This week we’re deviating from our typical Must-Haves format because bizarre pricing mismatches on this slate allow us to lock in different players depending on the site on which you play. By nature of those differences, we have one Must-Have player for each platform (DraftKings’ and FantasyDraft’s pricing and scoring systems are very similar) and while we like both of these players everywhere, they are only absolute locks on the indicated site.
Jay Ajayi (FDraft: $9,900 DK: $4,600): The Eagles have been running the ball well this season with anyone who carries the football, to the tune of one of the most fantasy-nightmarish committees in the league. Heading into this first playoff game, however, we have reason to believe we’re going to see why the Eagles went out and acquired Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins halfway through the season. We’ll start with the coach speak: HC Doug Pederson admitted in a recent press conference that Ajayi is likely to be much more involved in this postseason run as a lead back to help QB Nick Foles. When asked about LeGarrette Blount, Pederson essentially said Blount’s role is more focused on the veteran presence he brings to the locker room—not his on-field contributions. Now we never pick a player based only on coach speak, but if you look closer at the situation you can see that this is backed up by more than just Pederson’s word. Over the last stretch of the season, Ajayi dominated snap percentages despite the myriad of RBs in the backfield. He was on the field over twice as often as Blount. He out-snapped and had a higher target percentage than Corey Clement in nearly every game despite Clement’s role in many passing third-down situations. And these numbers have only been trending up since Ajayi’s first week in Philly. Now keep in mind that Ajayi was deliberately rested in Week 17 despite no real injury, while every single other offensive player played at least part of the game. And it makes sense that the Eagles should lean on Ajayi–he’s averaging the second-highest yards per carry in the league at 5.8 (second only to Alvin Kamara). Everything is gearing up for Ajayi to have a big role this weekend against a middle-of-the-road Falcons run defense. There is always concern that one of the other backs will come in and steal goalline work, but Ajayi is even outpacing the field in that category in recent weeks. Although there’s a chance he doesn’t turn out to be the truest of workhorse backs, it doesn’t matter at this insanely low price on DraftKings and FantasyDraft (11th highest priced RB). If you’re still not convinced, look where FanDuel priced in Ajayi: the 7th most expensive RB of the weekend. This makes him a bit expensive on FanDuel, but a sure-fire lock on DraftKings and FantasyDraft.
Derrick Henry (FDuel: $6,700): As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. For the second week in a row, Derrick Henry is an excellent play on FanDuel. He’s bizarrely priced as the 9th most expensive RB on the board, despite a much larger role than all but maybe 3 of the guys priced higher. Last week, we explained why Henry is an excellent play even when the Titans are big underdogs and expected to be playing from behind. We saw that play out exactly as predicted in their comeback win over the Chiefs. While we’re not suggesting the Titans will come out this weekend and knock off the defending Super Bowl champions, we think Henry’s role as a dominant workhorse back in a run-first offense maintains his value for all the same reasons. He is the definition of a lead back and the Titans will lean on him regardless of game script. He’s going up against a Patriots run defense that has been one of the league’s worst, which bodes well for his chances to put up big numbers again this weekend. He’s ridiculously cheap on FanDuel with a tremendous ceiling/floor combination. Lock him in.
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