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Yahoo DFS Football: Wild-Card Picks

Jim Coventry

Coventry covers football and baseball for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.


QB: Drew Brees (NO, $29)

There's no question this year's version of the Saints leans heavily on their running backs. Although that's unlikely to change against the Panthers this week, Brees will have a distinct advantage against a Carolina secondary that allowed the last four quarterbacks it faced to post at least 280 yards passing. Not only should he connect often with Michael Thomas, but he'll also throw the ball plenty to Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram as the coaching staff dials up plays to take advantage of the Panthers' weaknesses, which should lead to a strong day for Bees.

RB: Devonta Freeman (ATL, $24)

After practicing late in the week, Freeman appears safe to use even though he suffered a minor knee injury last week. Down the stretch, the coaching staff chose to lean heavily on Freeman while scaling back the Tevin Coleman's touches. As a result, Freeman handled at least 22 touches in three of the last four games, and he'll face a Rams defense that was shredded by running backs this season. Not only is that the best way to attack Los Angeles, but Freeman's ability as both a runner and receiver should make him game-script proof should the Falcons fall behind.

WR: Mohamed Sanu (ATL, $17)

Sanu faces a Rams secondary that's stingy to wide receivers. However, if it has one weakness, it's against receivers who line up in the slot. Two of the biggest performances the Rams allowed all season were against slot receivers Adam Thielen and Larry Fitzgerald, and while Los Angeles most likely will look to place extra defensive attention on Julio Jones, Sanu should find plenty of room to operate in the middle of the field. In addition, he's become an integral part of the Atlanta offense, averaging 7.5 targets the last four weeks, so the Falcons' primary slot receiver is in a great spot to succeed.

Other Against-the-Grainers

QB: Marcus Mariota (TEN, $21)
RB: Christian McCaffrey (CAR, $20)
WR: Eric Decker (TEN, $15)
TE: Delanie Walker (TEN, $22)
DST: Kansas City Chiefs ($14)


QB: Jared Goff (LAR, $31)

The Falcons are outstanding against the run, which leaves Goff to face a defense that's allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks the last five weeks. The Atlanta coaching staff likely will do everything in its power to take away Todd Gurley, and if that's the case, the Rams will counter by putting the ball in the hands of their second-year quarterback. Not only is Robert Woods fully healthy after missing this time late in the season, Goff also has an excellent pair of targets in Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp, which should allow him to find the most advantageous coverages to exploit, leading to a solid performance.

RB: Leonard Fournette (JAC, $30)

Despite playing through nagging injuries much of the year, Fournette has handled a massive workload whenever he's been active. Not only does he have a dream matchup against a Buffalo defense that allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs the last five weeks, this is also a game in which the Jaguars are heavily favored. Even if the Bills load the box to stop him, he's proven throughout the season that he's quite dangerous as a receiver, and he's clearly capable of smashing this defense in any way the team chooses to deploy him. If this contest plays out the way the point spread indicates, Fournette will see the ball as much as he can handle against this vulnerable defense.

WR: Robert Woods (LAR, $24)

Even though the Rams profile as a run-first offense, it would be a major surprise if the Falcons didn't assign as many defenders as possible with the sole purpose of stopping Todd Gurley. Should that happen, Woods, who already has a safe floor, should add significant upside as well. He's clearly been the Rams' top receiver, as he's averaged nine targets over his last four games, and for those who are concerned that he'll be squaring off against Atlanta's best cornerback, Desmond Trufant, Woods doesn't lineup primarily on the same side of the field. Since Trufant typically doesn't shadow receivers, Woods will see plenty of advantageous situations, so there's nothing overwhelming about this matchup.

TE: Greg Olsen (CAR, $17)

On paper, this doesn't appear to be a great matchup. Olsen faces a New Orleans defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends the last five weeks. However, the Saints didn't faced an overly difficult group of tight ends, so the statistics are a bit misleading. Meanwhile, Olsen averaged nine targets in his last three games, and in a game the Panthers are projected to trail, he should see plenty of action as Cam Newton tries to keep pace with Drew Brees and company.

DST: Los Angeles Rams ($18)

The biggest vulnerability the Rams have on defense is their inability to stop the run. That said, there's an excellent chance that they will play with a lead in this game, which should allow their outstanding pass rush to cause plenty of trouble for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense. The Falcons are not nearly as dynamic as they were in 2016, and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips certainly will have plenty of looks drawn up to make this a long day for the opponent.

Other Against-the-Grainers

QB: Alex Smith (KC, $36)
RB: Kareem Hunt (KC, $32)
WR: Michael Thomas (NO, $32)
TE: Travis Kelce (KC, $30)
DST: Jacksonville Jaguars ($21)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.