Yahoo DFS Football: Week 17 Picks
Yahoo DFS Football: Week 17 Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Football series.


QB: Tom Brady (NE, $40)

After throwing a total of two touchdown passes in a three-game stretch that ended in Week 15, Brady may finally be seeing lower ownership percentages in weekly tourneys. However, each of those three games were on the road, and not only are the Pats in a really-like-to-win (if not quite a must-win) situation this week, they'll be playing at home. In addition, he'll be facing a Jets defense that's been nails against the run, but hemorrhaging fantasy production to QBs. With the New England coaching staff always ready to pounce on an opponent's weakness, look for Brady to carry the team on his shoulders this week.

RB: Christian McCaffrey (CAR, $24)

It's true that the Falcons have been an excellent defense against the run this year. Despite the apparent team strength, their one glaring weakness has been stopping running backs who catch the ball. Well, the Panthers aren't typically too committed to getting McCaffrey the ball as a runner, but they sure like to funnel plenty of passes his way when the matchup looks good. When he faced this defense in November, he caught five passes, but he actually had his best game of the year on the ground. In that contest, he piled up 93 total yards and a TD, and playing on the fast track inside the dome in Atlanta this week is making him look like a great upside option.

WR: T.Y. Hilton (IND, $23)

It was no fluke when Hilton lit up the Houston defense for 175 yards and two TDs on the road earlier in the season. The main reason is that the Texans have been awful in the secondary for the majority of the season. In addition, they have very little in the way of a consistent pass rush since losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus early in the year. Those two components are the main reason why Hilton is a fantastic tournament option this week, but it also helps that he'll be at home, where he's enjoyed many of the biggest performances of his career.

Other Against-the-Grainers

QB: Matt Ryan, (ATL, $30), Jacoby Brissett (IND, $26)
RB: Jamaal Williams (GB, $23), Derrick Henry (TEN, $21), Mark Ingram (NO, $35)
WR: Keenan Allen (LAC, $34), Jamison Crowder (WAS, $21), Brandin Cooks (NE, $23)
TE: Greg Olsen (CAR, $21), Vernon Davis (WAS, $17)
DST: Detroit Lions ($19), Kansas City Chiefs ($20)



Matthew Stafford (DET, $34)

Even though the Lions will have nothing to play for, they'll almost certainly look to end the season on a high note at home against their division rivals from Green Bay. The Packers have been dreadful in the secondary for most of the season, but they've also had injuries further decimate an already poor unit. Since the Lions have next to nothing working for them in the running game, this should be a game that they lean heavily upon the pass. As a result, Stafford should be able to have a very solid day, as each of his WRs have matchup advantages.

Running Back

Kenyan Drake (MIA, $32)

A couple weeks ago, Drake had a very solid performance, as he posted 113 combined yards and a TD at Buffalo. It seemed clear in that game that the Dolphins were having a letdown in a short-week road contest after a huge win over the Patriots. However, in the season finale, they'll be at home against the same Bills defense, and this time, there shouldn't be any excuses. Miami will have a solid chance to play in a close game and maybe even one in which they have a lead in the second half. Consider his previous performance against them as a baseline, though there's room for improvement as well.

LeSean McCoy (BUF, $34)

Thanks to the NFL offices, all games with playoff implications will be played at the same time. That'll ensure that the Bills will be playing with a chance to make the playoffs. There's no doubt that on the road at Miami, the best way for them to win will be trusting the one player on their offense who's capable of single-handedly taking over a football game. It'll also help that he'll be facing the second worst defense against the run over the last six weeks, so look for Shady to end the regular season with a strong performance.

Wide Receiver

Golden Tate (DET, $21)

In the season finale, Tate has an excellent matchup against the struggling Green Bay secondary. When he faced them on the road earlier this season, he caught seven of nine targets for 113 yards. He also was very productive the last time he faced them in 2016, when he hauled in six passes for 77 yards and a score. With the Lions unlikely to waste much time with their anemic rushing attack, look for Stafford to avoid the Packers pass rush by targeting Tate in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field, which should lead to another strong performance.

Adam Thielen (MIN, $30)

There's no question that Thielen's been one of the best receivers in the league this year. That said, he's had a three mediocre (or worse) performances over the last four games, but the game script simply took away opportunities that kept him from producing in those contests. Since Week 6, he's been regularly seeing double-digit targets, and with him being so difficult to defend, he typically turns volume into high-level production. With the Vikings facing the Bears this week, they could struggle to run the ball, which should lead to them leaning on the passing attack, making Thielen one of the best choices for a combination of high floor and high ceiling.

Tight End

Travis Kelce (KC, $25)

Between teams who have nothing to play for and other tight ends with negative matchups, sometimes it's best to go with the obvious choice. Kelce's facing a Denver defense that not only has been one of the worst against the tight end over the course of the season, but one he shredded for 133 yards and a TD in Week 9. Even though this is a road divisional game, the Broncos are unlikely to be motivated in Week 17 of a lost year while the Chiefs will be looking to head into the playoffs on a roll, and that should mean plenty of passes to Kelce.

Defense/Special Teams

New England Patriots ($18)

This is a game the Pats need to give them the No. 1 seed, and home-field advantage, throughout the AFC playoffs, and they'll face off against an overmatched backup QB in Bryce Petty. Look for a game plan that stops the run and forces Petty to throw the football, and that'll play right into the Patriots' hands as they'll disguise coverages, which should lead to a fair number of sacks and takeaways.

Honorable Mentions

QB: Cam Newton (CAR, $37), Case Keenum (MIN, $34)
RB: Frank Gore (IND, $20), Alex Collins (BAL, $28), Alvin Kamara (NO, $37)
WR: A.J. Green (CIN, $23), DeAndre Hopkins (HOU, $40), Marvin Jones (DET, $27)
TE: Antonio Gates (LAC, $19), Kyle Rudolph (MIN, $18)
DST: Los Angeles Chargers ($19), New Orleans Saints ($18)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jim Coventry plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mvp1986, DraftKings: mvp1986.
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Jim Coventry
Coventry covers football for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.
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