4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 17

The last week of the regular season is upon us. But there's no time for sadness -- it's time to get those buckies in DFS play.

As is the case when playing any sport on FanDuel, it’s imperative to hit on the high-priced players in your lineup. They require a big chunk of your salary, and when paying up for a player, you shouldn’t have to worry about him letting down your lineup.

Heading into the final week of the NFL season, here are four studs who should prove to be worth their high price tag.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

FanDuel Price: $8,600
Projected Points: 21.9

While it's highly unlikely that the New England Patriots stumble against the Miami Dolphins in their regular season finale, the Kansas City Chiefs could sneak into the second seed, and more importantly, a first-round bye if the Pats were to lose. That means that Patrick Mahomes and his teammates have something worth playing for.

It just so happens that the Chiefs end against their AFC West rival in the Los Angeles Chargers, whose defense has stunk as of late, especially against the pass. Via our per-play metrics, the Chargers rank 21st overall and 22nd against the pass. It's a big reason they've lost five of six games to close.

In terms of Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, Mahomes ranks third-best in the NFL among signal callers with 175 or more drop backs with a mark of 0.32, and he checks in seventh in Passing Success Rate (51.68%).

When we look at our heat map, the Chiefs are slated for the fifth-highest implied total (27.00 points), so invest in Mahomes with confidence.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

FanDuel Price: $8,300
Projected Points: 20.3

Like Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers also have the all-important Week 17 motivation factor -- they are tied with New Orleans with a 12-3 record. A win clinches them the NFC's number two playoff seed.

Want it to get even juicier? The Pack gets to face a Detroit Lions defense that has been trashed through the air. They rank 26th against the aerial attack, and in the last six games they've been torched for 325-plus passing yards three times. Ouch.

The Pack boast a 27.75 implied total, so expect a big scoring day from Rodgers.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

FanDuel Price: $7,900
Projected Points: 19.7

Apparently Week 16 was the time for disappointing running backs like Alvin Kamara and Saquon Barkley to be resurrected from the DFS dead. Like Barkley, who went bonkers, Kamara ripped off a 26-point FanDuel effort a week ago.

Kamara could make it back-to-back impressive performances thanks to a Carolina Panthers run defense that's been easy pickings this season. Not only do they rank as the league's worst via our per-play metrics, but they've also allowed 100 or more team rushing yards in 13 of 15 games, 100 or more team rushing yards in each of the last five games, and 150 or more team rushing yards in each of the the last five games. Wow.

While Latavius Murray lurks prominently, Kamara did out-touch him 18 to 9 a week ago, and the Saints not only sport an implied total of 29.75 points (second-best), but Kamara could see a heavy workload as 12.5-point favorites.

Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

FanDuel Price: $8,500
Projected Points: 17.9

This one comes with a big ol' asterisk, as there is some uncertainty as to whether super stud Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons will play this week. But if he does, ooh mama we gotta start him.

But he did turn in a limited practice on Thursday, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a defense we want to target from a pass game perspective. The Bucs rank ninth against the pass via our metrics, but they've also allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

Vegas seems to think that there will be points scored in this contest, too. It's got the highest over/under (48.0 points), and the public is backing the Falcons with 64% of bets coming in on Atlanta.

Monitor this one closely, but if Julio is a go, fire him into your lineups.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. 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.