When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS purposes, for either a positive or negative reason. These situations inform us of how we should be attacking each slate.
Spread: +7 @ Los Angeles Rams | Total: 49
Kyler Murray ($5,500) and the Cardinals don’t have any playoff implications in their game this weekend. His rushing output has been up and down all year and that hasn’t changed since the bye.
Murray hasn’t been a QB1 since way back in Week 11.
Spread: +1 @ Tampa Bay | Total: 48
Both the Falcons and Buccaneers are eliminated from playoff contention. Austin Hooper ($5,800) has been back in action for three weeks now, and put a solid game together against Jacksonville.
His nine targets last week marked the highest total since his return from injury. Hooper has been a TE1 in eight of his twelve active games this year.
Spread: +2 vs Pittsburgh | Total: 37
Gus Edwards ($4,800) and Justice Hill ($4,600) are the two running backs left standing after Mark Ingram’s injury last week. If the first 15 games of the year are any indication, Edwards will handle more of the work. Hill will likely see more of the receiving work while Edwards will be the runner on first and second down.
Spread: +13 vs New Orleans | Total: 46.5
Christian McCaffrey ($10,000) has been locked and loaded in lineups this year. There’s no reason that should stop in Week 17.
He’s been in the top three of every relevant category for a running back all season. McCaffrey is averaging over 31 DK points per game.
Spread: +2.5 vs Cleveland | Total: 43.5
Tyler Boyd ($6,700) had a blowup game against Miami last week. Boyd saw more than 10 targets for the first time since Week 7.
Boyd has been held back by the offense through each part of a tumultuous season for the Bengals. A matchup against the Dolphins was just what the doctor ordered, though.
Spread: -2.5 @ Cincinnati | Total: 43.5
The Browns face off with the Bengals in a meaningless season finale. The battle for Ohio should still provide some fireworks.
Jarvis Landry ($5,900) has been terribly inefficient this year. He’s ninth in the league in targets but outside of the top ten in receptions and receiving yards. Landry is the 76th ranked wide receiver in FPOE per game.
Spread: -11 vs Washington | Total: 45.5
Week 17 is setting up to be an Ezekiel Elliott ($8,000) week. He’s been quite inefficient in his own right, but we know that volume is king with running backs.
Elliott is top three in both opportunities and rush attempts, but is 19th in FPOE per game. He’s had nine RB1 finishes out of his 15 active games this season. The Cowboys aren’t in control of their own destiny but they need to win to have a prayer. With a few high-priority players dealing with injury, they should lean heavily on Zeke.
Green Bay Packers
Spread: -12.5 @ Detroit | Total: 43
Aaron Jones ($8,200) should be low-owned thanks to his position on the salary scale sandwiched between McCaffrey and Elliott. Jones is 10th in opportunity share among RBs over the past three weeks. He’s accounted for 35% of the opportunities for the Packers over that span.
Jones doesn’t come risk-free, though. He has a ceiling that not many running backs possess, but he has a floor that’s almost non-existent at times.
Spread: +3.5 vs Tennessee | Total: 45.5
The Texans are in an odd situation because they’ll know their fate heading into their game. Motivation isn’t something I’m going to attempt to quantify here. In five of his last nine games, DeAndre Hopkins ($7,800) has finished as a WR1.
Hopkins has been somewhat inefficient this year. He’s put up negative FPOE in one-third of his games so far and is coming off of his second-worst mark in that department. The volume isn’t going anywhere though.
Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: -9 vs Los Angeles Chargers | Total: 44.5
The running back situation is — once again — a mess in Kansas City. The Chiefs sat LeSean McCoy ($4,200) last week and it was the Damien Williams ($4,700) show.
Williams was on the field for 53% of the snaps but handled over 30% of the opportunities for the Chiefs offense. As with most situations in Week 17, this one is news-dependent. But, if McCoy were to sit again, Williams would be firmly in play in all formats.
Spread: +16 @ New England | Total: 45
Cockroaches, Patrick Laird ($4,300), and Twinkies. Things that will outlive us all. Every time you think Laird’s had his last rites read to him, he comes back with a vengeance.1 With the news of Myles Gaskin being put on IR, Laird is the only game in town. That said, a 16-point road dog RB isn’t exactly the smash play we’re looking for.
New Orleans Saints
Spread: -13 @ Carolina | Total: 46.5
Michael Thomas ($9,300) has scored 101.8 DK points over the past three weeks. No other wide receiver has scored over 83 DK points in that stretch.
Besides air yards, Thomas is top three in every category that you might consider important for a wide receiver. Barring any late news to the contrary, Thomas should be firmly in play this weekend.
Spread: -4.5 @ New York Giants | Total: 45.5
Carson Wentz ($6,100) has been valuable in fantasy over the past month after a mid-season lull.
The sudden surge in DK performance comes along with the Eagles allowing Wentz to take shots and relying on his arm again. Wentz is one of just three quarterbacks that are averaging over 20 Passing EP per game since Week 12.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread: -1 vs Atlanta | Total: 48
Jameis Winston ($6,600) is on the verge of history. He can finish the season with 30 TDs and 30 INTs if he throws two picks this weekend. Depending on his passing volume, he could finish with an average of over 40 pass attempts per game for the year.
Winston is top two in the following stats as we head into the final weekend of the regular season:
- Pass Attempts
- Passing Yards
- EP Per Game
Spread: +11 @ Dallas | Total: 37
Steven Sims ($4,700) is an interesting under-the-radar choice for this week. If the spread holds, Washington will be forced to throw it around quite a bit. He spent most of the season struggling to crack four targets per game.
Over the past three weeks, though, he’s seen a total of 28 targets. That’s good for the eighth most targets over that stretch. At likely sub-5% ownership, you could do a lot worse for a cheap GPP flier.
Image Credit: George Walker/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Ezekiel Elliott.
- Usually a sputter. (back)