There is no tougher week to play DraftKings than week 17 of the NFL season. The majority of the league has already clinched their ticket to the playoffs or been eliminated, causing a ton of starters to play a quarter or two before the reserves get some playing time. Unfortunately for the most part there is no way of telling who will play and how much they will. The best strategy to attack week 17 is to focus on the games that matter the most and luckily we have a few of them this week.
Green Bay Packers vs Detroit LionsThe most obvious game to focus on is the battle between the Packers and Lions for the NFC North title. You can go with the top QB play of the week in Aaron Rodgers but it'll cost you $7,700. Or you can go with his cheaper counterpart, Matthew Stafford for $6,000. Both teams struggle running the ball, and we will likely see a heavy amount of passing from both Rodgers and Stafford.
If you want to stack on the Packers air attack, then go grab an expensive Jordy Nelson for $8,100. He's coming off a nine catch, 154 yards and two touchdown performance and should look to build on that in week 17. Do yourself a favor and avoid Randall Cobb, who was held catchless last week on just a single target.
For Detroit, you have your choice between Golden Tate ($6,600) who is the safest Lions receiver to go with. Your less expensive choices are Marvin Jones ($4,200) and Anquan Boldin ($4,100). Jones is the more explosive of the two but he's coming off a one catch performance. Boldin leads Detroit with 7 touchdowns, and is a threat to score each week. For $3,600 grabbing tight end Eric Ebron is a no brainer. Ebron is coming off a eight catch game (12 targets).
As far as the running game goes, Zach Zenner could wind up being a steal at $3,200. Theo Riddick will not suit up, and Zenner will get the start like he did last week, and he saw 12 carries for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
For Green Bay, Ty Montgomery ($5,700) may be a risky play. In a potential must win game for the Packers, you can expect Aaron Rodgers to control the game and throw the ball 80% of the time. The only thing Montgomery owners can hope for is that he gets involved in the pass game.
New York Giants vs Washington RedskinsClearly this game is only meaningful to the Washington Redskins as the Giants are locked into the #5 seed. This is a must win game for the Redskins, a loss will eliminate them.
Kirk Cousins has been a fantasy beast in 2016 throwing for 4,600 yards and 24 touchdowns. He will face one of the toughest pass defenses in the league, but beat them back in September, throwing for 296 yards and two scores. The task could be easier in week 17 as the Giants would be wise to rest some of their better defense players. But being that it's a divisional rival, the Giants may look to play spoiler.
A guy who has been a thorn in the Giants side his entire career is DeSean Jackson ($5,600). He's tortured Giants fans since his rookie season with the Eagles and still continues to do so nine years later. In the first meeting this year, Jackson went for 5-96-1. You might want to play him.
Pierre Garcon is not a sexy play as he is not a big play threat, and has just 12 touchdowns over his past 48 games.
Both Rob Kelley ($4,400) and Chris Thompson ($3,700) are two running backs I really like this week. Kelley will get the majority of touches and will see goalline carries, but Thompson is a threat to break one off at any time, and if the Redskins do find themselves trailing in this game then he will see plenty of targets from Cousins. But both will be active early and often.
Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ersThe Seattle Seahawks needs a win this weekend for a chance at a first round BYE and a home playoff game in round two. It should be a pretty easy win against a dreadful 49ers team, but all hands will be on deck, and that could pay off huge.
Russell Wilson ($6,800) is coming off a career high 45 pass attempts and I'm sure will continue to be relied on heavily as the Seahawks run game with Thomas Rawls has been non-existent. He's not a bad option against a 49ers defense who gives up the 19th most fantasy points to QBs on DraftKings.
Speaking of Rawls, just avoid him here. Last week he had eight rushes for eight yards. On the year he is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.
Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham are two great options this week. Baldwin ($7,200) has a knack for coming on strong late in the season, and last week was no different, as he caught 13 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown. Graham ($4,500) is one of the select few tight ends to play this week, as the majority of the tight ends around the league are out this week with an injury or already on IR. Graham caught his sixth touchdown of the season last week and is a red zone threat each and every week.
Seattle's defense is my favorite D/ST this week. The 49ers will be without Carlos Hyde, meaning the Seahawks front 7 will force the ball into Colin Kaepernick's hands. This game has the potential to get out of control in a hurry and it could be a long day for San Fran.
New England Patriots vs Miami DolphinsThis game has no real meaning to the Dolphins as they are locked into the 6th seed in the AFC, but the Patriots clinch the #1 seed with a win, and they'll treat this somewhat as a must win.
Tom Brady will likely be asked to do very little in this one, as the Patriots will do everything in their power to keep him healthy heading into the playoffs. However you never know with this team and he could be asked to throw the ball 35+ times, but I doubt it. At $7,200 he's too risky, and there are several QBs who are more valuable this week. Jimmy Garappolo could see some snaps in this one if New England has a comfortable lead.
LeGarrette Blount ($5,700) could be in line for a big week. The guy is a workhorse, as he carried the ball 20 times last week and his two touchdowns gave him a league leading 17 on the year! You know if the Patriots get into the redzone, the ball is going to Blount. If New England jumps out to a big comfortable lead early, the team will shy away from the pass and just hand it off to Blount, and Dion Lewis.
I would avoid all receivers for the Pats as there is no telling who they will use and who they will sit. We do know that Malcolm Mitchell will not suit up, and Julian Edelman has seen his usage rate decrease as the Pats are trying to keep him healthy. Maybe this is the week Michael Floyd finally puts up a big game in 2017!
The Patriots D/ST is also a good option this week as they have been one of the top D/ST the past four weeks. New England has 12 sacks over that span, and has forced seven turnovers in just the past two.
- QB - Aaron Rodgers
- RB - Rob Kelley
- RB - LeGarrette Blount
- WR - Jordy Nelson
- WR - DeSean Jackson
- WR - Eli Rogers
- FLEX - Doug Baldwin
- D/ST - Seattle Seahawks