Obviously, the games are fewer and the opponents are better, which means there are fewer obvious matchups to choose from.
That said, if there is an advantageous matchup to be had, it’s more important to seize the moment.
Basic strategy: the Bengals’ matchup against the Raiders is definitely the more favorable fantasy matchup for Saturday’s games - Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Joe Mixon are all very strong plays.
Sunday’s a bit more wide open, but Rob Gronkowski would be a smart guy to buy in on, given his two-week total of 20 targets, 14 catches, and over 250 yards and given the Bucs’ injury woes among Tom Brady’s targets.
To help get these strong plays in your lineups, here are your value plays for the weekend:
Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals $7,800
I originally wasn’t going to consider Burrow a “value,” but considering that his price is a full million less than Josh Allen and the limited playoff selection, combined with Burrow’s production, he’s almost a must for your Saturday lineup.
While it is true that Burrow was held in check by Raiders in the regular season and the matchup between the Bengals’ offensive line and the Raiders’ pass rushers like Maxx Crosby will be a huge key, Burrow has been so good to end the year (8 touchdowns, no interceptions in two weeks) that he is unquestionably a better option than the less expensive Derek Carr and Mac Jones.
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills $6,900
Running back success is based a lot on a timeshare, and Singletary owns the timeshare in the Bills’ backfield. He also has 6 touchdowns over his last four games. Also, the Patriots’ defense is more vulnerable against the run than it is against the pass. This is likely the best matchup from this game, and Singletary costs less than the $7,500 of Damien Harris, who, although he is in a positive matchup, is banged up and in a more shared backfield with Rhamondre Stevenson.
Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals $6,900
Chase costs $8,200. Higgins costs $6,900. There’s certainly a reason Chase costs more, but for Higgins can do with all the defensive focus on Chase, Higgins has proven he can be explosive. And for his price, he is a good value.
Zay Jones, WR, Las Vegas Raiders $5,300
Hunter Renfrow will get most of the targets and likely the touchdowns. However, Zay Jones has 35 targets over his last four games. For his price, he is a worthy pick to take a swing with. The Raiders will likely be passing plenty in this game. Renfrow and Darren Waller will get most of the looks, but Jones could give you a nice boost.
Breshad Perriman, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers $5,200
No more Chris Godwin. No more Antonio Brown. No more Cyril Grayson. Perriman’s the next man up and, considering he’s certainly the option behind both Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski, he had a healthy six targets and five catches for 44 yards in his last game. For his price, he is a very worthy gamble and a must to own.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers $6,500
The 49ers will likely run a lot with Elijah Mitchell (he’s a strong play), but Kittle at $6,500? That’s a bargain impossible to be ignored given what Kittle is fully capable of doing. There’ll be a lot of attention given to Deebo Samuel too, of course. Cost breakdown: Samuel costs $8,700, Mitchell costs $7,400, and Kittle costs $6,500. Enough said.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles $5,900
I’d rather pick Kittle over Goedert, but if you need to save some money, Goedert is a very good option. I expect Jalen Hurts to target Goedert plenty as the Tampa defense rushes him and Hurts will be looking for that safety option. Goedert will be the safety option and has been all year. He has 339 receiving yards and two touchdowns over his last four games. Considering how the Eagles’ running game will likely be bottled up, Goedert is a solid bet to do something good in this one.