Welcome back to the Daily Fantasy: Love it, Need it, Hate it, Lottery Picks article for Week 17 of the NFL season. With most of the island games out of the way, we now have 28 teams playing on Sunday’s main slate. Keep reading to find out who are the essential pieces in this jam-packed Week 17.
Players in the “Love it” section are guys that we are excited to play in any format, regardless of the ownership that they may garner that week.
Josh Allen ($8,000 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel)
There are a lot of viable quarterbacks on the slate this weekend, yet some have some question marks. There are questions around specific matchups and worries that once a team gets ahead, they’ll hand the ball off to the running backs on the majority of their plays. On a slate this massive, with 28 teams playing, we’re going to take one of the only things that we know for sure. The Buffalo Bills are going to pass the ball. They’re second in pass rate over expectation over the past four weeks, and they’re third in that category for the season. Oh, and the few times that they do run the ball, Josh Allen will take some of the carries. One of the only for sure things on this slate is that Allen will have the ball in his hands a lot.
The Falcons have given up the 8th-most DraftKings points to opposing quarterbacks over the past four games, and they’ve given up the 3rd-most over the course of the entire season. Allen is also a major threat with his legs, as he has ten games this year with above 30 yards on the ground. The Falcons have given up yards on the ground to opposing QB’s, as seven have already topped 39 yards against them. Allen should have no problem putting up points against this Falcons defense.
This section will contain guys who we believe are necessary when you are constructing a lineup for cash games. They are still viable in tournaments, but they aren’t necessary. We still like them as plays, but these guys may come with higher ownership, which could provide merit to fading them and going another route.
Antonio Brown ($6,100 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel)
His price is definitely more affordable on DraftKings, but Antonio Brown still projects as a great play this weekend. Tom Brady only dropped back 30 times last week, but he targeted Brown 15 times. That’s 50% of the targets that went to Brown last week. Brown is simply too cheap for his role, as even though five of his six games have come with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in the lineup, Brown has seen 7+ targets in five of his six games, having 11 or more in three of them. The Bucs have one of the highest implied team totals of the weekend, and Brown should be a big part of getting them to that number.
The Jets have given up 70+ yards through the air to seven receivers on the year, yet they’ve given up the 7th fewest DraftKings points to opposing wide receivers. This is mostly due to teams just leaning on the run against them, and it is possible that Tampa does the same as well. However, Brady has attempted at least 30 passes in every game this year. We don’t see that changing this week, and we should still see a floor of about 8 targets for Brown. Brown looks like an amazing play this week, and should be in your cash lineups.
Players in the “Hate it” section are guys that we do not want to roster that week in DFS for a number of reasons. They may have a bad matchup, they may be projecting to have too much ownership, they may be too expensive, or it could be a combination of the three.
Deeb0 Samuel ($8,700 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel)
This one may come back to bite us, but we’re looking to avoid Deebo Samuel this week. In Trey Lance‘s lone start this year, he only attempted 29 passes, despite trailing for most of the game. The 49ers match up with Houston this week, and they will most likely look to a run-first approach, which they deploy most weeks. That isn’t horrible for Samuel, as he has seen 5-8 attempts on the ground in each of their last six games.
So why are we low on Samuel? Well, with limited pass attempts coming for this 49ers’ offense, we don’t see how he pays off his salary. He should see his work on the ground, and he’ll likely see a handful of targets. However, we expect this to be a slower affair, and with Samuel priced around the likes of Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, and Stefon Diggs, we’d rather take a chance on those receivers in far more exciting game environments.
The Lottery Picks section contains players who we think have the upside to be in tournament-winning lineups. As well as having the ceiling to win tournaments, these players also won’t come with too much ownership.
Kyler Murray ($7,300 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel)
We’ve been off of Kyler Murray for a couple of weeks now, but now that we’re confident in his health, we’re ready to jump back in. His market value was too high, especially with the public expecting him to continue the efficiency that he had at the start of the year. The Cardinals’ offense has struggled recently, dropping their past three games with Murray under center. Despite the struggles, Murray has still put up 21.9+ DraftKings points in two of his past three matchups, and will probably go overlooked this week.
People may be afraid of this matchup with Dallas, and although they’ve been stingy lately, their competition has been poor. Their last four matchups have come against a hurt Taysom Hill, a combination of Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen, Mike Glennon, and Heinicke again with a depleted team. Before that, they gave up 36 to the Raiders who haven’t scored more than 17 points since. We’re not buying this run for the Dallas defense. Murray has one of the highest ceilings of any quarterbacks, and we’re all in on it this weekend.