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NFL Wild Card DFS: 3 Bold Claims that will Lead you to Victory

“When I got drafted by Buffalo I knew I was going to New York. I thought I would be out there with Jay-Z. When I landed, there was slush on the ground and it just finished snowing. I didn’t know anything about snow.” – Marshawn Lynch

As a Browns fan, it pains me that with a great slate of games coming up, all anyone cares to talk about is the fact that Johnny Manziel apparently wore a wig and referred to himself as Billy while in Vegas last week. Hopefully in my lifetime I get to experience NFL team success like I have DFS success. We’re heading into Wild Card weekend and the injury reports are beginning to get a little clearer. Andy Dalton has had his cast removed and while he is optimistic about playing this weekend, the Bengals are preparing AJ McCarron to start against the Steelers. DeAngelo Williams has a sprained ankle and he remains doubtful for his matchup against the Bengals. Lastly, Marshawn Lynch appears ready to go as he attended practice Monday and will likely be the Seahawks starting running back in their game against the Vikings.

With just four games this weekend, it’s imperative to exploit weaknesses and avoid bad matchups. There are some glaring statistics that will undoubtedly assist in formulating a sound DFS strategy and today, I make some bold claims that will help you along the way. Here are those bold claims along with supporting statistics that will lead you to victory. Enjoy!

Minnesota Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson (28).
Minnesota Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson (28).

Do Not Select Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson finished an impressive regular season leading the league in rushing yards and he’s a major reason why the Vikings are in the playoffs. However, you will want to avoid drafting him on your team during Wild Card weekend. Peterson is matched up against the Seattle Seahawks, the best rushing defense in the league. Teams have carried the ball 362 times against the Seahawks this season, the second lowest total in the league. The Seahawks allow 3.6 yards per carry, the fourth lowest average in the league. Finally, the Seahawks have allowed just 81.5 rushing yards per game this season, the lowest average in the league.

Peterson, who faced the Seahawks at home earlier this season, was neutralized in that matchup, handling just eight carries for 18 yards. In the last three games, the Seahawks have allowed just 74.3 rushing yards per game. They have the best rushing defense in the league and will force the Vikings to throw the ball, limiting Peterson’s production.

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8).
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8).

Kirk Cousins will Struggle against the Packers

Kirk Cousins has been great this season for players who have drafted him, particularly over the last three weeks where he has thrown eleven touchdowns and has not been intercepted once. His completion percentage this season has been 69.8% and he is playing like an elite quarterback at the moment. With that said, he’s in for a wild ride this weekend when he’s forced to lead his team against the Green Bay Packers. Opposing quarterbacks have completed just 58.3% of their passes against the Packers, the lowest percentage of any team playing on Wild Card weekend. Over the last three games, opposing quarterbacks have completed just 54.8% of their passes against the Packers. The Packers give up an average of 228 passing yards per game, which ranks sixth in the league during the regular season, while only allowing 20 passing touchdowns this season, also the sixth lowest total in the league. If that isn’t enough to suggest that Cousins will struggle against this sound defensive unit, remember that the Packers have given up just 321 completions this year to opposing quarterbacks, the second lowest total in the league.

AJ McCarron Will be the best Quarterback of the Field

There’s still a little doubt as to whether McCarron will even start this weekend against the Steelers but the Bengals are preparing for him to start so we have to assume he will be the starter. McCarron, who is the second lowest priced starting quarterback this weekend behind Teddy Bridgewater, should offer great dividends. For starters, the Pittsburgh Steelers give up an average of 272 passing yards per game, the worst of any Wild Card team and third worst ranking during the regular season. The Steelers have also given up 29 passing touchdowns this season, the second most of any Wild Card team. Also, you must consider his earlier cameo appearance against the Steelers this season after Andy Dalton broke his thumb. McCarron, who was thrown into the fire, finished with 280 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, not bad for a kid who played just four snaps all season prior to that game. He has thrown four touchdowns in the last three games and has not been intercepted during this time frame, so there’s no doubt he offers great value against a Steelers passing defense with plenty areas of weaknesses.

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