Exclamation Point! - Yahoo DFS: Week 17

A dive into some of the top cash and tournament picks for Yahoo DFS.

Welcome to the Exclamation Point!, an analysis of stand-out cash and GPP options for consideration on Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports. Yahoo presents a variety of options to suit the fancy of any DFS player out there, and we are looking to arm you with the information needed to build winning lineups no matter what type of player you are. This article will point out some solid plays at varying salary tiers per position to allow you plenty of flexibility in your lineup construction process. 

Keep in mind that Week 17 can bring all sorts of twists and turns, including surprise benchings and resting of starters at the last minute. We’ve tried to call out a number of the playoff scenarios that should affect playing time below, but keep an eye out for last minute news that could create even more chaos and value options.


QUARTERBACK


Aaron RoDgers - $40 (CASH / GPP)

Aaron Rodgers will be one of the most heavily relied upon fantasy assets of the week. Rodgers is in a big spot here as the Packers can finish on top of their division with a win, instantly clinching a playoff spot. Rodgers has been on fire in the second half of this season, throwing for 14 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last six games while ranking as the top scoring fantasy quarterback during that span and on the season. He is matched up against the Lions’ 32nd ranked pass defense using DVOA, allowing the league’s top completion rate (72.9%) to opposing quarterbacks. Rodgers threw for four touchdowns last time these two teams met, and he has done that twice since. The masses will be flocking to Rogers in DFS this week, and for good reason—he is an excellent, but chalky, play good for exposure in all formats.

matt ryan - $40 (CASH)

This is a week where paying up for quarterback should not be nearly as tough, which is a great thing due to the plethora of excellent options priced near the top. Matt Ryan is one of those options as he takes on the Saints at home in a game in which they need to win for a highly valued first-round bye. This game has the highest point total of the week, with the Falcons having a higher team implied total than any other team. The Saints secondary has played better this season, but are still one of the bottom ranked units in the league against the pass.

Russell Wilson - $37 (GPP)

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have a shot this week at a first round bye with a win and a Falcons loss—so pending an early blowout, starters should be expected to play most of this game. Wilson has amassed seven touchdown passes for 579 passing yards in the last two weeks, ranking him as the top overall quarterback during that span. He has certainly had an up and down season, but this hot streak shows what Wilson is always capable of when healthy. His matchup this week is excellent against a lackluster 49-ers defense allowing a league-leading 3.6 touchdowns per game. The only concerns here will be playing time and game flow, as the Seahawks are nearly double-digit favorites while the 49-ers real weakness has been against the rushing attack. Regardless though, Wilson remains in play as a solid GPP option that offers a bit of salary relief and differentiation from the top priced elite quarterbacks.

Kirk Cousins - $31 (CASH / GPP)

Kirk Cousins is a very solid situational play this week as he comes in at a discounted salary. The Redskins are playing for their playoff hopes, as they can pretty much clinch a #6 seed with a win. The Giants on the other hand have absolutely nothing to play for, as they are already locked into the #5 seed. As such, defensive starters will very likely see rest at some point in this game. The line in this game certainly reflects the fact that many Giants starters will likely not play, as the Redskins would not normally be more than a touchdown favorite against a Giants team that has played well this season. Cousins is quietly on track to finish the season as a top-5 fantasy quarterback with the second or third most passing yards in the league. There should be no reason for a quarterback with Cousin’s upside facing what should be a slew of backup defensive players to be priced as the 14th quarterback on Yahoo. He offers tremendous value with a much higher floor and ceiling than many of the other cheap options at quarterback this week.


RUNNING BACK

 

David Johnson - $41 (CASH)

It goes without mentioning that David Johnson should be a staple in your cash and tournament rosters, but it is worth mentioning that he should still remain be a big consideration in your lineups even with his top-level price tag. Despite the Cardinals having nothing to play for here, Johnson should remain a huge part of this offense as he has been all season long. He has averaged over 19 carries and five receptions per game this season, and he still had 32 touches last week despite that also being a meaningless game. He now has 15 games with 100+ yards from scrimmage and has the opportunity to break Barry Sanders’ record this week. While his matchup is not pristine against a Rams defense that has done well against the run, this is David Johnson we are talking about—do not worry about the matchup, and feel confident building cash lineups around Johnson yet again, with it being a bit easier this week due to the solid value options out there.

Mark Ingram II - $24 (GPP)

Mark Ingram II has a number of reasons to be interested in what will be a meaningless game with the Saints out of playoff contention. Not only is he just 60 yards away from his first 1000-yard rushing season, but Ingram is reportedly only one touchdown short of a $100k incentive built into his contract. When Ingram is on the field, believe that he will be running with an extra pep in his step against one of the league’s worst rushing defenses. This game should be very high scoring, and although the Saints are significant underdogs, Ingram should remain a big factor in this offense as they try to keep up. He out-snapped Tim Hightower significantly last week, so the usage is as encouraging as it can be given what we’ve seen with the Saints backfield this season. The risk is there with the Saints playing for nothing and thus being relatively unpredictable, but this matchup gives Ingram a huge ceiling good for GPP consideration.

BILAL POWELL - $22 (GPP)

Bilal Powell, if present during this game, will be in what should be considered a relatively high upside matchup against a reeling Buffalo defense. The Bills come into this game ranked 31st against the run using DVOA, allowing 4.6 yards per attempt and the sixth most fantasy points per game to running backs. Recently, the Bills have allowed two 200+ yard rushers in their last three games. If Powell is active and utilized anything like what he has been over the last three weeks, he will have a very high ceiling with as bad as the Bills have been lately. However, keep in mind that the Bills just lost their coach, have very little to play for, and have not seen Powell at practice yet this week (as of Thursday). Even of Powell suits up, the uncertainty keeps him as a tournament option only.

JACQUIZZ RODGERS - $17 (GPP / CASH)

The recent dismissal of Doug Martin and the absence of Charles Sims due to injury will put Jacquizz Rodgers in a very attractive situation with the chance at a significant workload in this matchup with the Panthers. While Carolina's defense has been solid against the run, the Bucs should be foirced to rely primarily on Rodgers here with everyone else unavailable. The coashing staff is confident in his workload, and they have shown the willingness to use him heavily in this matchup as Rodgers had a season-high 30 carries against Carolina earlier this year. Rodgers has managed to account for an average of over 15 fantasy points per game when allotted at least 15 carries, and he should be a very safe bet for that workload plus some in this game with the Bucs being favored by nearly a touchdown at home. He should be a safe and cheap option in all formats, but particularly tournaments.

DeAngelo Williams - $12 (CASH / GPP)

With Le'Veon Bell announced to be out, it appears that we may be back where we started this season with DeAngelo Williams set to lead the Steelers backfield. Williams had a long mid-season break, brought back into the fold only last week as he saw his first action since Week 9. The Steelers should want to ensure Williams is in good form heading into the playoffs in case Bell were to go down. Reports indicate that Williams will be afforded a significant workload in this game, helping to ease concerns about Fitzgerald Toussaint taking too many carries away from him. The Browns offer one of the best matchups one could imagine, as even with news of the starters being rested, the Steelers remain six point favorites at home. Given what we saw earlier in the season from Williams, a $12 price tag could yield huge dividends in terms of value returned. Look for Williams to be one of, if not the, highest owned running backs of the week.

 

WIDE RECEIVER


Jordy Nelson - $33 (CASH)

Jordy Nelson is one of the only top wide receivers this week with absolutely no question marks around how he will be used. The Packers have to win this week, and Nelson will be a big part of that effort. Nelson has had some huge games in recent weeks, amassing at least 118 receiving yards in three of his last four games with a season-high 154 yards and two touchdowns last week against a solid Vikings pass defense. Nelson leads the league in receiving touchdowns with 14, having scored at least once in seven of his last nine outings with two multi-touchdown games across that span. This week, Nelson draws the league’s worst passing defense, with the Lions ranked 32nd using DVOA. The Lions allowed Nelson to haul in six catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns in their Week 3 meeting, and nothing short of that same usage should be expected for this week. Nelson will be a very solid option to build around for cash and tournament rosters alike this week.

Michael Thomas - $25 (CASH)

Michael Thomas is a guy who will provide you with a very solid floor and touchdown upside that, when combined with a solid matchup, can have potential for paying huge dividends in DFS. Thomas has been consistently utilized all year long by the Saints, with only three games below 50 yards receiving and no more than two games in a row without a touchdown. Thomas had a solid outing last week with nearly 100 yards on six receptions, and he draws an even better matchup this week against the Falcons’ 24th ranked pass defense that is now without elite cornerback Desmond Trufant. Thomas has a great matchup against Robert Alford, who has allowed seven touchdowns and over 700 total yards this season. Look to Thomas as a cash game option to get exposure to the Saints offense in what should be the best bet for a shootout this week.

Allen Robinson - $18 (GPP / CASH)

Allen Robinson finally had a good game last week against the Titans with a season-high 147 yards from nine receptions—three of which went for over 20 yards. Robinson had his way with a very weak Titans secondary, and the Colts are actually ranked one position lower at 27th using DVOA. Jacksonville coaching staff said much of Robinson’s success last week could be attributed to their willingness to move him around for different looks. With what that did for Robinson last week, one must believe they will do it again against the Colts here. This game has one of the higher point totals with what should, as usual, be a pass-heavy game script forced upon the Jaguars. Robinson should see a lot of Vontae Davis in this game, which should bode very well for his upside as Davis has been particularly bad this season—one of the lowest ranked cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus. That combined with question marks in the backfield should make Robinson a solid target in all formats, particularly GPP’s.

Anquan Boldin - $17 (GPP)

The Lions, like the Packers, are also in a must-win situation this week—so rest assured that all starters will be playing this game in its entirety. The Detroit receivers should be in a very good spot here with the Packers bottom-half ranked secondary allowing the second most fantasy points to wide receivers. The Packers allow an average of 27.1 passing yards per drive and a league-high 8.0 passing yards per attempt. While most of the ownership will be on Golden Tate, a guy who should go under the radar but has a good shot at a big game will be Anquan Boldin. Last time out against the Packers earlier this season, Boldin managed to find the end zone on six targets. Boldin has seen a consistent snap count all season long with an average of around six targets per game. With his volume not being too huge, Boldin will be heavily reliant on touchdowns to make his hay. What gives him most of his upside here will be his expected matchup against cornerback Quinten Rollins. According to Pro Football Focus, Rollins has allowed seven touchdowns, a completion rate of 77%, and a Quarterback Rating of 135 when thrown at this season. This ranks Rollins near the bottom of the pile among cornerbacks, meaning it is a matchup that Boldin should have no problem taking advantage of. Expect his ownership to be sub 5%, making Boldin a guy worth tossing in some of your GPP lineups for a shot at solid differentiation in what could be a shootout.

ELI Rogers - $16 (CASH) 

The Steelers have already locked up the #3 seed in the AFC playoff picture, meaning they really have little to play for against the Browns this week. With the big three in Ben, Brown, and Bell all sitting out this game, guys like Eli Rogers should see a significant uptick in usage. The matchup cannot get much better against Cleveland’s 30th ranked pass defense using DVOA. Rogers should serve as the top receiving option in this offense that has proven to be very potent in the past. This time, it will all be dependent on the ability of Landry Jones to deliver solid passes, and at this salary, even Jones should be able to help Rogers hit value at only $16.

 

TIGHT END

 

Travis Kelce - $24 (CASH / GPP)

Travis Kelce should and will be the chalk tight end of the week to pay up for in cash games. Kelce has been on fire recently, with five of last six games at over 100 receiving yards—including a monster outing last week with season highs of 11 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown. While the Chargers have been decent against tight ends and against the pass in general, they are out of the playoff hunt while the Chiefs have a potential first round bye to play for. Despite being the top priced option at tight end, Kelce should be considered in all formats due to how hot he has been lately.

C.J. Fiedorowicz - $14 (Cash)

C.J. Fiedorowicz should be one of the top value options this week as he draws a very favorable matchup against what has been one of the worst secondary’s in the league during the second half of this season.  The Titans defense has not allowed a ton of points to tight ends, but they have not faced many elite options at all this season. Fiedorowicz returned from concussion last week and managed to haul in four of his seven targets for 42 yards with Ryan Griffin failing to even touch the ball while playing just under half the snaps that Fiedorowicz did. He scored a touchdown last time these two teams met, and Fiedorowicz should be in a decent spot to find the end zone again with the Texans likely to rest some of their top offensive weapons in a meaningless game this week. Fiedorowicz comes in atop the H-Value scale on the Footballguys Interactive Value Chart, making him a very attractive option in cash games to save some salary.

DEFENSE


Seattle Seahawks - $18 (CASH)

The Seahawks are hunting for a first round bye, and they come into this week as double-digit favorites a two-win 49-ers squad that has nothing but pride and draft position to play for. The 49-ers will be without Carlos Hyde in this game, which is a big blow to that offense’s scoring potential. With the 49-ers coming in at the lowest implied team total among all 32 teams in play on this slate, Seattle should be a very popular option. While their defense has not put up the numbers it has in past seasons, they are still a top-10 unit using DVOA facing a San Francisco offense that is near the bottom in most offensive categories.

New England Patriots - $16 (CASH / GPP)

The Patriots defense has been stellar as of late, having not allowed a single touchdown in the last two games. They will square off against a Dolphins offense that has managed to put up solid point totals in recent weeks, but against defenses that have been playing rather poorly. Matt Moore has thrown an interception in each game he has started since taking over the job while the Patriots defense has forced seven interceptions and recovered three fumbles in their last four outings. With the price below top tier, look to ride the Patriots hot streak for some salary relief in all formats.

Washington Redskins - $11 (GPP)

The Redskins will face off against a Giants team that has absolutely nothing to play for this week, as they have locked up the #5 seed in the NFC. Washington is in a must-win situation to have a shot at the other wildcard spot in the NFC, while the Giants will likely be resting their starters for at least a portion of this game. The Redskins defense dominated Chicago last week by forcing five turnovers and a blocked kick, resulting in one of their defense’s highest scoring games of the season. The Redskins defense had been suspect going into last week, explaining why their price is still so close to the minimum. However with this matchup at home and potential for upside should the Giants rest most of their starters, the Redskins are severely underpriced as they grade out near the top of our Footballguys Interactive Value Chart on H-Value. The potential ceiling could be huge here, making the Redskins an excellent option for GPP’s.

 


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