Divisional Round analyst Playoff Challenge picks

If you missed out on joining NFL Playoff Challenge last weekend, fear not, you can still join any time RIGHT HERE. You'll just be a bit behind in the quest for the grand prize, but you can still play your friends or the rest of the world for fun. As we did each week of the regular season with the Perfect Challenge game, we'll provide our picks for Playoff Challenge with a brief analysis of each person's strategy throughout the postseason. Several different strategies were tested last week, with varying degrees of success.

Below are the Divisional Round Playoff Challenge picks from the NFL Fantasy staff.

Michael Fabiano's Playoff Challenge lineup (on Twitter @Michael_Fabiano)

Fabs' only player from the Wild Card round was Todd Gurley, which is why Dion Lewis is now in the lineup without a bonus multiplier. The rest of Fabs' lineup is stacked with Patriots, who play host to the Titans this weekend, with Adam Thielen and Le'Veon Bell thrown in for good measure. Each of the players in this lineup will play at home this weekend, giving them a good chance to advance to their respective championship games. If that happens, Fabs' group will be poised to stay relevant and rack up points into the Super Bowl.

Adam Rank's Playoff Challenge lineup (on Twitter @adamrank)

Poor Adam Rank. The Rams hurt him as a kid when they left Los Angeles for St. Louis, and now they've hurt him again as an adult. Rank went in HEAVY on the Rams with his initial lineup and is now paying the price after they were defeated by the Atlanta Falcons. As a result, Rank's lineup only has two players sporting that bonus multiplier. Rank has pretty much fully pivoted to the Patriots, which seems like a safe bet to get back into the mix here. If the Patriots happen to get upset by the Titans this weekend, well, then Rank's Playoff Challenge hopes will really be in dire straits.

Matt Franciscovich's Playoff Challenge lineup (on Twitter @MattFranchise)

Franchise is one of just two of our analysts to carry a full roster sporting the bonus multiplier into the Divisional Round. His lineup was built entirely out of Vikings and Steelers -- two teams with a first-round bye. Both get tough draws this weekend, as the Vikings will host the high-flying Saints, while the Steelers will square off against the elite Jaguars defense. If these two teams advance to the next round, though, Franchise's lineup will really be cooking with a full slate of x3 multipliers.

Matt Harmon's Playoff Challenge lineup (on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB)

Harmon went out on a limb with a unique lineup in the Wild Card round, sporting two-plus players from three separate teams. Creating a unique lineup is a key to winning in Playoff Challenge. Unfortunately for Harmon, the two first-round teams he featured heavily both lost, forcing him to reinvent his group for the Divisional Round. With Drew Brees showing his postseason prowess in grand fashion last weekend, Harmon's choice to ride the Saints could be prudent. If they get past the Vikings' tough defense this weekend there's a decent chance they'll be able to host the final playoff game in the NFC bracket in their home stadium.

Marcas Grant's Playoff Challenge lineup (on Twitter @MarcasG)

Marcas' Saints-heavy lineup paid huge dividends in the Wild Card round, even though Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara didn't hit the same statistical heights as during the regular season. Like Franchise, Marcas has a full lineup of bonus multipliers, except he has the added benefit of having received those Wild Card points. If you can find the right Wild Card team that makes it all the way to the postseason, you're set up really well in Playoff Challenge. Marcas may have done that here. But as we saw this past weekend, there are no guarantees in the NFL postseason.

Alex Gelhar's Playoff Challenge lineup (on Twitter @AlexGelhar)

With the Rams stymied in the Wild Card round, I decided to hop on board with the Vikings. As a Packers fan, it'd pain me to see them go deep into the postseason and possibly host the Super Bowl in their home stadium. However, with one of the league's best defenses and a potent offense, the Vikings look poised to go far. I also like the added benefit of Latavius Murray and Stefon Diggs being started in so few lineups right now. Getting in on them now before others are forced to add them (if they keep winning) could give me an edge down the stretch.

Those are our picks for NFL Playoff Challenge. Hit us up on Twitter with your lineup. Enjoy the games, and good luck chasing that trip to Super Bowl LIII!


Alex Gelhar is a fantasy writer/editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @AlexGelhar and "Like" his page on Facebook here.