Cracking FanDuel: Week 17

A look into the finer points of Week 17 NFL games on FanDuel

Footballguys has partnered with FanDuel and as part of that deal, I will be penning a weekly piece that tries to cover some of the finer points on beating their contests. This article will usually appear on Saturdays and not include the early Thursday games. It also does not include Saturday's Redskins/Eagles game.

My approach to FanDuel's Daily Games

In salary cap games where other companies are determining prices, I like to see where their thoughts differ substantially from my projections. My value chart below matches up my projections against FanDuel's prices:

Link to Week 17 Value Chart

Some explanation of my Excel manipulation is in order:

  • Everything is sorted by position
  • I have converted my projections to FanDuel Fantasy Points. These figures appear in the FP column.
  • The Price column reflects FanDuel's Week 17 Price
  • The Points per $K column reflects the expected points per $1,000 of salary allocated (the higher the value the better).
  • H-Value represents our own proprietary formula that matches price and expected fantasy points (the higher the value the better).
  • I have highlighted player's names (in green) that should be strong considerations for your lineups. They generally reflect the most bang for the buck at their respective positions. Players in yellow also are worth consideration when building your roster.

Situations that stand out to me this week.

  • Week 17, much like week 16, can be tricky to navigate. The NFL has gotten smarter over the years and has placed all the games that matter later in the day (so teams don't know the results of the games impacting their playoff seed). But even with the NFL schedule help, many teams have nothing to play for. Teams that have been dominating like Arizona could decide to rest starters based on the game flow. Additionally some younger players may be given a chance where this is the most important game of the year for them. As much as I would like to say I have analyzed all of these situations and my projections are ready to dominate DFS contests, I am going to tell you that this is a week you would be wise to risk less of your bankroll with.
  • The theme I will be using in my DFS contests is that bad defenses (from teams eliminated from the playoffs) will continue to play horribly on defense. There is not enough incentive to dig deep and rush the passer, make the game-changing strip tackle, etc. If an NFL team couldn't muster defensive stops in these last 4 weeks (when the games mattered the most), why should they be able to do it in week 17?
  • Over the last 4 weeks, the New Orleans Saints have yielded 284 yards and 3.2 TDs through the air per game. Nine times this season, a QB has thrown for 300 yards against the Saints. Additionally, nine QBs have managed 3+ TDs in a game against this unit. Matt Ryan failed to scorch this team the last time they faced off, but I expect a different result at home. Vegas has this game pegged as the highest scoring game on the slate at an under/over of 52.5. QB Matt Ryan, RB Devonta Freeman, and WR Julio Jones are all in play this week.
  • The Eagles have self-destructed before our eyes this season. And while it is great to make Chip Kelly the scapegoat for all of their woes, the Eagles defense continues to get shredded at every turn. Between the holidays, the coach firing, and a team playing for nothing, I don't expect the Eagles defense to show much on Sunday. They have yielded 314 yards and 2.2 TDs through the air over the last 4 weeks. During this same period, the Giants have been red hot on offense averaging 295 yards and 2.8 TDs through the air. Eli Manning at $7,500 seems like a sure bet to reach cash value and has enough upside that it's my favorite QB play of the week. And you just know with Beckham being forced to sit last week that he will bring his A-game for this one.
  • The likely scratch of RB Todd Gurley slots Tre Mason into a dream scenario where he is nearly a lock to reach cash value. Vegas sees the game as a defensive struggle (over/under at just 37.5), but Tre Mason should still see enough looks at $4,600 that he will be difficult to avoid rostering.
  • The Tennessee Titans continue to make a LOT of mistakes on offense. Over the last three games, they have been sacked 11 times, coughed up 4 fumbles, thrown 4 picks, yielded 2 defensive TDs and scored just 30 points. The Colts don't have a great defense, but at $4,200 and facing this offense at home, they are my play in both cash and GPP games.
  • Watch the news on Travis Benjamin. I like him against the Steelers as I expect the Browns to be playing from behind. If he scratches, Gary Barnidge will see elevated targets and could be my TE play of the week.


Sample Roster 1 ($60K) - Projected Points = 137.8

  • QB Eli Manning, NYG - $7,500
  • RB Devonta Freeman, ATL - $8,800
  • RB DeAngelo Williams, PIT - $8,200
  • TE Greg Olsen, CAR - $6,600
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins - HOU - $9,000
  • WR Travis Benjamin, CLE - $5,400
  • WR Stefon Diggs, MIN - $5,700
  • TD Indianapolis Colts - $4,200
  • PK Josh Brown, NYG - $4,600

Sample Roster 2 ($60K) - Projected Points = 132.4

  • QB Eli Manning, NYG - $7,500
  • RB Tre Mason, STL - $4,600
  • RB DeAngelo Williams, PIT - $8,200
  • TE Gary Barnidge, CLE - $6,300
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins - HOU - $9,000
  • WR Julio Jones, ATL - $9,300
  • WR Willie Snead, NO - $6,300
  • TD Indianapolis Colts - $4,200
  • PK Josh Brown, NYG - $4,600

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