by Byron Hamilton
Managing Your Money – Week 17 DFS Guide
This is it! The last full week of NFL action before we head into the playoffs. While I’m sad this season has already come to an end, I’m excited for what the future holds for No Huddle. I hope we were able to help you put together some winning lineups with this column over the last 16 weeks and won you some cold hard cash. With that said, let’s dig into this week’s matchups.
Side note: the values and scoring we use are from Draft Kings. I prefer them for two reasons. They utilize PPR scoring and have an additional flex spot on the roster with no kickers. Everyone hates kickers.
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
Value – $7,700
This season’s highest scoring fantasy quarterback is also the most expensive player at the position this week. Aaron Rodgers is coming off his best fantasy performance of the season and will face a Lions defense that was just dismantled by the Cowboys last week. The Packers still lack any true threat at the running back position so I can see Rodgers having to throw in order to move the ball in this matchup. While I’m not sure another five touchdown performance is in the cards, I do think Rodgers is worth the asking price this week.
Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints
Value – $7,600
Brees has been up and down over the last part of the season, but I think he’ll end the year with a bang. We’re only two weeks removed from his huge 389-yard performance against the Cardinals, and the Saints will have a friendlier matchup this week against the Falcons. Atlanta has been destroying teams lately, and their offense has put up anywhere between 33 to 42 points over the last three weeks. This game has all the makings of a shootout so it wouldn’t surprise me if Brees finished as the highest scoring quarterback this week.
Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $6,800
This one should be a no-brainer, but Russell Wilson hasn’t exactly been the model of consistency this season. However, he’s coming off his best game of the season and has scored more than 20 fantasy points in two consecutive games. He’s also thrown seven touchdowns in that same span so Wilson may be rounding a corner here at the end of the season. This week’s matchup against San Francisco should allow Seattle to put up some points considering the 49ers defense has given up at least 21 points in every game other than the opening week of the season. While Wilson’s shaky play this year does give me some hesitation, this matchup is too advantageous to pass up.
Eli Manning – New York Giants
Value – $5,900
If you’ve read any of my columns this season that features Manning, then you already know that I’m the furthest thing from an Eli fan on the planet. If it weren’t for the three interceptions he threw Manning would have had a decent day last week against the Eagles. It was the first time since week six he had thrown for more than 300 yards, even if it took him throwing 63 passes to get there. The Giants face the Redskins this week in what is a must-win game for Washington, and I have to assume New York would like nothing more than to knock their divisional rival out of the playoffs. Eli Manning will likely have to throw the ball due to an underwhelming rushing attack, so I like him as a flier pick considering his cheap price tag.
Sam Bradford – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $5,200
Bradford is a pure value play with some upside this week. He’s only $200 over the minimum at the quarterback position and is coming off his best fantasy performance of the season. Bradford threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns against the Packers last week after the Vikings fell behind early. The matchup against the Bears this week shouldn’t call for Bradford to throw quite as much, but Chicago has given up 20 or more points in six out of the last seven games. If Bradford can manage to put up 20 points I think he’s a steal at his asking price.
Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears
Value – $6,800
This kid has been electric all season long. The Bears tapped Jeremy Langford as the starter to begin the season, but an injury paved the way for Howard to become the second most effective rookie running back outside of Ezekiel Elliott. Howard hasn’t had less than 75 rushing yards since week seven, so he’s definitely seeing enough carries to make him fantasy relevant. The biggest issue with him as been touchdowns, which is something the Bears have struggled with all season. Chicago has suffered some big blows on offense this season, and Howard could very well be the most explosive playmaker on this team. The matchup against the Vikings seems daunting, but Howard gashed them for 153 yards and a touchdown back in week 8. He’s a lock to see a ton of carries and will be heavily involved this week.
Devonta Freeman -Atlanta Falcons
Value – $7,000
Freeman has been hot over the final stretch of the season and is heavily involved in both the rushing and passing game for the Falcons. He’s scored at least 16 fantasy points in four out of the last five weeks and has been instrumental in the recent dominance we’ve seen out of Atlanta over the last three weeks. This week’s matchup against the Saints provides another opportunity for the Falcons to score a lot a ton of points as the New Orleans defense has given up at least 21 points in seven of the last eight games. With concerns about other big name running backs sitting out with the playoffs looming, I think Freeman is a solid option this week.
Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints
Value – $5,600
Ingram has played much better over the last half of the season after getting benched for fumbling issues. Tim Hightower has played less of a role in recent weeks, which has allowed his counterpart to carry the ball more than 17 times over the last two games. Ingram his coming off a game with 90 yards and two touchdowns, and this week’s matchup against the Falcons should allow him to remain heavily involved. Atlanta’s offense has been on fire over the last few games, and I have to assume that the Saints will want to run the ball to keep Matt Ryan off the field. It also doesn’t hurt that the Falcons defense is 26th in the league this season against opposing running backs.
DeAngelo Williams – Pittsburgh Steelers
Value – $5,500
Williams might be one of the highest owned running backs in daily fantasy this week with news coming out that the Steelers plan to rest all of their offensive playmakers. He was great early in the season during Le’Veon Bell’s suspension as he averaged over 30 fantasy points over the first two games. The fact that the Steelers play the Browns this week is just icing on the cake in what should be a great matchup for Williams. Cleveland ranks 31st in the league against running backs, and the Steelers will lean heavily on the run game.
Darren Sproles – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $4,000
Philadelphia’s backfield has been decimated by injuries over recent weeks, and Darren Sproles is essentially the last man left standing for the Eagles. He’s only scored less than ten fantasy points once over the last eight weeks while sharing carries, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Eagles have him take on an increased role this week. While the matchup against the Cowboys isn’t particularly favorable, Sproles could stay busy enough to be worth a flier at only $4,000.
Odell Beckham Jr – New York Giants
Value – $9,000
OBJ is in the midst of his best streak of fantasy performances all season. He’s averaging over 7 catches for 100 yards and has scored four touchdowns over the last five weeks. Beckham has the third highest fantasy point average per game this season, and I think he continues to be dominant this week against a Redskins secondary that is lacking with the exception of Josh Norman. This is a must win game for Washington, and you know the Giants would love nothing more than to squash the playoff hopes of their rival. OBJ is the most expensive receiver out there this week, but I think he’s worth the price.
Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
Value – $8,100
Jordy Nelson is my candidate for offensive comeback player of the year. He’s just one season removed from an ACL tear that knocked him out for all of 2015 but is the second highest scoring fantasy wide receiver in PPR leagues this year. Green Bay has been on a roll, and Jordy Nelson’s rapport with Aaron Rodgers is among the best in the NFL. This week’s matchup against the Lions will determine who the division winner will be, so the stakes are high. Expect Green Bay to come out firing early and for Nelson to play a big role.
Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $7,200
I’ll admit I was a little down on Baldwin coming into this season. He had an incredible finish last season, but I just didn’t see him continuing that trend into this year. That being said, Baldwin has been of the more consistent wide receivers in terms of fantasy production over the second half of the season. Since week nine he hasn’t had less than ten fantasy points and is coming off one of the best games of his career against the Cardinals last week. This week’s matchup bodes well for all Seattle playmakers as they face a porous 49ers defense. Baldwin had eight catches for 164 yards and a touchdown against San Francisco earlier in the year, and I think he’s a great play again this time around.
Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings
Value – $5,600
Adam Thielen had been one of the more surprising fantasy players this season even before his massive performance last week. He was mostly an afterthought over the first four weeks of the season, but his seven catches and 127 yards put him on the fantasy radar back in week five. Thielen has no fewer than 10 fantasy points in the last seven games he’s played and has obviously developed into one of Sam Bradford’s favorite targets. He should put up solid numbers again against a 24th ranked Chicago secondary.
Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
Value – $5,500
Allen Robinson finally looked like the guy we all thought he would be last week. Unfortunately, his nine catches and 147 yards came in the second to last week of the season. Blake Bortles turned out his second best game of the season, so it’s possibly the firing of their head coach lit a fire under the disappointing quarterback. We’ll see what happens this week as the Jaguars travel to face the Colts in their regular season finale. Indianapolis has been notorious for giving up tons of points to wide receivers this season, and Robinson still has loads of talent. His $5,500 price tag is worth the gamble in my opinion.
Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
Value – $5,000
The fact that Travis Kelce is not the most expensive tight end this week is a little confusing to me. He’s the highest scoring tight end in fantasy football this season and has over 100 yards receiving in five out of the last six games. I see Kelce as one of the safest options at his position, and he faces a middle of the road Chargers defense this week. Kansas City still has something to play for, so I don’t really see them sitting any of their starters. Kelce will be in the majority of my lineups this week for sure.
Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks
Value – $4,500
Graham has really fallen off the map over the last few weeks after he was seemingly getting on the same page with Russell Wilson. While he did score a touchdown last week against the Cardinals, Graham only had two catches for 43 yards. That brings his total up to four receptions for 90 yards over the last three games. Hopefully, this week’s matchup against a woeful San Francisco defense can allow Graham to end the regular season on a high note.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
Value – $4,800
After a slow start to the season, Zach Ertz has found his groove over the second half of the year. While last week was disappointing, he’s had at least ten fantasy points in six of the last eight games. The assumption is that the Cowboys will likely rest their starters this week with nothing else to play for before heading into the playoffs. If that’s the case the Eagles could be facing some second string competition, which bodes well for the Eagles on both sides of the ball. Ertz has been one of the more consistent tight end options during the final stretch of the season, so he’s a solid play this week.
Charles Clay – Buffalo Bills
Value – $3,500
Charles Clay was my Hail Mary play last week, and he ended up having his best game of the season as he finished the day with eight catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins. The only reason he’s listed here again is the fact that EJ Manuel is expected to start over Tyrod Taylor due to the team wanting to avoid their starting quarterback getting injured and having to pay him a significant amount of money. Both the Jets and Bills have little to play for to finish the season so this game could be relatively low scoring. However, I like Clay as a check down option for Manuel. He’s only $3,500 and worth a start this week.
Who I’m Stacking:
Matt Ryan/Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
Total Value – $15,800
This one is going to cost you some money, but there’s a solid chance that Ryan and Julio blow up this week. Atlanta has decimated their opponents over recent weeks, but the Saints are by far the most dynamic offense they’ve faced over the last three games. Julio was average after sitting out a week due to injury, but he should find plenty of room to operate against a Saints defense that’s ranked 21st against wide receivers. This game has the highest projected point total this week so both Matt Ryan and Julio Jones could put up big numbers.
Kirk Cousins/Desean Jackson – Washington Redskins
Total Value – $12,100
This one could very well turn out to be a bust, so fair warning. The Redskins need a win this week at home, and you better believe the Giants want to squash the dreams of their divisional rival. However, Cousins has played at a high level basically all season. Washington relies heavily on the passing game to move the ball, which has helped make Cousins a top five quarterback this season. Desean Jackson has been far from the model of consistency over the course of his career, but he’s recorded four games with at least 100 receiving yards over the last five games. I think he’s the receiver to play in the Redskins offense.
Matt Stafford/Golden Tate – Detroit Lions
Total Value – $12,600
Matt Stafford has been stellar at times this season, but his recent finger injury seems to have him a bit limited over the last few weeks. He’s failed to throw a touchdown pass in the last two games, but the Lions are desperate and need to win this week in order to become the champions of their division. The Packers are playing for the same thing, so this is a must watch game this week. Green Bay’s defense has been suspect at best at times, so there’s a solid chance that both Stafford and Tate play at a high level.
Steals of the Week:
LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots.
Value – $5,700
I feel like Blount has been undervalued in daily fantasy for most of the season. The man leads all running backs with 17 touchdowns and is eighth in the league in rushing yards. He’s only surpassed the $6,000 mark once this season, which is fine with me. There’s a chance the Patriots elect to rest their starters this week against Miami, but Blount should still see some action. He’s averaging a touchdown a game this season and is the closest thing to a guarantee when it comes to finding the end zone.
JJ Nelson – Arizona Cardinals
Value – $4,600
Consider Nelson a Hail Mary/steal this week. His recent production has been insane, but he’s not seeing a ton of targets. Still, the kid has scored five touchdowns in four games and seems to be benefiting from Michael Floyd’s departure. Arizona could also be giving Nelson a little more work due to the fact that they’re not making the playoffs and want to see what he can do. Whatever the case may be, Nelson is an explosive athlete that is a threat to score any time the ball is in his hands. He’s worth a flier this week against a sub par Rams secondary.
I hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it each week. I’m truly passionate about fantasy football and love any opportunity to share my opinions with you. As always, hit us up @No_HuddleFFB on Twitter for any questions you might have. Get rich this week!!!