Friday - May 14, 2021

Home / DFS / DFS GEMS: Week 17

DFS GEMS: Week 17

Week 17 is upon us which for us DFS players only means we need to be very careful who we start. This is the week where starters rest, scrubs start, coaches lie and season-long winners count their cash. We’ll do our best to navigate through these treacherous week 17 waters and guide you to some great plays to cap off the regular season. We fared pretty well last week even with late scratches from Derrick Henry and Rhett Ellison so we’ll see if we improve on that momentum for one final full slate of games. Let’s get down to it!

As a reminder – the rankings below indicate the corresponding team’s ranking in average DraftKings points allowed per game(YTD) The higher the number, the better the matchup. All info that applies to the recommended player will be displayed in bold.

I play on DraftKings exclusively so most of my takes will be slanted towards their scoring and pricing. The weekly Millionaire Maker contest is also focused on the Sunday daytime slate. For takes and advice regarding primetime and London games hit me on Twitter @DavidO_DFS


QB – Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (DraftKings $6,800, FanDuel $7,900)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
ten pk -3.5 24.5 16 20 21 27
hou 49 45.5 21 30 27 19 23

This game is everything for the Titans. A win and they’re in so expect them to go all-out on the road at Houston in week 17. Derrick Henry should be back which should take some of the pressure off of Tannehill who’s been phenomenal since taking the reigns with over 23 DK points in 5 of his last 9 games. The matchup is great for all of his offensive weapons and he beat this team for 25.2 points in week 15 so it stands to reason he’ll be able to replicate that success, if not build on it. 

QB – Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (DraftKings $5,300, FanDuel $6,700)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
ind 44.5 -3.5 23.25 19 9 22 20
jax -1 43 19.75 21 31 13 16

The Colts are playing worse of late than their season-long ranking vs quarterbacks currently indicates. Indianapolis has given up the second-most DraftKings points per game over their last 4 contests and have also given up the 9th most points per game to opposing running backs over that same span. Leonard Fournette has 100 targets on the year, and when you factor in Indy’s struggles vs. enemy wideouts you’ve got a recipe for success even with the risks involved.

QB – Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (DraftKings $6,100, FanDuel $7,700)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
phi -5.5 -4.5 24.75 15 7 27 3
nyg 45 45 20.25 29 14 30 13

Philly controls their own destiny in week 17. A win against the Giants and the Eagles take down the NFC East and send all of Cowboys Nation into a full-on hissy fit which is always pretty fun to watch. They are all sorts of banged up with Zach Ertz on life support and Alshon Jeffery already on injured reserve. Despite the current state of their pass catchers, there is still enough talent on this team to get the win against this generous Giants’ defense. Wentz beat them for a solid 23.9 points in week 14 and hasn’t posted less than 22 points in any of the last 4 contests. In a week full of uncertainty, Wentz gives us a safe floor with plenty of upside for the price. 

QB – Jared Goff, L.A. Rams (DraftKings $6,200, FanDuel $7,900)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
az 49 49 20.75 32 23 23 32
lar -7.5 -7.5 28.25 12 15 14 12

With the Rams already eliminated from the playoffs they’re playing for little more than pride and 2020 momentum at this point. Thankfully Arizona presents a soft opponent to alleviate some of their frustration on this lost season. Ranking in the bottom 3rd of the league vs all skill positions, the Rams should dictate this game from start to finish making Goff an intriguing mid-priced option in week 17.


Running Backs

RB – Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (DraftKings $8,100, FanDuel $8,800)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
ten pk -3.5 24.5 16 20 21 27
hou 49 45.5 21 30 27 19 23

Houston has been among the league’s most generous defenses all around this season but they’ve been especially weak against the run, coughing up the 5th most points per game to enemy backs on the year. With Tennessee pulling out all the stops to get into the playoffs expect them to lean on their punishing back to lead the way in this favorable matchup. He’s not cheap but in an uncertain week, he provides some security assuming he suits up as expected.

RB – Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars (DraftKings $7,000, FanDuel $7,400)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
ind 44.5 -3.5 23.25 19 9 22 20
jax -1 43 19.75 21 31 13 16

This same Colts team held Fournette to a mere 12.7 points back in week 11 but that was a Nick Foles led offense. With Gardner Minshew back under center perhaps they’ll find a little more spark in this favorable matchup. With the Colts surrendering the 9th most points per game to enemy backs over their last 4 contests, there is reason for hope that Fournette and company turn things around for the final game of the season. Fournette is the undisputed lead back in this offense and as I mentioned with Minshew, Fournette has a whopping 100 targets (76 receptions) on the season. Despite being slight underdogs at home, Fournette should stay involved in this game no matter how things shake out. His matchup on the season does not look favorable and he hasn’t been great lately but with his talent and volume, he could easily pop for a big game and should have moderate ownership.

RB – Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (DraftKings $7,200, FanDuel $7,900)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
cle -2.5 -2.5 23.75 20 22 9 22
cin 46 45 21.25 25 26 12 15

Last week was a significant let down for Mixon who was still a bit under the weather. Hopefully, a week removed from his illness, he’ll get back to his winning ways in week 17. Prior to last week’s drop off, Mixon had rattled off 17, 30.6, and 21.6 point efforts in 3 straight weeks. That 30.6 point effort came against these very same Browns in week 14 where he handled 26 touches on the road. His price is fair for the upside, and he’s had no less 23 touches in 4 straight weeks. Fire him up with confidence at home in the battle of Ohio.

RB – Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (DraftKings $8,000, FanDuel $8,700)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
was 44 44.5 16.75 23 30 15 29
dal -7 -11 27.75 14 17 5 30

Dallas needs this win to keep their playoff chances alive and thankfully they kick off at the same time as the Eagles, who they need to lose after falling to Philly a week ago. Zeke put up 120 all-purpose yards when these teams met all the way back in week 2 and while a lot has happened since then I’m expecting similar usage in week 17. Dak Prescott is dinged up and not playing well. With the passing game sputtering of late, expect Dallas to lean on their workhorse with all the marbles on the line in a juicy matchup for running backs.

RB – Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints (DraftKings $5,600, FanDuel $5,400)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
no -11.5 -13 30.25 22 6 28 11
car 48 47.5 17.25 11 32 25 2

This one is a bit gutty but hear me out. With a win and a little help, New Orleans gives themselves a chance at home-field advantage and a first-round bye, both would be huge. They need Seattle to win and Green Bay to lose or tie to achieve this. Green Bay Kicks off at the same time as The Saints and Seattle plays San Francisco on Sunday night so they won’t know much during the game but what we do know, we can work with. New Orleans is heavily favored and its a ridiculously favorable matchup for running backs. Alvin Kamara is getting hot right now and Michael Thomas is arguably the most important piece of this offense. Once the lead is established I’m hoping we’ll see some heavy Latavius Murray usage as the Saints look to salt away the clock and leave with the win while keeping their team intact. I don’t see the game being close with Will Grier set to make his second start so there is likely going to be little reason to risk their key assets which should lead to Murray getting heavy work. When he’s had the work, he’s shined and if this game goes the way we think it might, the volume should be there.

RB – Sony Michel, New England Patriots (DraftKings $4,900, FanDuel $6,500)

Team O/U (open) O/U (current) Implied Team Total vs QB vs RB vs WR vs TE
mia 43.5 45 14.5 31 25 31 21
ne -14 -16 30.5 1 1 1 7

If you block out the teams and the player’s name and just look at the matchup numbers it looks pretty good! Then consider the fact that this unnamed player has received over 20 touches in each of his last two contests and has a sub-$5k price tag and I’m pretty sure this is a guy you want to consider fitting into some of your lineups. Sony hasn’t been good this year but in a game that lines up like this, a 20+ point effort seems very reachable. With as much as we are spending elsewhere, finding a guy in this price range with this much implied volume could prove very useful. There’s always a risk when it comes to New England running backs but there’s always that one random week where Belichick just decides to feed one back and he goes off for like 3 touchdowns. This could be that week.

About David Olivarez

David has been writing fantasy football content steadily since 2012 on the web and has been a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association since 2014. He focuses on Daily Fantasy Sports and Trade Analysis. Feel free to ask him questions on Twitter!