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.
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.
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.
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.
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.