Fantasy Football 2019: Daily Fantasy Advice for Divisional Games

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2019

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30:  Eric Ebron #85 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after making a big catch during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Colts defeated the Titans 33-17.   (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Let's talk daily fantasy values. 

With the NFL divisional round upon us, often the best weekend of the NFL season, there aren't many gimme matchups for fantasy players. The eight teams still standing are the best in football, and while every team has weaknesses, these teams are the best at game-planning around them or mitigating their weaknesses with even more significant strengths. 

But there are always values to be found in daily fantasy. Below, you'll find three players who may not explode for the biggest point totals but should offer you excellent bang for your buck.


Nick Foles is a Sneaky-Good Play

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Your initial suspicion of Foles may be to stay away. After all, while the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback is about as clutch as it gets in the clutch, he hasn't exactly been a fantasy beast.

In five regular-season games, Foles averaged just 15 fantasy points per contest, tying him for 16th in average points with Eli Manning and C.J. Beathard. Yikes. And against the Bears, Foles threw for 266 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Not a bad statistical performance, but it's hardly an elite one.

But a number of factors make him intriguing. For one, he offers solid value at quarterback given his more modest price, allowing you to spend big bucks elsewhere. For another, the Saints finished 31st in points allowed against quarterbacks this season (21.7 points per week, according to Yahoo Sports).

And the Eagles may need to lean heavily on their pass attack against the Saints. For one, the Saints allowed just 80.2 rushing yards per game, second best in the NFL. For another, the Saints averaged 31.5 points per game, third in the league. So the Eagles may need to throw a whole bunch, both to mitigate a run game that likely will struggle against the Saints and to keep pace with Drew Brees and the explosive Saints. 

Yes, the Saints beat the Eagles in November, 48-7. Yes, Carson Wentz and the Eagles managed just 156 passing yards in that contest. But since that blowout loss, the Eagles are 6-1 and Foles has played well in relief duty for Wentz. This is a different Eagles team and should be judged accordingly. Don't be afraid to roll the dice on Foles.


In Eric Ebron You Trust

Any way you slice it, the Kansas City Chiefs have struggled against tight ends in 2018. The Chiefs gave up the fifth most receptions to the position this season (87), the fourth most yards (1,067) and tied for the most touchdowns allowed (10).  

Ebron, meanwhile, registered an impressive 66 receptions for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns on 66 targets this season, registering a breakout year in his new partnership with Andrew Luck. And he'll come cheaper than either Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce, making him a nice combination of value and upside. 

Yes, you're banking on Ebron finding the end zone. But he's done so in 11 of his 17 games this season, and scored twice in three games. It's a good gamble to take. 


Marlon Mack is the Value Play at RB

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 05: Marlon Mack #25 of the Indianapolis Colts rushes past the tackle attempt of D.J. Reader #98 of the Houston Texans during the Wild Card Round at NRG Stadium on January 05, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Image
Bob Levey/Getty Images

It's easy to suggest spending a bunch of your budget on a player like Ezekiel Elliott or Alvin Kamara, players who produce consistently just about every week. But if you don't want to splash all of your budget on two expensive running backs, you'll find yourself bargain hunting.

And it will be hard to find a better combination of upside and value than Indy's Marlon Mack.

While most of the remaining playoff teams have been solid against opposing running backs in terms of fantasy points allowed, the Chiefs have been vulnerable, giving up the fifth most rushing yards to the position (1,816), were tied for the sixth most rushing scores allowed (14), were fifth in receiving yards sacrificed to opposing running backs (895) and were tied for the most receiving scores allowed to the position (six).

Mack, meanwhile, opened up the playoffs by torching the Houston Texans, rushing 24 times for 148 yards and a score. While game flow may not work as much in his favor against the Chiefs, in a game that feels like a shootout in the making, Mack's 4.7 yards per carry are a reminder that he tends to get the most from his touches. 

And the Colts would be wise to establish the run game early in an effort to reduce the amount of time Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kansas City's offense spends on the field. The best way to do that will be with a healthy dose of Mack.


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