NFL Week 17: December 31, 2017
We’ll provide some details and insights on some of the potential top daily fantasy defense/special team value plays for week 17.
For defense purposes, Week 17 is more about trying to avoid the landmines. Ideally, good defenses with good matchups on teams with something to play for should be safer plays than teams with nothing to play for. The latter teams could plausibly shift into flag-football mode to avoid injuries, and may lack the usual intensity, except for some individual performance incentive bonuses that may still be in play.
Salary ranks are based on the full-slate (Sunday only).
Betting lines are as of the time of this writing.
Buffalo Bills – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3000, FanDuel (FD) – 4500. Buffalo’s salary ranks them 13th/14th on DK/FD, respectively.
The betting lines with the Dolphins (6-9) has the game total at 42.5 points with the Bills (8-7) as -3 point road favorites. The Dolphins’ implied team total is currently at 19.75 points and the Bills are currently at 22.75 points.
The Dolphins rank 29th in fantasy points allowed to defenses and 27th in overall offense DVOA. The Dolphins rank 27th (tied with Cleveland) in yards with 304.5/gm. and 26th (tied with Denver) in points scored with 17.7/gm. The Dolphins give up the 2nd most interceptions (tied with Denver) with 20, and the cough up the 3rd most total turnovers with 28. The Chiefs tallied 2 fumble recoveries, and held the Dolphins to 13 points last week.
The Bills rank 26th (tied) in sacks with 26, 8th (tied with Seattle) in turnovers created with 24, and 23rd in overall defense DVOA. The Bills also rank 25th in yards allowed with 355.1/gm. and 18th (tied with Oakland) in points allowed with 22.9/gm. The Bills recorded 2 sacks, an interception, and a defensive TD at New England last week. The Bills also logged 3 sacks, 3 picks, and held the Dolphins to 16 points in their previous week 15 meeting.
Although the Bills need help to get in, they are still alive for a wild card spot. The Dolphins have nothing to play for other than the joy of knocking Buffalo out of playoff contention. The matchup is good, the Bills have something to play for, and their price tag is reasonable.
New Orleans Saints – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 3300, FanDuel (FD) – 4600. New Orleans’s salary ranks them 9th/11th on DK/FD, respectively.
The betting lines with the Bucs (4-11) has the game total at 50.5 points with the Saints (11-4) as -7 point road favorites. The Bucs’ implied team total is currently at 21.75 points and the Saints are currently at 28.75 points.
The Bucs rank 19th in fantasy points allowed to defenses and 17th in overall offense DVOA. The Bucs rank 11th in yards with 357.4/gm. and 20th in points scored with 20.3/gm. The Bucs give up the 13th (tied) most sacks with 38, and the 6th (tied) most total turnovers with 24. The Panthers logged 6 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, a return TD, and held the Bucs to 19 points last week.
The Saints rank 7th (tied) in sacks with 40, 11th (tied) in turnovers created with 22, and 7th in overall defense DVOA. The Saints also rank 15th in yards allowed with 328.6/gm. and 8th (tied) in points allowed with 19.7/gm. The Saints recorded 5 sacks, a pick, a fumble recovery, and held the Falcons to 13 points last week. The Saints also logged 4 sacks, a fumble recovery, a defensive TD, and held the Bucs to 10 points in their previous week 9 meeting.
The Saints can clinch the NFC South with a win. They will be motivated. The Bucs have been done for a while. The Saints check off all the boxes a solid defensive play needs this week.
Tennessee Titans – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2800, FanDuel (FD) – 4400. Tennessee’s salary ranks them 18th/17th on DK/FD, respectively.
The betting lines with the Jaguars (10-5) has the game total at 41 points with the Titans (8-7) as -6 point home favorites. The Jaguars’ implied team total is currently at 17.5 points and the Titans are currently at 23.5 points.
The Jaguars rank 9th in fantasy points allowed to defenses and 17th in overall offense DVOA. The Jaguars rank 6th in yards with 375.1/gm. and 5th in points scored with 27.1/gm. The 49ers tallied 1 sack, 3 picks, and scored a defensive TD against the Jaguars last week. The Jaguars’ seasonal stats may be irrelevant at this point due to this week’s circumstance.
The Titans rank 26th (tied) in sacks with 26, 24th in turnovers created with 17, and 21st in overall defense DVOA. The Titans also rank 17th in yards allowed with 334.6/gm. and 20th in points allowed with 23.1/gm. The Titans recorded a sack, a fumble recovery, and a defensive TD against the Rams last week. The Titans also logged 2 sacks, 2 picks, a fumble recovery, and held the Jaguars to 16 points in their previous week 2 meeting.
The Titans can secure a wild card spot with a win, so they will be motivated. The Jaguars are locked into the #3 seed and have nothing further to gain. It is possible the Jaguars rest starters as they prepare to host a wild card team next week. If the Titans do win, it is possible these teams will face each other again next week. If the Titans lose, it is most likely the Jaguars would face the Chargers, assuming the rest of the Chargers’ criteria is satisfied. If the Jaguars do rest starters, the Titans defense may be a viable, cheaper option against a team hoping to avoid injury.
UPDATE: Jacksonville HC Marrone stated that the Jaguars will do everything possible to win this game. It appears the Jaguars will treat this game no differently than any other week, keeping Jacksonville starters in play. Be that the case, the Titans would now be a recommended fade. Denver or Carolina may be viable in this price range. Paying up for defense may not be a bad idea this week either.