We’re into the 2024 NFL Playoffs and Wild Card Weekend begins on Saturday. The schedule is split up with two games Saturday, three on Sunday, and Monday Night Football to close the round. It’s going to be a tough slate to navigate if you’d like to play the six-game Saturday-Monday on DraftKings. There are some injuries to note that could impact how we approach things but the anticipation is for most of the key players to be active. Anyway, we’ll go over that and how to approach each position on DraftKings.
Update — The Bills-Steelers WC game was moved from Sunday afternoon to Monday at 4:30 p.m. ET. This alters how we approach the slate a bit. The weather shouldn’t be nearly as bad on Monday vs. Sunday, so Bills and Steelers players become more viable options, specifically the Bills’ passing game.
NFL DFS Picks: Wild Card Round
How to Approach
Just looking at the pool and matchups, it feels like a position we pay down at. Josh Allen ($8,000) is the highest-priced QB and takes on a tough Steelers defense at home in a game expected to be impacted by weather. The only edge you’ll get playing Allen is leverage. Don’t expect many lineups to pay up for him.
Same could be said for a struggling Jalen Hurts ($7,700), who is banged up a bit going to Tampa for MNF. Hurts should be fine by Monday. But his receiving core of AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith are both dealing with ailments. Hurts feels more like a fade in this round given Philly’s struggles on offense.
Another game impacted by weather is Chiefs-Dolphins in K.C. Patrick Mahomes ($7,100) and Tua Tagovailoa ($7,000) feel overpriced in what could be a low-scoring game. The over/under is second-lowest behind Bills-Steelers. Tyreek Hill is a bit banged up along with Jaylen Waddle. Mahomes simply has no weapons aside from Travis Kelce and has been underperforming all season.
The one QB I think you can pay up for is Dak Prescott ($7,600). The Packers have a mostly awful secondary and the total is up to 50.5 points. A Dak-CeeDee Lamb ($9,000) stack is pricey but could end up being the nuts.
Going down to some value, the low-$6K Range feels like a good spot to build.
Packers QB Jordan Love ($6,300) has played well down the stretch and the offensive line is healthy. Green Bay has a nice stable of weapons on offense and this game environment feels perfect. If Dallas builds a lead (Cowboys are 7.5-point favorites), Love will have to throw the ball plenty. We also know Dallas HC Mike McCarthy will inevitably get conservative with play-calling and sit on a lead. That could keep Green Bay in the game. Either way, it’s the playoffs, Love will be chucking till it’s over.
The other two plays I like are Jared Goff ($6,200) and Baker Mayfield ($5,800). Mayfield may be chalk and very popular for cash games as one of the lowest-priced starters who has a great matchup. The Eagles’ defense is kind of a mess. Mayfield posted at least 19 DKFP in four of the last five games of the regular season. He’s got a nice floor to work with and can allow us to pay up at RB/WR.
Goff likely won’t have TE Sam LaPorta, which hurts. But the Rams throw the ball a lot and that should mean more possessions for the Lions. The only way Goff doesn’t get us there is if Detroit builds a lead and runs more with David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. If L.A. comes out firing, Goff will need to throw and this game is expected to be high-scoring with the highest over/under for all of Wild Card weekend at 51.5.
How to Approach
This position is interesting because the highest-priced back (Kyren Williams, $7,300) has the worst possible matchup for a RB. We also don’t have Christian McCaffrey on the slate, so there isn’t a spot to pay way up for. Chances are we’re paying down or mid-range at RB and looking at game script.
That means the Bills and Cowboys are likely where we start. Those two teams are the heaviest favorites, one game with a very low total and the other higher. Bills RB James Cook ($6,600) sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s got a lot working in his favor for DFS. Buffalo is a 10-point favorite at home. The weather is going to be bad, so more rushes and fewer passes. Cook should be a shoe-in for 15-20 touches and is getting more work in the passing game.
Cook is the top play overall for cash games. The pricing on Tony Pollard ($6,100) feels egregious. Pollard will probably be more chalky than Cook to be honest. The Cowboys are 7.5-point favorites at home against a bad defense. The Packers are a bit better against the run but not by much. Dallas should have a lot of red zone opportunities and Pollard should find the end zone. I mean, the Cowboys are expected by Vegas to score around 30 points, which is insane.
Looking at some value, the Texans-Browns game should be tough. We know Jerome Ford ($5,500) and Devin Singletary ($5,700) will get the bulk of the carries. Cleveland’s defense is a bit more stout up front. Ford makes sense as a good all-around play. He has a safe floor given the expected snaps/touches. The Browns are slight favorites and blew out Houston during the regular season. Ford had 16 touches in that matchup. Singletary has a low ceiling but should dominate snaps and touches in Houston’s backfield.
Moving further down, we land on the Steelers’ backfield duo of Najee Harris ($5,400) and Jaylen Warren ($5,100). Both are viable in tournaments. Harris finished the season strong with back-to-back 27-point performances. The Bills defense is tough on the run but the weather should factor in. Knowing Mason Rudolph is starting his first playoff game in bad conditions means Pittsburgh should run the ball a ton. Warren is a viable option if the spread plays true and the Steelers are trailing. Warren would get some targets in the passing game; he has at least four targets in five straight games.
My final thought is, don’t sleep on playoff Uncle Lenny at $4,400 for Buffalo. If that game is a blowout, Leonard Fournette could see double-digit touches.
How to Approach
This is the position we pay up at. If we’re saving money at QB and RB, we’re going to either stack some stud WRs or stack the top games. Those games are Dallas-Green Bay and Detroit-Los Angeles. We’ve recommended some QBs from those games, so it’s pretty easy to connect some of the dots for game stacks. There are also quite a few injuries at WR we should go over.
AJ Brown ($8,100) and DeVonta Smith ($6,700) are both banged up. I’d expect both to play on Monday, however. The one thing you get with the Eagles stack is leverage. Nobody believes in Philly right now and the injuries going into MNF with games locked is very risky. We’ll have a better idea of their statuses on Friday/Saturday. But we can only play them if we see some practice time before Friday.
Jaylen Waddle ($6,500) and Amari Cooper ($6,800) are the other two big names on the injury report. Cooper should be fine. Waddle’s status may be more up in the air but he should play vs. the Chiefs.
So we mentioned those two game stacks. We’ll start there. Prescott and Love are good QB plays so figuring out a stack there makes sense. Prescott-Lamb will be the most popular but should hit. What’s great about Green Bay is its receivers are all under $6K. Christian Watson ($4,500) and Romeo Doubs ($5,400) could sit. If that’s the case, Jayden Reed ($5,700) and Dontayvion Wicks ($4,800) become good options. Bo Melton ($3,300) is a good value; he has 15 receptions for 211 yards and a TD over the past three games. IF Watson is active, he could be a decoy, but also could be a good value at that price. All he needs is a long TD catch to get us there. Also don’t sleep on Brandin Cooks ($4,900). CB Jaire Alexander could shadow Lamb (which likely won’t matter). But the other corners on Green Bay aren’t good in coverage. Cooks should have a decent game.
The next stack is Lions-Rams. We like Goff so stacking him with WR Amon-Ra St. Brown ($8,000) makes sense, especially with LaPorta likely out. From there, you can run it back with either Cooper Kupp ($7,500) or Puka Nacua ($7,200) and/or Demarcus Robinson ($3,600). Given Robinson’s role since getting playing time in Week 12, this price is ridiculously low. Robinson and Melton could open up infinite lineup builds.
The three AFC Wild Card games don’t offer great WR options for DFS. Two games are bad weather (BUF-PIT, MIA-KC). One game could be tight and low-scoring (CLE-HOU). The Bucs WRs on MNF aren’t bad. Lineups could ignore the Bucs stack. Mike Evans ($6,900), Chris Godwin ($6,200) and Trey Palmer ($3,400) are good tournament options.
How to Approach
Expect a ton of lineups to be on Travis Kelce ($6,100). I can’t remember the last time we saw his price this low in a season. It got to a low point in Week 17 at $7K but otherwise has been in the mid-$7K-$8K range. It’s just supposed to be insanely cold with some wind in Kansas City. That shouldn’t impact Kelce and Mahomes much. For a total of $13.1K that stack is appealing in tournaments since it won’t be crazy chalk.
Aside from Kelce, with LaPorta likely out, most of your TE slots should be looking at finding value. The Packers-Cowboys game again pops out with a few options there. It still baffles me that Browns TE David Njoku ($5,600) can’t get any respect from the game makers. He finished the regular season on an absolute tear, one of those games posting 16.4 DKFP vs. the Texans. Expect Njoku to be the chalk play at tight end for the overall slate.
Going to the Cowboys and Packers plays, Jake Ferguson ($4,700) is an easy option at this price. If Vegas is right and Dallas scores around 4-5 touchdowns, that bodes well for Ferguson’s floor. Again, the Packers have a bad defensive coordinator and some questionable linebackers in coverage. Ferguson could feast. Tucker Kraft ($3,300) and Luke Musgrave ($3,200) could leech from each other a bit but both are cheap and should see targets.
Bills rookie TE Dalton Kincaid ($4,600) has come on the past two weeks with 11 catches on 15 targets for 171 receiving yards. The weather isn’t great but we know Allen could look Kincaid’s way plenty in the passing game if the deep ball isn’t there. You could also get some leverage if lineups are scared of the weather, so stacking Allen and Kincaid isn’t a bad option. Plus, WR Gabriel Davis is dealing with an injury and could be out.
The Cowboys are the highest-priced D/ST at $3,600 but that seems like a trap. The total is high and the Packers’ offense has looked good. The Bills D/ST ($3,500) should be the chalk in bad weather against the worst QB in the playoffs. Also don’t sleep on this Steelers D/ST ($2,600) as a good play. Allen will most likely turn the ball over at least once. Even without TJ Watt, the over/under is super low and Buffalo may win, but not score much. The Chiefs D/ST ($2,900) and Dolphins ($2,800) also make sense if we want to save cap. It’s going to be freezing. Kansas City’s offense isn’t anything close to what it has been in the past. Miami’s offense features a lot of banged up players (Hill, Waddle, Mostert).