DFS Optimal Values, Locks and Fades: Week 17
In this article, we walk through the process of constructing an optimal lineup that will dominate your cash games on the main slate of Week 17. We start with the optimal lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings determined by the Lineup Generator. Then, we identify the players that are irreplaceable and should be locked into your lineup. For the remaining players, we discuss the main alternatives that you can swap in to make a winning team that best fits your own style.
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FanDuel Week 17 Optimal Plays
Ke'Shawn Vaughn is the talk of the town after his big touchdown run but Ronald Jones ($7,000) received 20 carries last week and scored a touchdown. This week he gets the best possible matchup for running backs against a Jets team allowing the second-most rushing yards and the most rushing touchdowns per game. Josh Jacobs ($6,600) is a cheaper option but has a much tougher draw against a Colts defense that ranks 16th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to running backs. Although that could be because they are only being run on at the ninth-lowest rate and allowing the lowest percentage of touchdowns to come on the ground.
Antonio Brown ($8,500) returned to a massive workload last week receiving 15 targets and going over 100 receiving yards. This week he gets to feast on the Jets who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to receivers and are allowing the sixth-most passing yards per game.
Going over 100 receiving yards in four of the last five games, Tee Higgins ($7,000) may be the league's hottest receiver. The Chiefs defense is allowing the ninth-most passing yards per game when playing on the road while the Bengals are averaging the second-most passing yards per game when playing at home. Before being placed on the COVID list, Brandin Cooks ($6,500) was coming off of two consecutive 100-yard games. Over the last three weeks, the 49ers have allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game.
Dallas Goedert ($5,800) is essentially a lock play going against the Washington defense who ranks 22nd in aFPA. They are allowing the third-most passing yards per game and the fourth-highest percentage of touchdowns to come through the air. It also doesn't hurt that the last time he played Washington he received nine targets and went over 100 receiving yards.
DraftKings Week 17 Optimal Plays
If you want to pay up for ceiling, Josh Allen ($8,000) could go bananas against the Falcons who are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Allen currently leads all quarterbacks in fantasy points on both DraftKings and FanDuel. For a high-floor option, our top value play is Trey Lance ($4,800). In Lance's two appearances this season he only averaged 170 passing yards but had at least 40 rushing yards in both games. The Texans' defense is allowing the third-most passing yards per game and the fifth-most touchdowns.
It's pretty simple—if you can fit Cooper Kupp (9,500) in, you're playing him. Kupp hasn't been held under 90 receiving yards since Week 4 and has gone over 100 yards in four straight games. It sure is something that him having the best possible matchup for wide receivers doesn't even matter.
A pay-down option at wide receiver is Braxton Berrios ($3,700). Filling in for Jamison Crowder last week, Berrios played 83% of the snaps and received six targets. He also returned a kick return for a touchdown. This week he gets the Buccaneers pass-funnel defense being passed on at the highest rate in the league (67%).
I mentioned before why Dallas Goedert ($5,100) should be a lock play but if you want to gain salary, Gerald Everett ($4,100) and Mo Alie-Cox ($2,800) are solid floor options. Everett has three straight games with double-digit fantasy points and has topped 60 receiving in two straight games.
UPDATE: Sony Michel ($5,800) is now the recommended flex option