DraftKings Week 17: It’s Closing Time

Odell Beckham Jr

I say the same thing every year: the NFL season goes by too fast. One minute we’re flying high, basking in the glow that is opening weekend, and then seemingly in the next minute it’s closing time and we’re trying to soak in every last second of the last full slate. Hopefully this has been a successful year for you, and hopefully I’ve been able to provide even the smallest nugget of information that helped you make some cash. Let’s see if we can’t lock down some strong plays and close this regular season out strong.

Like last week, I’ll be providing a somewhat trimmed down version of what I normally provide, with the hopes that you find a few players to perhaps use a base for your lineups before you go about doing your own research. Good luck in week 17.

Quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger/$6,900 @ Cleveland

Big Ben, yet again, gets a plus matchup this week. But, as we saw last week against Baltimore, anything can happen on any given…you get the picture. However, in fantasy football – and especially DFS – it’s important to have a short memory. I’ll be going back to the well, in cash games and tournaments, as the dud last week is sure to scare off a few folks, thus lowering his ownership some.

Aaron Rodgers/$6,800 vs. Minnesota

ARod is a GPP-only play for me this week, as he’s been for basically most of the season. In week 11, Rodgers posted one of his more solid lines of the year (still hard to believe we’ll take a “solid” from him), beating the Vikings secondary for 212 passing yards and two touchdowns. That came in Minnesota, so naturally a home date this time around  – for the NFC crown – bodes well for Rodgers as he traditionally plays much better at home – as most quarterbacks do. He’s a roll of the dice, there’s no getting around that, but you’ll likely get him at extremely low ownership.

Matt Ryan/$5,600 vs. New Orleans

Again, like Rodgers, Ryan is a GPP-only play. Last week against Carolina, Ryan finally began to show glimpses of the quarterback we’ve seen him be in the past, attacking the very teeth of that Panther defense and reconnecting with his main man Julio Jones. He should have no trouble doing so again against the league’s worst pass defense, in a game with the highest over/under on the slate – currently set at 53 points.

Running Back

Devonta Freeman/$7,600 @ New Orleans

Freeman will likely be the “nuts” or the “chalk” at the running back position this week, and for good reason. You already know full well how lousy the Saints’ defense is, and Freeman rarely leaves the field. He’s gotten 25 or more touches in back to games, and it’s hard to see that streak ending this week. He’s as safe as it gets for cash games.

Lamar Miller/$6,200 vs. New England

Miller is a long shot, admittedly, but when you consider this will likely be his last game in a Dolphin uniform, that also means his last chance to shine for his potential suitors that will want his services come this offseason. It’s impossible to predict the amount of work he’ll see, which is why he’s a clear cut tournament option, but if he see’s 15-20 touches he could far exceed his value threshold.

Darren McFadden/$4,900 vs. Washington

McFadden is in an interesting spot this week against an already mediocre Washington defense who will most likely be resting most – if not all – their starters. Run DMC has proved to be the only reliable Dallas running back this year, and will look to put a stamp on very solid season with hopes of getting an extension from Jerry. I’m fine with him in cash games or tournaments.

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Wide Receiver

Odell Beckham Jr./$9,000 vs. Philadelphia

There’s a plethora of excellent options at the top of the receiver crop this week, but OBJ might possess the best upside as he’ll no doubt be hungry coming off his suspension. The Giants offense looked anemic without him last week, so Eli is sure to lock in on his favorite target on almost every drop back. With both teams possessing terrible defenses, points are sure to abound a plenty in this one.

A.J. Green/$7,500 vs. Baltimore

The Bengals still have an outside chance at getting a bye, so we should still see a full throttle offense. And the last time Green saw this Raven secondary he went nuts for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Don’t plan on a repeat, but he should have no trouble paying off his tag.

Devante Paker/$4,100 vs. New England

Over the last five weeks, Parker has really shown signs of the receiver Miami drafted him to be when they took him in the first round of last year’s draft. The catch totals still aren’t there, and of course there’s still plenty of inconsistencies to his game, but he is getting the playing time and he’s making big plays down field. In that five-game stretch, he has catches of 33, 38, 35, and 49 yards, which shows just how explosive he can be. If New England concentrates on Jarvis Landry, that could the deadly rookie in plenty of one on one coverage and could result in a big day. He’s a GPP play only.

Tight End

Travis Kelce/$4,700 vs. Oakland

The Chiefs still have a shot at winning the AFC West, so we can roster their players with confidence that they should play the whole game. Kelce usually makes for a better GPP play than cash, but I like him for both this week given Oakland’s penchant for giving up big games to the tight end position.

Zach Miller/$4,600 vs. Detroit

Miller is questionable this week, so be sure to pay close attention to his status before game time. But assuming he give it a go, he’s a terrific play as his target share has gone through the roof with Alshon Jeffery having been placed on IR. Over the last three games he has five or more catches in each, and has proven to be reliable in the red zone with five touchdowns on the year.

Ben Watson/$4,600 @ Atlanta

Watson was slowed by a nagging injury last week, which limited him to a disappointing one-catch performance. Assuming he’s back to full strength, or at least close, he should see his regular allotment of targets, which could spell trouble for Atlanta given the fact that he torched them for 10/127/1 the last time they met.

Defense

Denver/Kansas City/$4,000

I’m listing both because both are elite fantasy defenses, and both are huge home favorites in must-win games. I usually try to pay down for defense, but you can’t ignore the position both these teams are in. Each one would make an excellent, safe cash game play.

San Francisco/$2,200

The 49er’s are my GPP special of the week. Think about it: the game has the lowest over/under on the slate at 37 points, the 49er’s play much better defense at home, and if they can shut down Todd Gurely then they’ve essentially stopped the St. Louis offense. They will fly well under the radar, and could vault you in some tournaments.

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