NFL Playoffs 2022: Vegas Odds, Top Fantasy Picks for Saturday Divisional Games
What was once a 32-team field pursuing Super Bowl bliss has been shaved down to eight.
By the end of Saturday night, two more NFL franchises and fanbases will have their dreams dashed.
Before that happens, though, there are games to wager and fantasy contests to enter. Let's get to the latest lines, then, and spotlight two players from Saturday's divisional-round matchups to roster in daily fantasy formats.
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Titans -3.5
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Spread: Packers -5.5
Fantasy Pick: Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers
The story of the 49ers' upset of the Dallas Cowboys was Deebo Samuel. Well, him and Dallas' bizarre late-game decision-making. Samuel sizzled on the stat sheet to the tune of 110 scrimmage yards and what would prove to be the game-winning touchdown.
In the process, he surely made himself an even bigger part of Green Bay's defensive game plan. He's the most versatile weapon San Francisco has—maybe the most versatile in the league—and the place where all opposing clubs will start their strategizing.
A major subplot to that playoff success story, though, was the ongoing impact of rookie sixth-rounder Elijah Mitchell. He handled 27 of the team's 38 carries and was targeted twice (catching one pass for an 11-yard loss). He also scored the 49ers' other touchdown in their 23-17 triumph.
While Samuel gives San Francisco's offense its juice, Mitchell is the tone-setter. He's the bell-cow back who gets the majority of their carries and, ideally, helps them set the tempo for a ground-and-pound affair. The 49ers figured their best way to contain Cowboys' offense was to keep it off the field, and they did by enjoying a nearly eight-minute advantage in time of possession. They'll surely use the same strategy against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Teams can have success running against Green Bay's defense. The Packers allowed 130-plus rushing yards in three consecutive December contests. Mitchell, who has handled at least 21 carries in his last six games, will have the volume to treat fantasy managers well and might have as good of a chance as any 49er of reaching the end zone.
Fantasy Pick: Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers
The 49ers don't have the stingiest cornerbacks, and much of their focus will be on limiting the damage done by Davante Adams, who torched them 12 receptions for 132 yards and a score back in Week 3.
If San Francisco's defense takes an anyone-but-Adams approach to this contest, that could open the door for Allen Lazard to break out in a big way.
Opportunity is already knocking for Lazard with Marquez Valdes-Scantling looking unlikely to play because of a back injury. Even with Randall Cobb looking ready to return, Lazard has a chance to do damage here and provide the statistical spark needed to lunge over the cash line.
To be clear, this is a boom-or-bust play. Lazard finished with one reception three different times this season, so the floor might be too low for some fantasy managers.
However, he can pop for big plays and is no stranger to the end zone (eight touchdown catches this season). He's also coming in hot, having turned 12 targets into 11 receptions for 147 yards and three scores over his last two outings.
If you're splurging on playmakers elsewhere, Lazard can help balance the budget.
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
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