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Daily Fantasy Football Value Picks for the 2020 Wild Card Round
The final week of the 2019 NFL DFS regular season wasn’t one for elite value at the quarterback position. In fact, unless you had Dak Prescott or Drew Brees, you probably struggled getting any kind of production from your fantasy passer.
Provided you did nail down the quarterback play, of course, I had you covered elsewhere with some rock-solid NFL DFS sleepers. Mike Boone stood out as a great running back value pick, while Odell Beckham Jr. and Tyler Higbee also did well.
This week, everything changes. Not only is the intensity level taken up 10 notches with the start of the 2020 NFL playoffs, but there are also just four games to work with.
You can hit up my 2020 NFL Wild Card betting preview to familiarize yourself with the schedule, while I’ll touch base again on the most updated game totals and spreads later in this post.
The studs are obvious, but you’ll need to save some cash to piece together the best possible NFL DFS lineups. Here are some of the best salary savers over at DraftKings.
NFL DFS Quarterback Sleepers
- Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles ($6.2k)
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings ($6.1k)
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots ($5.8k)
It’s hard to find more than one true quarterback sleeper on such a small NFL DFS slate, so the bigger message here is to just think beyond the top studs.
Drew Brees feels like the top play, while Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson, and Ryan Tannehill are all fairly pricey and have all enjoyed great fantasy campaigns.
The problem is I don’t think I like Wilson over the other options, nor do I love some of the matchups. I know Tannehill has been great (and the Pats not so much), but do you really trust his game on the road against Bill Belichick?
I sure don’t.
If I’m paying up at quarterback, it’s probably Drew Brees or bust. If not, I like Wentz against the Seahawks a bit, while going the other way with Captain Kirk makes a lot of sense.
My Wild Card NFL lock of the week is the Over in that Vikings vs. Saints game, after all.
Of course, my favorite sleeper at the quarterback position is going to be Tom Brady. I know the Patriots offense has been weak all year, but there’s nothing like a home playoff game to snap Brady out of a funk.
Tennessee is solid, but they still finished just 9-7 on the year for a reason. They specifically aren’t great against the pass, as the Titans ended the 2019 regular season with a middling pass defense. In fact, over their final four games, they ranked 27th against fantasy quarterbacks in points allowed per game.
Brady is the cheapest option out there, he’s at home, and the matchup is favorable. Is it really that unlikely that he just goes ham here? I don’t think so.
Top NFL DFS Running Back Value Picks
- James White – New England Patriots ($5.7k)
- Carlos Hyde – Houston Texans ($5.1k)
- Jordan Howard – Philadelphia Eagles ($4.9k)
The Bills are a fine bet against the spread as they head to Houston (+3 at BetOnline), but their main vulnerability on defense is their run unit. That should be music to the ears of Carlos Hyde, who quietly churned out a 1,000+ yard campaign with the Texans.
Houston has done a good job on the ground offensively, and they’re probably smart enough to realize throwing all day against one of the league’s best secondaries is a mistake waiting to happen.
Hyde isn’t some smash play, and he isn’t likely to go crush for 20+ fantasy points. Still, he’s cheap, has a good role, and has safely registered 10+ fantasy points seven different times this year.
If I like Brady, you better believe I also like James White. He’s also a pretty good price, and when it’s playoff time, it tends to be James White time. It doesn’t hurt that Tennessee has struggled with pass-catching running backs (3rd-most receptions allowed).
There’s also Jordan Howard, who could be in for a sizable role if Miles Sanders is sidelined with his ankle injury. It was Boston Scott who crushed last week, but something tells me Howard would be utilized at home against the Seahawks (3rd-most TDs allowed to RBs).
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Sleepers
- Will Fuller – Houston Texans ($4.9k)
- N’Keal Harry – New England Patriots ($4.1k)
- Deontay Burnett – Philadelphia Eagles ($3.1k)
This Wild Card daily fantasy football slate is loaded with stud wide receivers. Obviously, Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins will be tough to fade, but the intermediate range includes terrific options like Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Julian Edelman.
You can go either way, but you’ll probably need to save some cash in some areas to stack the guys you want.
Will Fuller is one way to do that, as he’s probably too cheap given his slate-breaking upside. Just keep in mind that he hasn’t been healthy and that he’s going up against a stout Bills secondary.
If you’re with me when it comes to Brady but don’t have the funds for Edelman, consider rookie possession maestro N’Keal Harry. The Pats have been slow to feed him the rock, but the matchup against the Titans (11th-most catches allowed) is enticing, and he garnered seven looks in week 17.
My favorite punt play has to be Burnett, though. Philly is just lost at wide receiver right now, as guys like Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor are either on injured reserve or in serious doubt to play this weekend.
Greg Ward is the main benefactor there, but Burnett stepped up last week with two catches for 48 yards. His matchup with Seattle is palatable, and he may be needed. If you’re trying to cram the top studs into your daily fantasy football lineups, he’s one sleeper worth considering.
Best NFL DFS Tight End Cheap Plays
- Jonnu Smith – Tennessee Titans ($3.8k)
- Joshua Perkins – Philadelphia Eagles ($2.9k)
- Jordan Akins – Houston Texans ($2.8k)
Whether you’re game to assume risk with Burnett or not, you shouldn’t ignore Eagles backup tight end Joshua Perkins. He stepped his game up with Zach Ertz missing time in week 17, as he hauled in four of six targets for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Ertz is out for the playoffs, and Philly loves to use two tight ends on the field quite a bit, so Perkins isn’t going anywhere.
Zach Ertz done for playoffs. https://t.co/BM4W5r2rUg— David J. Chao (@ProFootballDoc) December 29, 2019
I’d probably be more inclined to just pay up for Dallas Goedert ($5.2k), but Perkins is incredibly cheap and should continue to have a role. That, and the Seahawks rank 31st against tight ends on the season.
It may not be so easy to stomach a backup tight end on a four-game slate, though. If you can’t swing it, consider Akins at basically the same price or pay up a bit for Jonnu Smith.
My personal preference will probably be to just use an Eagles tight end, though.
Top NFL DFS Defense Sleepers
- Philadelphia Eagles ($2.9k)
- Houston Texans ($2.6k)
- Tennessee Titans ($2.4k)
The Patriots and Bills are understandably the top defenses on this slate, but it’s not like they have cakewalk matchups. Buffalo has to stop a fully capable Houston offense, while the Pats run into what has become a dangerous Titans squad.
You can pay up in those spots, but a very good NFL DFS strategy is to just find the cheapest defense that isn’t awful.
The Titans could easily step up against a Patriots offense that has struggled all year. My vouching for Tom Brady tells you I’m more on the New England side, but pricing can change opinions, my friends.
I also don’t hate Philly at home. Their run defense is very good, and they can be opportunistic on defense. They’ve been better against the pass lately, too, so Russell Wilson may not be the obvious play DraftKings is pricing him up to be.
Of all the cheap options, however, I might dig Houston the most. Josh Allen can make big plays and do damage with his legs, but he also took the 9th-most sacks in 2019 and had 13 total turnovers.
That number isn’t egregious, but on the road in such a hostile environment, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Allen struggle a bit.
Wild Card NFL Betting Lines
- Buffalo Bills (+3) -115 vs. Houston Texans (-3) -105
- Tennessee Titans (+4.5) -110 vs. New England Patriots (-4.5) -110
- Minnesota Vikings (+8) -120 vs. New Orleans Saints (-8) +100
- Seattle Seahawks (-1.5) -115 vs. Philadelphia Eagles (+1.5) -105
Since I put together my early NFL Wild Card betting preview, there has been zero movement for the Seahawks game, a minor tweak for the Bills game, and minimal movement for the Saints game.
The big line change comes in the Titans game, where Tennessee jumps from +5.5 to +4.5. This might tell us that the Titans are a bigger threat than we all realize, but for whatever reason, the tighter that line gets, the more I like the Patriots.
That matchup plays into the hands of New England, but for DFS purposes, the top games to target fall on Sunday. The Vikings vs. Saints game has the fattest spread of the slate, but it also has the highest total.
It’s followed closely behind by the Seahawks vs. Eagles showdown in Philly.
Those are the two games we probably need to roster most of our players from, but on a four-game slate, I won’t allow myself to get swayed too much by game flow, totals, or spreads. Just keep it all in mind — especially if there is any major movement at the top NFL betting websites.
I am by no means saying Tom Brady is the best quarterback option for Wild Card Weekend, and I’m not saying you need to cram all of these NFL DFS sleepers into your lineups.
A lot of what you will do will depend on ownership projections, actual player projections, injury news, and player pricing. I think there is very real merit in trying to cram the best DFS options into your lineups, but we do need to consider how much postseason play can change things.
Teams will still work to get the ball to their best players, but the matchups are tougher, game flow can be altered, and it’s unlikely teams will force the issue in the name of stats over substance.
Because of that, there’s a chance you can fade some of the guys you’d normally have to roster and live to tell about it. Your exact strategy is up to you, but I do think some of these Wild Card daily fantasy football sleepers should be able to help you in some capacity.
If you’d like to bypass DFS stuff and go right to betting on these playoff games, stop by our NFL Betting Headquarters for extra insight, game picks, updated odds, and expert predictions.