DFS: FanDuel Week 17, Focus on Players in Great Matchups With Something on the Line

Week 17 of the NFL of season traditionally has it’s fantasy pitfalls as marquee players on teams who have already clinched their seeding in the playoffs frequently rest. This year, there is still a lot up in the air with both playoffs spots and home-field advantage left to claim for many teams. For the most part, we focused on building a DFS lineup with players that are fighting for those coveted playoff spots and have great matchups.

QB Patrick Mahomes (KC, $9,500) has scored an average of 27.4 FanDuel points a game this season. He scored 33 points against the Raiders in Week 13 and now faces them again in a game where the AFC West title and a first-round bye is likely on the line. Mahomes has thrown 48 passing TDs, 12 more than anyone else. The Raiders have surrendered a league-high 34 passing TDs.


RB Damien Williams (KC, $6,900) has averaged 21.93 FanDuel points over the last three weeks since he took over RB Kareem Hunt. That includes a low of 17 point performance against Ravens’ third-best run defense (85.1 rushing yards per game allowed). Williams faces the Raiders who have the third-worst rushing defense (143.1 rushing yards per game allowed).

RB Chris Carson (SEA, $6,400) is now the undisputed Seahawks workhorse RB. Over the last three games, Carson has 71 carries for 325 yards and four TDs. Carson faces the league-worst run defense in the Cardinals. The Cardinals have allowed an average of 153.1 rushing yards a game, and have allowed 23 rushing TDs, both a league-high.

RB Royce Freeman (DEN, $4,700) will be the lead back for the Broncos with RB Philip Lindsay (wrist, out). Freeman will face the Chargers. In a limited role in Week 12, against the Bolts, Freeman and seven carries for 23 yards and a TD. Lindsay had 11 carries for 78 yards and two TDs in that game.

Note: Denver (6-9) is not in the playoff picture, but a win over the Chargers would prevent the Bolts from capturing the AFC West title if the Chiefs were to be upset by the Raiders. This is also an excellent opportunity for Freeman to showcase his talent without competing with Lindsay for touches.


WR Mike Evans (TB, $7,300) has averaged of 8.7 targets per game, eleventh highest among WRs. Evans has one of the best CB matchups possible in Falcons Robert Alford who has allowed a whopping 2.41 points per target. Evans (6’5”) has a seven-inch height advantage over Alford (5’10). Alford’s poor play is a big reason why the Falcons have allowed s seventh worst 29 receiving TDs.

Note: Atlanta (6-9) at Tampa Bay (5-10) is not a game that counts. This makes Evans for the price a bit of a risky play in Week 17. However, we still think QB Jameis Winston (TB, $7,600) has something to prove after a couple of times being benched this season. The game has one of the highest over/under predictions at 51 points and is expected to be close with the Buccaneers having a projected score of 25 points. This could turn into a back and forth shootout with Evans taking advantage of his matchup.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT, $7,900) has had at least nine targets with an average of 12.6 targets over the last five games. For the season, he is now the fourth-most targeted WR with 1 10.4 average. Teammate WR Antonio Brown leads the league with an 11.3 target average but is suffering from a sore knee and is listed as questionable after not practicing this week.

This means it’s incredibly likely Smith-Schuster will meet or exceed the 12.6 targets he has recently averaged this week the Bengals. Cincinnati has allowed a second-worst 31 receiving TDs, and a fifth-highest 286.7 receiving yards. This is a must-win game for the Steelers (8-6-1) if they have any chance at the playoffs.


WR Mike Williams (LAC, $5,700) will likely be very low owned because he had only one catch for seven yards against the Ravens last week. The week prior against the Chiefs, Williams scored 33 FanDuel points. That performance included seven receptions for 76 yards, two receiving TDs, a rushing TD, and game-winning two-point conversion.

Williams faces CB Isaac Yiadom who has allowed 1.79 points per target. In a game that the Chargers must win if they have any chance of winning the AFC West, look for Williams to be targeted in the red zone.

“Mike Williams has a solid matchup against Yiadom,” wrote Mike Woellert in his weekly WR vs. CB Matchup Analysis at 4for4. “He’s been responsible for two scores over 26 targets and is allowing 16.2 yards per catch, resulting in 1.8 fantasy points per target. Williams has a slight height advantage, so all Philip Rivers needs to do is throw the ball up and let Williams go up and get it.”


TE Travis Kelce (KC, $7,700) scored a massive season-high 32.8 FanDuel points in 12 against the Raiders. Now he faces them again with the NFL single-season TE receiving record in his sights. Kelce (1,274 yards) needs just 53 yards to catch Rob Gronkowski (1,327 yards in 2011). Kelce, however, will not be able to letup if he gets the record because 49ers TE George Kittle (1,228 yards) is just 46 yards behind him. Both Kelce and Kittle ($6,700) play in the later games.


The Buffalo Bills ($3,700) have the second-best team defense with just 298.7 total yards allowed per game. The Bills have the best passing defense with only 182.7 passing yards allowed. The Bills have the Dolphins who have only managed 294.2 total yards per game and 184,9 passing yards, both third worst.

Dan McLellan’s Main Slate and Sunday Million Lineup:

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