5 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 17
The first 16 weeks of daily fantasy football are at times surprising, but you can generally reverse engineer how a certain player had a good game. Sure, the pass-catching option in a committee backfield blew up, but with the weak linebackers of the opposing defense, you can see why the gameplan revolved around him.
Week 17 is chaos, anxiety, and death tilts all shoved into a blender and mixed on the highest setting. If you make it out alive, you don't question it; you just count your blessings and move on with your life.
Last year, there were seven quarterbacks who scored at least 20 FanDuel points in Week 17. One of them was DeShone Kizer, who was then traded for a bag of Skittles in the offseason. Another was David Fales, who worked as a third-stringer behind both Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler for this season.
Orleans Darkwa rushed for 154 yards. Anthony Sherman, then a fullback for the Denver Broncos, racked up 14 rush attempts. Albert Wilson notched 147 yards, though it helps that he was catching passes from some guy named Patrick Mahomes whom the Kansas City Chiefs decided to gift some playing time.
Weird stuff is going to happen this week. We just have to accept that. And a lot of it is going to be unpredictable.
That's why we have to cling so hard to the shreds of normalcy remaining on the slate.
Not all teams in Week 17 are going to be rolling out a new crop of talent, hoping to get a glimpse into who should make the Week 1 roster in 2019. Of the 30 teams on the main slate, 11 have at least something to play for, whether it be seeding, a first-round bye, or just a playoff spot in general. For most of these teams, we can still expect some degree of predictability.
There are going to be players with low salaries who pop this week. It's a lock to happen. But the odds we'll be able to predict who those guys will be are pretty low. If you have a good read on a situation and think you can nail that otherwise-nobody who blows up the slate, go for it. But more often than not, we're going to want to focus on the teams with something on the line. That's true when looking for favorable matchups to exploit, as well.
Having a good offense facing a poor defense is fine in a vacuum. But if you don't know who will benefit from said matchup, it's largely moot. As such, even when we're focusing on just one aspect of lineup building, it's wisest to narrow our list to largely those assets gunning for playoff positioning.
Once we've narrowed our list, we can then turn to numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP), the metric we use to measure the efficiency of both teams and players. NEP tracks the expected points added or subtracted on each play throughout the year, quantifying the massive difference between a three-yard completion on 3rd and 2 and a three-yard completion on 3rd and 4.
Even with all the wonkiness in the air for Week 17, matchups can still be a part of our process, as long as we're prioritizing predictable volume first. After we've done that, which matchups should we look to exploit on the main slate? Let's check it out.