The Rundown: FantasyScore Week 17

A weekly guide to FantasyScore's Salary Cap and Draft-and-Go contests.

As I'll be going into copious amounts of detail over the next three weeks regarding how well my value probabilities have performed, let's get straight to this week's numbers. And since it's the final week of the regular season, I'll give the quarterback probabilities to readers for free.

quarterbacks

Below are the quarterbacks with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Sam Bradford PHI 4800 18.8 76.6% Sam Bradford PHI 4800 19.3 47.6%
A.J. McCarron CIN 4800 18.5 74.8% A.J. McCarron CIN 4800 18.6 45.4%
Matt Ryan ATL 5900 21.1 71.0% Ryan Mallett BAL 4900 18.8 38.0%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Russell Wilson SEA 8900 22.6 24.8% Russell Wilson SEA 8900 24.0 1.6%
Carson Palmer ARI 8500 21.4 24.8% Carson Palmer ARI 8500 21.6 1.9%
Blake Bortles JAC 8100 21.2 30.4% Blake Bortles JAC 8100 21.4 3.3%

Four years ago, I wrote an article about how various types of playoff scenarios in Week 17 affect quarterback scoring. The simple take-home message of that piece was that you want to target quarterbacks on teams that are vying for a playoff spot or have already been eliminated, while avoiding those on teams that have already clinched a playoff spot. In short, vying for a specific seed (e.g., a first-round bye) appears to be less of a motivator than people think. Applying that idea to this week's slate, the quarterbacks you want to avoid are as follows: Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, Teddy Bridgewater, Alex Smith, and Kirk Cousins. Two other quarterbacks, Brock Osweiler and A.J. McCarron, are also on teams that have already clinched a playoff spot, but their lack of experience as starters suggests Denver and Cincinnati won't pull them out of their respective games early (i.e., they need all the reps they can get).

Of the quarterbacks in the table, my money's on Matt Ryan in cash games and Sam Bradford in tournaments. Ryan is going against the much-maligned Saints defense, which has given up at least 17.7 points (i.e., what Ryan needs to achieve value) to 12 of 15 opposing quarterbacks this season. Bradford, meanwhile, has a tougher opponent in the Giants, but New York's allowed 9 of 15 opposing quarterbacks to score at least 19.2 points.

running backs

Below are the running backs with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Tre Mason STL 2000 9.4 74.3% Tre Mason STL 2000 13.5 59.2%
Jarryd Hayne SFO 2000 9.0 72.6% Jarryd Hayne SFO 2000 10.9 57.1%
Bishop Sankey TEN 2000 8.4 69.1% Bishop Sankey TEN 2000 9.9 53.1%
Kyle Juszczyk BAL 2000 7.9 65.7% Kyle Juszczyk BAL 2000 9.2 49.3%
Mike Tolbert CAR 2000 6.9 58.4% Rashad Jennings NYG 3500 12.5 40.4%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Ryan Mathews PHI 5900 8.4 13.7% Bilal Powell NYJ 4900 15.5 2.5%
Doug Martin TAM 8000 12.7 17.3% Ryan Mathews PHI 5900 9.6 6.5%
Charcandrick West KAN 5900 10.2 20.8% Doug Martin TAM 8000 12.9 8.6%
Adrian Peterson MIN 8100 14.5 22.3% Charcandrick West KAN 5900 11.6 10.9%
Giovani Bernard CIN 5800 10.6 23.4% Adrian Peterson MIN 8100 16.6 11.9%

There's not a lot to choose from in the top half of the table because you need a divining rod to figure out how many touches committee members like Mason, Hayne, Sankey, Juszczyk, and Tolbert are going to get. That leaves Jennings, who has scored double-digit points in each game since the Giants began giving him the lion's share of touches, and who is going against an Eagles defense that's allowed a running back to score at least 14.0 points in every game dating back to Week 7.

wide receivers

Below are the wide receivers with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Keshawn Martin NWE 2300 14.0 86.6% Keshawn Martin NWE 2300 16.8 74.5%
Roddy White ATL 2100 10.4 78.4% Roddy White ATL 2100 13.1 63.3%
Jeremy Butler BAL 2000 9.5 76.1% Jeremy Butler BAL 2000 10.7 60.4%
Kenny Britt STL 2000 9.4 75.8% Kenny Britt STL 2000 10.0 59.9%
Terrance Williams DAL 2500 11.5 74.7% Terrance Williams DAL 2500 11.9 58.6%
Brandon Coleman NOR 2000 8.6 71.5% Brandon Coleman NOR 2000 10.7 54.7%
Dontrelle Inman SDG 2500 10.7 71.0% Dontrelle Inman SDG 2500 12.2 54.2%
Marc Mariani CHI 2000 8.5 70.4% Marc Mariani CHI 2000 11.8 53.5%
Marvin Jones Jr CIN 2900 12.0 69.3% Marvin Jones Jr CIN 2900 13.1 52.3%
Jerricho Cotchery CAR 2000 8.3 69.1% Jerricho Cotchery CAR 2000 9.6 52.0%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
DeSean Jackson WAS 6300 8.2 9.5% Ted Ginn Jr CAR 5700 11.8 0.3%
Steve Johnson SDG 4600 7.3 15.9% Danny Amendola NWE 6600 9.9 1.0%
Larry Fitzgerald ARI 7500 13.8 22.1% DeSean Jackson WAS 6300 10.5 3.9%
Allen Robinson JAC 7900 14.7 22.6% Steve Johnson SDG 4600 12.8 7.4%
Tyler Lockett SEA 5900 11.1 23.1% Eddie Royal CHI 2100 10.1 7.7%
Randall Cobb GNB 6200 11.8 23.8% Larry Fitzgerald ARI 7500 14.5 11.2%
Amari Cooper OAK 6400 12.6 25.3% Allen Robinson JAC 7900 17.7 11.5%
Doug Baldwin SEA 8000 15.8 25.7% Tyler Lockett SEA 5900 13.3 11.8%
T.Y. Hilton IND 6800 13.5 26.0% Randall Cobb GNB 6200 13.2 12.3%
A.J. Green CIN 7900 15.8 26.4% Amari Cooper OAK 6400 12.8 13.3%

Referring back to my aforementioned study of Week 17 quarterbacks, it stands to reason that one should probably also avoid wide receivers on teams that have already clinched a playoff spot, given how closely linked the two positions are in terms of fantasy production. Therefore, as much value as Keshawn Martin represents, it's hard to put my faith in him seeing as how he'll be catching passes from Jimmy Garropolo beginning relatively early in the game. Likewise, a similar case can be made for avoiding Jones and Cotchery despite their high values.

With that trio excluded, it's hard to pass up Roddy White against the Saints, especially in a tournament stack with Matt Ryan.

tight ends

Below are the tight ends with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Cooper Helfet SEA 1700 8.5 89.9% Cooper Helfet SEA 1700 10.7 71.2%
Vance McDonald SFO 2000 8.1 77.0% Vance McDonald SFO 2000 10.1 50.8%
Maxx Williams BAL 2100 8.4 76.6% Maxx Williams BAL 2100 10.3 50.4%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Tyler Eifert CIN 7600 8.7 0.8% Tyler Eifert CIN 7600 9.7 0.1%
Julius Thomas JAC 6000 9.0 4.1% Julius Thomas JAC 6000 9.8 0.7%
Antonio Gates SDG 7400 11.3 4.5% Antonio Gates SDG 7400 13.2 0.8%

Excluding Helfet for playoff-related reasons, McDonald and Williams are the best values at tight end this week. McDonald's matchup is easier (St. Louis has given up the 7th-most FantasyScore points to tight ends this season), so I favor him over Williams in cash games. Furthermore, McDonald's short tenure as San Francisco's starting tight end has shown him to be more boom-or-bust than Williams, so I also favor him in tournaments.

defenses

Below are the defenses with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Indianapolis Colts IND 1600 11.9 93.0% Indianapolis Colts IND 1600 11.9 87.4%
San Francisco 49ers SFO 1200 9.6 89.4% San Francisco 49ers SFO 1200 9.7 84.1%
Dallas Cowboys DAL 1400 10.2 89.4% Chicago Bears CHI 1200 9.6 83.6%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Arizona Cardinals ARI 3400 9.7 45.8% Arizona Cardinals ARI 3400 10.0 20.8%
Kansas City Chiefs KAN 3300 11.3 61.4% Kansas City Chiefs KAN 3300 11.4 34.6%
Carolina Panthers CAR 3200 11.1 62.2% Carolina Panthers CAR 3200 11.1 36.2%

As I've stated before in this space, San Francisco's defense plays better at home than on the road. This week, they're at home against a Rams offense that will be without Todd Gurley and starting Case Keenum at quarterback. Sure, that offense hasn't been surrendering many points to opposing defenses lately, including only 1 point at Seattle last week, but that's been with Gurley. As the 49ers have found out themselves with Carlos Hyde, removing a stud running back from a run-heavy offense -- either via injury or game script -- tends to have a cascading negative effect on the unit as a whole.

week 17 draft lists

Finally, to supplement the statistics-based strategies I recommended earlier in the season, here are the VBD draft lists you should use for FantasyScore's Draft-N-Go (DNG) games:

2-PERSON DNGS5-PERSON DNGS8-PERSON DNGS
NAMEPOSTmNAMEPOSTmNAMEPOSTm
Denver Broncos DEF DEN Denver Broncos DEF DEN Denver Broncos DEF DEN
Cincinnati Bengals DEF CIN Cincinnati Bengals DEF CIN Cincinnati Bengals DEF CIN
Cam Newton QB CAR Indianapolis Colts DEF IND Indianapolis Colts DEF IND
Tom Brady QB NWE St. Louis Rams DEF STL St. Louis Rams DEF STL
Devonta Freeman RB ATL Pittsburgh Steelers DEF PIT Pittsburgh Steelers DEF PIT
DeAngelo Williams RB PIT Cam Newton QB CAR Kansas City Chiefs DEF KAN
Tim Hightower RB NOR Tom Brady QB NWE New England Patriots DEF NWE
Darren McFadden RB DAL Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT Carolina Panthers DEF CAR
Rob Gronkowski TE NWE Russell Wilson QB SEA Cam Newton QB CAR
Greg Olsen TE CAR Drew Brees QB NOR Tom Brady QB NWE
Julio Jones WR ATL Devonta Freeman RB ATL Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT
DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU DeAngelo Williams RB PIT Russell Wilson QB SEA
Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG Tim Hightower RB NOR Drew Brees QB NOR
Antonio Brown WR PIT Darren McFadden RB DAL Ryan Fitzpatrick QB NYJ
Brandon Marshall WR NYJ David Johnson RB ARI Matthew Stafford QB DET
Jarvis Landry WR MIA Latavius Murray RB OAK Carson Palmer QB ARI
Sammy Watkins WR BUF Danny Woodhead RB SDG Devonta Freeman RB ATL
Eric Decker WR NYJ Adrian Peterson RB MIN DeAngelo Williams RB PIT
      Frank Gore RB IND Tim Hightower RB NOR
      Javorius Allen RB BAL Darren McFadden RB DAL
      Rob Gronkowski TE NWE David Johnson RB ARI
      Greg Olsen TE CAR Latavius Murray RB OAK
      Zach Miller TE CHI Danny Woodhead RB SDG
      Delanie Walker TE TEN Adrian Peterson RB MIN
      Zach Ertz TE PHI Frank Gore RB IND
      Julio Jones WR ATL Javorius Allen RB BAL
      DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU Doug Martin RB TAM
      Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG Ronnie Hillman RB DEN
      Antonio Brown WR PIT Chris Ivory RB NYJ
      Brandon Marshall WR NYJ Lamar Miller RB MIA
      Jarvis Landry WR MIA Darren Sproles RB PHI
      Sammy Watkins WR BUF Matt Forte RB CHI
      Eric Decker WR NYJ Rob Gronkowski TE NWE
      Brandin Cooks WR NOR Greg Olsen TE CAR
      A.J. Green WR CIN Zach Miller TE CHI
      Doug Baldwin WR SEA Delanie Walker TE TEN
      Demaryius Thomas WR DEN Zach Ertz TE PHI
      Mike Evans WR TAM Gary Barnidge TE CLE
      Jordan Matthews WR PHI Jordan Reed TE WAS
      Calvin Johnson WR DET Antonio Gates TE SDG
      Golden Tate WR DET Julio Jones WR ATL
      Willie Snead IV WR NOR DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU
      Jeremy Maclin WR KAN Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG
      Allen Robinson WR JAC Antonio Brown WR PIT
      Allen Hurns WR JAC Brandon Marshall WR NYJ
            Jarvis Landry WR MIA
            Sammy Watkins WR BUF
            Eric Decker WR NYJ
            Brandin Cooks WR NOR
            A.J. Green WR CIN
            Doug Baldwin WR SEA
            Demaryius Thomas WR DEN
            Mike Evans WR TAM
            Jordan Matthews WR PHI
            Calvin Johnson WR DET
            Golden Tate WR DET
            Willie Snead IV WR NOR
            Jeremy Maclin WR KAN
            Allen Robinson WR JAC
            Allen Hurns WR JAC
            Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN
            Kamar Aiken WR BAL
            Keshawn Martin WR NWE
            Michael Crabtree WR OAK
            Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI
            Michael Floyd WR ARI
            John Brown WR ARI
            T.Y. Hilton WR IND
            Martavis Bryant WR PIT
            James Jones WR GNB
            Amari Cooper WR OAK
            Stefon Diggs WR MIN


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