DRAFT Daily Fantasy Helper: Week 17
With most fantasy leagues ending, Week 17 presents an interesting slate of games. DRAFT provides weekly snake and auction leagues, allowing people to stay involved in the action. In these leagues people, pick their preferred individual players on a week-to-week basis.
However, only a few games look competitive in Week 17, potentially narrowing the overall player pool. With other teams potentially resting players, focusing on teams in competitive games should remain a focal point of this week's strategy.
Ben Roethlisberger - Needing a win and some help, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers should give the Cincinnati Bengals their best shot this weekend. Despite the must-win game environment, Big Ben still usually lasts til the mid rounds in weekly snake drafts.
Leading the league with 4,842 passing yards and adding another 33 touchdowns, Roethlisberger comes with one of the highest floors at the quarterback position. Not only does he play in the pass-happiest offense in the NFL, but he hasn't dropped below 15 fantasy points in a game since Week 1.
Big Ben also draws a premier matchup against a sieve of a Bengals' defense. Cincinnati's secondary ranks 25th in pass defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics and has allowed the fifth-most passing yards this season (4,237). To further boost Roethlisberger's matchup, the Steelers enter this contest favored by 14.5 points, implying them for the second-highest team total on the week (30.00).
Needing a win and playing in a plum matchup, Week 17 couldn't set up any better for Big Ben at this mid-round price.
Despite their elimination from the playoffs, the Buffalo Bills have shown no sign of resting starters. Allen has shown improvement throughout his rookie season, and has shown particular juice as a runner. Even with four missed games, Allen still ranks second in rushing yards (536), behind only Lamar Jackson.
To further improve his outlook, Allen faces a soft Miami defense that ranks 29th in pass defense, according to our metrics. Miami also could be without their best corner, Xavien Howard, for their season finale as he deals with a knee injury.
Usually a less predictive number for quarterbacks, the Bills enter this contest favored by four points, putting game script in Allen's favor. Doing much of his damage as a runner, a clear lead should allow Allen to contribute with his legs as the Bills grind out the clock.
For those employing a late round quarterback strategy, Allen could provide that golden ticket in Week 17.
Saquon Barkley - Targeting stud running backs may prove tricky this week. Todd Gurley continues to deal with a knee injury, and Melvin Gordon and the Los Angeles Chargers likely cannot improve their playoff seed, while Christian McCaffrey could be shut down for Week 17. This may leave Saquon Barkley as the only viable stud to target at the top of drafts.
The New York Giants are eliminated from playoff contention, but they have not shown any signs of resting players ahead of Sunday's game. However, their opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, cannot change their playoff seed, creating an incentive to rest their starters. Normally a tough matchup (third-highest ranked run defense, per our metrics), the Cowboys may provide a sneaky draw for Barkley this weekend.
Barkley has also dominated usage on the Giants, seeing at least 18 touches in every game since Week 4. In his last four games, the rookie sensation has averaged 22.25 touches per game, making him independent of game script.
Likely due to the nature of this game, the Giants enter Week 17 as a six-point home favorite. In a shockingly good spot, game script should favor the Giants pounding the rock. In a weird week at the top of weekly snake drafts, Saquon stands out above the competition. Falling anywhere out of the top three picks, Barkley should almost be auto-drafted.
Elijah McGuire - With Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell on injured reserve, the New York Jets have turned the reigns over to second-year pro Elijah McGuire. The second-year pro comes off the board in the mid-rounds potentially providing immense value.
Working as the unquestioned lead back last week, McGuire played on 85% of the Jets' snaps and logged 17 touches. These touches accounted for 85% of New York's backfield carries. Improving matters further, McGuire has 13 targets in his last three games, showing some game script independence.
The New England Patriots rank just inside our bottom-12 rush defenses and have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards to opposing backs over the last four weeks (471). This creates an advantageous matchup for McGuire to take advantage of, despite his team being 13.5-point underdogs.
Showing workhorse capabilities over the past two weeks, McGuire makes a solid target again this week in the mid-rounds of weekly snake drafts.
In replacement duty for Breida in Week 14, Wilson handled 86% of the San Francisco 49ers snaps, along with 24 touches. This accounted for a massive 83% of the 49ers' running back touches. Wilson also showed passing -own chops, recording 8 catches for 73 yards on 9 targets in Week 13.
Wilson draws a plus matchup against the competitive Los Angeles Rams. The Rams rank ninth-worst in rush defense, according to our metrics, and have allowed the ninth-most rushing yards to backs over the last four weeks (432).
The 49ers enter this contest as 10-point underdogs, but Wilson has showed enough in the passing game to warrant consideration here. Falling to the final rounds of drafts, Wilson looks like an ideal dart-throw at the running back position.
Davante Adams - Playing in another game without playoff implications, the Green Bay Packers have not shown signs of resting starters and should keep Davante Adams involved. With Sterling Sharpe's franchise reception record (112) and Jordy Nelson's receiving yardage record (1,519) within reach, Adams needs two catches and 134 receiving yards to break each record.
Adams currently ranks first in targets (168), third in receiving yards (1,370), and third in air yards (1,904). With Week 15 also meaningless to the Packers, Adams recorded 11 catches for 71 yards and a score on a whopping 18 targets.
Adams also draws an excellent matchup against a weak Detroit Lions' secondary that ranks 32nd against the pass according to our metrics. While he will likely draw the coverage of standout corner Darius Slay, Adams remains a matchup-proof target for weekly leagues. Bookmakers also see this contest working out in Green Bay's favor with the Packers favored by 7.5 points. This leaves the Packers implied for the sixth-most points on the week (25.75).
With the game environment and matchup setting up perfectly, Adams warrants consideration as the week's top overall receiver.
T.Y. Hilton - Playing in a must-win game in order to make the playoffs, T.Y. Hilton can be obtained in the mid-rounds on DRAFT. Dealing with a tricky ankle injury, Hilton has yet to miss a game, despite practicing only once in the last three weeks.
Despite dealing with injuries for the better part of the season, Hilton has remained the focal point of Andrew Luck's offense. Hilton has averaged 10.25 targets per game in his last four contests, eclipsing 100 yards receiving in two of those.
The Tennessee Titans rank 17th in pass defense, per our metrics, but may show additional weakness after losing stud corner Logan Ryan to injured reserve. The Colts find themselves favored in this matchup by 3.5 points and implied for 23.25.
Even in the lowered scoring environment, Hilton's 25% target share over the last four weeks keeps him in play as a strong mid-round wide receiver option. With many meaningless games on the slate, Hilton should be counted on in this must win situation.
Jordy Nelson - Eliminated much earlier in the season, the Oakland Raiders have shown no signs of resting starters in Week 17. In fact, Jordy Nelson looks like one of the strongest value receivers on the entire slate, coming off the board in the final rounds of weekly snake drafts.
Over the last four weeks, Jordy has a healthy 36 targets and 322 air yards, which easily leads the Oakland pass catchers. While Jordy remains scoreless in this period of time, his three red zone targets provide optimism for his scoring outlook.
Also working in Nelson's favor, the Kansas City Chiefs present a middling pass matchup. The Chiefs rank 19h in pass defense, per our metrics, but have allowed the fifth-most yards to receivers over the past four weeks (707).
Bookmakers also believe this game will provide quite a few points, with the highest over/under on the slate (52.5 points). While they are only implied for 19.5 points, the Raiders will likely turn to the aerial attack with the Chiefs favored by 13.5 points.
With game script setting up nicely for Oakland's passing attack, Nelson remains a preferred dart throw in the final round of weekly snake drafts.
Matthew Gajewski is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Gajewski also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mgajewski. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.