In the final week of the regular season, a handful of teams face win or go home scenarios, while many have contests that will only impact the draft order and their team’s 2015 outlook. Below is a mix of players who appear to be values in each situation, as you are finalizing your rosters for Week 17. To compare, our highest WR and RB prices this week are $9,600 for Odell Beckham Jr. and $9,500 for Le’Veon Bell.
NFL Value Picks – Week 17
Teddy Bridgewater, CHI @ MIN, $5,900 – The Vikings first round pick out of Louisville has quietly put together a solid rookie campaign. He has showed noticeable improvement this month, with an average QB rating of 110. He has also thrown for 2 TDs in 4 of the last 5 games. Everything accomplished by Bridgewater this year has also occurred without a rushing attack led by Adrian Peterson, or the help of a much-hyped Cordarrelle Patterson. His most reliable target in the 2nd half has been a young, unproven WR in Charles Johnson, who has averaged 65 receiving yards the past 6 games, while also adding 2 scores. He has a great opportunity to finish the season on a high note at home, facing a 31st ranked Bears pass defense. He is priced affordably as our 21st QB this week.
Devonta Freeman, CAR @ ATL, $3,600 – With Steven Jackson likely out, Freeman may finally get his opportunity to shine in a feature role. Although he is likely to share touches with Jacquizz Rodgers, he possesses more breakaway speed and versatility at the position, which has been lacking for the Falcons in recent years. The 4th rounder out of Florida State made his mark last week, gaining 84 yards on just 8 touches, which included 3 catches and a TD run. Priced at just $600 above the RB minimum, he could be a nice upside play at home against the Panthers, as the Falcons try to sneak into the playoffs at 7-9.
Terrance Williams, DAL @ WAS, $3,500 – Williams’ fantasy success this season has been directly tied to his touchdown production with 8 TDs, compared to just 34 catches and 553 yards. In last week’s blowout of the Colts, he scored twice and finished with 52 yards receiving. He is clearly a boom-or-bust option, but could be a nice play this week, especially if Dallas decides to rest Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray and Jason Witten. The Cowboys still have an outside chance at securing a bye, so it is possible they go with their starting offense the whole game. Either way, his price is down $1,700 since Week 7, making him a cheap option this week, priced 71st on our WR list.
Branden Oliver, SD @ KC, $3,500 – The undrafted rookie out of the University of Buffalo has made a name for himself with the Chargers, after a brief stint with the Colts. With injuries piling up, Oliver burst onto the scene in Week 5 with 182 yards and 2 scores. He followed up that performance with another 100-yard rushing day, but cooled off in the following weeks. With Ryan Mathews and Keenan Allen ruled out, Oliver will be a focal point once again against the Chiefs’ 28th ranked run defense. A Chargers win would lock up a playoff berth, and Oliver should be active in the passing game as well as the rushing attack. He is our 50th priced RB this week, and should get the bulk of the work in San Diego’s backfield.
Tim Wright, BUF @ NE, $3,000 – Wright’s usage has been inconsistent for the Patriots since coming over this year in the Logan Mankins trade, but he has proven capable of producing big games. He has 6 TDs on the season with games of 18, 19 and 20 points sprinkled in. With New England already guaranteed home field advantage, it is uncertain how long the regular starters will play, if at all. Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady are obvious players to be cautious about, so Wright’s role should increase. Rookie backup Jimmy Garoppolo will likely be targeting his big tight end early and often in the season finale, and has proven he can handle running the offense. Priced at the position minimum, Wright could be worth a flier if you’re tight on money.
5 More to Consider
Robert Griffin III, DAL @ WAS, $5,700
Charles Clay, NYJ @ MIA, $4,300
Martavis Bryant, CIN @ PIT, $3,900
Khiry Robinson, NO @ TB, $3,500
Kerwynn Williams, ARI @ SF, $3,500
5 Deeper Values to Consider
Case Keenum, JAX @ HOU, $5,000
Brian Tyms, BUF @ NE, $3,000
Charles Sims, NO @ TB, $3,000
James White, BUF @ NE, $3,000
C.J. Fiedorowicz, JAX @ HOU, $3,000