NFL Divisional Round Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Vikings vs 49ers

Max Staley
Jimmy Garoppolo warms up for the 49ers game against the Seahawks.
Jimmy Garoppolo warms up for the 49ers game against the Seahawks. / Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The standard fantasy football season might be over, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to stop playing fantasy football. If you're a real die-hard fantasy player, there are plenty of fantasy formats that run through the NFL playoffs.

If you need help with your fantasy picks this weekend, here's some advice for the NFC Divisional Round Game between the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers. Be sure to also check out our full Divisional Round fantasy rankings as well.

NFL Playoff Fantasy Football

Start Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings: There was some worry surrounding Dalvin Cook's health entering the postseason, but the Vikings' workhorse erased any concerns with a 94-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Wild Card Game. San Francisco is by no means an easy matchup, but the 49ers have been significantly more vulnerable against the run than the pass. The 49ers finished the season as the 11th-best run defense by Football Outsiders' DVOA metric (No. 2 against the pass), so Minnesota could look to attack San Francisco on the ground here. Cook also saw five targets in the Wild Card Round, so even if Minnesota is playing from behind, Cook should be in line from a massive workload.

Start Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Deebo Samuel has quickly proven to be one of the more explosive receivers in the league, and San Francisco has made a concerted effort to get him the ball lately. He's averaging 2.0 carries and 5.5 targets per game over his last four, which he's turned into 85.0 yards from scrimmage per contest. Emmanuel Sanders has been held below 30 receiving yards in two of his last four games (averaging 5.8 targets), and Samuel looks like the preferred play of the two 49ers' wideouts.

Sit Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins just got the proverbial postseason monkey off his back, throwing for 242 yards and a touchdown against New Orleans. He could struggle to have a repeat performance here, though. San Francisco ended the season as the league's second-best passing defense by DVOA, and Cousins has (understandably) struggled against elite secondaries. In his four games against top-10 pass defenses by DVOA, Cousins is averaging 11.1 fantasy points per game – a significant drop from the 16.3 he averaged on the season as a whole.

Sit Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Minnesota is a difficult team to run on, as the Vikings finished the season as the league's ninth-best run defense by DVOA. They also just held Latavius Murray and Alvin Kamara to a combined 42 rushing yards on 12 carries. Raheem Mostert will still be splitting carries with Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida, and Samuel has recorded at least one rush attempt in five consecutive games, for a total of nine during that span. With Minnesota surrendering bottom-12 PPR production to opposing RBs, Mostert is a risky option here.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.