NFL Week 17 DFS Value Player Picks Aug 2018
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NFL Week 17: December 31, 2017

We’ll provide some insights and review some DFS value players for week 17.

Week 17 is particularly unusual compared to the previous 16 weeks, as this slate will be more influenced by current info, team motivations, and narratives, and less on historical season stats and historical matchups. With the potential of some starters resting on playoff teams (i.e. Kansas City), and done teams possibly giving the younger players a look (i.e. Davis Webb (NYG)), historical matchups become largely irrelevant in these scenarios.

Current team playoff scenarios can be found on this page.

Salary ranks are based on the full-slate (Sunday).

Betting lines are as of the time of this writing.

Updates will be made throughout the week as new info comes to light.

QB Patrick Mahomes (KC) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4700, FanDuel (FD) – 6000. Mahomes’ upcoming salary ranks him 32nd/33rd on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting lines with the Broncos has the game total at 38.5 points with the Chiefs as +3.5 point road dogs. The Chiefs’ implied team total is currently at 17.5 points and the Broncos are currently at 21 points.

The Broncos rank 15th in fantasy points allowed to QBs and 15th in DVOA against the pass. Kirk Cousins dropped a 19/37, 299, 3:1 line against the Broncos last week.

The Chiefs (9-6) are locked into the #4 seed and have nothing to play for. HC Reid has been in this exact situation before, where he proceeded to rest his key starters. It would not be surprising to see this happen again. Denver (5-10) has nothing to play for.

From what we’ve seen in the preseason, Mahomes has a big arm and will be the Chiefs heir apparent at some future point. He could be an interesting option and his price tag is dirt cheap.

RB Charcandrick West (KC) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4400, FanDuel (FD) – 4900. West’s upcoming salary ranks him 37th/61st on DK/FD, respectively, making him a better relative value on FD.

The Broncos rank 5th in fantasy points allowed to RBs and 2nd in DVOA against the run. Washington RBs combined for a 24-79-0 line and 5-49-0 on 7 targets against the Broncos last week.

The situation for West is the same as it is for Mahomes.

QB Kirk Cousins (WAS) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 6200, FanDuel (FD) – 7600. Cousins’ upcoming salary ranks him 12th on both DK/FD, respectively for the position. Cousins’
23.76 fantasy points at Denver ranked him 3rd on both DK/FD last week.

The betting lines with the Giants has the game total at 39 points with the Redskins as -3.5 point road favorites. The Redskins’ implied team total is currently at 21.25 points and the Giants are currently at 17.75 points.

The Giants rank last in fantasy points allowed to QBs and 25th in DVOA against the pass. Drew Stanton logged a 20/34, 209, 2:2 line against the Giants last week.

Washington (7-8) does not have anything to play for, but Cousins does. Cousins will hit free agency next season as he vies to become one of the top paid QBs. It would help his cause to pad his stats and file away positive film, with one of the best matchups a QB could ask for this week. New York (2-13) does have a reason to lose. They would secure the #2 draft pick with a loss. If there was ever a time to tank a game, this would be it.

QB Tyrod Taylor (BUF) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5300, FanDuel (FD) – 7300. Taylor’s upcoming salary ranks him 20th/17th on DK/FD, respectively for the position. Taylor posted a 21/38, 281, 0:0 line and 3-16-0 on the ground at New England last week.

The betting lines with the Dolphins has the game total at 42.5 points with the Bills as -3 point road favorites. The Bills’ implied team total is currently at 22.75 points and the Dolphins are currently at 19.75 points.

The Dolphins rank 20th in fantasy points allowed to QBs and 26th in DVOA against the pass. Alex Smith recorded a 25/39, 304, 1:0 line against the Dolphins last week.

The Bills (8-7) need help, but they are still alive for a wild card spot. The Dolphins (6-9) have nothing to play for other than the pleasure of knocking the Bills out of contention. Taylor put up a line of 17/29, 224, 1:0 line and 6-42-1 on the ground against Miami in week 15.

The matchup is good, the motivation is there, and the price is on the cheaper end for Taylor this week.

RB Branden Oliver (LAC) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4000, FanDuel (FD) – 4500. Oliver’s upcoming salary ranks him 48th/74th on DK/FD, respectively.

The betting lines with the Raiders has the game total at 43 points with the Chargers as -8 home favorites. The Chargers’ implied team total is currently at 25.5 points and the Raiders are currently at 17.5 points.

The Raiders rank 16th in fantasy points allowed to RBs and 17th in DVOA against the run. Philadelphia RBs combined for a 21-78-0 line and 4-30-1 on 6 targets against the Raiders last week.

The Chargers (8-7) need help, but they are still alive for a wild card spot, and the help they need is definitely possible. The Raiders (6-9) have nothing to play for. This play is solely contingent that Melvin Gordon (ankle) is ruled out. Austin Ekeler (broken hand) shouldn’t be a factor.
UPDATE: Gordon but in practice time this week and although listed as questionable, is expected to play.

RB Derrick Henry (TEN) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5500, FanDuel (FD) – 5800. Henry’s upcoming salary ranks him 20th/32nd on DK/FD, respectively, making him a better relative value on FD.

The betting lines with the Jaguars (10-5) has the game total at 41.5 points with the Titans (8-7) as -3.5 point home favorites. The
Titans’ implied team total is currently at 22.5 points and the Jaguars’ are currently at 19 points.

The Jaguars rank 13th in fantasy points allowed to RBs and 29th in DVOA against the run. San Francisco RBs combined for a 32-128-2 line and 9-103-0 on 9 targets against the Jaguars last week.

The Titans secure a wild card spot with a win. The Jaguars are locked into the #3 seed. If the Titans win, it is possible these teams could face each other next week. The Jaguars would be better off facing the Titans next week rather than potentially the Chargers. For what it’s worth, after Jaguars HC Marrone indicated he will not rest starters yesterday and intends to win this game, the spread has now dropped 2.5 points.

Tennessee RBs combined for a 26-135-1 line and 1-3-0 on 2 targets against Jacksonville back in week 2.

DeMarco Murray has a torn MCL. He has not yet been ruled out, but it would seem highly unlikely he plays or plays effectively if activated. Either way, Henry should get some serious run.

RB CJ Anderson (DEN) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 6000, FanDuel (FD) – 6900. Anderson’s upcoming salary ranks him 14th/12th on DK/FD, respectively. Anderson posted a line of 16-88-1 and 7-45-0 on 9 targets at Washington last week. Anderson’s fantasy points of 28.3/24.8 ranked him 3rd/4th on DK/FD, respectively for the position.

The betting lines with the Chiefs has the game total at 38.5 points with the Broncos as -3.5 home favorites. The Broncos’ implied team total is currently at 21 points and the Chiefs are currently at 17.5 points.

The Chiefs rank 11th in fantasy points allowed to RBs and 31st in DVOA against the run. Kenyan Drake posted a 13-57-0 line against the Chiefs last week, but in a game that mattered to the Chiefs.

The general narrative for this game has been covered under Patrick Mahomes above. Paxton Lynch will start under center for Denver. The Chiefs may rest some defensive starters as well. The offense has been centered around Anderson of late and this scenario shouldn’t change, especially if Lynch were to faceplant early on.

RB Jamaal Williams (GB) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5200, FanDuel (FD) – 6700. Williams’ upcoming salary ranks him 22nd/18th on DK/FD, respectively. Williams posted a line of 15-58-0 and 0-0-0 on 3 targets against Minnesota last week, as he relieved Aaron Jones (knee) in the first half.

The betting lines with the Lions has the game total at 43 points with the Packers as +6.5 road dogs. The Packers’ implied team total is currently at 18.25 points and the Lions are currently at 24.75 points. Neither team has anything to play for.

The Lions rank 31st in fantasy points allowed to RBs and 28th in DVOA against the run. Cincinnati RBs combined for a 30-145-1 line and 10-106-0 on 11 targets against the Lions last week, when the Lions were still alive for a wild card spot.

With Jones (knee) expected to miss this week, Williams’ volume will be as much as he can handle. The matchup and opportunity is solid for Williams, and this game could put up some scores as both defenses are bad.

WR TY Hilton (IND) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5900, FanDuel (FD) – 6700. Hilton’s upcoming salary ranks him 23rd/29th on DK/FD, respectively for the position. Hilton posted a 6-100-0 line on a team high 12 targets at Baltimore last week. Hilton’s fantasy points of 19/13 ranked him 8th/14th on DK/FD for the position.

The betting lines with the Texans has the game total at 41 points with the Colts as -3.5 point home favorites. The Colts’ implied team total is currently at 23.75 points and the Texans are currently at 17.25 points.

The Texans rank 30th in fantasy points allowed to WRs and 24th in DVOA against the pass.

Hilton needs 48 receiving yards to hit 1,000 for the season. The Colts will make this happen. Hilton had his best game of the year against Houston in week 9 where he logged a 5-175-2 line on 9 targets. Hilton will be at home on the fast track with a sweet matchup.

WR Jameson Crowder (WAS) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 5800, FanDuel (FD) – 7000. Crowder’s upcoming salary ranks him 26th/19th on DK/FD, respectively for the position. Crowder posted a 4-47-1 line on 4 targets against Denver last week.

The betting lines with the Giants has the game total at 39 points with the Redskins as -3.5 point road favorites. The Redskins’ implied team total is currently at 21.25 points and the Giants are currently at 17.75 points.

The Giants rank 25th in fantasy points allowed to WRs and 25th in DVOA against the pass.

Crowder had his best game of the year against the Giants where he posted a 7-141-1 line on 10 targets in week 12 where he returned +5X value. Crowder makes for a solid stack option with Kirk Cousins this week.

TE Vance McDonald (PIT) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 2700, FanDuel (FD) – 4500. McDonald’s upcoming salary ranks him 27th/34th on DK/FD, respectively for the position. McDonald posted a 4-52-0 line on 5 targets at Houston last week.

The betting lines with the Browns (0-15) has the game total at 38 points with the Steelers (12-3) as -10.5 point home favorites. The Steelers’ implied team total is currently at 24.25 points and the Browns are currently at 28.25 points.

The Browns rank 29th in fantasy points allowed to TEs and last in DVOA against TEs.

The Steelers, at minimum, have the #2 seed. The Browns are about to make history. The Steelers can take the #1 seed with a win and a Patriots loss, however unlikely. McDonald is the primary passing TE in Pittsburgh, with a cake matchup. McDonald makes a viable play at near minimum cost if punting the position.
UPDATE: Big Ben and Le’Veon Bell are both expected to miss this week.

TE Antonio Gates (LAC) – Salaries: DraftKings (DK) – 4200, FanDuel (FD) – 5700. Gates’ upcoming salary ranks him 12th on both DK/FD for the position. Gates posted a 6-81-1 line (all team highs) on 8 targets against the Jets last week. Gates’ fantasy points of 20.1/17.1 ranked 1st on both DK/FD for the position.

The betting lines with the Raiders has the game total at 43 points with the Chargers as -8 home favorites. The Chargers’ implied team total is currently at 25.5 points and the Raiders are currently at 17.5 points.

The Raiders rank 25th in fantasy points allowed to TEs and 15th in DVOA against TEs. Philadelphia TEs combined for a 10-93-0 line on 16 targets against the Raiders last week.

This game narrative was covered under Branden Oliver above. Old man Gates apparently still has some gas left in the tank. Gates may be called upon once again, as the Chargers will not hold anything back in what is already a playoff game for them. This could possibly be Gates’ last regular season game in his Hall of Fame career.


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