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Break The Slate: NFL DFS DraftKings Lineup Picks - Week 17


Hi RotoBallers and thanks for joining me for Week 17! This is annually one of the most interesting weeks of the season due to each team's varying motivations and positions in the playoff picture. This year is no different, as we will see a couple of teams resting or gearing back their starters because they've either locked playoff seeding or are out of the postseason picture entirely. Let's dive into the madness!

These DraftKings lineup recommendations are based on matchups, projected ownership, overall upside/talent levels, opportunity, and other factors such as Vegas odds, home-field advantage, and more. There are some great plays available, so read on to find out which players are the best for Week 17.

Good luck with your DraftKings DFS lineups, let's Break The Slate together!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks - Week 17 Picks

Jameis Winston - ATL @ TB ($6,600)

Baltimore's Lamar Jackson won't play this week, which makes the QB spot a wide-open proposition. While some teams have cloudy motivations this week, the Bucs are clearly trying to finish the season with a .500 record in order to carry some positives into the offseason after their first year under HC Bruce Arians. We've continuously touched on the fact that Jameis Winston might not be a good "real life" QB, but he is a DFS All-Star. I'm willing to live with his bone-headed mistakes in exchange for his fantasy upside and Jameis should once again be able to produce a strong score against a Falcons Defense that ranks 24th in the league in DK points allowed to opposing QBs.

Carson Wentz - PHI @ NYG ($6,100)

Motivation means a lot this late in the season and the Eagles head into Week 17 with tons of it. Philly has a "win and in" scenario in this matchup against the New York Giants, which piques my interest in Eagles QB Carson Wentz. After looking sluggish for the better part of the year, Wentz has stepped up his play over the past month. Wentz has went over 300 yards passing in three of Philly's last four games while throwing for nine TDs since Week 12. He gets a juicy matchup against a Giants secondary that is allowing the third-most yards per attempt in the NFL to the QB position and his reasonable $6.1k price tag makes him my favorite play in the mid-tier salary range.

Case Keenum - WAS @ DAL ($4,500)

I expected to have RG3 as this week's "salary saver" option, but with the Ravens in a tough matchup against a Steelers team that will be playing all out, I think a pivot to Washington's Case Keenum could pay dividends in GPPs. Rookie QB Dwayne Haskins will sit this one out, which paves the way for the well-traveled Keenum - who I consider to actually be a fantasy upgrade for this offense at the moment. Keenum is a bargain around the industry and has posted some useful DFS scores in limited action this season. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 158 yards and a TD, as well as ran for a score in relief of Haskins in the second half last week. The matchup against the Dallas Cowboys isn't great, but I certainly expect him to return value on his $4.5k price tag.

*SATURDAY UPDATE: Jameis Winston is listed as 'Questionable', but is fully expected to play. The setup for Wentz makes him my favorite play at what's a fairly "Meh" QB position this week. Washington's Terry McLaurin has been ruled out which does certainly put a dent in Case Keenum's upside, though he still remains a great way to save salary.

 

DraftKings DFS Running Backs - Week 17 Picks

Aaron Jones - GB @ DET ($8,200)

I really don't like recommending Aaron Jones...especially at this type of price. I know that sounds like a strange thing to say since I'm listing him here, but I feel like I should put an asterisk beside his name. Jones has as much upside as any RB on the slate - as evidenced by 30-plus DK point performances in two of Green Bay's last three - but he is also more likely to "completely bust" than any RB in this price range due to his frustrating lack of consistent usage in this Packers offense. Even with spotty volume, Jones has more TDs than any player in the NFL this year, which obviously makes him a very viable tournament target. Throw in the fact that Green Bay is playing for a first-round bye this week, will square off against a Lions Defense that is one of the worst units in the league, and has labeled Jones' backfield mate Jamaal Williams with a 'Questionable' tag...and it feels as though Jones has more paths than usual to a big workload, which gives me the confidence to list him here this week.

Ezekiel Elliott - WAS @ DAL ($8,000)

After laying an egg against Philly in Week 16, the Dallas Cowboys are now in "must win" mode in this matchup against Washington. Due to that fact, I expect Dallas to rely on their best player, Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys offense should attempt to win this one by attacking the Redskins on the ground, an area where Washington has struggled mightily. The 'Skins have allowed 1,790 yards to opposing RBs - the third-most yards allowed in the NFL - and stand 30th in the league in DK Points relinquished to the position. Elliott has looked good when given opportunities over the past month and there's a strong chance that he carves up this Washington defense that allowed almost 300 total yards to Saquon Barkley last week.

Kenyan Drake - ARI @ LAR ($7,100)

This definitely feels "point chasey", but that doesn't make it a bad play. Kenyan Drake has been a revelation for the Cardinals after years of being imprisoned by Adam Gase in Miami. Finally free, Drake has been ridiculous for Arizona over the past couple of weeks, rushing for 303 yards and six(!) TDs on 46 combined carries against the Browns and Seahawks. The combination of a banged-up Kyler Murray and Drake's hot hand should help him once again see a huge workload this week against a Rams team that has been eliminated from playoff contention. The LA run defense has been non-existent recently, and has relinquished over 100-yards rushing in four of their last five, including allowing both Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard to go over the century mark in Week 15.

*SATURDAY UPDATE: Still feel great about all the RBs listed above. Carolina's Christian McCaffrey will be chasing records this week and not much else, so you can expect his volume to be extremely heavy (as usual). Green Bay's Jamaal Williams has been ruled out which should push DFS players to roster Aaron Jones in droves. Though he'll now be chalk at an expensive price, the only concern we ever have with Jones is volume, which he should now get plenty of. If you are looking lower down the salary scale at RB this week, I'm totally fine going back to the DeAndre Washington well. He was a player that we highlighted in this article last week and filled in admirably for Josh Jacobs. Washington should once again see a substantial workload against Denver with Jacobs still out. It's always tough to trust Patriots running backs, but I am intrigued by Sony Michel against the horrible Dolphins run defense. He's TD dependent, but Michel has received 40 total carries over the last two weeks.

 

DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers - Week 17 Picks

Julio Jones - ATL @ TB ($8,500)

Motivation is a big theme this week, and while the Falcons "have nothing to play for", they seem dead set on closing out this season in a fashion that saves coach Dan Quinn's job. They've continued running their studs out and I don't anticipate anything changing in that regard this week...although Julio Jones has popped up with a 'Questionable' tag, so keep an eye on that. Since Calvin Ridley went down with an injury two weeks ago, Jones has been BEASTING...racking up 23 catches for 300 yards and 2 TDs on a ridiculous 35 targets. He brings those video-game numbers into a matchup against a Bucs defense that is DEAD LAST in the league in yards allowed to opposing wide receivers. The matchup and potential game environment doesn't get any better, and if Jones continues to see anywhere near the volume he's had in recent weeks a slate-breaking score wouldn't be surprising.

Justin Watson - ATL @ TB ($4,900)

With the plethora of injuries the Bucs have suffered in the wide-receiving corps, we can safely turn our eyes to Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson. Perriman's price tag has gotten a bit out of hand, so I'll side with the cheaper Watson here. Watson played 70 of Tampa's 72 snaps last week, receiving 10 targets in the Week 16 game against Houston, converting those looks into five catches for 43 yards and a TD. He gets a prime matchup against an Atlanta defense that has relinquished nearly 2,500 yards to opposing WRs and ranks 30th in the NFL by allowing 9.36 yards per target to the position.

Steven Sims Jr. - WAS @ DAL ($4,700)

I touched on Case Keenum earlier in the article and if you're a believer in that play and need to save salary, you can pair Keenum with Washington's emerging receiver Steven Sims Jr. The undrafted rookie out of Kansas has seen increased playing time over the past month and has made the most of his opportunity, racking up 15 catches for 149 yards and three TDs on a massive 28 targets over Washington's last three games. With the 'Skins alpha-receiver Terry McLaurin still in the NFL concussion protocol as of this writing, Sims is in line to get all the work he can handle in this one.

*SATURDAY UPDATE: If paying up at WR, Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, and Davante Adams are the clear top options with Adams being an especially intriguing GPP pivot play with Aaron Jones expected to be so popular. Chris Godwin has been ruled out which keeps the active Bucs receivers in consideration. Terry McLaurin has been ruled out for Washington. That makes Steven Sims Jr the primary option in this depleted 'Skins passing attack and even brings a player like Kelvin Harmon at $3.9k into consideration.

 

DraftKings DFS Tight Ends - Week 17 Picks

Tyler Higbee - ARI @ LAR ($5,600)

I'm not gonna let the regular season end without targeting the Arizona Cardinals with a tight end at least one more time. If you are a regular reader of this article then you know this matchup is a "cheat code" that we've exploited as often as possible due to the Cards' historical ineptitude against the position. In addition to routinely targeting Arizona, I've been writing up LA's Tyler Higbee seemingly every week for the past month. Since Gerald Everett went down with an injury in Week 12, Higbee has - I can't believe I'm saying this - looked like one of the best tight ends in football. He's went over 100-yards receiving in four-straight games and has been targeted a RIDICULOUS 44 times in that span. My only concern here is that the Rams have very little to play for, but Higbee played almost every snap for the Rams last week despite Gerald Everett's return. I'm optimistic we can pencil him in for a solid workload, but it's a situation that I'll monitor up until kickoff.

Dallas Goedert - PHI @ NYG ($4,900)

This is another situation to monitor, with Philly heading into a "must win" game against New York with their star TE Zach Ertz very banged up. Ertz missed a large portion of last week's game against Dallas with a rib injury, which resulted in his running mate Dallas Goedert being targeted 12 times. The second-year TE converted those looks into nine catches for 91 yards and a TD. If Ertz can't go, Goedert becomes an obvious slam-dunk play in this spot...and even if Ertz does try to tough it out, it wouldn't be at all surprising if he's very limited.

*SATURDAY UPDATE: Philly's Zach Ertz has officially been ruled out, so lock and load Dallas Goedert with confidence. I'm feeling a little shaky about Tyler Higbee - not because he's not an awesome play - but due to the fact that there have been some reports that the Rams might rest key players in this meaningless game. KC's Travis Kelce is always in play if you don't mind spending up. The matchup is brutal, but Miami's Mike Gesicki has benefited greatly from Ryan Fitzpatrick's care-free aggressiveness.

 

DraftKings DFS Defenses - Week 17 Picks

Pittsburgh Steelers Defense - PIT @ BAL ($3,000)

I'm only listing one D/ST this week because I don't know that I'll roster any unit outside of Pittsburgh in my own builds. The Steelers have consistently been one of the top defensive units in the league this year. They head into a "must win" situation against the Ravens, will be facing an offense that's resting their starters, and have a reasonable price tag of just $3k. It all feels like a recipe for success and one I'm not going to overthink.

*SATURDAY UPDATE: I'm still planting my flag on the Steeler hill, but there are some other good options out there. If you're spending up New England and New Orleans are both great choices. I also like the Green Bay D/ST against the Lions in a spot where the Packers will be going all out.

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