Ten members of the Footballguys DraftKings staff compiled value-based rankings for Week 1 of the NFL Playoffs. Those results are shown below with the highest ranking at the top. Each position is ranked as follows: (A dash indicates that player was not ranked).
Quarterback - Top 8
Running Back - Top 12
Wide Receiver - Top 12
Tight End - Top 8
Defense - Top 5
To determine the average ranking, any player not ranked received a value of the lowest rank for that position, plus 1 (LR+1). For example, the Top 8 quarterbacks are ranked by each staff member. If one staff member did not rank a particular quarterback, but others did, the ranking for that quarterback is 8+1 or 9. Instead of displaying a 9 in the table, a dash is used to show that player was not ranked, after average rank was obtained.
The value-based, collaborative results provide a window into which players are the best options for this week's slate of games. I'll explain why certain players are ranked as they are and also provide additional commentary volunteered by various staff members.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: QUARTERBACK
|Eli Manning||NYG||at GB||6100||1||4||1||2||6||6||6||1||2||1||3.0|
|Matthew Stafford||DET||at SEA||5700||5||5||6||5||5||4||4||6||5||3||4.8|
|Matt Moore||MIA||at PIT||5100||6||7||5||6||4||8||2||7||6||6||5.7|
|Connor Cook||OAK||at HOU||5000||7||8||8||7||8||7||8||8||7||7||7.5|
Ben Roethlisberger ($7,600) was the top ranked value quarterback this week with only two #1 rankings. The matchup looks good for Roethlisberger at home against Miami, who finished allowing the 4th most DK points to quarterbacks this season and most since Week 10. However, back in Week 6, Miami dominated Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, holding him to 189 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. They double covered Brown all game and held him to 4 receptions for 39 yards. Can they do it again, on the road in the playoffs in cold weather? If you elect to go with Roethlisberger, you're betting Miami can't.
Russell Wilson ($7,000) is #2 on the consensus rankings. Seattle will host Detroit, who narrowly missed a W in their last trip to the pacific northwest in Week 4 last season. Detroit deserved the win in that game and you can bet they'll be ready to play. They have given up 4, 3 and 2 touchdown passes in each of the last three weeks. Detroit has 26 sacks this season (tied for 2nd fewest in the league). Seattle has been sacked 42 times (6th most and most of any playoff team). Wilson has three 300-yard games this season - all three games included at least three touchdown passes. When the yardage totals are high, Wilson comes through for us. He has only two games with more than one touchdown pass when passing for less than 300 yards. Quarterbacks have exceeded 225 yards passing in only two games against Detroit since Week 9. That's something to think about when considering Wilson.
Eli Manning ($6,100) is #3 on the list and is the highest ranked road quarterback this week. Manning has at least two touchdown passes in six of the last nine games, however none in the last two games and only one in the last four games. He has failed to reach more than 201 yards passing in five of the last six games. He's trending down, so it appears. Enter Green Bay, who has allowed at least 347 yards passing and two touchdown passes in each of the last three games against Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford and Matt Barkley - not exactly the cream of the crop. It's hard to believe the Packers are on a six-game win streak with that stat line. Nine interceptions on defense in the last four games paints a clearer picture of their success. In Week 5, at Green Bay Manning passed for 199 yards and 1 touchdown in a 23-16 loss. Odell Beckham Jr caught the lone touchdown. Manning has 11 games this season where he had at least 35 pass attempts. Six of those 11 games he had at least two touchdown passes. Green Bay has averaged 39 pass attempts to opposing quarterbacks in the last seven games. There's a slightly greater than 50% chance that Manning has a decent game, but the odds of him having a big game seem less likely.
Aaron Rodgers ($7,900) is 4th in the rankings this week, which is rare to see, however the Giants have been stingy against quarterbacks this year, allowing only three to pass for two touchdowns in a game this season (Rodgers was one of them). In fact, New York has not allowed any quarterbacks to have three touchdown passes or more. To place a chip on Rodgers at his price may not be the best course of action. He does have two straight games of 300 yards and four touchdown passes, so there is some hope, but I wouldn't call him a safe cash game option.
Ben Roethlisberger - Roethlisberger is at home, where he typically excels. Game script may be a concern as a 10-point favorite, but predicting playoff blowouts is a fool's game.
Russell Wilson - His ceiling is as high as any quarterback's on the slate, the implied game script sets up nicely, Detroit has the worst pass defense in the league (DVOA), and Wilson is available for significantly less than Aaron Rodgers, or Ben Roethlisberger.
Matt Moore - Remember these are value rankings. Moore is barely above minimum price, and has thrown for eight touchdowns in his three starts. Pittsburgh's defense can be spotty.
Ben Roethlisberger - The Steelers have the highest implied team total on the slate, and the touchdowns usually come from Roethlisberger when the Steelers are playing at home.
Aaron Rodgers - Tough opposing matchup, but Rodgers comes in white hot with back-to-back games of 300+ yards and four touchdowns.
Russell Wilson - Attractive price in a home game against a suspect defense
Ben Roethlisberger - Price surprises me a bit, but hard not to like the matchup
Aaron Rodgers - The best QB in the first round of the playoffs, but Giants defense is no joke
Eli Manning - Hasn't been the quarterback I expected this year, but has a way of shining in playoffs
Matt Moore - There's a chance Tannehill plays, so be mindful of Moore as a deep value play
Eli Manning - Manning has a knack for coming up huge in big games such as this, and I'll look for him to do the same in frigid Green Bay.
Ben Roethlisberger - Large Benjamin at home. Don't overthink it!
Eli Manning - The Packers defense is ranked 31st against the pass. Have allowed at least 347 passing yards/per game over the past 3 weeks.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: running back
|Zach Zenner||DET||at SEA||4500||1||3||2||2||3||5||1||4||2||1||2.4|
|Jay Ajayi||MIA||at PIT||6800||5||4||3||5||2||4||7||3||4||5||4.2|
|Latavius Murray||OAK||at HOU||5000||7||2||4||10||6||8||6||5||7||2||5.7|
|Rashad Jennings||NYG||at GB||4200||3||7||6||9||7||3||2||6||6||9||5.8|
|Paul Perkins||NYG||at GB||4100||12||10||9||4||4||9||10||8||9||7||8.2|
|DeAndre Washington||OAK||at HOU||3300||9||11||10||7||9||-||9||10||12||11||10.1|
|Jalen Richard||OAK||at HOU||3400||11||-||12||11||-||10||12||-||10||-||11.8|
Le'Veon Bell ($10,300) is the top ranking this week, commanding ten Top 4 picks and seven #1 ranks. He has at least 23 touches in six straight games, cracking 125 total yards easily in all six with six touchdowns in the same span. Ironically, this is Bell's first playoff game so you can bet he'll be pumped and relied upon heavily. Miami has given up the 5th most DK points to running backs since Week 10 and have allowed a back to score a rushing touchdown in consecutive weeks. Bell may be priced high, but a typical yardage game and two scores would put him at 3x value. If he explodes and you pass on him for your lineup, your chances of winning your cash game drop dramatically.
Zach Zenner comes in 2nd on the list. At only $4,500 Zenner looks like a steal, especially given his stat line from the last two games: 20-69-1 with 4-41 receiving and 12-67-2 with 2-25 receiving. Detroit has turned to Zenner as their go-to back since Theo Riddick was injured and placed on IR. Since Riddick's last game (Week 13), Zenner has 12 receptions and Dwayne Washington (his only competition at running back) has four. Seattle has allowed 5 rushing touchdowns in the last two weeks (3 to David Johnson and 2 to Shaun Draughn). At such a low price, Zenner is an excellent option to consider, especially if also targeting Bell.
Jay Ajayi ($6,800) is ranked 3rd by the consensus this week. The Steelers don't give up much to opposing backs, allowing one back to exceed 60 yards rushing since Week 10, which was last week to Isaiah Crowell in a meaningless game for the defense. Pittsburgh has allowed three rushing touchdowns in three of the last four games, which is something to cling to, if you're targeting Ajayi. Keep in mind, Ajayi has three 200-yard rushing games this year, one of which came against Pittsburgh in Week 6.
Lamar Miller ($6,100), Latavius Murray ($5,000), Rashad Jennings ($4,200) and Ty Montgomery ($5,500) are next on the list. Miler has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and is someone who has been fairly consistent when healthy. He is expected to start this week and be a big part of the Texans offense. At $6,100, he's a good investment to reach 20 touches.
Latavius Murray has cooled off recently with more involvement from DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. He's still the team's primary rusher, but his competition has increased and the Raiders offense has struggled to find consistency since the Derek Carr injury. To make matters worse, Houston has allowed only two rushing touchdowns to running backs since Week 7.
The same can be said for Rashad Jennings, who has seen his competition increase over the last few games. Paul Perkins has come on strong lately and has even out-carried Jennings in each of the last two games. Ty Montgomery has seen touchdowns vultured by Aaron Ripkowski lately and has only one game since Week 7 where he had more than 13 touches. He has big play capabilities, but he's also not a sure thing.
Le'Veon Bell - He simply carries both the highest ceiling and the highest floor on the slate, regardless of position. RBs are scattered and relatively cheap this work, so Bell pairs nicely with a value play.
Zach Zenner - Seattle has allowed five rushing touchdowns in their last two games. Zenner is cheap and has touchdown equity.
Le'Veon Bell - Bell has the highest raw projection of any player on the slate. Fade him in tournaments and get buried.
Lamar Miller - Any chance the Texans have of winning depends on their defense and running game. Hopefully, one week is all Miller needed to rest his injured ankle.
Latavius Murray - I'm warming to the idea of Murray getting a huge workload. Like Houston, Oakland's only shot at scoring points is by running the ball.
Le'Veon Bell - Bell will be uber chalk, but justifiably so
Latavius Murray - Del Rio appears ready to ride or die with Murray this week
Zach Zenner - TD dependent, but it's a weak slate overall
Jay Ajayi - The defense is weak, so Ajayi could have a huge day
Aaron Ripkowski - TD vulture is the kind of playoff value pick that can win GPPs
Zach Zenner - Simply too low of a price - regardless of the matchup at hand - for a back that projects to have a healthy workload.
Paul Perkins - Averaged 1.4 yards per carry more than Jennings down the stretch and reports inidcate he is likely to be the top back for the Giants in the playoffs.
Le'Veon Bell - By far the best option at the running back position this week.
Le'Veon Bell - Bell is the chalk this week but it is tough to fade his floor/ceiling in cash/GPP tournaments. Highest raw upside by a wide margin.
Zach Zenner - Zenner has made most the most of his opportunity over the past 2 weeks. 24 and 14 touches
Lamar Miller - Expect the Texans to win the game by playing tough defense and focusing on the running game.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: wide receiver
|Odell Beckham Jr||NYG||at GB||9100||2||4||2||5||5||2||-||2||1||2||3.8|
|Jarvis Landry||MIA||at PIT||5100||9||7||3||3||9||9||2||4||3||4||5.3|
|Michael Crabtree||OAK||at HOU||5300||8||11||5||11||6||3||9||5||6||-||7.7|
|Kenny Stills||MIA||at PIT||3800||6||-||7||10||2||-||1||-||11||7||8.3|
|Sterling Shepard||NYG||at GB||4800||10||8||8||9||-||-||4||7||8||8||8.8|
|Golden Tate||DET||at SEA||6300||11||9||-||8||3||10||-||6||-||6||9.2|
|Amari Cooper||OAK||at HOU||5200||7||10||9||-||-||12||11||-||7||10||10.5|
|DeVante Parker||MIA||at PIT||4200||-||12||11||12||-||7||10||8||-||-||11.2|
|Anquan Boldin||DET||at SEA||4000||-||-||-||-||11||8||3||-||-||12||11.2|
|Will Fuller V||HOU||OAK||4400||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||10||-||-||12.7|
|Marvin Jones Jr||DET||at SEA||4100||-||-||-||-||-||-||12||-||-||-||12.9|
The Top 3 is dominated by Antonio Brown ($9,400), Odell Beckham Jr Jr. ($9,100) and Jordy Nelson ($8,000). As mentioned earlier, Brown struggled to find success against Miami in Week 6 and he has 0 playoff touchdowns to his name. That's the only negative I can find on Brown. Miami has allowed a touchdown to a wide receiver in six straight games and at least one in 14 of their 16 game slate. Things look rosey for Brown despite the dominant defensive performance against him earlier in the year.
If Brown isn't your target, perhaps Beckham should be. Like Miami, Green Bay has struggled to keep wide receivers out of the end zone, allowing one to score at least once in 13 of 16 games this year. In the previous matchup against Green Bay in Week 5, Beckham added 5 catches for 56 yards and a score.
Jordy Nelson has been a consistent weekly winner on DraftKings but the matchup against the Giants is not in his favor. I don't see Rodgers getting shut out of the end zone and if anyone is likely to score, it's Nelson, who has 14 touchdowns this season.
Jarvis Landry ($5,100) finds his way to the Top 4 this week. Since Matt Moore took over, Landry has two touchdowns in four games with two 100-yard efforts and a nine-catch game last week. At $5,100 he's someone to target in what could be a high pass-attempts game for Moore and the Dolphins if the game script dictates it.
Doug Baldwin ($7,000) and Davante Adams ($5,600) are next in the consensus rankings. Wide receivers have scored 9 touchdowns in the last four games against Detroit, which makes Baldwin an intriguing play even at $7,000. Baldwin has 16 more targets than anyone else on the team since Week 14 and should be Wilson's top target once again.
Davante Adams has six touchdowns in the last six games and three in the last two games. He's a hot commodity, but Green Bay is probably not scoring more than two passing touchdowns in this game which lowers the chances of a big game for Adams. At $5,600, he's a great bargain, but you're counting on him to reach paydirt, which may be a tall order against the tough Giants defense.
Sterling Shepard - The Packers tend to be gashed by slot receivers, and Shepard's quiet end to the season should keep ownership nice and low. This game has the feel of a potential shootout, and Odell Beckham Jr can't catch everything.
Kenny Stills - Quietly has a touchdown in each of his last four games and five out of his last six.
Jordy Nelson - Don't underestimate the Giants cornerbacks. They held Nelson to four catches on 13 targets when these teams met in Week 5.
Jordy Nelson - $1100 cheaper than ODB in same game
Doug Baldwin - His disappearing act in Week 17 should keep his ownership at appealling levels
Odell Beckham Jr Jr. - Arguably the best receiver in the league, but priced for it
Sterling Shepard - Quietly turned into a TD machine
Antonio Brown - He'll cost you a pretty penny, but he also brings massive upside to the table for a game in which the Steelers should come out with guns blazing.
Doug Baldwin - The Seahawks implied team total is higher than Green Bay's and only a few points lower than the Steelers. Those points will have to come from somewhere and Baldwin is the best bet considering how bad the running game has been in recent weeks.
Kenny Stills - Has scored a touchdown in four consecutive games
Odell Beckham Jr Jr. - The Giants only hope to win is to air it out early and often. The Packers pass defense is in for a long day.
Jarvis Landry - Solid PPR option that will be playing in a positive game script from behind.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: Tight End
|Eric Ebron||DET||at SEA||3900||1||4||1||3||4||2||3||4||2||1||2.5|
|Will Tye||NYG||at GB||2800||3||3||5||6||1||1||2||8||1||2||3.2|
|Dion Sims||MIA||at PIT||2500||6||6||2||7||6||8||1||6||8||6||5.6|
|Clive Walford||OAK||at HOU||2500||-||8||8||8||-||6||8||7||-||8||8.0|
Tight end seems like a shot in the dark this week. Jimmy Graham ($5,300) is the obvious stalwart in the group, but he has struggled lately catching 2 passes or less in three of the last four games. That's too poor for my taste at his price.
Eric Ebron ($3,900) is the top value ranking this week. He has the second most targets (30) on the team since Week 14 and has caught at least four passes in each of the last five games. On the negative side, he has not scored since Week 1, which yields a lot of doubt as a cash game option this week.
Will Tye ($2,800) is a cheaper option that allows you to spend in other areas. He's a nearly a lock for 2-3 catches, but he doesn't get a lot of yards and he has one touchdown all year.
Jared Cook ($3,600) and C.J. Fiedorowicz ($4,200) are other options to consider. Cook has the third most targets on the team in the last five games with the second most (tied with) receptions (17) in that span. He has only one touchdown this year, which lowers his value, but he's someone to consider. The Giants have allowed a tight end to score in three of the last six games. They have been somewhat vulnerable to that position this year and we know Rodgers will find the weakness in the defense.
Fiedorowicz is an option to look at this week. The tight end wasn't looked at often with Tom Savage at quarterback, but now that Osweiler is returning, look for the tight end to see an uptick in production and that means Fiedorowicz could have a decent game. Only Philadelphia had more receptions to the tight end than Houston this year and Osweiler is the main reason why. The game should include a lot of short-ranged passes by Houston, which benefits Fiedorowicz.
Dion Sims - Sims has turned all three of his recent dark zone targets into touchdowns.
Dion Sims - Sims is playing every tight end snap for the Dolphins. He's min-price, and the Steelers have been vulnerable to tight ends in each of their last four games.
Will Tye - Like Sims, Tye is a super-cheap tight end, playing all the snaps against a defense that has let up some big tight end games this season.
Jimmy Graham - Perfect tournament play. No one will have money left over for Graham after squeezing in studs at QB, RB, and WR.
Will Tye - A flier but the price is so cheap, it allows you to have studs everywhere else
Clive Walford - Break glass in case of emergency
Eric Ebron - The targets are there for Ebron to easily make value in a matchup in which the Lions project to be coming from behind.
Will Tye - Salary is at a premium this week. The Packers have allowed 13 catches to opposing tight ends over the last two weeks
Will Tye - TE is a good spot to punt this week. One again targeting Packers passing defense.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: Defense
|NY Giants||NYG||at GB||3100||4||4||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2||5.2|
Houston ($3,800) is the top defense this week against Connor Cook in his first career start - which also happens to be a road playoff game. Good luck there.
Seattle ($3,700) and Oakland ($3,000) are next on the list. Seattle will face a Lions team that has allowed opposing defenses to have at least one interception in each of the last four games with five total in that span. Detroit has also been sacked 17 times in the last seven games (2.4 per game).
Pittsburgh ($3,500) has an intercetpion in six straight games and Miami has allowed at least once interception in five of the last six games. The turnover battle looks to be in Pittsburgh's favor for this matchup.
Oakland - The masses will flock to the Texans and Seahawks, but I'll zag to a Raiders squad that has just as much upside against an offensively-challenged Texans squad.
Houston - Connor Cook making his 1st career start. Nuff said.
Pittsburgh - Steelers defense will be fired up at home. Possible positive game script.
Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
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