Taking a look at which wide receivers are in play for a full Week 17 slate of NFL.
MORE NFL POSITIONAL TARGETS FOR WEEK 17
Cream of the Crop
Julio Jones, Atlanta (vs NO) – $8500
I don’t think it’s a reach at all to project Julio as the highest-owned receiver this week. He has a quality matchup in the game with the highest projected total—and one that could easily turn into a shootout. He’s also $500 cheaper than Odell Beckham and $800 cheaper than Antonio Brown. You’re going to have to think long and hard about if you want to fade Julio in GPPs, but he’s my favorite top-priced receiver for cash games.
Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh (at CLE) – $5300
I think Bryant is the nuts this week at $5300. Yes, he’s a volatile player because of his average target length, but you’re getting a nice discount on Bryant as he’s coming off a three-target week. Prior to that, he had at least eight targets in five straight games, including three with double-digit looks. Even though he’s a high-variance pick and the Steelers seem to be much more aggressive at home than on the road, I like Bryant in all formats.
Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia (at NYG) – $4700
A few weeks ago, Matthews’ price was at its lowest up until that point at $5500. Now he’s $800 cheaper, coming off two straight games with at least six catches, 100 yards, and a score. The Giants’ defense has allowed 3.1 points per game above expectation to opposing receivers. I’m firing up Matthews in cash games.
Odell Beckham Jr., NY Giants (vs PHI) – $9000
This year, the Eagles have allowed 4.1 points per game above expected to opposing receivers, which is the second-worst mark in the NFL. They’ve also proven incapable of taking away the opponent’s top option. The Giants’ offense revolves around OBJ; I don’t see any way he doesn’t have a monster game in Week 17.
Middle of the Pack
Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City (vs OAK) – $6400
This is sort of the same situation as last week. We have the clear No. 1 receiver—one averaging nearly 10 targets per game over the past six weeks—on an offense projected very well, and facing a weak opponent. Maclin has at least five catches in five straight games. I’m not against using him in cash games.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston (vs JAX) – $8400
It will be interesting to see where Hopkins checks in with tournament ownership. I’m very confident the public will be on Jones at $100 more, and it’s going to be a challenge to get both guys in your lineup. Hopkins, in nearly just as good of a situation, might be the better GPP play, even if he’s the worse value.
John Brown, Arizona (vs SEA) – $5100
The Seahawks are better on the outside than over the middle. Arizona is still projected very well at nearly 28 implied points. I wouldn’t mess with any Cards in cash games, but I really like a Palmer-to-Brown stack in GPPs.
Brandin Cooks, New Orleans (at ATL) – $6400
Of every game this week, this probably has the best to turn into a back-and-forth, pass-heavy contest in which Cooks and Julio are targeted a massive number of times. Cooks has really progressed over the past month and he’s in line for another 10+ targets in Week 17.
Rest of the Field
Terrance Williams, Dallas (vs WSH) – $3300
Ugh, I don’t want to roster Williams. He’s just—not good. But with Dez out and the Redskins likely to rest at least some of their top players, Williams should see a lot of high-quality looks—at least, as high-quality as they can be in the Dallas offense. I’d expect some sort of game in which Williams is inefficient, but returns value because he sees over 10 targets.
Rueben Randle, NY Giants (vs PHI) – $3600
Randle has scored in three straight games and the Giants are likely to run a bunch of plays in this game. Even with Beckham back, I think there’s enough upside here for Randle to return value at the cheap price tag. The Giants are projected at 27.5 points.
Michael Crabtree, Oakland (at KC) – $5900
Crabtree has more or less overtaken Amari Cooper as the Raiders’ top receiver. That won’t last, but Crabtree is in a great spot against the league’s worst defense versus wide receivers. The only thing I don’t like is the low projected for Oakland in Week 17—just over 18 points—but they are likely to air it out often.
Eric Decker, NY Jets (at BUF) – $6500
Decker. So hot right now. Decker.
Jonathan Bales is the author of the Fantasy Sports for Smart People book series, and most recently Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports.
Follow him @BalesFootball.