We have reached the final weekend of the 2017 season in which more than two games will be played. At Sporfolio, we tend to enjoy small slates for tournaments, and this is the last of such. But, we love four-game sets because we can focus our attention on a concentrated area and still have eight teams from which our lineups can be built.
Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Divisional Round NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.
Luke May is our resident NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as our expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Luke’s DFS Take: The reigning NFC champions began their long road back to the Super Bowl last week with an upset victory over the Los Angeles Rams. This win is certainly an impressive one as the Rams had one of the highest scoring offenses in the league this year, and a formidable defense as well. A commanding 26-13 victory is what this Falcons team is capable of on both sides of the ball. Their offense showed its ability to be well balanced and control a game, but this week may need to be less of a balanced attack. All season, the Eagles have maintained one of the best run defenses in the NFL, and that makes the usually reliable Devonta Freeman a big risk this week. The Eagles’ pass defense has been exposed at times this season, and I’d expect the Falcons to put the ball in Matt Ryan‘s hands regularly and let him make plays. That makes both him and Julio Jones strong options this week. Nick Foles took over for the injured Carson Wentz, and things went almost exactly how we expected. At first, Foles took on the new job seamlessly, and the offense looked great, but that quickly went away and they struggled to move the ball at all over the last couple weeks of the season. Now they have to take on an underrated Falcons defense that is filled with confidence after holding the high-powered Rams offense to just 13 points. Zach Ertz should still be an option because he can act as a security blanket for Foles, and he has established himself this season as one of the more reliable tight ends in the league. The Falcons’ defense is in play as well as they should be able to force Foles into a few mistakes.
Mario’s DFS Take: With Carson Wentz injured and Nick Foles asked to lead the charge for the Philadelphia Eagles, it would make sense for the uncertainty in Saturday’s contest to stem from the offensive side of the ball. It doesn’t. We know what Nick Foles is and what he brings to the table. That is, the quarterback is in over-his-head against an experienced Falcons team and he will be forced into difficult positions, all game. We can use the Falcons’ defense. All hope is not lost for the Eagles, however, as the team’s defense is legitimately tough in its own right – ranked fourth-best in both yards and points allowed. It might be too high-risk to use Philadelphia’s defense in a tournament, but it is enough for me to calm down before adding every player from the Falcons in my lineup. Still, the Eagles are comparatively weaker against the pass, and there is no reason why we should shy away from Julio Jones. In fact, it looks as if Atlanta is finally trying to force the ball to Jones. We’ll take it. As expected, we also saw another high-volume day for Mohamed Sanu, as he had four catches on eight targets for 75 yards. Quarterback Matt Ryan has no issue involving Sanu as a complement to Jones, and we should have the same level of trust in the veteran wide receiver.