The Fantasy Football Ghost helps us close out the regular season with his picks for FanDuel cash lineups in Week 17
Week 17 is traditionally one of the most difficult weeks to forecast as playoff bound teams sit their starting players and non-playoff teams up their game in an attempt to play spoiler. Part of the difficultly revolves around trying to determine if a playoff team has anything to fight for or if they are content with their seeding.
Additionally, some non-playoff teams do not want to risk injuring one of their star players in a meaningless game will opt to sit their players as well. In all, it is very difficult to decipher team strategies. That said, the players featured in this piece have the best matchups and highest likelihood to play the longest in their respective games. Let’s close the regular season out with a bang!
To measure the success of the players I recommend to our RotoViz readers, I will review the players I recommended the prior week, determining their value multiplier. I will then calculate the average multiplier across the recommended players to give me a barometer of success for that week. My stated goal is to produce an average greater than 2.5-times value. If I can manage to surpass that goal, I will consider the week a success. If I fall short of that goal, obviously, the week would be considered unsuccessful.
You can find much of the data presented in this piece in the RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer and Game Level Similarity Projections. I also want to encourage readers to check out the RotoViz NFL Lineup Optimizer so that everyone can squeeze the most value out of their lineups each week.
FanDuel NFL Cash Plays for Week 17
Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,400)
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks since stepping back into the starting role early in October. Since that time Fitzpatrick has averaged 19.7 FanDuel points per game and has been a top-12 performer in six of those weeks. Over that span he has thrown 18 touchdowns with three games of three or more touchdowns.
Obviously, New England has been one of the tougher defenses to face this season, however, as anyone who has played DFS in Week 17 knows, all bets are off when it comes to playing time and the Patriots could opt sit some of their starters prior to, or during, the game, making for a bit easier matchup than what it looks like on paper.
The Game Level Similarity Projection tool projects that Fitzpatrick will the third-best game of all quarterbacks with an average projection of 22.8 points, well past our 2.5 multiple range while also projecting well over a 60% chance that he scores over that threshold as well.
Running Back: Miles Sanders ($7,400)
In order for the Eagles to secure their playoff spot they have to win against the New York Giants this weekend and primary to making sure they get that win will be Miles Sanders. Sanders looks to get a full game exposure as well, making him even more of a value. Additionally, the Giants have been quite friendly to opposing running backs allowing the sixth-most points to the position of all the defenses in the league with an average of 29.2 point to the position over the past five weeks.
The Game Level Similarity Projection tool also projects Sanders to post the fifth-highest point total of all running backs with the lowest price tag of that group. There is a lot of upside here despite the uncertainty surrounding Week 17.
Wide Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins ($8,300)
With a price tag of just $8,300, this is likely the lowest you will ever see DeAndre Hopkins priced. While the Texans have their playoff spot and seed locked up, they can play spoiler to division rival Tennessee by eliminating them from playoff contention with a win. Hopkins’ price coupled with the Titans exploitability by elite wide receivers could present one of our best opportunities on this week’s slate.
Tennessee has allowed an average of 13.6 receptions to opposing wide receivers over the past five weeks, the seventh-most allowed in the league over that span. Additionally, the Titans have allowed nearly 60 yards after the catch (YAC) per game, the eighth-most in the NFL. Hopkins will serve as the anchor for our line up this week given the likelihood of his success.
Tight End: Dallas Goedert ($6,400)
In another matchup where all the starting players are likely to play the full game, or at least a significant majority of it, Dallas Goedert will likely be getting all the Eagles tight end snaps with Zach Ertz likely to be sidelined with a broken rib. His matchup versus the Giants pits him against a defense that has allowed an average of 17.6 points to opposing tight ends over the past five games, the third-most points allowed.
New York has allowed 6.4 receptions per game to the position, the fourth-most in the NFL. Furthermore, tight ends have gained an average of 64.4 receiving yards over that span, the seventh-most in the league. Goedert’s increased snap count, coupled with a solid matchup against the Giants, makes him one of the safer tight end bets this week.
We have had a great season together. Thank you for reading all season long. As always, good luck to everyone, and feel free to both reach out to me and follow me on Twitter at @TheFFGhost. I’ll do my best to answer any and all questions you may have.