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    NFL DFS Value Plays - Week 17 (12/29/16)

    By Mark Dankenbring
    DFS Football Value Plays – Week 17



    With Week 17 of the NFL season upon us, let's take a look at who sets up to have the most value based on their salary in daily fantasy for DraftKings and FanDuel. With injuries opening up expanded roles for certain players, and favorable matchups determined after 16 weeks of action, we have a solid list of value plays this week. Also, a handful teams with their postseason status determined will rest starters, so backup players become an option in Week 17. Value plays are centered around players who are below the average salary cost for their position and will produce the most points per dollar spent. Below are a list of some highlighted players on both platforms, but to see a full ranking of players and their value this week, visit our Optimizer tool for full control over your lineup.

    Each player is listed with their salary and projected points for the week.

    DraftKings

    Quarterbacks



    With the news coming from Mike Tomlin that he will likely rest key starters on Sunday, Landry Jones becomes our number one value play at quarterback this weekend. With a minimum salary and the Cleveland Browns as an opponent, Jones steps into a role that could produce success this weekend. The Browns have allowed the most DraftKings points to opposing quarterbacks this season at nearly 21 per game, and the only team they've held without a passing touchdown this season just so happens to be the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his lone start this year, Jones went 29-47 for 281 yards against New England, including a touchdown and interception. He'll face a much easier defense in the Browns, and will likely be a strong value play this Sunday.



    After having success last weekend against division foe Tennessee for the second time this season, Bortles will head into Week 17 against a Colts defense who he posted a strong fantasy game against in Week 4. Bortles threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns that game, including 36 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Bortles is at spot 15 in terms of salary entering Week 17, but has scored the 8th most points among quarterbacks on DraftKings this season. Even though he might not lead his team to victory every week, Bortles has remained a solid fantasy quarterback all season, as he's responsible for at least one touchdown in every game. Look for Bortles to have another solid outing against a division opponent that he's familiar with, and to bring good value to your lineup come Sunday.

    Running Backs



    Draughn will likely make the start for the injured Carlos Hyde on Sunday against the Seahawks, so he finds his way onto our value play list. Draughn hasn't been too effective of a rusher this season, averaging under three yards per carry, but has made his impact in the passing game, as he's caught 25 balls for just under 200 yards. Draughn will see this role continue on Sunday against a Seahawks defense that has allowed the second fewest points per game this season. The 49ers will likely be trailing in the game, as their only two wins have come against the Rams this season, so look for the offense to be forced to pass as they play from behind. If Draughn can catch at least five passes as he's done three times already this season, look for him to be a solid value play at the running back position this Sunday.



    If Theo Riddick misses his fourth game in a row come Sunday, Zenner is in line to see the majority of the work against the Packers after his breakout game on Monday Night Football. Zenner carried the ball 12 times for 67 yards and two touchdowns, while also catching two passes for 25 yards against a Cowboys defense that had been the toughest in the NFL against the run. He'll face another strong run defense at home against Green Bay, but could still add great value to your lineup at a near minimum $3,200. Zenner has been successful all year when he's got the looks, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and over 11 yards per catch. If he gets the volume this Sunday night, we could see back-to-back big weeks from Zenner.



    After having not scored a touchdown since Week 8, Crowell punched in two scores last Sunday against the Chargers. When Crowell has gotten opportunities this season, he's made the most of them, averaging 4.5 yards a carry and 8.2 yards per catch. With the Steelers locked into the #3 seed in the AFC, they will likely rest important players on both sides of the ball, meaning the Browns will have a better chance to stay in the game and run the ball more often. This is good news for Crowell, as the Steelers have allowed the 6th most DraftKings points to opposing running backs on the season, and have allowed a touchdown on the ground in each of their last three games. Therefore, look for Crowell to have another solid game as he only needs touches to have good production.

    Wide Receivers



    Rogers has been a solid support player for the Pittsburgh offense all season, but with Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown expected to rest, Rogers will likely become the focal point of the Steelers' passing offense. His production has been up and down this season, but he's come on strong in the last two weeks, catching nine passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. Rogers caught four passes for 20 yards in their first game against the Browns, but look for him to be targeted heavily this Sunday and to have success as the number one option in the Steelers' offense.



    Robinson enters Week 17 coming off his best game of the season against the Titans. Robinson caught nine of his twelve targets on Sunday for a total of 147 yards. He'll face a Colts defense in which he caught five passes for 55 yards and a score against in Week 4, so look for him to have another solid game. Doug Marrone seems determined to get Robinson the ball, as the 12 targets last week were his most since Week 10, and he hadn't caught more than three passes in a game over that span. We've been waiting for this Allen Robinson to show up, and with a mid-level salary of $5,500, he lines up to be a solid value play against a Colts defense who he had success against in their first matchup.



    Pryor has fallen on hard times since RGIII became the quarterback in Cleveland, but will aim to close out his breakout 2016 season on a good note against the Steelers this Sunday. Pryor was well on his way to a 1,000-yard season, but has only accumulated eight catches for 58 yards in the three games under RGIII. Pryor had a successful Week 11 against the Steelers as he caught five of 10 targets for 97 yards. With RGIII likely on the shelf this Sunday with a concussion, Cody Kessler will try to reestablish the connection the two made in his earlier starts this season, as Pryor's two biggest fantasy games came when Kessler started in Week 3 against the Dolphins and Week 6 against the Titans. Therefore, if Kessler starts against the Steelers, look for Pryor to have a bounce back game and provide great value for your lineup.

    Tight Ends



    This list is becoming riddled with Steelers, but on a week where starters are rested and they're playing the Browns, not much further explanation is necessary. With Ladarius Green expected to miss his second week in a row with a concussion, James will re-enter his starting role at the tight end position. The Browns have been terrible against opposing tight ends this year, allowing the most DraftKings points to opposing tight ends by two more points per game than the next closest team. Pittsburgh tight ends only caught one of six targets in their first matchup with the Browns, but Big Ben only threw for 167 yards in a game that was handed over to Le'Veon Bell who managed 201 yards from scrimmage. Look for James to have a more distinct role in the passing game this Sunday, and for him to provide solid value in your lineup.



    Coming off a game that included Doyle seeing his most targets since Week 9, he makes our value play list for the second straight week. Doyle caught five of seven targets on Sunday for 46 yards, marking the ninth game this season he's caught at least four passes. Doyle and the Colts will take on a Jaguars team who held Doyle to just one catch for six yards in their first matchup. Doyle, however, has made himself a much more regular part of the offense, and will look to help lead his team to victory over Jacksonville. Doyle saw the second most targets on the team last week behind T.Y. Hilton, so look for him to remain involved in the passing attack and have another solid game against the Jags.


    FanDuel

    Quarterbacks



    Manuel will get the start on Sunday against a Jets defense that has struggled against the pass all season long. Their whole defense has struggled, actually, as they've allowed the fourth most points per game in the NFL with 26.6. In their last four games, the Jets have allowed 12 touchdown passes, and have given up an average of 33 points per game. Therefore, with Manuel filling in for Tyrod Taylor, we like his chances to perform well this Sunday. As of now, he'll have a full compliment of receivers including Sammy Watkins, and has the league's number one rushing attack to compliment him. Look for Manuel to have a solid game against a defense that has struggled all season, and for him to provide solid value with a salary of only $5,000.



    *See Explanation Above*

    Running Backs



    Rodgers has been a quality fill-in for the Buccaneers this season at running back. In every game he's started for them, he's scored at least 14.3 FanDuel points, with his average lying at 15.3. Also, one of those starts came against the Carolina Panthers in Week 5, where Rodgers carried the ball 30 times for 101 yards, and also caught five passes on six targets for 28 yards. Without finding the end zone, Rodgers still put up a very respectable 15.4 FanDuel points in that game. Therefore, we like Rodgers' chances to perform well against a Carolina defense that has allowed five rushing touchdowns in their last five games. Expect Rodgers to have another solid outing against the Panthers, and to be a factor in your lineup come Sunday.



    *See Explanation Above*

    Wide Receivers



    *See Explanation Above*



    *See Explanation Above*



    Tate remains Matthew Stafford's number one target in the passing game, as he caught all six of his targets for 58 yards against the Cowboys. Tate and the Lions will host Green Bay in the final game of the NFL Regular Season, where Tate will try to keep his streak of four straight games with at least six catches alive. He managed to reach 1,000 yards receiving last week, and will try to build upon that feat against a Packers team who held him to 40 yards in their matchup in Week 3. Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin both had touchdowns in that game, but Tate has emerged as the focal point for Matthew Stafford since Week 6. Look for Tate to have another strong outing this Sunday against a defense that has allowed the second most FanDuel points to opposing wide receivers on the season, and who has allowed five receiving touchdowns to wide receivers in their last two games.

    Tight Ends



    *See Explanation Above*



    *See Explanation Above*



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