NFL DEEP DIVE – WEEK 17
The last week of the NFL regular season is upon us, and we have a gigantic 16 game slate to breakdown for this Sunday. We get 7 games at 1 PM and then 9 at 4 PM so do not count your money if you are in the lead after the first wave. Week 17 is always a little tricky due to teams who may or may not have something to play for. It does not mean that we should not play guys from teams who are out of it, but it should be easier to project teams that are motivated to win.
Keep an eye on news as we get closer to lock, but here is a quick breakdown of each team’s playoff chances / motivation:
AFC Team Still Alive
Patriots – Lock up 1 seed with Win vs Jets or Steelers loss. Home field would be huge, so they should be ready to roll as normal.
Steelers – Locked into 2 seed unless Patriots lose, and they win vs Browns. Both teams play at 1 PM so they should be motivated, but would not be shocked for game to get out of hand late since it is the Browns.
Jags – Locked into 3 seed so this is a situation to monitor as we get closer to Sunday. Like most teams the Jags could benefit from some rest starting like Fournette who has been battling some injuries during the year.
Chiefs – Locked into 4 seed and Andy Reid said that Mahomes will start at QB so this is a team who should have different personnel on the field since they have nothing to play for.
Ravens – Control their own destiny, but not a lock to get in so they should be focused vs Bengals
Titans – Win and they are in, lose and they are most likely out. They should be all in to get a W vs Jags.
Chargers / Bills – Both alive, but need some help to make playoffs. Still they should be using their starters to try and get a win
NFC Teams Still Alive
Eagles – Locked up 1 seed, definitely a situation to monitor as they may rest starters
Vikings – Win and they are 2 seed, lose and they are not assured of bye so should be business as usual
Rams – Locked into 3 or 4 seed so without the ability to miss playoffs or get a bye and it looks like they will rest some starters
Saints – Need to win to guarantee a home game so starters should be playing vs Bucs
Panthers – Big game vs Falcons and one where Panthers have plenty to play for including a possible bye if Vikings lose.
Falcons – Win and they are in, similar to Titans where it is an all-in push to make playoffs
Seahawks – Alive, but need help to have a chance. Still should see Wilson and rest of starters out there.
Before we jump into the plays, let’s take a look at some relevant stats for Week 17. Here is some of the information I use to guide my research each week including the Super Premium Pro Football Focus defense efficiency rankings. ~ Ben
Note: Stats are listed for teams on the Sunday main slate only (including SNF)
Highest Implied Totals: New England (29.8), New Orleans (28.8), Minnesota (25.5), LA Chargers (25.0), Baltimore (24.8), Detroit (24.8), Atlanta (24.5), Seattle (24.3), Pittsburgh (24.3)
Lowest Implied Totals: Cleveland (13.8), Chicago (14.0), NY Jets (14.3), Arizona (14.8), Cincinnati (15.3), Oakland (17.0), Kansas City (17.3), NY Giants (17.8)
Pro Football Focus Rankings Metric
Top Run Defenses: Denver (1st), Green Bay (2nd), Houston (3rd), Indianapolis (4th), Cleveland (5th), Minnesota (6th), NY Jets (7th), Tennessee (8th), Chicago (9th), Philadelphia (10th), Jacksonville (11th), Atlanta (12th)
Worst Run Defenses: Washington (32nd), New England (31st), LA Chargers (30th), Pittsburgh (29th), Cincinnati (28th), Tampa Bay (27th), Buffalo (26th), Dallas (25th), LA Rams (24th), Kansas City (23rd), Detroit (22nd), San Francisco (21st), Seattle (20th)
Top Pass Defenses: LA Chargers (1st), Jacksonville (2nd), Seattle (3rd), Philadelphia (4th), Minnesota (5th), Buffalo (6th), Chicago (7th), Baltimore (8th), LA Rams (9th), Atlanta (10th), New England (11th), New Orleans (12th)
Worst Pass Defenses: San Francisco (32nd), NY Jets (31st), Miami (30th), Green Bay (29th), Indianapolis (28th), Detroit (27th), Cincinnati (26th), Houston (25th), Carolina (24th), Oakland (23rd), NY Giants (22nd), Tampa Bay (21st), Cleveland (20th)
Defense RuYD/G (Fewest): Philadelphia (75.9), Minnesota (87.1), Denver (88), Arizona (88.9), Tennessee (89.1), Carolina (89.9), Cleveland (96.1), Atlanta (105.2), Chicago (105.5), Pittsburgh (106.1), Dallas (106.3)
Defense RuYD/G (Most): LA Chargers (132.9), Cincinnati (128.5), Buffalo (126.7), Washington (125.7), NY Giants (124.8), Indianapolis (122.8), New England (119.7), LA Rams (119.2), Tampa Bay (119.2), Kansas City (118.7), San Francisco (117.3)
Defense PaYD/G (Fewest): Jacksonville (173.5), Minnesota (193.8), LA Chargers (195), Denver (196.1), Pittsburgh (196.3), LA Rams (212.2), Cincinnati (212.3), Chicago (213.1), Seattle (213.6), Baltimore (213.9)
Defense PaYD/G (Most): Tampa Bay (262.5), NY Giants (260.1), Indianapolis (254.8), New England (254.2), Detroit (249.3), Kansas City (248.4), Houston (246.3), Tennessee (245.5), San Francisco (241), NY Jets (237.7)
Drew Brees – NO at TB (DK-$6500, FDraft-$12000) – With Ingram and Kamara becoming a dominant running back combo we have not seen the massive upside from Brees like we did in years past. Still, he has had a quality year and draws a great matchup with TB who has been bad at defense throughout the year. Brees still might not have homerun upside, but this price point and his floor put him in play in a game the Saints need to ensure they get a playoff game at home.
Jacoby Brissett – IND vs HOU (DK-$5500, FDraft – $10600) – This is a dumpster fire of a game between two teams who if they combined still might not be able to beat the top teams in the AFC. Although both teams are horrible it may a decent spot for fantasy production if both teams roll out their normal guys. Brissett had one of his best games vs the Texans this year and at this cheap price point he should be in line for another solid output against a team whose been in a tailspin since Watson went down.
Also Consider – Philip Rivers vs OAK
Alvin Kamara – NO at TB (DK-$7900, FDraft – $15700) – Many of the top running backs are questionable to play due to their teams being either out of it or with their playoff seeding locked up. The Saints are not in either bucket and they should be full go against a Bucs team that is a gigantic mess. Kamara is still probably overpriced due to his insane run during this year, but his homerun upside gives him GPP appeal in a week where spending all the salary may be challenging due to all the possible inactives.
Derrick Henry – TEN vs JAX (DK-$5500, FDraft – $9200) – Titans need the game, but Demarco Murray is dealing with a knee injury that might sideline him. If Murray is out, we will see Derrick Henry take over the full workload and that is a spot we want to attack. The Titans running back situation has been hard to play all year due to the time split so if Henry is now the workhorse he is firmly in play vs a Jags D who may have 2nd stringers on the field.
Malcolm Brown – LAR vs SF (DK-$3900, FDraft – $6500) – With the Rams resting guys Brown figures to be the lead back at home vs the Niners. Obviously keep an eye out as more info breaks closer to Sunday, but if Brown is getting the work he makes a nice salary relief option against a defense who has struggled at times vs RB’s.
Also Consider – C.J Anderson vs KC, Alex Collins vs CIN
Keenan Allen – LAC vs OAK (DK-$7800, FDraft- $15300) – He came back to earth from his scorching run late in the year, but he still makes a great target in a game the Chargers need to win vs the Raiders. The Raiders have struggled all year defending the pass and Allen is one of the few top priced receivers who does not have question marks due to injury or playing status this week.
Marquise Goodwin – SF at LAR (DK-$6600, FDraft- $11500) – Jimmy G has the Niners excited and focused late into a season where they were never in contention. Last week vs the Jags the Niners put up 44 points which is insane, and even though Goodwin was not involved much that is to be expected vs that secondary. This week he gets the Rams who are one of the teams who most likely will be resting some starters, so I am not sure who Goodwin will see across from him. If he does get second team players he makes a solid mid-range play pending that we are sure his back injury is nothing serious.
TY Hilton – IND vs HOU (DK-$5900 -, FDraft-$11600) – Hilton dominated the Texans earlier this year and he makes a logical pairing with Brissett this week. Price is still pretty reasonable for a guy who has massive upside and with so many question marks across the NFL this week I see no reason why he would be limited in any way adding to his appeal.
Kelvin Benjamin – BUF at MIA (DK-$4300, FDraft – $7700) – More value should open up as teams indicate who may assume starting roles if they choose to rest players, but Benjamin’s price is tempting as well. He should have scored last week if not for that questionable reversal in the endzone, but still had a solid game with 5/70. Not sure how high the ceiling is with the way the Bills run their offense, but he still should see enough targets return solid value for this price point.
Kenny Golladay – DET vs GB (DK-$3300, FDraft – $6400) – GPP only, but for the #3 wideout he is seeing plenty of snaps and targets to justify taking a flier. Last week he was his season high 8 targets and a matchup with Green Bays secondary should be spot where he could have a big game and crush this basically min salary. No problem with paying up for Jones or Tate in this game, but Golladay is worth a look as well.
Also Consider – Mike Evans vs NO, Josh Gordon at PIT
Rob Gronkowski – NE vs NYJ (DK-$7000, FDraft – $12800) – If the Patriots play their starters which is highly likely then Gronk makes a solid play vs a Jets D who has nobody who can stop him. He had a big game vs them back in Week 6 and should be involved early and often in a game where the Patriots can wrap up the 1 seed. With so many guys possibly becoming value due to teams resting players it is easy to pay up at tight end for a top option like Gronk.
Jack Doyle – IND vs HOU (DK-$4700, FDraft – $10200) – One of Brissetts favorite weapons and that should not change in the last week of the season. Doyle has been a target monster all year, seeing another 10 last week. That type of volume should be plenty for him to pay off this mid-range tag against a shaky Texans D.
Also Consider – Delanie Walker vs JAX
Patriots (DK-$3500, FDraft – $6700) – Not much analysis is really needed. Patriots at home in a game they are motivated to win against Bryce Petty and the Jets is a spot we want to target.
Titans (DK-2800, FDraft -$5000) – Keep an eye on the Jags situation as I am assuming they decide to rest their starters since they have nothing to gain by playing. The Titans need this game desperately and if their defense at home gets the Jaguars second stringers it could be a nice spot for them at a sub 3k price tag.
Good luck everyone!
If you have any questions find me in the FanVice Premium slack chat or on Twitter @JazzrazDFS