4 FanDuel NFL Studs to Target in Week 17
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-salaried players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
Just two weeks left in the regular season, meaning just two main slates to roster some of our favorite studs.
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears
FanDuel Salary: $8,400
Projected Points: 19.5
Last week, Justin Fields had his worst game in the past 10 weeks. He only had 9.86 fantasy points after having at least double-digits in every game since Week 3. This game will be indoors, though, and the matchup will be much better.
Fields has become a quarterback we can consider every week because of his rushing ability. Since Week 6, only Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes have averaged more fantasy points per game at QB. He's eclipsed the 1000-yard rushing -- one of eight players to accomplish that feat so far. Before last week, he had rushed for at least 60 yards in eight-straight games with seven touchdowns in that stretch.
He doesn't have the weapons that many top quarterbacks do to make him that dangerous in the passing game, but he hasn't really had any all season and has still been producing for fantasy.
The matchup here is one that Fields erupted against earlier this season; he'll face the Detroit Lions on the road. He scored over 40 fantasy points in Week 10 against Detroit. The Lions' defense is still allowing the fourth-most adjusted fantasy points per drop back in the league and has allowed the most rushing yards to QBs.
It may be hard to believe, but the Chicago-Detroit game carries the highest total on this slate. Chicago's implied team total is 23.5 points, which is definitely good enough to consider Fields in all formats.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
FanDuel Salary: $9,200
Projected Points: 18.2
It's pretty remarkable that the New York Giants are on the verge of making the playoffs with all the moving parts on offense. Their main man at the skill positions has been Saquon Barkley, who has been great throughout the season. The Giants love to feature him and should continue to do so this week.
Barkley has really had a comeback season after being impacted by injury for the past two seasons. He's the RB5 in half-PPR points per game. Barkley only saw 11 touches in Week 14 but was carrying an injury that week. Since then, he's gotten healthy and has seen 18 targets in two games. He's also rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns. The game script should set up nicely for Barkley in this matchup.
The Giants are at home this week against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are just playing out the string in the final two games, starting Nick Foles at quarterback. If he plays as he did in his first action of the season on Monday, the Giants should have good field position due to some turnovers. Indy is 20th in adjusted fantasy points per carry to running backs, and they're also 20th per target to the position.
New York likely will try to get Saquon involved early and often. They run the ball at the eighth-highest rate in the league. Meanwhile, Indianapolis faces runs at the fifth-highest rate. Barkley should see the volume that we love from running backs, making him an excellent play this week.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions
FanDuel Salary: $8,200
Projected Points: 16.8
Targeting the best game environment on this slate that also is played indoors leads us to play Amon-Ra St. Brown at wide receiver.
It's a good strategy to draft second-year wide receivers in season-long leagues because that is when they tend to break out, and that couldn't be more true for St. Brown. We did see him look great towards the end of last season, but he's been able to deliver it consistently this season to make him a top fantasy receiver.
St. Brown is simply force-fed targets so often inside of a surprisingly excellent Lions' passing game. He has seen double-digit targets in eight games this season. He's turned all these targets into being the WR8 in fantasy points per game. These targets also come in dangerous areas; St. Brown has 12 targets in the red zone in the last four games.
The Lions get a fantastic matchup against the Bears this week. Chicago's pass defense is 29th overall, according to numberFire's metrics. Against wide receivers specifically, they rank 29th in adjusted fantasy points per target. St. Brown lit the Bears up in their previous meeting, catching 10 passes for 119 yards, and there's no reason he can't do the same this week.
Detroit has the highest implied team total this week, sitting at 29 points. Despite having four receivers with higher salaries than him, St. Brown has our highest projection at the position. With the number of targets he sees, he's always a good option in cash games.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
FanDuel Salary: $7,400
Projected Points: 10.8
George Kittle represents the tight-end position quite nicely. He does not see consistent volume, giving him a low floor on a week-to-week basis. What separates Kittle from others at the position is a monster ceiling, which we have seen over the past two weeks.
In the past six weeks, Kittle has either scored under 5 FanDuel points or over 20 -- with nothing in between. Two of those big games have come consecutively, and he hasn't seemed to slow with Brock Purdy at quarterback. There is optimism that Kittle has some kind of chemistry with the new QB since he saw a target on a season-high 36.4% of his routes last game.
Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers will face off against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. The Raiders' defense has been one we've liked picking on all year in basically all areas. They rank next-to-last in schedule-adjusted pass defense. They aren't very good at defending tight ends either, allowing the eighth-most adjusted fantasy points per target against the position.
The tight end position doesn't have many players with the ceiling of Kittle, making him an intriguing option in tournaments.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.