Week 17 Fantasy Football DraftKings Preview

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

It is the last week of DraftKings, where we have all 32 teams in action. With most seasonal leagues concluded, this should only encourage you to play some DraftKings this week. However, there are some tricky things going on in Week 17. Teams are benching some of their stars, and other teams’ motivation to play is in question. Regardless, I will go through each matchup and suggest the players I like in each game. To keep things simple I will only discuss players that I would put in my lineups, not players I am avoiding!

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-15, 43.5)

Dec 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) congratulates running back Dion Lewis (33) after Lewis’ touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

With the Patriots being favored by 15 at home, this means that RB Dion Lewis at $6,800 is a great play at the RB spot. He has double digit fantasy points in six of his last seven games and is primed for a heavy workload with all the other injuries to the other New England Patriots running backs. The Jets have also allowed the ninth most fantasy points to the RB over the past four weeks. Additionally the Jets have also allowed the most fantasy points to the QB over that same timespan. QB Tom Brady at $6,800 is the cheapest he has been all season this week because of his struggles so he will be overlooked. WR Brandin Cooks and TE Rob Gronkowski are the players I would stack with Brady provided I have enough salary. Cooks just needs one big play to relevant and the TE is such a crapshoot, Gronkowski provides that you will not get a total dud from the position. Brady’s last three home starts versus the Jets? 8 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

I like for the Pats offense to build momentum going into the playoffs. For the Jets side, my main focus is really WR Robby Anderson at $5,000. He has 19 targets over the past two games so his volume will be there especially in a game where the Jets will most likely throwing from behind.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis (-5.5, 41)

Dec 14, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) carries the ball for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A battle for not finishing last in the AFC South, both of these teams have stunk this year. However, there are some fantasy relevant players for sure. To start let’s talk about how excited I am for the Colts D/ST at $2,900. I mean come on, this is too good to pass up with WR DeAndre Hopkins set to miss the game. He is by far their best offensive player, so without him will they be able to move the ball with QB T.J. Yates? I do not think so. However that does present WR Will Fuller at $4,300 as an interesting candidate for sure to get an uptick in volume. Fuller is always a big play threat waiting to happen and the Colts have allowed the fourth most receiving yards to the WR this season.

On the Colts offensive side though, there are some very nice plays. I love WR T.Y. Hilton at $5,900 who is the founder of the phrase,” Houston we have a problem.” Hilton’s numbers versus the Texans are absurd. In 11 games versus his division rival, Hilton has averaged 8.9 targets, 5.5 receptions, 101.5 yards, and .8 touchdowns. Get him in your lineups for sure. TE Jack Doyle at $4,700, is also a nice option. He has 18 targets over the past two weeks and the Texans defense ranks sixth worst versus the position this year. So if you decide to go with Doyle and Hilton, you may as well add some Jacoby Brisket to make it a combo meal! QB Jacoby Brissett at $5,500 can definitely be played. He put up 23.52 fantasy points on the road versus the Texans earlier this season. The Texans have also allowed the third most fantasy points to the QB over the past two weeks.

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6, 36.5)

Dec 10, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) celebrates his touchdown reception against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

COME ON BROWNS! THEY ARE PLAYING THERE SECOND STRINGERS! Sorry, I just cannot believe the Browns enter Week 17 with ultimate humiliation weighing in the balance. I do expect the Browns to one hundred percent be motivated to win, but they have been in the same scenario all season. For fantasy football, WR Josh Gordon at $5,800 I expect to have a big game. Going against second stringers, Gordon should be able to dominate. He has also had a lot of success against the Steelers averaging 10.3 targets, 7.3 receptions, and 104.5 yards in four career games versus Pittsburgh. Additionally, Pittsburgh has been bad against RBs. They have allowed the third most fantasy points to the position over the past four weeks. RB Isaiah Crowell at $3,900 will not be on many lineups, so that is why he is a sneaky play this week. The last time Crowell played at Pittsburgh he went for over 150 yards. There is a chance that the Browns are winning at some point during this game, so Crowell could see additional work.

For the Steelers, all of there main guys are out. But that does not mean they do not have any start-able guys. QB Landry Jones at $4,700 is definitely in consideration considering he threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns when he played in a similar situation last year versus the Browns. RB Stevan Ridley at $3,500 who got the work last week is the running back to go with. For wide receivers, WR Eli Rogers at $3,900 is the guy I would roll with. He had the most targets with Landry Jones at QB last year. TE Vance McDonald at $2,700 is also a great dice roll play because the Browns cannot stop the TE. McDonald is more explosive then TE Jesse James. If James also sits, that would open up even more targets for McDonald.

Washington Redskins at New York Giants (+3, 39.5)

Dec 17, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

You like that!? Yeah I sure do like QB Kirk Cousins at $6,200 versus the Giants defense that has allowed the third most fantasy points to the QB over the past four weeks. Stack him with WR Jamison Crowder at $5,800 and WR Josh Doctson at $4,400! TE Vernon Davis at $4,300 also needs to be considered because the Giants are the worst team versus the TE. Remember Cousins is trying to earn himself a hefty pay-day, so I expect him to ball out. RB Samaje Perine at $4,500 is also a cheap volume play for any lineup. The Redskins D/ST is also a nice play at $3,200, with all the injuries on offense for the Giants.

The Redskins have not been great at stopping the run this season(they have allowed the fourth most rushing yards per game), so RB Wayne Gallman at $4,200  seems like the most logical start. He has scored double-digit fantasy points over the past three weeks. In a lost season, it makes sense for the Giants to give the rookie work.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-12, 38)

Dec 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at Soldier Field. The Bears won 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, as the Vikings are a heavy home favorite, this means you need to start their running backs. RB Latavius Murray at $5,300 is still super cheap, so he is a great add for his value despite the tough matchup. The Bears have been stout against basically every position over the past four weeks, but Vikings offense should do enough. However WR Stefon Diggs at $6,000 has had success versus the Bears in the past so he would be my wide receiver to target in this game. Vikings D/ST at $3,900 is pricey, but is probably guaranteed around 10 fantasy points at least.

For the Bears offense, I really like RB Jordan Howard at $5,800. Despite the fact that the Vikings rank number one versus the RB in fantasy, Howard can still be played. In three career games versus Minnesota Howard has averaged 22.7 attempts and 121.3 yards. He gets so much volume and because the matchup is so bad, people will avoid him. Play him.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (+3, 39)

Dec 24, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a pass against Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas (29) in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the Cowboys are going to play their starters for the majority of the game, with the Eagles probably playing their starters for a series or two. That sets up things nicely for RB Ezekiel Elliot at $8,700 who needs 120 yards to hit that 1,000 yard benchmark despite missing six games. I expect Elliot to have low ownership making him a great play in tournaments. WR Dez Bryant at $5,900 faces a defense that has allowed the second most fantasy points to the WR over the past four weeks. Bryant should be motivated after ranting this week to the media. The matchup, the fact that Bryant is looking for a new contract, and the Eagles resting guys have me convinced Bryant can finally hit that 100 yard mark for the first time this season. WR Ryan Switzer at $3,000 is also a very intriguing option for a cheap player because Cole Beasley will miss this game.

For the Eagles the only guys I am looking at are some real cheap dart throws. You just cannot trust any of the normal starters who are likely to sit most of the game. RB Corey Clement at $4,100, WR Mack Hollins at $3,000, and TE Trey Burton at $4,100. These guys seem most likely to benefit from the starters resting so I like their volume potential at a cheap price.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-7, 43)

Dec 3, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams (30) stiff arms Tampa Bay Buccaneers middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58) in overtime at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: William Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via USA TODAY Sports

QB Matthew Stafford at $6,300 could most certainly finish as the top quarterback this week. The Packers have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to the QB over the past four weeks. Stafford has averaged 19.7 fantasy points at home this season, so I think in a game where the Lions will be playing for their coach’s job Stafford will produce big time. That being said you need to definitely stack Stafford with TE Eric Ebron at $4,500 who has been feeling it over the last three weeks. The Packers defense has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to the TE over the past four weeks. Also stack WR Golden Tate at $6,300 and WR Marvin Jones Jr. at $6,500. In Week 4, both Jones and Tate went over 100 yards versus the Green Bay defense. Lions D/ST at $3,700 is also a solid option.

For the Green Bay offense, it is all about RB Jamaal Williams at $5,200. The Lions run defense is pitiful; second most fantasy points allowed to the RB this season. WR Randall Cobb at $4,700 is also a great option out of the slot  where he will avoid Lions top corner Darius Slay. Cobb is the lone healthy experienced Green Bay wide receiver, so I like him to get volume this week.

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (+2, 42.5)

Dec 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) catches a pass over New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Fire up those running backs! RB LeSean McCoy at $8,000 and RB Kenyan Drake at $7,200 are both great RBs to pay up for this week. The Bills rank dead last versus the RB, and the Dolphins rank fifth worst versus the RB in fantasy points allowed. WR Jarvis Landry at $6,200 has been solid all year even in DraftKings, so you cannot go wrong putting him in your lineup. QB Tyrod Taylor at $5,300 is also an option, because the Dolphins are not good versus the QB position. Over the past two weeks the Dolphins have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to the QB. Somebody who has something to do with that is Taylor who dropped 23.16 fantasy points on them just two weeks ago. Pair him with TE Charles Clay at $3,700 who is Taylor’s number one option. I also like WR Kelvin Benjamin at $4,300. He is the number one wide receiver for the Bills and the Dolphins have struggled versus bigger wide receivers this year. The Bills D/ST at $3,000 is also a nice play against Jay Cutler and the Dolphins who have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing defense this season.

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angles Rams (+4, 43.5)

Dec 24, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) carries the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the Los Angeles Rams or “The Greatest Show on Surf” have decided to forego Week 17 and rest all of their starters. So what does this mean for DraftKings? Well it means you need to roll with some of these guys instead! RB Malcolm Brown at $3,900, WR Tavon Austin at $3,000 and WR Josh Reynolds at $3,000. All guys that should see an uptick volume with the starters getting rested.

For the 49ers, QB Jimmy Garropolo at $6,700 has been red hot. His 22.98 fantasy point performance versus the Jaguars was the second highest any QB has had against them. Over the last three weeks, the Rams have allowed an average of 40 pass attempts to opposing QBs. He can be trusted this week if the Rams also decide to rest some of their defensive starters. Stack him with WR Marquise Goodwin at $6,600 and WR Trent Taylor at $3,600. RB Carlos Hyde at $4,900 is also just too cheap to pass on as a player that gets 17 touches per game. Rams run defense has been better over the last four weeks, but still rank fourth worst on the year.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, 45)

Dec 17, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

In the highest total point spread of the week, the Panthers and Falcons have a lot at stake in this Week 17 matchup. The Falcons playing for postseason play, and the Panthers will the potential for better seeding in the playoffs. QB Cam Newton at $6,800 is the quarterback to target in this matchup. The Falcons have allowed the ninth most fantasy points to the QB position over the past four weeks. Pair him with RB Christian McCaffrey at $6,700 who should have a field day against the Falcons who have allowed the most receptions to the RB over the course of the entire season. TE Greg Olsen at $5,600 should also be able to so some damage to the Falcons. The Falcons defense in Week 15 allowed big numbers to the TE position.

For the Atlanta offense, I am all about starting WR Julio Jones at $8,200. Over the past four weeks no team has allowed more fantasy points to the WR than the Carolina Panthers. If the Falcons want to win, then it would make sense for them to get the ball to their best player.

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Bucs (+5, 49)

Dec 7, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) tackles New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. (19) in the third quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

QB Drew Brees at $6,500 is a fine play this week, versus the Buccaneers defense that Brees himself already faced this season. Back in Week 8, Brees threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns against the Buccaneers. Also once again RB Alvin Kamara at $7,900, RB Mark Ingram at $7,500, and WR Michael Thomas at $7,700 are all solid plays. The Buccaneers have allowed the most fantasy points to the WR and the tenth most points to the RB this season. The Saints should be able to move the ball very well versus Tampa Bay. WR Ted Ginn Jr. at $5,100 is also a viable option as boom-bust guy. The Saints D/ST at $3,300 is also a great play, as Tampa Bay has allowed the most fantasy points to defenses over the past four weeks.

On the Buccaneers side of the ball QB Jameis Winston at $5,800 is a good play. Winston has not helped his team win games this season, but he has been an excellent fantasy quarterback averaging almost 20 fantasy points at home this year. WR Mike Evans at $7,200 got shutdown last time out versus the Saints, but I think he bounces back. I think he is in line for a ton of volume with all the injuries for the Buccaneers wide receivers.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-2.5, 41.5)

Dec 24, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs for a short gain during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Doug Marrone has stated that all of his starters are going to play, but are we really going to buy into that? It is tough to trust the starters, but there are few players that are worth targeting for Jacksonville. RB T.J. Yeldon at $3,900 is cheap and has taken charge of the passing down work. The Titans got ripped up by screens all last week, so I am sure the Jaguars will have a few ready for them with Yeldon featured. The Titans on the season have allowed the 10th most fantasy points to the WR, so there is definitely an opportunity for a Jacksonville receiver to emerge. But which one? WR Dede Westbrook at $5,800 would be my target. He has had consist targets and has not been banged up at all since returning from IR.

For the Titans, finally we can say that RB Derrick Henry at $5,500 will get the volume. DeMarco Murray is out, so there is no stopping Henry from getting all the carries. The matchup too is not as bad as you might think. The Jaguars over the past two weeks have allowed the tenth most fantasy points to the RB. TE Delanie Walker at $4,400 is another nice option to target because of his steady of workload. Jacksonville has such a good presence on the outside, attacking them through the middle with Walker seems like the best recipe for success. Titans D/ST at $2,800 could also be a solid option, especially if Blake Bortles decides to turn back into Blake Bortles.

Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-7, 42)

Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) congratulates tight end Antonio Gates (85) after a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

RB Marshawn Lynch at $4,400 should find some running room versus the Chargers defense that has allowed the most rushing yards per game this season. That is basically it for the Raiders offensively for me to suggest as the unit as struggled mightily all season.

QB Philip Rivers at $6,600 is another starting option, despite the fact that the Raiders defense has allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to the QB over the past four weeks. Oakland has been a disaster all season and with nothing to play for, I am not sure they even show up today. Especially with RB Melvin Gordon at $7,400 dealing with an injury, the Chargers may lean more on Rivers. I also really like WR Keenan Allen at $7,800 and TE Antonio Gates at $4,200, as my stack with Rivers. The Raiders have allowed on averaged at least 1.5 passing touchdown on the road this year and have allowed the second most fantasy points to the TE over the past four weeks. Chargers D/ST at $3,600 is also a very solid option as well.

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-9, 38)

Dec 10, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA;Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) makes a touchdown catch as Jacksonville Jaguars strong safety Barry Church (42) defends during the second half at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

For the Cardinals offense it is all about WR Larry Fitzgerald at $6,900. He could be playing in his final game, and we know he will be heavily targeted from QB Drew Stanton. In addition to that even though it is on the road where Fitzgerald has not been as good, the Seahawks have allowed the eighth most fantasy points to the WR over the past four weeks.

QB Russell Wilson at $6,900 has averaged 25.6 fantasy points at home this season, making him a great start. I like to stack an elite player like Wilson with WR Doug Baldwin at $6,400 and TE Jimmy Graham at $4,800. Baldwin plays enough out of the slot where he will avoid enough of Patrick Peterson to have a productive performance. Graham put up two touchdowns the last time these teams met as well. The Seahawks D/ST at $3,400 is also a great play against the Cardinals at home.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-4, 38)

Dec 24, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) rushes the ball against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

If there were ever a time to fire RB C.J. Anderson at $6,000 it would be versus the Chiefs at home this week. The Chiefs this season have allowed the most rushing touchdowns playing on the road. The Chiefs have also been bad versus wide receivers this year. I love WR Demaryius Thomas at $5,500 in this spot as well. He has been much better at home this year and the Chiefs have allowed the second most fantasy points to the WR this season. The Broncos D/ST is also a great option because rookie QB Patrick Mahomes II at $4,700 will be making his first NFL start today.

RB Akeem Hunt at $3,000 looks to be the most likely candidate to get carries in Week 17, with RB Kareem Hunt resting and RB Charcandrick West already downgraded to out. However, the Broncos run defense is much better at home. They only allow 69 rushing yards per game in Denver. Hunt is a volume guy at best, but is still super cheap. TE Travis Kelce is also expected to sit so that could open up snaps for TE Demetrius Harris at $2,500.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5, 40)

RB Alex Collins at $5,600 is primed for a nice day versus the Bengals defense that has allowed the second most rushing yards per game this season and the second most fantasy points to the position over the past four weeks. TE Ben Watson at $3,800 also needs to be considered because the Bengals have allowed the seventh most fantasy points to the TE over the past four weeks.

RB Giovani Bernard at $5,700 also has a great matchup versus the Ravens defense that has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to the RB position over the last four weeks. WR A.J. Green at $6,300 is at his cheapest price of the year, and needs to be in your lineups. In his last three games at Baltimore, Green has averaged almost 170 receiving yards. Baltimore D/ST is also a nice play versus the turnover prone QB Andy Dalton who threw four interceptions against them in their first game this year.

Good luck everyone! Happy New Year!