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Fantasy Football Picks: Top DraftKings NFL DFS Targets, Values for Week 17

Stan Son gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Sunday’s main DraftKings NFL slate.

Week 17. We have once again gathered to convene, in order to understand the fantasy scene before it is sent into the regular season ravine. It’s been quite the routine, hopefully, as you’ve accumulated a bunch of green instead of liens.

Per DraftKings Sportsbook, there are two games with a total of at least 50 points: ARI/DAL (52) and KC/CIN (50). NYG/CHI (37.5) and CAR/NO (39) are both under 40. There are four double-digit favorites: TB (-12.5) over NYJ, NE (-15.5) over JAX, BUF (-14) over ATL and SF (-13) over HOU.

These are my early thoughts, but much of my lineup construction will depend on projected ownership numbers at the end of the week. That said, here are my studs and values for Sunday’s main DraftKings slate.

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Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens, $7,100 — I’m very interested to see where the projected ownership number comes in for Stafford. Which recency bias will reign supreme? The 9.68 DKFP that Stafford put up last game or the 41.1 DKFP that Joe Burrow ($6,900) put up against this porous Ravens secondary? The Rams are 12th in pass rate and third in offensive pace. The Ravens are 26th in pace, but they may have to be more aggressive in this one because the Rams will likely be putting up points. The Ravens are 29th in pass defense DVOA, the Rams are 11th in pass offense according to PFF and, while the Ravens blitz at the fifth-highest rate, they are only 26th in adjusted sack rate. Lamar Jackson ($7,000; ankle) has returned to practice in a limited fashion and he could elevate this game environment.

Other Option – Justin Herbert ($6,800), Josh Allen (8,000)


Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans, $4,800 — Lance hasn’t officially been named the starter, so keep an eye on Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,700; thumb) as we get closer to the weekend. The last time we saw Lance in a starting role, he went 15-of-29 for 192 yards and an interception. Yuck. Keep in mind, though, that Arizona is fifth in pass-defense DVOA and that was the first start of Lance’s career. He’s a little more seasoned now and his rushing prowess provides a high-floor. He rushed 16 times for 89 yards against the Cardinals and carried seven times for 41 yards the prior week. Now, the Texans are 15th in pass defense DVOA and only 26th in rush defense. With the 49ers being one of the run-heavier teams in the league, the action will likely filter down that path. That said, this could be a good spot to let Lance get comfortable and cook.

Other Options – Jared Goff ($5,400)

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Running Back


Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $9,000 — Father, forgive me for I have sinned. I actually thought of fading Taylor this week. The Colts might not have their entire offensive line and the Raiders are 10th in rush defense DVOA. Then I slapped myself silly and set myself straight. It helps that Taylor was productive last week regardless of the O-line situation. He leads the NFL in touchdowns, DKFP and is second in touches at the position. He’s has 27, 29 and 32 carries, respectively, the last three weeks and has gone over 100 yards in each contest while scoring a total of three touchdowns. If the Colts win, they are in the playoffs so cue up the Charlie Sheen.

Other Options – Austin Ekeler ($8,200), Joe Mixon ($7,500)


David Montgomery, Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants, $6,500 – The Bears are favored by six points at home. That’s all you need to know about the state of the Giants. The Bears rush at the eighth-highest rate in the league, so the game script should be a favorable one for Montgomery, especially since the Giants are 27th in rush defense DVOA. Montgomery has received at least 20 carries in four games this season with two of those in his last four starts. Over the last four games, he’s also received 32 targets, while specifically seeing 16 rushes and seven targets in the red zone. He’s one of few bell-cow running backs and he’s in a fantastic matchup.

Other Options – Ronald Jones II ($6,300), Devin Singletary ($5,400), Javonte Williams ($6,400)

Wide Receiver


Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens, $9,500 — This is beyond ridiculous at this point. This is akin to the Randy Moss season of 2007. You knew Moss was going to get the targets and score two touchdowns. And he did on most weeks. Kupp leads the league with 177 targets. He won’t surpass Marvin Harrison’s 205 back in 2002, but it’s still impressive nonetheless. Kupp has at least 10 targets in every game, with the lone outlier being a nine-target game. Despite the high price tag for most of the season, he’s exceeded point expectations 80% of the time. He’s scored at least 25.0 DKFP in 10 games this season with six performances above 30.0 DKFP and a high of 40.6 DKFP. Now, there some merit to fading him due to the high cost, as he needs to essentially score 40.0 DKFP to make you regret not playing him. Plus, Odell Beckham ($5,700) and Van Jefferson ($5,300) are other viable options to get exposure to the Rams' passing attack. That said, Kupp provides the raw points floor and he’s shown the ability to post a “have to have it” score.

Other Options – Jaylen Waddle ($6,700), Antonio Brown ($6,100), Amon-Ra St. Brown ($6,000), Tyler Lockett ($6,400)


Quez Watkins, Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team, $3,900 – I don’t see much value at the position as of now, so Watkins it is. He’s only seen five-plus targets in four games this season, so volume is a concern. In addition, the last time he faced the Football Team, he caught all of two targets for 14 yards. That said, Watkins is 16th in the NFL in aDOT and can score on any play. Washington is 27th in pass defense DVOA and allows the sixth-highest aDOT.

Other Options – Odell Beckham ($5,700), Van Jefferson ($5,300)

Tight End


Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals, $7,300 – Kelce missed last game due to health and safety protocols, but he’s been activated for this contest. Kelce has been somewhat of a disappointment this season, but he has six games with at least 10 targets and has scored at least 20.0 DKFP five times this season. The ceiling that Kelce can access is why we keep going back to him, as evidenced by his 44.1 DKFP outburst against the Chargers two weeks ago. The Bengals have allowed the eighth-most targets and seventh-most DKFP per contest to the position.

Other Options – George Kittle ($7,100)


Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts, $3,800 – Visiting the island of Moreau has been neither awful nor pleasant. Over the last two games, he’s produced 10.7 DKFP and 13.5 DKFP on four and nine targets, respectively. He’s racked up 132 total yards without a red zone target. The Colts have allowed the third-most DKFP per game and most targets to the position.

Other Option – Tyler Higbee ($4,000)

Defense/Special Teams


Patriots D/ST, New England Patriots vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $3,900 – The Pats’ defense hasn’t been a great DFS asset over its last three games. They played the Bills twice and the Colts, two of the better teams in the league. Now, they get the Jaguars and their rookie quarterback. The Patriots have scored double-digit DKFP in seven games this season, with two above 20.0 DKFP. They have racked up 33 sacks, seven fumble recoveries, 21 interceptions and four touchdowns.

Other Options – Buccaneers D/ST ($4,300), Saints D/ST ($3,400)


Colts D/ST, Indianapolis Colts vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $2,900 – The Colts are favored by 6.5 points at home in a “win and they are in the playoffs” scenario. The unit has racked up 31 sacks, 13 fumble recoveries, 17 interceptions and three touchdowns. They are third in rush defense DVOA — and the Raiders don’t run much anyway, as they are fourth in pass rate — so that should lead to more opportunities for sacks and turnovers.

Other Option – Titans D/ST ($3,100)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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