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Week 17 Daily Divide DFS Picks: Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Odell Beckham Jr.

Daily Divide: Week 17 DFS

Week 17 can be an odd place full of unknowns and DFS landmines. So full of oddities and quirks, Vegas hasn’t even set lines for every game yet. While some teams have a lot to play for, other teams have less (or nothing) to play. Competitive spirit (or pride and ego) may motivate some teams who otherwise lack motivation, but inevitably some players or teams will be “going through the motions.” Some top players may get fed, and other third string and previously unheard from rookies may see extended action. Week 17 DFS can certainly be fun, and even profitable! But measure out your expectations, strategies, and exposures. Maybe dial it back a bit. Maybe do more head to heads than double ups. Maybe play more lineups and tourneys than usual. We’re not making specific suggestions of course, but just asking people to consider their plan. In a volatile season, Week 17 figures to be an even more volatile weekend.

As usual, Nathan and Matt will each make picks for every position, with some notes as to floor and ceiling. Our arguments debates hopefully provide enough information to help people make sound decisions for their DFS lineups.

Nathan: A volatile week of DFS should make for some wacky lineups doing really well and some stable-appearing lineups that end up being unstabalized. We will do our best to help you hit that big score in this final week of regular season DFS.

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Nathan’s DFS Picks for Week Sixteen

QB: Eli Manning vs PHI
The Eagles can't stop a nosebleed or a passing offense, they were lit up like a Christmas tree by Kirk Cousins last week and I expect Eli and the Giants to do more of the same with Odell Beckham Jr. returning from his suspension. The Eagles/Giants game comes in with the second highest over/under of the week at 51 with the Giants as 3.5 point home favorites. Eli has a nice ceiling for a player priced in the middle tier of quarterbacks this week.

Stacking: When you are playing Eli Manning, it is a given that Odell Beckham is in play as a stacking option with Mr. Manning

Matt: A ceiling worth of tournament play. A floor unworthy of cash games.


RB: DeAngelo Williams at CLE
In a week where everyone and their mother's uncle was let-down by at least one Steelers player in DFS, Deangelo Williams put up a gaudy 33.30 PPR points, despite the Steelers only scoring 17 points. Williams is getting his fair share, and I think the Steelers overall performance may cause his ownership to be down. In a game where the Steelers have a team total of 28, facing a Cleveland defense allowing the most rushing yards in the NFL at 135 per game, that may be a mistake.

Matt: No issue dipping back into this well.


WR: Julio Jones vs NOS
We have referenced several narratives throughout the season, mostly tongue-in-cheek, saying things like “Gronk playing in his hometown of Buffalo is even better than usual.” In week 17, however, there may be a little more credence to this Julio narrative. Julio is only 17 catches and 243 receiving yards away from all-time single season records in both categories. In a game that means nothing for the Falcons or Saints, I expect QB Matt Ryan and the Falcons to target Julio as much as humanly possible against a Saints secondary that has allowed the most passing yards in the NFL this season.

Stacking: The Matt Ryan/Julio Jones stack is one of my favorite of the weekend, the only real worry is Ryan forcing the ball to Jones causing a few turnovers.

Matt: I am less confident in the likelihood of this 17-250 line Nathan (and others) are projecting, as the Saints defense is beatable any number of ways. The possible #NarrativeStreet upside here, however, is of the tournament winning variety. Julio will be very popular this weekend.


TE: Zach Miller vs DET
Zach Miller has quietly been a #DailyDivide favorite since Martellus Bennett has been put on IR. Miller has missed practice this week, but that hasn't stopped him from playing and producing the last few weeks. With Alshon Jeffery out, Miller will be peppered with targets like he was last week when he saw 8 targets against the Buccaneers, marking the 5th time in the last 6 games with 6 targets or more. If Miller is out, I will be all-in on Matt’s tight end option listed below.

Stacking: Too many other good options at quarterback this week to go with Jay Cutler.

Matt: If he plays, I love it. (And I’m not going Cutler this weekend. Tough matchup + Alshon Jeffery out.)


Matt’s DFS Picks for Week Fifteen

QB: Brian Hoyer vs JAX
Returning from a concussion, Brian Hoyer is listed as “probable” this week and will start in this great paper matchup against the Jaguars, who are in the bottom third in Yards Per Pass Attempt, passing touchdowns allowed, and completion percentage, amongst other stats. The Jacksonville offense averages over 24 offensive points per game, good for 11th in the NFL. When coupled with their 31st ranked passing defense via FootballlOutsiders DVOA, the fantasy landscape is set for a nice day. Hoyer’s concussion game aside, he has multiple touchdowns in seven of his previous eight games, which includes two games he played off the bench.

Stacking: DeAndre Hopkins will be the popular stacking play here, and for good reason. Don’t overlook the discounted Nate Washington, however, who has been very serviceable in the absence of fellow WR Cecil Shorts, missing another game this weekend.

Nathan: I'm a little hesitant to play a quarterback the first game back from a concussion, but the matchup is nice enough that it could be worth the risk in GPP’s.


RB: Devonta Freeman vs NOS
No need to belabor this one. One of 2015’s best fantasy RB’s versus one of 2015’s worst defenses against the run. (People like to focus on the Saints weak secondary, but as I wrote about in last week’s Divide, the Saints have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing RBs.) As Nathan likes to say, can I stop writing now?

Freeman’s weekly passing game involvement offers him the sort of floor you want in cash games, and this cake matchup (on the ground and in the air) speaks to an upside attractive in both cash games and tourneys. Many will (rightfully) focus on the passing attack in this one, as Nathan highlighted above. With this focus on Julio, with the abundance of expensive WRs in play in general (and coupled with the plethora of cheap RBs available), paying up at RB for Freeman may make for a contrarian play in tourneys. (Contrarian plays like this one can make for a nice swing in tourneys if it hits just right.) Be it as a high floor play with upside in cash, or a contrarian upside play in tourneys, Freeman makes an intriguing and solid play this weekend.

Nathan: Matt is spot on here, even if Freeman has slowed down his torrid early season scoring, his role in the passing game has given him an extremely high floor.


RB: A few cheap RBs
Properly playing this slate may involve some last minute lineup tinkering as injury announcements continue to roll out. If Matt Forte sits out or figures to be limited, don’t sleep on Jeremy Langford who has been very successful when given opportunities to shine. The Bears don’t have a lot to play for, so may give Forte extended usage in what may be his last game as a Bear, or may want to see what they have in a younger RB like Langford or even Ka’Deem Carey. Choose your favorite #NarativeStreet wisely.

With Todd Gurley listed as doubtful, Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham both get huge bumps. Cunningham figures to have the higher floor with his PPR work, but Mason may have the higher overall upside. It’s a nice matchup against 49ers surrendering the second most fantasy points to opposing RBs.

With Matt Jones missing Week 17, Alfred Morris may be worth a look as a RB2 play, though I’d be conscientious about his price. I’m not as high on Cameron Artis-Payne as some, but he figures to see the bulk of the load for the Panthers this weekend.


WR: Odell Beckham vs PHI
I shouldn’t have to tell how great Beckham has been this year. Returning from his one game suspension, he sees one of the most ideal matchups in the league. The Eagles are excellent against the run, which isn’t the Giants forte anyways. Teams then take to the air against the Eagles, and oh the success they’ve had. For all the reasons I could list this as an amazing start, my only small concern is the effect firing HC Chip Kelly may have on the team. I’m not sure if I’m more concerned the team might under or over perform, but regardless, Beckham makes a terrific play in both cash games and tourneys.

Stacking: The Giants are eliminated from the playoffs, so I wouldn’t stack too heavily here in cash games. In tourneys, Eli Manning makes has plenty of upside.

Nathan: As I mentioned above, I think OBJ is a great play this weekend.


TE: Zach Ertz at NYG
On the flip side of the above game, Zach Ertz makes a surprisingly good play at tight end. The long-time breakout hopeful Ertz has strung together several nice weeks, averaging just shy of 100 yards per game over the last three weeks. This weekend he faces a Giants squad allowing the second most fantasy points to tight ends on the season, in a game that, on paper, figures to be ripe for a passing game explosion. There might be some tenuousness in playing a tight end in a game where neither team has much to play for in cash, but fire him up in tourneys. (And okay maybe in cash too.)

Stacking: The matchup is theoretically there for Sam Bradford, and I doubt his ownership will be high in tourneys...but it’s not a play I’d put much money on.

Nathan:Totally agree with Matt here, Ertz is a great play this weekend. He will be highly owned, but I don't see that as any reason to fade the way Ertz has played as of late.


Watch The Pricing, But We Also Like

Nathan likes: Blake Bortles, Tim Hightower, David Johnson, Jeremy Maclin, Eric Decker, Zach Ertz

Matt likes: Ben Roethlisberger (We were reminded last week Ben plays better at home, but the matchup on paper couldn’t be better. He’s fine to stack with one or two WRs in tourneys), Cam Newton (stick with the guy who got you here), David Johnson, Tim Hightower, See above for cheap RBs, Brandon Marshall, Doug Baldwin, Jordan Reed


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