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NFL Week 17 DFS Defense Value Picks

NFL Week 17: January 3, 2021

We’ll provide some details and insights on some of the potential top daily fantasy defense/special team value plays for week 17.

Salary ranks are based on the main-slate Sunday only.

Betting lines and weather projections are as of the time of this writing.

Updates will be made as new info comes to light.


Cleveland Browns – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2500 (5% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 4100 (6.8% of cap). The Browns’ salary ranks them 21st/11th on DK/FD, respectively, making them a better relative value on DK.

The betting line with the Steelers (12-3) has the game total at 42.5 points, with the Browns (10-5) as -10 point home favorites. The Browns’ implied team total is currently at 26.25 points and the Steelers are currently at 16.5 points.

The Steelers, with no interest in seeding, are resting starters, and QB Mason Rudolph will get the start for Ben Roethlisberger. C Maurkice Pouncey will also sit this week. Enter DE Myles Garrett with a revenge narrative.

With a win, the Browns clinch a wild card spot. They will play to win.

Arizona Cardinals – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2800 (5.6% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 3800 (6.3% of cap). The Cardinals’ salary ranks them 15th/17th on DK/FD, respectively.

The betting line with the Rams (9-6) has the game total at 39.5 points (lowest on the board), with the Cardinals (8-7) as +1 point road dogs. The Cardinals’ implied team total is currently at 19.25 points and the Rams are currently at 20.25 points.

QB Jared Goff (thumb) will miss this week, so backup John Wolford will get his first NFL start. WR Cooper Kupp has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but his status for Sunday is unknown. Kupp did indeed test positive. He will miss this week.

Both teams will play to win, as they battle it out for a potential wild card spot.

Miami Dolphins – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2900 (5.8% of cap), FanDuel (FD) – 4300 (7.2% of cap). The Dolphins’ salary ranks them 13th/8th on DK/FD, respectively, making them a better relative value on DK.

The betting line with the Bills (12-3) has the game total at 44.5 points, with the Dolphins (10-5) in a pick ’em game in Buffalo. The implied team total for both teams is currently at 22.25 points.

The Bills need a win OR a Steelers loss to secure the #2 seed. The Bills, however, may not care, with the Steelers focusing on the wild card round.

The open line had the Bills as -5.5 favorites, but with the shift in the spread, this suggests the betting market thinks the Bills will rest starters. The Dolphins, however, secure the #5 wild card seed with a win, so they will play all-out.