The NFL closes out the regular season with a 15-game main slate for fantasy football on Sunday afternoon since there are no games on Saturday or Monday this week. The only two teams absent from the expanded player pool are the Titans and the Colts, meaning you have plenty of options for what should be a big finish to the regular season.
Typically there are some great value plays the final week of the season as some teams use the opportunity to take a look at players for their future while others rest regulars for their playoff run. However, there are also usually value picks who end up going bust, so make sure to consider all possibilities before investing. Here are the value plays I think are set up to finish the regular season strong this Sunday.
QUARTERBACK($6,000 and under)
Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. CLE, $5,600 – Jackson has led the Ravens to the brink of the playoffs and can get them an AFC North Championship with a win against the Browns. Jackson threw for a career-high 204 yards against the Chargers last Saturday, showing he can do enough to get his team a win even on the road against a top-10 defense. Jackson hasn’t thrown an interception in the past four weeks and continues to bring his rushing ability to supplement the Ravens’ ground game. He only managed 39 yards on 13 carries last week but had more than 65 yards in each of his previous five starts. Jackson proved a lot in last week’s win despite only 16.06 DKFP, and he should be able to bounce back and get back around 20 DKFP against the Browns at home this week.
Derek Carr, OAK at KC, $5,100 – Carr helped the Raiders to an inspirational win Monday in what could be their final game in Oakland. His final numbers weren’t great since the Raiders got the lead early and played from ahead, but Carr did manage to extend his streak of games without an interception to 10. Carr threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns on his way to 24.2 DKFP when the Raiders played the Chiefs in Week 13. Kansas City has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in five straight games and allowed more than 270 yards passing in four of those five contests. Carr should find room to work as he and the Raiders try to play spoiler and knock their division rivals out of the top seed in the AFC.
RUNNING BACK($5,000 and under)
Gus Edwards, BAL vs. CLE, $4,400 – Edwards has thrived in Jackson’s version of the Ravens’ offense with more than 11 DKFP in four of the six games since Jackson became starter. Edwards had 92 yards on 14 carries and added a 13-yard catch for 11.5 DKFP against the Chargers and should be able to find even more success against the Browns. Edwards is a low-risk value since he almost surely will get plenty of touches and his team still has everything to play for.
Kalen Ballage, MIA at BUF, $3,600 – Ballage was a disappointment last week in the Dolphins’ loss to the Jaguars. Miami’s whole offense was stuck in neutral much of the game and only managed seven points. Ballage had 10 yards on four carries and added 39 yards on a pair of catches to total 6.9 DKFP. While that total isn’t awful, he didn’t come close to duplicating his 22.1 DKFP against the Vikings in Week 15. I’m back for more Ballage this week since the Dolphins get a better matchup on the road in Buffalo instead of facing Jacksonville. He should continue to share work with Kenyan Drake ($3,700) but offers excellent upside if he ends up with double-digit touches against the Bills.
WIDE RECEIVER($5,000 and under)
DaeSean Hamilton, DEN vs. LAC, $5,000 – Hamilton has not thrown away his shot to become the Broncos’ top receiver since the injury to Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles). Hamilton has been targeted at least nine times in each of the past three games and caught 20 passes for a total of 133 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 15.1 DKFP per contest. The fourth-round pick will wrap up his rookie season at home against the Chargers and is a low-risk value play due to his volume of targets over the past few games.
Curtis Samuel, CAR at NO, $4,200 – Samuel and the Panthers face the Saints in a matchup that has no playoff implications for either team. The Saints have been one of the most generous matchup for opposing WRs all season, though, and Samuel will look to capitalize on that matchup to finish a solid breakout season for the second-year receiver. The Panthers went to Taylor Heinicke at QB last week who sustained an elbow injury and gave way to Kyle Allen ($4,000). The two QBs targeted Samuel a massive 13 times, and Samuel hauled in seven passes for 41 yards and 11.1 DKFP. Samuel should remain involved when Allen starts this week and offers game-breaking speed and a high ceiling in this favorable matchup.
Kendrick Bourne, SF at LAR, $3,800 – Bourne is expected to be the top receiver for the 49ers as they close out their season with a visit to the Rams. Dante Pettis (knee) has been ruled out and Marquise Goodwin ($3,900; calf) has battled multiple injuries all season. If Bourne leads the way, the second-year receiver from Eastern Washington will try to take the opportunity to build on his season-high 73 yards on four receptions last week. Even if Goodwin is healthy enough to play, Bourne should be on the field enough to be a nice value at this affordable salary.
Jake Kumerow, GB vs DET, $3,000 – If you’re looking to spend the minimum at one of your WR spots, take a flier on Kumerow, who started for the Packers in Week 16 while Randall Cobb ($5,000; concussion) was out. With Equanimeous St. Brown ($3,500; head) also possibly headed for the protocol, Kumerow could be set up for more work this Sunday. He caught all three targets for 68 yards, a touchdown and 15.8 DKFP. Prior to the game, he had only one catch for 11 yards all season since he was on IR with a shoulder injury for the first 12 weeks of the season. The undrafted free agent from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a bit of a local legend in Green Bay, but he could also be a nice flier if he gets another start and Aaron Rodgers ($6,300) has another turn-back-the-clock performance.
TIGHT END($4,000 and under)
Chris Herndon, NYJ at NE, $3,400 – Herndon has shown a strong connection with fellow rookie Sam Darnold ($5,200) and flashed nice upside throughout his first season out of Miami. He had a career-high 82 receiving yards to go with a touchdown on his way to 20.2 DKFP last week against the Packers and also had more than 50 yards in Week 15 against the Texans. He caught seven passes for 57 yards and 12.7 DKFP the first time he faced New England and will try to finish his season on a positive note as he takes on the Patriots again this week.
Gerald Everett, LAR vs. SF, $2,800 – Everett has seen increasing involvement in the Rams’ attack since the injury to Cooper Kupp. He has been targeted at least six times in each of the past three games and produced 6.9, 9.6 and 9.4 DKFP in those three contests. He even took two carries last week against the Cardinals, so coach Sean McVay obviously is trying to get the ball into his hands.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS($2,800 and under)
NO vs. CAR, $2,700 – The Saints already have locked up the top spot in the NFC playoffs, so they might not have all their starters in the game this Sunday. However, they’ll be facing Allen, which should give them plenty of chances to make plays. New Orleans D has at least three sacks and multiple turnovers in six of its past seven games, resulting in at least 9.0 DKFP in six of those seven contests.
JAX at HOU, $2,300 – The Jaguars’ struggles coming down the stretch have been ugly to watch, but it hasn’t been the defense’s fault. It has allowed fewer than 10 points in three of their past four games with double-digit DKFP in each of those contests. The Jags have scored a DST touchdown in each of the past two weeks and will try to continue the struggles of the Texans, who could lose the division if the Jaguars’ defense can help pull the upset.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.