In this special edition of 5 Up/5 Down we examine the Wild Card playoff games and determine if their is some fantasy football gold to be had during this weekend. I’ll put out some players I see that could have the biggest day from every game, and some that won’t reach expectations. In this regard, I give you my player on the Up, and the other on the Down for each team in the playoff games. Let’s Dive In!
Saturday – 4:20 (ESPN)
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
This will be the ugliest game of the weekend. Two solid defenses battle it out for the right to go get beat in the next round by either the Broncos or Patriots. On one side of the ball, it is Andy Reid’s creative run game vs. the stout Texans defense. The other side features an average offense built around an excellent physical receiver vs. a very good front seven and pass rush. This game will feature the least amount of fantasy opportunities. Hopkins may get plenty of looks and catches and put up a nice line, but he’s easily not the best wide receiver play of the weekend. This game might be a battle of field goal kickers with few touchdowns.
Kansas City Chiefs – Spencer Ware (RB)
With what Andy Reid has to work with, Spencer Ware is the player that has the skills to break open this offense during the playoffs. His power and “run through people” attitude will be something that could wear down the defense of Houston. He will be a key factor in the outcome of this game. If he can continually move and fall forward to gain yards, the Kansas City offense can be more versatile in their play calling. If no true run game is established, the Chiefs can’t count on Alex Smith to beat the Texans. Ware will get the touches in the red zone to punch it in.
Houston Texans – Nick Novak (K)
A kicker! Take it easy, let me explain. DeAndre Hopkins is the obvious choice and everyone knows it. That is too easy for me. The best kicker to have this weekend that will have the most opportunities is Novak. The Chiefs defense knows that if they cover DeAndre Hopkins well, he is the only player that can really gash their defense. Houston may get down the field and then stall out on their side of the field. Novak may be the only person that scores points for the Texans this Saturday.
Kansas City Chiefs – Jeremy Maclin (WR)
The pass defense of the Texans has improved significantly since their meeting in Week 1. Travis Kelce may have a decent day, but don’t expect the passing game of the Chiefs to be the reason that Kansas City wins this game. Andy Reid will try and manage this game to win with his defense. Brian Hoyer can be a turnover machine if pressured heavily and the Chiefs have a very opportunistic defense. I don’t see much of a passing game this Saturday for the Chiefs.
Houston Texans – Brian Hoyer (QB)
Some people may feel that Hoyer could be a sleeper QB this weekend, no. It’s hard to like the Houston offense besides Hopkins. Did I mention this will be an ugly football game?
Kansas City Chiefs 24
Houston Texans 19