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Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

DFS Preview for Week 17
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 Jared Goff.

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 GPP.

Here are a few other players that I am targeting in the final week of the NFL season.

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford has scored 20+ fantasy points in six straight games against the Packers.


H2H/Cash - Matthew Stafford vs. Green Bay ($6,300 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider - Cam Newton @ Atlanta & Philip Rivers vs. Oakland

GPP - Kirk Cousins @ NY Giants ($6,200 on DraftKings)

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 quarterbacks.

Other options to consider - Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Rams & Patrick Mahomes @ Denver

Fade - Matt Ryan vs. Carolina ($5,900 on DraftKings)

The Panthers would love nothing less than helping to keep the Falcons out of the playoffs with a win on Sunday, and Matt Ryan has not posted a 20-point game since Week 9.

Running Backs

H2H/Cash - Derrick Henry vs. Jacksonville ($5,500 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider - Jamaal Williams @ Detroit & Giovani Bernard @ Baltimore

GPP - Malcolm Brown vs. 49ers ($3,900 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider - Fitzgerald Toussaint vs. Cleveland & Tion Green vs. Green Bay

Fade - Melvin Gordon vs. Oakland ($7,400 on DraftKings)

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 Gordon.

Wide Receivers

H2H/Cash - Keenan Allen vs. Oakland ($7,800 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider - Marvin Jones vs. Green Bay & Marquise Goodwin @ L.A. Rams

GPP - T.Y. Hilton vs. Houston ($5,900 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider - Josh Gordon @ Pittsburgh & Jamison Crowder @ NY Giants

Fade - Adam Thielen vs. Chicago ($7,600 on DraftKings)

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.

Tight End

H2H/Cash - Antonio Gates vs. Oakland ($4,200 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider – Jack Doyle vs. Houston & Rob Gronkowski vs. NY Jets

GPP - George Kittle @ L.A. Rams ($2,800 on DraftKings)

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 five contests.

Other options to consider - Vance McDonald vs. Cleveland & Charles Clay @ Miami

Fade - Travis Kelce @ Denver ($7,100 on DraftKings)

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.