5 NFL FanDuel Value Plays to Target in Week 17

Studs with sizable salaries are frequently an integral part of winning money in daily fantasy football at FanDuel. However, to fit them under the salary cap, it's imperative to locate underpriced players who over-deliver.

A good place to start when attempting to unearth undervalued players is our projections tool. The tool offers a value option for sorting, showcasing who offers the most bang for your buck. In addition to matchups impacting projections, injuries do as well. On that note, players replacing injured starters are often among the top values. So, staying abreast of injury news and inactives until the start of games is a must with that in mind.

With the tone set for this piece, let's move on. The following quintet of players is among my favorite cap-friendly options in Week 17.

Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers ($6,400)

Trey Lance might be making his second NFL start this week. Jimmy Garoppolo has a torn ligament and a chipped bone in his thumb, and he didn't practice on Wednesday, despite voicing optimism he'll start this week.

Barring positive reports about Jimmy G later in the week, I expect Lance to get the nod for the San Francisco 49ers against the Houston Texans. He's priced like a mid-tier running back, fitting for a player with 130 rushing yards on 23 rush attempts in one half of relief and full start this year. However, obviously, he also adds throwing upside, passing for 349 yards and 2 touchdowns. Lance has a bevy of weapons at his disposal that all do substantial damage after the catch.

The numberFire projection model adores Lance. As a result, he is projected for the highest value score -- the measure of points per one-thousand dollars of salary -- across all positions in Week 17.

Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals ($6,400)

Christian Kirk has ascended to the top wideout for the Arizona Cardinals with DeAndre Hopkins out. According to Pro Football Focus, in the last two weeks without Nuk, Kirk has been second in targets (21), tied for first in touchdown receptions (one), and first in routes (92), receptions (16), and receiving yards (149).

Unfortunately, the Cards are in an offensive funk. Nevertheless, Kyler Murray is a supremely talented quarterback, and there's shootout potential against the Dallas Cowboys. The game's pace is likely to be mouthwatering, too. According to Football Outsiders, Arizona plays at the sixth-fastest situation neutral pace, and Dallas leads the way in pace.

The matchup isn't too shabby for Kirk, either. According to Pro Football Reference, the Cowboys allow the seventh-most receiving yards (2,531) to wideouts at a blistering 14.46 yards per reception. Unsurprisingly, they struggle with explosive passing plays. Dallas yields the sixth-highest average explosive pass rate (10 percent), according to Sharp Football Stats.

Thankfully, Kirk is equipped to exploit Dallas's susceptibility to deep passes. According to Pro Football Focus, Kirk is tied for the 21st-most targets of 20-plus yards with 19, hauling in 10 for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns. So, I'm happy to chase his big-play potential on FanDuel's main slate.

Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos ($6,100)

There isn't a better matchup for running attacks than facing the Los Angeles Chargers. As such, the Chargers are the runaway worst rush defense in our power rankings. The Denver Broncos are likely to take the Chargers' invitation to run the ball against them, using their two-headed backfield. In Week 12, Denver defeated the Chargers 28 to 13, feeding Melvin Gordon 17 rush attempts and Javonte Williams 14 rush attempts. The former scampered for 83 scoreless yards, and the rookie rumbled for 54 yards and a touchdown.

In addition, Williams hauled in 3 receptions on 4 targets for 57 yards compared to only a single 5-yard catch for Gordon. The passing-game edge for Williams isn't a surprise. In four games Gordon and Williams have played together since Denver's Week 11 bye, Williams has run 58 routes versus only 33 for Gordon.

Circling back to Williams' rushing exploits, he's a bowling bowl on the gridiron. According to Pro Football Focus, out of 55 running backs with at least 75 rush attempts in 2021, Williams is sixth in yards after contact per attempt (3.50 YCO/A) and tied for first in missed tackles forced (58). As a result, Williams' explosiveness gives him a path to piling up points on the ground even in a split backfield with Gordon.

Toss in the receiving edge for the rookie back, and Williams is an attractive bargain option in a dreamy matchup this week. Thankfully, our projections support my assertion, projecting Williams for the sixth-highest value score among running backs in Week 17. So, I'm comfortable firing him up in all game types.

Breshad Perriman, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,700)

I love to feature risky GPP options in this space. Certainly, Breshad Perriman fits the bill as a risky GPP play. However, I wouldn't suggest him if he didn't offer point-scoring upside. The speedy veteran receiver showcased his ability to impact fantasy scoring on only one play, scoring a 58-yard touchdown on his only reception in Week 14.

Before that, he showed he has some trust from the coaching staff, running the third-most routes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 13. Might he jump back into a prominent role in Tampa Bay's uncertain receiver pecking order? Maybe! The only certainty in the position group is Antonio Brown. Mike Evans is still dealing with a hamstring injury and is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, casting doubt on his availability this week.

So, as long as Evans is out this week, I'm intrigued by Perriman's big-play potential and the possibility of returning to a prominent route-running role in a great matchup. The New York Jets are dead last in pass defense ranking in our power rankings. Further, they surrender the second-highest average explosive pass rate (12 percent). Add it all up, and I'll fire some bullets in GPPs on Perriman at only $200 above the minimum salary for a wide receiver.

Colts, DEF, Indianapolis Colts ($3,900)

I'm making the sizable salary commitment needed to use Jonathan Taylor this week. So, using the Indianapolis D/ST has the dual benefit of saving cap space and correlating with the stud running back. But, of course, I love the Colts' defense in isolation in this superb matchup as well.

The Las Vegas Raiders are stuck in the mud on offense. Since their Week 8 bye, they've scored more than 17 points only one time, eclipsing 350 yards of offense only two times, and turning the ball over multiple times in six games. Indy's defense is built to exacerbate Las Vegas' turnover issues.

According to Pro Football Reference, the Colts have forced the second-most turnovers (31). Finally, the Colts' defense should be positioned to tee off on Derek Carr in obvious passing situations. According to our heat map, the Colts are 6.5-point favorites. Toss in that the Colts are at home, and they're an attractive selection and underpriced at less than $4,000. Our projections agree, tabbing them as the best defensive value.

Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. 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.