Sunday features what is arguably the most anticipated matchup of the weekend between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills (5.5-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook), which kicks off the slate at 3:00 pm ET, and that's followed by an NFC showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers (3.5-point favorites), a game that has the closest spread of the Divisional Round. If both games are as competitive as oddsmakers are projecting, we could have a really fun DFS slate on our hands.
As always, we recommend checking out all of numberFire's daily fantasy tools at your disposal. In particular, our weekly projections can help you nail down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values, while the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through some of the top plays of the slate.
You don't need me to tell you that Josh Allen ($9,000) is the best of the four quarterback options, and our model projects him for the most points across all positions. Only Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Patrick Mahomes averaged 25-plus FanDuel points per game during the regular season. Outside of salary constraints or lineups primarily stacking other teams, Allen is the clear top choice.
Not only was Burrow the best of the three from a fantasy perspective this year, but his game feels like the one that's more likely to shoot out, featuring both the higher total (49.5) and two offenses that rank top-three in pass rate over expectation. Burrow has exceeded 25 FanDuel points six times this season, just two fewer than Allen.
Prescott and Purdy are both coming off their best fantasy performances of the year, scoring 36.6 and 34.9 points, respectively, last week. However, for as efficient as they've been this season, with both ranking top-six in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, they play for two of the most run-heavy teams left in the playoffs, which typically restricts their upside.
Further complicating matters is that the Dallas and San Francisco defenses are both top-five in schedule-adjusted pass defense, per our metrics. While we can't rule out encore performances from either signal-caller, I'm more inclined to stick with Allen or Burrow in most lineups.
At running back, it'sChristian McCaffrey ($9,200) and then everyone else. In his last six full games, CMC has scored 24.6, 28.3, 22.8, 12.8, 28.3, and 20.6 FanDuel points. He's averaged a whopping 137.3 scrimmage yards in those weeks.
But if we're nitpicking, McCaffrey saw a mere 19 adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets) withElijah Mitchell ($5,400) active last week, which is in stark contrast to the 31 he averaged in the five full prior games without Mitchell. Most of Mitchell's touches came late with a big lead, but he also put a dent in CMC's opportunities across Week 10 to Week 12, so we shouldn't completely write this off as a fluke.
McCaffrey still dominated snaps (73.4%) and posted another big fantasy score, though, so he could smash regardless -- and our projections say as much. But if you're looking for a reason to fade CMC as a popular high-salaried play, it's something to consider at least.
Joe Mixon ($7,700) andTony Pollard ($7,100) are the other backs projected for double-digit points. Mixon's averaged 23.0 adjusted opportunities since coming back in Week 14 while Pollard has averaged a nearly identical 23.1 in seven full games withEzekiel Elliott ($6,500) back. Given the alternatives, both are firmly in play, but Pollard has a particularly difficult matchup against a 49ers defense that's coughed up the fewest FanDuel points per game to opposing backfields.
Elliott is no longer an exciting fantasy play, but he's still earned 19.7 adjusted opportunities per game alongside Pollard, which we'll gladly take on a two-game slate. He's the more likely of the two to get goal-line carries, so he could make an impact as a touchdown-dependent play.
Singletary is still getting more snaps than Cook in most weeks, but they've both averaged roughly 14 adjusted opportunities per game over the last six. Neither one has an advantage in the red zone, particularly with Josh Allen also being a rushing threat. They are value plays at their respective salaries, but the uncertainty leaves them more as complimentary pieces in Bengals-Bills game stacks.
Elijah Mitchell andSamaje Perine ($5,000) are a pair of punt options. Mitchell played 21.9% of last week's snaps but also logged 15 adjusted opportunities and scored a touchdown. Particularly in a lineup projecting a 49ers blowout, he could prove useful. Perine has a solid 43.6% snap rate with Mixon back but is garnering just 9.4 adjusted opportunities per game.
Ja'Marr Chase ($8,500) and Stefon Diggs ($8,200) are the top projected wideouts -- no surprises there. Chase boasts a 29.9% target share and 38.9% air yards this season; Diggs isn't far behind with a 27.7% target share and 34.0% air yards share. Both will no doubt be chalky, but it's for a good reason.
Lamb and Samuel should also be popular choices. Lamb has a 25.8% target share and 31.9% air yards share since Prescott returned from injury, and he's the clear top option for Dallas. Samuel led the 49ers with 9 targets last week (33.3% share), and he parlayed those looks plus 3 carries into 165 scrimmage yards and 2 touchdowns.
Aiyuk, Higgins, and Davis figure to draw less attention, which is something to consider in tournament stacks. Aiyuk hasn't had many spike weeks, but he's projected for more targets (7.4) than Samuel. That 7.4 number is actually the slate's fourth-best overall mark.
Higgins and Davis are overshadowed by Chase and Diggs, but both are capable of producing yards in bunches as players who soak up roughly 30% of the air yards. Higgins has scored 18-plus FanDuel points four times this year, while Davis has cracked that mark three times. Higgins, in particular, could fly under the radar after being held to single-digit points in two straight weeks.
This slate could be a good one for wide receivers overall, as all of the Cowboys, 49ers, and Bills are top-eight for most FanDuel points allowed to wide receivers. Cincinnati has been middle of the road in that department, yet they're actually the worst of the four in adjusted fantasy points allowed per target to the position (27th).
Incredibly, we actually get four solid options to choose from at tight end.
Dalton Schultz ($6,400), George Kittle ($7,100), and Dawson Knox ($5,800) are all projected for just under nine FanDuel points.Hayden Hurst ($5,000) comes in a couple of points behind them but has an appealing salary if you want to punt.
Schultz has the most bankable workload, seeing 20.2% of the targets with Prescott back under center -- the team's second-most behind Lamb. He's logged two-touchdown games in two of the last three, and he leads the team in red zone targets. While it's unlikely he will haul in multiple scores again this weekend, it's good to know the upside is there.
Kittle only saw two targets last week, which is just how it goes on such a talent-rich offense. Of course, prior to that, he scored seven touchdowns in four games, so we know what the ceiling looks like. He should get more looks this time around and is projected for just under six targets.
Knox is yet another tight end on a touchdown binge, scoring in each of the last five games. He has a 17.1% target share over this span and projects as the best tight end value. Being tied to Allen has its perks.
Finally, Hurst comes in as the guy who's least likely to pop in this bunch, but he's produced a 15.3% target share in his healthy weeks. This being tight end, there's always the possibility none of the other three hit double-digit points, and all it would take is a touchdown for Hurst to come through.