Welcome to week 17 of NFL action. It is a slate that could come down to motivation. It will be key for the DFS player. After grinding all season, will you be motivated to put in the research before the NYE drinks start flowing or while nursing a New Years Day hangover? Motivation will also be a big factor for NFL teams and players. There are teams that a fighting for their playoff lives, teams that are only concerned with seeding, and teams that are breaking down their huddles with “One, two, three, Cancun!”
After having 25 of my 26 live best ball teams knocked out in the semifinals, I am extra motivated to crush the DFS slate this week. These are my Simple Six core plays.
1- Mike White $5400 on DraftKings
In his two starts this season that weren’t in Buffalo with broken ribs, White scored 22.5 and 27.8 DraftKings points. Both the Jets and Seahawks desperately need this game if they hope to sneak into the playoffs. There will no tanking bullshit, both teams will put their best foot forward. I can’t tell if this is a common opinion or not outside of New York, but I think Mike White is actually pretty good. Rotoballer tweeted an interesting stat, “The Jets offense has averaged 421.3 total yards with White leading them, which would rank first in the NFL.”
We have Jared Goff ($5600) as the highest owned QB on the slate, approaching 20%. I get it. He’s too cheap, he’s indoors, in a great matchup, in the highest total (52.5) of the week. He should be chalk. He should be the cash game play. In a large field GPP like the Milly Maker, White is a great pivot. He’s $200 less, and looking to only be around 4% owned. We only have Goff projected for 1.39 points more than Mike White. That’s a lot of leverage for not giving up much in projection.
2- Garrett Wilson $5500 and Elijah Moore $3500 on DraftKings
The Jets receiver are priced like Zach Wilson is starting. I heard a great stat from Hayden Winks on Underdog’s podcast that the “Catchable ball rate is 8% better with Mike White than any other Jet quarterback.” In the last two healthy White starts, Garrett Wilson averaged 26.8 DK points. We are getting a 7k receiver priced at $5500. Moore is averaging close to 80% snaps played in the last 3 weeks and is too talented to be priced this cheap with White at the helm. Seattle’s best corners are on the outside. I would not be surprised to see Eli Moore eat out of the slot.
I am going to have both receivers double stacked with White and used as one offs in other lineups where the salary fits.
3- Kenneth Walker $6200 on DraftKings and $6700 on Fanduel
I obviously like this game and the rookie running back is clearly my favorite runback. I’m not playing DK Metcalf. Sauce Gardner has severely limited better receivers such as Stef Diggs and Justin Jefferson. I’m not playing Tyler Lockett in his first game back from surgery on a broken hand. The Jets are best attacked on the ground.
Seattle is willing to give Walker the full bell cow role. He is coming off a 28 touch effort against KC in which he ran for 107 yards. I think he is also good GPP leverage off Travis Etienne and Rhamondre Stevenson who are similarly priced and project to be much higher owned.
4- Justin Jefferson $9500 on DraftKings
If I am saving salary and cumulative ownership with a Jets/Seattle stack, I am going to pay up for Justin Jefferson. He is averaging an insane 34.6 DK points on 15.7 targets in his last 3 games. Ryan McDowell points out that Jefferson has 94.9 PPR points over that timeframe. No other receiver in the NFL has scored more than 67.
We currently have CMC at 24.68% ownership and Jefferson at only 11.97. I am pretty surprised that the field is choosing CMC as the main pay up option over Jefferson. If the 49ers, who are 9.5 point favorites over the Jarrett Stidham lead Raiders, build a big lead, they will pull McCaffrey. They did it last week against Washington and only getting 13 points out of CMC sunk some really good best ball teams for me.
I can’t see any reasonable scenario where Jefferson is pulled from the game as a 3 point dog in Green Bay. Plus, if you want to take the weekly stroll down narrative street, Jefferson is only 208 yards away from Calvin Johnson’s all-time single season receiving record.
5 – Jelani Woods $2800 on DraftKings and $4700 on Fanduel
We are going from touting a man trying to break an all-time receiving record to a dude with 21 career catches. Jelani Woods is an athletic freak who runs a 4.61 40 at 6’7″ and 260 pounds. The rookie is getting more action of late with Kyle Granson sidelined. It’s obviously a small sample size, but Woods seems to be a favorite of Big Dick (Pick) Nick, getting 5 targets last week against the Chargers. It has been announced, that for some unknowable reason, Foles will be the starting QB for Indianapolis again.
The Giants have one of the worst defenses in the league against the tight end. Just last week they let T.J. Hockenson roast them for a ridiculous 13 catches and 38.9 DK points. You could do a lot worse than Woods as super cheap, low-owned, TE punt this week.
6- 49ers DST $2900 on DraftKings
I will almost never write up a defense in this column, especially a chalky one. The positional scoring is just too volatile. That said, why the hell are the Niners only $2900 on DraftKings? I get that the price was made before it was announced that Derek Carr was being benched in favor of Stidham, but Fanduel still has them as the highest priced DST on the slate.
We are getting the best defense in the league, in a game they need for seeding, against Jarrett Stidham for $2900? Lets not overthink this. In the $100, single entry SPY, I can assure you the Niners will be my defense. An argument can certainly be made for fading them in a large field GPP like the Milly Maker if they get too chalky. I’m not going to play a 40% owned DST in a tournament with 148k entries. We don’t have them projected that high right now, but they could get steam.
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