Week 17 presents unique opportunities
for DFS players as NFL teams locked in their playoff seeding sit
starting players to rest and recuperate for the playoffs. Teams
like the Rams, the surprise No.1 scoring offense in the NFL through
Week 16, cannot improve from the No.3 seed, so head coach Sean McVay
wisely decided to sit MVP candidate Todd Gurley and quarterback
Gurley’s absence opens the door for second-year tailback
Malcolm Brown to carry the load for the Rams against a 49ers defense
that allows the second-most points to opposing backs. Brown will
not duplicate the impressive season that Gurley delivered, and
the Rams will not pose as much of a threat with Sean Mannion under
center, but at $3,900, Brown is an excellent inexpensive option
for tournament players.
The Steelers will reportedly sit Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon
Bell, opening the door for Landry Jones and Fitzgerald Toussaint
to start at quarterback and running back respectively against
the Browns. Jones is not someone I am targeting in DFS, but Toussaint
and his $4,300 salary could be a solid option as a flex play in
Here are a few other players that I am targeting in the final
week of the NFL season.
Matthew Stafford has scored 20+ fantasy
points in six straight games against the Packers.
Stafford has been underwhelming over the past month with just
one 20-point performance since Week 11, and he has yet to top
30 points in a game all year. Although he hasn’t been an
elite DFS player in 2017, he has found great success against the
Packers over his career, including a 25-point game at Lambeau
in Week 9. Neither team has much to play for other than a supreme
disliking of their divisional opponent, and Stafford and the Lions
ran up the score against the Packers by passing in the red zone
up 30-17 with less than a minute left in the game earlier this
year. I anticipate bad blood will motivate the Lions to run up
the score once again on the injury-depleted Packer defense.
In what could be his final game with the Redskins (My money is
on the Giants or Broncos), captain Kirk will go out with a bang
against a Giants team that allows the most points to opposing
Henry looks poised to get a full load of carries with Demarco
Murray hampered with an MCL tear. Murray claimed that he wanted
to play through the injury, but he’s been ruled out meaning
Henry will be working as the lead dog. Passing against Jacksonville
has been an exercise in futility for anyone not named Jimmy Garoppolo,
but you can run on the Jags, and the Titans will want to control
the game on the ground.
Brown is an excellent cheap source of touches as the starting
running back for the Rams in this meaningless game against the
49ers. I am not impressed by his talent or physical attributes,
but I am always interested in sub-4k running backs on the highest
scoring team in the league when they take on the 49ers.
Gordon claims to be ready to play through an ankle injury, and
there is a chance that he is the top running back this week if
in fact he is healthy enough to play a full game against the Raiders.
I am leaning toward avoiding him based on my gut feeling that
he isn’t going to be 100% and the Chargers will win handily
over the Raiders, thus not requiring a full load of work from
Oakland is terrible, this is a must-win game for the Chargers,
and Melvin Gordon is not 100%, which could force the Chargers
to pass more than planned. Those are three reasons why I am starting
Allen in cash games this week. It also doesn’t hurt that
Allen is averaging 10 targets over his last six games.
Hilton’s best game of the year came against Houston Week
9 with five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns, and he is
coming off a season-high 12 targets against Baltimore. At just
$5,900, Hilton is my favorite sub-6k WR is GPP this week.
The Bears have not allowed a 100-yard receiver since Antonio
Brown Week 3 and only two receiving touchdowns over the past month
of action. Thielen may find the end zone, but I don’t envision
a big game worthy of his 7.6k price tag.
Count me in on what could be Gates’ final game of his career,
with the Chargers perilously close to missing the playoffs. Gates
was a beast last week with eight catches for 81 yards and a score,
with a similar stat line well within reason against an Oakland
team that has allowed the 6th-most points to opposing tight ends
over the past five games. Pair gates with Rivers as a cash game
stack and reap the rewards.
An excellent sub-3k option this week is Kittle against the Rams
in a game that means nothing to Los Angeles and everything to
the surging 49ers. Kittle has averaged 11 points in his last two
games, and the Rams have allowed four touchdowns in their previous
I would recommend Kelce as my cash start of the week if Alex
Smith were under center and not Pat Mahomes. It is possible that
Kelce comes through with a big game against a Denver defense that
has quit on the season, but I am a bit concerned with Kelce’s
rapport with Mahomes and how much action he will see in this game.
Chargers vs. Oakland
My two favorite D/ST’s of the week
are the Chargers vs. Oakland & the Vikings at home against
Mitchell Trubkisy and the Bears. Both are excellent options, with
the Chargers having more touchdown upside.