Awesemo Daily Fantasy Sports
Awesemo Fantasy Football
Odds Shopper by Awesemo
Connect with us

Articles NFL

Week 17 NFL DFS + Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown Column With Matt Savoca

Avatar

Published

on

Philip Rivers said that he has not 'completely ruled out' returning to the NFL if someone comes calling and the Colts could really us a quarterback...

Table of Contents

(54.5) Minnesota Vikings (30.5) @ Detroit Lions (24)

Quick-Hitter Game Summary:

  • This game has the second-highest Vegas total on the main slate. Assuming Matthew Stafford is healthy enough to play, there should be scoring on both sides of the ball, but the Vikings seem like the easiest bet to score 30-plus points of any team on the slate.
  • Dalvin Cook (family emergency) is out for the Vikings, and backup Alexander Mattison is questionable, likely leading the Vikings to focus much more on their passing attack.
  • Tight end Kyle Rudolph was placed on injured reserve, leaving Irv Smith as the primary pass-catching tight end, and the clear third option in the Minnesota passing attack.
  • D’Andre Swift is a clear value as the 12th-highest salary running back on the slate, but he’s expected to be nearly 20% owned on the main slate. Fantasy gamers in large-field tournaments should take a strong stand on Swift, choosing to be way over, or way under, the field.
  • If Stafford plays this weekend, T.J. Hockenson and Marvin Jones should have plenty of opportunities, and both look like values compared to salary-based expectations. Hockenson has a projection inside the top-3 tight ends.
  • Justin Jefferson needs 111 receiving yards to break the rookie record for receiving yards in a season. That’s extremely attainable against a Lions defense that ranks bottom-10 in the league against primary wide receivers.

Data Deep-Dive:

All Graphs Reflect Last Five Weeks of Data, Click Graphs to Enlarge

NFL DFS Upside Analysis:

Significant takeaways: From a pace-of-play perspective, this matchup doesn’t jump off the page, especially with Lions being one of the most conservative offenses in the NFL over the last five weeks. But both Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins rank above-average in per-drive and per-play efficiency, which should lead to plenty of sustained drives and plenty of opportunities for fantasy points.

Passing and Pace

Why look at passing at pace? Teams that play faster and pass more than average tend to score more fantasy points. When both teams play aggressively, it often creates a game environment perfect for fantasy scoring. Games have a higher probability of going over their Vegas total as well. Ideally, we’re seeking matchups where both teams are in the upper-right quadrant of the chart below (see the chart’s caption for more details).

Week 17 NFL DFS Picks for daily fantasy football lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel based on expert analysis and projections

The X-axis is Early-Down Air Yards divided by team game-script-adjusted plays per second (using Awesemo’s Game-Adjusted Pace from the Advanced Stats Page). The Y-axis is True Neutral Early-Down Pass Rate, a key indicator of a team’s desire to have a pass-oriented game script. The matchup-specific teams’ logos are displayed amongst all other teams in order to contextualize team pace and passing versus league averages (the dotted lines on the chart).

Quarterback Efficiency

Why examine quarterback efficiency? Sustained drives in the NFL rely on efficiency at the quarterback position, so I’ve identified my three favorite performance indicators for assessing quarterback performance. The three bar charts below (see the graph’s caption for more detail) represent a quarterback’s per-drive efficiency (left bar-chart), per-play efficiency including rushes/scrambles (center) and per-pass efficiency (right). Higher rankings from both players indicate a higher likelihood of efficient play, thus a higher probability of fantasy points.

The three columns represent my three primary performance indicators for quarterbacks. Furthest left (tDSR) is True Drive Success Rate, a drive-based efficiency metric that measures a quarterback’s ability to turn drives into touchdowns, regressed based on sample size. The middle column, Expected Points Added (EPA), is a measure of per-play efficiency and includes scrambles and designed runs. Finally, on the right is per-pass efficiency, Completion Percentage Over Expectation (CPOE) based on the publicly available completion percentage model included in the NFLFastR package.

NFL DFS Player Pool Picker

Significant takeaway: One could make a case for playing every single player in both tables below. The Vikings’ pass attack is in a fantastic spot, with both Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen profiling as top-8 wide receivers on the slate. D’Andre Swift is significantly underpriced compared to his expected workload and protected ceiling. And assuming Matthew Stafford starts, Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson look like great bets as well.

Tail Awesemo's Sports Betting Picks Today!
Minnesota Vikings NFL DFS Core Offenses
Team Player Positional Salary Rank FPTs/Gm Rank Expected FPTs/Gm Rank Defense vs. Position Expected Projection
MIN Kirk Cousins, QB #10 #6 #9 #32 21.5 Fpts (QB5)
MIN Justin Jefferson, WR #7 #7 #8 #29 18.5 Fpts (WR6)
MIN Alexander Mattison, RB #15 #71 #78 #25 6.5 Fpts (RB43)
MIN Adam Thielen, WR #9 #6 #10 #30 17.5 Fpts (WR8)
MIN Irv Smith Jr., TE #12 #4 #5 #13 12.5 Fpts (TE6)
Detroit Lions NFL DFS Core Offenses
Team Player Positional Salary Rank FPTs/Gm Rank Expected FPTs/Gm Rank Defense vs. Position Expected Projection
DET Matthew Stafford, QB #15 #22 #22 #9 12.5 Fpts (QB25)
DET D’Andre Swift, RB #12 #8 #6 #30 19 Fpts (RB7)
DET Marvin Jones Jr., WR #35 #19 #15 #4 15.5 Fpts (WR15)
DET T.J. Hockenson, TE #7 #11 #9 #16 10 Fpts (TE10)

NFL DFS Skill Position Values: Expected Points

Significant takeaway: Surprisingly, over the past five weeks, Marvin Jones has averaged more expected fantasy points than Adam Thielen.  Jones is looking like a value this weekend, especially with a salary outside the top-35 wideouts on the slate. If Alexander Mattison receives 80% of Dalvin Cook‘s workload, he should be an excellent play, as well, especially against a Detroit defense that ranks bottom-3 in the NFL against opposing running backs.

Why examine expected fantasy points? By assigning a value to each play (based on score, down, distance to the goal line, distance to first down, play type, etc.), we can measure not just a player’s workload, but the expected value of that workload using recent league history as a guide. Expected fantasy points should be considered a volume metric. If a player scores more fantasy points (represented by the dots in the bar chart below) than expected, that means the player is either talented or lucky (or both) and may have unsustainable fantasy production based on their usage.

Week 17 NFL DFS Picks for daily fantasy football lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel based on expert analysis and projections

This chart measures Expected Fantasy Points (DraftKings scoring) per Game, indicated by each player’s bar, as well as fantasy points per game, indicated by the dot. If a dot is outside the bar, that means the player is performing above expectation. If the dot is within the bar, that means the player is performing below expectation. It includes injured players in order to help contextualize players who might be receiving a smaller or larger workload based on personnel shifts.

 

This chart measures Expected Fantasy Points (DraftKings scoring) per Game, indicated by each player’s bar, as well as fantasy points per game, indicated by the dot. If a dot is outside the bar, that means the player is performing above expectation. If the dot is within the bar, that means the player is performing below expectation. It includes injured players in order to help contextualize players who might be receiving a smaller or larger workload based on personnel shifts.

NFL DFS Auxiliary Offensive Players for Large-Field Contests

Minnesota Vikings NFL DFS Tournament Picks
Team Player Snap Share Opportunity Score Defense vs. Position Outlook: Value, MME-only, Look Elsewhere
MIN Mike Boone, RB 2% 23 #25 MME-only (if Mattison sits)
MIN Tyler Conklin, TE 58% 39 #13 Look Elsewhere
MIN Chad Beebe, WR 35% 30 #28 Look Elsewhere
MIN Ameer Abdullah, RB 7% 13 #25 MME-only (if Mattison sits)
MIN C.J. Ham, RB 45% 17 #25 Look Elsewhere
MIN Olabisi Johnson, WR 24% 34 #28 Look Elsewhere
Detroit Lions NFL DFS Tournament Picks
Team Player Snap Share Opportunity Score Defense vs. Position Outlook: Value, MME-only, Look Elsewhere
DET Danny Amendola, WR 51% 48 #7 Look Elsewhere
DET Mohamed Sanu, WR 55% 25 #19 MME-only
DET Quintez Cephus, WR 41% 25 #19 Look Elsewhere
DET Adrian Peterson, RB 26% 45 #30 Look Elsewhere
DET Kerryon Johnson, RB 34% 42 #30 Look Elsewhere
DET Jesse James, TE 42% 13 #16 Look Elsewhere
DET Jamal Agnew, WR 26% 12 #19 Look Elsewhere

Final Thoughts

Though the players from this contest will be popular, this is an obvious “build-around” game. The Vikings passing attack should go out with a bang, but don’t forget about Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson on the Detroit side of the ball either. There’s a lot to like here.

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day

Prediction: Vikings 31, Lions 21.


Looking for more NFL DFS picks and daily fantasy football matchups content? We have loads of articles, data and more on the Awesemo NFL home page. Just click HERE.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

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]

Sign up to Receive Expert DFS Advice & Exclusive Offers From Awesemo

Subscriber Counter

We respect your email privacy

More NFL

More Fantasy Football