Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I aggregate projections from around the internet and find the best DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective.
With the NFL playoff picture mostly settled, sifting through the Week 17 landscape in DFS is a different process than usual. First you need to sift out the teams that are sitting starters (Eagles, Rams, Chiefs, Steelers) and then there are teams that are primarily looking to get out of Week 17 with a healthy squad (Patriots, Jaguars, Vikings, Panthers). I’m immediately downgrading most players on those offenses.
Then, you have a team that is tanking for a better draft pick (Giants) and other teams that aren’t looking too motivated (Cowboys, Jets, Texans). The teams you know will be giving 100 percent for a full four quarters are the Saints, Falcons, Seahawks, Ravens, Titans, Chargers, and Bills. Again, I’m scoring my picks whether they hit value on either site which is ~2.5x on DraftKings and ~2x on FanDuel.
DraftKings: 3-3 (83-69 overall)
FanDuel: 3-3 (60-66 overall)
You can check out the season primer for a brief description of what to expect. I’ll be updating the Google Doc (see link below) every Friday for the article and then again late Saturday to adjust for any injury news. Be sure to check it out before you finalize your lineups.
Now, let’s get to the Week 17 plays!
Matthew Stafford | 34.0 Opp Score | $6,300 DK; $7,800 FD
The only downside for Matthew Stafford this week is motivation to keep the foot on the gas pedal. The Lions are seven-point, home favorites against a Packers team that will be throwing a lot of reserves on the field. The Lions will likely be motivated to win, and Stafford has had plenty of success against the Packers defense in recent games. Sunday should be no different so expect Stafford to cash in on his fourth-ranked projected opportunity.
Kirk Cousins | 34.0 Opp Score | $6,200 DK; $7,600 FD
Kirk Cousins is another quarterback who won’t be playing in January, but he should enjoy some success as he’s facing a Giants defense that is not only dysfunctional, but also has packed it in for 2017. Cousins will have his full passing arsenal at hand and is coming off a great game versus a much better Broncos defense. In the past three games the Giants have allowed nine passing touchdowns to Dak Prescott, Nick Foles, and Drew Stanton. I’m not sure why Vegas hasn’t moved the line much in the Washington’s favor- they are three-point road favorites – but I expect them to win easily.
Kenyan Drake | 27.5 DK Score; 24.8 FD Score | $7,200 DK; $7,000 FD
Just two weeks ago, Kenyan Drake saw 16 carries and 11 targets against the Bills, and while his price has increased $1,400 over that time span, he still makes for a good value play. He comes in with the sixth-ranked opportunity on DraftKings and fifth-ranked opportunity on FanDuel, where he’s also the fifth-ranked dollar-per-opportunity value on the board. It’s no secret the Bills have the worst run defense in the league, so you should feel comfortable rolling with Drake in all contests.
Christian McCaffrey | 29.5 DK Score; 24.4 FD Score | $6,700 DK; $6,900 FD
Pass-catching running backs versus the Falcons. The Panthers are likely locked into the fifth seed, so I expect a rather conservative game plan on Sunday. They should value team health (Devin Funchess, Greg Olsen) over hoping the Saints blow a game against the Buccaneers. Christian McCaffrey should see an uptick in volume in what was already a matchup where he should be featured. The projections agree as his opportunity comes in at fourth overall on DraftKings and sixth on FanDuel. He’s priced as the RB11 on both sites.
Jamaal Williams | 21.7 DK Score; 19.9 FD Score | $5,200 DK; $6,700 FD
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the dominant Jamaal Williams, but this week he won’t have to deal with sharing the backfield and he gets an easy matchup after two weeks of facing tough run defenses. The Lions have ranked 26th in success rate allowed in the run game over the last six weeks, and we have Williams currently projected for the 21st opportunity score, which should only climb up as projections catch up with news that Aaron Jones isn’t playing this week. Once Williams took over in Week 10, he’s averaged 20.7 opportunities, and with seemingly no passing game we should see a considerable uptick in that number.
Alex Collins | 22.7 DK Score; 21.0 FD Score | $5,600 DK; $6,800 FD
Alex Collins has had some tough touchdown luck recently, but the opportunity has been there as he’s averaged 21 opportunities over the last two weeks. The matchups haven’t been there, though, facing solid Colts (eighth in success rate allowed over the last six weeks) and Browns (rank 17th) run defenses. This week he’ll face off against a Bengals run defense that ranks 29th in success rate allowed and could be without Vontaze Burfict.
Charcandrick West | 18.9 DK Score; 16.7 FD Score | $4,400 DK; $4,900 FD
With Kareem Hunt likely sitting most (or all) of this game, there will be a massive workload to pass on to the backups. Hunt has averaged 26 carries and 5.3 targets over the last three games, and Charcandrick West should see the bulk of that work. Obviously, West is underpriced and is worth rostering even in an iffy matchup against the a Broncos defense that has surrendered only 35.8 fantasy points to RBs over the last three weeks.
Julio Jones | 21.7 DK Score; 17.9 FD Score | $8,200 DK; $8,400 FD
The numbers the Panthers have been giving up to opposing wide receivers over the last couple of months are absolutely staggering. Since Week 12, opposing receiving units have averaged 15.2 receptions, 226.4 yards, and 1.4 TDs. Given that this is a do-or-die scenario for the Falcons, you can expect them to target Julio Jones early and often, and he should put up a monster stat line.
Keenan Allen | 24.6 DK Score; 20.3 FD Score | $7,800 DK; $8,600 FD
Keenan Allen should be as close to a lock for 10-plus targets as anyone on this slate, and it’s no surprise that he comes in with the top-ranked opportunity score for the week. Even though he’s priced as the WR2 on FanDuel, he’s still the fourth-best value on the board.
T.Y. Hilton | 15.6 DK Score; 12.8 FD Score | $5,900 DK; $6,700 FD
T.Y. Hilton is always a viable option when he’s on the turf at home, but he also has a great history versus the Texans. The only downside here is game script as both teams have nothing to play for.
Josh Doctson | 12.7 DK Score; 10.4 FD Score | $4,400 DK; $5,800 FD
Josh Doctson had a very bizarre stat line last week versus the Broncos as he saw 13 targets but caught just two passes for 63 yards. Luckily, one of those catches was a 48-yard TD, but the important number here is the 13 targets. If Doctson even comes close to that total versus the Giants this weekend, he should smash value.
Kenny Golladay | 9.4 DK Score; 7.7 FD Score | $3,300 DK; $5,000 FD
Over the last three weeks, Kenny Golladay has been out-snapping Golden Tate (albeit only by a small fraction), and the Packers just struggled to contain another rookie wideout in Chris Godwin. Golladay’s increased snaps haven’t exactly translated into production just yet, but with eight and five targets the last two weeks he could be due for a nice 2017 finale and precursor for the 2018 season.
Jack Doyle | 15.8 DK Score; 12.8 FD Score | $4,700 DK; $5,400 FD
With 10 and eight targets the last two weeks you’d expect Jack Doyle to be the talk of the town, but he averaged just 10.4 fantasy points. If you’re looking for a leverage play off the higher-owned Hilton, then Doyle is your best bet at a score. He’s a ridiculous value on FanDuel given his second-ranked opportunity score and TE18 price.