Cam Newton vs. Cardinals – Cam has gone through a ton of adversity this season from dealing with a surgically-repaired ankle to a car accident-induced back injury. The offense sputtered at times but, since Week 11, Cam is averaging more Fantasy points per game than any QB in the league in. The Cardinals’ defense impressed at times but ranked 29th in the league in passing yards allowed on the eighth-most attempts. The fact that they yielded over 4.4 yards per carry (26th in the league) creates a nice matchup for Newton – an unexpected advantage from where Arizona looked to be almost two months ago. You don’t have to look towards Andrew Luck, Tony Romo or Ben Roethlisberger to find some Playoff Fantasy value in the Wild Card round, Newton will have you covered.
Dan Herron vs. Bengals – Herron’s value is better than might be expected. While he has not had a huge breakout game since being thrust into the starting lineup, we have seen consistent opportunities for Fantasy points. The Bengals rank 29th in defensive efficiency against opposing Fantasy RBs in the passing game and Herron has been targeted consistently dating back to Week 12. He is averaging 4.5 yards per carry this season and the Bengals have conceded 16 rushing scores on the year (27th in the league). I’d aim for Herron on daily sites, as other bankable players have heavy price points. Herron will allow you to spend at other positions and still maintain integrity for your cost-saving measure.
Martavis Bryant vs. Ravens – This Saturday night’s contest of bitter rivals will be everything you might expect, but Le’Veon Bell being out/limited could bring a different tone to the Steelers’ offensive attack. The Steelers were near the top of the league in time of possession for most of the season and finished second to Dallas (by one second per game). But with Bell’s output being a question mark, it will be important for them to utilize Bryant, who has scored eight touchdowns since Week 7, including two against Baltimore in their last meeting in Week 9. The Ravens finished 28th against opposing Fantasy WRs and have lost five different cornerbacks to injured reserve, so the Steelers’ ball control attack is likely to reside through the air and not on the untested shoulders of rookie RB Josh Harris. Bryant is priced outside of the Top-10 wideouts on some sites so take advantage of that value and load up somewhere else.
Owen Daniels vs. Steelers – At a position for which many of us have gone through the excruciating exercise of trying to find hidden gems all through 2014, the playoff rounds may make this an even more difficult task. However, the Steelers have struggled against the position all year, ranking 28th in defensive efficiency against tight ends and allowing 11 touchdowns to tight ends – only the Bears and Jets were worse. While Daniels’ numbers have leveled off considerably in the back half of the year, he did have his best Fantasy performance of the year in Week 2 against Pittsburgh when he saw paydirt twice. If you need some salary relief, we feel Daniels is the way to go for Wild Card Weekend.