DFS NFL: Week 17 Slate

Matt Hicks, Staff Writer

When writing DFS fantasy football articles, we use DraftKings’ values. In Week 17, I set 12 line-ups.


Best Value: Kirk Cousins ($6,200)

Cousins is QB6 on the season and is coming off two strong games. In the last two weeks, Cousins is 37-63 for 495 yards, 5 touchdowns and 1 interception. Cousins is facing off against a weak Giants defense, which has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. He’s the 12th most expensive quarterback this week, and has the best-match-up; those are good numbers. I have Cousins in 4 line-ups this week.

High Upside: Jacoby Brissett ($5,500)

Brissett has a great match-up against Houston, who has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Since Week 15, Brissett is 33-63 for 373 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int. He’s also rushed the ball 8 times for 26 yards and 1 touchdown. He’s got a safe floor, and his dual threat ability gives him a great upside against a Texans team that will likely be more motivated to lose, than win. With the return of Luck imminent for 2018, this is Brissett’s final tryout for a future starting job. I have 2 Brissett shares this week.

Safe Play: Jimmy Garoppolo ($6,700)

Since taking over the starting job, Garoppolo is 100-133 (75%), for 1,268 yards, 5 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. That includes a Week 16 match-up against the league best Jacksonville defense, where he threw 21-30 for 242 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception. Garoppolo has a much easier match-up in Week 17, against a Rams squad that has opted out of playing most their starters this week. I have Jimmy G in 2 line-ups this week.

Worst Value: Russell Wilson ($6,900)

Wilson is the second most expensive quarterback this week, and it makes little sense given the way he’s been playing. Since Week 15, Wilson is 28-51 (55%) for just 235 total yards and 3 touchdowns. In those games, he’s rushed for 58 yards on 14 carries. I think Wilson has a solid game against Arizona this week, but you’re better off saving money at the quarterback position this week.

Running Backs

Best Value: C.J. Anderson ($6,000)

The Broncos are back to giving Anderson volume; and it’s paying off. Anderson has 46 carries since Week 15, and has rushed for 246 yards and a touchdown. He also has 7 receptions on 10 targets for 45 yards. Anderson is facing off against a Kansas City team that he rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown against in Week 8. Kansas City is also resting their starters, but Anderson is performing for an off-season paycheck; in the likely scenario he gets cut from Denver. I’m committed to C.J. this week, he’s in 7 of my line-ups.

High Upside: Wayne Gallman ($4,200)

Gallman has been featured by the Giants late in the season. Since Week 14, he has 30 carries for 116 yards and 19 receptions on 24 targets for 124 yards. Look for the Giants to continue to see what their rookie running back has; making him a sneaky option in Week 17. At just $4,200 he makes a great play in line-ups where you want to spend up at other positions. Gallman fit into just 1 of my line-ups.

Safe Play: Dion Lewis ($6,800)

Lewis saw his highest workload of the season with James White out in Week 16. Lewis had 24 carries and 5 targets, for 153 total yards and 2 combined touchdowns. Lewis will have similar volume in Week 17, against a Jets team he scored on in Week 6. If the Patriots get up early, they could pull Brady and push the game script heavy onto the running game. I spent up for running backs this week, but did sneak Lewis into one line-up this week.

Worst Value: Melvin Gordon ($7,400)

Gordon is trying to battle through an ankle injury that could very well hinder his play if he sees the field Sunday against the Raiders. I’d pump the breaks on Gordon even without the injury; he’s been very touchdown dependent this season. He’s rushed for more than 100 yards just twice this season, and not since Week 8. Without a touchdown in his last three games, they’d all be mediocre. I’m not playing Gordon in any line-ups this week.

Wide Receivers

Best Value: Jamison Crowder ($5,800)

Crowder completed a very valuable stack with Cousins this week. Crowder has been targeted at least 6 times in 7 of his last 8 games, and has scored in each of his last two games. The Giants have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wideouts over the last 4 weeks. I’m all in on Crowder this week, playing him in 8 line-ups; with 4 Cousins stacks.

High Upside: T.Y. Hilton ($5,900)

Sticking with the theme, the Colts are your upside stack play this week. Hilton

Safe Play: Larry Fitzgerald ($6,900)

This is the highest I’m willing to pay-up this week, outside of a Rivers/Allen stack. Fitz has been targeted 42 times in his last 4 games. In those games, he’s caught 29 passes for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns. Look for Fitz to come out strong in a game where the Cardinals would love to play spoiler against perennial NFC West rival Seahawks. I have him in 3 line-ups this week.

Worst Value: Juju Smith-Schuster ($7,300)

I love Juju, I just don’t love him this week. It is still uncertain whether Big Ben plays this week, meaning Juju could be catching passes from a mediocre Landry Jones. Juju has also seen just 16 targets over the last 3 games, which isn’t enough volume for the 5th most expensive wideout. Juju got 49 of his 75 yards and his one touchdown on one play last week; without that play, he would’ve had 5 receptions for 26 yards. I don’t have any JuJu shares this week.

Tight Ends

Best Value: Vance McDonald ($2,700)

There’s a ton of value at tight end this week, but I went for McDonald based on his volume potential. McDonald has 8 receptions on 11 targets in the last two games he’s played (Weeks 14 and 16). In both of those games he pulled in 52 receiving yards. If Jones plays this week, look for him to lean on McDonald, who Pittsburgh traded for to be a playmaking tight end. Look for a healthy McDonald to be an impact player against a weak Cleveland squad this week. I have 3 McDonald plays this week.

High Upside: Rhett Ellison ($2,700)

Ellison caught 4 passes on 7 targets for 60 yards filling in for Engram in Week 16. With Engram ruled out for Week 17, Ellison is likely to see a similar to higher workload. At just $2,700 Ellison is a great way to save cash at the tight end position. I have Ellison in 4 line-ups this week.

Safe Play: Eric Ebron ($4,500)

Ebron was a great play last week, and I’m going right back to him in Week 17. He’s facing a Packers defense that’s allowed 19 receptions, 235 yards, and 2 touchdowns to opposing tight ends since Week 13. Since Week 13, Ebron has caught 24 of his 30 targets for 248 yards, and 2 touchdowns. I have Ebron in 4 of my line-ups.

Worst Value: Rob Gronkowski ($7,000)

I expect Gronk to produce while he’s on the field, but I have no idea how long that will be. The Patriots are only playing for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, having already secured a BYE. If the Pats go up early, look for them to bench key starters, like Gronk who has an injury history, and move away from the passing game entirely.

Defense/Special Teams

Best Value: Denver D/ST ($2,900)

Denver has a great Week 17 match-up against a Kansas City team that is benching starters; leaving the rookie Patrick Mahomes in charge. The Broncos have allowed just 206 yards and 1.5 touchdowns/game to opposing quarterbacks this season; and are likely to add to their interception total this week. At just 2,900 this otherwise mediocre option becomes very valuable. I have 6 shares of the Broncos this week.

High Upside: San Francisco D/ST ($2,100)

The 49ers D/ST has been nothing to write home about this season, ranking 29th total in terms of fantasy. This week, however, they are playing the Rams; who are benching their starters, most notable Gurley and Goff. Look for this motivated 49ers squad to shutdown Manion and Brown and get a few turnovers out of the inexperienced players. I’m playing them in 4 line-ups this week.

Safe Play: Los Angeles Chargers D/ST ($3,600)

The Chargers D/ST are the 5th best on the season, allowing the 3rd least points against (262) and causing 25 turnovers. I expect them to come to play this week, in a must-win game against division rival Oakland Raiders. This is the most I’d spend-up at the D/ST position this week; I have them in 2 line-ups.

Worst Value: Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST ($4,000)

It’s hard to list the Jaguars here, but I just can’t believe they fully commit their players, in an essentially meaningless game for them. They’re facing a very motivated Titans team, who needs to win to secure a playoff spot. I would not spend up for the top D/ST option this week.


Week 17 Start/Sit

Matt Hicks, Staff Writer


Kirk Cousins vs NYG: Start

Cousins has quietly risen to QB 6 on the season, due in part to a resurgence from his mid-season slump in Weeks 15 and 16. In the last two weeks, Cousins is 37-63 for 495 yards, 5 TD, 1 Int. He’s a must-start against the Giants, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Davis Webb vs WAS: Sit

Although Webb is active for Week 17, Giants head coach Steve Spagnuolo has come out and said that there is no plan to intentionally work Webb into the game. We’re going to have to wait until next season to see if Davis Webb can make it to fantasy relevancy.

Jacoby Brissett vs HOU: Start

Brissett is a great streaming option this week vs. Houston, who has allowed the 3rd most points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks in 2017. Since Week 15, Brissett is 33-63 for 373 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int. He’s also rushed the ball 8 times for 26 yards and 1 touchdown. His high upside, and safe floor make him a great a stream this week.

Jared Goff vs SF: Sit

It was confirmed earlier this week that Goff will not play in the Rams’ Week 17 season finale.

Tom Brady vs NYJ: Sit

Brady continued to struggle in Week 16, throwing for just 224 yards on 28 total throws (his lowest total attempts this season). He also had 2 TDs, 1 Int. Look for the Pats to ease off the gas if they get off to an early lead in this game. In deeper leagues, this combination could burn you.

Alex Smith vs DEN: Sit

The Chiefs have chosen to rest Smith in Week 17, as their playoff seeding is locked into place.

Patrick Mahomes vs DEN: Sit

I’ve never been a Mahomes fan; crediting his college success to overinflated stats in a miserable defensive conference (the Big 12). He’s got a lot of hype surrounding a solid preseason, however, the Broncos are not approaching Week 17 like their 3rd stringers would approach the preseason. Denver has allowed just 206 yards/game and 1.5 touchdowns/game to opposing quarterbacks in  2017.

Running Backs

Lamar Miller vs IND: Sit

Since Week 15 Miller has 19 carries, Alfred Blue has 28. It was clear in the Pittsburgh game last week that Miller is being intentionally phased out of the Houston offense. Miller has just 87 yards over his last two weeks, and hasn’t found the end zone since Week 12.

Wayne Gallman vs WAS: Start

The Giants have shown a late season commitment to seeing what their rookie back can do. Since Week 14, Gallman has 30 carries for 116 yards (3.8 yards/carry) and has caught 19 of his 24 targets (79%). If you’re looking for a flex option in PPR leagues, Gallman is a great option in Week 17.

Ezekiel Elliot vs PHI: Start

Early this week, it appeared that Dallas was going to bench their starters; more recently it’s come out, through the coaching staff and Zeke himself, that Elliot will get the start. That’s enough to make him worth playing.

Todd Gurley vs SF: Sit

Rams coaching staff confirmed earlier this week that Gurley will sit for Week 17.

Alex Collins vs CIN: Start

Collins has 6 games of at least 15 carries in his last 8 games. In those 8 games, he’s averaging 67 yards per game and has 5 touchdowns. Collins will be leading a motivated Ravens offense in a must-win vs a beaten down Bengals team that has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

Latavius Murray & Jerick McKinnon vs CHI: Sit

Chicago has allowed just 8 touchdowns to opposing running backs this season, and the 7th least fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. I don’t like either guy, in a game where the Vikings could easily take their foot off the gas. If you’re going to take one, take Murray who has 41 carries since Week 15 over McKinnon, who saw just 9 total carries and targets in Week 16.

Jamaal Williams vs DET: Start

Williams is the lone relevant back this week for the Packers, making him a sneaky flex play. He’s struggled the last two weeks; rushing for just 88 yards and no touchdowns on 25 carries. Those two games, however, were against the Panthers (3rd least fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs) and the Vikings (least fantasy points allowed). Detroit has allowed the 2nd most to opposing running backs this season; look for Williams to use his volume and match-up to make him a solid flex play.

Derrick Henry vs JAX: Sit

I mentioned earlier this week that Henry is a great trade target for dynasty owners. I stand by that, but this won’t be the game where he breaks out. He’s playing against a Jaguars defense that hasn’t expressed any desire to ease up in Week 17. Look for his value to take a hit after a tough performance this week, making him an even more desirable trade target.

Jordan Howard vs MIN: Sit

Howard has just 44 yards on 22 carries in Week 16 (2 yards/carry), and was saved by his two goal line touchdowns. In Week 17, he faces the Vikings who have allowed just 7 touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. In deeper leagues, avoid Howard.

Wide Receivers

Jamison Crowder vs NYG: Start

Crowder, like Cousins, has seen a resurgence in Weeks 15 and 16, catching 9 of his 11 targets for 102 yards and a touchdown in each game. The Giants have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wideouts over the last 4 weeks; making Crowder a high-end WR2 option this week.

Dede Westbrook vs TEN: Sit

Its clear that Cole (24 targets since Week 15) has become the more favorable option for Bortles, compared to Westbrook, who’s seen just 9 targets over that same span. Westbrook has just 1 touchdown this season, limiting his upside, and the Jaguars could easily change their game script to be run heavy if they get out to an early lead.

Marquise Goodwin vs LAR: Start

Goodwin had a tough Week 16 against Jacksonville, but we all saw that coming. Look for his numbers to reflect his performance in Weeks 12-15; 28 catches on 39 targets for 397 yards. Goodwin surely hasn’t given up on his season, looking to prove he can be a top wide receiver for a San Francisco team that is going to be spending a lot on free agents this off-season.

Davante Parker & Jarvis Landry vs BUF : Sit

Buffalo has allowed 4th least fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season; due in large part to only allowing 7 touchdowns. In shallow PPR leagues, you can play these two; as they’re still going to get their receptions. However, in deeper leagues, their upside is severely limited if they can’t find the end zone.

T.Y. Hilton vs HOU: Start

Hilton is facing the Texans, who have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. In his last two games, Hilton has seen 19 targets; which is equal to the total targets he saw from Weeks 10-14 combined. He’s turned those targets in 11 receptions for 141 yards. His recent performance, and match-up make him a WR 2 option this week.

Amari Cooper vs LAC: Sit

As a self-proclaimed Amari Cooper truther myself, I can confidently say: this is a trap. Amari got his big play touchdown in Week 16, but saw just 4 total targets. The Chargers have a lot more to play for in Week 17 and I expect them to shutdown the frustrated Oakland offense.

Golden Tate vs GB: Start

Tate has been a flex headache in deeper leagues this season. He’s facing off against the Packers this week, who have allowed 6th most points to opposing wideouts this season. When Tate played the Packers in Week 9, he caught 7 of his 9 targets for 113 yards. He’s worth a start in deeper leagues.

Josh Gordon vs PIT: Start

Gordon was a letdown in Week 16, catching just 2 of his 8 targets in a mess of a game for Kizer in snowy Chicago. Despite his poor performance, Gordon was targeted 8 times; to make 36 total targets in his 4 games since returning from suspension. If New England is up handily at halftime, the Steelers could back-off their starters, giving Gordon great second half upside in this game.

Tight Ends

Vernon Davis vs NYG: Start

Davis is a boom/bust play, but in Week 17 he very well could be a boom. He’s coming off a 2 reception, 42 yard, and 1 touchdown game. He faces the Giants, who have allowed 945 yards and 13 touchdowns to opposing tight ends in 2017.

Eric Ebron vs GB: Start

I was hype on Ebron last week, and he proved me right. Go back to him in Week 17, as he faces a Packers defense that’s allowed 19 receptions, 235 yards, and 2 touchdowns to opposing tight ends since Week 13. Since Week 13, Ebron has caught 24 of his 30 targets for 248 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Antonio Gates vs OAK: Start

I expected Gates to have a big Week 16, and I was right; he caught 6 of his 8 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. I see no reason why Gates won’t play just as big of a role in a Week 17 must-win; which very well could be the last game of his career if he doesn’t come through.

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Unsung Heroes Of The 2017 Fantasy Football Season

Eric Adams, Staff Writer

Week 17 is here and the 2017 Fantasy Football season is coming to a close. While the end of the season is bittersweet, it’s always nice to look back and reflect. Who surprised us this year? Who disappointed us this year? In this article, we will take a closer look at the unsung heroes of the 2017 Fantasy Football season.


Carson Wentz/ADP: 9th round or later: Talk about a bargain, Wentz took a huge leap forward in his second year as a starting quarterback. At the beginning of the season, Wentz went undrafted in many leagues. He will end the year a top 7 fantasy QB and would have been higher if he had not gotten hurt. Wentz has earned top-5 fantasy QB consideration heading into 2018.

Jared Goff/ADP: undrafted: Another 2016 NFL Draftee, Jared Goff also took a huge leap in his second year as the Rams starter. Amazing what a good group of receivers can do for a young guy. In all seriousness, fantasy pundits ranked Goff very low and even though there were some that were high on him, he went undrafted in a large amount of fantasy leagues. He will end the year a top 10 fantasy QB and that thought at the end of last year would’ve been laughed at.

Running Backs:

Alvin Kamara/ADP: 7th round or later: The Tennessee product took the league by storm after Adrian Peterson was traded. Once that trade was executed, a lot of people around the league felt the move said more about how the Saints feel about Kamara than how they feel about Peterson. AK41 has been an absolute stud this season, running the ball effectively and catching the ball better than any other running back not named Todd Gurley. He will be among the top 10 players drafted next season and deservedly so.

Duke Johnson JR./ADP: 8th round or later: Is it me or has Duke Johnson been on the cusp of fantasy relevance for a couple of years now? Well, 2017 was finally the year for the dynamic Browns back, as he will likely finish the year amongst the top 12 at his position. Johnson failed to score double-digit points in only 4 of 15 games this season for the Browns. Those that showed faith in him this season were rewarded.

Dion Lewis/ ADP: 11th round or later: It took Dion Lewis 2 years to get back to his 2015 fantasy form and he has not disappointed since becoming the leading rusher in the Patriots backfield. He very likely won some fantasy owners their championships last week if they started him against the Bills. It’s also amazing to think where Lewis would be had New England started the season with him as the lead back. He didn’t get more than 7 carries in a game until week 6, he could’ve been a top 10 back this season but hey, that’s New England running backs in a nutshell.

Wide Receivers:

Robby Anderson/ADP: 9th round or later: Anderson has emerged as a major hidden gem after going undrafted in the 2016 NFL draft. The Jets wide receiver is currently among the top 15 at his position in fantasy. That is bonkers considering his QB for most of the season was Josh McCown. I don’t know what to expect from Anderson next season from a fantasy perspective, but I have seen enough from him to know that this guy can play and that the Jets found an undrafted diamond in the rough for sure.

Nelson Agholor/ADP: 8th round or later: It took him 2 years but Agholor finally broke out in 2017. While he may not have the numbers you would like to see from a first round pick, he still performed very well in an Eagles offense that is full of weapons. Agholor likely has Carson Wentz to thank for his emergence because they definitely have developed a rapport. He is currently among the top 20 at his position in fantasy and is only 1 point behind Mike Evans. That is just downright absurd.

Tight Ends:

Evan Engram/ADP: 5th round or later: While it’s one thing to be hyped up as a possible fantasy stud like Engram was, it’s another to deliver and that is exactly what the rookie did in 2017. The lone silver lining in the Giants season, Engram showed that he was well worth the first round selection. He is currently the 4th best tight end in all of fantasy football and will be high on a lot of rankings lists coming into 2018.

Jack Doyle/ADP: 11th round or later: When the Colts traded Dwayne Allen to the Patriots, it signaled the true beginning of the Jack Doyle era in Indy. Even with no Luck this season, Doyle has not disappointed. He is currently the 7th best tight end in fantasy and has been one of the Colts’ top offensive weapons this season along with TY Hilton.

10 ‘Buy-Low’ Targets to Trade for NOW

Matt Hicks, Staff Writer

It’s Day 2 of the 2018 season, what have you done to improve your team? There’s no rest for successful fantasy football owners, and these 10 players are a great way for dynasty owners to get a jump start on winning their next title.


Tyrod Taylor

Taylor battled through terrible coaching, and a non-existent wide receiving corps to finish as the QB16 through Week 16. It’s impressive that this dual threat quarterback gained 2,987 total yards and 17 total touchdowns (13 passing) to just 4 interceptions this season. Tyrod accomplished this in just 13.5 games, including the one where he infamously bailed out his rookie replacement. It’s clear the Bills are looking to release Tyrod, rather than payout his contract; in just the latest series of them intentionally dismantling whatever talent remains in upstate New York. Look for Tyrod to land on a team that will appreciate a quarterback that’s gone 756-1,210 (63%) for 8,653 passing yards, 50 touchdowns and 16 touchdowns since becoming a starting quarterback in 2014. His dual threat potential, an additional 1,540 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns since 2014, makes him a potent fantasy option when in an offense that will feature his skills. Capitalize on uncertainty, and grab Tyrod cheap; but don’t wait too long, once he lands on a new team his value could skyrocket.

Eli Manning

This is a bit of a riskier one, so buy very low (or claim) him. There’s no beating around the push, Eli’s QB 22 finish through Week 16 was disappointing this season. In deeper leagues where he’s still rostered, though, he stands to gain value in 2018. If he departs from New York he’s bound to land on a playoff contending roster, like Denver or a Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh. If he stays in New York, he gains a healthy OBJ, Marshall, and an offensive line that’s likely to be improved both through free agency and the draft. He’s not worth a lot, but he’s worth a shot in deeper leagues.

Running Backs

C.J. Anderson

Anderson quietly rushed his way to RB15 on the season, making him a very high end RB2 in 2017. Anderson’s success has been undervalued because Denver refused to give him consistent work. In the 8 games he was given at least 15 carries, Anderson rushed for at least 75 yards 6 times, and over 115 yards twice. Anderson’s value was also diminished by his low performing offense; leading to just 4 touchdowns on the season, and zero mutli-touchdown games. Rather than paying for his high salary, Denver is likely to cut the running back they wasted, and Anderson will be free to land in a more dynamic offense where he can flourish; like the Giants or Seahawks. You’ll likely have to payout for Anderson but if you can get him for a third or second round pick, make that move; it’ll pay off.

Derrick Henry

Henry truthers rejoice, 2018 has to be the season the Titans feature Henry. In 2017 Henry rushed for 693 yards on 148 carries, to average 5 yards/carry. Compare that to DeMarco Murray who rushed for 34 less yards (659) on 36 more carries (184) for 1 less yard/carry (4). This offseason appears to be the perfect to for Tennessee to pivot away from the 29-year-old, injury ridden back to their explosive second year man out of Alabama; who has yet to get his chance as a lead back. Now is the time to buy into Henry, because once it’s clear that the Titans are moving away from Murray, it’ll be too late.

Wide Receivers
John Ross

Ross’ 2017 season ended as horribly as it started; off the field and full of confusion. Fantasy players look at the chaos of Ross’ first season and see a big bust. Good fantasy players look at him and see terrific value. Ross was a highly touted player out of college, known for his quick play and possession style. Ross will come into 2018 healthy and without Marvin Lewis; who never clicked with Ross. I’m giving him the ultimate mulligan and I’m willing to trade a third or fourth round pick for him. This is one player you may not have to act on quickly, but keep an eye on him as the new coaching staff comes together in Cincinnati.

Sammy Watkins

I wrote about Watkins earlier this week, but jaded Watkins owners may be ready to unload the player that hasn’t caught more than 4 receptions in any game since their Week 8 BYE. Since Week 9, however, Watkins has 6 touchdown receptions in 8 games. Watkins has the ability to move this offseason; if he’s able to join a dynamic offense where he better fits the scheme he has the ability to live up to his WR1 potential. Keep in mind, Watkins is just 24 years old; making him a prime buy-low target.

TY Hilton

This one is easy, but a horrific 2017 season might have made Hilton owners forget about the player who finished as WR5 in 2016. Expect Hilton to return to WR1 value once he is reunited with a healthy Andrew Luck in 2017. If you can snag Hilton for a 2nd round pick, make that move ASAP; once Luck is 100% healthy, the Hilton hype will start rapidly building.

Tight Ends

OJ Howard

Howard was targeted 4 or more times in a game just twice in Weeks 1-10. In Weeks 11-15 he saw 4 or more targets 3 times; leading to 12 receptions, 206 yards and 3 touchdowns. It appears to be an intentional switch from Cameron Brate; who was the featured receiving tight end early in the season. Howard can still be bought low, even though he’s just outside of a TE1; at TE15 through Week 16. As Howard continues to develop, I expect him to grow into a more featured role in the offense.

David Njoku

Njoku is a very cheap value, finishing as the TE21 in 2017. The rookie, however, had the second most targets on the team (57), the most receptions (30), the second most receiving yards (348), and twice as many touchdowns (4) as the next receiver on the team. As Cleveland’s offense continues to grow, likely with a new quarterback, Njoku’s stats could scale him into a potent fantasy option at the most shallow position in fantasy.

George Kittle

I mentioned earlier this week that if Kittle is claimed in your fantasy league, he’s worth making a move for. Kittle has performed well since being paired up with Garoppolo. Since Week 15, Kittle has caught 7 of his eight targets for 94 yards and a touchdown. With an entire off-season to work with his new superstar potential quarterback, this rookie could emerge as a low end TE1, high end TE2 in 2018. Keep this underrated rookie on your radar during the off-season.

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Week 17 Waiver Targets & Dynasty Stashes

Matt Hicks, Staff Writer 


Mitch Trubisky (4.7% Owned) *

Trubisky put up another solid showing in Week 16 against Cleveland in terrible weather conditions. Trubisky went 14-23 for 193 yards, in a game where fellow rookie DeShone Kizer went 18-36 with 2 interceptions. Trubisky has developed into a competent game manager in his first season, and he’s put on display an ability to rush the ball as well; gaining 44 yards and a touchdown on 7 attempts in Week 16. Trubisky shouldn’t be a streamer against the Vikings in Week 17, but he’s more valuable as a dynasty stash for owners who are willing to see what he can do with an offseason of development.

Joe Flacco (13% Owned)

Flacco finished as a top 10 quarterback for the second week in a row when he went 29-38 (76%) for 237 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 16. Since Week 13, Flacco is 98-151 (65%) for 1,063 yards, 7 touchdowns and 1 interception. He needs to be considered as a prime streaming option in Week 17 against a Bengals defense that’s allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks since Week 13.

Davis Webb (0.1% Owned)

This is more long-term thinking; but keep your eye on Webb. He began taking over the majority of first team work in practice last week, and you’d have to think the Giants need to see him in in some game time action before heading into the 2018 draft. You’ll hear a lot of hype about the Giants taking a quarterback in the first round, but I don’t expect them to. You don’t need to claim Webb yet, but keep he should be on your radar.

Running Backs

Matt Breida (5.2% Owned)

The undrafted rookie looked great against a Jaguars defense that was supposed to shutdown the 49ers. He rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries (6.7 yards/carry). Breida has now rushed for 393 yards on 93 attempts (4.2 yards/carry) on the season. There was a lot of talk about moving Hyde in the preseason, and Lynch has shown little loyalty to the established players on his roster. Keep an eye on Breida to emerge as the RB1 in San Francisco if Hyde moves during the offseason.

C.J. Anderson (82.2% Owned)

Anderson is unlikely to be available in your fantasy league, but dynasty players need to seriously consider making a trade for him, now. Anderson proved, once again, in Week 16 that when he gets volume, he performs (88 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, 7 catches for 45 yards). Anderson’s value is still low because he’s underutilized in Denver. Lucky for Anderson owners, it’s likely that Denver will be moving his large contract in the offseason, and he should emerge as a RB2 fantasy player in 2018 when he’s on a team that will give him the volume he needs.

Alfred Blue (0.3% Owned)

Houston gave Blue more carries than Miller in both Week 15 and Week 16. In those two weeks, Blue has used those 18 attempts to rush for 163 yards. Blue is a flex streaming option in Week 17 when he faces the Colts, who have allowed the 6th most fantast points to opposing running backs this season.

Wide Receivers

Kendall Wright (9.4% Owned)

Wright managed to pull in 4 of his 6 targets in a snow filled gamed in Week 16. He now has seen 30 targets over the last 3 weeks and has pulled in 21 of those for 216 yards. Wright leads all Chicago wideouts on the season in targets (83), receptions (54), reception percentage (65%), and overall fantasy points. Although it’s not the most impressive receiver corps. to be leading, the future looks bright for Wright. As Chicago continues to develop their young team and add weapons in the offseason, Wright could grow in a consistent flex option, or low end WR2 for next season; making him worthy of a dynasty stash.

Jakeem Grant (0.1% Owned)

Grant finished as the WR2 in Week 16, catching 4 of 6 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown. Grant has seem limited playing time outside of special teams this season, but he’s scored a touchdown in both games he’s seen at least 4 targets. Grant is very quick, and has a raw skillset that if developed, could make him a potent deep scoring threat in 2018. In deep leagues, Grant is worth a stash; in other dynasty leagues he needs to be on your radar.

Sammy Watkins (76.7% Owned)

Watkins is another buy low trade target. Jaded Watkins owners may be ready to unload the player that hasn’t caught more than 4 receptions in any game since their Week 8 BYE. Since Week 9, however, Watkins has 6 touchdown receptions in 8 games. Watkins has the ability to move this offseason; if he’s able to join a dynamic offense where he better fits the scheme he has the ability to live up to his WR1 potential. Keep in mind, Watkins is just 24 years old; making him a prime buy-low target.

Tight Ends

Antonio Gates (16.9% Owned)

I wrote last week that Gates could have a big end of the season, making one last big impact in what’s likely his final playoff run. Gates proved me right in Week 16, catching 6 of 8 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown; making it two straight games Gates has found the end zone. In Week 17, Gates faces off against Oakland; who has allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. If you’re playing in Week 17, he’s a difference making streaming option.

George Kittle (1.5% Owned)

Kittle has performed well since being paired up with Garoppolo. Since Week 15, Kittle has caught 7 of his eight targets for 94 yards and a touchdown. With an entire off-season to work with his new superstar potential quarterback, this rookie could emerge as a low end TE1, high end TE2 in 2018. Keep this underrated rookie on your radar during the off-season.

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Fantasy Baseball Christmas Gifts & Coal

John Aurora, Contributor 

Happy holidays everyone! It’s that time of year where there are a couple more weeks left for football, which means only 50 more days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Below I break down the most relevant offseason transactions so far and will provide a fantasy spin to those prepping for the fantasy baseball season.

Christmas Gifts

Giancarlo Stanton, OF

  • 2017 team: Miami Marlins
  • 2018 team: New York Yankees

The Yankees’ major trade acquiring Stanton is probably the biggest trade they’ve made since acquiring Alex Rodriguez. Stanton is coming off an MVP season in Miami where he hit 59 homers and 132 RBIs. I LOVE the trade for Stanton as he will be crushing balls out of Yankee Stadium, he can stay fresh rotating between RF and DH, and I believe playing for a winning team and playing with a similar type player in Aaron Judge will motivate him to be even better. I believe we have not seen the best from Stanton and would consider drafting him in the top three of any draft.

Marcell Ozuna, OF

  • 2017 team: Miami Marlins
  • 2018 team: St. Louis Cardinals

Ozuna had a career year in Miami and will now be taking his talents to St. Louis. He ended the year with a .312 average, 37 HRs, and 124 RBIs. I do see some regression with his high .355 BABIP, but he is entering his prime years and I expect his power to continue in a similar venue to his old team’s home. The Cardinals are a first-class organization with a history of winning and I do believe that culture plays a part in helping players reach their potential. That being said, Ozuna is a top-10 outfielder for me and worth an early round pick.

Dee Gordon, 2B

  • 2017 team: Miami Marlins
  • 2018 team: Seattle Mariners

The Mariners acquired the speedy Gordon from the Marlins and plan to bat him leadoff and play centerfield. We’ve seen this before moving a speedy infielder to the outfield (see Billy Hamilton), so his dual eligibility will definitely be a bonus. Stolen bases will be scarce yet again, so Gordon will be counted on to produce his usual 60+ stolen bases with a good batting average and plenty of runs in a deep Mariners lineup. He deserves a mid-round pick.

Christmas Coal

Shohei Ohtani, SP/DH

  • 2017 team: Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (Japan)
  • 2018 team: Los Angeles Angels

Ohtani is one of the most interesting players both in real life and in fantasy. The so-called “Babe Ruth” of Japan signed with the Angels and is expected to pitch and be the team’s designated hitter. Various fantasy websites are still figuring out how to classify his “position,” but I see him being a non-factor as a hitter at least, especially playing half his games in spacious Angels Stadium. Mike Scioscia is not exactly the most innovative manager in the league and an aging, expensive Albert Pujols cannot expect to play first base every day. I do not expect Ohtani to get the necessary at-bats to stay relevant, as a .240 average with about 5-8 homers seems most realistic.

Ohtani, the pitcher, makes an interesting case for fantasy. He has high strikeout potential, but I do have concerns about his health (he missed most of 2017 with ankle and hamstring injuries) and his transition from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league to MLB. Even the great Yu Darvish struggled a bit his first season. I think Ohtani has the potential to be a factor, but would wait to see how he pitches in spring training to see how he fares.

Evan Longoria

  • 2017 team: Tampa Bay Rays
  • 2018 team: San Francisco Giants

Going to miss Longoria on the Rays, but will be happy to see him not killing my Yankees anymore. “Longo” has been a model of consistency the last five years, although he is more of a “brand name” than a player who has the upside to win you a championship. Longoria is a high-floor, low-ceiling type of player, which is useful in fantasy, but his ceiling is further limited by the fact is new home is the very spacious AT&T Park. He is a player worth a later draft pick, although my strategy is to spend those picks on high-risk/high-reward players.

Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Fernando Rodney, RP

  • 2017 team: Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 2018 team: Minnesota Twins

The ageless Rodney will be on his ninth team for his 16th major league season. He finished last year going 5-4 with a 4.23 ERA and converted 39 of 45 save chances, which was tied for 4th in MLB. The Twins will be competitive again in 2018 and I expect him to be the closer. Although every time he pitches is eventful, he should finish with 30+ saves due to a lack of competition. Remember don’t pay for saves.