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Divisional Round Saturday DraftKings Picks: NFL DFS lineup advice for daily fantasy football playoff tournaments

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Divisional Round Saturday DraftKings Picks: NFL DFS lineup advice for daily fantasy football playoff tournaments

The NFL playoffs roll on with two games on Saturday (Rams-Packers, Ravens-Bills), and that means daily fantasy football players have more chances to cash in. Our divisional round DraftKings tournament lineup feels a bit chalky, but on a two-game slate, that’s largely unavoidable unless you really decide to fade the stars, which is a risky DFS strategy in its own right. 

All four teams are represented with multiple picks in our lineup despite some strong defenses in action. Our biggest stack is a Ravens trio going against the worst defense of the day. We’re also banking on a couple bounce-back performances from players who likely won’t be as popular as they should be.

MORE DIVISIONAL ROUND DFS: Top values | Lineup Builder

Divisional Round Saturday DraftKings Picks: NFL DFS tournament playoff lineup

QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens @ Bills ($7,600). Jackson has the best QB matchup of the weekend, and he continued his season-ending hot streak last week with 136 rushing yards and 179 passing yards. He only managed one TD, but we know he always has the potential for multiple scores. He’s $200 more than Josh Allen and $700 more than Aaron Rodgers, so you’re not exactly breaking the bank to use him.

RB JK Dobbins, Ravens @ Bills ($6,000). Dobbins has scored in seven straight games, and even though his rushing numbers took a bit of a hit last week (nine carries, 43 yards), he’s still Baltimore’s best back and most likely to be involved in the passing game. The Bills gave up 153 yards on 27 carries to Colts’ backs last week, and the Ravens should pound them even more. 

RB Cam Akers, Rams @ Packers ($5,700). It’s tempting to opt for Devin Singletary ($4,500) with Zack Moss (ankle) out, but Akers has the much better matchup and has been a beast down the stretch. Over his past five games, he’s averaged just under 25 touches and just over 122 total yards per contest. He’s also scored twice in that span. Green Bay has struggled against the run all year, so Akers will be a very chalky pick, but you know he’s going to get the opportunities, so fade him at your own risk.

WR Robert Woods, Rams @ Packers ($5,900). With Cooper Kupp likely to be out or limited because of a knee injury, Woods should be peppered with targets. Fading Woods and instead targeting cheaper options like Josh Reynolds ($3,200) or Van Jefferson ($3,000) isn’t a bad idea, but L.A. loves to get Woods the ball on short passes or end-arounds, and he’ll still get those opportunities even with tougher coverage. He’s had at least seven targets in eight straight games, so, at the very least, he should be able to rack up catches in DraftKings full-point PPR format.

WR John Brown, Bills vs. Ravens ($4,600). We really liked Brown last week, and he proceeded to catch none of his four targets. Meanwhile, Cole Beasley (7-57) and Gabriel Davis (4-85) were both all over the field. As a result, Brown will likely be heavily faded this week, especially with the aforementioned Rams and Bills receivers presenting good value. That’s fine. We’ll stick with the talented Brown, who, before last week’s shutout, had posted at least four catches for 72 yards in each of his previous three games.

WR Allen Lazard, Packers vs. Rams ($3,900). It’s always difficult to pick a secondary Packers receiver, which is why many just choose to ignore them, but with Jalen Ramsey expected to be draped all over Davante Adams, it makes sense to take a chance on another green-and-gold pass-catcher. Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($3,800) has more big-play upside, which is more appealing in most DFS contests, but Lazard has been playing a higher percentage of snaps lately and has more red-zone potential. Aaron Rodgers is still going to throw the ball, and while Adams will get his targets, it’s likely Lazard and/or MVS will see an uptick in looks, so it makes sense to play one at their cheap prices.

TE Mark Andrews, Ravens @ Bills ($5,000). Robert Tonyan ($4,200) has been solid this year, but Andrews is still the best TE on the slate. More important, he has by far the most favorable matchup, as Buffalo allows the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Andrews disappointed a bit last week with just four catches and 41 yards, but he has multi-TD upside every time out. It never hurts to pay down at TE and hope for a random touchdown, like Dawson Knox ($3,100) scored last week, but Andrews gets enough targets to pay off his high price.

FLEX Stefon Diggs, Bills vs. Ravens ($7,300). We tried to make this lineup without Diggs, as crazy as that sounds, but when we got down to our last pick, we still had enough money for him. Instead of taking a chance with a backup RB like Jamaal Williams ($4,400) or Gus Edwards ($4,200) or a WR deeper down the depth charts, we decided not to overthink it and take the guy who’s arguably been the best receiver in football this year. Diggs has been automatic in any matchup, often racking up receptions and going over 100 yards — both of which are big on DraftKings. We couldn’t afford Davante Adams ($8,600) and didn’t really feel great about Aaron Jones ($6,800), so Diggs was our pick.  

D/ST Green Bay Packers vs. Rams ($3,900). The Packers are the obvious pick given that they have the most favorable matchup against a shaky QB, but we all know the best D/ST play often comes down to a random big play that any defense can pull off. Any of the four defenses on this slate are worth considering, and the other three are all at least $1,000 cheaper than Green Bay. If you are looking for some differentiation, you can probably find it with another defense. 

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Kyrie Irving’s 37-point Nets return offers positive takeaways despite loss to Cavaliers

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Kyrie Irving's 37-point Nets return offers positive takeaways despite loss to Cavaliers

In a game featuring Nets superstars Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant, the best player on the floor in the second overtime period was Cavaliers third-year pro Collin Sexton.

Sexton nailed four 3-pointers in quick succession to guide Cleveland to a 147-135 win.

That’s not how Wednesday night was supposed to go down for Brooklyn after the team traded for Harden last week and Irving returned from a mysterious two-week absence. But while the Nets’ stretches of ineptitude backed up concerns about their defense following the Harden deal, their moments of brilliance should perhaps be the primary takeaway from the defeat. Brooklyn recovered from a 14-point deficit late in the third quarter to send the contest beyond regulation, at times using breathtaking passing at tempo to unlock openings.

Irving, Harden and Durant combined to net 96 points on an efficient 49.3 percent shooting clip from the field. If not for a once-a-season type of explosion from Sexton, coach Steve Nash’s squad would have likely escaped with a victory.

And mere presence of their enigmatic point guard should offer the Nets their greatest hope of cohesion moving forward.

“I’m just excited for the future,” said Irving, who spent the previous seven games away from the team for personal reasons.

MORE: Collin Sexton’s takeover wows NBA world

Four minutes into his return to basketball, Irving acknowledged the sparse crowd of about 2,000 gathered at Quicken Loans Arena and pointed to his ring finger. The venue had just given him a tribute video recounting his crowning achievement with the organization: A 2016 NBA championship won with the help of his iconic jumper over Stephen Curry. Fans offered a standing ovation.

That the Nets’ third-best player is worthy of emotional tribute videos is a testament to their absurd talent.

Another reminder of their abilities came soon after when Harden accelerated up the floor flanked by Irving to his left and Durant to his right on a 3-on-1 fast break. Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman was petrified, not knowing which all-time great shot creator to guard. He chose Harden. Harden chose Irving. Irving chose a delicious scoop off the window for two points.

These were the sequences in which everything seemed obvious about the roster. How could the group not become great?  Name the sports teams that have ever failed because of too many good players. Too many Hall of Famers. Too many centerpieces of worldwide brand campaigns.

The third quarter, though, seemingly poked holes through what general manager Sean Marks had done in shipping out big man Jarrett Allen, forward Taurean Prince, sixth-man extraordinaire Caris LeVert and so many future first-rounders for Harden. With DeAndre Jordan off the floor, the Nets struggled defending the interior. At the same time, they managed to neglect assignments along the perimeter. Even as their own offensive ball movement looked good enough, the lack of stops at the other end were concerning.

“Look, this was the first night when we’ve had everyone on the floor together,” coach Steve Nash told reporters. “This is going to be a process that takes the entire year.”

The process can only work if everyone participates.

Irving not only appearing but also scoring 37 points following his prolonged stretch away from teammates made it easier to imagine everything coming together, the glimpses shown Wednesday becoming more and more frequent until a Finals contender is born.

The Duke product, whose interest in his sport has been questioned by some people of late, showed plenty of emotion on the court as the game progressed. When he called for a pass in the corner from Durant in the fourth quarter and didn’t get it, he fist-pumped anyway when Durant drained a midrange jumper. When he was whistled for an offensive foul with 1.5 seconds left in regulation — a ruling later reversed — he reacted forcefully toward the nearest official.

Irving was the player Brooklyn needs him to be if it wants to get things figured out ahead of the playoffs.

“Two OTs in your first game back?” Irving asked rhetorically after the game. “You got to love NBA basketball, bro.”

The Nets sure hope he does.

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Bernie Sanders’ inauguration meme gets social media attention from sports world

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Bernie Sanders' inauguration meme gets social media attention from sports world

Bernie Sanders has a knack for online stardom.

The senator from Vermont is already the subject of one well-known meme — we’ll get to that in a second — and on Wednesday, thanks to his inauguration outfit, socially-distanced spot and demeanor at the Capitol, he earned another one. 

First off, props to Sanders who was sporting the same jacket from the original “I am once again asking” meme. If the jacket still fits and is in good shape from 2019, why not keep wearing it? 

So aside from the coat, he’s got a new meme thanks to a photo that popped up of the 79-year-old senator sitting in a folding chair socially distanced from everyone. He sat in said coat, with his arms crossed and warm mittens on his hands and his legs crossed — and, of course, he had on a mask. 

Following COVID-19 protocols, Sanders became a social media sensation once again and the sports world was quick to follow suit as well. 

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Collin Sexton beats Nets’ Kyrie Irving, James Harden & Kevin Durant on his own in double-OT

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Collin Sexton beats Nets' Kyrie Irving, James Harden & Kevin Durant on his own in double-OT

Collin Sexton did not dribble with the artistic flow of Kyrie Irving as he destroyed the Nets in double-overtime, but his pull-up jumpers and drives against Irving and Kevin Durant carried a lethal dose.

In the span of 1:31, Sexton scored 11 points on his own, including three 3-pointers in the face of Brooklyn defenders. He finished the game with a career-high 42 points, five rebounds, five assists and just one turnover in 38 minutes as his Cavaliers beat the Nets 147-135.

The performance came as the Nets played their first game with Irving, Durant and newly acquired James Harden on the floor together, spoiling a night in which Irving scored 37 points of his own.

MORE: Trae Young responds to Steve Nash’s criticism

Sexton, now in his third NBA season, isn’t far removed from being a rookie subjected to vitriol from his own teammates. Back then, Cavaliers veterans anonymously ripped him to the media and said he didn’t “know how to play.” He’s proving those critics wrong.

Sexton is averaging 27 points per game following his performance Wednesday night. He caught the attention of people around the NBA with the scoring outburst.

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