Week 17 is always crazy and that makes the Week 17 DraftKings plays one of the most interesting of the year. One of my favorite aspects of fantasy football has become playing on DraftKings. Every week is like a new puzzle to figure out. Whether you are more of a cash game player or a tournament player, each presents a unique challenge. Let’s take a look at my favorite Week 17 DraftKings plays.
DraftKings Plays for Week 17
Week 16 Recap
It’s always good to be completely transparent and demonstrate accountability. That’s what I like to do with everything I do and that goes for fantasy football as well. Whether it’s bold takes or DraftKings recommendations, I always like to keep track of wins and losses. It’s not only good for the readers to know, but also helps me learn from mistakes moving forward.
For full transparency each week I'll recap my suggested #DraftKings plays to see if they hit the 2.5x we generally shoot for each week!#FantasyFootball#Fantasy#FantasyFootballAdvice#NFL#NFLTwitter#DFS@BlazedRTs@MyFantasyLeague
— Rob Norton (@norton0723) December 30, 2020
Looking back at Week 16, it was better again. This week 63.3% of my recommendations hit the 2.5x value we look for in cash game lineups. This time the quarterback and tight end groups led the way tied at an 83.3% success rate. Meanwhile, the wide receiver and running back groups brought up the rear tied at a 50% success rate. For me personally, it was a nice bounce back. We’ll look to keep the momentum going with the picks and get back into profit in the Week 17 DraftKings plays.
- Week 16 – $418 → $353 ($65 LOSS)
- Year Total – $5,895 → $4,485 ($1,410 LOSS)
Week 17 DraftKings Plays
Ryan Tannehill (TEN) – $7,000 @ HOU
Ryan Tannehill has been incredible again this season. He currently has 3,603 yards with 32 passing touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Tannehill is currently averaging 22.2 DraftKings points this year. Last week was the first time he threw multiple interceptions all season. This week he gets to take on the Houston Texans and their terrible defense. The Texans have allowed the ninth-most DraftKings points to quarterbacks this year. This matchup also has the highest O/U on the slate and the Tennessee Titans have the highest implied team total of any team.
Kirk Cousins (MIN) – $6,300 @ DET
Kirk Cousins has been really good this season. He’s the QB11 on the season in total points and the QB13 in terms of points per game, averaging over 20 DraftKings points per game. This week he gets a dream matchup against the Detroit Lions in a dome. The Lions have one of the worst defenses in the league and have allowed the third-most DraftKings points to quarterbacks this season. The Minnesota Vikings will also be without Dalvin Cook in this game so they may lean a bit more on Cousins than usual. This game also has the second-highest O/U on the slate. The Vikings have the third-highest implied team total as well. This is a great spot for Cousins who is an affordable price this week.
Highest-graded 2nd Half QBs:
1. Aaron Rodgers – 93.8
2. Patrick Mahomes – 91.4
3. Kirk Cousins – 89.3
4. Tom Brady – 88.1 pic.twitter.com/iATYOSfqeU
— PFF (@PFF) December 23, 2020
Drew Lock (DEN) – $5,000 v LV
Drew Lock looks like he might be the premier punt play at quarterback this week. He’s certainly not a safe play by any means due to his erratic play, but that’s why he’s priced so cheap. He’s the 39th cheapest quarterback on the slate. There are 32 teams in the NFL. That’s right, he’s priced below backup quarterbacks who won’t even be playing this week. The matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders is a nice one as well. The Raiders are mid-pack in terms of DraftKings points allowed to quarterbacks, but they aren’t a good defense by any means. Lock should be able to move the ball against this team and makes for a good, cheap option at quarterback if you’re looking to save money and spend elsewhere.
Derrick Henry (TEN) – $9,400 @ HOU
This recommendation is more about the matchup and situation than it is about the whole “DHember” narrative. This is truly an elite spot for Derrick Henry. As mentioned before, this game has the highest O/U on the slate and the Titans have the highest implied team total as well. This should keep game script in Henry’s favor to see another 20+ carries. The Texans are the worst team in the NFL in terms of YPC allowed to running backs this season and have allowed the second-most total rushing yards. Henry is usually a fade due to his lack of pass game usage, but this is a spot where Henry looks like he should be a great cash game play.
Jonathan Taylor (IND) – $7,400 v JAX
Since the Indianapolis Colts handed Jonathan Taylor the keys to the car back in Week 11, he hasn’t disappointed. He’s scored at least 15.4 DraftKings points in five straight games now. Taylor has chipped in at least 74 yards in all five of those games and has totaled at least 95 yards in four of them. He also has six total touchdowns in that span. This week’s matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars is a juicy one. The Jaguars have allowed the third-most DraftKings points to running backs this season. They’ve also allowed the third-most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns this year as well. This game also has one of the highest O/U on the slate as well with the Colts being the heaviest favorite. Game script should be in Taylor’s favor all game and another 16+ touch, 19+ DraftKings point game should be in the works.
Jonathan Taylor has a 37% forced missed tackle rate over the last 4 weeks
Highest among all RBs pic.twitter.com/TAC3GKaGxS
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 25, 2020
Malcolm Brown (LAR) – $4,300 v ARI
Assuming he’s healthy and ready to go, Malcolm Brown might be the first player to lock into cash game lineups this week. The price is simply too cheap for the amount of touches he should see in this game environment. While this game doesn’t have a high O/U, this is a must-win game for both teams. The Los Angeles Rams will be without Jared Goff so they should lean heavily on the run game in this one. The Arizona Cardinals are the fastest-paced team in the NFL so there should be a lot of plays on both sides. This should allow Brown to see a good amount of touches considering Darrell Henderson is out and Cam Akers looks likely to miss as well. Keep an eye on the injury designations but if Henderson and Akers are both out and Brown is in, fire him up one of the best point-per-dollar plays on the slate.
Dare Ogunbowale (JAX) – $4,500 @ IND
Speaking of guys filling in for starters who are out, Dare Ogunbowale should start and get the majority of the work for the Jaguars this weekend against the Colts. The game environment isn’t great by any means as the Jaguars are one of the biggest underdogs on the slate, but one of Ogunbowale’s best traits is his ability as a pass catcher. This should keep him on the field regardless of the score. Last week he saw five targets and 14 carries in a game where they were getting blown out. It could be a similar case this weekend as well. While he might not have much upside, Ogunbowale should get enough volume to manage his way into returning nice value.
Calvin Ridley (ATL) – $8,500 @ TB
Calvin Ridley continues to show each week that he’s a true alpha wide receiver. As Julio Jones continues to miss games with injury, Ridley continues to rack up targets. He’s now seen at least nine targets in six straight games. In that span he’s scored at least 14 DraftKings points in every game. Ridley has gone over 100 yards in four of those six games. He’s an elite wide receiver. This week he’s facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that he just torched two weeks ago. In that game he saw 14 targets and turned them into 10 receptions for 163 yards and a score. While that type of production shouldn’t be expected, it shows what he’s capable of in this one.
Justin Jefferson (MIN) – $7,600 @ DET
In case you have been living under a rock, Justin Jefferson is having one of the best rookie seasons of all time for a wide receiver. He’s currently up to 79 receptions for 1,267 yards and seven touchdowns. He only needs 47 receiving yards for the Vikings rookie record and 111 receiving yards for the NFL rookie record. This comes after a slow start in which he barely played the first two weeks of the year. Jefferson has seen at least eight targets in five straight games now and reached double-digits in four of those. He’s scored double-digit DraftKings points in six of his last seven games as well. As mentioned before, this game is a great spot for the Vikings passing game. This game is in a dome, against a bad defense, with a high O/U and implied team total and throw in the fact that Cook will miss. Everything sets up for Jefferson to have a real shot at a record-breaking weekend.
Justin Jefferson’s route running is special 🤭
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) December 25, 2020
Josh Reynolds (LAR) – $3,200 v ARI
There’s a theme with the Rams that they have some of the best plays on this slate. Josh Reynolds should be looking at a spike in target share this weekend with Cooper Kupp out for this one. Reynolds has shown ability to be a solid wide receiver when he gets good volume. The nice part is that he’s so cheap that he doesn’t need to do much to return good value here. As mentioned before, this game should feature plenty of plays due to how fast-paced the Cardinals are. There’s also a decent chance the Rams may fall behind in this one, especially if Kyler Murray plays. This would put Reynolds in the perfect game environment to crush considering his price.
Laviska Shenault Jr. (JAX) – $4,200 @ IND
Laviska Shenault Jr. is yet another Jaguar that will see a boost due to injury. DJ Chark is going to miss this game which should boost Shenault’s target share. He had already seen a nice volume of targets over the last three games. In that span, Shenault has seen at least six targets in each and 24 targets total. He was also able to haul in at least five passes in each of them. Shenault has also scored at least 9.4 DraftKings points in four straight games, including double-digits in three of the four. The matchup against the Colts isn’t anything special but the game environment itself should be great. The Jags are likely to be losing for most of this game which will help boost the target volume. This game is also in a dome. Shenault is a borderline must-play in cash games this weekend.
Others to Consider: Darius Slayton (NYG) – $4,100 v DAL, Mike Williams (LAC) – $5,000 @ KC, Robby Anderson (CAR) – $5,600 v NO, Curtis Samuel (CAR) – $5,300 v NO, Marvin Jones (DET) – $5,100 v MIN, Davante Adams (GB) – $9,200 @ CHI
Darren Waller (LV) – $7,100 @ DEN
If you’re paying up this week, Darren Waller is the move. With the Kansas City Chiefs resting all their main guys, that rules out Travis Kelce as the premier pay-up option. Darren Waller has been insane this year, following up a breakout season last year. This year he’s the TE2 in both total points and points per game behind only Kelce. He has 98 receptions for 1,079 yards and eight touchdowns. Waller is currently averaging 17.7 DraftKings points per game. He’s seen double-digit targets in six games this season and has only seen less than six targets in a game twice all year. This week’s matchup against the Denver Broncos isn’t one to be scared of despite not producing against them earlier in the year. This time around will likely be much different as Waller should be someone to trust.
George Kittle (SF) – $6,000 v SEA
It was unfortunately a lost season for George Kittle. Kittle missed more than half the year due to injury. He returned last week and instantly put up 13.2 DraftKings points in his first game back. The crazy part about Kittle’s season is that he was still the TE19 despite playing in only seven games this year. In terms of points per game, he trailed only Kelce and Waller. This week he gets a matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have played much better on defense in the second half of the season, but Kittle is a matchup nightmare for any team. The game script is also likely to be in his favor as well as the San Francisco 49ers are underdogs in this one. They are also missing Deebo Samuel in this one which should help out the target volume for Kittle.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 26, 2020
Irv Smith Jr. (MIN) – $3,900 @ DET
Irv Smith Jr. is coming off his best game of the season last week. He set season-highs in targets and receptions with nine and six respectively. Smith was able to compile 23.3 DraftKings points in that one. He’s always had the talent, just lacked the consistency and has been buried on the depth chart. Over the last three weeks, he’s seen more playing time and seen at least four targets in all three games. As mentioned before, this matchup is perfect for the Vikings passing game. With Smith becoming a bigger part of that passing game, he should be able to produce once again in a nice matchup and return great value at his salary. Considering the price, he’s one of the best Week 17 DraftKings plays available.
In terms of choosing a defense/special teams, it’s the last spot I fill in every week. It’s pretty random but there are a few areas to gain an advantage. I look to target the heavily favorited teams as they usually are playing with a lead. This forces their opponent to throw it more often which can help lead to extra sacks and turnovers and hopefully a touchdown. Another aspect to target is turnover and sack-prone quarterbacks. With that being said, my advice is to fill out the rest of your lineup first and then pick your favorite D/ST out of the remaining money.
My Tentative Cash Game Lineup
- QB – Deshaun Watson
- RB – Derrick Henry
- RB – Malcolm Brown
- WR – Davante Adams
- WR – Laviska Shenault Jr.
- WR – Josh Reynolds
- TE – Irv Smith Jr.
- Flex – Latavius Murray
- DST – Cleveland Browns
Make sure to tune in next week to see the results from my Week 17 DraftKings plays and to see the best picks for the playoff slates. Best of luck to everyone and let’s all enjoy some football and win some money!
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