The Daily Dose – DraftKings
By Bryan Sweet, DFW Senior Writer and Co-Owner, @FantasyFreakDFW
Welcome to your DFS Daily Dose! Our goal with this article is to bring to light some players who can help you profit in daily fantasy football. If you’re new to the scene, I suggest you read this post to get a general overview of what we’re going to be talking about in this article every week. Once you’ve finished getting caught up, rejoin us for some strategy for taking down both cash games and GPPs on DraftKings.
Well, we’ve finally made it to the final week of the NFL regular season. The week most fantasy footballers dread, not only because the season is coming to a close but because so many players do not play in this week. Fortunately for DFS players, that just means more opportunity for some guys who normally don’t see playing time. With a full complement of games on Sunday this week, we have all 32 NFL teams to choose from. However, as you’ll see, it’s best to focus on the games that have something at stake. So, let’s get to our picks for this week 17 slate.
Cash games are the bankroll builders of daily fantasy football. Everyone wants to hit a life-changing GPP, but you’ve got to have money to enter those tournaments. If you can be successful in cash games, and play a higher dollar amount in these versus GPPs, you should be able to build a sustainable bankroll to last throughout the season and beyond. So, who are some targets on DraftKings that can help lead us to a profit in cash games?
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers ($7,700, 23.6 projected points)
Rodgers enters the week 17 contest with the Lions having backed up his bold statement from a few weeks back when he declared his team would win out and make the playoffs. Well, the Packers are a victory over the Lions from backing up that claim and wrestling the NFC North title from the Lions. Rodgers has been scintillating since week seven, with the lone exception being the week 15 game against Chicago in miserable weather. In week three, when these two teams last clashed, Rodgers tossed four TDs on just 24 passes and compiled 204 yards with no INTs. Expect that yardage total to increase this week and four passing TDs isn’t out of the question, making Rodgers a no-brainer play at QB in your cash games.
David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals ($9,800, 26.2 projected points)
Who else did you expect to see in this spot the final regular-season week of the year? Johnson has been a monster this season, with only Le’Veon Bell being comparable throughout the season. With Bell resting this week, Johnson immediately becomes the top RB play, as evidence by his nearly-$10,000 salary. Fortunately there are enough low-priced guys to offset that and still build a competitive lineup. The Cardinals have nothing to gain by winning, but this team is still a talented unit and might want to make a statement to the rest of the NFC West with a resounding victory over the Rams. The only way Johnson isn’t in all my lineups is if the Cardinals indicate they don’t plan on playing him the entire game.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers ($8,100, 22.9 projected points)
It could be argued Nelson is in line for Comeback Player of the Year with his performance this season after a knee injury forced him to miss much of last season. Nelson has been particularly effective in recent weeks, coinciding with the improved play of QB Aaron Rodgers. As mentioned earlier, this is a huge game for both teams, and there is no reason to expect anything less than four quarters of action for all involved. The last time the Packers played the Lions, Nelson hauled in two of Rodgers’ four TD passes and contributed 101 yards on six receptions. Lions CB Darius Slay is expected to suit up for this game, potentially dinging Nelson’s ceiling slightly, but Nelson has been up to the task of playing well against elite CBs, so that shouldn’t dissuade us from using him in this matchup.
Utilizing these players, and remembering our goals of 150 total points and players with consistently high floors, we could put together a lineup consisting of the following.
Burkhead is a player we haven’t recommended much (if any) this season, but his role has continued to expand and he should see a healthy workload this week as the Bengals are out of playoff contention and Burkhead is a free agent following the season. Rogers should see extended run with the Steelers electing to rest their starters this week, making him one of the top values of the day. Steve Smith announced this will be his last game in the NFL, and I expect Joe Flacco and the Ravens to send him off into the sunset with ample opportunities to finish with a day that punctuates his incredible career. Kelce has been the best TE in football this year and the Chiefs are playing for a chance at the AFC West title. McKinnon will see extra work this week with Adrian Peterson having already been ruled out.
Life. Changing. Money. That’s the draw for GPPs with seven-figure top prizes and low entry fees, but how can one be taken down? The easy answer is it can’t without everything going your way, but we can try and tilt those odds just a little by focusing on those with high ceilings and low projected ownership. Let’s see if we can find some of the players who fit that bill.
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs ($5,000, 18.1 projected points)
While I think Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers will score more points, neither has the potential value upside as Smith. Kansas City is looking to capture the AFC West crown and Smith is one of only a handful of QBs with something to play for. Many people also forget that Smith can make plays with his legs, further enhancing his appeal as a GPP play. The projected shootouts in the Green Bay-Detroit and the Atlanta-New Orleans games will also likely lower Smith’s ownership as many will gravitate to one of those four QBs.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,500, 12.0 projected points)
I’m going to be honest with you, this selection scares the hell out of me. We already know Pittsburgh is going to be resting starters, but does that mean a full workload for Williams or will Fitzgerald Toussaint be worked into the mix as well? Williams saw his first game action since week six, being on the field for one snap. Pittsburgh tends to rely on one RB exclusively, so if Williams can stay healthy he should see enough work to easily reach 3X value. If news breaks that the carries will be split or if Williams is struggling with his knee in practice, I’ll probably pivot to Zach Zenner and swap Eli Rogers for Julian Edelman.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,500, 15.2 projected points)
Oh, how the mighty had fallen. Heading into this season, Robinson was pegged as a WR1 with top five upside, but a regression from Blake Bortles combined with a struggling offensive line derailed a promising season. Last week, however, Robinson looked like the player many envisioned prior to the start of the season. Interim HC Doug Marrone indicated the spark of success stemmed from the team moving Robinson around the formation more often. Perhaps we’ll get one final glimpse of that WR1 upside this week as Jacksonville finishes up against the Colts and their poor pass defense.
Here is what one of my lineups will look like this week, including the players I listed above.
We already know what we get from David Johnson and he’ll likely be in all my lineups this week. Nelson and Rogers are in prime spots to perform this week and Sproles should see a heavy workload this week with Ryan Mathews going on IR on Tuesday.
Well, there’s my prescription for taking down cash games and GPPs on DraftKings in week 17. We’ll schedule a follow up appointment for next Saturday to see how we did and look ahead to the divisional round of the playoffs. Best of luck!