Fantasy football managers have arrived at a drastically different landscape when it comes to start/sit dilemmas. Sit ’em options aren’t the best investment of energy since the player pool is limited in playoff fantasy and DFS formats, so we will consider all the start ’em options for the Divisional Round in the 2020-2021 NFL Playoffs.
NFL Divisional Round Start or Sit Fantasy Quarterbacks | Start ’em
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (at Buffalo Bills)
Jackson will get his passing yards, but he will create points for you on the ground as well. The Bills defense is better against the pass, so expect Lamar to use his legs to help move the chains. Any ball control/time of possession game plan favors only increase the proclivity to run.
Lamar Jackson needs one more 100-yard rushing game to tie Michael Vick’s record of 11. I expect him to crush it on the ground Saturday and tie the record, even in the snow.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
The Ravens and Bills game has the potential to post the most total points of all four games this weekend. Not to mention, Buffalo’s offense has been on a tremendous pace as of late.
Allen should have success on the ground and in the air against this Ravens defense. The Ravens play a hefty amount of man coverage, which will benefit Stefon Diggs. The Ravens blitz over 40% of the time and Allen is one of the best QBs in the NFL against the blitz.
Other quarterbacks to consider starting for the Divisional Round
- Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (at Kansas City Chiefs)
NFL Divisional Round Start or Sit Fantasy Running Backs | Start ’em
Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams (at Green Bay Packers)
Akers is one of my favorite running backs this week and has been appearing regularly in my start/sit fantasy football posts. He is getting fed by Sean McVay, totaling over 170 yards against the Seattle Seahawks on Wild Card Weekend.
The Rams venture to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field with an injured quarterback. I expect the Rams to rely heavily on their rushing attack yet again — it’s their best recipe for success. Tee this bad boy up!
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (at Kansas City Chiefs)
Revenge game!? I’m not sure about that. I am certain that Hunt will be utilized in the Browns’ passing game to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. This game has the potential to be a barn burner, and Hunt’s receiving skills will be needed against a Chiefs defense that is weak against ball carriers in the passing game.
Other running backs to consider starting for the Divisional Round
- Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
NFL Divisional Round Start or Sit Fantasy Wide Receivers | Start ’em
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (at Green Bay Packers)
Woods is the healthiest main target for Jared Goff this weekend. Woods runs 50% of his routes from the slot and will be able to avoid Jaire Alexander. The Rams will count on Woods to move the chains and keep Aaron Rodgers and the lethal Green Bay offense off the field.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns (at Kansas City Chiefs)
No Odell Beckham Jr., no problem. The Browns are still able to stretch the field with Higgins. He is averaging almost 20 yards per reception, and explosive passing plays will be needed to upset the Chiefs.
In an early blowout scenario, the Browns will undoubtedly pass, so you’ll have the luxury of game script and the possibility of “garbage time” point accumulation. The only negative game script is the Browns establishing the run and running the ball 30-40 times to keep the Kansas City offense stagnant on the sideline.
Other wide receivers to consider starting for the Divisional Round
- Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (at Kansas City Chiefs)
- John Brown, Buffalo Bills (vs. Baltimore Ravens)
- Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (at Buffalo Bills)
- Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at New Orleans Saints)
Tight end start ’em options for the Divisional Round
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (at Buffalo Bills)
Andrews should have produced last week against the Tennessee Titans. He was targeted in the end zone a few times but unfortunately did not connect with Lamar Jackson.
Andrews is averaging four receptions per game in the last four games, and I expect him to be heavily targeted this week against a Bills defense that was destroyed by the Colts TEs last week for 136 yards and a touchdown. When it comes to start ’em sit ’em in the fantasy playoffs, ride with the Ravens TE.
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (at Kansas City Chiefs)
Hooper is one of my favorite plays this weekend. He is playing in almost 100% of the Browns’ offensive plays. Hooper is averaging a 25% target share in the last four games. Hooper is highly targeted in the red zone, so expect a touchdown Sunday.
Other tight ends to consider starting for the Divisional Round
- Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Divisional Round Fantasy Defense
- Green Bay Packers (vs. Los Angeles Rams)
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Anita Marks is a fantasy analyst at Pro Football Network. Marks is also a gambling analyst for ESPN and appears on Daily Wager, which airs from 6-7 PM ET on ESPN 2. Her radio show – Weekend Wager – airs on ESPN New York (98.7) FM every Friday at 10 PM ET. Follow her on Twitter: @AnitaMarks.