Vikings vs. Giants Wild Card Round DFS Picks: Lineup Includes Justin Jefferson, Daniel Jones, and the Unheralded Richie James

    Two playoff teams inexplicably with worse defenses than offenses. Here are the top Vikings vs. Giants Wild Card round DFS picks.

    If you’re looking for Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants DFS picks in Sunday’s Wild Card faceoff, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.

    The following recommended fantasy football lineup (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aims to lock in a relatively high floor while maximizing upside.

    Vikings Considerations

    The Vikings and Giants somehow have surrendered more points than they’ve scored. For the 9-7-1 Giants, it might be understandable. But for the 13-4 Vikings? That might be unprecedented.

    It comes down to how this team has functioned during a shockingly successful season. I mean, who had Minnesota winning 13 games? Their preseason over/under on the betting circuit was around 9.5. But they went 12-0 in games decided by a touchdown or less. So yeah, in another world, they realistically could have finished 8-9 and out of the playoffs.

    Long defined as a top-heavy DFS unit, Minnesota has more appealing options than we’ve seen in years. K.J. Osborn has stepped up and seemingly overtaken 32-year-old Adam Thielen on the depth chart — if not officially, then at least from a late-season production standpoint.

    And what do we make of Dalvin Cook? The longtime near-elite RB has been more TD-dependent than usual — a warning sign for DFS investors. Notably, he’s cracked 30 receiving yards only once all season, spanning 17 games, and only twice in his last 29 games (7%). For context, he achieved this 19 times in his first 44 games (43%). That’s a sharp turnaround for a formerly prolific three-down back.

    Giants Considerations

    Admittedly, I didn’t think the Giants would reach the postseason after starting 7-3, believing that Washington would win at least one of two matchups, if not both. Saquon Barkley’s midseason struggles, Wan’Dale Robinson’s season-ending injury, and trading away Kadarius Toney didn’t help.

    But New York has persevered and now face a defense yielding the second most passing yards in the league. Can Daniel Jones and his collection of preseason roster-bubble WRs continue to rise to the moment?

    Barkley remains the central X-factor. He’s earned a sizable 352 touches in 16 games. In his 2018 rookie campaign, he also earned 352 touches in 16 games. The difference? The Giants aren’t invested in him beyond this season — at least not yet.

    I’m concerned about his workload and about how hard he’s laboring for yardage. His yards after contact (1.9) and broken-tackle rate (one per 24.6 carries) are well below his 2018 and 2019 marks. He’s dominant yet also containable. If the Vikings aim to ensure he doesn’t beat them — challenging Jones to win through the air — then Barkley could be a high-priced bust.

    Top NFL DFS Picks for the Wild Card Round

    Today, we’re playing DraftKings “Showdown Captain Mode,” which includes one player who earns 1.5 times his scoring output, plus five Flex players.

    The following NFL betting recommendations are based on proprietary PFN predictive analytics pulled from decades of NFL historical data. Using this data, I’ve built dozens of models showing actionable probabilities of better-than-expected and worse-than-expected outcomes.

    Captain: WR Richie James, Giants ($7,800)

    Sometimes we need to save funds by finding a cheap, high-upside player (or D/ST) for our Captain slot. This is one of those times.

    I’d be shocked if more than 8% of DFS competitors put Richie James Jr. here. But if things break as expected, he’ll be a steal.

    MORE: Vikings vs. Giants Player Prop Bets To Target

    James is one of the most underrated receivers in these playoffs. Among all NFL wideouts with 30+ receptions, he has the best catch rate (81.4%). In fact, among WRs with 70+ targets, he has the best catch rate since Michael Thomas in 2018.

    There’s nothing flashy about this pick. But I’m all in on a desperate Giants passing attack feeding their best pair of hands versus one of the league’s most vulnerable secondaries.

    Flex: WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($11,800)

    If we made Justin Jefferson our Captain, we’d have to downgrade one of our other elite players. So let’s be content to ride Jefferson to 24+ DFS points in a game where he should serve as Kirk Cousins’ unquestioned No. 1 target.

    Flex: QB Kirk Cousins, Vikings ($9,600)

    When this article began, Cook was supposed to go here. As you can see, I’m open to change.

    Cook could dominate. He might also rush 13 times for 64 yards and catch three passes for 17 yards. He costs $10,400. I don’t love his 26+ point potential. Kirk Cousins has a higher floor and ceiling at a lower price.

    Flex: QB Daniel Jones, Giants ($9,400)

    Daniel Jones entered this season with free agency hanging over his head. If the Giants had underwhelmed, he might have been benched by now. Instead, he’s playing for a payday. The Giants last won a playoff game 12 years ago, en route to a Super Bowl title, cementing Eli Manning’s legacy at the age of 31. I expect the 25-year-old Jones to play like tens of millions of dollars depend on it.

    Flex: TE T.J. Hockenson, Vikings ($7,400)

    As I’ve said for months, Minnesota acquired T.J. Hockenson to help put them over the top. He possesses rare domination (30+ point upside) for a tight end and is a weekly TD threat. Despite the relatively steep price, he’s the safest Vikings receiver not named Justin.

    Flex: Vikings D/ST ($3,800)

    With $3,800 remaining, we could roll with the slightly cheaper Daniel Bellinger. But I’d rather go with Minnesota, believing their upside (particularly if they score) is higher than that of a rookie TE (albeit, a talented one) averaging roughly three targets per game in recent weeks.

    Whatever you decide, good luck tonight.

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