Daily fantasy football is a great way to get that fantasy fix in the NFL playoffs. With just four weeks of football remaining, our time is limited. Fortunately, we have three separate days of football this week to get our fill. Let’s take a look at the Saturday DraftKings DFS slate and the fantasy outlook for Joe Burrow, Derek Carr, Mac Jones, and Josh Allen.
NFL DFS Picks: Joe Burrow, Derek Carr, Mac Jones, or Josh Allen?
Of these four AFC quarterbacks, who has the highest upside in DFS formats for Wild Card Weekend?
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills ($7,900)
As the most expensive quarterback on the slate, Allen will be a popular selection in Saturday DFS lineups. In Week 16, Allen threw for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns in a road victory over the Patriots. These teams also met in Week 13, but there’s no point in discussing that game as it was the infamous Wind Bowl.
The Patriots allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. However, Allen was the best fantasy quarterback. He is always a safe bet for lineups and you should be able to stack him with Stefon Diggs ($7,500) and another receiver or Dawson Knox ($5,100).
With that said, Allen projects to be highly rostered and there may be better value with the other quarterbacks. You can build a lineup around Allen, but I would pivot to another option in Saturday DFS lineups.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals ($7,300)
Burrow only threw for 148 yards and 1 touchdown against the Raiders in Week 11. The Bengals won that game 32-13. As touchdown home favorites, we can reasonably project the Bengals for positive game script. In positive game script, they like to run.
Despite their desire to run and lean on Joe Mixon, that doesn’t mean Burrow is useless for fantasy. He is, after all, the hottest quarterback in the league. Burrow threw for a whopping 971 yards and 8 touchdowns over his final two games of the regular season. You can stack him with one of Ja’Marr Chase ($7,800), Tee Higgins ($6,200), or Tyler Boyd ($4,600) relatively easily. This game has some shootout potential, too. I like Burrow. You can build a lineup around him. But he’s not my favorite quarterback on this slate.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders ($5,800)
Carr has not been a productive fantasy asset in a long time. He hasn’t thrown more than 2 touchdowns in a single game this season and has just six 300-yard passing games, none of which have come in the past six weeks. So, why do I like Carr in DFS this week?
The answer: game script. This really could end up being a high-scoring game much like the Raiders got into with the Chargers last week. The difference would be instead of their opponent mounting a comeback, it would be the Raiders falling behind. In the six games where Las Vegas scored at least 3 touchdowns, Carr averaged 39 pass attempts.
Carr is cheaper than Burrow and significantly cheaper than Allen. He will also be lower rostered. That allows you to more easily stack him with both Hunter Renfrow ($6,400) and Darren Waller ($5,700). Additionally, you could create a very nice game stack with the Bengals, specifically Mixon ($7,100).
Carr comes with legitimate upside this week and is a worthwhile contrarian play in DFS lineups.
Mac Jones, New England Patriots ($5,300)
While there’s no need to analyze Jones’ performance against the Bills in the Wind Bowl where he attempted just 3 passes, we can look at his disastrous game against Buffalo in Week 16. In that game, Jones threw for 145 yards and 2 interceptions with no touchdowns.
All season, the Patriots have been a run-first offense. They had the sixth-highest run rate in the NFL this year. Even in negative game script, they continued to run the ball. New England posted the seventh-highest neutral/negative game script run rate (situations where the game is tied or they are trailing), running the ball 41% of the time.
If the Bills storm out to a massive lead, Jones is probably struggling. If this game remains somewhat close, the Patriots are probably running.
Jones was not a useful fantasy quarterback this season. He had just five QB1 finishes, two of which came against the Jets and Jaguars. He is the cheapest quarterback on the Saturday DFS slate for a reason. Anything more than 200-250 passing yards and a single touchdown would be a win. There just isn’t much upside here, even for the price. Avoid the Patriots’ passing attack entirely in DFS lineups this week.