Fantasy football is more than just the weekly head-to-head games we’ve all grown to love. On Underdog Fantasy, managers can put their player-projection skills to the test by predicting player stats. Here are my top Underdog Pick’em plays for the New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings NFL Wild Card round pick’em contest.
Giants vs. Vikings: Top Underdog Pick’ems To Target
Underdog Pick’ems allows fantasy managers to predict stats and fantasy-point totals for almost all fantasy-relevant players. You can make two picks that pay out 3x your entry fee or add more selections to your entry for higher payouts.
The levels are 3x, 6x, 10x, and 20x, progressing with each additional pick’em you add to your entry. Let’s take a look at this week’s Underdog Pick’ems.
I need to preface all of this with a few sentences. This pick’em entry consists of four highers, which, as many of you may know, goes against everything I stand for. But as much as I prefer lowers, one of the key tenets of my process is game environment.
This projects to be the highest-scoring game of the weekend. So, we’re banking on offense in this one.
Isaiah Hodgins Higher Than 4 Receptions
Isaiah Hodgins became the Giants’ WR2 in Week 13. Since then, he’s had at least four receptions in every game. Last week, the Giants rested all of their key players, which included Hodgins. Clearly, he’s considered a key part of this passing game.
When these teams last met on Christmas Eve, Hodgins had his best game of the season, catching eight of 12 targets for 89 yards and a touchdown.
The Vikings allowed 15.1 receptions for 198.4 receiving yards per game, both of which were the highest in the league. I’d be shocked if Hodgins didn’t extend his streak of 4+ reception games to six. At worst, this should push.
Daniel Jones Higher Than 1.5 Touchdowns
Daniel Jones has scored multiple touchdowns just seven times this season. On the surface, this looks like an outcome that loses more than it wins. However, this is actually a value proposition in combination with the next pick ’em.
Saquon Barkley Higher Than 0.5 Rushing Touchdowns
I’m confident the Giants score at least three touchdowns against the Vikings. Their implied team total is 22.5 points. When the Giants score, it’s either going to be Jones or Barkley. Of their 36 touchdowns on the season (excluding Week 18), 32 of them involved either Jones or Barkley.
The Vikings have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Giants will score their points.
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There’s a chance only one of these hits, but it’s extremely unlikely that neither does. At the same time, there’s a good enough chance they both hit.
The key to making this entry work is to take out insurance. Rather than going with one or the other and making it a three pick ’em entry, we up it to four and use the insurance to enable a 3-1 slip to win.
Adam Thielen Higher Than 7.85 Fantasy Points
Over the past three weeks, Adam Thielen’s role in this offense has seemingly lessened. He’s been outplayed by K.J. Osborn, catching a total of four passes for 30 yards over his last three games combined.
But even with Thielen’s reduced role, he’s still one of Kirk Cousins’ most trusted targets. This is the playoffs now, and I expect Thielen to have a bit of a resurgence. He’s still the team’s WR2, and he has the experience.
Most importantly, Thielen remains a red-zone presence. What I like about this projection is Thielen can get there on just one touchdown reception. Even if he doesn’t score, we know Thielen is capable of having something like a 5-60 type game. That’s also enough to get there.
Given the projected game environment and Thielen’s track record, I think he shows up this week.