Season-long players still can get DFS fix, but beware of Week 17 land mines
Who’s ready to face the cold, hard winter months without fantasy football?
No? That’s OK, we’re not either. There are few things worse in the sports world than those grey Sundays in February without any football to watch ... and put a few nickels on, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Thankfully we have DFS to get us through the next few weeks – unless you’re in a fantasy league that plays its championship in Week 17. In which case we suggest you find a new league as soon as possible.
Week 17, however, can still get a bit tricky in DFS.
First off, we strongly suggest you reduce the amount you typically play for. Teams will be resting players and some will see reduced work without ever showing up on this week’s injury report.
And, yes, there’s a good chance some running back you’ve never heard of ends up winning someone a lot of money while Saquon Barkley gets seven total carries.
It happens every year.
Which brings us to our second piece of advice: it’s always important to do your research, but don’t simply trust the numbers this week. The best thing you can do is follow beat writers from different teams, particularly ones who have nothing to play for.
Of course, you could just target players from games with playoff implications, but where’s the fun in that?
With that being said, let’s take a look at some Week 17 games to keep an eye on.
Jacksonville at Houston: The Jaguars have long given up on the season, but the Texans still have a shot at a first-round bye. Fire up Deshaun Watson and company, and if you think Jacksonville tries to keep it competitive, taking a shot on WR Dede Westbrook against Houston’s lackluster secondary isn’t a bad idea.
Detroit at Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers was adamant he would play heading into Week 16 despite the Packers being eliminated, and he wasn’t messing around. If he suits up again, we should expect another big performance. It also helps that Davante Adams is close to setting franchise records for receptions and receiving yards.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay: There would be plenty of offense here if the starters were guaranteed to play. Pay extra attention to Jameis Winston, who’s $20.9 million fifth-year option would become guaranteed with a serious injury. Ryan Fitzpatrick was inactive for Week 16, and there’s a chance Ryan Griffin sees time at QB.
Oakland at Kansas City: Thanks to Sunday night’s loss in Seattle, the Chiefs need a win (or a Chargers loss) to guarantee home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Chiefs and Chargers kick off at the same time, so we’re safe to assume Kansas City’s offense will have a green light against Oakland’s dreadful defense.
Chicago at Minnesota: It’s typically a wise decision to avoid players going up against the Bears defense, but there’s a fair chance they take their foot off the gas in Week 17, particularly if the Rams open up an early lead on the 49ers. The Vikings, on the other hand, need a win to ensure a playoff berth, which ironically, would set up a wild-card rematch against the Bears.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: The Steelers need a win combined with a Ravens loss to clinch the AFC North. They should do their part against a Cincinnati defense that has cratered over the second half of the season. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and whichever running back draws the start, they’re all in play in this scenario.