Well, there weren’t too many surprises in those Wild Card games, with the favorites coming away victorious in every single instance. So those dark horse Giants fanatics won’t be getting a 2007 and 2011 renaissance after all, but luckily not many people rode their players in the Playoff Challenge. The savvy Wild Card picks were for Aaron Rodgers and the two best players on the Steelers — Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. None of those three disappointed, and all three will deliver double points for their owners in the Divisional round.
As you can see, there are still five teams represented in the Most Popular picks for this next round. With the exception of the New England players (probably), most of the rest of the lineup is a bit tenuous, as Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Seattle play on the road in the next round. Their players will still obtain double their point totals for those who started them in the Wild Card round, but if they hit a brick wall and their teams lose there will be a lot of people having to switch players out (and losing multipliers).
I don’t see the Steelers winning at Arrowhead, which is why I didn’t pick either Bell or Brown, but for those who were rewarded with huge points from both of those players, they are hoping for a road win. Just like with the Patriots players, Ezekiel Elliott is an obvious play, considering his offensive line and production during the season, and even though Jimmy Graham underwhelmed in Wild Card week, double points from him against Atlanta is a good bet as well.
My lineup underwent a last minute change right before the Wild Card games started because I just wasn’t sold on Tom Brady dominating without Gronk, and I knew that having both Patriots and Chiefs players in my lineup, while hedging my bets, wouldn’t differentiate me from pretty much anyone else in the Challenge, and was guaranteeing me having at least two players getting me only single points (no multiplier) in the Super Bowl. No risk, no reward. Here is my finalized lineup…
I swapped out Brady for Ryan, and Edelman for Hill, rounding out my Challenge lineup by making my entire selections either Falcons or Chiefs. This way, if the Falcons and Chiefs both make the Super Bowl I’ll have pretty good odds of winning. If one of the two teams makes it I’ll still be competitive. If neither team gets to Houston then I’m sunk, but at least I’m getting double points for my entire lineup this week.
What are your best options this week? Hopefully you have a full lineup going for double points this week as well, but if you have Jordy Nelson I would think about switching him out now for another receiver. If you’re still sold on Green Bay the receiver I would target is Davante Adams, not Randall Cobb. Don’t go chasing points, and the Cowboys will zero in on Cobb after those three Wild Card touchdowns.
The biggest key to the Divisional round is staying true to the number one rule of the Playoff Challenge — pick the guys who you feel will be playing in the Super Bowl. If you follow that, you will have no regrets, even if your teams happen to lose before the big game.