Yahoo DFS Football: Week 17 Picks

Yahoo DFS Football: Week 17 Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Football series.

The Week 17 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EDT and features all 32 teams. It's important to consider which teams still have something to play for and which ones will be taking their foot off the gas to prepare for the playoffs as you try to finish the DFS regular season on a high note. With that in mind, some of the standout Week 17 options include a pair of wide receivers with double-digit touchdown totals, a fill-in starter at running back and a much-maligned defense.

TOURNAMENTS (GPP – GUARANTEED PRIZE POOL)

QB: Deshaun Watson, HOU vs. TEN ($34): Watson hurt his throwing hand late in last week's game, but he intends to play through the injury, and the star quarterback should shine if the injury doesn't limit him as the Texans try to play spoiler. He took a few weeks to adjust to life without DeAndre Hopkins at the beginning of the season, but Watson has eclipsed 300 passing yards in nine of his last 12 games heading into this home date with a Titans defense that's tied for the second-most passing touchdowns allowed (33). Watson threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort in Tennessee in Week 6, and he's capable of posting a repeat performance at home, as Houston will have no qualms about trying to win considering Miami owns the Texans' first-round pick in the upcoming draft.

RB: Malcolm Brown, LAR vs. ARI ($18): With Darrell Henderson on IR due to a high-ankle sprain and Cam Akers battling a high-ankle sprain of his own, Brown could be the lone healthy Rams running back in this battle for a playoff spot against the Cardinals. With the Rams turning to backup John Wolford under center with Jared Goff (thumb) unavailable, look for coach Sean McVay to draw up a conservative game plan and rely on the running game and defense. With a heavy workload against a Cardinals defense that just gave up over 200 yards to San Francisco's Jeff Wilson and has allowed 16 scrimmage touchdowns to running backs overall, Brown should outperform his modest $18 valuation.

WR: DJ Moore, CAR vs. NO ($20): Moore has demonstrated explosive upside in posting his second consecutive 1,000-yard season, topping 90 yards in half of his 14 games played, including a 93-yard, two-touchdown performance in New Orleans during Week 7. With pass-catching running backs Christian McCaffrey (quadriceps) and Mike Davis (ankle) already ruled out and fellow wide receiver Robby Anderson (groin) not practicing to start the week, Moore's in line to benefit from a heavy target share. Even if Anderson suits up, Moore should deliver strong bang for the buck considering that of the 14 players who have over 1,000 receiving yards this season, only Anderson ($18) and Dallas' Amari Cooper ($18) are cheaper than Moore.

Other Against-the-Grainers

QB: Jalen Hurts (PHI, $31), John Wolford (LAR, $20), Aaron Rodgers (GB, $38)

RB: Austin Ekeler (LAC, $23), Dare Ogunbowale (JAX, $16), AJ Dillon (GB, $14)

WR: Marvin Jones (DET, $20), Corey Davis (TEN, $25), Chad Hansen (HOU, $17)

TE: Jack Doyle (IND, $12), Chris Herndon (NYJ, $10)

DST: Miami Dolphins (at BUF, $19), Los Angeles Rams (vs. ARI, $18)

CASH GAMES (H2H, 50/50s and DOUBLE UPS)

QUARTERBACK

Tom Brady, TB vs. ATL ($33): Brady's heating up down the stretch, with multiple touchdown passes in each of his last six games and over 340 passing yards in four of those. With seeding still at stake for his Buccaneers, Brady should play without limitations against a Falcons defense that's allowing the second-most passing yards per game, including 390 to Brady two weeks ago. With arguably the league's most impressive group of pass catchers to throw to, Brady should pick the vulnerable Atlanta secondary apart and build momentum heading into the playoffs.

RUNNING BACK

Jonathan Taylor, IND vs. JAX ($29): The Colts are this week's biggest favorites, as they're expected to top the Jaguars by two touchdowns. Indianapolis needs a win and some help to get into the playoffs, so the team will have no reason to let up against a Jacksonville squad that comes in having lost 14 straight. That should mean a heavy dose of Taylor, who has 398 yards and five touchdowns on 67 carries to go with nine catches for 71 yards on 10 targets over the last four games.

Alexander Mattison, MIN at DET ($17): Mattison's set to return from a concussion just in time to fill in for Dalvin Cook (personal) against a Lions team that seemingly decided to pack it in for the year a few weeks ago, getting outscored 93-32 in its last two games. Cook racked up 206 yards on the ground and two touchdowns when these teams met back in Week 9, and even half of that production against a Detroit defense that has allowed a league-high 26 scrimmage touchdowns to running backs would make Mattison a tremendous value play at just $17.

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Brown, TEN at HOU ($29): Brown was held in check at snowy Lambeau Field last week, but he still has 10 touchdowns in his last 12 games, including a pair against the Texans in Week 6. Houston's 21 touchdowns allowed to wide receivers are tied for second most in the league, and Tennessee needs a win to secure the AFC South title, so expect the Titans to target their top receiver early and often in this favorable matchup. Ryan Tannehill has looked Brown's way at least seven times in all but three of Brown's appearances this season, and Brown was targeted six times in two of those other three games.

Mike Evans, TB vs. ATL ($31): Brady's strong performance down the stretch has coincided with an uptick in production from Evans, who has caught 16 of 19 targets for 291 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games and has been targeted at least nine times in four of the last six. Evans' 13 receiving touchdowns are fourth in the league behind Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill and Adam Thielen, so Tampa Bay's top receiver is usually able to salvage a poor performance yardage-wise by finding the end zone. Racking up yards shouldn't be a problem in this one though, as Atlanta is one of three teams – along with Seattle and Detroit – that has allowed over 3,000 yards to wide receivers this season.  

Darius Slayton, NYG vs. DAL ($13): Slayton is a nice upside pick against a Cowboys defense that has been burned for a league-high 25 touchdowns by wide receivers, which is at least four more than any other team. The speedster has at least eight targets in each of the past three games, and while Slayton has only caught nine of 25 targets in that stretch, that volume is encouraging ahead of what promises to be a more favorable matchup. He set season highs in targets (11), catches (eight) and receiving yards (129) when these teams met back in Week 5, and Slayton's 11 touchdowns in less than two full NFL seasons suggest he has the big-play ability to provide massive rewards at his minuscule valuation in a game the Giants must win to have any hope for a playoff spot.

TIGHT END

Mark Andrews, BAL at CIN ($24): Andrews failed to replicate last season's success for much of this campaign but has found a groove recently, with at least five catches and over 60 yards in each of his last five games. He's also among the league's premier red-zone threats, with 17 touchdowns in 28 games dating back to the start of last season. Baltimore needs a win to secure a playoff spot and likely won't get by on its running game alone against a Bengals team that has won two in a row. Andrews has been the leading figure when the team turns to the air of late, and that should remain the case against a  defense that has allowed 960 receiving yards to tight ends – second most in the league.

DEFENSE

New York Jets, NYJ at NE ($11): You'll need to cut costs somewhere to afford the likes of Evans or Andrews, and defense is a logical spot to look for those savings. Jets-Patriots has this week's lowest over/under at 39.5 points, and New York's defense has actually played well during the team's two-game winning streak following an 0-13 start. This unit has scored 17.0 fantasy points while racking up seven sacks against the Rams and Browns over the past two weeks, and it now draws a Patriots team that's averaging 8.0 points per game in its last three. At just $1 above the minimum price, this unit is a sneaky-good value play.

Honorable Mentions

QB: Lamar Jackson (BAL, $34), Kirk Cousins (MIN, $34), Derek Carr (LV, $27)

RB: Derrick Henry (TEN, $42), David Montgomery (CHI, $29), Ty Johnson (NYJ, $12)

WR: Justin Jefferson (MIN, $30), Brandin Cooks (HOU, $24), T.Y. Hilton (IND, $22)

TE: Logan Thomas (WAS, $20), Noah Fant (DEN, $17)

DST: Arizona Cardinals (at LAR, $19), Cleveland Browns (vs. PIT, $12)

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. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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