Fantasy Attack: NFL Elite 8

Dominate DFS with our Playoff Primer

by Lead Fantasy writer Steve Cook | @SteveCook84 |

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This is what many people consider to be the best week in the NFL. I’ve always been a little bitter about it because my Cincinnati Bengals haven’t gotten there since 1991, but it is the Elite Eight of football. Wild Card Weekend eliminated some of the riff-raff, and the top four regular season teams take their place. Each game gets its own time slot so we can enjoy all the football that is possible.

It’s a great time. It’s also a good time to make some fantasy bank. So we’re here to look at the top guys you should be looking at to fill out your teams this week.


  1. Andrew Luck: The Kansas City Chiefs gave up the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in the regular season. You’re not going to find a better matchup this time of the season. If you’re in one of those Playoff Challenge contests that counts double points for people you used last round, you’ve gotta stick with Luck. KC vs. Indy should be a high-scoring affair…I like the Chiefs due to playing in Arrowhead, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Colts took it.


  1. Patrick Mahomes: It’s fair to wonder if Mahomes will wilt under the playoff pressure like so many young first-time playoff quarterbacks do. (See: Lamar Jackson the first three quarters last week) I don’t think Patrick Mahomes is a typical quarterback, so I don’t feel comfortable applying typical narratives to him. Dan Marino, who held all the passing records forever, got the Dolphins to the Super Bowl his second season in the NFL. Would anybody be surprised if Mahomes did the same? Let’s not mention Marino’s lifetime Super Bowl record, I don’t want to get Chiefs fans too hot & bothered.


  1. Drew Brees: Those of us that had Brees on our regular season fantasy teams know how the end of the season went. Not good. The Saints offense went into the tank during the last month of the season and sunk many a fantasy league #1 seed.


  1. Nick Foles: Remember how I was talking about Andrew Luck’s matchup earlier and how you wouldn’t find an easier one this time of year?

I lied. See, the Saints were fourth-worst against quarterbacks this season. Granted, a lot of that was piled up by Ryan Fitzpatrick randomly in Week 1, and Kyle Allen in Week 17, but they also gave up some points to guys like Big Ben & Matt Ryan. Postseason studs, right? Well there isn’t a bigger postseason stud than BIG DICK NICK. The Eagles are gonna need to score some points to keep up with the Saints, so expect Nick to be slinging it like he’s Brett Favre out there. (I managed to avoid the pics Farve sent to Jenn Sterger, so I don’t know if he & Nick share a nickname or not.)

Running Back

  1. Ezekiel Elliott
  2. Todd Gurley: That Cowboys vs. Rams game is gonna be all about running backs. Two of the best in the game will be out there trucking fools, and it’ll be which side trucks more fools that wins it. Again, I’m taking into account the whole double-points thing. Gurley may end up having a better game than Zeke. Us Gurley owners had to scramble for other answers once we hit the playoffs because the man was banged up. The Rams knew they would need him for more important games. Those more important games have arrived, and the man is coming around. That’s bad news for the Cowboys, and good news for people starting him this week.


  1. Alvin Kamara: The college system is strange. Sometimes, people light it up there and end up doing nothing in the NFL. Sometimes, people do nothing there and end up huge in the NFL. Kamara is in the latter category. His Alabama experience didn’t go well due to many other RBs being there already & some behavioral issues. He did ok at Tennessee, and he’s done ok in New Orleans. If you’re telling me he won’t run all over Philly if given the chance, you’re out of your mind.


  1. Melvin Gordon: #DoublePoints, also he’s playing a New England team that let five running backs go over double digits against them after their bye in Week 11. They looked pretty good in Week 16 & 17, but that was the Bills & Jets, who probably shouldn’t even count. If the Chargers are going to get out of Foxboro alive, it will be due to Melvin Gordon.


Wide Receiver/Tight End

  1. T.Y. Hilton: Did you see this guy last week? People really wanted me to give him credit for doing those things while injured, but we all know that these teams shoot these guys up with so much drugs that they probably don’t know their name. I’ve known since he single-handedly led Florida International to a win over a Charlie Strong-coached Louisville team that he was not a guy to mess with. Powered by drugs or not, if you let him break free he’ll pile the points up. As we’ve already established, KC is not known for their defense, so go ahead & start Hilton.


  1. Michael Thomas: If Drew Brees is going to go off in the SuperDome, Thomas will be the main beneficiary. We all said that the Eagles defense was the most prone to give things up last week, but the Bears couldn’t take advantage because Mitchell Tribusky. Drew Brees will take advantage.


  1. Tyreek Hill: Tyreek is always one of the toughest guys to figure out. Either he has a few crazy plays in a game or he has zero. With the extra week of prep time, I think Andy Reid & Eric Bienemy have worked up a couple of ways for Hill to get involved. Don’t be surprised when he goes off for a big run.


  1. Alshon Jeffery: I had a feeling that Jeffery would be out for revenge against Chicago, and he got that done. With Big Dick Nick running the offense against a relatively weak Saints defense, you have to believe that Jeffery will be a big part of the offensive gameplan. He’s not a guy I target in my regular season fantasy drafts anymore, but this time of year it seems to work out.

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