You only start one quarterback so you better make it count. Quality and upside are important here while securing a solid floor. I know that sounds like a lot so let’s try and keep it simple. Look for a good matchup, a quarterback who has been performing well with a strong supporting cast, a defense that will be favorable to opposing signal callers, and a game script that supports success. For the most part, the quarterbacks at the top of the salary list speak for themselves as elite options, but here we dig deeper. Now that we got that out of the way, who fits that criteria for this week?
Remember it is the playoffs so we are, or should be, dealing with the best of the best here. The stakes are high and the options are less than a regular season main slate so lineups will look more similar with just four games. It’s all about those one or two value plays but the quarterback position is the foundation of your roster and not exactly a place where I’m looking to take too many chances. Keep in mind there is a reason why the teams that are remaining are taking the field this week so we will be dealing with some tough opposing defenses.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. I don’t care what Cleveland did last week in Pittsburgh. It was a great story and fun to watch as the Browns made history but I would expect their fortunes to drastically change this week in Kansas City. The Chiefs had the benefit of a bye last week and Patrick Mahomes ($8,000 DK, $9,200 FD) certainly knows what he is doing in the playoffs. Opposing quarterbacks have had success against the Browns so far this year and while their COVID-19 status is unclear they likely be missing at least one important defensive piece. Even at full strength though I’m not sure any of this matters to Mahomes who threw for 4,740 yards in 15 games this season with 38 touchdown passes compared to just six interceptions. It may seem boring but in this case I am going with the best.
Subscribers can now expect to get six more picks as we take a closer look at some more quarterbacks at varying price points who deserve our attention this week along with a few from whom we should keep our distance. This includes a budget friendly option who is just $5,300 on Draft Kings who can help you stack the rest of your GPP squad. This is just the beginning though. For a one-time fee of $99 per year we have all sports covered here including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, and League of Legends. We know how profitable these picks can be so you can even try it out for one month for free.
If salary cap space is an issue then I’m going to stay in Kansas City and look at Mahomes’ counterpart. Baker Mayfield ($5,300 DK, $7,400 FD) will have to put the ball in the air in order for the Browns to compete against the Chiefs as I would expect to see a one-sided affair. Even if Cleveland is able to keep pace it is going to require Mayfield’s involvement as more than just a game manager. Last week we saw the best of what Mayfield has to offer as he threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns while more importantly not throwing an interception. It wasn’t that uncommon as Mayfield has been efficient this season with just eight interceptions compared to 29 touchdown passes while also throwing for 3,826 yards. On his own Mayfield isn’t going to be the difference maker that wins you a GPP but he will allow you to roster those that can be.
We saw what the Rams’ defense is capable of as they shut down Russell Wilson in Seattle last week but things will increase in difficulty as they face off against a rested Aaron Rodgers ($6,900 DK, $8,400 FD) in Green Bay. It’s hard to overstate the success Rodgers had this season with 48 touchdown passes against five interceptions as he threw for 4,299 yards but it is nice to capture that production at his current price. With the week off Rodgers should be prepared for the Los Angeles defense but he has also proven to be match-up proof and efficient in moving the ball down field.
It’s hard to argue with Josh Allen’s ($7,400 DK, $8,800 FD) performance this season and he just continued that trend into the playoffs with a strong performance against what was a tough Colts’ defense in the regular season. Allen completed 26 of 35 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns while also picking up an additional 54 yards and a third touchdown on the ground. It was what we have become accustomed to seeing as a typical Allen performance and while Baltimore won’t be a walk in the park this week he should be able to continue last week’s success in another home playoff game.
Lamar Jackson ($7,600 DK, $8,000 FD) finally won a playoff game last week and he did it against the same Titans team that eliminated Baltimore last year. It was more of the same from Jackson as he didn’t contribute much through the air with 179 passing yards and no touchdowns but his DFS value was saved with 136 rushing yards and a touchdown. There is no arguing with Jackson’s rushing ability but it’s gotten to the point where we are relying on him as a runner and I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that.
We need to remember that Drew Brees ($5,600 DK, $7,300 FD) is not the quarterback he once was and it’s also evident in his price. While the Saints won without much effort last week Brees had a rather pedestrian outing with 265 passing yards and two touchdowns. New Orleans played things on the conservative side and I would expect to see that continue once again this week so don’t let yourself get fooled by the price. On the other side in the battle of veterans, while Tom Brady($6,300 DK, $7,700 FD) has been performing at a higher level I’m not expecting this to be the shootout it would have been a few years ago. Brady threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns last week but he has struggled against a tough New Orleans pass rush so far this season with just 448 passing yards and two touchdowns.
As a matter of clarification I didn’t mention Jared Goff ($5,200 DK, $6,700 FD). Goff likely will be back in the starting lineup this week but he will also be limited and I would stay away.
Of the two veterans, Brady is my preference but my targets are going to be Mahomes, Rodgers, and Allen with Mayfield as the budget friendly option.
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