Draftkings Reignmaker Core Strategy: Week 17

Dec 30, 2022
 Draftkings Reignmaker Core Strategy: Week 17

The NFL's Week 17 brings with it a return to a full 13-game main slate, and the Reignmakers Core strategy rundown has you covered. Matt Price and I opened a Rare pack on Make It Reign, our pack-opening video show that includes some early-week strategy, and it was...not our best pack. We ended up with a rare Devin Singletary, a Core Devin Singletary, and Core cards for Mike Davis, Matt Ryan, and Kenny Golladay. Mama told me there'd be packs like this. We'll open up a new pack each week on Make It Reign, which drops every Wednesday on our YouTube Channel.

More DraftKings Reignmaker Content!

For Week 17, 15 players are designated as "SuperStars," and only one SuperStar card is allowed in each contest lineup:

Reignmakers Superstars: Week 17
Position Player Team
QB Josh Allen BUF
QB Lamar Jackson BAL
QB Justin Herbert LAC
QB Patrick Mahomes KC
QB Jalen Hurts PHI
QB Joe Burrow CIN
RB Austin Ekeler LAC
RB Christian McCaffrey SF
RB Derrick Henry TEN
RB Saquon Barkley NYG
RB Nick Chubb CLE
WR Cooper Kupp LAR
WR Davante Adams LV
WR Justin Jefferson MIN
WR Tyreek Hill MIA

Core SuperStar Strategy

Week 17 SuperStar Strategy

RB Derrick Henry's Titans face the Cowboys on Thursday night, removing him from main-slate consideration. The Ravens play the Steelers on Sunday night, removing Lamar Jackson as a SuperStar option, though he'd be questionable for the week even if Baltimore were playing on Sunday afternoon. Josh Allen and Joe Burrow face one another on Monday night, disqualifying them both as main-slate SuperStar options, and Cooper Kupp remains on IR this week.

Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert (and possibly Jalen Hurts) are the SuperStar options at QB. 4for4 projects Mahomes as the QB1 for the week, and he faces a Denver defense that's allowed the 9th-fewest aFPA to QBs. Just 2 weeks ago, Mahomes managed to throw for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 3 interceptions against this same Broncos defense, good for a QB9 finish for the week. Justin Herbert ranks as the QB5, and faces a Rams defense giving up the 12th-fewest aFPA to QBs, but it's hard to get too excited about Herbert as he hasn't finished as a top-five QB for the week since Week 12. Jalen Hurts isn't ranked at the moment as he's truly questionable with a sprained shoulder. Minshew ranks as the QB11, though if Hurts does end up returning, I'm fairly certain he would project among the top five QBs.

Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and Austin Ekeler have the most promising matchups among the SuperStar RBs, and rank as 4for4's RB1, RB2, and RB3 for Week 17 in that order. All are worth consideration, but McCaffrey stands out with the Raiders allowing the 2nd-most aFPA to RBs. Las Vegas will be starting Jarrett Stidham in place of Derek Carr, so the game has the potential to become a very one-sided affair in favor of the 49ers.

Among the SuperStar wide receivers, Justin Jefferson ranks as 4for4's WR1, Tyreek Hill ranks as the WR2, and Davante Adams ranks as the WR12. Adams is a tough sell as the SuperStar this week with the unknown of Stidham at QB. Tyreek Hill will be catching passes from Teddy Bridgewater instead of Tua Tagovailoa, but Hill did have 22 receptions for 337 in the two games Bridgewater started earlier in the season, and Jalen Mills, Jack Jones, and Marcus Jones, the top three cornerbacks for the Patriots, are all questionable for Sunday's game.

Ultimately, I think McCaffrey's matchup and potential game script are too enticing to pass up. This takes Tyreek Hill and Justin Jefferson out of the equation, but the projection dropoff from McCaffrey to the top non-SuperStar RB options is much steeper than from Jefferson/Hill to the top non-SuperStar WRs.

Core Marketplace Values

Justin Fields, QB CHI - $9.00

The Bears face a Detroit Lions defense that does only one thing well: stop the run. They're 32nd in aFPA to QBs, 31st in aFPA to WRs, and 30th in aFPA to TEs, but 2nd in aFPA to RBs. The good news is that while they've done well to limit RB production, the same doesn't apply to QB production, as they've given up the most QB rushing yards in the league. Fields rushed for 147 yards and 2 TDs against the Lions in Week 10 and ended up as the QB1 in PPR points that Sunday.

Tyler Allgeier, RB ATL - $1.50

Allgeier has seen his share of Atlanta's rushing attempts spike from 42% in Weeks 7-11 to 66.7% in Weeks 12-16. He had 17 carries in Week 15 and 18 carries last week, and with Arizona allowing the 3rd-most aFPA to RBs, he gets his easiest matchup since Week 11. The Falcons are the most run-heavy team in the league, and we'll finally get to see what Allgeier can do in an inviting matchup with a full complement of attempts.

Tee Higgins, WR CIN - $4.95

Only a minor hamstring strain in Week 14 has stopped Higgins from putting up weekly WR1 numbers over the past 6 games. He was last week's PPR WR4 against New England, and now faces the high-scoring Bills who have also allowed opposing WRs to be high-scoring, ranking 26th in WR aFPA. The Bengals will need as many points as they can muster in this marquee matchup, and as the fifth-most pass-heavy team, Cincinnati's offense should offer Higgins plenty of opportunity in this game.

Week 17 Tournament Strategy

RMF Classic - CORE - $50K Fiat Frenzy [$5K to 1st]

Let's focus on the largest Core tournament, the $50K Fiat Frenzy that includes the 13 Sunday afternoon games, excluding the DAL@TEN Thursday night game, the PIT@BAL Sunday night game, and the BUF@CIN Monday night game. The payout structure awards $5,000 to first place, payouts down to $5 for 4,150th place, and a Core Plus pack prize all the way down to 6,150th place. As of Thursday there are 11,315 entries in the Week 17 contest, and you can expect somewhere between 20,000-24,000 total entries by kickoff.

Top Options at Each Position

QB: Justin Fields, CHI

Justin Fields put up disappointing stat totals in Week 16 against the Bills, but that's not shocking given that Buffalo's giving up the 11th-fewest QB aFPA. Fields' dominance on the ground was halted by a shoulder injury that kept him out of Week 12, but the stretch prior to that from Week 8 to Week 11, Fields' 130.8 fantasy points led all QBs by a significant margin (Jalen Hurts was 2nd with 94.4). Now Fields faces the Lions in a game projected for 51.5 total points, and of course the Lions are giving up the highest QB aFPA of any team. The one thing the Lions do well is limit RB fantasy scoring, allowing the 2nd-least RB aFPA, but don't let that scare you away from Fields. Detroit has given up the most QB rushing yards of any team, and Fields contributed to their total, rushing for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns against them in Week 10.

RB: Christian McCaffrey, SF

McCaffrey may be a victim of some recency bias by drafters this week, having put up just 13.8 PPR fantasy points against the Commanders. The good news is that last week was by far McCaffrey's toughest remaining matchup with a Washington defense that ranks 3rd in aFPA to RBs. In Week 17, he'll line up opposite a Raiders defense ranking 32nd in aFPA to RBs. Their 746 receiving yards allowed to RBs is the most in the NFL, and since his first game with the team in Week 7, McCaffrey has a 24.1% market share of 49ers' targets. There are very few scenarios in which an unexpected game script would derail McCaffrey's fantasy output, and his ceiling in this game is astronomical.

WR: Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET

St. Brown is the top-ranked non-SuperStar on the main slate, projecting for the 3rd-highest fantasy output at 4for4, and he'll be the top receiving option for the Lions at home facing the Bears as 6-point favorites in the game with the highest projected point total on the slate. The Lions found a lot of success running the ball for a large portion of this season, ranking as the 11th-most run-heavy teams in Weeks 1-11, but over the last 5 games, things have taken a turn for the pass. From Weeks 12-16, Detroit has been the 14th most pass-heavy team, and it's been reflected in St. Brown's target totals. His mean target total has jumped from 8.7 over the first 11 weeks to 10.8 over the last 5, and his mean air yards went from 52.6 to 70.6 over those same time periods.

WR/TE: Travis Kelce, KC

The Denver Broncos defense has been solid all season, and despite coming off of a 54-14 trouncing that resulted in head coach Nathaniel Hackett's firing, they're still giving up the 7th-fewest WR aFPA and the 9th-fewest QB aFPA. One of their main weaknesses defensively has been against tight ends, against whom they're allowing 4th-most aFPA. Enter Travis Kelce. Kelce now has a 24.7% share of team targets for the Chiefs, and a 32.4% share of Kansas City's touchdowns. Choosing McCaffrey as our SuperStar prevents access to Patrick Mahomes, but fortunately not this Kansas City home game, which has a 45-point projected game total and favors the Chiefs by 13.5 points. Through 16 weeks, Kelce has scored the 10th-most PPR fantasy points of any player at any position.

FLEX: Jerick McKinnon, KC

McKinnon offers yet more exposure to this Chiefs home game against the Broncos. The other position that the Broncos struggle to contain is RB, as they rank 25th in RB aFPA. McKinnon shares the Kansas City backfield with Isiah Pacheco, but Pacheco is used primarily on early downs, while McKinnon serves as a low-aDOT receiving back for Mahomes dump-offs and designed screens. Just 3 weeks ago, McKinnon put up 32.4 PPR fantasy points against this same Broncos defense to finish as the week's RB1. The Chiefs have a lot to play for this week, sitting as the #2 seed for the playoffs with Buffalo and Cincinnati just behind them, so there's little reason for them to let up on the gas pedal, even if the game gets out of hand in their favor. Kansas City has also been leaning more on their running game over the last five contests, as the Chiefs have gone from the fourth-most pass-heavy teams over the first 11 weeks to the 13th-most over their most recent five games.

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