FanDuel NFL DFS Picks, Predictions And Lineup Strategy For Week 17

The 2020-21 NFL season comes to an end this Sunday with huge Week 17 DFS contests being offered on FanDuel.

In this weekly column, we will identify the best plays, values, and tournament options for your NFL DFS lineups. We’ll also offer the best “fades” at each position, indicating which players to avoid when building your lineups.

Keep in mind that some of the plays offered are better for “Cash” games, i.e. 50/50, H2H, and Double-Up formats, which require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risks in the hopes of separating from a large field. Those GPP plays can also be ideal for Best Ball formats where players with higher upside are valuable.

Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick-off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Please note any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.

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Quarterback

Best Play: Josh Allen ($8.2k)

Matchups haven’t mattered much for Allen, or Stefon Diggs, over the past month. Allen is so big, so elusive, and now so aware of what defenses are doing that he seems unstoppable with a 71.2% completion rate, 112 passer rating and 16 total TDs over his last 5 starts. The Dolphins are a tough defense to crack, but Allen produced 415 passing yards and 4 TDs in Miami back in Week 2. The Bills have a 60.4% pass-play rate over their last 3 wins and should go all out on Sunday with a chance to lock up the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

Value Play: C.J. Beathard ($6.6k)

The Niners look to play spoiler for a second straight week after flexing their offensive muscles with Beathard starting in Arizona last Saturday. Beathard mostly managed the game with 3 of his 13 completions going for TDs, but should see more volume against a Seahawks team that faces the second-highest pass-play rate (64.9%) and ranks 24th in DVOA pass defense. Even after a good stretch of play, the Seahawks yield the most passing YPG (287.5) and this year and rank 22nd in opponent’s TD conversion rate in the red zone.

GPP Play: Andy Dalton ($7.1k)

Dallas has won 4 straight and Dalton is playing great ball with a 105.8 passer rating and 9:2 TD:INT ratio in that span. He’s spreading his attempts between the Cowboys talented receivers and that should allow him to avoid shutdown LCB James Bradberry and target RCB Isaac Yiadom. The Giants rank 22nd in DVOA pass defense and are yielding the fourth-highest completion rate (73.1%) over the past 3 weeks. The G-Men also have the second-lowest average time of possession (24:18) in that span, so Dalton should have ample opportunities.

Fade: Tom Brady ($8.4k)

It was just 2 weeks ago that Brady was torching the Falcons for 390 yards in a huge comeback win. But we expect Atlanta to bounce back with an inspired performance against the immobile veteran. Since Raheem Morris took over, the Falcons have gone from a bottom 10 unit to the 12th-rated DVOA defense per Football Outsiders. They held Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to just 17 points last week, holding the reigning Super Bowl MVP to a 68.6 passer rating.

Running Back

Best Play: Derrick Henry ($10.2k)

Henry has slate-breaking ability and the means to post another huge line in a juicy matchup against the Texans. Houston allows the second-most rushing YPG (151.7) and allows the most RB Yards (5.39) per carry this season. Henry blew up for 267 scrimmage yards and 2 TDs in a 42-36 win over Houston in Week 5 and he has a hefty guaranteed workload on a team with the second-highest rush-play rate (56.5%) over the past 3 weeks.

Value Play: Jeff Wilson Jr. ($6.3k)

The matchup isn’t ideal for Wilson this week, but neither was a test against Arizona’s 14th-rated DVOA rush defense last Saturday. With Raheem Mostert (ankle, I.R.) out, Wilson erupted for 204 scrimmage yards while playing on 70% of offensive snaps. Seattle ranks 10th in DVOA rush defense but gave up 118 rushing yards to the Rams last week and is allowing 50% of opponent’s TDs to come on the ground over the past 3 weeks.

GPP Play: Jonathan Taylor ($8.4k)

The Jaguars are going to give up a ton of points, it’s just a matter of which Colts cash in on those opportunities. Taylor is the most likely candidate to find the end zone on a team with an implied 31.5-point total. The Jaguars are yielding 6.2 yards per play this season and 4.9 YPC over their last 3 contests while showing clear signs of tanking. Jacksonville ranks 31st in total DVOA defense and is more vulnerable through the air, but the Colts are rocking a 55.5% rush-play rate over the past 3 weeks with Taylor playing on 61% of offensive snaps in that span.

Fade: Dalvin Cook ($10.4k)

Cook was our Week 17 fade due to workload concerns and now we’re simply extending condolences to the star RB after his father, James, died on Wednesday. Cook won’t play and the Vikings will hand the keys to Alexander Mattison ($5.0k) if he can clear concussion protocol. If not, Mike Boone ($4.6k) would be the value play of Week 17 in a fantastic matchup against the Lions. Ameer Abdullah ($4.5k) should mix in on passing downs and is a longshot GPP play to consider against his former team.

Wide Receiver

Best Play: Davante Adams ($9.3k)

The Bears are giving up the highest percentage of opponent’s TDs (83.3%) through the air over the past 3 weeks and averaging 36.7 PPG during that span. The Packers offense is also on fire with Adams handling a ridiculous workload. He leads all receivers with a 45.3% red zone target share and has accounted for 6 of Aaron Rodgers’ 11 TDs in December. He has 16 scores over 12 games this year and FanDuel rewards skill players that can find the end zone.

Value Play: Josh Reynolds ($4.9k)

Jared Goff (thumb) is done for the season, Cooper Kupp (COVID) is out, and the Rams might be down to their third-string RB this week in a must-win spot against the Cardinals. With Patrick Peterson likely to cover Robert Woods, Reynolds could draw a team-high targets from spot starter John Wolford. After going undrafted in 2018, Wolford showcased a quick release and good decision making in the Arena League, which obviously impressed Sean McVay. Expect a good game plan from the Rams that will utilize Reynolds and rookie Van Jefferson ($4.6k).

GPP Play: Keke Coutee ($5.7k)

The Texans are going to throw early and often with Deshaun Watson (arm) likely a go in Week 17. Since the Titans are stopping the run and Houston ranks dead last in DVOA rush offense, there will be plenty of volume for Brandin Cooks ($7.3k) and Coutee. The lesser known Coutee should fly under the radar in a better matchup as a burner who can move around the formation and find Adoree Jackson, the 70th ranked CB in the league per Pro Football Focus. The Titans are yielding 10.4 yards per completion this season and have coughed up 47 pass plays of 20-plus yards.

Fade: DeAndre Hopkins ($8.2k)

Hopkins (upper body) and Kyler Murray (lower body) are banged up as they prepare to face an elite Rams defense. The Rams rank third in DVOA pass defense and have arguably the best CB in the league in Jalen Ramsey. Hopkins averaged just 4 yards per target last week, the second time in 4 games that he posted such a meager average. The Rams allow a league-low 9.8 yards per completion and held Hopkins to 52 yards in Week 13, even though he did find the end zone.

Tight End

Best Play: Mike Gesicki ($5.9k)

Gesicki returned from a one-game absence due to a shoulder sprain and snared 4-of-7 targets for 54 yards against the Raiders. He should be a full go for a rematch with the Bills after pasting Buffalo for a 8-130-TD line in Week 2. The Bills are excellent at CB and the Dolphins have few healthy WRs to throw to right now anyways. Buffalo has given up the sixth-most receptions (83) to TEs this season and Gesicki has established a rapport with both Tua and Fitzpatrick.

Value Play: Irv Smith Jr. ($5.6k)

After dropping a surefire TD and then setting up a score for Tyler Conklin in Week 15, Smith secured 2 scores in a tough matchup against New Orleans. Now he’ll face a Lions team that’s yielded the seventh-most TDs (9) to TEs this season. Kyle Rudolph (foot) has been ruled out and Smith is playing on 84.5% of offensive snaps over the past 2 weeks.

GPP Play: George Kittle ($6.8k)

Kittle only needed 28 offensive snaps to produce 92 yards in a run-heavy game script against Arizona. He could produce a much bigger line this week against Seattle’s porous pass defense if the Niners fall behind. Kittle’s playing time remains the biggest unknown as he returns from a foot injury. Yet while he’s out there he’ll have the eye of his former college QB in Beathard.

Fade: Rob Gronkowski ($6.1k)

The Bucs appear to be reducing Gronk’s playing time as they prepare for the playoffs. While he caught 2 TDs last Saturday against Detroit, Gronk played just 33 offensive snaps (43%) in the win. Yes, 3 of his last 6 receptions have gone for TDs and that is important at FanDuel, but we have no guarantees that Gronk will be featured this week and the Falcons stingy red zone defense should be all over him.

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