5 NFL FanDuel Value Plays to Target in Week 17
One of the crucial aspects of daily fantasy football is unearthing cheap production.
Our projections can help you do just that by allowing you to sort players by their point-per-dollar value. A lot of times, the top value plays come as a result of injury situations, meaning it's imperative to see inactives on Sunday morning before setting your lineups.
When looking for a salary-saving option, check out one of these main-slate players this week.
Week 17 of the NFL is here! We have a loaded 15-game slate, and there are plenty of options across the board. Let's take a look at some value plays to help you afford the top stars on the main slate.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants ($5,500)
With the New York Giants still in the playoff race, we can look to their players for a bit of safety in Week 17.
Week 17 of the NFL can always be dangerous because oftentimes we see teams resting players or only playing in the first half. However, there are always certain teams you can count on, as they are still trying to lock up a playoff spot and cannot be resting starters. That is where Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard comes into play because the Giants need to win and then get a bit of help to make the playoffs.
Shepard has been consistent all season long for the Giants, with the third-most targets (69), second-most receptions (51), third-most red zone targets (8), but he only has a single touchdown to show for all of that. If there is any week for him to get a bit of positive touchdown regression, I'm sure Giants fans would love it to be this week. Not only is he due for it, but he also has an easy path to accomplish it this week because the Giants are taking on the Dallas Cowboys, who are allowing the fifth-most (35.0) FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers.
Between this being a must-win game for the Giants, Shepard's low salary, and the matchup versus the Cowboys, Shepard is looking to be an awesome value at wide receiver this week.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans ($5,300)
Win and you're in. It's as simple as that for the Titans, who are on the road in Houston but find themselves with an implied team total of 32.0, which is tied for the highest on the slate. This should put the Titans in a good spot to pour in the points, and that means we want to look towards some of their players as elite options this week.
One such player who stands out is tight end Jonnu Smith, who is having a strong end to the season. He comes in with three touchdowns in his last six games, five targets or more in four of the six games, and over 10 FanDuel points in three of the six games.
This week, he has a chance to continue this strong trend versus the Texans, who are allowing 10.1 FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends this season. Those aren't massive numbers, but considering Smith is tied for the team lead in red zone targets (14), he has plenty of scoring potential on a consistent basis.
Zach Pascal, WR, Indianapolis Colts ($5,400)
The Indianapolis Colts need a bit of help to make the playoffs, but they have to take care of their own business by picking up a win.
The Colts have a very winnable matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars this week and are 14.0-point home favorites. We get it, the Jags are bad, and we should target players against them. We've been doing this all season, so there's no reason to stop now.
The Colts have a few injuries with their wide receivers, making Zach Pascal a value option. Michael Pittman Jr. left last week's game with a concussion and is now in the league's protocol. Marcus Johnson was out last week with a quad injury, and his status for this week is unclear.
That pushes Pascal to have less competition for targets against the Jags' secondary, who are allowing 32.1 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers. But it's not as if Pascal is some depth player set to be the number two receiver -- he's been that guy all season long. He has the second-most targets (60) among wide receivers, the second-most receptions (40), and is tied for the team lead in touchdowns (5). I absolutely love the matchup and salary for Pascal this week, which should make him a great value option.
Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears ($5,100)
Now, accomplishing that will be no easy feat against the current number one seed in the NFC, who can secure the playoff bye with a win. The good news is that this game has an over/under of 52.0, which is the third-highest on the slate, so we're expecting plenty of scoring and, thus, fantasy points.
This should put a player like Darnell Mooney in a good spot to rack up fantasy points and exceed salary-based expectations. The Bears are +5.5 home underdogs, which should put them in a passing game script, something that is always good for wide receivers. Mooney comes in with a 15.03% target share, which is the second-highest on the team. Mooney is showing that in recent games and comes in with five targets or more in eight of his last 10 games, has a touchdown in two of the last three weeks, and still leads the team with a 9.2 average depth of target (aDOT).
Mike Boone, RB, Minnesota Vikings ($4,600)
Even though the Minnesota Vikings are out of the playoff hunt, they can offer some value this week.
It was announced Wednesday morning that Vikings running back Dalvin Cook would miss the Week 17 game due to a family emergency. On top of that, their backup running back, Alexander Mattison, missed last week's game since he is in the concussion protocol. That means Mike Boone could be in a spot to be either the starter or play a decent amount of snaps if Mattison is able to clear the protocol.
Boone hasn't played a ton throughout the season but did manage to vulture a four-yard touchdown run away from Cook last week against the New Orleans Saints. If Mattison is unable to play, Boone would have a very easy path to fantasy points because he is up against the Detroit Lions, who are allowing 29.0 FanDuel points per game to opposing running backs, which is dead last in the league.