NFL Playoff Challenge Fantasy football rankings, best picks: Start Michael Thomas, Ezekiel Elliott in your divisional round pool

The second week of the NFL Playoff Challenge features many of the league's top playmakers and Fantasy studs like Patrick Mahomes, Todd Gurley, Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Tom Brady. Anyone who you had in your lineup last week gives you double points in the Divisional Round, so patience could pay off in a huge way. Players like Ezekiel Elliott and Marlon Mack are already off to a fast start, so there's still plenty of time to make up ground with three weeks remaining in the 2019 NFL Playoffs. Before locking in any NFL Playoff Challenge picks and lineups, check out the latest advice from SportsLine's Mike McClure.

McClure is a predictive data engineer and professional daily Fantasy player with almost $2 million in career winnings. He uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every snap of NFL action in every game, taking factors such as matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. This allows him to find the best values and create optimal lineups that he shares only at SportsLine. 

McClure is rolling through the NFL season thanks to some spot-on picks. His daily Fantasy lineups have cashed with ease on both FanDuel and DraftKings multiple times this season and anyone who has followed him is way, way up. Now, he has locked in his 2019 NFL Playoff Challenge picks only at SportsLine.

One of the players in action this divisional round that McClure is building his NFL Playoff Challenge lineup around: Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas

The NFL's leader in receptions (125) should be extremely fresh coming off a bye week and limited snaps in the regular-season finale against the Panthers. And he was able to put up eye-popping numbers all season long despite being one of the only proven options at receiver for Brees and the Saints. 

Thomas should get some relief in the NFL Playoffs 2019 with speedster Ted Ginn Jr. back in the lineup for New Orleans. The Eagles, who were hit hard by injuries in the secondary this season, finished 30th in the league against the pass, so expect Thomas to put up impressive numbers, just like when he went off for 4-92-1 in his first matchup against Philadelphia. 

McClure's optimal NFL Playoff Challenge strategy also includes rostering Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. 

The NFL's leading rusher during the regular season rolled into the Wild Card Round with 30 touches for 169 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Seahawks. Dallas will lean on Zeke again this weekend in the Divisional Round against the Rams, who finished the regular season ranked a lowly 23rd in the league in run defense. 

Los Angeles gave up at least 100 yards on the ground to running backs in four of its final five games of the regular season. The Eagles shredded the Rams for three touchdowns on the ground, while Chicago's running backs also piled up 171 total yards against L.A. during that span. Elliott has accounted for at least 100 yards of total offense in nine straight games, so lock him in and look for huge results in the 2019 NFL Playoff Challenge this weekend. 

McClure is also targeting a player who could go off for big numbers in the divisional round because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your NFL Playoff Challenge pool or going home with nothing. 

So what is the optimal NFL Playoff Challenge tournament lineup for the divisional round? Visit SportsLine now to see the full optimal tournament lineups for the NFL Playoff Challenge this weekend from a professional daily Fantasy player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.

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