Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Wild Card Weekend

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Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at the NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. This article focuses on the NFL Playoffs and is based on Draft Kings values.

Quarterbacks -- Start 'Em


Drew Brees vs. Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, 1:05pm ET): Brees has been on a real tear, scoring 22-plus fantasy points in each of his last four games. He is the second-costliest quarterback of the week, but he's worth it ... even against a Vikings defense that was tough on home field generals this season. I'd pair Brees with superstar fantasy wideout Michael Thomas, even at a high price, as well.

Josh Allen at Houston Texans (Saturday, 4:35pm ET): Allen has the best matchup of any quarterback in the Wild Card Round (based on FPA ratings), and he's third in terms of cost. This season, the Texans have given up more than 20 fantasy points per game to the position. In fact, their defense has allowed a top-11 fantasy quarterback in nine of their last 12 games. Allen is a nice choice.

Quarterbacks -- Sit 'Em


Tom Brady vs. Tennessee Titans (Saturday, 8:15pm ET): Brady is on the low end of the cost spectrum among quarterbacks this weekend, but there's a reason for that ... he's failed to score more than 15 fantasy points in three of his last four games, including a game against a bad Dolphins defense where he had a modest 14.8 points. Tom Terrific simply isn't an attractive option, even in the playoffs.

Kirk Cousins at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, 1:05pm ET): This game could end being an absolute barnburner, which would make Cousins a potential bargain in DFS play. The problem is that he's failed to score more than 18 fantasy points in four straight games, and the Saints have allowed an average of just 15.9 fantasy points to quarterbacks since Week 14. Cousins is a risk-reward option in this round.

Running Backs -- Start 'Em


Boston Scott vs. Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 4:40pm ET): Scott has bust onto the fantasy scene in a big way in recent weeks, scoring 13-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games including a pair of performances with 24-plus points. His value will be determined in large part due to the status of Miles Sanders (ankle), but Scott could get a nice volume of touches this week regardless.

Sony Michel vs. Tennessee Titans (Saturday, 8:15pm ET): Michel didn't live up to the expectations of fantasy owners for most of the regular season, but he's a "cheap" and potentially solid option in the Wild Card round. The Patriots leaned on him in the final weeks, as he averaged 19.3 carries in his last three games. The Titans allowed five scores to enemy running backs in their last four games, too.

Running Backs -- Sit 'Em


Marshawn Lynch at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 4:40pm ET): Last week, Lynch saw 12 carries and scored a touchdown in his first NFL action in 14 months. He will likely continue a shared role with backfield mate Travis Homer against the Eagles, who are tough on runners. In fact, their defense allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to visiting backs in the regular season. I'd beware of Lynch.

Carlos Hyde vs. Buffalo Bills (Saturday, 4:35pm ET): Hyde could very well see 20-plus touches against Buffalo this week, but the matchup isn't as good as you might think. In fact, the Bills defense improved against the run down the stretch, as enemy running backs scored just two touchdowns and put up an average of fewer than 20 fantasy points per game over the last four weeks. Hyde is a fade.

Wide Receivers -- Start 'Em


Julian Edelman vs. Tennessee Titans (Saturday, 8:15pm ET): Edelman comes at a reasonable price compared to other top-flight wideouts this week, and a matchup against the Titans makes him a strong choice. Their defense was vulnerable to the slot all season long, allowing 10 touchdown catches and the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. Edelman should have a nice line, so start 'em.

D.K. Metcalf at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 4:40pm ET): The Eagles defense was the most vulnerable in the league against perimeter receivers during the regular season. In fact, it allowed the most touchdown catches (17), the most receiving yards (144.3 PG) and the most fantasy points (30.9 PPG) to the position. That makes Metcalf a potential bargain choice for DFS players this weekend.

Wide Receivers -- Sit 'Em


DeAndre Hopkins at Buffalo Bills (Saturday, 4:35pm ET): Hopkins ranks second in terms of cost behind Michael Thomas this weekend, and his matchup versus the Bills and CB Tre'Davious White is a brutal one. While he would be an obvious must-start regardless in traditional leagues, Hopkins does bring some risk in DFS action. I'd much rather spend a hihg price on Michael Thomas here.

Adam Thielen at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, 4:40pm ET): Thielen has been all but invisible in the stat sheets since his return from an injured hamstring, yet he's still nearly as expensive as Julian Edelman on Draft Kings. That smells like a fade. Sure, there's a chance this game goes over the number and shoots out in the stat sheets, but it's a lot to ask for Thielen at this point in time.

Tight Ends -- Start 'Em


Dallas Goedert vs. Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 4:40pm ET): Goedert has put up double-digit fantasy points in three straight games and four of his last five, and he'll benefit from a matchup against the Seahawks. Only the Cardinals allowed more fantasy points to enemy tight ends. Zach Ertz (if he returns from rib/kidney injuries) is a better play if you can foot the bill, but Goedert works too.

Tight Ends -- Sit 'Em


Kyle Rudolph at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, 4:40pm ET): The return of Adam Thielen has meant the ruin of Rudolph's fantasy football value. Over the last three weeks, the veteran tight end has scored a combined 12.5 fantasy points. That's not per game. It's combined. He also hasn't found the end zone since Week 13, and a game against the Saints isn't an attractive one either. Keep Rudolph sidelined.

Flex -- Start 'Em


Greg Ward vs. Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 4:40pm ET): Ward has produced three straight games with double-digit fantasy points, and he's seen 40 targets over the last six games as the Eagles new "top" wide receiver. Still, he is on the lower end of the price spectrum at the position and could wind up being a bargain against a Seahawks defense that can struggle against the pass. Ward is worth a look.

Defenses -- Start 'Em


Titans D/ST at New England Patriots (Saturday, 8:15pm): I tend to stay on the cheap side with defenses in daily fantasy action, and the Titans are near the bottom in terms of cost this weekend. And while the Patriots have not been a great matchup for defenses overall in 2019, the Dolphins did hang 11 fantasy points on them last week. This isn't the same feared Patriots offense anymore.


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL Media and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy news, notes and analysis!

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