Eight teams remain in the second round of the NFL playoffs, and with nothing but high-quality teams and players in action, it’s getting more difficult to put together lineups for DraftKings full-slate tournaments. The good news is there’s no shortage of potential stars and value sleepers even with a limited slate, but you’ll have to make some tough decisions one way or another. Our strategy is to fade the offensive stars in the Bills-Chiefs showdown and stack Packers players, but you could go a variety of ways with your divisional round daily fantasy picks.
Before we break down our picks, here are the most notable scoring rules for DraftKings contests: full-point PPR, four-point passing TDs, three-point bonuses for 100 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards, and 300 passing yards.
FULL-SLATE DFS LINEUPS: FanDuel
Divisoinal Round Full-Slate DraftKings Picks: NFL DFS lineup advice for second round of playoffs
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. 49ers ($7,100)
There are no easy answers when you get to the second round of the playoffs, as every team is above average in most phases of the game. However, there are several defenses that struggle against the pass still alive (Titans, Bucs, Chiefs), but we’re choosing to fade their opposing QBs and go with the guy who’s expected to win his second straight MVP. We know Rodgers can put up points against anyone, and with the 49ers defense banged up, it’s possible Rodgers faces less pressure and softer coverage. Even if Nick Bosa (concussion) and Fred Warner (ankle) play, Rodgers can easily do what Matthew Stafford did against the 49ers in a quasi-playoff game in Week 18 (238 yards, three TDs).
RB Aaron Jones, Packers vs. 49ers ($6,800)
Jones has been ceding more carries to AJ Dillon lately, and he’s dealing with a knee injury. We’re not worried about the latter, but the former is a concern. However, we think he’ll make up for the potential mediocre carry total with more catches, thus working even better in a stack with Rodgers. Jones has caught 10 passes on 12 targets in his past two games, turning those opportunities into 51 yards. In the two games before that, he had two receiving TDs on five catches. San Francisco allowed 5.2 RB receptions/game this season, so Jones has a chance to do damage on the ground and through the air.
RB Dontrell Hilliard, Titans vs. Bengals ($4,300)
Derrick Henry’s probable return likely doesn’t change much for Hilliard, who still figures to be Tennessee’s primary receiving back. It’s possible D’Onta Foreman gets more snaps in that role, but to win a four-game DFS tournament, you need to take some risks. Since we’re spending up WR, we’re forced to spend down elsewhere, and we’re betting on Hilliard still getting around 25-plus snaps and seeing a few carries and several passes thrown his way. For this pick to really pay off, we probably need five-plus catches, with at least one springing for 30-plus yards, but we’ll take the chance with the speedy Hilliard. Again, it’s a risk, but if he does get the snaps, we at least have Cincinnati’s poor RB pass defense working in our favor. The Bengals allowed 6.4 RB receptions/game this year, tied for fourth most.
WR Cooper Kupp, Rams @ Buccaneers ($8,600)
Kupp is ultra-chalky given the favorable matchup, but he’s one of those guys you’ll have to have if he goes off (which he likely will). Kupp was “limited” to a 5-61-1 line last week, and when that’s seemingly a player’s floor, you know you want him in your lineup. The Bucs secondary isn’t as bad as it was earlier in the year when Kupp torched it for 96 yards and two scores, but he’s a great bet to rack up eight-plus catches and hit the 100-yard bonus.
WR Davante Adams, Packers vs. 49ers ($8,500)
Adams is like Rodgers — matchup proof. The 49ers have had plenty of issues covering wideouts this year, and it’s easy to imagine Adams leading all receivers in catches and maybe even yards this weekend. He’ll be chalky, but we’ll happily pay up to pair him with our QB.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers vs. 49ers ($4,300)
Perhaps we’re trying too hard to make our Rodgers pick and subsequent Packers’ stack pay off, but MVS is the type of boom-or-bust player who can vault you well over the cash line if he hits on even one big play. A back injury has slowed him down the past couple weeks, which will hopefully scare other DFS players away. He had three catches for 59 yards and a score when these teams met in Week 3, and we’re hoping he can hit the 100-yard mark to give us that valuable bonus. Even if he “just” finds the end zone, he’ll easily pay off his meager price.
TE Cameron Brate, Buccaneers vs. Rams ($2,700)
This is a TD-or-bust play that hopefully offers our lineup a bit of differentiation. Brate scored in Weeks 16 and 17, so he’s always a candidate for a target when the Bucs get inside the red zone. He has a little more upside than your average TD-or-bust TE, as he’s seen at least three targets in each of the past six games. Ultimately, though, we’ll need a touchdown from Brate. If you wanted to try another cheap TE in a much better matchup, you could take one of the Titans against Cincinnati. We couldn’t afford Anthony Firkser ($3,100), but Geoff Swaim ($2,800) was within our budget. We decided to go with the player with the better QB.
FLEX (WR) Tyler Boyd, Bengals @ Titans ($4,800)
Boyd has scored in four straight games, but honestly, we view that as a negative. What are the odds he scores in five straight? Probably low, but we still want a piece of the Bengals’ passing game against Tennessee’s burnable secondary. Boyd has managed just 62 receiving yards in his past two games, so perhaps he’s due for a bigger game in that regard. If he continues to see five-plus targets, which he has in each of his past six games, Boyd should do enough to pay off given his price.
DEF Kansas City Chiefs vs. Bills ($2,800)
We’re definitely taking a risk by fading the offensive players in this game, but we’re hoping for differentiation by not only doing that but also taking the Chiefs D/ST. Kansas City has slowed down in the takeaway department the past three games, but in Weeks 9-16, it had at least two takeaways in every game and averaged 12.3 offensive points allowed/game. Buffalo absolutely destroyed the Chiefs earlier this year (32 offensive points, no sacks or takeaways allowed), so we’re definitely a risk, but all D/STs are a risk this week.