Play of the Week: Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($6,300)
It took a plus matchup against the Jets to finally unlock Rodgers’ upside last week.
Sunday brings another pristine spot at home for a Lions squad sitting dead last in Football Outsiders’ pass defense rankings, 27th in DraftKings points allowed to QBs and 25th in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed.
Rodgers smoked this crew for 33.7 DK points back in Week 5 — his 2nd biggest outing of the season. And despite last week’s massive game, his price didn’t climb for the rematch.
Pay Up For: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs ($7,100)
Mahomes and Co. will be going all-out in Sunday’s finale, needing a win to secure the AFC’s #1 seed.
He’s at home for a complete mismatch vs. a Raiders defense that Football Outsiders ranks 31st against the pass. Oakland has allowed multiple passing scores in 12 of 15 games this year — including a 4-TD outing from Mahomes back in Week 13.
Value Option: Blake Bortles, Jaguars ($4,400)
Wouldn’t it be classic Week 17 to get a big game from Bortles?
He’s back under center for the finale in an upside spot. The Jags figure to be playing from behind the Texans (they’re currently 7.5-point underdogs), which should boost Bortles’ volume. He’ll be playing indoors. And he gets a pass-funnel Houston defense that ranks 1st against the run but 22nd vs. the pass, according to Football Outsiders.
The Texans, of course, just coughed up that huge outing to Nick Foles and have allowed 11 total passing scores in their last 5 games.
Don’t mess with Bortles in cash games. (I’ve made that mistake.) But he’s an intriguing tournament play at a dirt-cheap price that allows you to load up at other positions.
Tournament Target: Jared Goff, Rams ($6,200)
While the fantasy production wasn’t huge, Goff bounced back nicely last week. He completed 79.2% of his passes and averaged 9.0 yards per attempt — both better than his season-long marks.
Now Goff returns home, where’s he’s been better all year. He’s averaged a big 28.6 DraftKings points per game at home vs. just 15.9 on the road.
And he gets an exploitable 49ers squad that sits 25th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense rankings, 26th in DK points allowed to QBs and 29th in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed.
Play of the Week: Jamaal Williams, Packers ($6,000)
He worked out nicely for us last week, so let’s go right back to the well. Williams’ price is up only $600 — not nearly enough for his new workhorse role.
In last week’s win over the Jets, Williams played 95% of the Packers’ offensive snaps and handled 92% of the backfield opportunities. He turned his 15 carries and 9 targets into 27.6 DraftKings points.
Week 17 brings a Lions defense that’s been tougher against the run since adding DT Damon Harrison. But Williams’ Packers are 7.5-point home favorites with a nice 26.25-point implied total. Game environment and volume make Williams a strong play at his price tag.
Pay Up For: Saquon Barkley, Giants ($8,200)
The Giants didn’t back off their stud rookie last week, playing him on 88% of the offensive snaps and feeding him 26 touches. In a home game against the division-rival Cowboys this Sunday, expect another full workload for Barkley. And he’ll benefit from Dallas likely resting some key defensive starters.
It’s worth noting that Barkley is sitting on 87 catches. Don’t be surprised if the G-Men look to get him to triple digits. He already has a 14-catch game this season, so 13 on Sunday isn’t out of the question.
Value Option: Peyton Barber, Bucs ($3,600)
Week 17 wackiness puts plenty of cheap RBs in play. I’ll be considering Jeff Wilson ($4,400), Zach Zenner ($4,000), Brian Hill ($3,900), Royce Freeman ($3,500) and Dwayne Washington ($3,000).
But my favorite cheapie is a guy who’s been his team’s lead dog all season. Barber has tallied 15+ touches in 6 straight and 10 of 15 overall. He’s racked up 41 touches over his last 2.
Barber has unsurprisingly struggled for the better part of the past month with 4 straight games against top 10 RB defenses. The sledding will be much easier on Sunday against a Falcons squad sitting 30th in Football Outsiders’ run defense rankings, 32nd in DK points allowed to RBs and 28th in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed.
Barber posted 20.6 DK points in his 1st meeting with Atlanta back in Week 6.
Tournament Target: Melvin Gordon, Chargers ($8,400)
Gordon predictably struggled last week, coming off that knee injury and facing a stout Ravens run defense. I think the Chargers make it a point to get him rolling this weekend as they head into the playoffs.
Gordon draws a Broncos squad that sits a middling 15th in Football Outsiders’ run defense rankings, 16th in DK points allowed to RBs and 13th in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed. He posted 21.6 points against them back in Week 11 without scoring a TD.
Play of the Week: Kenny Golladay, Lions ($6,600)
Golladay is getting elite usage. Since Week 10, he ranks 4th among all WRs in targets (71) and 3rd in air yards (938).
His fantasy production has been volatile over that span. But Sunday sets up as a big one. Detroit’s pass volume should be up as 7.5-point underdogs in Green Bay. And the Packers rank 28th in DraftKings points allowed to WRs and 31st in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed.
Pay Up For: Davante Adams, Packers ($8,000)
He set season highs last week with 11 catches and 18 targets. That makes double-digit targets in 4 straight and 5 of his last 6.
Expect Adams to be busy again in Sunday’s finale. He needs 134 yards to break Jordy Nelson’s team record for single-season receiving yards. Look for Aaron Rodgers to do what he can to get him there.
The Lions won’t present much resistance, either. They sit dead last in Football Outsiders’ pass defense rankings and coughed up 32 DraftKings points to Adams earlier this season.
Adams didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday and is listed on the injury report with a knee, so we’ll need to monitor his status into Sunday.
Value Option: Jordy Nelson, Raiders ($4,900)
Only 9 WRs have seen more targets than Nelson over the past 4 weeks. He hasn’t dipped below 7 targets or 6 catches during that span. And he’s scored 10.8+ DraftKings points in every game.
The stretch started with an 11-target, 10-catch, 97-yard outing against the Chiefs. Nelson should be busy again in the rematch with Oakland likely to be playing catchup throughout the afternoon.
Tournament Target: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers ($3,900)
With Randall Cobb out with his concussion last week, MVS stepped back in as Green Bay’s primary slot receiver. He played 79% of the offensive snaps and posted a 5-75 line on 9 targets.
Assuming Cobb is out again for Sunday’s finale, Valdes-Scantling will be in an excellent spot vs. a Lions defense that’s allowed the 7th most PPR points to slot receivers. He’s a super cheap way to get exposure to the Packers’ passing game.
Update: Cobb cleared the concussion protocol on Thursday and is now on track to play this weekend. Despite the plus matchup, he's overpriced at $5,000.
Play of the Week and Pay Up For: Travis Kelce, Chiefs ($7,200)
With all the value at RB, it’s easier to pay up for an elite TE this week. Zach Ertz ($6,700) and George Kittle ($6,300) are also worth considering, but Kelce boasts the best matchup.
The Raiders sit dead last in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage rankings, 28th in DraftKings points allowed to TEs and 30th in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed to TEs. Oakland coughed up a massive 12-168-2 line to Kelce a few weeks ago.
Kelce rolls into the finale averaging 20.0 DK points per game. That leads all TEs and would rank 9th among WRs. So when you think of it as getting a WR1 in your TE spot, Kelce’s $7,200 price tag is plenty palatable.
Value Option: Gerald Everett, Rams ($2,800)
Everett’s price hasn’t budged despite a big uptick in volume over the past month. He’s seen 7, 7 and 6 targets and caught 4, 4 and 5 balls in his last 3 games. Everett has scored between 6.9 and 9.6 DraftKings points in those outings.
So he gives us a nice floor for cash games — and he’s shown upside with a 19.9-point outing back in Week 11.
Everett gets a 49ers defense on Sunday that Football Outsiders ranks 19th in TE coverage.
Tournament Target: Chris Herndon, Jets ($3,400)
Over the past 5 weeks, Herndon ranks 8th among TEs in targets, 8th in catches, 7th in yards and 9th in PPR points. Yet he’s still priced just 16th at the position in DK salary.
Herndon draws a Patriots defense this Sunday that ranks 21st in DK points allowed to TEs and 26th in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed. He could see a spike in volume with CB Stephon Gilmore likely shadowing WR Robby Anderson.
Play of the Week: Chiefs ($2,600)
The Chiefs defense has averaged 10.1 DraftKings points per game at home this season.
They’re at home on Sunday as 13.5-point favorites against a Raiders team that’s allowed the 9th most DK points to opposing Ds.
Pay Up For and Tournament Target: Texans ($3,300)
J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Co. at home with plenty to play for against Blake Bortles. What else needs to be said?
Value Option: Giants ($2,100)
If we get confirmation that Dallas is resting its key offensive starters — namely Dak Prescott — the Giants will be squarely in play at this price.
Backup QB Cooper Rush has thrown just 3 regular-season passes and tossed 4 INTs this preseason.