DFS NFL Playoffs Round 2 Pivot Plays 2017

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal The NFL playoffs have begun and while season-long leagues are now behind us for the most part, DFS is still going. If you have read my Pivot Plays series all year long, first of all thank you, and secondly you will notice this week’s edition being a little different. Being that there are only four games, ownership tends to be a bit tricky this week and there can be multiple chalky players at each position. That said, there are still players who tend to go overlooked on these short slates and while they will not be sub 10 percent owned in most cases, they will have a lower ownership than they should be on a slate like this. These are the players I will be focusing on in this article and while they may come with risk, they also provide you with a chance to move up the rankings at a much quicker pace if they produce quality numbers. Let’s jump right into it and go over some pivot plays for this week.


Drew Brees $6,100 at Minnesota Vikings

Brees had a nice performance in the first round of the playoffs, throwing for 376 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, which was good for 24.9 DK points. This week he has a tough matchup at hand against the Vikings who were amongst the league’s best defenses this season, so there is some cause for concern. That said, not many quarterbacks offer the upside that Brees does on this slate and because of the tough matchup I expect him to go a tad overlooked. This game is indoors, where Brees excels. He threw for 291 yards and one touchdown against this Vikings defense earlier in the year and in a game as big as this one, I would not be surprised if he comes out guns blazing. The Vikings allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs also, so it may have to be Brees that needs to carry the offense on his shoulder this weekend.

Running Backs

Jay Ajayi $4,600 vs. Atlanta Falcons

If you have faith in the Eagles defense like I do, running it back with Ajayi makes sense. He draws a nice matchup against the Falcons that struggled against running backs this season. They allowed 128.3 yards per game, the most receptions (107), and 10 touchdowns to opposing backs. Ajayi comes with risk because the touches are not consistent, but he did finish the season with at least 14 touches in each of his last three games. It is unlikely that the Eagles want Nick Foles to throw a ton this weekend, so getting Ajayi a bit more involved could be the alternative. His price tag is also very appealing as there is some upside here and it creates some salary relief to pay up for some other elite talent that is on this slate. Ajayi did rush for 130 yards against Atlanta earlier this season, but it was when he played with the Dolphins.

Wide Receivers

Brandin Cooks $7,000 vs. Tennessee Titans

Cooks could go overlooked this week with all of the attention on Antonio Brown and Julio Jones. He draws a nice matchup against the Titans who allowed the fifth most receiving touchdowns to opposing wide outs (17), as well as the ninth most receptions (193) and 11th most fantasy points per game. Cooks was inefficient to close out the season, but he was still receiving decent volume. His speed really creates a ton of upside and it would not be surprising to see him get behind this defense for a long touchdown. The Patriots have the highest implied team total on the slate, so there should be plenty of points scored by this offense. Cooks will not be sub 10 percent owned this weekend, but I would not be surprised to see him carry an ownership of less than 25 percent which would be great considering what he brings to the table.

Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph $4700 vs. New Orleans Saints

The Saints defense is much improved this season including against tight ends. That said, no other tight end this week has a higher advantage rating in their matchup than Rudolph does, at 19 percent per Pro Football Focus. Rudolph struggled in his last two games, catching just 2-of-4 targets, but prior to those two contests, he scored five touchdowns in his previous four games. For what it’s worth, he scored a touchdown in Week 1 against the Saints. Rudolph will be one of the top 3-4 owned tight ends this weekend, but I expect him to be less owned than Rob Gronkowski. I also like the idea of rostering both and creating lineups with two tight ends for differentiation.

Good luck to all this week. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on the Twitter machine: @Armando_Marsal