This article is part of our DFS NFL series.
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FINAL WEEK STRATEGY
Rather than review last week's selections, I'm going to put extra effort in laying out an ideal strategy to tackle for the Week 17 slate, which presents its own unique set of challenges. I think the safest way to approach Week 17 is to focus on teams that have something to play for. Teams that are out of the playoffs (or locked into their playoff position) will likely usher in a host of backup players. If one of these backups can bink a category - good for them. When faced between a backup or a target who needs to perform for a playoff position, I'm going to take the latter over a backup every time. We have to just accept the fact that one of these guys could explode and our square could be ruined.
Here's a list of teams that have something to play for this weekend:
New England, Kansas City, Houston, Tennessee, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Minnesota, Dallas
I'm likely to fade the Bills and Saints from this group, as both teams play in games that they could win decisively, which could lead to resting players in the fourth quarter.
Week 17 Targets
QB Passing Yards
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF at SEA
This game against the Seahawks will decide the NFC West, and I favor Jimmy G over Russell Wilson in this matchup due to the 49ers league-leading defense.
Josh Allen, BUF Vs. NYJ
Of the quarterbacks with a purpose in Week 17, Allen possesses the most upside in terms of yardage, especially against the porous Jets secondary. While he didn't lock up this category once this season, I think he's a pretty reasonable candidate considering the situation. The only thing that could move me off this pick is the weather, which might come into play.
QB Passes Completed
Carson Wentz, PHI at NYG
The Eagles currently leads the NFC East, but Philadelphia needs to get a win Sunday to clinch the division, so I expect Wentz to connect several times. With a sputtering run game, Wentz should find the most success pushing the ball down the field with a lot of short passes to pad his total in this category.
I also think Garoppolo is a great pick for this category.
RB Rushing Yards
Derrick Henry, TEN @ HOU
Texans coach Bill O'Brien said this week that they don't plan on tanking this game, and the Titans desperately need this win to make the playoffs. This should be a hotly-contested matchup and Henry should get enough opportunities for 100+ yards and a touchdown to be reasonable targets.
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. WAS
I definitely gave some thought to the Pats' runners in this category, but I think Elliott against the weak Redskins defense was too good of a spot to pass up. I suspect we'll see a lot of the field select Elliott, but we don't really care about exposure in this format.
RB Receiving Yards
Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. NO
Will Grier will definitely need a security blanket against the Saints, and as the core of Carolina's offense, it's reasonable to assume that McCaffrey will post a high total here.
Alvin Kamara, CAR @ NO
I'll take Kamara on the other side of this matchup, in hopes that they don't bench him late in the game.
WR Receiving Yards
Tyreek Hill, KC vs. LAC
The Chargers are in a death spiral that's probably a major morale suck for the whole team, and I think the usually decent defense will cave against Patrick Mahomes, which will lead to a big game from Hill.
Stefon Diggs, MIN vs. CHI
Despite facing a tough Chicago defense, I think Kirk Cousins will rise to the occasion and get the ball to Diggs, who's known for his late-season heroics.
Michael Thomas leads this category by a mile. If he plays a full game, you'd be a fool to not consider him this week.
This category has been the bane of our collective existence throughout the season, but let's look at the numbers and try to figure out two reasonable picks.
My other pick is a little more difficult, but I will go with season-long volume and take Harrison Butker.
Defense Points Allowed
Remember that we are strictly looking for points allowed, so we are trying to identify blowouts and goose-eggs.
I'm going with the Bills against the Jets and the Ravens against the Steelers.