Although the fantasy season ended for most on Monday night, the season goes on for those playing on FanDuel. Because there are so many new players feeding their craving for fantasy football in week 17, it’s one of my favorite weeks to play. Let’s get a jump on the week as we try to identify some bargains for this week’s slate of games.
Keep in mind that these suggestions are made for large field GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where players are looking for bargains to fill out their lineups after already inserting their “studs” for the week. Many of them are risky plays and shouldn’t necessarily be considered in head to head or 50/50 games.
Matt Ryan, QB ATL
Ryan ($7,600) hasn’t been impressive of late, throwing just four touchdowns and averaging just 11.66 fantasy points per game over the last five weeks. Despite his struggles however, Ryan has the potential to be one of the top bargains of the week at quarterback due to his matchup against New Orleans.
The Saints’ defense is easily the worst in the league, allowing quarterbacks to chew them up for nearly 290 passing yards per game and an incredible 43 touchdown passes on the season.
The last time Ryan took on the Saints he threw for 295 yards and a pair of scores. Expect at least that from him this week.
Brian Hoyer, QB HOU
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien stated earlier this week that Hoyer ($6,900) is getting close to returning and reiterated that he’ll be under center when he clears the concussion protocol. If he’s healthy enough to play he’ll take on the Jaguars, who have struggled all year against opposing quarterbacks and are coming off a game where they got torched for 412 passing yards and three touchdowns by Drew Brees. While Hoyer certainly is no Brees, he should be highly motivated to make a good final impression before the off-season and any passer with DeAndre Hopkins has a chance to have a monster day. I like his chances to outperform his salary.
James White, RB NE
Although White ($6,400) hasn’t had more than three carries in a game this year, he’s scored a touchdown in each of the last four weeks and is averaging 6.5 catches and 15.95 points per game over that span. Now he gets a nice matchup against a Dolphins’ defense that is allowing the second most fantasy points per game to running backs (27.00) and really struggles to slow down pass catching tailbacks. A couple weeks ago they allowed Danny Woodhead to catch six passes for 50 yards and three touchdowns (33.00 fantasy points) and the last time they took on the Patriots, they allowed Dion Lewis to catch six passes for 93 yards and a score.
I expect White to make a similar impact in week 17, and to find the end zone for the fifth straight week.
Tim Hightower, RB HOU
After going off for 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Jaguars last week, the secrets out on Hightower ($7,000) but that shouldn’t keep daily players from rostering the Saints’ tailback. With an incredible matchup against the Falcons, who have allowed 25.73 fantasy points per game to tailbacks and an incredible 19 rushing touchdowns on the season, Hightower is easily one of my favorite bargains at running back this week, despite the spike in salary this week.
Eddie Lacy, RB GB
Lacy ($5,900) has burnt fantasy players throughout the year and has been incredibly inconsistent but this should be a big week for the big tailback. Although the Vikings have been good against the run for a majority of the season they’ve been gashed by the running game of late due to injuries to several stars on that side of the ball. Despite being at full strength on Sunday against the Giants, stud defensive tackle Linval Joseph left the game due to a foot injury and the Vikings’ run defense just isn’t the same without him. [inlinead]
The last time Lacy lined up against the Vikings he went off for 100 yards. If the Packers are going to have any success on Sunday night they’ll have to feed their thumper. He should be in line for triple figures once again this week.
Rashad Jennings, RB NYG
Ever since the Giants bailed on their four-headed monster at running back, Jennings ($5,800) has returned to becoming a dependable fantasy asset. Over the last three weeks, he’s averaged 17 carries for 87 yards and 13.67 fantasy points per game. The Eagles have really struggled over the last few weeks to stop the run which is likely to continue. As long as he gets the workload again this week, Jennings is a good bet to outscore his modest salary.
Allen Hurns, WR JAX
For those that would like to get Allen Robinson ($8,500) into their lineups but can’t afford him, consider his teammate, Hurns ($7,300). Despite having similar numbers to Robinson throughout the year (when healthy), Hurns is now $1,200 cheaper than A-Rob and still carries nearly as high of an upside. Although the Texans present a tough matchup for the Jaguars’ passing game, that should keep Hurns’ ownership numbers low. He’s a nice contrarian play on Sunday.
Martavis Bryant, WR PIT
The entire passing game for the Steelers struggled a week ago but nobody should expect that to continue on Sunday against the Browns. I recommended Bryant ($7,100) as my favorite wide receiver bargain last week and he let us down to the tune of one catch for six yards and 1.5 fantasy points. Even with that though, I’m not afraid to go back to him.
The last time Bryant played the Browns he lit them up for six catches, 178 yards and a touchdown back in week ten. Listed at the 21st highest price at wide receiver this week, he’s once again my favorite bargain at the position despite his struggles a week ago.
Jordan Matthews, WR PHI
Matthews ($6,600) has turned it up of late, catching 14 passes for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns over the last two weeks. He’ll finish the year with a matchup against the Giants’ Swiss cheese defense that has struggled against the pass throughout the year, particularly against slot receivers. Matthews has back-to-back 100-yard games and should be a good bet to make it three straight on Sunday afternoon.
Tavon Austin, WR STL
Austin ($6,400) has been incredibly inconsistent throughout the year but he’s been a big bargain multiple times on FanDuel and this week brings another opportunity for him to come through. The 49ers have been about average against wide receivers this year but Austin went off against them back in week eight for 119 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him do it again this week.
Zach Ertz, TE PHI
Ertz ($5,700) has been a monster over the last few weeks, catching 26 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown over his last three games and averaging 15.6 fantasy points over that stretch. A matchup against the Giants now awaits him and New York has been awful against the tight end all year, giving up 13.93 fantasy points per game to the position, which ranks 31st in the league. The Giants have given up touchdowns to tight ends in back-to-back games and it shouldn’t surprise anybody when that streak is stretched to three on Sunday. Ertz is easily my favorite tight end bargain in week 17.
Other options: Zach Miller ($5,900)
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