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DraftKings Fantasy Football Early Look: NFL Week 17 DFS Picks, Sleepers, Fades

Julian Edlow goes position-by-position breaking down some of the best and worst NFL targets for Week 17’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate, which locks at 1:00 p.m. ET on January 3.

Week 17 is unlike any other in the NFL. Following a 10-game slate in Week 16, we now load up with a 15-game slate, as the only teams off the main slate are Washington and Philadelphia, who will be in the SNF Showdown. A lot is going to change this week, and every team is playing with different intentions. Here’s what jumps out in my first look at the Week 17 NFL main slate on DraftKings.

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Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals ($8,000) — The Ravens are still playing a very important game to make the playoffs, and will face a suddenly hot Bengals team that’s sure to put up some resistance. Lamar has generally killed the Bengals in past seasons and seems to finally be hitting his stride — rushing for 80-plus yards in three of his past four, and throwing multiple touchdowns in three of his past four.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears ($7,400) — The Packers need a win to lock down the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but will face a Bears team also fighting to secure a playoff spot. Rodgers is also likely looking to put together a strong game to secure the MVP award, which might even be more motivation for him than the top seed. He’s been matchup-proof this season, scoring 25.64 DKFP in his first meeting against Chicago.


John Wolford, Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals ($4,900) — Pretty weird value on this slate, but there should be a couple of $4,900 QBs that we can build around. They may be even more welcomed this week, seeing how expensive the top RB/WR plays check in at. Wolford will get to face Arizona’s 29th-ranked defense versus QBs, while Sam Darnold faces a crumbling Patriots team.

Other Options: Sam Darnold ($4,900)

Running Back


Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans ($9,400) — Let’s go back to a nearly identical spot last season, as the Titans needed a win over Houston to make the playoffs and also had a chance to get Henry a rushing title. This year, Tennessee needs a win for the division and a playoff spot, and Henry is 223 yards shy of 2,000 rushing. I’ve seen this movie before. Against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, Henry is going to have a monster day. Henry posted a 22-212-2 line in this matchup in Week 6, adding 52 receiving yards (43.4 DKFP).

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions ($9,200) — No playoff implications here, but why not just let Cook run wild? He finished with 22-206-2 on the ground against the Lions in Week 9, along with 46 receiving yards (42.2 DKFP). Only the Texans allow more DKFP to the RB position.


Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,400) — Not exactly a cheap play here, but we’re going to need to wait until the end of the week to find out where the real value lies. Taylor is the third RB that really stands out on this slate and saves a couple thousand off of Henry and Cook. Indy needs to win and, unfortunately, still might not get in as an 11-win team. But control what can be controlled by beating Jacksonville, and the rest will work itself out. Taylor has seen his role grow, scoring six touchdowns in his past four games, and gets a Jags defense that has allowed the third-most DKFP to RB.

Other Options: Jeff Wilson Jr. ($6,000), Leonard Fournette ($5,800), Melvin Gordon ($5,700) — news will open up much cheaper plays.

Wide Receiver


Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears ($9,200) — The dude is just automatic. Another week, another slate breaker from Adams, but this time he did it off the main slate — 11 grabs for 142 and three touchdowns (46.2 DKFP) against the Titans. The Bears did limit Adams to one of his “bad” games this season, with Adams finishing with a 6-61-1 line (18.1 DKFP). But there’s no reason to be afraid to go back to this spot for the best WR in football. The only issue is if the top RB plays are in better spots, taking Adams off the table simply because we don’t have enough salary. This happens on 15-gamers.

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($8,500) — Ridley continues to dominate without Julio Jones in the lineup. Here are his lines in games without Julio: 5-110-0, 8-136-0, 6-50-1, 8-124-1, 10-163-1 and then 5-130-0 last week. The massive 10-163-1 game for 35.3 DKFP jumps out, which was against this Tampa secondary two weeks ago.


Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants ($5,000) — I’ll admit, no one value jumps out above the rest here. As the week goes on, more obvious plays will fall into place. But it is worth highlighting Gallup’s resurgence late in the season. Dallas is somehow still battling for the NFC East, thanks to recent big games from Gallup. The Giants are solid defensively right now, so if you want to base a play off of matchups, names like Hilton and Brown make more sense.

Other Options: T.Y. Hilton ($5,800), Antonio Brown ($5,500), CeeDee Lamb ($5,200), Sterling Shepard ($5,200), Russell Gage ($5,100), Tee Higgins ($5,000) — even more value than RB is sure to open up here as names are ruled out.

Tight End


Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals ($5,800) — George Kittle ($6,000) deserves consideration here after returning and gaining 92 yards, but the Niners still aren’t playing for anything, which can always be tough to trust. I figured Andrews makes for the safer play at a slight savings. Andrews is on a nice stretch of five straight games of 13-plus DKFP, and the Bengals rank 29th in DKFP allowed to TE. Andrews finished with a 6-56-1 line for 17.6 DKFP in the first matchup against Cincy.


Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills ($4,200) — We’ll look into dumpster diving at TE later in the week. Parham was the hot name last week, and it worked out alright. He may be in consideration again, but another TE name will almost certainly come to life. Gesicki is a terrific mid-priced play, though. Miami is still battling, and the Bills rank 24th in DKFP allowed to TE this season — Gesicki dropped 30 DKFP in this matchup in Week 2 with an 8-130-1 line.

Other Options: Donald Parham ($2,900)



Arizona Cardinals DST ($2,800) at Los Angeles Rams — Not too much crazy analysis going into this one. Arizona needs a win to potentially keeps its season alive and will face a Rams team without Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp. The Cardinals have 17 sacks and four turnovers in their past three games combined.


New York Jets DST ($2,300) at New England PatriotsThe Jets are kind of good right now? New York has scored between 5-9 DKFP in five of its past six games, and this New England offense absolutely stinks. The Jets already blew their chance at the No. 1 pick, so might as well play to win. Meanwhile, the Pats looked like they’d given up on MNF against the Bills.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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