FanDuel Value Plays Week 17
No slowing down on FanDuel with the final week of the regular NFL season. We've got a couple of great bonuses this week: all the games will be wrapped up Sunday night, we get to try and navigate the minefield of teams resting players in preparation for the playoffs, and we try to divine which teams will pack it in early to make their first tee times. I'll go over a few of my favorite value plays for Week 17 below, good luck out there!
Drew Brees $8,400
Brees is my top play this week if you want to spend the bread on a quarterback. He put concerns over his right foot injury (plantar fascia tear) to bed last week when he threw for over 400 yards and 3 TDs. Neither the Falcons nor the Saints have much to play for as far as far as the playoffs go, but pride and division rivalry are both on the line. I don't know if the Falcons will be up for another a big one after beating the Panthers last week, but I do believe Drew Brees will be fighting to keep his name off of the list of once-great quarterbacks that are now well past their prime. Even if the Falcons do manage to make it a game that will only help Drew put up another big day for us.
Eli Manning $7,500
Manning has remained a feast of famine option this year, putting up a few horrible games to go along with some of the biggest DFS has seen this season. The Giants were exposed and embarrassed last week when they faced the Minnesota Vikings without Odell Beckham Jr. After spending the week being bombarded with talk of his immaturity and hurting the team, I'm thinking Odell and Manning are going to have a nice big day for us. You don't have to believe the narrative to like this play, when the Manning to Beckham connection gets going, it is impossible to stop. Teams without playoff hopes will have to play for pride, and I think we'll see that out of Giants this week against Philly.
Sam Bradford $6,700
Bradford has been trending up here at the end of the year, coming off of a few nice (statistically) performances. Chip Kelly has been released, and the Eagles will face a Giants defense that can only be politely described as porous. I think we'll see a game effort from both sides in this one, and Vegas agrees with an over/under of 51. Bradford will be anxious to show out in the last game of the season, going in to contract negotiations for 2016. If you want to save this week, Bradford is the cheapest QB I feel comfortable rolling out there.
Tim Hightower $7,000
Hightower has been doing work for the Saints since getting the starting nod. This week, he's facing an Atlanta Falcons defense giving up big yardage to opposing backfields. We see performances like this every year, a fresh back comes in and strings together a few great games to close out the season. Hightower gives us one more big week to close out the season, and gives us another great option to get a piece of what we hope will be a shootout.
Danny Woodhead $5,700
I'm obliged to disclose I have a soft spot for Danny Woodhead. I draft him earlier than I should, and play him a little too often in DFS. Having said that... After Melvin Gordon's injury, Woodhead is seeing more work in the Chargers offense. The matchup is bad, but I do think that Phillip Rivers is going to give it his all. With the dearth of talent at receiver for the Chargers, I think we'll see one of those wonderful little 7-catch, 100+ total yard days out of Woodhead, and then we're just crossing our fingers that he can get in to the end zone.
Cameron Artis-Payne $5,500
Artis-Payne was disappointing last week, giving us a nice chance to sneak a great value at low ownership on to our rosters this week (or, everyone will think the same thing and just end up saving some bucks). The Panthers need to win Sunday to wrap up the 1 seed for the NFC playoffs, and the game script was a big blocker last week. I expect the Panthers to bounce back in a big way after their first loss of the year last week. Artis-Payne should get the starting nod and most of the carries this week. His touch-down upside is limited, like all the Panthers backs this year. At $5,500, you don't have to get a lot out of this play if you're bargain hunting.
Odell Beckham Jr. $8,900
The expectations were unbelievably high this year for Beckham, and he has come through for us. I've laid out most of what I think about this pick in the blurb about Eli Manning, so I'll just add that Beckham Jr. is truly one of the greatest young talents that we've seen in a while at the wide receiver position, and I'll take my last chance to cash in on him come Sunday.
Brandin Cooks $7,600
Cooks is closing the season strong (a theme you might have picked up on for this piece this week), and the Saints @ Falcons matchup may turn out to be a good one for everyone involved. No one on Atlanta can hang with Cooks, and since the Saints have begun throwing it to him down the field, he's been torching opposing defenses. Atlanta should do enough to keep this one interesting provided Matt Ryan remembers he plays with Juliio Jones.
Willie Snead $6,300
Snead gives you a cheaper piece of the New Orleans @ Atlanta game. He's been playing solid all year, and he'll go in to Sunday's matchup relatively healthy. Snead's ceiling is a little lower than Cooks, but he provides a nice floor at a great price this week. If you need to save the nickel, Willie is a good play this week.
Zach Ertz $5,700
Ertz is coming off of a huge game, and he's pouring it on at the end of the year. With Chip Kelly being released, I am expecting a very game effort from the Eagles against the Giants this week. It is hard to trust Ertz, but Tight End this week seems like a pick you just need to survive rather than a place you can really make a mark.
Vance McDonald $4,600
Tight end is a bit of a mess this week, but McDonald will be looking to finish strong when the Niners host the St. Louis Rams this weekend. McDonald has been a pleasant surprise in a down year for San Francisco, and Blaine Gabbert gives him plenty of looks in the passing game. The ceiling is low, but the floor is fairly high, too, with McDonald this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers $4,900
Cleveland is a mess. They'll be starting their 15th string quarterback this week, and I imagine we're going to see a real stinker from this Browns team that, it seems to me at least, will be seeing a lot of changes in the offseason. The Steelers still have an outside shot of making the playoffs, so I think we see them roll over the Browns.