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Divisional Round Daily Fantasy Football Matchups & Best NFL Player Props Picks




The Fantasy Football Matchups Column returns for the Divisional Round of the 2022 NFL postseason. The column will break down key matchups for the most important players each week to provide tips for NFL DFS and give the best NFL player prop bets. Let’s dive into the all the NFL DFS tips matchups and daily fantasy football lineup decisions for DraftKings and FanDuel this week.

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Divisional Round Daily Fantasy Football Matchups & Player Props

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford

The Rams and Buccaneers meet in Tampa Bay for one of the most highly anticipated rematches of the 2021 season. When these teams first met in Week 3, Matthew Stafford and the Rams got the best of the Buccaneers, putting up 34 points en route to a fairly stress-free 10-point victory. And Stafford was electrifying in that contest, throwing for 9.0 yards per attempt on 38 passes, finishing the days with 343 passing yards, four touchdowns, and over 32 DraftKings fantasy points. Stafford has struggled with turnovers during much of the season’s second half, throwing eight interceptions in the season’s final four games. But the advanced metrics still believe Stafford was still among the very best signal-callers in the NFL. He ranked top-five at the position in adjusted yards per attempt, QBR, and total EPA, meaning his interception rate might just be a bit of negative variance that we’re already seeing self-correct, as Stafford went without a turnover in the Rams’ win over the Cardinal. With Tampa Bay continuing to struggle in the secondary, ranking second-worst among all playoff defenses in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, look for Stafford to pass for well-over 280.5 yards, his current prop line. The Awesemo projections have Stafford throwing for nearly 300 in what will very likely be a pass-heavy, up-tempo game.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers

The Packers and 49ers meet in the playoffs once again, with Green Bay favored by nearly a touchdown at home. The 49ers have been one of the hottest teams in football over the course of the second half of the season, winning eight of their last 10 games, and then thoroughly outplaying Dallas in the Divisional Round. And the last time these two teams met, the Packers needed some last-minute heroics from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to save the squad from squandering a lead that one point had been as large as 17 points. Since that point, the Green Bay defense has transformed itself into one of the most capable units in the NFL. They rank third-best among all teams that qualified for the postseason in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, and now have several key players returning from injury, including former all-pro cornerback Jaire Alexander, as well as Whitney Mercilus and Za’Darius Smith, to help shutdown San Francisco’s plethora of potent playmakers. As good as the defense has been, however, the Packers only go as far as Aaron Rodgers takes them, and lucky for Packers fans, Rodgers’ play has been magnificent for much of the season. He ranked first among signal-callers in adjusted yards per attempt, true passer rating and total QBR, and despite little-to-no weekly rushing upside, finished eighth among all quarterbacks in fantasy points per game. But don’t expect the numbers to be incredibly prolific for Rodgers this Sunday, as the 49ers rank ninth-best in the NFL in yards allowed per attempt, and third-best in the NFL since Week 15. With Green Bay content to lean on their one-two punch at running back, our projections suggest Rodgers will be held under 250 passing yards and two touchdowns, which makes the under bet 265.5 passing yards an easy under bet. Rodgers comes in under that mark in 60% of our latest simulations.

Running Backs: Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon

Speaking of Green Bay’s running back one-two punch, both Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon find themselves in intriguing situations in this Divisional Round slate. Both players are on six-point home favorites. Traditionally, it’s strong process to target running backs on teams that are slated to win by a touchdown or more, especially at home, but the uncertainty regarding each player’s volume has enough to keep many fantasy gamers away from this situation in DFS. There’s no denying that there is immense volatility regarding the projected opportunity for both players. But both players have proven themselves extremely effective with the ball in their hands, both ranking among the Top-25 running backs in yards created per touch. And San Francisco ranked just league-average in yards allowed per rush and in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed this season. And while one could argue Jones is the healthiest he’s been all season, our projections are taking a bit of stand: Dillon is the back to target in Green Bay this Saturday night. We’re projecting Dillon to smash his current rushing yards prop line of 39.5 by nearly 20 yards. If he gets anywhere near the 15 opportunities he saw in Week 18, he’s a near-lock to crush that number. On the contrary, we see the under bet on Jones’ aggressive 25.5 receiving yards prop bet as one of the highest-ROI bets of the weekend. Our simulations suggest Jones fails to reach that mark 71% of the time.

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Running Back: Devin Singletary

The Bills made a statement with their Wild Card win over the Patriots last weekend. In their 47-17 shellacking of their division rival, the Bills became the first team in NFL history to score a touchdown on every complete drive of the game, and thoroughly dominated in every phase. This week, they’ll face the team that has become their de facto playoff nemesis, the Kansas City Chiefs. And while Patrick Mahomes and company haven’t lost to Buffalo in the postseason, if the Bills’ 38-20 stomping of the Chiefs in Week 5 of the regular season is any indicator, this season could very well be different. One major difference between this year’s Buffalo squad and the Bills teams of year’s past is their commitment to a balanced offensive attack. Especially when the team takes the lead, the Bills have been content to lean on running back Devin Singletary in a way we haven’t previously seen. Singletary has seen at least 17 touches in four straight games, and he’s seen 20 or more total opportunities in three of those four contests. But when we game-script adjust the Bills’ play-calling, as our NFL advanced stats tool does, we find that the Bills are still the third-most pass-heavy team in the NFL, and unlike last week, they’re road underdogs in Kansas City. While the Chiefs ranked dead last in the NFL in yards allowed per rush attempt this season, our projections suggest an extremely pass-happy game script for Josh Allen and company, which means the under on Singletary’s 60.5 rushing yards is looking like one of the highest-probability bets on the slate. Singletary fails to hit 61 yards on the ground in 70% of our simulations.

Wide Receiver: A.J. Brown

The Titans officially activated star running back Derrick Henry in time for Saturday’s showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals, and while it may take a quarter or two for Henry to shake off some rust, expect Tennessee to feed their superstar back early and often. Assuming he’s healthy, we can reasonably expect Henry to carry the ball at least 22 times, with a ceiling of 30 total opportunities. But regardless of Henry’s usage, we shouldn’t forget about A.J. Brown, who has an intriguing matchup against Cincinnati’s struggling secondary, and is just four weeks removed from a 11 reception, 145 yard explosion of his own against the 49ers. The Bengals rank dead-last among all playoff teams in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing offenses, and were worst in the NFL in that same metrics against opposing receivers and tight ends during the regular season. While Brown doesn’t need to have a huge amount of targets to be highly impactful, our current receptions projection of 5.2 doesn’t fully encapsulate the ceiling games that are in his range of outcome. While the under on Browns 6.5 receptions line currently wins in 75% of our simulations, this is a bet I’m staying far away from. Brown’s ceiling is among the highest of any player on the four game slate, and if Henry can’t handle his normal workload, Brown could become a target hog in a plus-matchup at home. This article’s author is tentatively tapping the over on that same prop line, in a rare deviation of the Awesemo tools.

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Wide Receiver: Cooper Kupp

For those who have been living under a rock this NFL season, Cooper Kupp had a pretty strong regular season. All he managed to do this season was rank first at his position in targets, target share, receptions, yards after the catch, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and fantasy points per game.

Kupp’s 2021 was arguably one of the most dominant seasons by any player at any position in NFL history, and the good times kept rolling during Wild Card weekend, as Kupp turned seven targets into five receptions for 65 yards and a score. It was his 15th straight week scoring a dozen or more fantasy points, and his third week in a row seeing exactly seven targets. And while no one in their right mind will tell you that fading Kupp outright is a wise option, the expectations for a player that hasn’t had more than seven receptions in a game for the last month are getting a bit out of hand. Cam Akers return to the lineup allows the Rams to be more balanced than they were for most of the season, and the resurgence of Odell Beckham, who has garnered a particularly high amount of usage in the red zone since coming over from Cleveland, has already slowed Kupp’s absurd rate of production. And yet, despite multiple factors working against him, we’re extremely bullish on Kupp this weekend, even compared to his lofty salary-based expectations in DFS. We’re projecting him for nearly nine catches and over 100 yards receiving against Tampa Bay’s middling second that ranks second-worst among all playoff teams in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed. Our latest run of simulations suggest Kupp will go over both 7.5 receptions for 99.5 yards nearly 50% of the time. If choosing one, we’re surprisingly most confident in his receiving yards prop, as he hits his prop line 61% of the time.

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Wide Receiver & Tight End: Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle

The 49ers rank number one in Awesemo’s game-script adjusted rush rate, and bottom-10 in pace of play, suggesting San Francisco will do everything in their power to play “keep away” from Aaron Rodgers and the Packers when they visit Lambeau field this Sunday. Since returning from injury in Week 17, Eli Mitchell has seen at least 21 total opportunities in three straight games, and has accumulated 80 total yards in each of the past five games he’s appeared in. Not to be outdone, Deebo Samuel has been arguably the league’s most efficient rusher, at least on a per-rush basis, over the second half of the season. Samuel had three times the amount of rushing yards as any other wideout from Week 12 on, and has averaged nearly 6 yards per carry on over 40 attempts in that span. And while San Francisco has finally found the one-two punch in the backfield they’ve wanted since the beginning of the year, it’s taken away from the passing game ceilings of their other weapons, particularly George Kittle, who hasn’t had more than 30 yards receiving in a game since Week 15. Despite running on nearly 100% of team routes, Kittle has only had more than 30 routes run one time since Week 9, and has lost valuable target share to his teammate Brandon Aiyuk, who has seen at least four targets, a number Kittle has only seen once since Week 16, in each of his last four starts. To make matters worse, the Packers have become one of the toughest pass defenses remaining in the playoffs, ranking second-best among all remaining teams in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing receiving corps. Using the Awesemo projections as a guide, under 4.5 receptions looks like the highest-ROI bet on the board, as Aiyuk fails to reach that mark nearly 80% of the time. At the very least, Kittle goes over his middling 47.5 receiving yards prop line a solid 62% of the time.

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Take a look at our NFL starting line-ups, depth charts for NFL games and inactives list. If you’re interested in other DFS NFL football for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL daily fantasy football rankings, and DFS NFL stacking. We also have DraftKings showdown projections and NFL DFS single-game ownership projections. View our FanDuel NFL ownership rankings and our DraftKings NFL DFS ownership rankings.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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