featured Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

James Davis

Daily Fantasy Football Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Week 17 1/1/17

Week 17 is here! You know what that means - lots of back-up quarterbacks, teams with nothing to play for, and wide spreads that seemingly make no sense. You ready for a little Landry Jones vs. RG III this week? Me too! Never fear, there's still value and some sanity in play here. Let's dive in.

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Drew BreesDrew Brees FD 8200 DK 7400
Opponent ATL
Proj Points FD - 22.3 DK - 23.07
Brees was a chalk play in week 16, and was mostly a disappointment, putting up 16 fantasy points against one of the worst pass defenses in Tampa Bay. But I mean, was he really that bad? He threw for 299 yards and had no interceptions, and if he gets either of those vultured TDs from Mark Ingram back we're looking at pretty much a fine week. And, yes, those are sort of excuses on some level. The signs are all there for this to be a huge week for him, though. Vegas has this game pegged as having the highest over by an absurd eight points, which is the highest so far this season. And we're getting Brees at a discount to what we've had to pay for him in previous weeks. Throw in the fact that a lot of the biggest names will be operating in a more limited capacity this week, and Brees looks like a cash game lock for the DFSR family this week.

Russell WilsonRussell Wilson FD 7600 DK 6300
Opponent SF
Proj Points FD - 21.17 DK - 22.08
We talked about this on the podcast, but there are only a handful of teams with something to play for this week, and Seattle is one of them. Wilson followed up a tough first half against Arizona with a monster second half, putting up his best overall fantasy performance of the season just in the nick of time. And this week, he'll have an historically great match-up against the Niners. They've been the worst defense in the league by every observable metric this season, from most points allowed to most yards allowed. Wilson has been up and down this season, and the extra variance introduced by the fact that Seattle might just decide a division title is enough (or if Atlanta gets off to a big lead against New Orleans) might be enough to keep Wilson out of your cash games. Still, the upside here is just too juicy to ignore.

Aaron RodgersAaron Rodgers FD 8800 DK 6700
Opponent DET
Proj Points FD - 22.46 DK - 23.06
There are a lot of great big money options at quarterback this week, and Rodgers certainly qualifies. He dominated the vaunted Vikings defense last week, dropping 347 yards and 4 touchdowns while sprinkling in a rushing touchdown for good measure. When we're talking about teams with something on the line, Green Bay is front and center. A loss in this game could undo all of the good feelings from their 5 game win streak, pushing them not only out of the division lead but out of the playoff picture altogether. He'll be up against the reeling Lions, who have ridden an incredible streak of luck to even find themselves in the position of being competitive for a playoff spot this season. They have a -5 point differential this season, and more importantly, have allowed the 10th highest yards per pass attempt of any defense this season. With Jordy Nelson fully online and nothing left to leave on the table, this Rodgers spot is the only thing that might have me consider turning my attention away from Brees this week.

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David JohnsonDavid Johnson FD 9300 DK 9200
Opponent LA
Proj Points FD - 21.36 DK - 23.46
There is potentially a great deal of running back value this week with some teams suffering injuries last week and others just sitting out. Johnson is the one big money guy I think you can consider in the match-up against the Rams. LA’s been fine enough against the run this season and they do play at a slower pace, but Johnson remains at the elite level of touches and volume out of running back. Last week against Seattle he saw 28 touches and 7 targets and on the season trails only Le’Veon Bell in carries + targets per game (Bell leads him 29.5 to 27). The next closest guy, Zeke Eliiott, has touched it 10% less per game. There isn’t much reason to expect the Cardinals to go light on Johnson this week and he’s going to come damn close to 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards on the season. Again, there is plenty of running back value going into this week, but Johnson appears the one safe play in the upper pricing tier.

DeAngelo WilliamsDeAngelo Williams FD 4500 DK 5500
Opponent CLE
Proj Points FD - 20.04 DK - 21.64
Hey, welcome back old friend. It seems like a lifetime ago when we were trotting Williams out week after week while he burdened the full carries load for the Steelers. In the first two games of the season, with Le’Veon Bell serving a suspension, Williams averaged a 29/119 on the ground and 5/33 through the air. That’s the equivalent to what the aforementioned David Johnson sees in volume. It looks like Bell will rest, and Williams will step in against a Cleveland team ranked dead last in the league against the run. Williams is coming at the running back minimum on FanDuel this week and wouldn’t even need to see anywhere near his previous levels of production in order to hit value. He’s $5500 on DraftKings so I suppose it’s a little close, but not really. It’s too good of a match-up and he could see elite opportunity here with the Steelers resting starters. Update: It looks like the Steelers may take more of a committee approach to this one which would limit Williams' upside. 

Mark IngramMark Ingram FD 6100 DK 4400
Opponent ATL
Proj Points FD - 13.96 DK - 15.05
Do you believe the last two weeks worth of carries? I suppose we have to with Ingram. The Saints’ coaching staff hasn’t been shy about quick hooks for Ingram if the game script dictates a switch up or he’s under-performing. But the last two weeks they’ve relied heavily on the guy and he needs just 24 yards to finish with a career high(and 60 to hit 1,000 on the year). The Saints are underdogs to the Falcons this week which could buzz off some of Ingram’s opportunity, but he’s averaging a solid 5.1 yards per carry and will see use through the passing game. Atlanta doesn’t have a strong defense and again, this game has by far the highest total on the week. Ingram is a better value on DraftKings at $4400 and I think I’ll take my exposure there.

Christopher IvoryChristopher Ivory FD 5300 DK 3600
Opponent IND
Proj Points FD - 13.89 DK - 15.63
Bilal PowellBilal Powell FD 6600 DK 6000
Opponent BUF
Proj Points FD - 16.69 DK - 19.15
These two fall into the category of “Possible High Usage Backs on Embarrassingly Bad Teams”. It’s easy to look at their potential for big workloads and want to get in some value on their prices though it is worth it to remember that the Jags and Jets suck. It’s hard to be a running back on a bad team for all of the obvious reasons (call Todd Gurley if you need an explanation on this one). But both T.J. Yeldon and Matt Forte are out this week leaving the backfields to Ivory and Powell. I tend to trust Powell a little bit more against Buffalo who just let Jay Ajayi rack up 200 yards on the ground against them. Powell will also catch balls out of the backfield. Though Ivory faces an Indy team ranked 29th in DVOA against the rush.

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Jordy NelsonJordy Nelson FD 8200 DK 7000
Opponent DET
Proj Points FD - 17.95 DK - 21.26
Jordy's been a DFSR darling for several weeks now, and for good reason. He's been something of a forgotten man in the DFS community this year thanks to some injury problems, and it's easy to forget that in the not too distant past he was a $9,000 cash game staple. Well, the performance has been reminiscent of that player, but the price still hasn't caught up. Nelson managed 154 yards and 2 touchdowns against the 2nd ranked Minnesota passing defense, so this meeting with the Lions' below league average passing defense represents a pretty strict upgrade. I mentioned this in the Rodgers write-up, but it's really hard to imagine not taking the clear #1 receiver who has the most to play for this week.

Julio JonesJulio Jones FD 8300 DK 8100
Opponent NO
Proj Points FD - 15.43 DK - 18.39
My bet for the other chalk big money wide receiver of the week. Jones was conspicuously absent in a lot of offensive sets for the Falcons last week, playing in just 62% of offensive snaps and simply not looking quite right even when he was out there. But was that all in our heads? He and the Falcons have both said he is fine, and if you extrapolate his line over a full set of snaps it was a lot more respectable. With another week to get himself right, Julio stands to be in a pretty decent spot here against a New Orleans team that's allowed the 3rd most passing yards per attempt this season. And the Falcons? They have as much to play for as anyone. If they win they lock up a first round bye, so they essentially get two cuts at winning the first round, with this being one of them. Jones was very bad in their first meeting this season, but his health has improved quite a bit since then, and I think we could be in for a monster game here.

Doug BaldwinDoug Baldwin FD 7100 DK 6000
Opponent SF
Proj Points FD - 19.45 DK - 23.73
When Lockett went down last week, Baldwin responded in a big way, gathering 13 catches on an astounding 19 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown. It's unclear that Seattle will go for broke in this game, but with a first round bye in the realm of plausibility it's hard to imagine them changing the script too much for this game. Like I mentioned above, the Niners have been otherworldly bad this season, and Baldwin obliterated them for 164 yards earlier this season. He's still underpriced relative to his huge role on the Seattle offense, and while this game might get out of hand (and thus favor the run more than usual), it's hard to imagine that he doesn't at least play a big role in building out that league in the first place.

Consider: Odell Beckham Jr. He was an animal against the Eagles, but there's some chance the Giants wind up resting their starters here since they're locked into the 5 seed regardless. It's hard to imagine trotting him out there in a 50/50 or a double-up, but he's a worthwhile flyer if the Giants decide they want to rip Washington's throat out here.


Travis KelceTravis Kelce FD 6800 DK 5000
Opponent SD
Proj Points FD - 13.91 DK - 17.13
Tight end’s been kind of a nightmare this whole season, but I think we can take Kelce rather safely this week. He’s actually 8th in the league in receiving yards for the season (I was surprised by this) and is ahead of some household names like Amari Cooper and Doug Baldwin to name a couple. He’s third in TE targets behind Greg Olsen and Kyle Rudolph, but is doing a much better job at converting the opportunity. Five of his last six weeks have seen him top 100 yards receiving, with the only rub being that he's only scored a single touchdown in that time. But this guy’s basically been close to an elite level WR and is priced below that tier of wide out. The Chargers are middle of the pack against tight ends this season and I’m fine paying for Kelce’s weekly high floor.

Kyle RudolphKyle Rudolph FD 5900 DK 4900
Opponent CHI
Proj Points FD - 12.06 DK - 15.11
I guess his ears were ringing after I mentioned him in Kelce's write-up! He, along with Kelce and Greg Olsen basically sit in a tight end group by themselves this season (with Dennis Pitta quietly knocking on the door asking to be let in). Rudolph’s coming significantly cheaper than Olsen on FanDuel for about the same opportunity. The Bears rank 28th in DVOA against the tight end this season and seen steady target share over the course of the season. For Week 17, it’s fine to pay a little bit for the relative safety considering we are getting value in other spots.


Arizona Cardinals vs. the Los Angeles Rams
The Rams managed just 21 points against the league-worst San Francisco defense last week, and this week they'll face a Cardinals team that's allowed the 3rd fewest yards per game this season. The Rams' offense, quite simply, is a crime against humanity. They've scored a league worst 14.5 points per game this season, and are the only team in the NFL to not top 300 total yards per game. Their 272 yards per game are the worst since Arizona's 263 yards per game in 2012, and that's in spite of playing 2 games against the league's worst 49ers. It's hard to imagine them being motivated here, and I love the Cardinals' D in any format.

The Seattle Seahawks vs. the San Francisco 49ers
It's a trap game for the 49ers, who ended their 14 game skid by poetically beating the Rams for the 2nd time this season. There's just something that tickles me about a team going 2-14 with 2 wins against the same team, but that team somehow not being winless. Anywho. As of this writing the 49ers 17 point total is the lowest in Vegas (just a hair better than the lowly Rams), and Seattle is a high upside defense that can generate lots of turnovers and big plays. It's worth nothing that they'll be missing Lockett's electric special teams upside here, but that doesn't mean you should ignore a top 5 defense with an excellent match-up at a reasonable price.

Football, baby!

Again, you can grab a free trial of our NFL DFS suite of tools including full projections, optimal NFL lineups and our Player Lab, which includes filters to help you create NFL lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings for any format. It’s a set of tools well beyond anything we’ve ever had, and something we feel will help our users crush it this daily fantasy NFL season.

You can grab a go test it out yourself.

1 Visitor Comment

  1. All of your prices are wrong. May want to run the players through the system with this week’s prices.

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