Spencer Limbach

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FanDuel NFL Must Plays Week 17

Friday, December 29, 2017

As we head into the weekend, be sure to check out all the content rolling onto the Rotoworld Daily page. Here’s a list of articles looking at the FanDuel NFL Week 17 slate. I will be updating as new columns are added, so consider this section as the DFS Table of Contents.



FanDuel NFL Bargains by Renee Miller

QB/RB Grind Down by Stephen Young

NFL DFS Starting Points by Renee Miller

FanDuel NFL Stacks by Spencer Limbach

RotoGrinders NFL Primer by Stephen Keech

FanDuel NFL Fades by Renee Miller (coming soon)

WR/TE Grind Down by Josh Lewis (coming Saturday)

Rotoworld Rankings vs DFS Pricing by Rich Hribar (coming Saturday)



Now onto the FanDuel NFL Must Plays for week 17!



Just a reminder, this column includes only Sunday games, as that’s considered the main slate on FanDuel.




PLATINUM: Build your lineup around these guys


Cam Newton – QB – Carolina (FanDuel Price: $8,400)


This marks the third straight week Cam Newton has been featured. I don’t even feel bad about it. Newton had a tough day passing the ball last Sunday, but he still pieced together 17 fantasy points. His rushing potential adds a floor/ceiling dimension that most quarterbacks simply don’t have. This should be a competitive, high-scoring matchup against Atlanta, as both teams are jockeying for playoff positioning.



Julio Jones – WR – Atlanta (FanDuel Price: $8,400)


On the other side of this high-scoring matchup lies Julio Jones, who could find plenty of success against a Carolina secondary that has struggled in recent weeks. The Panthers rank 21st in DVOA vs top receivers, coughing up the following statlines as of late: Robby Anderson 6-146-2, Michael Thomas 5-70-1, Adam Thielen 6-105-1, Randall Cobb 7-84-1, Mike Evans 6-107 … Julio’s name should be added to that list with a possible 100+ yard outing.




GOLD: Next wave to consider in terms of priority


Dion Lewis – RB – New England (FanDuel Price: $7,200)


Dion Lewis and Todd Gurley came through for this article last week. I’m leaning on Lewis once again, as he should continue to see plenty of opportunities with Rex Burkhead doubtful. The matchup and game flow combination looks great as well, considering New England checks in as 15 point home favorites over the Jets. Fellow running backs Mike Gillislee and James White are nursing injuries as well, meaning Lewis is the only fully healthy option in the Patriots’ backfield. He saw 29 touches last week, and there’s a good chance he’ll be within that range (around 25) yet again.



T.Y. Hilton – WR – Indianapolis (FanDuel Price: $6,700)


Hilton has been a boom-or-bust fantasy option this season, but Sunday is an excellent time to expect the former. The explosive wide receiver has seen 19 targets over the past two games, a promising sign heading into this well-aligned draw vs Houston. The Texans rank 24th in DVOA vs the pass and 23rd against opposing top receivers. Hilton already burned them for 5-175-2 (32 FP) on November 2, and that level of upside remains.




SILVER: Good options that narrowly rank ahead of similar players


Marvin Jones Jr. – WR – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $7,300)


I was ready to write-up JuJu Smith-Schuster in this spot, but Ben Roethlisberger’s absence on Sunday causes an obvious downgrade to the Pittsburgh receiving corps. Instead, Marvin Jones Jr checks in with the same salary and an arguably better matchup. Green Bay’s secondary has gotten burned through the second-half of this season, ranking 22nd in DVOA against the pass, 31st vs WR1’s and 25th vs WR2’s. Jones and fellow WR Golden Tate are firmly within DFS consideration here, but I’m looking towards the former. Jones sees a respectable amount of targets with better big-play potential. That was on display the last time these two teams met, where Marvin posted 7 receptions, 107 yards, and two touchdowns (26.2 FP).



Derrick Henry – RB – Tennessee (FanDuel Price: $5,800)


DeMarco Murray is highly questionable for Sunday’s game. Even if he suits up, Derrick Henry should see majority of the carries. That creates an excellent value situation on FanDuel, getting a starting running back for this economical mid-range salary. Jacksonville maintains a “funnel defense” that ranks first against the pass and 22nd vs the run this season. You better believe Tennessee will enact a run-heavy approach to expose that weakness, giving Henry plenty of opportunities to rack up yardage and overall fantasy production.




BRONZE: Not 100% necessities, but they mix well into a quality lineup


Charles Clay – TE – Buffalo (FanDuel Price: $5,600)


Clay’s game log doesn’t look great, but seeing 19 targets over the past two weeks is a promising sign moving forward. Throw in a comfortable matchup (Miami ranks 28th in DVOA vs TEs) and plenty of motivation (Buffalo is pushing for a playoff spot) on top of this bargain salary, and you have a solid all-around DFS option … Eric Ebron ($5600) and Antonio Gates ($5700) are two other value tight end options.



Baltimore Defense (FanDuel Price: $5,200)


Minnesota ($5400), Pittsburgh ($5400), Baltimore ($5200), and Detroit ($4700) make my short-list for defenses this week. Baltimore makes for a confident cash game selection if you have enough salary to make them happen. The Ravens represent the best fantasy defense in the league, and they’ll have an opportunity to cement that status against a downtrodden Cincinnati team. Baltimore posted 25 fantasy points in their first meeting (week one), and the Bengals now have injuries (plus lacking motivation) factoring in.




PARTICIPATION RIBBONS: Fell just short of a featured spot


Keelan Cole – WR – Jacksonville (FanDuel Price: $5,900)


Marqise Lee is doubtful and Allen Hurns is questionable. I have a tough time envisioning the Jaguars playing Hurns this weekend, so Cole should be unencumbered for plenty of snaps and targets. Over the past four games, Cole has seen 28 targets with 19 receptions, 442 yards, and three touchdowns. That is irrefutable WR1 production, but Cole’s salary still hovers below $6000. The matchup against Tennessee looks pretty good as well (28th in DVOA vs the pass).



LeSean McCoy – RB – Buffalo (FanDuel Price: $8,200)


An alternate lineup strategy revolves around dropping Marvin Jones Jr for Keelan Cole then upgrading Derrick Henry to LeSean McCoy (you’ll need to save more money at kicker and defense to make up the difference). McCoy comes with plenty of security in a week that seems filled with volatility. The Bills are pushing for a playoff spot, and they’ll likely ride McCoy – who posted 24 FP on 24 touches against this same Miami team two weeks ago.



Eric Ebron – TE – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $5,600)


As mentioned earlier, the Packers’ secondary has been flailing as of late. On the other hand, Eric Ebron seems to be trending upward with double-digit fantasy performances (and over seven targets) in each of his past three games. Green Bay ranks 21st in DVOA vs TEs, so Ebron could keep the heater alive.



Kenyan Drake – RB – Miami (FanDuel Price: $7,000)


If you’re not a believer in Derrick Henry, but don’t quite have enough salary to make LeSean McCoy happen, then Kenyan Drake is your next best move. The matchup looks great against a Buffalo team that ranks 30th in DVOA vs the run. Drake posted 20 FP in 22 touches when facing the Bills two weeks ago. A similar performance is certainly on the table.



The Kicker Conundrum


If you have enough salary, Stephen Gostkowski ($5300) and Justin Tucker ($5000) are the premium spends. Otherwise, Robbie Gould ($4800) continues to be – well, gold – with Jimmy G moving the ball well for San Francisco … On the cheaper side of things, Adam Vinatieri ($4600) and Ryan Succop ($4600) hover just above minimum-salary with reasonable prospects of achieving 10+ fantasy points.

Spencer Limbach is a multi-sport daily fantasy specialist for Rotoworld. He can be found on twitter @Spencer_JL.
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