Daily Fantasy Week 17: Playing the Playoffs
Hi Daily Fantasy Veterans and Rookies,
In Daily Fantasy on Draft Kings, Week 17 is just as valuable as Week 12. There are big contests to enter and big money to win. While you may be going through fantasy football withdrawal now that Week 16 is in the books and most people who play fantasy football have had their “Super Bowl” and are now sitting around going “Now What? I need my fantasy football fix, it can’t be over yet, it just started”. Well, never fear, daily fantasy is still going strong for week 17 and over at Draft Kings there are still some huge prizes to win: $500,000 to first ($200 buy-in); $100,000 to first (only $12 buy-in); and a $25,000 to first for only a $2 buy-in.
In my Week 17 Shootouts article, as I have every week this season, I looked for games with a Vegas Over/Under above 50 points to help target players who should be in a high scoring game and thus put up good fantasy points. As anybody who plays fantasy football knows, Week 17 can be difficult as teams locked into a playoff position or locked out of the playoffs all together decide to rest their studs or at least give them limited playing time, either to avoid potential injury or rest them up to heal small injuries so they are ready for the playoffs.
Fortunately for us there are a bunch of teams this week who are fighting for a playoff berth or a bye or home field advantage, so they will undoubtedly be playing to win their game and thus using all of their players to the utmost, providing us, the daily fantasy player, with a nice menu of players to get in our lineups.
Games with Playoff Implications: Players in these games should be targeted:
St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks win and they get bye and home field advantage throughout playoffs
With this game, I am sitting all of the Rams against the Seattle Defense ($3,700), and looking to play both Marshawn Lynch @ $7,300 and Russell Wilson @ $7,500. Both are solid plays who should be in for most of the game putting up fantasy points for us.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
The winner (a tie really messes things up) of this game wins the NFC North and depending on the other action should be in line for a bye in round one of the playoffs.
The Packers defense is pretty much in the middle of pack and it will be pretty cold in Green Bay especially with a late afternoon start (4:35p) which makes Matthew Stafford and the WR corps somewhat suspect, especially given their recent performances: Stafford – 10 and 8 fantasy points the last two weeks; Calvin Johnson – no TD’s the last two weeks, don’t like him at his $8,700 salary this week. Reggie Bush took some touches away last week, but at $6,000, Joique Bell still looks good, especially if the passing game is not clicking. For the Packers, Eddie Lacy still looks good for only $6,900, he has continued to get it done and last week Forte showed the Lions are not a stone wall against RBs (Forte 21.5 points vs the Lions). Aaron Rodgers has been a beast at home with only one game with less than 24 fantasy points, he will light it up. Nelson and Cobb are too good to avoid. Cobb may be the better deal at $7,300 as opposed to Jordy’s $8,400, but both are capable of putting up 25+ points (in the same game no less).
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
A win for the Denver Broncos guarantees Peyton and company a first round bye; a loss could mean a number three seed.
The Peyton Manning and company desperately need a bye week. They are tired and banged up and the bye is essential if they are going to make an impact on the playoffs this year. Peyton Manning ($8,600), Demaryius Thomas ($8,500), Emmanuel Sanders ($7,000) and C.J. Anderson ($7,000) are all solid plays this week as they get the Oakland Raiders and should be able to dominate on the ground and through the air. Despite Jeremy Hill’s performance last week, the Broncos run defense has been solid, so Latavius Murray is not a great play especially with Oakland most likely chasing points and needing to pass. I would not trust Derrick Carr and who knows which WR will get the catches. Mychal Rivera might be interesting at $3,300, especially with Denver giving up the 3rd most points to TEs.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC North title up for grabs. For Steelers they could be 3rd or 5th seed, big difference. For Bengals a win could mean a first round bye.
Woof! This game is juicy. Both teams are playing for something and Vegas has the Over/Under at 48 points….a nice number for Daily Fantasy purposes. The Steelers defense is not great, so Jeremy Hill ($6,000), AJ Green – watch the injury report ($8,300), Jermaine Gresham ($3,200) and Mohamed Sanu ($4,000) are very good plays. If AJ Green is out or limited, Sanu becomes a must play. Pittsburgh has been great at home and Big Ben definitely has been better at home than on the road, with multiple 30+ fantasy point games. With a $7,300 price tag, Roethlisberger could be the play. Of course Antonio Brown is a good play even at his $8,500 price tag, and Le’Veon Bell is simply an absolute BEAST. He will cost you $9,500, but if you can find value elsewhere, he could be worth paying up for. An interesting play is Heath Miller at $4,500. He has definitely been getting more looks from Roethlisberger of late, and while he only had one catch the last time these two teams played in week 14, it was for a touchdown. As a final thought, I am not going to trust Andy Dalton in his second primetime game in a row. Last week his performance was very mediocre, I just can’t put him in my lineup.
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
It’s win and in for the Chargers, while the Chiefs need to win and then need some help.
In the last four weeks, Philip Rivers has had two 30+ fantasy point games, both on the road! So Arrowhead does not scare me this week. I like Rivers at $7,300 throwing the ball to somebody. I also like Alex Smith for only $5,800. He has a nice floor around 15 or 16 points, and if he ever finds a WR in the end zone, who knows? Last week, Andy Reid went nuts and forgot to give the ball to Jamaal Charles, even though they need help, the Chiefs need to win, if he can play, I can’t imagine Reid leaving Charles on the side lines again. Great sneaky play, Andrew Wilson at $3,800 is coming on strong, and with Dwayne Bowe potentially side lined with a shoulder, he could get more looks and be that first WR to get into the end zone. With Keenan Allen out, Eddie Royal seems to be the guy, Donald Inman notwithstanding. Royal’s $5,500 salary might be a bit much with better value out there.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Win and they are in. The winner of this game gets into the playoffs as the NFC South champion.
Yup, sign me up for this one! It’s in the Dome so there is no weather to be concerned about and while the Panthers defense has been getting better of late, neither defense should have the ability to shut the other team’s offense downs. Cam looks good after his accident and Ryan is on a roll, what's not to like. Here are the names to use and they are all affordable: Matty Ice - $7,700; Cam Newton - $7,500; Jonathan Stewart - $5,700; Steven Jackson in a pinch - $4,000; Julio - $8,100; Roddy - $6,300; Kelvin Benjamin - $6,200; and Greg Olsen - $5,600.
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens need to win or tie, and Chargers to lose
The Cleveland Browns can defend the pass, but are terrible against the run, giving up 6th most points to RBs this season. An AFC North rivalry (also the old Browns versus the new Browns), Cleveland is not going to lay down in this game and their defense should be able to put a lid on Flacco and the Smith boys, however it looks like a nice matchup for Justin Forsett at $6,200. The Vegas boys have put this at a 41 ½ over/under so look for a real slobbernocker with the Ravens pounding the ball and looking to get out of the game with a win, 23-16 anybody, with two rushing TDs for Forsett and a bunch of field goals for Tucker. If you want to take a flyer on Josh Gordon against a team giving up the MOST points to WR, go ahead for only $5,900. Not sure I am there with you, but with Gordon, you never know when he might break one, and at least with Hoyer at QB, you have a QB he can get the ball down the field. I don’t know if we will ever see Manziel again. Johnny Football should take his signing bonus and run before these big, bad football players turn him into a Johnny Pancake.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
Dallas is really dependent on others to get either a first round bye or even home field throughout the playoffs (need several ties..so it’s not really likely but it could happen), but they do need to win or tie for anything good to happen. A loss leaves them where they are.
OK, so if Dallas wins or ties, there are some scenarios where Dallas can get a first round bye or even home field advantage throughout the playoffs. So they should be going out to put a beat down on their NFC East rivals, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have been very tough versus the run this year, so with his hand injury, DeMarco Murray will probably see limited touches and is not worth his $8,800 salary. Randle and Dunbar are probably not great plays either as we just don’t know their usage. This seems to me to be a Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and possibly Jason Witten game. Romo might be a bit pricey at $8,000, but Dez is usable at $8,500 as a WR1 and Witten is an ok option at TE for $5,000. For the Redskins, RGIII could be a sneaky play at $5,700 as he still needs to prove he is the man, and DeSean Jackson for $5,800 is definitely more attractive with Griffin throwing him the ball. Finally Alfred Morris for $4,800 could be good is he ties Darrel Young up in the locker room and gets the TD carries from in close. Jordan Reed just hasn’t gotten in done in the last 3 weeks with RGIII at the controls and even against Dallas bad secondary against TEs, I just don’t trust him.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Texans need to win and Ravens and Chargers to lose.
Do I really need to say this….Play Arian Foster for only $7,900 against the Jaguars defense giving up the 4th most points to RBs, who knows, Foster may even end up playing Quarterback. You will also want to lock in the Texans defense for $3,200, I can just see JJ Watt going nuts in his quest to be only the third defensive player to win the MVP….you may have heard of the other two: Allen Page in 1971 and Lawrence Taylor in 1986. If the Texans make the playoffs he could have a shot, especially if he has a wacko game this week. DeHop and Andre Johnson could be worth a look at $5,900 and $4,900, but I just don’t trust them with Case Keenam throwing the ball. This is Foster’s and Watt’s game.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
The Colts are locked in and a win or loss does nothing to change their status. The Titans are in the hunt for a high draft pick.
Originally this game was going to be in the who cares category, however recently Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano has come out and said that he intends to play everyone and go for the win in this playoff meaningless game. Of course we always believe what head coaches say, right? Nonetheless, his statements do make us stop and look a little closer at this game. At $8,700, I would probably fade Andrew Luck since even if Pagano intends to play his studs, if Luck and company get up big, there has to be a point where he will pull his starters as he would be blasted if Luck got hurt during garbage time of a meaningless game. TY Hilton looks like he will be good to go, and at $7,400 his price is good. Boom Herron and Trent Richardson should be able to run on the Titans but in a running back by committee situation there are better options out there. As for the Titans, who cares?
Games with No Playoff Implications: Players in these games should be avoided:
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Buffalo is out of the playoff hunt and the Patriots are locked in as the number one seed in the AFC with home field all the way through the playoffs.
I know I am going to say this and the Hoodie (Bill Belichick to those who don’t know) is going to do the exact opposite and let Brady play until he has 6 six touchdowns and 500 yards with 3 TDs to Gronk. But my inability to get into Belichick’s head notwithstanding, I can’t see Brady, Gronk and LaFell playing beyond half time. The first half will be plenty of time to keep them sharp and the last thing Bill wants is to see his playoff dreams evaporate with injuries to his money players. With that said, you can’t play any Buffalo Bills against the Patriots at home but Danny Amendola @ $4,200 and Tim Wright @ $3,000 are possible plays, with Jonus Gray @ $3,800 getting the running duties
There are a few games that have no playoff implications at all but do actually have some daily fantasy value. The Eagle @ Giants game is the biggest over/under of the week and both teams will be coming to play as the rivalry is just too intense to let them mail it in. Eli, Sanchez, McCoy, Beckham, Maclin, Donnell, Ertz, even Andre Williams has value here. In the Bears @ Vikings game is also interesting. I am not going to touch Cutler, by Jeffrey, Forte, Bennett and even Wilson have value as does Matt Asiata and Teddy Bridgewater for the Vikings. Bridgewater is a nice cheap QB who has been putting up solid numbers lately and can provide you with a ton of salary cap space.
Well, that is it for Week 17 and the playoffs impact on our daily fantasy options. Look to load up on those players from teams who are playing for playoff slot or home field advantage, etc…they could lead you to a big win on the final week of the season.
If you have any questions, comments or just want to talk fantasy, hit me up on Twitter (@Beaudog2).
Happy Holidays and good luck this weekend!!!