Geek’s Vegas Lines – Week 17 Daily Fantasy Football Breakdowns for Fanduel and Draftkings

Welcome back to the final full slate of the 2016 NFL season. It’s been a roller-coaster season for the most part and we get to do one more full slate before the playoffs. Some of you have been messaging me about the playoffs and if I will be back. The answer is yes. I do plan to put something together for all three playoff week slates. That may be this column, or I may just do a VIP only podcast and picks. Not sure just yet but there will be something. Week 17 is all about trying to figure out which teams have something to play for and which teams have thrown in the towel. I’ll cover all of that in the breakdowns. My DFS philosophy is to ignore the head coaches blurbs this week. They often lie. Instead, we will simply avoid any situations that could be questionable. Some people will tell you that week 17 is the toughest week of the season for DFS. I see it differently. People love to get “too cute” in DFS. They are going to take shots with big name players that may or may not get a full workload (Zeke Elliott?) just to be contrarian. Our strategy this week is to do the opposite. Let’s not get cute and completely fade players in games where there is a chance they will be rested.


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Week 17 Strategy

I’m reiterating this in case you skipped the opening paragraph. Don’t get cute this week. Focus on teams with something to play for. Fully fade teams in the playoffs with nothing to play for. Approach eliminated teams with caution and avoid veterans or frequently injured or banged up players in those games. Most important, don’t believe the coaches that are all saying how they are going all out to win this week. Blah, Blah Bullshit. They lie. I’ll post a blurb about each team and what they have on the line in the breakdowns as well.


At Tennessee -3 Houston 40.5

Playoff Implications – None. The Titans are eliminated and the Texans are locked into a home game in the first round.

This one looks ugly on paper. Last week Mariotta broke his leg and is done for the season. That limits the Titans in what already looked like a bad matchup. I’m sure Lamar Miller will be rested this week as well.

For the Titans, we could see them give Henry some extra snaps at RB just to get the youngster some extra work. Realistically with the QB hurt and nothing to play for this is a prime quit situation for the Titans Defense. Their offense likely will not be able to sustain drives in this one which further points to a late game quit.

Looking at the Texans, it wouldn’t shock me to see them roll with the starting cast for the full game here. Savage didn’t look good last week and he needs all the work he can get if they are going to have any chance to advance in the playoffs. I’m probably not using anyone from this game but Hopkins could be usable here in a plus matchup. I expect Alfred Blue to get the bulk of the carries. He’ll make for a sneaky DFS play.

Elite Plays: None

Tournament: Alfred Blue, Texans Defense, Deandre Hopkins


Buffalo -6 At NY Jets 44

Playoff implications: None, both teams eliminated

The Jets season comes to a merciful conclusion facing a Bills team that they dominated in week 3. Neither team has any reason to rest their starters and being a divisional rivalry, both should be playing hard.

The Jets will go back to Fitzpatrick for this meaningless game. I highly doubt Marshall plays in this one so Enunwa may be a sneaky start. Enunwa has shown decent chemistry with Fitzpatrick. The other player of interest is Powell. The Jets don’t have much going behind him and there’s no reason to sit a player like Powell in the last game of the season.

Looking at the Bills, I’m not sure how they handle McCoy in this game. They are starting E.J. Manuel over Taylor and just fired their coach. The risk is too high here to touch anyone of these players in a cash game.

Elite Plays: None

Tournament: Enunwa, Powell


At Cincinnati -2.5 Baltimore 41.5

This is another completely meaningless game. I don’t trust either of these teams offensively. Pass.

Elite Plays: Fade this game completely


At Washington -8 NY Giants 44

The Giants have locked up the 5th seed. The Redskins can take the 6th seed with a win.

I expect the Giants to rest starters at some point during this game. Their offense is a complete fade.

The Redskins will go all out for the win. Cousins, Desean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Vernon Davis all make for elite plays. The Redskins running game is a bit sketchier right now. Last week my heavy exposure to Fat Rob didn’t pay off because he got hurt late in the 1st half of the game. He tried to come back but was ineffective in the second half. I’ll be following status updates closely to see if Mack Brown will get the nod in his place. Brown looked good in limited action last week.

Elite Plays: Cousins, Garcon, Desean Jackson, Rob Kelly (if Healthy) 


At Indianapolis -4.5 Jacksonville 47

Both the Colts and Jags have been eliminated from contention so this is, in essence, a meaningless game. My basic rule of thumb in week 17 is to avoid most meaningless game situations so this falls into that category. There is some appeal to playing the Jags offense in this one, however. They are a younger team and it’s unlikely that the interim head coach will rest starters. The Coach is trying to win a job and the Jags don’t have the types of established veterans that would be rested in week 17. The Colts, on the other hand, have more established vets like Luck, Gore, and Hilton that could easily be benched considering they all have had injury issues.

I’m going full fade on the Colts offense here.

Looking at the Jaguars, I actually kind of like this spot for them. They have no reason to rest players. They are coming off a nice game where they finally looked like a competent offense. It makes sense to keep that going and build momentum for next season. Bortles to Allen Robinson is the preferred play. Marquise Lee has looked good the past few weeks and makes for a usable punt play in this one. The RB situation for the Jags is more of a mess than usual. All of their guys are hurt right now.

Elite Plays: Allen Robinson

Tournament: Blake Bortles, Marquise Lee


At Philadelphia -6 Dallas 42.5

This game is meaningless for both teams. Dallas has locked up the #1 seed in the NFC and they have nothing to play for. I’m fully expecting the Cowboys to rest their starters at some point in this game. Full fade!! As far as the Eagles go, they are a young team playing at home. They should go all out to win this thing.

Eagles Defense could be in play here. In addition, Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews are both acceptable plays in a matchup where they could be facing the Cowboys second team defense for at least some portion of this game. Last week Ryan Matthews suffered a season-ending back injury leaving very few options in the running game for the Eagles. Some people will look at Sproles here and that makes perfect sense. The sneakier play at RB is Byron Marshall. Marshall is the last man standing for the Eagles outside of Sproles and he saw 9 carries and 3 targets in week 15 operating as Matthews backup. Marshall is minimum salary on Draftkings and could get 20 touches against the Cowboys backups.

Elite Plays: None

Tournament: Zach Ertz, Jordan Matthews, Darren Sproles, Byron Marshall


At Minnesota -5.5 Chicago 41

Both teams have been eliminated from contention.

This game figures to be somewhat of a battle between two very solid defenses. Neither team has any reason to rest players but let’s stay aware of the fact that players with even slight injuries generally will be rested in the final game of the season.

On paper, one would expect Xavier Rhoades to shadow Alshon Jeffrey opening up targets for Cam Meredith. He makes for an interesting salary saver at WR this week. Jordan Howard draws a tougher matchup on the road facing a solid Vikings defensive front.

For the Vikings, Adam Thielen broke out last week with over 200 yards receiving. Thielen should have another good game in him at home this week.

Elite Plays: None

Tournament: Adam Thielen, Cam Meredith, Kyle Rudolph


At Tampa Bay -6 Carolina 46.5

The Panthers have been eliminated from contention and the Bucs are an extreme longshot.

I’m fading the Panthers completely here. They are on the road and concluding what was an extremely disappointing season. They probably will mail it in for this game.

The Bucs, on the other hand, should go all out to win. They don’t have a great shot at the playoffs but there is at least some hope for a miracle. Last week Cameron Brate went out with an injury and won’t play this week. The craziest thing from last week was that Doug Martin was a healthy scratch. I’m pretty sure he’s finished with the Bucs. Jacquizz Rodgers got the start in his place and wound up with the bulk of the touches for the Bucs. I’m looking for more of the same this week. With Brate out of the way, I expect even more targets for both Quizz and Evans.

Elite Plays: Mike Evans, Jacquizz Rodgers

Tournament: Greg Olsen


At Pittsburgh -7.5 Cleveland 44.5

The Steelers have clinched and have nothing to play for in this one. I fully expect them to rest their starters on both sides of the ball. Cleveland has been out of contention since week one. I’ve heard talk from people about going heavy on Deangelo Williams. I’m not going there. He’s coming off a long term injury and it would be stupid for the Steelers to risk his health in this game. Its more likely that Fitzgerald Touissant gets most of the work at RB

With the entire Steelers team likely to be rested early, I suppose we can take a look at the Browns offense. They are going back to Cody Kessler in this game which is probably a boost for Terrelle Pryor Sr. The other consideration here is Isiah Crowell. Facing the Steelers backups for some portion of the game can level the playing field for the Brows.

Elite Plays: None

Tournament: Isiah Crowell, Terrelle Pryor Sr.


At Atlanta -7 New Orleans 55.5

The Falcons need a win to clinch a 1st round bye. The Saints have been eliminated.

This game sports the highest total of the week and is a good one to target for DFS purposes.

Looking at the Falcons, they need this win to clinch a bye. Last week Julio Jones came back and played around 60% of the snaps for the Falcons. This is an important win for the Falcons and I expect Jones usage to go one of two ways. If the Falcons can dominate the game on the ground with Freeman and Coleman, they shouldn’t need much from Julio. On the other hand, if the game is close and high scoring they will need to get Jones more involved. That sets this one up as a potential game stack spot. The past few weeks Devontae Freeman has been the more heavily used of the two Falcons RB’s by a 2-1 ratio. Freeman beasted in the first meeting between the Falcons and the Saints. I’m looking for a similar result this week. Tevin Coleman remains a more volatile play with slightly less volume in a plus matchup.

The Saints have no reason to rest anyone. Last season in a similar situation they went all out for week 17. I expect more of the same here. The Falcons have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league this season allowing tons of points to opposing QB’s and WR’s in particular. Brees, Thomas, and Cooks are all elite options. At RB, Mark Ingram seems to have reclaimed lead back status after sharing touches with Hightower for a few weeks. Ingram is a sneaky DFS play in an elite spot.

Elite Plays: Matt Ryan, Brew Brees, Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks, Mark Ingram, Devontae Freeman

Tournament: Tevin Coleman, Coby Fleener


New England -9.5 At Miami 44.5

The Patriots need the win to lock down the #1 seed throughout the playoffs. Miami has clinched but can move up to the 5th seed with a win. That seeding is important because 5th will play the Texans in the first round while 6th seed gets a tougher draw vs the Steelers.

This is an all systems go situation for both teams. Unfortunately, both of these teams sport very unpredictable offenses. The Patriots are now in a complete 3 player RBBC at running back. Last week Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount each saw upwards of 15 carries. James White saw the passing down work. I think this is a too sketchy to call situation. It’s not much better at WR where Mitchell, Hogan, Edelman and now Floyd are all sharing targets in this offense. Edelman is the primary WR however and a safe bet for 10+ targets in this one.

The situation isn’t all that much more clear for the Dolphins. Last week Jay Ajayi beasted against the Bills. I’m expecting to see him get 20+ touches particularly if the Dolphins can keep this one close. The WR grouping of Crosby, Landry, Parker, Stills, Nash, and Young have been extremely volatile from week to week. I’m not trusting any of them in this spot.

Elite Plays: Julian Edelman, Jay Ajayi


Arizona -6 At Los Angeles 41

Both of these teams have been eliminated from the playoffs and have nothing on the line. The Rams are terrible and would have been a complete fade here regardless of the situation. Arizona has been eliminated for weeks but they’ve still been giving David Johnson 30 touches per game. I’m expecting more of the same this week as DJ could wind up as the highest owned player on the slate.

Elite Plays: David Johnson, Arizona Defense


Kansas City -4.5 At San Diego 45

The Chiefs need this win to have a shot at the bye. They also could drop as far as the dreaded 6th seed with a loss and some other crazy scenarios. The Chargers have nothing to play for.

Looking at the Chiefs, the player that stands out the most is Travis Kelce. He will avoid the Chargers high-level corners and he’s been on fire for weeks. Tyreek Hill is another player of interest. Hill is used in a number of ways but he’s been doing damage recently via the run. The injury to Spencer Ware and his questionable status actually favors Hill a smidge in that he may get some additional run game work.

The Chargers haven’t been playing for anything in weeks yet they are still going all out. I don’t expect them to rest anyone. Melvin Gordon is practicing this week and may return for the Chargers. I’d put that on the doubtful side since it makes no sense to push an injured player into action in a meaningless game. If Gordon sits it out as I expect, Ronnie Hillman becomes the only game in town for the Chargers. He brings some sleeper punt appeal to the table in this home game. I don’t really trust any of Rivers pass catchers here. The Chiefs have been improving defensively particularly in the secondary.

Elite Plays: Travis Kelce, Chiefs Defense

Tournament: Tyreek Hill, Ronnie Hillman


Seattle -10 At San Francisco 43

Seattle has a shot at the second seed and a bye with a win and a Falcons loss. The 49ers have obviously been eliminated.

Looking at the 49ers… eww. They are without Carlos Hyde which renders them a complete ball of suck.

I’m expecting the Seahawks to go all out in this game. Here’s where it gets interesting. Tyler Lockette got hurt last week and is done for the season. With Lockette out, the vast majority of the looks for Seattle went to Doug Baldwin. He wound up with a mind blowing 19 targets. I’m sure that won’t be the case this week. Last week’s game was hard fought and high scoring for both sides. It’s highly unlikely the 49ers put up much resistance at all this week. I’m looking at Wilson-Baldwin-Graham as the primary three. Alex Collins at RB has some volume/matchup appeal assuming Rawls sits this one out.

Elite Plays: Seattle Defense, Russel Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham

Tournament: Alex Collins – If Rawls is out


At Denver -3 Oakland 40

This game could get ugly. The Broncos have nothing to play for. Their coach has mentioned that he may give snaps to both Semian and Lynch at QB. WTF. That’s a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, the Raiders lost Derek Carr last week. I was hoping they’d quickly sign his brother David and no-one would be the wiser. Instead, they are going with Matt McGloin. Playing at Denver is a tough spot for the best of QB’s. It’s nearly impossible for the likes of McGloin. The Raiders will likely go with a run-heavy game plan. I think the Broncos will be prepared for that strategy. Between the McGloin situation and the Broncos promising to give both QB’s touches, this game is a complete fade.

Elite Plays: Broncos Defense


Green Bay -3 At Detroit 47

Chalk Alert – This is the game I want a big piece of. Winner takes the division and both teams will go all out for the win.

Last week I favored Adams over Jordy because Xavier Rhodes was supposedly going to shadow Jordy Nelson. Apparently, the Vikings players chose to ignore the coaching staff and do their own thing which led to a massive game for Nelson. The Lions have a quality cover corner in Darius Slay. He was out last week but could be back for this one. Stay tuned on that one. I love Adams and Nelson this week and I’m still on Ty Montgomery as well. Montgomery is coming off a down game but he retained the lead back role and continues to get reliable passing game work.

This is a must win situation for the Lions as well. The Packers have been exploitable via the pass this season. Last week we saw once again why Marvin Jones Jr. has been a bust for the Lions. He caught one of seven targets and continued his incredible inefficiency. It’s week 17 so this shit probably isn’t turning around for him. Golden Tate is the clear #1 for the Lions followed by Bolden playing the possession role. Eric Ebron makes for an acceptable punt play as well.

Elite Plays: Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Davontae Adams, Ty Montgomery, Golden Tate


Conclusion

That’s it for the week 17 Vegas Lines breakdowns. I hope reading this column has helped you all have fun and be profitable throughout this season.  I want to thank you for bearing with me through what I’m sure have been countless spelling and grammatical errors. Writing a 5000-word column every week allows for a ton of potential spelling errors particularly when there are tons of names that all sound the same but can be spelled differently. I’m looking at you Devonta! If you’ve enjoyed the column I’m going to ask that you take a moment, hit this link on the Google Play Store and give our app a nice review. I read and appreciate all the positive reviews and emails you all have sent me over the year. I’ll be back in some capacity for the playoffs. I’m thinking of doing a VIP exclusive podcast rather than a full column to reward our VIP members for sticking with me all through this season. Good luck this weekend and Happy New Year!