Ten members of the Footballguys DraftKings staff compiled value-based rankings for Week 17 of the NFL season. Those results are shown below with the highest ranking at the top. Each position is ranked as follows: (A dash indicates that player was not ranked).
Quarterback - Top 8
Running Back - Top 12
Wide Receiver - Top 12
Tight End - Top 8
Defense - Top 5
To determine the average ranking, any player not ranked received a value of the lowest rank for that position, plus 1 (LR+1). For example, the Top 8 quarterbacks are ranked by each staff member. If one staff member did not rank a particular quarterback, but others did, the ranking for that quarterback is 8+1 or 9. Instead of displaying a 9 in the table, a dash is used to show that player was not ranked, after average rank was obtained.
The value-based, collaborative results provide a window into which players are the best options for this week's slate of games. I'll explain why certain players are ranked as they are and also provide additional commentary volunteered by various staff members.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: QUARTERBACK
|Aaron Rodgers||GB||at DET||7700||-||1||1||1||2||1||-||-||1||1||3.5|
|Alex Smith||KC||at SD||5000||6||2||-||5||5||4||1||1||7||2||4.2|
|Russell Wilson||SEA||at SF||6800||8||3||6||4||-||3||-||3||3||5||5.3|
|Blake Bortles||JAC||at IND||5600||-||-||3||-||6||-||5||-||-||3||7.1|
|Drew Brees||NO||at ATL||7600||-||-||4||7||4||-||-||-||5||7||7.2|
|Tom Savage||HOU||at TEN||5400||1||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||8.1|
|Tom Brady||NE||at MIA||7200||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.3|
|Cam Newton||CAR||at TB||6200||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||8||-||-||8.8|
|Eli Manning||NYG||at WAS||5900||-||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.9|
|Joe Flacco||BAL||at CIN||5500||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.9|
Not surprisingly, the consensus is high on quarterbacks who are vying for playoff spots in week 17. Aaron Rodgers ($7,700), Alex Smith ($5,000), Matt Ryan ($7,400), Mathew Stafford ($6,000) and Russell Wilson ($6,800) are the top five quarterbacks, and are all trying to get their team into the playoffs, or improve upon their seeding. The Green Bay vs Detroit matchup has the second highest projected total of the week (49.5 points), and there is no hotter quarterback than Rodgers. Detroit ranks 16th in passing yards allowed (245.3), but rank 25th in terms of points given up to opposing quarterbacks. Rodgers fared well against Detroit in their first matchup, scoring 26.4 points with four passing touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Matthew Stafford has a juicy matchup as well, as Green Bay ranks 29th in passing yards allowed (265.1) and 28th in terms of points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. In their week three matchup, Stafford had his best game of the season, scoring 30.5 points while throwing for 385 yards and three touchdowns.
Alex Smith is a surprising choice as the consensus #2 quarterback on first glance, however his matchup tells another story, as Smith had by far his best game of the season in week one against San Diego. Smith scored 32.02 points with 363 yards passing and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 15 yards and a touchdown. Smith has only scored 20+ points in three games, but his rock bottom price makes him an intriguing play in both tournaments and cash games.
Matt Ryan is the third highest priced quarterback this week, but he has a fantastic matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints rank 30th in passing yards allowed (270.5), and rank 24th in terms of points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. In their first matchup in week three, Ryan threw for 240 yards and two touchdowns (19.9 points).
Russell Wilson is coming off his best game of the season, where he threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns (37.6 points) against the Arizona Cardinals. This week he gets an awful 49ers defense that ranks 12th in passing yards allowed (237.3), but much of that is a function of San Francisco ranking 32nd in rushing defense (171.1 yards allowed per game). Wilson had a quiet day in their first matchup, scoring only 14.02 points with 243 yards passing and one touchdown.
Alex Smith - Smith is one of a few QBs who should be motivated and San Diego has shut it down after losing to the previously winless Browns last week. He may not have much upside, but Smith shouldn't be priced at the QB minimum.
Landry Jones - Ben Roethlisberger reportedly would prefer to sit out this week's meaningless tilt with the Browns. That leaves Jones as a 6.5 point home favorite against the worst team in the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers - You have to be willing to play "narrative street" in Week 17 and Rodgers has a ton to play for.
Alex Smith - Smith has a lot to play for and his price frees up your roster everywhere else
Russell Wilson - Seahawks want momentum heading into playoffs
Matt Ryan - They need a win to ensure the bye
Andrew Luck - Meaningless game worries me a bit
Kirk Cousins - Must win game
Aaron Rodgers - Rodgers has tossed multiple touchdowns in nine of his last ten games, and he's battling for a playoff berth to boot.
Matt Ryan - The Falcons badly need this win to secure a bye and Ryan has an opportunity to make his case for league MVP. Expect a huge day against a mediocre Saints defense.
Aaron Rodgers - Playing for the NFC North title and has been extremely hot!
Matt Ryan - The Falcons have the highest projected team total this week at 31.25 points
Russell Wilson - Underpriced on DK at only $6,800
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: running back
|David Johnson||ARI||at LA||9800||3||1||1||5||6||2||-||3||1||2||3.7|
|Spencer Ware||KC||at SD||5500||12||9||-||1||3||1||-||-||-||4||8.2|
|Ty Montgomery||GB||at DET||5700||-||8||3||9||7||4||-||-||12||-||9.5|
|DeAndre Washington||OAK||at DEN||3800||4||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||4||9||10.8|
|Isaiah Crowell||CLE||at PIT||4400||7||11||8||8||-||-||-||-||9||-||10.8|
|Mark Ingram||NO||at ATL||5600||-||-||7||-||-||-||-||-||5||12||11.5|
|LeSean McCoy||BUF||at NYJ||8900||11||-||5||-||-||-||-||-||11||-||11.8|
|Jordan Howard||CHI||at MIN||6800||-||-||6||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||11.8|
|Alfred Blue||HOU||at TEN||4300||9||-||-||-||-||12||7||-||-||-||11.9|
|Alex Collins||SEA||at SF||4600||-||-||11||10||-||-||-||11||-||-||12.3|
|Dion Lewis||NE||at MIA||4000||8||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.5|
|Latavius Murray||OAK||at DEN||5200||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||12.5|
David Johnson ($9,800) leads the way in the consensus running back rankings, and is the only running back with more than two first place votes. He has been nothing short of amazing this season, rushing for 1,233 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also catching 77 passes for 841 yards and four touchdowns. He faces off against the Rams and their 18th ranked rushing defense (105.1 yards per game), and the only question about him is whether the Cardinals will want to give him a full workload in what is otherwise a meaningless game for Arizona.
The next three running backs on the list did not start out the season as the #1 option on their respective teams, but will certainly end the season that way. Darren Sproles ($4,000), Bilal Powell ($6,500) and DeAngelo Williams ($5,500) will all see extensive duty in week 17, and represent fantastic PP$ value.
Sproles is the cheapest of the bunch, but that didn’t prevent nine of the voters from having him inside their top six. Despite averaging only 6.3 carries over his last three contests, Sproles has scored in all three of those games. Due to his low volume of touches, Sproles makes for a much better cash game option than GPP play.
Powell is currently questionable to play after not practicing on Thursday, but the expectation is that he will suit up on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. In the previous two weeks, the Bills have allowed 200+ rushing yards to both LeVeon Bell and Jay Ajayi, and rank 28th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (133.5). Powell has shown significant upside as the Jets starter, and assuming he plays, will be one of the best value plays on the board.
The consensus has Williams ranked 4th this week in advance of LeVeon Bell sitting out most of the game, after the Steelers took care of business last week against the Ravens. Williams is in a fantastic spot this week going against a Browns team that ranks 31st in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (147.6). In his two games as a starter this season (weeks one and two), Williams put up 38.1 and 23.2 points, respectively. He hasn’t seen much action after that due to injuries and the stellar play of Bell, but is primed for another big game against the Browns.
Devonta Freeman ($7,000) is the 5th ranked running back this week, and will see a full complement of carries in a game that Atlanta wants to win to sure up home field advantage in the playoffs. The Saints rank 12th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (98.9). In their first meeting, Freeman rushed for 152 yards, while also catching five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown (34.7 points).
Shaun Draughn - Carlos Hyde is out and the 49ers will be playing catch-up, which plays to Draughn's strength as a pass catcher.
DeAngelo Williams - LeVeon Bell is expected to sit, leaving Williams to carry the load against the Browns awful rush defense.
Ronnie Hillman - Hillman is one of the worst running backs in the NFL, but he's priced below 4K and the last man standing in San Diego's backfield.
Zach Zenner - Showed why so many scouts were high on him last week against Dallas. Detroit would be wise to keep riding him, even if Theo Riddick is ready.
Bilal Powell - Buffalo ranks dead last in rush defense DVOA and Powell has been receiving monster workloads. Make sure he's practicing by the end of the week.
David Johnson - Going for a perfect 16 games of 100+ yards
Bilal Powell - Vying for workhorse role in 2017 against broken Bills team
Rex Burkhead - Intriguing punt play if you want to pay up at QB/WR
DeMarco Murray - Tennessee lost Mariota, will have to rely on ground game
Darren Sproles - Last healthy Eagles RB
Bilal Powell - The Bills have been gashed by opposing backs in two of the past three games, and a coaching change won't be curing their ills this late in the season.
Rob Kelley - The Giants have absolutely nothing to play for and Washington is almost guaranteed to be in if they win. It sets up a perfect game script for a big day on the ground for Kelley.
Spencer Ware - Needs 79 yards to get a $300k bonus
David Johnson - Concerned with his reps this week with this game not mattering
David Johnson - David Johnson is Mr. Consistency, the fantasy MVP this season.
Devonta Freeman - The Falcons have the highest projected team total this week at 31.25 points
DeAngelo Williams - If Bell is inactive and Williams is expected to see the bulk of the touches, he is a must start.
DeAndre Washington - Broke out with 2 TDs last week. Check to see what the Raiders plan with Latavius Murray is this week.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: wide receiver
|Jordy Nelson||GB||at DET||8100||1||1||1||1||3||1||-||2||1||1||2.5|
|Doug Baldwin||SEA||at SF||7200||8||2||-||2||-||4||-||-||4||3||7.5|
|Cameron Meredith||CHI||at MIN||5200||2||7||-||4||-||11||-||-||-||4||9.3|
|Allen Robinson||JAC||at IND||5500||-||-||5||7||-||-||10||4||10||6||9.4|
|Steve Smith||BAL||at CIN||4900||11||9||-||5||7||8||-||-||-||-||10.5|
|Michael Thomas||NO||at ATL||6700||3||-||7||-||12||-||-||-||6||-||10.6|
|Tyreek Hill||KC||at SD||5600||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||5||3||8||10.7|
|Davante Adams||GB||at DET||5700||12||4||10||-||11||7||-||-||-||-||10.9|
|Brandin Cooks||NO||at ATL||6900||-||12||8||-||-||-||-||-||11||7||11.6|
|DeAndre Hopkins||HOU||at TEN||6500||6||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||7||-||11.7|
|Michael Crabtree||OAK||at DEN||5600||-||-||12||-||9||-||-||6||-||-||11.8|
|Marqise Lee||JAC||at IND||4600||-||-||-||-||4||-||11||-||12||-||11.8|
|Bryan Walters||JAC||at IND||3000||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||-||12.0|
|Sammy Watkins||BUF||at NYJ||5800||7||-||-||-||-||-||-||9||-||-||12.0|
|J.J. Nelson||ARI||at LA||4600||-||8||-||10||-||-||-||-||-||11||12.0|
|Julian Edelman||NE||at MIA||6400||-||-||-||-||5||-||-||-||-||-||12.2|
|Corey Coleman||CLE||at PIT||3700||-||-||11||-||-||10||-||-||-||-||12.5|
|Ted Ginn||CAR||at TB||4500||-||-||-||-||10||-||-||-||-||-||12.7|
|Alshon Jeffery||CHI||at MIN||5900||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||11||-||-||12.8|
|Will Fuller||HOU||at TEN||4500||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12||-||-||12.9|
|Terrelle Pryor||CLE||at PIT||4200||-||-||-||12||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.9|
The wide receiver rankings are an interesting mix of high, middle and low priced options. Leading the way is Jordy Nelson ($8,100), who had his price top $8,000 for the first time this season. Nelson received seven 1st place votes, which is the most of any player this week, regardless of position. He has been on a tear as of late, and is coming off his best game of the season, where he racked up 154 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions. In his first matchup against Detroit in week three, Nelson caught six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
Mike Evans ($8,000) is next up on the list, and while he only received one 1st place vote, he was no lower than 8th in anyone’s ranking. Evans is coming of a seven catch, 97 yard and one touchdown performance against New Orleans, which was his first 10+ point performance in four weeks. In his week five matchup against Carolina, Evans caught six passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Eli Rodgers ($4,000) is a surprising choice for the consensus #3 wide receiver this week, as he will be dealing with a backup quarterback throwing him the ball. That didn’t stop him from having two 1st place votes, and seven voters had him inside their top six.
Doug Baldwin ($7,200) and Jordan Matthews ($4,700) round out the top five this week. Baldwin saw his price jump up $1,200 this week after his monster performance in week 16 against the Cardinals. In that game, Baldwin totaled 13 receptions for 171 yards and one touchdown (39.7 points), by far his best game of the season. On the contrary, Matthews’ price ($4,700) has never been lower this season, and he is currently questionable to play in week 17. At that price though, he makes for an intriguing GPP option, as he has seen 117 targets this season and has an established ceiling of 27.4 points.
Eli Rogers - We're unlikely to see LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates, or Ladarius Green for the Steelers this week. Rogers is pretty much all that's left and he runs the high percentage routes an inexperienced QB like Landry Jones is likely to lean on.
Cobi Hamilton - Hamilton will also inherit a big target share for the Steelers and is minimum priced.
Brandon LaFell - The only viable receiving target for the Bengals with A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert out. Faces a dejected Baltimore team unlikely to get top cornerback Jimmy Smith back.
Allen Robinson - It looked like the Jaguars figured out how to get Robinson going last week, and he gets a terrible secondary that just got elimintated from playoff contention.
Jordy Nelson - Nelson has scored 22+ points on DraftKings for four weeks running, and there's nothing to suggest he won't do it again this week.
Julio Jones - With major value opportunities open all over the board, look to fit Jones into as many lineups as possible. It's a huge game for the Falcons and Jones is capable of a monster game. With a win, he can rest next week on the bye.
Rishard Matthews - Should have had a long reception last week that Mariota overthrew. Completely changes his stat line, had 9 targets last week and his price decreased
Steve Smith - Last game in the NFL, they will try to do everything they can to get him a touchdown
Jordy Nelson - Expect the Packers to lean on Nelson again this week.
Mike Evans - Great matchup vs Panthers
Tyreek Hill - Andy Reid is finding involving Hill in the game plan each and every week. Hill is a threat to "take it to the house" anytime he touches the ball.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: Tight end
|Travis Kelce||KC||at SD||5000||-||1||1||1||4||1||5||1||2||1||2.6|
|Dennis Pitta||BAL||at CIN||3400||2||5||-||-||6||6||-||6||7||5||6.4|
|Charles Clay||BUF||at NYJ||3500||-||-||3||3||3||8||-||-||-||4||6.6|
|Jimmy Graham||SEA||at SF||4500||-||3||2||-||5||-||-||-||5||8||6.8|
|Gary Barnidge||CLE||at PIT||2900||-||-||5||-||7||2||4||-||-||6||6.9|
|Greg Olsen||CAR||at TB||5500||8||4||-||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||7.7|
|C.J. Fiedorowicz||HOU||at TEN||3900||3||-||-||-||8||5||-||-||-||-||7.9|
|Jermaine Gresham||ARI||at LA||2600||-||-||-||-||-||-||1||-||-||-||8.2|
|Jared Cook||GB||at DET||3100||-||-||-||6||-||-||7||-||-||-||8.5|
|Jason Witten||DAL||at PHI||3100||-||-||-||-||-||-||6||-||-||-||8.7|
Travis Kelce ($5,000) leads the way in the consensus tight end rankings, and with good reason. Kelce is coming off a monster performance against Denver, where he caught 11 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown (36 points), and set the record for the most points by any tight end this season. It was Kelce’s fifth 100+ yard game in the last six weeks, which has helped me set new career highs in both receptions and yards.
The next two spots were very close in the rankings, with Eric Ebron ($3,600) and Antonio Gates ($3,800) both receiving one 1st place vote apiece. Ebron is coming of his best game of the season against the Cowboys, where he caught eight passes for 93 yards. He’s been incredibly consistent this season, catching four or more passes in 10 of the 12 games he played. While Ebron doesn’t have the ceiling of other tight ends in his price range, his floor is stable and he should be in consideration for cash game lineups. Antonio Gates is also coming off his best game of the year, catching eight passes for 94 yards and a touchdown against the Browns in a week 16 loss. The motivation to play Gates could very well be the fact that Gates is one touchdown away from tying Tony Gonzalez for the career touchdown record for tight ends. Philip Rivers peppered Gates with 13 targets last week and is on record as saying he wants to help Gates get the record. Gates has a tough week 17 matchup against the Chiefs though, as Kansas City has surrendered the 3rd least points to opposing tight ends this season.
Delanie Walker ($3,800) ranks 4th in our consensus poll, and aside from Kelce, he is in line to see the most targets at the tight end position this weekend. With Marcus Mariota out for the year, DeMarco Murray and Walker will have to lead the Titans offense in a tough matchup against Houston. The Texans held Walker to 5.4 points in their first meeting, and have defended the tight end position very well this year, allowing only three scores to the position.
Rounding out the top five in our consensus tight end ranking is Kyle Rudolph ($4,600). Rudolph is having the best year of his career, catching 72 passes for 723 yards and six touchdowns. Rudolph has scored double digit points in six of his last seven games, and is averaging 9.8 targets over his last five games. He did have a quiet day against the Bears in his first outing though, catching five passes for 31 yards on six targets.
Antonio Gates - Gates, as you've probably heard, is one TD shy of tying Tony Gonzalex for the all-time tight end touchdown record. He's got a tough opponent this week, but Philip Rivers will force it to him.
Travis Kelce - Approaching a record setting season, with a team that has a lot to play for
Antonio Gates - TD record and narrative street are in play
Vernon Davis - Assumes Jordan Reed is out
Travis Kelce - There's no reason to go against the crowd on this one - Kelce is on fire, and the tight end position as a whole leaves a lot to be desired this week.
Antonio Gates - It's risky to buy in too heavily to "narrative street" but Gates needs two TDs to set the all-time tight end record and is likely playing in the last game ever in San Diego.
Antonio Gates - Last game in San Diego, one touchdown away from the record
Antonio Gates - Going for the TE TD record, he should be the chalk at a DK price of only $3800
Travis Kelce - If paying up for TE, Kelce is the top option.
Eric Ebron - Great price at only $3,600 and playing for the division.
DRAFTKINGS CONSENSUS RANKINGS: Defense
|Kansas City||KC||at SD||3300||-||3||3||3||-||5||-||-||3||3||4.4|
|New England||NE||at MIA||3200||-||2||-||-||4||-||5||-||-||4||5.1|
Seattle ($3,700) and Arizona ($3,000) are tied for the top defense this week in our consensus rankings. Arizona received six 1st place votes among our panel, while Seattle ranked no worse than 5th from any of our voters. Both teams have great matchups, with Seattle playing the inconsistent 49ers offense, and the Cardinals matching up with the league’s penultimate offense in the Rams. The Cardinals have an established ceiling of 23 points, while the Seahawks have an established ceiling of 15 points.
The Kansas City ($3,300) defense gets their revenge game against a Chargers offense that lit them up in the first half of their week 1 matchup. The Chiefs defense has come a long way since then, as has their special teams unit with the breakout of rookie Tyreke Hill. The Kansas City defense and special teams have scored seven touchdowns this season. They should also have a great chance of forcing turnovers, with Philip Rivers having thrown 19 interceptions this season.
Washington ($2,900) and New England ($3,200) round out our top five this week. The Redskins received one 1st place vote, and they face off against a Giants offense that has been erratic and prone to turnovers this season. Washington’s secondary finally looks as though they are becoming a cohesive unit, and are coming off a five interception game against the Bears last week. The Patriots defense is hitting its stride at the perfect time (what’s new?), coming off back to back 17 point game against the Jets and the Broncos where they allowed a total of six points in two games. While they have little to play for—after clinching home field advantage in the AFC—they do play against a divisional opponent in the Dolphins who trying to get to the playoffs. Miami has won nine of their last 10 games, and played the Patriots tough (31-24) in the second half of their week two matchup. If the Patriots keep their starters in the whole game, they have the clear advantage.
Arizona - The Rams offense brings a high probability of implosion to the table, and that makes their opponents an attractive target week in and week out.
Cleveland - The Browns are dirt cheap and Landry Jones is awful. A sneaky GPP play against the Steelers backups.
Arizona - Great matchup vs. the Rams and only $3000 on DK.
Seattle - If paying up for defense, the Seahawks are in a good spot.