Win or lose, you need that JuJu TikTok energy as you head into the championship round.

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

For once, if you're stressed about your lineup this week, that's actually a good thing: Itmeans that you've maneuvered your way into the final round of playoffs.

Congrats on making it this far in the most replacement-laden fantasy season we've ever seen.

While making it this far is an achievement unto itself, you can't coast and bench your starters like an NFL first seed playoff team. If anything, this is the most stressful week of them all: one wrong move, and you've lost your Super Bowl (and a hell of a lot of money).

Take home the bag and the bragging rights by making these drops, pops and shops in the final round of playoffs.


Drop

Wayne Gallman

New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman (22) stiff-arms Cleveland Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) in the second half. New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman (22) stiff-arms Cleveland Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) in the second half.Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC

While the Giants record has slowly been getting better as the season goes on, their options at running back seem to be dwindling. Many lost a first round pick with Saquon's early-season ACL tear, then lost backup Devonta Freeman to an ankle injury and COVID precautions. That left Wayne Gallman, Alfred Morris, and Dion Lewis to split carries.

While Gallman has been a must-start since Week 7, this Giants mysteriously sat him in the second half in favor of Alfred Morris. Gallman only got 9 carries for 29 yards, and if there's any question about his production in Week 16 against Baltimore, he may have to sit this one out.


JuJu Smith-Schuster

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) warms up before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) warms up before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

JuJu is not a bad player, but he's brought about a nasty superstition of sorts that may have cost the Steelers their last two games. See, JuJu decided to dance on the Bills logo for the gram (or in this case, the TikTok), a move that's seen as disrespectful amongst athletes.


Noting that it gave them extra motivation in their 26-15 win, the Bills made it clear that JuJu's moves brought the Steelers bad juju. Going against the grain, Smith-Schuster decided that "being yourself" was the best thing for the team, and the Bengals definitely targeted him for it: he had one fantasy point this week. Whether Juju dances or not, it may be wise to sit him against a stingy Colts secondary this week for the championship game.

@juju Steelers MNF #fyp video credit : @chase
♬ Adderall (Corvette Corvette) - Popp Hunna


Pop

J.D. McKissic

Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic (41) carries the ball as Seattle Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs (37) defends during the second half at FedExField.Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

With Gibson out and Washington making a play for an NFC East playoff spot, J.D. McKissic has stepped up as someone to pop into the final round of playoffs. He's coming off a revenge game as a former Seahawk with 13 carries for 51 yards and 9 catches for 56 yards and a receiving touchdown. While Washington (narrowly) lost that game, McKissic has emerged as a fantasy winner—and he will likely make you one too after a Week 16 matchup against the Panthers.

Le'Veon Bell

Kansas City Chiefs running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Kansas City Chiefs running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium.Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Things are finally looking up for this former fantasy first-rounder: after escaping the burning building that is the New York Jets, Bell has been a quiet backup to Clyde Edwards-Helaire on a pass-happy Chiefs offense. However, Edwards-Helaire suffered a hip/leg injury in Week 15, allowing Bell to garner 15 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Bell is currently set to become the Chiefs' bell cow this week with CEH out, creating a tantalizing matchup against a Falcons defense that just gave up over 400 yards.

Robert Woods

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (17) moves the ball against New York Jets inside linebacker Neville Hewitt (46) during the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium. Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (17) moves the ball against New York Jets inside linebacker Neville Hewitt (46) during the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium.Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Woods is the 11th overall fantasy receiver, so if he's on your roster, he's probably part of why you're here. But it's worth noting that the Rams are coming off a humiliating loss to the Jets as they face a bitter divisional rival in the Seattle Seahawks. Although Woods logged only 5 catches for 33 yards in their last Seahawks showdown, teams are motivated to come back from big losses—even more so against division rivals. As the Rams hunt for a playoff slot, expect Woods to get Top 10 numbers against a giving Seahawks secondary.

Shop

Jalen Hurts

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The only thing hurting this week are Carson's chances of ever returning for the Eagles: Jalen Hurts impressed in a 300+ yard debut, replete with three magnificent touchdowns. There's not much else to say besides Jalen proved he's the real deal (for this season, at least).

If you can get Hurts, get him before he faces a still-decimated Cowboys secondary. If you can't, pick up fellow comeback kid Marcus Mariota in case Carr doesn't start.

Greg Ward

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward (84) celebrates a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward (84) celebrates a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at State Farm Stadium.Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A beneficiary of this rejuvenated offense, Ward was a popular end zone target this week with two touchdowns and 15 fantasy points. Although he only caught 4 catches for 15 yards, he's caught three touchdowns over the past three games. The good news is that he's already building chemistry with Hurts, and as a green quarterback, Hurts will likely get the ball to someone he obviously trusts. Ward remains a touchdown-dependent flex, but he could be worth it in a weak Week 16 game against the Cowboys.

Tony Pollard

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs the ball against San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs the ball against San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium.Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like every quality backup running back has been rostered at this point, with the peculiar exception of Tony Pollard. Available in over half of ESPN leagues, Pollard racked up 28 fantasy points with 69 rushing yards, 63 receiving yards, and two rushing touchdowns.

Since the Cowboys are playing the Eagles in Week 16, this stands to be a good fantasy matchup for both teams if they can continue to move their offenses in Week 15 fashion.

File:Justin Herbert (51459803577) (cropped).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

It's another eventful week in the NFL.

Four teams -- the Jets, Falcons, Saints, and 49ers -- are the first teams to get a bye week. After Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly escaped Thursday Night Football with a 28-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champs are the first team with five wins in the league. Who will join them on Sunday? We know that we'll get at least a second five-win team since the 4-1 Ravens are hosting the 4-1 Chargers. That is going to be an epic battle, so let's start with that clash of AFC contenders. Welcome to our Week 6 NFL Best Bets.

Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) at Baltimore Ravens

Playing on the road is a difficult task for any team, but if any team can escape with a victory, it's Justin Herbert and the Chargers. This isn't the Chargers of the last decade. This team is winning the close battles. Herbert is playing at an MVP level this season and already has led this team to big-time wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns -- two of the top teams in the AFC. This L.A. team is deep at the skill positions, can rush the passer, has an improved offensive line and a great young coach. What's not to like?

All that said, Lamar Jackson seems to be playing as he did during his 2019 MVP campaign. Not to mention, Marquise "Hollywood" Brown is actually catching passes. He eclipsed 100 yards last week and scored two touchdowns (including the game-winning catch in overtime). Simply put, this is a tough team to bet against. It did take last-second heroics for the Ravens to beat the winless Lions and a pretty pedestrian Colts team. Overall, Baltimore hasn't faced a test like this yet this season. Take the points and the better overall squad. Chargers may win this game, but if they don't, they are not going to lose by more than a field goal.

PICK: Chargers +3.5

Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington Football Team

It's been a tough start to the season for the Chiefs. They had great odds to return to the Super Bowl and are now last in the AFC West heading into Week 16 with a 2-3 record. They desperately need this game. This is a great opportunity for the Chiefs to prove they are still elite by defeating a team that made the postseason last year on the road. The Chiefs are going to turn it around against a Washington defense that is allowing the sixth-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns this season. Patrick Mahomes is going to blow up. Tyreek Hill is going to dominate. Travis Kelce is going to continue to provide a steady source of receptions down the middle of the field. As long as the Chiefs' offensive line holds against Chase Young, it's going to be a long day for Washington's defense. Betting on Mahomes to right the ship isn't a really difficult choice.

PICK: Chiefs -6.5

Houston Texans (+9) at Indianapolis Colts

Yes, the Texans are one of the worst teams in the league. Betting on them on the road against a divisional rival might seem crazy at first. However, the Texans are 7-3 against the spread as underdogs in their last 10 games. Plus, the Colts are emotional after completely giving away the game against the Ravens in which they blew a 22-3 lead late in the game. This is going to cause a bit of a hangover in that locker room. When New England suffered a terrible loss against Tom Brady and the Bucs, the Texans managed to cover the spread the following week. Look for history to repeat itself. Texans coach David Culley has Houston playing hard in spite of its lack of talent and quarterback Davis Mills appeared to take a step forward last week against the Pats. Houston has played pretty good pass defense, too. The Texans have allowed only seven passing TDs this season.

PICK: Texans +9

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5)

Sunday night will be an interesting matchup to watch as Geno Smith will make his first start in four years as the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. I hate betting on Ben Roethlisberger, but it's hard to envision the Seahawks covering the spread without the services of Russell Wilson. And as much as I think Big Ben should hang up his cleats, you have to give him credit for the way he dominated a solid Broncos defense last week. Roethlisberger looked better than he did earlier in the season and was able to get the ball to his playmakers -- Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and running back Najee Harris. Seattle's defense is one of the worst in the league and their secondary is even worse than their front seven. Look for the Steelers to light up Seattle in the passing game.

PICK: Steelers -5

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns OVER 49.5

Both of these offenses can put up a lot of points, though they go about it very differently. The Browns are a run-heavy team, and even though they will be without the services of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt is more than capable of getting the job done. Meanwhile, Arizona's offense runs through electric quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray is able to move the chains with his legs but he isn't afraid to toss the ball either. He loves getting his guys involved and his weapons are elite in DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and Christian Kirk.

The Browns are coming off an 89-point slugest with the Chargers and hit the OVER in their other game against a high-end offense in a 33-29 loss to the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have scored 30-plus points in four of five games this year. Smash the OVER.

PICK: OVER 49.5

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers
Getty Images

Week 2 of the NFL was full of breakout performances, thrilling finishes and potentially the start of the Justin Fields era in the NFC North as the Bears' win over the Bengals finds them in first place in the division.

We cap off the week with a Monday Night Football showdown between the Packers and the Lions with the winner finding themselves tied for first in the North. The Packers put up an absolute dud of a performance last week against the Saints in Week 1 while the Lions looked surprisingly effective while playing catch-up against the West-leading 49ers. The expectations for these two teams couldn't have been further apart coming into the season but with matching 0-1 starts on the books, I think there are a couple of interesting props and roster construction angles to exploit.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks

*Prices are from DraftKings

Captain: TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions ($9,600) ($14,400)

I'm normally not a fan of playing a tight end in the captain spot, but T.J. Hockenson is not your average tight end. He finished 2020 with an elite 18% target share in the Lions' offense and picked up right where he left off in Week 1, finishing with an 18.2% share on 50 routes run last week. Hockenson has always carried premium TD upside as a red-zone target but what was most encouraging about last week was that he ran nearly 55% of his routes out of the slot, leaving him a matchup against Chandon Sullivan, who's allowing a 67% catch rate in his coverage. In a game where the Lions are projected to be down early, expect Hockenson to get fed once again. His red-zone utilization gives him enough juice to take the captain's chair in my builds.

Core Consideration: QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions ($10,000)

Two principles I take into Showdown slates apply to this play. Generally speaking, if I have a pass-catcher as my captain, I'm finding a way to get their QB into a flex spot. The second is that your build needs to tell a story. Mine is that the Packers come out with something to prove after getting embarrassed in Week 1 and that we'll likely see upwards of 50 pass attempts from Jared Goff as he attempts to mount a comeback. Goff is a surprisingly effective passer when getting good protection and this unit gave him a clean pocket on 86.7% of snaps last week. Expect that to continue tonight as Goff will continue to feast in garbage time.

Contrarian Play: WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers ($2,000)

I still chuckle at the thought of the return of Randall Cobb being on the short-list of demands from Aaron Rodgers in the midst of his holdout. I do, however, think there is something to be said about the importance of chemistry between a quarterback and his receiver and I expect that in a typical game (which Week 1 was not), Aaron Rodgers is going to find his spots to get Cobb involved. In a game script that figures to have the Packers up by a healthy margin, not many are going to look at the tertiary passing options for Green Bay and I think a $2,000 Randall Cobb could sneak in a handful of receptions at single-digit ownership..

Salary Relief: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions ($2,400)

This one fits perfectly into my narrative for the game as well. In a game where the Lions are likely to flirt with 50+ pass attempts and coming off a week where St. Brown ran routes on 75% of the team's passing plays, I will be overweight on Amon-Ra tonight. Lining up in the slot on 74.5% of plays means St. Brown will primarily see coverage from Chandon Sullivan, the most favorable of the options GB lines up in their defensive secondary. Expect St. Brown to see his target volume increase tonight. If Detroit can be more effective in getting to the red zone, he carries decent scoring upside with the way he's utilized in this offense. Plus, who doesn't love the extra motivation of playing against their big bro?

Monday Night Football Best Bets

Taking a look at the wagering side of this game; before we determine anything else we must ask ourselves what we think of these Green Bay Packers. I tend to look at last week's performance as the exception and not the rule. With that being the case, I am laying the 11.5 points and taking GB tonight. Over the past six seasons, oddsmakers have been fairly sharp when it comes to these larger spreads and NFL teams cover double-digit spreads more than 55% of the time. The total for tonight is sitting at 48.5 and given the somewhat surprising ability of the Lions to make up ground last week, I am confidently on the "over" side of that line.

Picks: Packers -11.5, OVER 48.5 points

Taking a look at the prop market, I am again mainly investing in the "GB Blowout" narrative:

D'Andre Swift: OVER 28.5 Receiving Yard

Coming off a 65-yard performance in a very similar game script, this one feels like a no-brainer. Swift averages nearly 8 yards per reception so this really boils down to whether you think he catches more than 3 passes. I certainly do and I'm confidently on the OVER for this prop. FanDuel is currently carrying the best odds at -110.

T.J. Hockenson: Anytime TD

I'm not the biggest fan of these "to score" props, but I'll break from the norm with this one. I am projecting the Lions to at least have a go at it in this game and there simply isn't a scenario where that doesn't involve a score for Hockenson. +220 odds at FanDuel sort of feels like stealing given that I see this game going over the 48.5 total.

AJ Dillon | UNDER 8.5 Rushing Attempts

I know that the betting public is forecasting a fairly comfortable win for the Packers, but let's not get carried away. AJ Dillon would have to nearly double his career average for carries to get to this number. Plus, it's a bit unlikely that this game gets so far out of reach that Green Bay brings in their backups. Even last week when they did bring in the second-stringers, Dillon only saw 4 carries. I'm expecting Aaron Jones to have a monster day on the ground, as evidenced by my Saturday article.

File:Derrick Henry 2019 12-08.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Week 1 is in the books and it's time to move on to the best bets in Week 2.

If you listened to my article earlier this week, you would have started 1-0 for taking the Giants with the points against Washington in that thriller of a matchup Thursday night. Now, let's dive into Week 2's best NFL bets.

Best Bets

Tennessee Titans/Seattle Seahawks Over 54

The Seahawks' offense was high-flying in the first half last week. Because the Colts never really threatened the outcome of the game, the Seahawks were able to take the air out of the ball and finish the game with an easy win while only scoring seven in the second half. While both the Titans' defense and offense looked atrocious, expect Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry to have big bounce-back weeks and make this an epic high-scoring game. This has all the makings for a shootout in which both teams put up 30-plus points.

Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 @ Chicago Bears

Until that Monday night game, the Bengals had the honor of winning the craziest Week 1 game over the Vikings in overtime. The Bears' defense, which is supposed to be their strength, looked awful against the Rams, including one of the most blown coverages you'll ever see on Cooper Kupp's long touchdown. It was simply an awful week for the Bears. I don't think it gets any better until they remove Dalton and promote Justin Fields. If they don't do that prior to game time, the Bengals will run away with this one.

Los Angeles Rams -3.5 @ Indianapolis Colts

Coming out of Week 1 the Rams looked great on both sides of the ball. Matthew Stafford had a great first game, going 20 for 26 with three touchdowns. The Colts... They didn't look that great on either side of the ball. While Carson Wentz's overall numbers didn't look bad, most of the yardage and one of his two TDs came in the fourth quarter as they were chasing from two or more scores back, never actually threatening to win the game. I'm leaning towards the Rams winning this in a blowout and would consider alternate spreads.

Arizona Cardinals -3.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings

Kyler Murray appears to be a man on a mission to avenge last season's bitter ending after absolutely torching the Tennesee Titans in Nashville. The Vikings' defense, who hasn't been as formidable as years past, is going to have their hands full with Kyler. Last week they allowed Joe Burrow to complete nearly 80% of his passes, and Burrow isn't a threat to run nor has a receiver as talented as DeAndre Hopkins. If the Vikings offense doesn't step up and make this a shootout, things could get ugly in Phoenix.

Dallas Cowboys + 3.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers

Dak Prescott looked great in Week 1 and if there were any issues with his shoulder after throwing 58 times, he had 10 days to get healed up again and ready for the Chargers. I can almost guarantee, whenever the Cowboys go to play either Los Angeles team in their stadium, that there will be more Cowboys fans than LA fans. So while they aren't playing in Jerry World, they'll have more fan support. My concern for Justin Herbert and the Chargers is their efficiency in the red zone. His most potent weapons in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler become less effective as they get closer to the goal line. That leaves Jared Cook and Mike Williams as your bigger bodies in the red zone, which isn't ideal. The Cowboys have a decent chance to win this one outright, but you can take the points for some cushion.

Long-Shot Parlay

  • Cowboys ML (+160)
  • Titans +6.5 (-105)
  • Steelers ML (-225)
  • Rams -3.5 (-110)

Five Props To Consider

  • Calvin Ridley OVER 6.5 receptions (+115)
  • Tyrod Taylor OVER 34.5 Pass Attempts (-105)
  • Aaron Jones OVER 88.5 combined yards (-115)
  • Nick Chubb OVER 17.5 carries (-120)
  • James Robinson OVER 9.5 carries (-125)

All five of these props have an excellent chance at hitting. I like the idea of wagering a three-leg prop parlay with the last three props listed (Jones, Chubb and J-Rob). Thanks me on Monday.

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