DRAFT Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 17
Just because the NFL season is underway doesn't mean you can't enjoy fantasy football drafts.
Over at DRAFT.com, you can get the experience of a fantasy draft while building your daily fantasy rosters, and the format is quite simple.
You roster one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receiver/tight ends, while drafting against opponents in real-time. That means the typical "value" aspect of daily fantasy is different, as you're not worrying about salary cap and instead just playing your opponents for your preferred picks of the week.
What stands out for Week 17's main slate?
When considering running backs in the DRAFT format, you are required to draft two, but the difference between the top options and the next grouping can be a big drop-off.
Our projections have three running backs projected for 19.5 points or more, while the fourth running back is projected for 18.4 fantasy points. This might not seem massive, but in fantasy football or DFS, every point matters. In your head-to-head matches, you will 100% be grabbing at least one of these top running backs, but as you move on to 4-person, 6-person, and 10-person DRAFTS, things can change dramatically.
Let's take a look at a few players by tiers, so you can get a clear picture of where you should be targeting each player.
1. Christian McCaffrey (RB1) - It's the final week of the regular season, and McCaffrey is atop his throne. He's the clear RB1 on the year, and just because the Carolina Panthers are out of the playoffs doesn't mean he is resting. In fact, they are going to be feeding him the ball to try to help him break records.
2. Alvin Kamara (RB2) - The New Orleans Saints still have something to play for in the last week of the season, and they come in with a very strong 29.75 implied team total. They are up against the Panthers, who are allowing the most FanDuel points per game to running backs this season. Easy spot to draft Kamara this week.
3. Ezekiel Elliott (RB3) - Dallas needs to win in order to even have a shot at the playoffs, and they should look to feed Zeke. They are 11.0-point home favorites against Washington, who is allowing 25.7 FanDuel points per game to running backs -- the fourth-most in the league. The 'Boys need their best player to have a big game, and it should come easy versus this weak defense.
4. Saquon Barkley (RB4) - Even though the New York Giants are out of the playoffs, they have given their franchise running back 20-plus carries in each of the last two games. He has turned those into 112 yards or more in each game, three rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. Volume is king in fantasy football.
5. Leonard Fournette (RB5) - Fournette has seen 18 total touches or more in four straight games but hasn't found the end zone at all. The volume is always there for him, and with a few options ahead of him this week, he should be available in most DRAFTs.
6. Derrick Henry (RB6) - The Tennessee Titans need to win for their playoff hopes, and that means leaning on Henry. He missed last week's game but is reportedly fully healthy this week. We have him projected for the second-most rushing attempts -- 21.22 -- in his matchup against the Houston Texans, who are allowing 23.6 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs.
7. Aaron Jones (RB7) - The Green Bay Packers are -12.5-point road favorites this week against the Detroit Lions, who are allowing 25.8 FanDuel points -- the third-most -- to running backs this season. The Packers still have something to play for and should be in control of this game, allowing plenty of touches for Jones.
8. Miles Sanders (RB11) - Yet another team -- the Philadelphia Eagles -- that has something to play for this week. Win and they make the playoffs. Sanders has proven to be a legit top-tier running back in the second half of the season, which should only continue versus the Giants this week.
9. Nick Chubb (RB10) - The Cincinnati Bengals are allowing 24.4 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season -- the sixth-most -- and Chubb is playing them. Another easy spot for a running back, but we could see him split time with Kareem Hunt since the Cleveland Browns are out of the playoffs.
1. Michael Thomas (WR1) - The best receiver in the league still has plenty to play for, as the Saints are fighting for playoff seeding. They carry the second-highest implied team total -- 29.75 -- this week and should be a popular option against the Panthers, who are allowing 30.7 FanDuel points per game to receivers, the ninth-most in the league.
2. Julio Jones (WR2) - Jones has seen an insane 35 targets over his past two games, turning them into 23 receptions, 300 yards, and two touchdowns. He is putting up monster numbers with Calvin Ridley out, and that should continue this week versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
3. Davante Adams (WR3) - Adams has 13 targets or more in each of the last two games, along with at least 100 yards in each game. Playoff seeding is on the line for the Packers, who are -12.5-point home favorites against the Lions. Adams makes an easy stack with Rodgers.
4. Travis Kelce (TE1) - It's not often we get a tight end this high in this category. Kelce is projected for 16.6 FanDuel points this week, which is actually the third-highest among any receiver, but he sees fewer targets compared to the top-tier wideouts.
5. Tyreek Hill (WR4) - With a 27.00 implied team total, the Kansas City Chiefs should be at the top of the list for teams to target this week. Hill has slate-breaking potential and should be paired with Mahomes at every opportunity.
6. DeAndre Hopkins (WR5) - Hopkins and the Texans can't move up or down in the playoff picture, and he finds himself in the second-tier for that reason. He is still projected for more than 10 targets and is a consistent option, but other receivers have more upside this week.
7. Amari Cooper (WR6) - The Cowboys have to win at home to even have a shot at making the playoffs. They are up against Washington, who is allowing 27.8 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers, putting Cooper and his eight projected targets in a good spot.
8. Courtland Sutton (WR7) - Sutton has shown to be a legit WR1 regardless of who is throwing him the ball. This game against the Oakland Raiders has an over/under sitting at only 41.0, but Oakland is allowing 29.9 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers this season -- the 11th most in the league. Great matchup, average game environment.
9. Keenan Allen (WR8) - The Los Angeles Chargers are 8.5-point underdogs and should be in a spot to pass the ball, giving Allen plenty of opportunity in the passing game. Allen has a solid 9.27 target projection, but the Bolts have an implied team total of only 18.50.
We all know you should be prioritizing elite running backs and receivers over taking a quarterback in season-long fantasy, and that should be the same here. This week, there are three quarterbacks who we have projected to score from 20.3 to 21.9 FanDuel points and another three projected at 19.1 to 19.4. At a certain point, it can be splitting hairs, and it essentially comes down to personal preference, but know that you will be in a good spot at quarterback this week.
1. Patrick Mahomes (QB1) - It's looking like a Chiefs week, and that means you want plenty of exposure to their offense. Mahomes is the only quarterback projected for over 300 yards, and that is always within his reach, along with a multi-touchdown game.
2. Dak Prescott (QB2) - A Cowboys' stack should be popular this week with their 28.25 implied team total and a soft matchup against Washington. Again, they need to win in order to have a shot at making the playoffs, so expected them to actually push the ball on offense this week.
3. Aaron Rodgers (QB3) - The Packers are one of a few teams fighting for playoff seeding in the NFC, and with their 27.75 implied team total, you should look to stack them this week. The Lions are allowing the seventh-most -- 20.8 -- FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season.
4. Drew Brees (QB4) - Brees and the Saints are marching right now, and even with this being an outdoor game, they carry a 29.75 implied team total. The Panthers are giving up points left and right, so stacking the Saints should be a very viable option in all formats.
5. Jameis Winston (QB5) - The Falcons are allowing 21.1 FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season, which puts Winston in a great spot. He is a top-five fantasy quarterback this year and will continue to throw the ball, racking up fantasy points -- and interceptions -- in the process. The highest over/under -- 48 -- on the board should make this a good game for fantasy production.
6. Matt Ryan (QB6) - Ryan is on the other side of Winston this week, and with the Buccaneers allowing 20.4 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season, we are in for plenty of scoring. It's a great spot for a game stack with weak defenses on both sides.
7. Carson Wentz (QB7) - It's simple for the Eagles this week -- win and you make the playoffs. They should be able to accomplish that against the Giants, who are allowing the third-most -- 21.6 -- FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season.
8. Ryan Tannehill (QB8) - Tannehill has looked like an elite quarterback in the second half of the season, and Tennessee needs all of that from him this week in order to secure the final AFC playoff spot. Projected for 17.7 FanDuel points against the Texans, Tanny could have another big game, and we saw a high-scoring affair just two weeks ago between these two teams.
9. Robert Griffin III (QB9) - RG3 will be getting the start for the Baltimore Ravens and is a viable option in deeper DRAFT formats. He is projected for 44 rushing yards, the most among quarterbacks, giving him a solid floor of points.