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Vikings vs. Packers Week 17 Sunday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown & NFL DFS Picks

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Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 17 Sunday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 17 Vikings vs. Packers Sunday Night Football matchup.

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The Minnesota Vikings travel to Green Bay to take one the division rival Packers this Sunday in a must-win matchup to keep their playoff hopes alive. Unfortunately, the Vikings have their work cut out for them this week, as they’ll playing in near sub-zero temperatures, and they’ll have to play without the help of starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has already been ruled out of this of this game due to his placement on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The Packers, who began the week as near-touchdown favorites, are now 13-point home favorites as they look to lock-up the number one seed in the NFC, which they can do with a victory and some help from the Dallas Cowboys. From a fantasy football perspective, production could come at a premium this Sunday, meaning it will be important to prioritize rostering at least two of the games top superstars in every lineup. It definitely looks like a slate where a “studs and duds” approach will be quite viable.

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While it was somewhat impressive that the Vikings were able to force three interceptions last weekend against the Rams’ top-tier offense, Minnesota remains one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL. The Vikings are ranked 25th in yards allowed per pass attempt this season, and rank bottom-three in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to both quarterbacks and wide receivers. That’s a recipe for disaster when you’re facing the lethal combination of Davante Adams ($11,000 DraftKings/$14,500 FanDuel) and Aaron Rodgers ($11,200 DraftKings/$17,000 FanDuel), who could earn easily earn double-digit targets, as he has in 50% of his matchups, even in the expected cold weather. Adams ranks top-five at his position in targets per route run, yards per route run, and fantasy points per route run, and there’s absolutely no one in Minnesota’s secondary who can hang with Adams one-on-one. Both are expected to be among the most-owned players on the slate, but the popularity is entirely warranted: Adams roasted this Minnesota secondary for seven catches, 115 yards and two touchdowns in Minneapolis six weeks ago.

If the game flow goes anything like the Vegas spread suggests, the Packers will have plenty of opportunities to utilize their two high quality backfield weapons, Aaron Jones ($9,000 DraftKings/$12,500 FanDuel) and A.J. Dillon ($5,200 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel), and while we’ve seen the touch distribution fluctuate throughout the second half of the season, it appears Green Bay is trending back towards leaning on Jones over Dillon in neutral situations. Since week 15, Jones has 60% of the team’s running back rush attempts, and has seen eight targets compared to Dillon’s four during that span. But it should be noted, inside-the-ten yard line, the Packers have turned to Dillon, who is the only back to have a goalline carry in the Packers’ last two games. The Vikings rank 30th in yards allowed rush, and 25th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to running backs this season

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Offensively, Minnesota will turn to backup quarterback Sean Mannion ($6,000 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel), who will be leading the Vikings’ depleted passing attack against a Green Bay defense that ranks top-five in yards allowed per pass attempt and top-ten in PFF team defensive grades. To make matters worse, the Vikings announced that star receiver Adam Thielen underwent season-ending ankle surgery, making the Green Bay secondary’s job significantly simpler. They’ll be keying-in on Justin Jefferson ($10,800 DraftKings/$13,500 FanDuel), who is a near-lock for ten looks, but his projected efficiency takes a massive hit with Mannion under-center compared to Kirk Cousins. Jefferson’s touchdown potential, especially considering the weather, is as low as it’s been all season.

Dalvin Cook ($10,400 DraftKings/$14,000 FanDuel) will almost certainly be fed, and that could be the key to keeping this game closer than the spread suggests. The Packers rank 31st in yards allowed per rush attempts, and dead last in that statistic over their last three games. The last time Cook played a bottom-five defense, in Week 14, he earned 222 total yards on 28 touches, finding the end zone twice. He’ll need that level of performance to give Mannion and the rest of the Vikings a fighting chance in this difficult divisional contest.


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With Rodgers and the Packers’ passing attack facing a bottom-five defense, and Minnesota likely spending a majority of their focus on Davante Adams, the Green Bay auxiliary weapons make for extremely enticing value options. Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($6,400 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel) will return from a one-week absence, and in his nine games played this season, ranks second on the Packers in target share, and is nearly tied with Adams in share of team air yards. His average depth of target is a whopping 18.5 yards, seven yards further than any other Green Bay receivers’ aDOT this season. On a one game slate, big-play receivers, especially those in plus-matchups with great quarterbacks, make for excellent tournament plays. This certainly true for Valdes-Scantling this weekend.  The trio of Allen Lazard ($7,000 DraftKings/$10,000 FanDuel), Equanimeous St. Brown ($1,000 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel), and Josiah Deguara ($3,000 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) will likely see 25% of Rodgers’ passes, but each have less than a 20% chance of being in the optimal lineup on DraftKings or FandDuel this weekend.

While all Minnesota receivers, including Justin Jefferson, have a significantly lowered-probability of hitting a ceiling score with Sean Mannion starting, we can still project a decent workload for Tyler Conklin ($5,600 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) and K.J. Osborn ($7,800 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel), who have combined for a 28% target share this season. If the Vikings fall behind early, they could see upwards of 15 targets to split between the two of them. Dede Westbrook ($2,000 DraftKings/$6,000 FanDuel), who only has 14 targets all year, will likely mix-in more than we’ve seen this season.

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The Bottom Line

This game could get ugly. The Packers are rolling offensively and getting healthier on defense, and have a chance to eliminate their bitter-rivals from playoff contention on primetime television. Expect Rodgers and the Packers to attempt to enforce their will right from the start, mixing in play-action deep shots with their versatile running game. The Vikings, a bottom-ten defense, likely has no answers for Green Bay’s balanced, efficient offensive approach. The Packers ($4,000 DraftKings) make a ton of sense on DraftKings, as they could easily force multiple turnovers, but the same can’t be said for kickers Mason Crosby ($3,600 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) or Greg Joseph ($3,200 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel), as cold weather and wind makes kicking field goals significantly harder. While we should never say never, unless Dalvin Cook has the game of his life, the Packers likely stomp the Vikings and clinch the NFC’s number-one seed.

Week 17 Sunday Night Football Prediction: Packers 30, Vikings 13.

Check out all of the best NFL bets for this Sunday Night Football matchup over at OddsShopper, where you can find winning bets in 30 seconds or less.


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View our DraftKings DFS NFL ownership rankings and our FanDuel NFL DFS rankings. If you’re interested in other NFL football DFS for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, daily fantasy football rankings, and NFL DFS stacking. Take a look at our depth charts, inactives and NFL line-ups. We also have single-game projections and NFL DFS single-game ownership projections.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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