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Rams vs. Packers: Daily Fantasy Sleepers, Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2021

Green Bay Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling races to the end zone for a 72-yard touchdown reception during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams tortured opposing defenses throughout the regular season, but their connection in the divisional round could be halted by one of the best individual defenders in the NFL.

Adams' matchup with Los Angeles Rams defensive back Jalen Ramsey could lessen his daily fantasy football value. If Ramsey takes away Adams' threat in the passing attack, Rodgers will have to call on Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard and others to make up for those totals.

If the Packers work around Ramsey and put up a large total, the wide receivers beneath Adams on the depth chart could be the biggest fantasy success stories of Saturday's slate.

The fantasy numbers produced by Los Angeles' wide receivers could be lower than expected if Jared Goff's injured thumb acts up. With that in mind, the best DFS option from the Rams roster should be come from their running back unit.

                  

DFS Lineup Picks

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Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay 

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

It is hard not to start Rodgers in single-game and full-day slates, even if Adams is occupied by Ramsey for most of Saturday afternoon.

Rodgers completed more than 70 percent of his passes in the regular season for the first time in his career as a full-season starter. He completed 71.4 percent of his throws in a two-game stint in 2007.

The Packers quarterback concluded the regular season with back-to-back four-touchdown outings against a pair of playoff qualifiers. In his seven four-score performances, Rodgers turned over the ball on a single occasion.

Rodgers' high completion rate and lack of turnovers make him a better quarterback option than Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Goff on Saturday. He does have a tough defensive matchup, with Aaron Donald and Ramsey lining up on the other side of the ball, but he has an abundance of weapons to work with to get around the impact of both players.

Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams both caught more than 30 passes this year, and Robert Tonyan turned himself into a touchdown machine with 11 scores.

If Rodgers utilizes those three players on short passes to negate Donald's impact on the pass rush, he could enjoy a similar level of success as he had throughout the regular season.

                     

Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles 

Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

Akers is the most trustworthy DFS option on the Rams roster.

The rookie out of Florida State totaled his second-best single-game yardage total in the Wild Card Round, as he ran for 131 yards on 28 carries.

For Los Angeles to win, Akers needs to be as effective to take some pressure off Goff from making every big play on his own out of the pocket.

Dating back to Week 13, Akers has been a high-volume back for the Rams, as he earned 15 or more carries in five games. Akers also recorded more than 20 receiving yards in four of the five contests. He shouldn't be chosen for DFS lineups based off his points-per-reception potential, but that would be an added bonus if Goff calls on him to catch short throws.

If Akers averages more than three yards per carry with a high volume of touches, he may end up as the top-scoring running back across Saturday's two-game slate.

               

Sleeper Picks

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay

Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

Valdes-Scantling was a boom-or-bust sleeper pick throughout the regular season.

In the final six games, Valdes-Scantling had two performances with 85 yards and a touchdown and failed to catch a pass in two contests.

With Adams going head-to-head with Ramsey, Valdes-Scantling must be included as a sleeper play because of his big-play potential.

When Rodgers targets him, Valdes-Scantling is typically breaking away from defenders. Four of six touchdown catches went for 45 yards or longer.

Valdes-Scantling may be in for a higher volume of targets and receptions since Ramsey allowed a little more than 50 percent of the balls thrown at him to be caught. Opposing wide receivers averaged 9.8 yards per catch versus Ramsey.

If Adams is shut down on a few drives, Rodgers could look to break open the Rams defense or exploit other matchups with short throws to take attention off his primary target.

A handful of other offensive players could be chosen for a lineup stack with Rodgers, but if you are looking for a wide receiver who can earn high yardage totals in a quick burst, Valdes-Scantling is the man.

                  

Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles

Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

We should learn how effective Goff's throwing hand will be early in the contest.

In the Wild Card Round, Goff completed nine of his 19 passes for 155 yards and a score. Tyler Higbee was third behind Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp in targets.

Higbee could be the key to unlocking Goff's effectiveness in the short passing game, while Woods and Kupp take up Green Bay's best pass defenders. From Weeks 13-17, Higbee hauled in at least three catches in four of five games and caught a pair of touchdown passes.

The tight end could be a solid secondary option behind Woods and Kupp, and he makes the most sense in a supporting role from a DFS perspective.

Since Woods and Kupp take up a majority of the wide receiver targets, it is hard to trust Josh Reynolds or Van Jefferson as a sleeper pick. If Higbee brings in a few catches and gets one or two chances inside the red zone, he could carry some of the best value at tight end.

                    

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.

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