DFS Week 17: By the Numbers

By: Jamy Bechler @WinningDFS101

Each week I will bring you information, statistics, and facts that I find helpful in picking the players that I will be targeting on the NFL main slate (Sunday afternoon games). Unless otherwise noted, the points, salaries, and advice are primarily focused on DraftKings. Remember that there is a lot of variance in the NFL from week to week so have a solid process, stay within your bankroll, and have fun.

Favorite DFS Stud

Christian McCaffrey, RB (CAR): $10,000 vs. NO – Our last opportunity to get a “guaranteed” floor with potential for slate-breaking upside. Of course, I am playing CMC. He is only 67 receiving yards away from being a 1,000/1,000 running back. He has more 30+ fantasy games than anyone this year and has been a top six running back in 12 of his 15 games this season. In fact, his season is the second-best ever behind LaDainian Tomlinson’s 2006 season. He is not 11k, so McCaffrey is an automatic for me again this week (unless we get word that he’ll be limited, which I don’t anticipate).

Favorite DFS Core Play

Tyler Higbee, TE (LAR): $5,700 vs. ARI – He reached the 100-yard mark for a fourth straight game (even with Gerald Everett back in action). He has also seen double-digit targets in each of the past three games. He gets a rematch with the Cardinals, who are the worst team in the NFL at defending the tight end position. Higbee put up a 7-107-1 stat line against them in Week 13 and there is nothing to say he can’t replicate this kind of performance.

Favorite DFS Value

Kenyan Drake, RB (ARI): $7,100 @ LAR – He leads the NFL with 79.0 DK points in the last two weeks. He has seen 23 and 27 touches in the last two weeks. This week, he gets a Rams team that will most likely sit their key defensive players, but even if they don’t Drake is still priced as only the ninth most-expensive RB on DraftKings.  

Favorite DFS Punt Play

Robert Griffin, QB (BAL): $5,100 vs. PIT  – He’s the perfect backup for Lamar Jackson in this Greg Roman offense. This doesn’t mean that he’ll produce the numbers that Lamar has, but at this value price, he is not a bad option this week. He hasn’t started since 2016, but he is hungry, smart, and still has a skill set that made him a former second-overall draft pick and a Heisman Trophy winner. I will have quite a few shares of him this week (unless he is highly owned).

Six-Pack of Interesting Facts

  1. Tyler Higbee had his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game this past week. He joins teammate Cooper Kupp as the only Rams pass catcher to have four straight this season.
  2. CMC had the second-best fantasy season (Week 1-16) of all-time at any position but Lamar Jackson had the best quarterback season of all-time, eclipsing Patrick Mahomes record from last year. Jackson was propelled by his legs as he was the sixth best rusher (even as a QB) this season with 1,206 yards.
  3. According to Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis, Phillip Lindsay is 42 yards shy of 1,000 yards rushing. If he gets this on Sunday, he’ll be the first undrafted player in NFL history to start their career with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
  4. A.J. Brown has had seven plays of 45+ yards from scrimmage this season. That is the most of any player in the NFL. Mike Williams and Stefon Diggs both have six.
  5. Rookie Daniel Jones has four games of 30+ DKFP in his 12 starts this season. According to Adam Levitan of EstablishTheRun.com, Eli Manning only had one 30+ DKFP performance in the last four seasons (51 starts).
  6. In the last four weeks, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the third-highest scoring quarterback (25.8 DKFP), Miles Sanders is the third-highest scoring RB (25.0 DKFP), Kenyan Drake is the fourth-highest scoring RB (23.2), and Tyler Higbee is the top scoring TE (21.9 DKFP). Bet you didn’t see that coming a month ago?!?
  7. Bonus Fact: Even though I mainly stick to DFS, I played in one season-long league and won it as a result of having five of the nine players listed below as the top scoring players for the season. Lamar Jackson, Aaron Jones, Julio Jones, Travis Kelce, and the New England Patriots were key to my success. CouchPotatoGM.com has great season-long articles but my advice is just draft the guys that will be the best. #CaptainObvious

Eight to Motivate

The follow are eight interesting scenarios that might give the players or teams added motivation going into Week 17.

  1. Davante Adams needs 96 receiving yards for 1,000 on the season. Considering it seems like Aaron Rodgers only has eyes for him, there is a good chance that Adams gets this.
  2. Odell Beckham needs 46 receiving yards to get to 1,000 receiving yards for the fifth time in his seven-year career. He had only 39 receiving yards in the first matchup against Cincinnati.
  3. Ryan Tannehill has passed for 20 touchdowns this season. Three more and he is set to earn a $250,000 bonus. Related to this, A.J. Brown needs 73 receiving yards to reach 1,000 as a rookie.
  4. Christian McCaffrey needs 216 scrimmage yards to break Chris Johnson’s all-time mark of 2,509 set in 2009.
  5. Saquon Barkley needs 89 rushing yards to get to 1,000 for the season.
  6. The Tennessee Titans control their own playoff destiny. Win and they are in.
  7. Philadelphia Eagles are also in a win-and-in scenario against the Giants.
  8. The New England Patriots can clinch a bye if they beat the Dolphins. Remember, though, that the Dolphins beat them in Week 14 each of the last two seasons.

Top Scoring DFS Players (Week 16)

  • Saquon Barkley, RB (NYG): 46.9
  • Daniel Jones, QB (NYG): 38.2
  • Andy Dalton, QB (CIN): 37.8
  • Tyler Boyd, WR (CIN): 36.8
  • Kenyan Drake, RB (ARI): 36.4
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB (MIA): 35.6
  • Christian McCaffrey, RB (CAR): 35.3
  • Michael Thomas, WR (NO): 34.6
  • Lamar Jackson, QB (BAL): 33.8
  • Devonta Freeman, RB (ATL): 33.7

Top Scoring DFS Players (Season by Position)

  • Lamar Jackson, QB (BAL): 29.4
  • Christian McCaffrey, RB (CAR): 31.5
  • Dalvin Cook, RB (MIN): 22.1
  • Michael Thomas, WR (NO): 26.5
  • Chris Godwin, WR (TB): 21.0
  • Julio Jones, WR (ATL): 19.8
  • Aaron Jones, RB-FLEX (GB): 21.0
  • Travis Kelce, TE (KC): 17.1
  • New England Patriots DST: 15.3

RB Touches (Week 16)

  • Le’Veon Bell (PIT): 29
  • Christian McCaffrey (CAR): 28
  • Kenyan Drake (ARI): 27
  • Saquon Barkley (NYG): 26
  • Aaron Jones (GB): 25
  • DeAndre Washington (OAK): 25
  • Miles Sanders (PHI): 25

RB Total Touches (Season Avg.)

  • Christian McCaffrey (CAR): 25.8
  • Leonard Fournette (JAC): 22.7
  • Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): 22.3
  • Dalvin Cook (MIN): 21.6
  • Nick Chubb (CLE): 21.3
  • Chris Carson (SEA): 21.0
  • Saquon Barkley (NYG): 20.8
  • Le’Veon Bell (NYJ): 20.7
  • Derrick Henry (TEN): 20.7
  • Josh Jacobs (OAK): 20.2

Target Leaders (Week 16)

  • Michael Thomas (NO): 17
  • Davante Adams (GB): 17
  • Christian McCaffrey (CAR): 15
  • DeVante Parker (MIA): 15
  • Julio Jones (ATL): 15
  • Tyler Boyd (CIN): 15

Target Leaders (Season Avg.)

  • Michael Thomas (NO): 11.7
  • Davante Adams (GB): 10.4
  • Julio Jones (ATL): 10.3
  • DeAndre Hopkins (HOU): 10.0
  • Julian Edelman (NE): 9.7
  • Allen Robinson (CHI): 9.5
  • Keenan Allen (LAC): 9.3
  • Tyler Boyd (CIN): 9.3
  • Mike Evans (TB): 9.1
  • Robert Woods (LAR): 9.1

Red Zone Target Leaders (Season Avg.)

  • Davante Adams (GB): 1.8
  • Michael Thomas (NO): 1.7
  • Julian Edelman (NE): 1.5
  • Mike Evans (TB): 1.4
  • James White (NE): 1.4
  • Courtland Sutton (DEN): 1.3
  • Jarvis Landry (CLE): 1.3
  • Keenan Allen (LAC): 1.3
  • Sterling Shepard (NYG): 1.3
  • Tyler Lockett (SEA): 1.3

Red Zone Touches (Season Avg.)

  • Christian McCaffrey (CAR): 4.3
  • Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): 4.2
  • Todd Gurley (LAR): 3.8
  • Leonard Fournette (JAC): 3.6
  • Nick Chubb (CLE): 3.5
  • Dalvin Cook (MIN): 3.5

Highest Projected Scoring Game

  • Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams (49.0 o/u)

Lowest Projected Scoring Games (42-or less o/u)

  • NY Jets @ Buffalo Bills (36.5 o/u)
  • Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings (36.5 o/u)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens (37.0 o/u)
  • Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos (41.0 o/u)

Home Favorite (4 points or more) Workhorse Running Backs

  • Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): $8,000 vs. WAS (11 points)
  • Todd Gurley (LAR): $6,600 vs. ARI (7 points)

Quarterbacks w/Implied Team Totals of 26+

  • Tom Brady (NE): $6,000 vs. MIA (30.5 points)
  • Drew Brees (NO): $7,000 @ CAR (29.75 points)
  • Dak Prescott (DAL): $6,300 vs. WAS (28.25 points)
  • Jared Goff (LAR): $6,200 vs. ARI (28.0 points)
  • Aaron Rodgers (GB): $6,900 @ DET (27.75 points)
  • Patrick Mahomes (KC): $7,200 vs. LAC (27.25 points)

Highest Projected DFS Ownership (by position)

  • Drew Brees, QB (NO): $7,000 @ CAR (10-12%)
  • Alvin Kamara, RB (NO): $7,800 @ CAR (19-22%)
  • Ezekiel Elliott, RB (DAL): $8,000 vs. WAS (18-21%)
  • Davante Adams, WR (GB): $8,000 @ DET (15-18%)
  • Breshad Perriman, WR (TB): $6,700 vs. ATL (13-16%)
  • Julio Jones, WR (ATL): $8,500 @ TB (13-16%)
  • Travis Kelce, TE (KC): $7,000 vs. LAC (12-15%)
  • Leonard Fournette, RB-FLEX (JAC): $7,000 vs. IND (16-19%)
  • Chicago Bears DST: $2,100 @ MIN (9-11%)

DraftKings Values (vs. FD price)

  • Kirk Cousins, QB (MIN): 19h DK ($5,700) vs. 11th FD ($7,700)
  • Dak Prescott, QB (DAL): 10th DK ($6,300) vs. 6th FD ($8,000)
  • Brett Hundley, QB (ARI): 48th DK ($4,500) vs. 26th FD ($7,000)
  • Gus Edwards, RB (BAL): 39th DK ($4,800) vs. 24th FD ($6,600)
  • Damien Williams, RB (KC): 40th DK ($4,700) vs. 27th FD ($6,400)
  • Larry Fitzgerald, WR (ARI): 56th DK ($4,500) vs. 37th FD ($5,900)
  • Hunter Renfrow, WR (OAK): 61st DK ($4,500) vs. 34th FD ($6,000)
  • Steven Sims, WR (WAS): 51st DK ($4,700) vs. 36th FD ($6,000)
  • Jack Doyle, TE (IND): 8th DK ($4,100) vs. 13th FD ($6,000)

FanDuel Values (vs. DK price)

  • Andy Dalton, QB (CIN): 28th FD ($6,900) vs. 15th DK ($5,900)
  • Daniel Jones, QB (NYG): 16th FD ($7,300) vs. 9th DK ($6,400)
  • Patrick Laird, RB (MIA): 62nd FD ($5,100) vs. 52nd DK ($4,300)
  • Terry McLaurin, WR (WAS): 31st FD ($6,100) vs. 24th DK ($6,100)
  • John Ross, WR (CIN): 74th FD ($5,200) vs. 60th DK ($4,500)
  • Darius Slayton, WR (NYG): 65th FD ($5,400) vs. 45th DK ($4,900)
  • Jamison Crowder, WR (NYJ): 51st FD ($5,600) vs. 40th DK ($5,100)
  • Tyler Eifert, TE (CIN): 36th FD ($4,700) vs. 23rd DK ($3,400)
  • Hayden Hurst, TE (BAL): 38th FD ($4,700) vs. 28th DK ($3,200)
  • Austin Hooper, TE (ATL): 10th FD ($6,000) vs. 4th DK ($5,800)

Notable DK Salary Increases

  • Austin Hooper, TE (ATL): $5,800 @ TB (+1,400)
  • Julian Edelman, WR (NE): $7,300 vs. MIA (+900)
  • Cole Beasley, WR (BUF): $5,700 vs. NYJ (+900)
  • Tyler Boyd, WR (CIN): $6,700 vs. CLE (+900)
  • Tom Brady, QB (NE): $6,000 vs. MIA (+800)

Notable DK Salary Decreases

  • Juju Smith-Schuster, WR (PIT): $5,500 @ BAL (-1,100)
  • Christian Kirk, WR (ARI): $4,700 @ LAR (-900)
  • James Conner, RB (PIT): $5,700 @ BAL (-800)
  • Darren Waller, TE (OAK): $5,400 @ DEN (-700)
  • Kyler Murray, QB (ARI): $5,500 @ LAR (-600)

Five DFS Favorites Under 5K

  • Justin Watson, WR (TB): $4,900 vs. ATL
  • Greg Ward, WR (PHI): $4,700 @ NYG
  • Damien Williams, RB (KC): $4,700 vs. LAC
  • Hunter Renfrow, WR (OAK): $4,500 @ DEN
  • Albert Wilson, WR (MIA): $4,200 @ NE

Princess Leia Lineup of the Week

I was 7 years old and Leia was not only a Princess but a goddess. She was my first crush. I fell madly in love with her at first sight. She was beautiful and could work a laser blaster as well as anyone in the galaxy. I was in love with Princess Leia BUT I didn’t end up marrying her. On first look, she was the love of my life but later I realized someone else was the real love of my life. On Sunday nights, I always make out an early cash game lineup that is based on finding the best balance of players that give the lineup a solid floor but with upside. I like volume, opportunity, and salary value. This lineup is usually put together without doing extensive research. Typically, I love my first lineup that I create but don’t end up using it completely in my cash games.  Here was my early lineup this week that I also probably won’t end up marrying.

  • Robert Griffin, QB (BAL): $5,100 vs. PIT
  • Phillip Lindsay, RB (DEN): $6,100 vs. OAK
  • Melvin Gordon, RB (LAC): $6,000 @ KC
  • Justin Watson, WR (TB): $4,900 vs. ATL
  • Greg Ward, WR (PHI): $4,700 @ NYG
  • Hunter Renfrow, WR (OAK): $4,500 @ DEN
  • Tyler Higbee, TE (LAR): $5,600 vs. ARI
  • Christian McCaffrey, WR (CAR): $10,000 vs. NO
  • Baltimore Ravens DST: $3,100 vs. PIT

Jamy Bechler writes a weekly article for Couch Potato GM and is a regular contributor to FantasyPros for NBA, NFL, and PGA. You can follow him on his DFS twitter @WinningDFS101. When he is not playing DFS, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and a leadership consultant, working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommended in this article.

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