The regular season is over, and your season-long fantasy leagues might be finished, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still play and win fantasy competitions with Daily Fantasy on Paddy Power!
For those of you who took up the challenge and set your lineups, a Wild Card weekend with an emphasis on the Wild was your reward. You can still play every week of competitive football that remains, but let’s have a look at who got you smiling and who got you riling on Wild Card Weekend!
Stud: Deshaun Watson – QB – Houston Texans
They say that when the lights go on, the big players show up. Down 16-0 at home to the Bills in the playoffs, where his team have fallen so often before, Deshaun Watson showed up in a big way this Wild Card Weekend. The former Clemson QB’s ability has been on show since he came into the NFL, but this may be the signature performance of his young professional career.
Despite not scoring in the first half, Watson completed 20 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown, as well as throwing a 2-pt conversion. He also rushed for a further 55 yards and a touchdown and ran in a 2-pt conversion as well. Watson managed all of this against an excellent Bills defence, and without committing a turnover.
For the casual fan, this might have been Watson’s coming-out party, but for the canny fantasy owner, this was just another feather in the QB’s growing list of achievements.
Stud: Derrick Henry – RB – Tennessee Titans
The narrative after the Patriots stunning loss at home to the Tennessee Titans was all about the end of an era, and the swirling rumours that this may be Tom Brady’s last game as a Pat. What was lost in the chatter and speculation was the reason that he might be done: Derrick Henry. The NFL’s regular-season rushing leader had another monster game to add to his list of mega performances and may have just stomped the nail in the coffin of the Pats’ dynasty.
The Titans runner carried the ball an incredible 34 times for 182 yards and a touchdown. He also caught his only target for 22 yards in the passing game, as Henry was the entire offence for the Titans. in a game where their leading receiver was Anthony Firkser (two catches for 23 yards) and against a stout and disciplined defence Patriots, they needed their superstar running back to come up big. He did for them, and he did for you too if you had him on your roster!
Dud: Ryan Tannehill – QB – Tennessee Titans
Speaking of the Titans mediocre passing stats, we need to talk about Ryan. The Titans QB was the unquestioned breakout candidate among fantasy QBs this season, as he replaced Marcus Mariota in the Tennessee Lineup and injected new life to a stale offence. Since taking the starting job he joins Hall of Famers Sammy Baugh and Joe Montana as the only QBs to have over 9.0 yards per attempt and complete over 70% of their passes in a season. Stellar company that he was sure to carry into the playoffs, right?
Um, wrong. The Patriots gameplan worked a treat against the former Miami QB, as Tannehill completed just eight of his 15 pass attempts for a paltry 72 yards. One of those eight was a touchdown pass, but he managed to cancel out those consolation fantasy points by also throwing an interception and almost lost two fumbles to the staunch Pats D. Thank heavens for Henry, as his day saved Tannehill’s blushes and force the Titans over the line and into the Divisional round.
Dud: Marshawn Lynch – RB – Seattle Seahawks
The headline writers were delighted to see Marshawn Lynch return to Seattle. The faithful 12s brought their bags of skittles to the stadium last week, as the injury-ravaged Seahawks turned back the clock and resigned Marshawn Lynch in time for a playoff run. The romance of the reunion along with the nostalgia of the Beastquake and playoff runs past made sure that Lynch was set to be the hero in this weekend’s Wild Card round matchup against the Eagles. It was written in the stars – Beast Mode was back.
Narratives are stupid. In a low-scoring affair blighted by an injury to Philly QB Carson Wentz early on, Lynch carried the ball just six times for a meagre seven yards. He was out-touched and out-gained by teammate Travis Homer and QB Russell Wilson. His day was salvaged somewhat by a pair of catches for 25 yards and a short-yardage touchdown run, but this was not the RB we were promised, and not the performance fantasy fans had hoped for. Fantasy fans who gambled on the romance will have to save their Skittles for some other occasion. Or eat them. That’s what they’re for.