It is always important to find value for DFS lineups. What is also important is finding value with a reasonable upside, especially for tournaments. This article digs into the cheap players in the Awesemo NFL DFS projections that have the best points-per-dollar ratings. Using those projections, here are the top Week 17 NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
Best Low-Priced NFL DFS Value Picks for Week 17
FanDuel Value Quarterback: Mac Jones — $6,800
To be clear, Trey Lance (see below) is the best value on both sites this week. However, Lance is a better relative deal on DraftKings, making him the pick there. Anytime a player is likely to be as popular as Lance, finding reasonable pivots for tournaments is important. Lance is far from a sure thing, so a player like Jones outscoring him would go a long way towards tournament success.
Jones has been a better quarterback in real life than in fantasy this season, completing a high rate of passes and taking care of the ball but not pushing it downfield. He has a matchup with Jacksonville this week, though, which boosts his chance for success. Jacksonville is the second-worst pass defense by DVOA in the NFL. The only team worse (the Jets) allowed 300 yards and two touchdowns to Jones in their last meeting. Jacksonville also features a tougher run defense than New York, which could tilt volume towards the pass a bit for the Patriots.
Jones’ Patriots also are tied for the highest team total on the slate. That is always a good sign for quarterbacks. He is fourth in overall value in Awesemo’s projections for Week 17. However, he is the cheapest option outside of Lance in the top 18 quarterbacks.
DraftKings Value Quarterback: Trey Lance — $4,800
Lance is still priced like a backup on DraftKings, just $300 above the minimum salary for quarterbacks. Lance is expected to start for the first time since Week 5 and is in a great matchup with Houston. While Lance struggled in limited action this season, that was a long time ago. He has had almost three months since his last game action. There is certainly reason to believe he is improved since then, as rookies tend to do as the season goes on.
Lance is a true dual-threat quarterback who should be able to find success against the Texans. Betting markets are not viewing Lance as much of a downgrade — San Francisco has a top-five team total this week and is one of the heaviest favorites. Lance is a must-play for cash games and the clear leader in value score in Awesemo’s projections.
FanDuel Value Running Back: David Montgomery — $7,200
Montgomery has quietly transformed into a three-down back for the Bears as of late. Prior to his midseason injury, he had only nine targets in four games. Over his last four games, though, he has 31 — an average of almost eight per game. The talent-thin Bears have realized getting the ball in Montgomery’s hands by any means necessary is the best plan for them, giving him over 25 opportunities (targets plus carries) per game over the last month.
That should continue this week, as the Bears are favored by 6 against the Giants. New York features a mediocre passing defense but ranks 27th against the run on the year. Coupled with the Giants’ terrible offense that is unlikely to hold the ball for long, that is a recipe for a ton of Montgomery volume and decent efficiency. His red-zone role is also notable — he is tied for fifth on the slate in red zone opportunities (among running backs.) He is the top value in Awesemo’s projections for FanDuel backs in Week 17.
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DraftKings Value Running Back: Sony Michel — $5,800
While the FanDuel pick (Montgomery) is the better overall value on DraftKings, Michel is close this week. Michel should have a near every-down role with Darrel Henderson on injured reserve. Michel has at least 20 opportunities in each of the Rams’ games in December, with Henderson missing or being limited in all of them. They clearly trust Michel as a lead back, and he has not disappointed, rushing for almost 5 yards per carry and over 100 yards per game. Cam Akers is active for the first time this season but tore his Achilles tendon in the preseason. It is unlikely Akers will see much, if any, work in his first game back from such a significant injury.
The matchup this week is a good one, as the Rams are facing Denver’s 28th-ranked overall defense by DVOA. They are also favored and have shown a desire to lean on the run when they are controlling games. Michel is a top-three option in value in Awesemo’s projections this week.
FanDuel Value Wide Receiver: Tee Higgins — $7,000
For some reason Higgins is still priced as if he is the No. 2 option. Since the Bengals Week 10 bye, Higgins has outscored Ja’Marr Chase by over 40 fantasy points. Tyler Boyd has even outscored Chase in that timeframe. Higgins has more targets, receptions, air yards, and touchdowns. He is the true alpha receiver here, yet still coming at a discount.
That makes him a clear value in one of the best game environments on the week 17 slate. The Bengals are playing in one of only two games with a total of 50 points or more, as they take on the Chiefs at home. The underdog Bengals will need a lot of passing volume to keep up with the Chiefs offense, and Higgins is their best weapon in the passing game. He is not exactly low priced, but he is a value this week, with the best value score in Awesemo’s projections for any receiver under $8,000
DraftKings Value Wide Receiver: Antonio Brown — $6,100
With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Leonard Fournette all inactive last week, Brown was targeted on half of Brady’s pass attempts. He caught 10 of 15 looks for over 100 yards. All three players are out again this week. Despite that, his salary remains fairly low on DraftKings. While it is doubtful he will continue with a 50%-plus target share, another 10 or more targets is not unreasonable. The Buccaneers are also playing the Jets, the league’s worst pass defense by DVOA and the fourth worst by opponent plus/minus allowed to receivers.
Brown is not quite low priced in the strictest sense. However, nowhere else on the slate are there double-digit targets against the league’s worst defense. That makes him a screaming value at his current salary. He leads all receivers on DraftKings in value in Awesemo’s projections this week.
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