Now that Week 17 has arrived and the playoffs are just around the corner, your NFL DFS FanDuel/DraftKings strategy should focus on finding players who actually have something to play for in the final game of the season.
In the NFC North, a showdown between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers will be loaded with motivated fantasy options, and the same can be said for Sunday’s Rex Ryan bowl between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
But after clinching the NFC West and a first-round bye, weekly top-ten fantasy threats on the Arizona Cardinals such as starting quarterback Carson Palmer, running back David Johnson, and receivers John Brown, Michael Floyd, and Larry Fitzgerald shouldn’t be on our DFS radars.
Luckily, with so many injuries and plenty of players hoping to leave a positive impression ahead of next season, some of this week’s top performers are sure to be on teams that have nothing to play for. But ultimately, knowing the difference between someone getting a solid opportunity and a team that’s simply looking for warm bodies is always paramount in Week 17.
At quarterback, despite having nothing but pride to play for, New York Giants’ starting quarterback Eli Manning always brings his best effort, and is therefore one of the week’s top starts versus the shaky Philadelphia Eagles’ defense.
On the opposite side of the quarterback spectrum, even the biggest risk-takers should avoid Baltimore’s Ryan Mallet against a tough Cincinnati Bengals’ defense. And it’s the same story for Cleveland’s Austin Davis, who will start against the Pittsburgh Steelers after Johnny Manziel’s ongoing off-field drama has forced the Browns to give their backup one more chance to impress in 2015.
Considering their match-ups, it won’t be easy to avoid overloading on Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets this weekend. But remember, diversifying your lineup will always give you an edge when you’re already in the money, while diving too deep into the talent pool rarely pays off.
The prices listed below are from Fanduel and Draftkings, and are listed in that order [FD-DK].
NFL Week 17 DFS-FanDuel/DraftKings Starts and Sits
Eli Manning-vs Philadelphia-[7,500-5,600] Ryan Fitzpatrick-at Buffalo-[7,800-5,400] Matthew Stafford-at Chicago-[7,700-6,200] Reach Of The Week-Aaron Rodgers-vs Minnesota-[8,300-6,800]
Tyrod Taylor-vs N.Y. Jets-[7,400-5,300] Philip Rivers-at Denver-[7,300-5,300] Russell Wilson-at Arizona-[8,200-7,000]
DeAngelo Williams-at Cleveland-[8,200-7,100] Karlos Williams-vs N.Y. Jets-[5,800-4,800] Rashad Jennings-vs Philadelphia-[5,800-3,700] Reach Of The Week-Jeremy Langford-vs Detroit-[4,900-3,900]
Latavius Murray-at K.C.-[6,100-5,200] Frank Gore-vs Tennessee-[6,600-4,000] Matt Forte-vs Detroit-[7,800-6,200]
DeAndre Hopkins-vs Jacksonville-[9,000-8,400] Brandon Marshall-at Buffalo-[8,600-7,900] Eric Decker-at Buffalo-[7,400-6,900] Reach Of The Week-Markus Wheaton-at Cleveland-[5,600-4,000]
T.Y. Hilton-vs Tennessee-[6,500-5,600] Stefon Diggs-at Green Bay-[5,700-4,600] Sammy Watkins-vs N.Y. Jets-[7,800-6,700]
Richard Rodgers-vs Minnesota-[5,100-3,800] Gary Barnidge-vs Pittsburgh-[6,300-4,700] Reach Of The Week-Kyle Rudolph-at Green Bay-[5,000-3,500]
Jordan Reed-at Dallas-[7,400-6,500] Will Tye-vs Philadelphia-[5,200-4,000]
Pittsburgh-at Cleveland-[4,900-3,500] Carolina-vs Tampa Bay-[5,200-3,600] Reach Of The Week-Tennessee-at Indy-[4,100-2,500]
Philadelphia-at N.Y. Giants-[4,600-2,300] Baltimore-at Cincinnati-[4,000-2,100]