Here we are, Week 17 of the 2020 NFL season, one of the best slates in the calendar, and here I am with my DraftKings selections. Your fantasy playoffs are in the books, and I hope you won the championship. However, the actual playoffs are just around the corner, so get game ready and into the swing of things this week!
Throughout the season, I have been providing players that I feel you should be including in your lineups, with some rationale and this week is no different! So, let’s dig into whom I am thinking of slotting in my lineups!
Aaron Rodgers ($7,400)
I have no idea why Rodgers is this cheap on this slate, to be honest. He is one of the few premium QBs who is guaranteed a prominent role in their offense in Week 17, in a must-win game for Green Bay with the No.1 seed in the NFC needing to be wrapped up.
There is a fair argument that Rodgers’ floor this season has been three passing touchdowns and north of 200 yards, which cannot be said for most quarterbacks in this league.
I think most people will be off the MVP candidate this week in a clinching situation due to Chicago’s defense. However, we have seen Rodgers do well against this defense once this season (25.64 points in W12) and I expect lightning to strike twice.
Andy Dalton ($5,600)
Week 16 saw the ceiling of the Dallas QB be hit, with a 30.58 point total. We say the ceiling as to expect the same from Dalton this week is unrealistic. However, a 20-25 point total is definitely on the cards.
Dalton and Dallas are in a must-win situation, and so are there opponents, New York if either team want to have a chance of making the postseason. This to me spells both offenses going for it and shootout! Mostly because both Dallas’ defense is shockingly bad and New York’s has its’ weaknesses despite some studs.
Do not underestimate this game stacking wise. We stacked Cincinnati-Houston last week and won a lot of money; this game could be the game to stack in Week 17.
Honourable Mention: Deshaun Watson ($7,700) – Involved in the slate’s highest total game. Should have to air the ball out with high-powered Tennessee offense on the other side needing to win the game. Houston cannot ‘tank’ with no draft picks so have been playing to the max in closing weeks.
CONSIDER: Baker Mayfield ($5,500)
AVOID: Josh Allen ($7,600), Russell Wilson ($7,300), Mitch Trubisky ($5,600), all backup QBs coming in for starters (Henne, Rudolph, Wolford)
Derrick Henry ($9,400)
The King will hit the 2,000-yard mark for rushing yards in the regular season. I am very confident in making that statement. The Tennessee back needs 223 rushing yards precisely to hit the milestone.
Last time out against Houston back in Week 6, Henry scored himself a handsome 43.4 DK points, accumulated of 212 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Since then, this Houston defense has shown no signs of getting better against the RB position. They rank 32nd AKA the worst in points allowed to RBs per game (32.9) and 24th in the red zone (7.7 points per game).
Jonathan Taylor ($7,400)
If you cannot justify spending the budget for The King, then the Indianapolis running back is your next best option.
Taylor’s opponents, Jacksonville have ranked 31st against RBs from Weeks 12-16, giving up 31 points per game to RBs, only worsened by Houston.
The Indianapolis backfield is Taylor’s to lose, with a minimum of 18 touches in the last three weeks and solid points total to back that up (33.5, 19.5 and 19.4).
Week 17 is all about the milestones also, and with Taylor 83 yards away from hitting the 1,000 rushing yard mark on the season, I would say the rookie hits that at an absolute minimum this week.
Ty Johnson ($4,300)
With Gore ($4,800) ruled out of Week 17 through injury and Perine ($4,100) placed on the COVID-19 list, Johnson is expected to be the lead back in New York’s finale game of the season against New England.
We saw in Week 13 when Johnson was given the keys to the backfield, the New York take full advantage of this opportunity, going for 22.7 DK points.
I would expect the same to happen here in this matchup. New England, since Week 12 have ranked 26th against RBs, giving up 26.9 points per game to the position. Furthermore, Johnson possesses the best rush Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) on the slate at 6.9%, which is very good.
CONSIDER: Myles Gaskin ($6,500), Josh Jacobs ($6,200), Melvin Gordon III ($5,700), Wayne Gallman Jr ($5,300) and Darwin Thompson ($4,400)
AVOID: David Montgomery ($7,700), Nick Chubb ($7,600) and Kareem Hunt ($5,900)
Justin Jefferson ($7,600)
No matter what price Jefferson was this week on this slate, he was automatically going on my shortlist of best plays.
Jefferson needs to get 111 receiving yards in Week 17 to break the receiving yards record for a rookie, set by Anquan Boldin in 2003 (Bill Groman’s 1,473 yards in 1960 season was before the merger, therefore not counted in record books).
For Jefferson to get this record, he would need a favourable matchup, and they do not get more favourable than Detroit. The NFC outfit has given up the most points to WRs since Week 12 (57.3 per game).
CeeDee Lamb ($5,200)
Lamb followed up his 19.5 Week 15 performance with a 23.4 point performance in Week 16 against Philidelphia, which included two touchdowns. The past two weeks for the rookie receiver have kick-started his campaign to reach the 1,000-yard mark yards wise for the season, which Lamb is 108 yards away from.
Heading into Week 17, Dallas, of course, is in a must-win situation against New York to even have a chance of making the postseason, so their priorities will be with winning the ball game. But you will find a hard time trying to convince me that going through Lamb on the offensive side of the ball is a bad thing, especially when James Bradberry will wrap up Amari Cooper ($5,800).
Earlier in the season, Lamb recorded 23.4 DK points against New York which included 124 yards. Expect similar this week, if not more.
Jakobi Meyers ($5,000)
Now, I know what you are thinking. Why in the world is a New England receiver in this article? Well, at least hear me out.
Despite the at times, abysmal QB play in New England, Meyers is still seeing a consistent target share. 6-8 targets a game is the norm for the receiver (26.3% target share on the season), no matter the QB under centre. A player favoured by Belichick and his QBs is one that I would select for my lineups.
Furthermore, Meyers has a favourable history against New York. In Week 9, the New England receiver collected 31.9 DK points, announcing himself on the NFL scene. Since then, his 74.3 air yards per game are above the likes of Amari Cooper and Tyler Boyd to name a few.
This New England New York match will go under many people’s radars and provide some lovely low-owned options for your lineups.
Jamison Crowder ($5,000)
Following on from the previous selection, Crowder on the other side of this game looks an equally enticing option.
His 29.32 DK point total last week was his season-high, which was mostly down to some creative play-calling from the Jets coaching staff. Week 16, alongside Week 15 has seen a solid target share from the predominant slot receiver of 8-9 targets.
For the first time this season, New York do not have to worry out draft position or going 0-16, they can play with a bit of freedom and last week we saw glimpses of that.
I would expect this week to be the same, and only to an enhanced level.
CONSIDER: Davante Adams ($9,200), Brandin Cooks ($6,900), Corey Davis ($6,200) Curtis Samuel ($5,300) Rashard Higgins ($4,500), Jerry Jeudy ($4,200), Tim Patrick ($4,000) and Josh Reynolds ($3,200)
AVOID: DeAndre Hopkins ($7,900), Cooper ($5,800) and all PIT, KC and BUF starting receivers
Mark Andrews ($5,800)
Another player on a team who must-win in Week 17 to give themselves a postseason spot, Andrews feels the best premium option at his position this week.
Andrew’s opponents in Week 17, Cincinnati have not been a robust outfit at all this season, but especially in Weeks 12-16. Against TEs, the AFC South team rank 27th in points allowed to the position (15.8 per game) but perhaps more importantly in the red zone they rank 28th (9.9 points per game). With Andrews 7 TDs this season, he is up there with the best in-season totals.
Irv Smith Jr ($3,900)
The Minnesota tight end is one of the better value plays on the slate for me. Here’s why:
- Last week Smith saw a season-high in targets (9), snap count (91.4%) and routes run (36)
- Minnesota coming into Week 17 with one of the higher implied team totals (30.5), a good indicator of tight end production
- Detroit, Minnesota’s opponents, since Week 12 have been poor against the tight end. A 23rd ranking points per game wise (14.8) and a 30th ranking in the red zone against tight ends (10.6 per game)
- Smith’s 5 TDs on the season and 3 in the last 3 weeks could be a full beneficiary of this matchup
CONSIDER: Mike Gesciki ($4,200), Evan Engram ($3,700), Jacob Hollister ($3,000), and Cole Kmet ($3,000)
AVOID: Any TE playing with a backup QB (Kelce, Ebron, Higbee/Everett, Arnold)
I am fully expecting the Arizona pass rush to cause backup QB Wolford problems in turnovers and sacks. 17 sacks in the last 3 weeks only empathise Arizona’s prominence as of late in this area. Los Angeles, since Week 12 has allowed 6.8 points per game to opposing defenses, which ranks 26th in the league.
Myles Garrett vs his old friend Mason Rudolph. Need I say anymore.
Pittsburgh has already announced that they will be resting key starters on both sides of the ball, making Cleveland’s life easier in a must-win situation for their postseason hopes.
Keep an eye on the COVID situation, Denzel Ward has already been ruled out, and the facilities are as of writing this still shut.
CONSIDER: Minnesota ($2,600) and New York ($2,300)
AVOID: Pittsburgh ($3,800), Chicago ($2,700) and Cincinnati ($2,100)
NFL 2020: DraftKings Week 17 Selections – My lineup as it stands
QB1: Deshaun Watson
RB1: Derrick Henry
RB2: Melvin Gordon III
WR1: Brandin Cooks
WR2: Jakobi Meyers
WR3: Jamison Crowder
TE: Evan Engram
FLEX: Ty Johnson
D/ST: New York
So, there are our DraftKings selections for Week 17 of the NFL 2020 season! Who have we missed out? You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Keep your eyes out for our Showdown slate coverage!
Image Credit: Jim Brown – USA TODAY Sports