NFL DFS Picks Week 17: Best sleepers, value players for DraftKings, FanDuel daily fantasy football lineups
Season’s greetings, Sporting Nation! We hope you had a fun, festive, and COVID-free Christmas filled with food, family, and good (daily) fantasy football fortune! If your season-long redraft team is still standing for championship week, congrats and good luck taking home the ‘chip! If you’re dead in the water like I am across my four leagues, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here every week NFL football is played, and we make money every week by highlighting sleepers and values for DFS tournaments on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Every Tuesday this year, we’ve been highlighting our favorite under-the-radar plays. We scour the player pools on the two most popular DFS sites and compile a list of players who we project to greatly exceed their modest price tags. By pinpointing value early and often when setting our DFS lineups, we afford ourselves upgrades at other positions.
If you read this column ahead of Week 16, you would have benefited from our advice to grab a plethora of low-cost, high-value players for your classic DFS lineups. Here’s our “nice lis” from last week — a group of dudes who spread the holiday cheer and brought home the bacon for tens of thousands of contestants (Week 16 matchups, costs and output are listed).
- Russell Wilson, Seahawks vs. Bears (DK: $6,100 | FD: $7,500): 20.54
- David Montgomery, Bears at Seahawks (DK: $5,700 | FD: $6,600): 23.6
- Ronald Jones II, Buccaneers at Panthers (DK: $5,100 | FD: $5,400): 16.1
- Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions at Falcons (DK: $5,600 | FD: $6,500): 26.0
- Antonio Brown, Buccaneers at Panthers (DK: $4,900 | FD: $7,000): 20.1
- Jared Cook, Chargers at Texans (DK: $3,500 | FD: $5,100): 9.4
- Broncos D/ST at Raiders (DK: $2,800 | FD: $3,800): 10.0
That’s a tidy list of seven low-cost, high-value DFS plays. If you hit on any of these, you bought yourself elite-level production without paying top-shelf prices. By capitalizing on sleepers and values, you likely afforded yourself a stud at another position spot.
We’ve been slaying with these budget plays all year, and we’re ready to start the New Year off right by putting some more money in our pockets. So, let’s get to it!
All player values are from DraftKings and FanDuel. All stats are from NFL.com and Pro Football Reference.
NFL DFS Picks Week 17: QB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Joe Burrow, Bengals vs. Chiefs (DK: $6,900 | FD: $7,700)
The No. 1 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft went bananas last week, completing 37-of-46 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns. Show ‘em how you really feel about that Pro Bowl snub, Joe! Hot damn, was he good, finishing with 41 fantasy points and rocketing his cost from $5,900 to $6,900. But in my opinion, a red-hot Burrow in a late-season surge is well worth anything under $7,500. The Chiefs rank 27th in fantasy points allowed to QBs this season. Here’s hoping Joe saved some of that Pro Bowl ire for Week 17.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles at WFT (DK: $6,600 | FD: $7,900)
When the Eagles win, it’s usually because Hurts put them on his back. Since Week 10, Philadelphia has won four of the five games the stud second-year QB has started, and he’s averaged 24.1 fantasy points in those wins. The Philly faithful must be ecstatic to have Hurts back to full health in time for the home stretch of the playoff race. Next on the docket is WFT, who ranks dead last in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins at Titans (DK: $5,800 | FD: $6,700)
It’s been Tua Time for seven consecutive weeks now, but somehow nobody’s talking about it because the actual stats have been less than stellar. Well, Tennessee has a secondary that ranks in the bottom-third in the NFL, and Tagovailoa plays well in warmer-weather conditions. Both these squads have huge playoff implications surrounding this game. I expect the second-year QB to finish closer to 20 fantasy points than his average of 16.
NFL DFS Picks Week 17: RB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Damien Harris, Patriots vs. Jaguars (DK: $6,600 | FD: $7,400)
Here’s another guy who might not qualify as a “sleeper,” but he’s absolutely a value at $6,600. Harris has posted 51.4 total points (all on the ground) over the course of his past two games. Now, he gets to feast on a Jacksonville defense that ranks 24th in rushing yards allowed (123.4/game) and 28th in rushing TDs allowed (18) on the season. Harris has 857 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, and he has a good chance of getting to 1,000 yards and 15 TDs by the end of the season. This week will play a large part in those feats.
Ronald Jones II, Buccaneers at Jets (DK: $6,300 | FD: $7,000)
Jones stepped up in a major way for the Bucs last week after starting back Leonard Fournette hit the IR with a hamstring injury. RoJo turned 22 touches into 81 yards and a score in Tampa’s easy victory over Carolina, translating into 16.1 PPR points. He should be even better this week considering the Jets rank dead last in fantasy points allowed to the running back position. I know Tom Brady loves to destroy Gang Green, but I also think he’ll have no qualms handing the ball to Jones 20 more times to milk the clock.
Chase Edmonds, Cardinals at Cowboys (DK: $5,700 | FD: $6,500)
Edmonds was absent due to an ankle injury from Week 10 through Week 14, but he looked fully healed in Week 16. Starting in place of James Conner (heel), who had blossomed with 16 touchdowns and a Pro Bowl nod as the Cards’ lead back, Edmonds put up a huge line against Indy. He rushed 16 times for 56 yards and a TD and caught eight-of-nine passes for another 71 yards. If Conner sits again, Edmonds is a no-brainer against the Cowboys, who have been susceptible to pass-catching backs this season.
NFL DFS Picks Week 17: WR sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins at Titans (DK: $6,700 | FD: $7,000)
Waddle’s emergence into superstardom has directly correlated with the late-season success of Tagovailoa and the Dolphins. The explosive rookie has caught at least nine passes in three straight games, accumulating a massive 319 yards in that span. How is this kid not listed at $7,000 on DraftKings? He just put up 25.2 PPR points in New Orleans, and now he draws the second-most generous secondary in fantasy football. Take the money and run.
DeVonta Smith, Eagles at WFT (DK: $6,300 | FD: $6,100)
I guess it’s stack week, as this is the second case in which I stacked a second-year QB with his rookie wideout. Smith and Hurts have a mind meld dating back to their collegiate careers at Alabama, and I think their success will go hand-in-hand from here on out this season. The rookie hauled in five-of-seven passes for 80 yards and a TD in Philly’s Week 16 romp of the Giants. He should inflict similar damage upon WFT, who rank 30th in PPR points allowed to receivers.
Christian Kirk, Cardinals at Cowboys (DK: $5,800 | FD: $6,400)
If the Cardinals are going to finish this season strong, they will need Kirk to step up in a major way with DeAndre Hopkins (knee) on the IR. The fourth-year wideout did just that in Week 15, catching nine-of-12 targets for 94 yards and a score. His fantasy numbers were much more pedestrian in Week 16, but that’s primarily because Indy limited the deep ball (you’ll still take seven catches on nine targets for $5,600 most days). Dallas has an above-average front-seven led by rookie phenom Micah Parsons, but the Cowboys secondary still surrenders plenty of big plays. This is a great play in a game that should be a shootout.
NFL DFS Picks Week 17: TE sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Dawson Knox, Bills vs. Falcons (DK: $5,500 | FD: $6,200)
Knox was pretty quiet last week, but he did find the end zone for the second time in three weeks and fourth time since Week 12. With the Bills knocking off the Pats last weekend to secure the top spot in the AFC East, Josh Allen will be looking to preserve that position. Knox should see plenty of usage against a Falcons back-seven that perennially struggles in pass coverage.
Gerald Everett, Seahawks vs. Lions (DK: $4,100 | FD: $5,200)
Everett has been a silent assassin in the intermediate passing game lately, reaching double digits in fantasy points three straight weeks and hitting 14 points three times since Week 10. He’s clearly a security blanket for Russell Wilson, who has connected with him for four catches and/or a touchdown in five straight games. Detroit ranks 23rd in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.
NFL DFS Picks Week 17: D/ST sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Saints vs. Panthers (DK: $3,400 | FD: $4,700)
New Orleans got beat up by the Dolphins on Monday, but that was largely because it was down three QBs to injury and COVID protocols. The Saints D still only allowed 14 offensive points and finished with six fantasy points. Against a mistake-prone, Cam Newton/Sam Darnold-led offense, this should be a double-digit performance by Sean Payton’s defensive unit.