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NFL DFS First Look: Week 17 DraftKings & FanDuel Picks

Matt Gajewski



DraftKings and FanDuel NFL DFS Picks and value plays for Week 17 lineups, including optimal picks for lineup optimizers, projections & more.

The NFL season continues to Week 17 with a full slate of NFL DFS action provided by DraftKings and FanDuel. This piece will examine the NFL DFS slate early in the week to find potential NFL DFS picks that will return the most value. Based on the salaries released by both DraftKings and FanDuel, we will go over some of the best Week 17 NFL DFS picks, but keep an eye on the news as the week progresses. A value play early in the week could turn into a bust chalk play due to injury or COVID-related illness. The best way to stay plugged in for all the news and notes throughout the week is by catching all the Awesemo NFL DFS Strategy and Picks shows on the Awesemo YouTube Channel.

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NFL First Look: Week 17 NFL DFS Picks


Josh Allen, ATL vs. BUF ($8,000 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel)

Josh Allen is both highly involved as a passer and a rusher. He is completing 65% of his passes for 7 yards per attempt. Buffalo continues to throw at one of the highest rates in the NFL, propelling Allen over 300 passing yards on six occasions this year. Allen also averages 41.3 rushing yards per game, giving him one of the best floors at the quarterback position. Looking at the matchup, Buffalo faces Atlanta as a 14-point favorite in a game with a 44.5-point total. Atlanta ranks 24th in yards per attempt allowed to opposing passing attacks. With matchup, team total, and volume adding up, Allen is the top quarterback play on this slate.

Kyler Murray, ARI vs. DAL ($7,300 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel)

The Cardinals have dropped three straight games and now face the Dallas Cowboys as 6-point underdogs in a game with a 49.5-point total. Still, this game has the best total on the board, making Kyler Murray and interesting contrarian option here. While Murray has struggled himself lately, he has eclipsed 40 pass attempts in three straight games. This elevated volume has allowed him to reach at least 245 yards in each of the last three. More importantly, Murray still has his rushing ability, reaching at least 59 yards in three of the last four games since returning from injury. Dallas creates a touch matchup here, but Murray’s ceiling is worth chasing. Murray already has three games this year north of 300 passing yards, making him a solid play in large field tournaments.

Dak Prescott, ARI vs. DAL ($6,700 DraftKings, $7,400 FanDuel)

Dak Prescott missed the weekly pricing adjustment from the DFS platforms due to playing on Sunday night. Dallas has a 27.75 implied team total as 6-point favorites over the Cardinals. Prescott has battled injury through most of 2021, but he appeared fully healthy in his 330-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Washington Football Team last week. More impressively, Prescott accomplished this in just over one half of football. Arizona plays solid pass defense on the year, but this team has allowed at least 22 points in four straight games and over 30 points in two of those. Prescott is currently completely 68.7% of his passes for 7.4 yards per attempt, making him one of the better price-adjusted plays on the Week 17 DFS slate.

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Running Backs

Ronald Jones, TB vs. NYJ ($6,300 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel)

With Leonard Fournette landing on injured reserve, Ronald Jones took over lead back duties for Tampa Bay. Jones accounted for 65 rushing yards and a score on 20 carries, while adding two catches on three targets in the passing game. Change of pace back Ke’Shawn Vaughn carried seven times himself, but Jones was the lead back here. In Week 17, the Buccaneers opened as 13-point favorites over the New York Jets in a game with a 46-point total. The Jets allow 4.5 yards per rush attempt, creating a solid matchup for Jones to exploit here. Failing to see a drastic price increase, Jones is still a solid price-adjusted play on this slate.

Sony Michel, LAR vs. BAL ($5,800 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel)

Sony Michel is still affordable on DraftKings. The Rams enter the week as 3-point favorites over the Baltimore Ravens as 46-point favorites. Since Darrell Henderson went down with injury, Michel has turned into a true feature back. Even with Henderson returning over the last two weeks, Michel has not relinquished his lead back role. Last week, Michel carried 27 times for 131 yards and a score, while adding a catch on four targets in the pass game. Baltimore plays above average run defense, but this elite workload cannot be ignored here. Playing in one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses, Michel is a desirable play here.

Darrel Williams, KC vs. CIN ($5,800 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel)

In a blowout win over the Steelers, the Chiefs lost Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a shoulder injury. While his status for Week 17 has not been determined, the injury did not look good. If Edwards-Helaire misses time, Williams could handle a feature back role. Williams had previously handled a larger workload when Edwards-Helaire landed on injured reserve earlier this year. Williams had at least 19 touches in four of the five games that Edwards-Helaire missed. This included an excellent role in the pass game, catching at least three balls in every one of those contests. This week, the Chiefs face the Bengals as 5-point favorites in a game with a 49-point total. This is the second-highest total on the board, giving the game extra shootout potential. Overall, this is an extremely deep running back slate. On top of the three mentioned above, Antonio Gibson, Jeff Wilson, Chase Edmonds, and Devin Singletary could all be excellent plays at cheap prices ahead of Week 17.

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Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp, LAR vs. BAL ($9,500 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel)

With so much value on the Week 17 slate, Cooper Kupp still is not challenging to roster. Playing out one of the best seasons in the history of the NFL, Kupp has just one game below 95 receiving yards this year. Kupp boasts a 33.1% target share and 33.6% air yards share. The Rams score 27.7 points per game and are 3-point favorites over a decimated Ravens secondary here. The Ravens just allowed 525 passing yards to Joe Burrow and 268 passing yards and three scores to Aaron Rodgers the week prior. With matchup and volume working in his favor, Kupp is still the safest receiver play on the Week 17 slate.

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Antonio Brown, TB vs. NYJ ($6,100 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel)

With Chris Godwin on injured reserve and Mike Evans also battling a hamstring injury, Antonio Brown has emerged as Tampa Bay’s clear WR1. In his return from injury/suspension, Brown reeled in 10 of 15 targets for 101 yards against Carolina in Week 16. Importantly, Brown still saw this elevated volume in a blowout win over Carolina. This week, Tampa Bay is also projected to blow out the Jets as 13-point favorites. The Jets rank 30th in yards per pass attempt allowed, making Brown one of the best price-adjusted plays on the entire slate.

Michael Pittman, LV vs. IND ($5,800 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel)

The Indianapolis Colts opened Week 17 as 7.5-point favorites over the Las Vegas Raiders in a game with a 46-point total overall. Indianapolis’ alpha receiver, Michael Pittman boasts a 25.9% target share and a 33.8% air yards share. Vegas has played decent pass defense on the year, but they have benefitted from some easy matchups in recent weeks. This includes a game against Drew Lock last week and a tilt with the Baker Mayfield-less Browns in Week 15. Outside of those contests, the Raiders have struggled mightily to defend the pass. With Indianapolis entering the slate with a 26.75 implied team total, Pittman offers leverage off Jonathan Taylor and some of the higher owned receivers.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews, LAR vs. BAL ($7,400 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel)

While Travis Kelce and George Kittle are also on this slate, finding the extra salary to roster Mark Andrews makes sense on the Week 17 slate. Andrews has seen at least nine targets in six straight games, finding double digits in five of those six. He has also now eclipsed 100 yards receiving in three straight, functioning as the clear top pass catcher in Baltimore. Andrews does draw a tougher matchup against the stout Rams defense. However, he has also accomplished much of this production with backups under center. At this point, Andrews is matchup proof playing the tight end position.

Zach Ertz, ARI vs. DAL ($5,200 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel)

With DeAndre Hopkins on injured reserve, tight end Zach Ertz has played an elevated role for the Arizona Cardinals. Ertz has target counts of 11 and 13 in Arizona’s last two games. While Ertz has not seen a ceiling game from a yardage perspective, his volume stands out in the mid-range among tight ends. Dallas plays solid defense, but this game still brings the highest total on the Week 17 DFS slate. Ertz is a solid tight end play and stacking option on this slate.

Cameron Brate, TB vs. NYJ ($2,900 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel)

With so many injuries to their receivers, Tampa Bay used Cameron Brate in an elevated role in Week 16. Brate participated in 46% of the team’s snaps. He caught two of four targets for 11 yards and a score in a game where Tampa Bay blew out Carolina. Rather than continue using 11 personnel, the Buccaneers elected to use more two-tight end sets. Tyler Johnson only played 54% of snaps, making Brate interesting again here. With Rob Gronkowski expected to draw some ownership again here, Brate makes an intriguing leverage play at the tight end position again in Week 17.

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Take a look at our NFL lineups, inactive player list and depth charts for NFL games. We also have showdown projections and NFL showdown ownership projections. View our FanDuel DFS NFL ownership rankings and our DraftKings NFL rankings. If you’re interested in other DFS NFL football for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and NFL DFS stacks.

Matt Gajewski graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Economics. Matt has worked in the fantasy industry for the past four years, focusing on DFS and Sports Betting. Matt specializes in NFL, College Football, College Basketball, XFL, and MMA. With GPP victories across the major sports, Matt also qualified for the DraftKings 2020 Sports Betting Championship and won a seat to the College Basketball Tourney Mania final.

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