The NFL now features a triple-header on the Saturday of wild-card weekend, starting with Colts-Bills and ending with Buccaneers-Washington (with Rams-Seahawks in between). Those six teams have plenty of solid DFS options, but with several top defenses in action, it’s not easy building a tournament-winning DraftKings lineup. Our picks target several sleepers from the Colts, who we’re hoping are underowned, as well as a couple of high-priced stars who we’re hoping step up in the playoffs.
Pivoting from likely chalk picks, such as Josh Allen, give us the differential that, while risky, could provide an edge. When you’re playing small-slate tournaments, you have to take some chances, and we certainly do that with this lineup.
Wild Card Saturday DraftKings Picks: NFL DFS tournament playoff lineup
QB Philip Rivers, Colts @ Bills ($5,400). You know the Bills are going to score points, so Indianapolis will likely have to air it out to keep up with them. Rivers has shown he can still do that effectively, averaging 260.6 yards per game with 24 total TDs this year. That includes seven multi-TD games and three three-TD games. Using Rivers, the fifth priciest QB, gives us more salary to play with for our other roster spots while not sacrificing a solid floor and relatively high ceiling against a Buffalo defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs.
RB Jonathan Taylor, Colts @ Bills ($7,900). Taylor has taken advantage of favorable matchups down the stretch, averaging 19.8 carries and 123.5 yards over his final six games. He’ll get the ball early against Buffalo’s mediocre run defense, but he’s shown he can also be an effective receiver, posting multiple catches in all but four games and having at least four catches on four occasions. It’s an unconventional stack to pair him with Rivers (and Nyheim Hines), but it’s also the kind of unique play that could pay off in a matchup that could be high scoring.
FULL-SLATE WILD CARD DFS: DraftKings | FanDuel
RB Nyheim Hines, Colts @ Bills ($4,700). Hines has averaged 66.9 total yards and 4.4 receptions in the second half of the season. That’s come with just three scores, but keep in mind he has three multi-TD outings on the season. Maybe we’re limiting our upside a bit by playing both Colts backs, but with tough RB matchups in across the board on Saturday, it’s not as crazy as it might look, especially when you factor in how much Rivers throws to his backs. Also, a lineup construction like this is sure to give us differentiation, so if both Hines and Taylor can find the end zone, they could really pay off in DraftKings full-point PPR scoring.
WR Stefon Diggs, Bills vs. Colts ($7,700). We’re hoping some steer clear of Diggs because of the “Q” tag he’s carried all week, but we’d be very surprised if his oblique injury keeps him out on Saturday. Instead, we’ll bank on the guaranteed production he’s provided all year. It doesn’t hurt that Indy’s pass defense has struggled down the stretch, allowing an average of 309.1 yards over its final seven games.
WR Antonio Brown, Buccaneers @ Washington ($6,100). Brown was force fed the ball last week, in part because Mike Evans (knee) got hurt early and also because he was trying to hit an incentive in his contract. Either way, there’s a good chance he’ll see plenty of targets again this week with Evans either out or limited. Washington has a tough pass defense, but Brown can beat anyone. He’s scored in three straight games and will once again be a favorite target of Tom Brady.
WR Cam Sims, Washington vs. Buccaneers ($3,900). We’re going to need at least one value WR to hit it big, and we’re counting on Sims to be that guy. He’s seen 6.6 targets over Washington’s final five games despite playing with three different QBs. Obviously, the quarterback situation is a worry, but Washington will undoubtedly be forced to throw more in the second half of this contest, and the 6-5 Sims will get chances downfield and in the red zone. He plays virtually every snap, so we’ll take our chances in a favorable matchup.
TE Jack Doyle, Colts @ Bills ($2,900). Rivers spreads the ball around to his receivers, so it’s tough to pick one to pair with him. That’s why we’re hoping Doyle can cash in around the goal line. It’s a risky pick, as it’s pretty much touchdown-or-bust, but it’s a great matchup. Fading Rob Gronkowski and Logan Thomas is also risky, but we’ll be in decent shape if neither score, even if Doyle manages just a couple catches.
FLEX Tyler Lockett, Seahawks vs. Rams ($6,900). In two games against the Rams this year, Lockett posted eight catches for 110 yards — not great, but better than teammate DK Metcalf (8-87). Lockett will still plenty of targets, and his big-play ability always makes him a threat. You have to take some chances on a three-game slate, and with many opting to avoid the Seahawks passing game in a tough matchup, we’ll embrace the talent and hope for a big payoff.
D/ST Seattle Seahawks vs. Rams ($2,700). We’ll take a cheap defense against either John Wolford or a banged-up Jared Goff (thumb) any day, especially one playing as well as the Seahawks have down the stretch (16 offensive points allowed per game over its past eight contests, at least three sacks in seven of past eight games).
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