When assessing fantasy football options between conventional league formats and DFS, we have to evaluate them in different ways. While a player may return a solid fantasy-point return, his DFS price may mean that he’s not a value with that return. By combining our projections with the prices on DFS sites, we can identify NFL DFS sleepers and busts for fantasy managers in the Divisional Round.
NFL DFS Picks Sleepers for Divisional Round
The picks below are based on half-PPR matchup data, making them perfect for playing DFS contests on FanDuel. Therefore, we have used FanDuel’s pricing in order to make our recommendations. However, where there is a value discussion to be had around DraftKings, we’ve included their prices and the reasoning in the player’s explanation.
Daniel Jones, QB | NYG @ PHI ($7,400)
Daniel Jones paid off big for people who trusted him last week, finishing as the QB3 with 27.84 fantasy points. While the matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles is not as juicy as the Minnesota Vikings were, Jones still managed to score 19.36 fantasy points when he faced them in Week 14.
Jones’ ability to attack opposing defenses with both his legs and arms makes him a player that should not be underestimated. With only Brock Purdy priced lower among starting QBs, Jones has the chance to be a fantastic value compared to paying $9,000 for the top options this week.
Elijah Mitchell, RB | SF vs. DAL ($5,400)
When we look for sleepers at the RB position, you’re really looking to find someone with an outside chance of scoring a touchdown or getting 10-plus touches. Elijah Mitchell has the potential for both of those outcomes, as he demonstrated last week. He finished with 9.7 fantasy points on 12 opportunities to tie for the RB11 on the week.
MORE: Fantasy RB Rankings Divisional Round
We saw Mitchell mixing in throughout the game, including seeing touches in and around the goal line. Among the RB options priced under $6,000 this week, only Devin Singletary and James Cook carry the same upside as Mitchell. However, both cost more and are as equally difficult to predict in terms of their output in the Divisional Round.
Michael Gallup, WR | DAL at SF ($5,700)
It was nice to see Michael Gallup’s usage last week. He was targeted six times, catching five of them for 46 yards and a touchdown. Gallup’s targets tied him with CeeDee Lamb and put him behind only Dalton Schultz, who had eight. While Gallup is not likely to tie Lamb in targets most weeks, the matchup this week does benefit him.
The San Francisco 49ers’ secondary has had trouble in recent weeks, and Gallup should draw the “lesser” matchup against Deommodore Lenoir. While Charvarius Ward was the one beaten by DK Metcalf last week, Lenoir is generally viewed as the lesser corner of the two. That gives Gallup a great opportunity to have a big week for fantasy managers at a bargain price of just $5,700 on FanDuel.
Gallup is an even bigger value over at DraftKings, where his price is just $3,800. He sits lower relative to the other options at DraftKings and becomes a fantastic cheap building block for lineups.
Dawson Knox, TE | BUF vs. CIN ($5,800)
Selecting a tight end in DFS is always tough. Rarely does being overly aggressive and paying up for the top options end up being a great value play. They certainly tend to offer a higher floor, but unless they reel in multiple touchdowns, their ceilings are not all that different from the mid-priced options.
That is why Dawson Knox is intriguing this week. Of the eight starting tight end options, Knox’s price is the third lowest, and his ceiling is there. Knox has now caught five touchdowns in his last five games and was inches away from having two last week. He’s become a go-to red-zone option for the Bills to end the season.
There is certainly risk with Knox’s floor if he doesn’t catch a touchdown, but the current TD run makes him an intriguing sleeper.
Over at DraftKings, his $3,800 price puts him at less than half the cost of Travis Kelce and nearly $2,000 lower than George Kittle. Still, it’s hard to pass up Schultz, who should see more targets than Knox, at $4,200 in DraftKings PPR scoring.
Cincinnati Bengals Defense @ BUF ($3,400)
I love this price for the Bengals as the second-cheapest defense on both FanDuel and DraftKings ($2,400). The Bills’ offense is certainly dangerous, but they’ve made several mistakes in recent weeks. In the last three weeks alone, Josh Allen has thrown five interceptions and lost a fumble.
There’s a lot of risk in riding the Bengals’ defense this week, but at the price, the potential value is reasonably high. Whether the potential is worth saving relatively little in terms of salary depends on the build of your roster. But if you’re looking for a cheap defense option this week, the Bengals could be the answer.
NFL DFS Picks Busts for Divisional Round
Calling any of the top options in DFS this week “busts” is somewhat unfair. All of them are extremely talented players and are likely to be solid fantasy producers in a vacuum.
In a standard fantasy league, you’re likely not even considering sitting any of these options. However, in DFS, we have to decide whether they can return value on their price, and the following players are two that provide concerns from that perspective.
Miles Sanders, RB | PHI vs. NYG ($7,700)
The biggest issue for Miles Sanders this week is not so much the matchup but just the uncertainty over his role. With Jalen Hurts seemingly back to full health, the QB should take plenty of carries out of the backfield. Additionally, we’ve seen enough of Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott in various different situations to just cloud the picture.
There’s no doubt that Sanders has a massive upside. In Week 14 against the Giants, he ran the ball 17 times for 144 yards with two touchdowns. But since then, he’s struggled for the same upside, with no more than 71 total yards in a game, and has failed to find the end zone in the last four weeks.
MORE: NFL Divisional Round Predictions and Picks
Interestingly, if you play on DraftKings, Sanders is a better value at just $5,700 and the sixth-highest-priced RB. At that value, he’s a better play than on FanDuel, where he’s priced as the fourth-highest back.
A.J. Brown, WR | PHI vs. NYG ($8,300)
It is always dangerous to count out a player like A.J. Brown. Brown has the ability to be explosive at a moment’s notice and put up huge fantasy point returns. The problem this week is the matchup with Adoree’ Jackson. We saw Jackson restrict Justin Jefferson last week, holding him to just 47 yards on seven receptions.
While it would be wrong to expect Brown to be a complete bust in terms of fantasy points, as the second-highest-priced WR on FanDuel, there is a risk to this week. Brown’s upside is as high as anyone, but his floor is lower than the other high-priced options of Ja’Marr Chase and Stefon Diggs.