns) signed with the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL Thursday, Jan. 16.
Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy (illness) remained out of practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: McCoy played just one offensive snap in last week's Divisional Round game against the Houston Texans. He's clearly behind RB Damien Williams and is no longer worth starting.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Moore (illness) and DT Chris Jones (calf) didn't participate in practice Thursday, Jan. 16. DT Khalen Saunders (knee), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), CB Kendall Fuller (knee), DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (neck), C Austin Reiter (wrist) and G Andrew Wylie (ankle) practiced in full.
Green Bay Packers DL Kenny Clark (back), TE Marcedes Lewis (non-injury), LB Preston Smith (ankle), FB Danny Vitale (knee) and CB Tramon Williams (non-injury) were limited participants in practice Thursday, Jan. 16. S Adrian Amos (chest), OT Bryan Bulaga (non-injury), WR Ryan Grant (non-injury), LB Blake Martinez (hand) and OL Billy Turner (ankle) practiced in full.
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee) remained limited at practice Thursday, Jan. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Kelce earned a light practice week while catching 10 of 12 targets for 134 yards and three touchdowns against the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round. He's the week's top tight end option once against this week so long as he takes the field.