FantasyDraft Week 17 DFS Plays: QBs/TEs/Defense

Phil Backert previews DFS plays at quarterback, tight end and defense on FantasyDraft for Week 17.

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)


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Prior to breaking down Week 17 from a daily fantasy perspective, I will recap how I did in the Fantasy Draft $100,000 Run and Gun (Sun Only) tournament from the week before. You can compete against me weekly throughout the season. 



Game stacking the Chiefs-Seahawks late night hammer proved to be the correct move for the most part, but tight end Travis Kelce had a dud performance along with running back Ezekiel Elliott. The combination I almost swapped to prior to kickoff was Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson instead of Zeke and Saints wide out Tre’Quan Smith. That obviously should have been the move as Smith continues to be an afterthought in the Saints offense. Week 17 has a lot of unknowns which makes it a great week for tournaments!




Cash Game Option:

Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes ($13,300) – Frequent readers know I don’t usually pay up at the quarterback position in cash games. I believe we can find a player that will give us the floor we need at a cheaper cost that will allow us to pay up at the other positions. However, there is just a lot of mystery in Week 17 with the possibility of teams resting players and others who have already packed their bags for vacation. I want to know what I’m investing in and that brings me to Mahomes. The Chiefs have to win if they want to win the division and secure a first round bye. They have lost two games in a row and if it wasn’t for a magical throw by Mahomes in Week 14 against the Ravens, they could be looking at a three game losing streak. This is a get right spot for the Chiefs offense as they face a Raiders defense that is ranked 30th in total defensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders. The Chiefs have a massive team implied total of 33.75 and we know they can easily crush that. Mahomes threw for four touchdowns in the last meeting against the Raiders and I can see a similar performance as they clinch a bye on their home field.


Tournament Option:

Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers ($12,000) – I have gone back and forth on Rodgers being cash game playable, but I’ll stick him in the tournament conversation for now. Rodgers absolutely smashed in Week 16 against the Jets as he threw for 442 yards and two touchdowns along with rushing for two touchdowns. This is another spot for Rodgers to showcase his talent one more time before the offseason as the Lions pass defense ranks dead last in pass defensive DVOA. Rodgers is an easy stack with wide receiver Davante Adams who received an absurd 18 targets last week. Adams is also chasing a couple of Packers receiving records so I can see Rodgers force feeding the wide out. When there is a lot of unknown like Week 17 presents us, we need to find the little things to give us an edge and this could be one. The Packers passing game is an elite tournament option and it starts with Rodgers.


Tight Ends


Cash Game Option:

San Francisco 49ers George Kittle ($11,900) – Paying up for tight end in Week 16 paid off big time as Zach Ertz smashed against the Houston Texans. Ertz is in play along with Kelce, but I want to highlight Kittle who checks in cheaper than those two. Kittle is chasing Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski’s single season receiving yards mark for a tight end along with a couple of franchise records as well. Kittle is well aware of this and so is head coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers take on a Rams team that is 10 point favorites so I expect a lot of throwing which will benefit Kittle. Even though the Rams are tough against the tight end position, Kittle is not like most tight ends. I think we can fire him up in cash games as he will be targeted heavily as he chases these historical records.


Tournament Option:

Cleveland Browns David Njoku ($6,600) – We recommended the tight end last week and he came through for us with three catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. After that performance, Njoku is cheaper than he was in Week 16. We can go right back to him in tournaments at a deflated price as the Browns take on a Ravens defense that ranks 23rd to the tight end position according to Football Outsiders. We know the Ravens defense is extremely tough, but they can be exploited by tight ends. This is too risky for cash, but the upside and price makes Njoku a nice tournament option.




Minnesota Vikings ($4,900) – We recommended the Vikings defense last week and they came through for us by allowing just nine points and finishing with three sacks. Like Njoku, they are now cheaper than they were in Week 16. The Bears could rest their starters this week depending how the Rams are doing and as of now, Vegas is leaning that way as the Vikings are five point favorites and the Bears have an implied team total of just 18. The Vikings rank first in sacks per game and for the cheap price, make for a nice building block in all formats.


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