3 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in the Divisional Round

The Minnesota Vikings are five-point home favorites against the New Orleans Saints, which could allow Latavius Murray to exploit the Saints' biggest weakness. Which other matchups should we target in NFL DFS for the divisional round?

In order to truly thrive in high school, you need do two things: you've gotta be cool, and you've gotta be different. It's not easy to blend those two, but those who do will probably escape with fewer psychological scars than the rest.

If you're cool, you're able to avoid all the typical snaffus that can irrevocably sink your social standing in an instant. If you're different, you avoid slipping into the background and becoming just another stereotypical teenager.

I apparently never got the memo on the first half of that equation.

Acting in plays that require you to wear a large brassiere and tights may qualify as "different," but you can bet your bottom they prevented me from making the cut as "cool." So maybe I'm not the best one to start doling out advice about how this all translates into other aspects of life. That said, this motto does stretch beyond just high school and can help us build better lineups in daily fantasy football for the divisional round.

Be cool: Don't lose your head. Football can be a DFS bloodbath, so if you've still got a bankroll to twiddle with, you clearly had a good process throughout the regular season. You don't want to lose sight of that just because we're playing with smaller slates.

Be different: At the end of the day, we do need to strive to find ways to separate our lineups from the pack. Ideally, this won't force us to use players who run counter to our process, but we will need to lower our standards a bit and use players who may not make the cut on a larger slate. And you can bet we're going to have to take some risks.

If we can successfully do these two things, we'll be sitting pretty, whether it's for the Saturday- or Sunday-only slate or the full, four-game slate. A big part of that process will be identifying the best matchups we want to attack.

To do so, we'll be leaning on numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP), a metric we use to track the efficiency of both teams and players with team totals being adjusted for the strength of their opponents. While a yards-per-attempt metric views all three-yard completions as being the same, NEP looks at the expected points added on each play, showing the immense difference between that three-yard completion on 3rd and 2 compared to 3rd and 4. This allows us to see which defenses may not measure up to their playoff peers, potentially justifying investment in the opposing offense.

It's tough to balance maintaining your process while also taking some risks that we aren't used to. But we're going to have to this weekend. Which matchups should we look to exploit in NFL DFS? Let's check it out.