Hold Em Strategy: Divisional Round


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Hold Em Strategy: Divisional Round

If you’re looking for more postseason contests, look no further than NFFC’s Postseason Hold ‘Em Contest. They’re currently running a second-chance contest in case you either missed out last week or are looking for a fresh start.

Get the rules of Hold ‘Em in last week’s article.

Wild Card Roster and Results

(Fantasy points scored last week, team win/lose)

QB: Patrick Mahomes - 0.0 FP, N/A

QB: Josh Allen - 39.6, W

RB: Aaron Jones - 0.0, N/A

RB: Derrick Henry - 8.1, L

RB: Alvin Kamara - 19.6, W

WR/TE: Diontae Johnson - 22.7, L

WR/TE: Tyler Lockett - 6.3, L

WR/TE: Logan Thomas - 12.4, L

WR/TE: Allen Robinson - 11.5, L

FLEX: Jonathan Taylor - 16.4, L

PK: Justin Tucker - 10.4, W

DST: Buccaneers - 5.0, W

Total: 152.0 FP, 1168/1441

Divisional Round Strategy

A quick note: For these Hold ‘Em contests, nearly everything has to break in your favor right from the get-go to place in the top 5 or top 10. That was not the case for my Wild Card roster, so I’m trying to max out points this round and tread water.


There’s no need to overthink or overanalyze here: Josh Allen was an absolute stud last week, and now I head into the Divisional Round with 2 elite QBs that will get 2X the amount of points.

Note from last week:

I would think that 90% of the lineups in the contest will take the zero this week with Patrick Mahomes and enjoy doubling up his score next week. I would also imagine a large chunk will have Aaron Rodgers as their QB2. For me, however, I’d prefer to get three weeks production from Josh Allen in a two week span (Wild Card plus Division x2). I’m also expecting the Bills and Chiefs to face off in the AFC Championship game, so barring any upset, I’ll be locking in Mahomes and Allen for the next 3 weeks.”

So far, so good. I’m happy to have faded Aaron Rodgers. I was impressed last week by Cam Akers, but let’s not get carried away with praise for the Rams offense, which scored only 2 offensive TDs. Allen and Mahomes should both outscore Aaron Rodgers in a game that the Packers should have in hand easily.

Running Backs

In the words of Meat Loaf, “two outta three ain’t bad.” Unfortunately for this contest, two out of three may not cut it. I really thought the Titans would pull out the W against the Ravens, however, I stated last week:

“If the Titans lose, I will at least have had one week’s worth of Derrick Henry and will have to pivot to someone else next week.”

That unfortunately was not the case, as Derrick Henry was held to an absolutely dreadful 40 rushing yards and no TDs, leaving myself (and many others) with 8.1 FP and an early exit.

I’m not losing hope, however, as Alvin Kamara was decent (for Kamara standards), and there’s no other 2 RBs I’d rather have getting 2X the points than Kamara and Aaron Jones.

With Henry out now, as much as I want to roster a 3rd RB who is likely to win and give me 2X next round, the options really aren’t appealing. I won’t have room for Moss or Singletary, as I’m rostering Allen and Diggs; I won’t have room for Edwards-Helaire, as I’m rostering Mahomes and the Chiefs DST; so my remaining two favorable options are Kareem Hunt and JK Dobbins. The Ravens have a better chance of beating the Bills than the Browns do beating the Chiefs, but Hunt could realistically see 20+ touches. I’d like to bank a Hunt performance over a Dobbins performance, in the likely scenario both teams lost.


Wideout was the worst position for me, which really put me behind, but I can’t fault my process…

Allen Robinson and Diontae Johnson should again be target-hounds, ranking 6th and 7th in targets over the last 4 weeks (38, 36), and 3rd and 6th in targets on the year (151, 144), and I think going Tyler Lockett over DK Metcalf is a smart contrarian play, as Rams slot CB Troy Hill has been up and down all season, and Lockett is coming off of a monster Week 17.”

Diontae Johnson was indeed a target hound, but my goodness… SEVEN targets for Allen Robinson? Inexcusable. I also think Lockett was still a good contrarian play, as one of Metcalf’s TDs was in garbage time, and the Seahawks just flat out stunk. It is what it is.

I really need to make up ground here and plan for the coming weeks, so I’m rostering 4 players who should move on. Rostering Stefon Diggs will give me a nice Bills stack for this week and next, and rostering Travis Kelce will give me a nice Chiefs stack for this week and next. I’ll look forward to maxing out my Chiefs players and adding Tyreek Hill next week.

For the remaining two wideout and one flex spots, my decision is fairly easy. I’m hedging a bit and rosteing both Chris Godwin and Michael Thomas, since one of the two will go through to the Conference Championship and deliver 2X points for me next week, and I’m rostering Davante Adams as my last wideout.

Kicker and Defense

At kicker, I planned on the possibility of an upset last week but retained some merit in a Ravens win:

“While I believe the Ravens will lose, playing Justin Tucker this week is still a win-win situation. If the Ravens do in fact lose, I can pivot to either Succop or Myers next week without having to touch Mahomes, Allen, Jones, Henry, Kamara and the like. If they win, I get another round of 2X the production from the league’s best kicker.”

So Tucker is locked in at 2X production this week.

At defense, I really just want to try and minimize the points against and stay away from my QB’s opponents. That rules out Cleveland and Baltimore. I already have 2 Packers and 2 Saints rostered, so my choice is ultimately between the Buccaneers and the Rams. The Rams DST was impressive last week, but there’s no way the Packers fall flat on their face as the Seahawks did. Again, I’m picking the Buccaneers over the Saint, so let’s go with the Bucs D again at 2X.

Divisional Round Lineup

QB: Patrick Mahomes (2X)

QB: Josh Allen (2X)

RB: Aaron Jones (2X)

RB: Kareem Hunt

RB: Alvin Kamara (2X)

WR/TE: Chris Godwin

WR/TE: Stefon Diggs

WR/TE: Davante Adams

WR/TE: Travis Kelce

FLEX: Michael Thomas

PK: Justin Tucker (2X)

DST: Buccaneers (2X)

Good luck to everyone reading and I’ll see you back here next week!

Director of Operations Ben Kukainis is pleased to once again work alongside his friends and fantasy experts, producing livestreams and podcasts, creating graphics and web layout, heading up marketing and social media, and working with the development team on web design and user experience. Ben received his Master’s in English from Rutgers University in 2013 and has been teaching Literature at Rowan University since 2015.