Daily Fantasy Football: Divisional round Sunday matchup strategy and lineup plays

The divisional round of the NFL playoffs wraps up Sunday with two games. The Bengals travel to Buffalo at 3:00 p.m. EST, followed by Cowboys-49ers at 6:30. Yahoo will be running DFS contests every day that playoff football is on, with Sunday's action coming on the heels of Saturday's two-game slate in the divisional round.

Sunday's biggest NFL DFS contest on Yahoo is the NFL $75K Divisional Round Baller. This contest pays out a guaranteed prize pool of $75,000 to the top 1,175 entries, including a grand prize of $15,000 to first place. Each entry is $15, with a maximum of 5,875 total entries and 150 per participant. The Sunday Baller will still run if it doesn't fill, potentially providing you with enhanced odds of winning, also known as overlay.

Playing in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests is about chasing upside, while lineups geared towards head-to-head, 50/50 or double-up formats should prioritize high floors. The players you want to target for these different contest types aren't mutually exclusive, but winning a GPP tournament usually requires finding a hidden gem or going against the grain in a spot or two, while building a solid base of the same chalk plays you would use anywhere. Against-the-grain plays typically consist of big-name players in tough matchups or boom-or-bust types with uncertain roles.

Keep in mind that Yahoo DFS contests use 0.5 PPR scoring rather than full PPR, which lowers the comparative value of wide receivers and running backs (in that order) while especially affecting high-volume pass-catchers. Your NFL $75K Divisional Round Baller Sunday lineup will consist of one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and one D/ST unit.

Suggested plays include a pair of versatile running backs and a trio of young receivers who have established themselves as proven playoff performers.

[Play in Yahoo’s Sunday $75K Divisional Round Baller DFS contest]


Josh Allen, BUF vs. CIN ($36)

While turnovers and accuracy issues have plagued Allen for much of the season, he continues to produce plenty of big plays with both his arm and his legs while carrying Buffalo's offense on his shoulders. Allen has topped 24 fantasy points in 11 of 17 games while producing over 20 in three of the other six games. All four defenses in action Sunday were among the six stingiest scoring defenses in the regular season, but Cincinnati allowed the most points of the bunch at 20.2 per game.

Honorable Mentions

Dak Prescott, DAL at SF ($30); Brock Purdy, SF vs. DAL ($27)


Joe Mixon, CIN at BUF ($21)

Mixon struggled to find much room against the tough Baltimore defense last week, but his usage was encouraging, as he totaled 14 touches while Samaje Perine had only two. Cincinnati's clear-cut lead back is a nice value given his high touch floor against a Bills defense that allowed 4.4 yards per carry to running backs in the regular season.

Tony Pollard, DAL at SF ($18)

Pollard was significantly more effective than Ezekiel Elliott in the wild-card round, rushing for 50 more yards on two more carries. If anything, Pollard should get an even larger share of the rushing workload in this one after outplaying Elliott on a per-touch basis all season. He's also the superior receiving option, so Pollard should remain heavily involved in the game plan regardless of whether Dallas is playing from ahead or behind.

Honorable Mentions

Christian McCaffrey, SF vs. DAL ($37); Elijah Mitchell, SF vs. DAL ($12)


Ja'Marr Chase, CIN at BUF ($34)

It's clear from their playoff history that when Joe Burrow needs someone to make a play at a big moment, Chase is his go-to guy. Through five career playoff games, Chase has caught 34 of 47 targets for 452 yards and two touchdowns, and he's racked up at least 84 yards in all but one game. There are plenty of talented wide receivers taking the field Sunday, but Chase is arguably the best of the bunch.

Deebo Samuel, SF vs. DAL ($25)

Samuel put to bed any concerns about his late-season ankle and knee injuries by running through and around Seattle's defense for 165 scrimmage yards last week, including a 74-yard touchdown catch. He caught six of nine targets while also notching three rushing attempts. Sure, McCaffrey gets more touches, but Deebo's even harder to bring down with the ball in his hands and can be had at a significant discount relative to CMC.

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers is a fantasy star
Consider Deebo Samuel in your daily fantasy lineups on Sunday. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

With a mix of carries and short catches, Samuel should get plenty of opportunities to show off his YAC skills, even if the Dallas defense manages to limit his downfield opportunities like it did against Tampa Bay's receivers last week.

Gabe Davis, BUF vs. CIN ($17)

"Big game Gabe" resurfaced in the wild-card round, as he caught six of nine targets for 113 yards and a touchdown in last week's surprisingly competitive win over the Dolphins, including a couple of spectacular grabs on throws that were a bit off the mark. Defenses have to leave Buffalo's receivers in single coverage to keep Allen from running all over them, but when a receiver is doubled, it's almost always Stefon Diggs. While Diggs has the higher floor, Davis' ceiling is just as high considering he's scored six touchdowns in three playoff games since the start of the previous postseason.

Honorable Mentions

Stefon Diggs, BUF vs. CIN ($32); CeeDee Lamb, DAL at SF ($28)


Dalton Schultz, DAL at SF ($21)

Schultz is heating up at the right time, as he's racked up seven catches and two touchdowns on two separate occasions over the past three weeks while being targeted 27 times over that span. If you believe in riding the hot hand, Schultz is your guy, and keep in mind that he led the Cowboys in both catches (7) and receiving yards (89) in last year's playoff loss to the 49ers.

Honorable Mentions

George Kittle, SF vs. DAL ($21); Dawson Knox, BUF vs. CIN ($18)


Cincinnati Bengals at BUF ($11)

The gap in performance between these four defenses isn't all that large, but the gap in valuation is, as the Bengals can be had for at least $5 less than any of the other three options. Cincinnati's defense showcased its big-play ability in last week's win over the Ravens, scoring on a game-changing 98-yard fumble return and tacking on an interception. Meanwhile, Allen was picked off twice by the Dolphins and fumbled three times, losing one, bringing his turnover total up to 22 in 17 appearances this season.

Honorable Mentions:

San Francisco 49ers vs. DAL ($19); Buffalo Bills vs. CIN ($16)