My Week 17 Quarterback Breakdown was a combination of value-searching and simply estimating the probability of players not getting pulled at some point during the game. The latter task is the most important for you in Week 17. So much of fantasy football production is about opportunities, so if there are questions about how much playing time a player will receive, that’s should be a massive factor in his projection.
Like I wrote in the quarterback analysis, I don’t necessarily favor players on teams that are fighting for a playoff spot. I think that a lot of players on the Giants and Eagles are fine plays this week, for example, and both have been eliminated from the postseason. The main thing I want to avoid, actually, is a situation in which a team that’s already in the playoffs doesn’t have much motivation to keep their starters in the game.
Top Five Wide Receivers
Odell Beckham, Jr., NY Giants vs Philadelphia, $9600 – He’s $900 more than any wide receiver and I just don’t care. I haven’t rostered Beckham all year and I’m just not letting him crush me again. I don’t even think this is a situation in which you’re paying up to be contrarian because Beckham is going to have really high usage, I assume, especially in low-dollar buy-in leagues.
Calvin Johnson, Detroit at Green Bay, $8700 – Fighting for the NFC North crown, the Lions have very much to play for on Sunday. The Packers should win this game, so Detroit could rack up a lot of pass attempts. It’s surprising to know that Vegas has Detroit projected at only 20 points. That’s important information to me that suggests maybe there are some better high-priced receiver options. The Giants are projected at just under 28 points, for example.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver vs Oakland, $8500 – Denver clinches a first-round bye with a win or a Cincinnati loss. However, the Bengals don’t play until Sunday night, so the Broncos are going to have to play out this game to make sure they win. There’s a chance that they get up big on Oakland and the starters get pulled, but I think they’re all very much in play in a must-win situation.
Dez Bryant, Dallas at Washington, $8500 – Dallas’s situation is similar to that of Denver, with the primary difference being that the Cowboys don’t necessarily get a bye with a win. They also need Arizona and Seattle losses later in the day, which means that playing the Dallas starters is a riskier situation; there’s probably a higher chance of the starters getting pulled if the game gets out of hand in one direction or the other.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati, $8500 – The Steelers are in the playoffs, but they neeed to beat Cincinnati to win the AFC North. In cash games, I think you’re getting enough of a discount on the NFL’s most consistent player to pull the trigger. I prefer a few receivers with higher upside in tournaments, including Megatron and even Beckham, but Brown is always an option as well.
Five Others to Consider
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay vs Detroit, $8400
A.J. Green, Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, $8300
Julio Jones, Atlanta vs Carolina, $8100
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago at Minnesota, $7500
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis at Tennessee, $7400
The Colts are the team that’s in the playoffs that scare me the most. They’ve clinched the division but don’t have a ton to play for in regards to a bye or seeding. I’m probably going to avoid everyone on Indy, although you could make an argument that someone like Donte Moncrief might be a smart people because he might stay in for the entire game.
Five Mid-Range Wide Receivers
Randall Cobb, Green Bay vs Detroit, $7300 – I think that one of the problems with rostering Cobb this year has been that he’s been priced so closely to Nelson, but now he’s $1100 cheaper. This is a tough matchup against one of the league’s top defenses, but I really like Cobb in this matchup. The Lions force quarterbacks to continually beat them underneath, which is something Rodgers can do on a consistent basis with his No. 2 wide receiver.
Emmanuel Sanders, Denver vs Oakland, $7000 – Sanders has really suffered since the Broncos have begun to run the ball more. He scored twice on Monday night, but he still saw only seven targets. I don’t think he’s out of play by any means, but I much prefer Cobb for $300 more considering Denver could run all over Oakland.
Julian Edelman, New England vs Buffalo, $6500 – Edelman sat in Week 16 with a concussion, and I’d imagine the Patriots will play it safe with him this week as they’ve already clinched home-field advantage. This might be a nice week to give Danny Amendola some more consideration, as I’d imagine he’s going to be on the field quite a bit against the Bills. Playing anyone on New England is a risk, though.
Roddy White, Atlanta vs Carolina, $6300 – I’d imagine this game is going to have the highest overall usage of any contest in Week 17. There’s a very clear reward for both teams in winning the division, and White (along with Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin, and others) offers an attractive price tag.
Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina at Atlanta, $6200 – See White, Roddy. I prefer Benjamin as the No. 1 on his team. He should see more targets and probably has a higher probability of scoring. Vegas has both the Panthers and Falcons projected about the same.
Five Others to Consider
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia at NY Giants, $6100
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay vs New Orleans, $6100
Golden Tate, Detroit at Green Bay, $6000
Kenny Stills, New Orleans at Tampa Bay, $6000
Josh Gordon, Cleveland at Baltimore, $5900
I played Gordon a tad last week knowing how bad the quarterback situation was, so I’m not off of him this week. I’ll take a receiver of his calibr at a sub-$6000 price tag all day.
Five Value Wide Receivers
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston vs Jacksonville, $5900 – Houston has an outside chance at the playoffs with a win and losses from Baltimore and San Diego. All three teams play at 1pm, so the Texans could be doing a little scoreboard-watching during their contest. My worry is that one of those teams will get up big and Houston will lose motivation, but I don’t think that’s a big enough factor to avoid Hopkins.
DeSean Jackson, Washington vs Dallas, $5800 – I’m sure the Redskins will come out gunning to do what they can to kill the Cowboys’ chances at getting a first-round bye. Jackson killed Dallas in the teams’ first meeting and he’s the type of receiver with which this defense can struggle. I like him as a GPP play in Week 17.
Marques Colston, New Orleans at Tampa Bay, $5600 – Colston has been money since Brandin Cooks went down. His price has jumped quite a bit now, though, so I’m not sure he offers quite as much value, yet his upside is also capped given the nature of the Saints’ offense.
Mike Wallace, Miami vs NY Jets, $5600 – Miami is projected decently by Vegas against a Jets defense that’s stout against the run but struggles badly against the pass. Wallace’s price jumped after a two-touchdown performance in Week 16, but only $400. He’s one of my favorite Week 17 plays in this price range.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay vs New Orleans, $5500 – The question for much of the year has been whether to roster Jackson or teammate Mike Evans at a steeper price tag. I’ve sided with Jackson for much of the year because the price difference has been substantial, but now it’s only $600. I’ll gladly pay that premium for the rookie, especially in this matchup.
Five Others to Consider
Jarvis Landry, Miami vs NY Jets, $5400
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo at New England, $5400
This would normally be an awful matchup for Watkins, but that might not be the case in Week 17. Obviously watch for news throughout the week on how the Pats will handle playing their starters, but we could see Watkins and the Bills going up against the Patriots’ second-team for much of this game.
Torrey Smith, Baltimore vs Cleveland, $5300
Andre Johnson, Houston vs Jacksonville, $4900
Rueben Randle, NY Giants vs Philadelphia, $4800