Quarterback: Marcus Mariota ($5,900)
Defense wins Championships was always Ray Lewis’ motto when he was with the Baltimore Ravens and that’s exactly what this New England Patriots team lacks. So why not exploit that weakness and roll with Mariota from Tennessee? Yes, this Titans offense has been mostly stagnate this season, but their second half performance last weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs was very impressive. Now I’m not saying the Titans are going to win, but I believe they’ll put up a fight and if they’re going to do so they’re going to need to do it with Mariota.
Running Back: Le’Veon Bell ($9,600)
I’m not buying the report of Antonio Brown being fully healthy at all. So if the Steelers want to make it to the AFC Conference game then they’re going to need to get Bell involved and get him going early. The addition of Stevan Ridley may cut into Bell’s receptions out of the backfield, but I wouldn’t be concerned about it at all. And speaking of injuries this Jacksonville defense allowed a hobbling LeSean McCoy to go for 119 total yards on them. So yes, I can only imagine what Bell will do to the Jaguars this weekend.
Running Back: Jay Ajayi ($4,600)
Since Carson Wentz went down with an ACL injury and backup Nick Foles came in to replace him for the remainder of the year, the Eagles have made sure to get the ball in the hands of Ajayi. While they’re still not doing it as much as they should be doing it, which is why Ajayi draws a $4,600 dollar amount, I believe that the Eagles will get him heavily involved in this game at home versus the Atalanta Falcons.
Wide Receiver: JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,000)
I’m really not trying to sound like a broken record here but Antonio Brown being a 100% healthy just isn’t the truth. While I still think he’ll perform, he’s going to draw a tough matchup with Jalen Ramsey, which is something I’d try to avoid. So who’s next in line? JuJu on that beat. Because that’s exactly what he’ll be doing Sunday and that’s beating this Jaguars defense for an impressive first career playoff game.
Wide Receiver: Corey Davis ($3,400)
I promise I’m not money-lining the Titans Saturday against the Patriots…okay I might sprinkle a little bit of money on it. But all jokes aside, this Patriots defense is B-A-D. And Davis who was second on the team in targets (7) behind Delanie Walker (8) against the Chiefs last weekend is great value here at only $3,400. Yes Davis hasn’t cracked a 100 yards this season but before last week Mariota didn’t crack over 25 fantasy points this season either. The point is this Titans offense appears to be heading in the right direction and they draw a beyond favorable matchup here against the Patriots.
Wide Reciever: Dede Westbrook ($4,400)
Okay I swear I don’t have something for rookie wide receivers. But hey they hold a ton of value, they’re cheap and they’re all towards the top as far as targets go on their perspective teams. Now yes, Westbrook hasn’t given us his 200 yard performance yet like he promised and I doubt that happens this week, but I think he’ll be very productive against this Steelers defense.
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski ($7,100)
He costs a lot at the tight end position but it’s just pure chalk here. I mean it’s clear that the Titans cannot guard the tight end position to save their lives. Add that together that Gronkowski is Brady’s favorite target when he’s healthy equals a huge game for Gronk. I’m not one to predict stat lines, but two touchdowns and 100 yards seems very feasible here. So yes, Gronk is your free play on the bingo board this week.
FLEX: Latavius Murray ($5,400)
So we’ve decided to go with the Vikings defense here which leaves us with $6,100 remaining. So we have some options here. We could go Devonta Freeman for $5,900 but he’s in a 60-40 timeshare with Tevin Coleman and the Eagles run defense is the best in the league. The only time you see an 100 yard rusher against this Eagles team is when that player gets 20 plus touches, a stat you’re not going to see this weekend from Freeman. Alshon Jeffery jumps out to you at $5,500 but the chemistry just isn’t there with him and Foles so I’m passing again.
I thought hard about going with a tight end here and rolling with the dual tight end combination but couldn’t do it. Zach Ertz looked appealing, but Latavius Murray stands out to me. The Saints run defense struggles on the road as they allow 112.7 yards rushing per game and have given up six rushing touchdowns. As for Murray, he does very well at home as he’s rushed for over 100 yards twice, (95 yards against Rams should’ve been his third) and has scored six touchdowns. I like Murray here as a sneaky play.
Defense: Minnesota Vikings ($2,900)
Yes, Drew Brees looked phenomenal last weekend against a very good Carolina Panthers defense. But they’re on the road and they’re headed to face the purple people eaters and I’m staying away from Saints players as much as possible here because this defense is scary. It’s a risk for sure because this Saints offense is the fourth highest scoring offense in the league and when these two faced in week one, the Vikings only scored 2 fantasy points.