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Fantasy football: Sleepers for the NFL Divisional round

It’s the playoffs, but daily fantasy keeps on rolling along. Here are a few players who could provide a boost to your lineup this weekend.

Dallas Cowboys v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

You want to say sayonara to fantasy football, but try as you might, it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

This week, the NFL Playoffs continue with a set of four games in the Divisional round. First up on Saturday, in what will be a Hitchcock-esque thriller when the birds clash in the Peach State, the Falcons host the Seahawks. For a nightcap, a game that will have you reaching for your night cap when the 16-point-underdog Houston Texans head to New England, or as what I like to call it: A football death sentence.

On Sunday, in a game where Joe Buck will metaphysically split into two entities as he decides which team deserves his unbridled devotion for three hours, the Packers head to Jerry World to face the Cowboys. To follow that up, it’s Pittsburgh traveling to Kansas City in a game that decides one half of the AFC Conference Championship game.

There are an awful lot of attractive buys this week. You have Tom Brady at home and a well-rested Ezekiel Elliott. There’s Le’Veon Bell against a Chiefs’ run defense that hasn’t kept many running backs from racking up their fair share of fantasy points. Dez Bryant is facing a reeling and injured Packers’ secondary and is on a mission to actually catch the football this time around.

But where does this leave you, the daily fantasy football entrant? You’re in need of some plays that will set your lineup apart from the rest and push you up the leaderboard and into more green than the insides of a Salvation Army kettle.

Yeah, that’s a tired bit.

Here are your sleepers for this weekend’s set of games:

Running backs

Ty Montgomery

What’s most important here is Montgomery’s ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield, and Dallas’ pass defense has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to receivers. Every carry that Montgomery can be considered as gravy, but without Jordy Nelson, somebody has to receive those targets. He won’t get them all, but remember, Montgomery started the 2016 season as a wideout, and after receiving 14 targets in his past three games, he should get some extra passes his way.

Dion Lewis

If Montgomery was a sleeper, this guy could only be conjured up while knee deep in a REM cycle. Lewis missed nine games this season after suffering an ACL injury at the end of 2015, but he’s slowly worked his way into the Patriots backfield since then. LeGarrette Blount is still the lead back, and will almost always be the man to get the ball in goal line situations, but Lewis’ role in New England was clearly defined in the short amount of time he played last season: He had 36 receptions for 388 yards and a touchdown in 2015.

Houston is 28th in pass defense DVOA against running backs, giving up 5.8 passes per game and 41.6 yards per game. If anybody is going to take advantage of one of the few weaknesses in the Texans’ defense, it’s Belichick and Brady, right?

Wide receivers

Cole Beasley

The Packers have not fared well against potent passing attacks this season, and make no mistake about it, Zeke isn’t the only factor in this offense. Green Bay has trouble across the field covering receivers, ranking 29th in DVOA against No. 2 WRs (6.6 Pa/G and 58 Yd/G) and 26th against Other WRs (6.5 Pa/G and 54.6 Yd/G).

Beasley had a career year in 2016, setting personal benchmarks in targets, receptions, receiving yards and catch percentage.

Paul Richardson

Watching the Seahawks’ offense last week, it was clear that with Tyler Lockett out, Richardson’s role in the offense was clearly being increased. The Falcons haven’t exactly beaten many teams with defense, so there should be plenty of scoring in this game. Atlanta’s pass defense ranks 28th against wide receivers in fantasy, so Richardson has a higher floor than a lot of other sleeper options this weekend.

Tight ends

Jared Cook

There are a clear trio of tight ends available that standout from the rest of the pack: Travis Kelce, Martellus Bennett and Jimmy Graham. Those three would definitely fit nicely in your lineup, but if you’re looking to fit in some other top-tier talent in your lineup, save some fantasy green and pick up Jared Cook.

As I mentioned earlier, without Nelson, the Packers need to target other pass-catchers. The Cowboys are 30th in DVOA in covering tight ends, conceding a staggering 8.9 Pa/G and 75.5 Yd/G.

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