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Ranking the wild card games for DFS upside

We break down DFS value compared to betting odds for the wild card round.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins talk following a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to check out the early wild card round betting lines to see what games we should be mining for fantasy points. We need big over/unders and hopefully close spreads, but we’ll take the top totals if we can’t have both. We rank the four games this week in terms of upside for stackability in your DFS lineups.

Seattle Seahawks (-2) at Philadelphia Eagles

Over/Under 46 — Plays Per Game Average: 67.8

The Vikings-Saints game has the higher over/under, but the Eagles and Seahawks should be a closer game with more total plays. That has me liking this matchup for some sneaky DFS points, as both teams have middling to weak defenses and enough offensive upside to push the scoring.

The Eagles strong run defense should make Seattle give more work to their best player Russell Wilson, as he attacks the Eagles pass defense. The Eagles might be without Miles Sanders, which will also push them to throw more, which will add seconds to the clock and give each team more overall plays.

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-8)

Over/Under 48 — Plays Per Game Average: 63.9

Dome game with the Saints likely setting the pace with big numbers against a poor Vikings pass defense should get this game. Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook should all be able to get something going through the air while Kirk Cousins has the weapons in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen to rack up receptions and yardage while trailing.

The Saints will be a chalky stack this week and for good reason, but in tournaments, you’ll need to hit the right combo while bringing it back with Diggs or Thielen. The Saints defense is good but they’re still better against the run than the pass and we could easily see this game hit the over.

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (-2.5)

Over/Under 41.5 — Plays Per Game Average: 63.4

The Texans don’t matchup well with the Bills, as DeAndre Hopkins will have some trouble against Tre-Davious White and if Will Fuller isn’t 100 percent, the passing game will likely struggle against the Bills pass defense, which ranks fifth in DVOA.

The odds have this game as the lowest scoring affair while their pace combines as the slowest of the weekend. This looks like a game where the Texans will feature Carlos Hyde and DeShaun Watson as runners and the same could be true for the Bills, with Josh Allen and Devin Singletary. I like their chances of putting up fantasy numbers, but on the whole, this game shouldn’t be a bonanza of fantasy points.

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-4.5)

Over/Under 43.5 — Plays Per Game Average: 64.5

The Patriots offense is tough to get behind for fantasy, as they don’t have single players you can count on, especially with Julian Edelman nursing injuries while the Titans have some studs, but will play in Foxboro against a tough defense. Tennessee will try to control the game with Derrick Henry while Stephon Gillmore shadows A.J. Brown and the Patriots stack the box to slow down Henry. Ryan Tannehill will need to get Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith and Adam Humphries involved, but stacking either offense in this matchup feels like a shot in the dark.