Well I guess since the NFL regular season has ended we’ll just have to wait until next season to get our fix of fantasy football. Wait, what’s that you say? There are still fantasy games to be played? Well that’s great! Count my pro football addict self in!
Indeed there are more games to be played and they come in many different styles and formats. That being said let’s take a look at a couple of the more popular NFL playoff fantasy games and the strategies to succeed.
NOTE: Listed at the end of this post are links to some playoff fantasy contests for you to enter. Some free and some for straight cash homie……
Let’s start by taking a look at the daily fantasy games available to us through Fan Duel, Draft Street, Daily Joust and the like. As I’m sure you are aware these sites, and many others, have burst onto the fantasy scene by offering “daily” or in the case of football, weekly fantasy games for users to play. Some for free and others for cold hard cash, these games offer users the opportunity at a fresh start each week when it comes to setting a lineup and this is a great way to feed your fantasy football addiction throughout the NFL playoffs.
In these daily games the user will be able to set their roster using any available player within the slate of games that weekend. The catch is that each player is assigned a dollar value and their inclusion in your lineup will count against your fantasy salary cap. Under these guidelines it is important to try and find a value play (a player that may go bananas on the cheap) or two in order to have success. Most of these games require you to start one player at each position save for the WR’s which typically are selected in 3’s.
The following are some potential value plays in daily games for Wild Card weekend and the dollar amounts are provided by Fan Duel. Assume a salary cap of $60,000:
JOE “I AM ELITE!!” FLACCO, RAVENS QB – $6,800
While Flacco certainly isn’t the best option at QB this week he’s certainly not the worst. Facing a Colts defense that ranks 21st in terms of yards per game and 15th in passing touchdowns allowed there’s really no reason to think that Flacco won’t put up at least slightly above average numbers, allowing you to save a few bucks on your cap for use on a player with a higher upside.
Flacco has also been shutout in the TD category only twice this year (not including week 17 when he had just 8 attempts) so you can depend on him for at least one score.
DuJUAN HARRIS, PACKERS RB – $4,900
My personal opinion is that in this format you want to get Rice and Peterson into your lineup this week so there really isn’t a need for a value play at RB, but if the mood strikes you Harris could be your man.
In last week’s contest Harris ran for 70 yards on 14 attempts while snagging both targets received in the passing game. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Packers utilize Harris a little more this weekend as the game has more meaning and they may be protecting the ball a bit more in the TOP category.
Don’t expect the world but Harris should see about 20 total touches with a 50/50 shot at scoring.
GOLDEN TATE, SEAHAWKS WR – $5,400
If you need to save some coin on a WR this weekend Tate could suffice. While he hasn’t scored since a week 13 tilt with the Bears, Tate generally makes the most of his targets and should see a little bump in work versus the Redskins.
Look for Tate to get a few quality red zone looks this weekend as I feel the Seahawks get off a bit against a Washington defense that’s had its issues with surrendering the big play at times this season. Wilson won’t bail them out as Romo and Co. did last week.
That’s a wrap on the daily games and value plays for this weekend. Now let’s get into another playoff fantasy game in the mix this year.
It comes to us in the form of what I would term a “survivor” format in which you can only use each player one time in your lineup for the entirety of the playoffs. Personally I’m a fan of this format as it comes with a little extra strategy as you have to account for teams that may make an early exit from the tournament.
That being said, when setting your lineups in this style contest make sure you identify players that you feel have quality matchups this weekend and then note whether or not you feel their team will win. The line of thinking is that you don’t want to use all your bullets too early and be left with an empty chamber come conference championship week. With this in mind here is an example of my thought process on players I like in survivor formats during Wild Card weekend:
AJ GREEN, BENGALS WR
Having picked the Houston Texans in the preseason to win the Super Bowl it pains me to say that I think the Bengals win this game on the strength of their defense which has allowed just 13.9 ppg over their last 9 contests. In this format I’ll go ahead and assume I’m correct and look at what would be a matchup with Denver next week for Cincinnati. I’m not a fan of that matchup for Green so I’m going to go ahead and use him this weekend as I feel he turns in a quality start against the poor performing Houston pass defense.
This same process can be employed at each position, first identifying game winners and subsequent matchups then moving into the current week’s matchup to identify the players that will be most advantageous to you this week. As you can see, the best option at a position this week may have a better/worse draw in a subsequent game and you will need to plan accordingly.
As I said earlier, I enjoy this format and the added strategy it requires. Many survivor contests have varying scoring systems so as always be aware of this when setting your lineups.
So that’s a quick look at the playoff fantasy games available for us this weekend. I’m sure there are more out there so feel free to share in the comments section below. Also, as indicated at the open, below is a list of a couple games you can join this weekend if you so desire (I’ve joined all these so you can play against me):
Pilot Premier Rumble from @WHUDEY – COST $2.00
Gridiron Challenge from @FantasyTrade411 – FREE
2 Mugs FF Playoff Contest from @2MugsFF – COST $5.00
Lastly is a contest being run by Jim Day that has a couple very cool twists. Tweet at me @JDBeckler or Jim @FantasyTaz to get in. Many “experts” are on board so take a shot at us one last time this season.
Thanks for reading and good luck all.