- Week 17 is always tricky on the DFS landscape. These four players should be safe plays and provide a major return on investment.
Week 17 is arguably the most unique DFS slate of the year because the variables with playoff scenarios and teams resting their starters come into play. With so many situations where players could unexpectedly be pulled from a game, cash game lineups should be built around players on teams that are motivated to win—those that need to win to have a chance to get into the playoffs or improve their playoff seeding.
Teams that plan on resting their starters include the Rams, Eagles, Chiefs and Steelers. The Jaguars are locked into the 3 seed in the AFC but have said that they plan to play their starters and try to win, although that’s still a situation of which DFS players should be cautious.
The following will highlight the most notable values from the 4for4 Lineup Generator for both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Editor’s note: “Value” doesn’t necessarily mean inexpensive, but rather the best bang for your DFS buck. These players, regardless of price tag, project to give you the most production per dollar this week.
Derrick Henry ($5,800) vs. Jaguars
Most of the cheap players that are being thrust into starting roles this week are on teams that are resting their starters, adding a level of risk since they’ll be surrounded by fellow backups. With DeMarco Murray’s torn MCL, however, Henry is in a unique situation. He’s a starter-quality player, and he’ll be playing with Tennessee’s regulars, with the Titans needing a win on Sunday to get into the playoffs. Tennessee is favored by 3.5 points and faces a defense that funnels fantasy points to running backs—Jacksonville ranks in the top 10 in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to every position except running back, where it ranks 25th. This sets up perfectly for a Titans offense that ranks in the top 10 in rush rate when the game is within a single score and has the second-highest rush rate in the red zone.
Tyrod Taylor ($7,300) at Dolphins
The Bills are in a situation where they can still make the playoffs with a win and some help, and they face a Dolphins defense that ranks 24th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, when adjusted for strength of schedule. Since Taylor reclaimed his starting role, only six teams have thrown at a higher rate in the red zone than the Bills, and Miami has allowed the highest touchdown rate to opposing passers inside the 20. With the third-most rushing yards at his position this season, Taylor adds an extra level of safety in terms of a fantasy floor.
Jamaal Williams ($5,200) at Lions
Williams projects as 4for4’s top overall value against a Lions defense that ranks 30th in schedule-adjusted points allowed to running backs. Only one team has allowed more total touchdowns than to running backs than the Lions this year, and Green Bay is in a situation where they should try to run the ball as much as possible. WIth Brett Hundley under center, the Packers have ran 47.7% of the time in neutral game script, a rush rate that would have ranked fifth among all teams over the course of the season. With Davante Adams likely out again in Week 17, and Darius Slay shadowing Jordy Nelson, Williams should repeat the 93% snap share that he saw last week.
Rob Gronkowski ($7,000) vs. Jets
Despite his lofty price tag, Gronkowski projects as the top non-running back value of the week. With Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce resting, Gronk is the one player who can lap the field at his position in a game that the Patriots have to win to secure the top seed in the AFC. New England is projected by Vegas to score this most points this week, and only two teams have allowed more touchdowns to tight ends than the Jets.