4 NFL FanDuel Stacks for Week 17
With many teams left with nothing to play for, Week 17 always presents a unique challenge, and it's with good reason that most season-long leagues end in Week 16.
But that doesn't mean we need to take a week off from DFS, with 15 games adorning FanDuel's main slate. Teams with playoff seeding locked up -- like the Saints and Cowboys -- will be difficult to put much trust in, but there are still a good chunk of teams that will be going all out, particularly in the AFC where much of the playoff picture is still in flux.
With all that in mind, here are four stacks we can consider on Sunday's main slate.
Kansas City Chiefs
Now, with a slate-high 33.50 implied total, Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce aren't exactly going to be sneaking up on anyone, and the latter two should be popular at their respective positions. Hill in particular is enticing as just the eighth-most expensive wideout, and he's actually projected as numberFire's best point-per-dollar value at wide receiver. On the other hand, quarterback ownership tends to be spread out to begin with, and especially on a large slate, Mahomes' popularity shouldn't get out of hand at his exorbitant price tag. Luckily, given all the value at running back this week, it shouldn't be too difficult to roll with Mahomes and friends.
But even if pairing Mahomes with either Hill or Kelce proves to be fairly chalky, it's hard to deny the ridiculous upside these three brings. The Raiders rank just 31st in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, so this is a fantastic matchup for this entire Chiefs passing game.
Mahomes is averaging an absurd 27.4 FanDuel points per game this year and is numberFire's highest projected overall player this week. Hill's 8.7 targets per game isn't as high as some other top wide receivers, but few can match his big-play, tournament-winning upside, with three games of 35-plus FanDuel points this season. As for Kelce, only Zach Ertz has seen more targets among tight ends, and Oakland has allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points to the position.
Along similar lines, the Steelers won't have any motivation issues, either, as they need a victory over the lowly Bengals to keep their playoff hopes alive. Pairing Ben Roethlisberger ($8,700) with Antonio Brown ($8,800) or JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,900) should be another popular, albeit potentially lucrative, way to go in tournaments.
Green Bay Packers
After averaging just 17.09 FanDuel points the prior eight games, I regrettably didn't have enough faith in Aaron Rodgers last week against the Jets, who exploded for 42.88 FanDuel points. Sure, it took the help of overtime and a pair of rushing scores to get there, but no one is scoffing at 442 passing yards and 2 passing touchdowns. In a disappointing season where Rodgers easily could've packed in early, it doesn't look like we need to worry about Rodgers mailing it in at home for the season finale against Detroit.
The Lions' pass defense is the only one ranked worse than the Raiders' by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, so the stage is set for Rodgers to hopefully submit a fitting encore to last week's performance. While it never feels great to chase those points, as mentioned earlier, the good news is quarterback ownership should still remain tempered across 15 games.
The great thing about using Rodgers is his stacking partner is a no-brainer. Davante Adams not only leads the league in targets (169), but he leads in red zone targets as well (31). Although he'll almost certainly be shadowed by Darius Slay, that shouldn't scare us away, as Adams racked up 9 receptions, 140 yards and a touchdown when these two teams played in Week 5.
It's worth mentioning that Adams' status for Week 17 is up in the air, although it's generally been expected that he'll still play. It's something that will need to be monitored over the weekend, but seeing as Adams is nearing a number of franchise receiving records, he and Rodgers will have plenty of incentive to end the season with a bang.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dirk Koetter has said this week that 29-year-old backup quarterback Ryan Griffin, who has never taken an NFL snap, could see some playing time on Sunday against the Falcons. While that could just mean a series at the end of the game, or even nothing at all, the uncertainty clearly puts a damper on using Jameis Winston.
But if you're willing to take that risk, this is a fantastic matchup for Winston against an Atlanta defense that's allowed the third-most FanDuel points to quarterbacks and ranks 23rd against the pass by numberFire's metrics. Winston has been more solid than spectacular this year, but in his full-game starts he's posted 20-plus FanDuel points in five of seven games, throwing for over 300 yards and/or scoring multiple touchdowns in six of them. This game also has a robust 50.5-point total, the second-highest of the slate and one of just two exceeding 50.
Meanwhile, DeSean Jackson is doubtful to play this week, giving one last opportunity for Chris Godwin to impress this season. In the three games Jackson missed in Weeks 13 through 15, Godwin disappointing in two of them but did catch 5-of-6 targets for 101 yards and a score in Week 13 versus Carolina (18.6 FanDuel points). Although he only caught one ball over the other two games, he still saw 10 targets in Week 14 against the Saints and can be forgiven for failing in a tough matchup against the Ravens in Week 15. The floor is obviously shaky, but Godwin saw at least 80% of the snaps in all three games, and the price is right to take a shot in tournaments.
There's no question Jacksonville's defense has underwhelmed this season, but they still haven't been one we typically attack, seeing as they're numberFire's eighth-ranked overall defense and sixth-best passing defense. They've allowed the eighth-fewest FanDuel points to quarterbacks and the fewest to wide receivers.
That will likely keep the masses away from Houston, a team with plenty left to play for, as the AFC South crown is still up in the air, and they have an outside shot at the number two seed should the Patriots lose to the Jets. And while the Texans' matchup is daunting on paper, the five-win Jaguars have little motivation on their side, and as is, they've been incredibly inconsistent on the road. In away games, the Jaguars have allowed 29 or more points four times (to the Cowboys, Chiefs, Titans, and Colts), and also gave up 24 to the Bills, an offense that ranks 31st by numberFire's metrics.
We all know the added rushing upside Deshaun Watson brings in any matchup, and he's averaged 42 rushing yards per game with 3 rushing scores over his last five. He has scored 29-plus FanDuel points on four occasions this year, including a season-high 36.46 points just last week against the Eagles.
DeAndre Hopkins will have to deal with Jalen Ramsey, but we know the targets will be coming his way, with Demaryius Thomas on injured reserver and Keke Coutee still dealing with a hamstring injury. Hopkins leads all players with a 31.96% target market share and also leads the league in targets inside the 10-yard line (15).
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.