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Hunter Report Week 17 2017
By Dave Hunter
It’s hard to believe we’re at Week 17 of the 2017 NFL season, as play is just about done. We only have the playoffs to look forward to. I’m not sure I’ll survive, what about you?
With Week 17, at least we have the entire player pool to choose from. There will be no Thursday or Monday games this week; however, as with every Week 17, we need to consider some players will be rested as head coaches like to potentially save their players bodies for the playoffs, i.e. – The Los Angeles Rams and players like Jared Goff, Robert Woods and Todd Gurley II. All are very risky.
We may only see a half of game play from guys like Goff and Gurley, or maybe they get rested entirely. At any rate, you’ll need to stay on top of the news. UPDATE: Goff will sit as per news reports, so will Gurley.
As always, keep in mind I use DraftKings.com as the basis of my write-up. Don’t forget I’ll be writing this piece through the Conference Championship games – good luck!
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. Cleveland Browns ($7,000) – The Steelers are trying to lock up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, so that means Big Ben is playing with the hopes that he crushes the Browns and that the Patriots lose. I expect Big Ben to do his part, tearing up the Browns secondary for at least two TD passes and 250 passing yards. Sure, he’s got a great shot of getting more than that with receivers like Martavis Bryant JuJu Smith-Schuster, who have more than picked up the slack for the injured Antonio Brown. Big Ben is my lock-and-load cash play of the week. I’m okay with you using him in tournament play too.
Other choices: Cam Newton, CAR @ Atlanta Falcons ($6,800); Jimmy Garoppolo, SF @ Los Angeles Rams ($6,700)
Philip Rivers, LAC vs. Oakland Raiders ($6,600) – I could have slotted Rivers in the Top-Level section due to his salary but decided to put him here so I could write about him. I really, really, really like Rivers and the Chargers this week in a game where the Raiders really have nothing to play for. Maybe pride? Nah. The Raiders will want to be wary of Derek Carr getting injured and I just don’t expect a ton of fight out of the Silver and Black. The Chargers, however, need this game to have a chance at the playoffs. Rivers will be on top of his game, firing on all cylinders. I’m expecting one of his best games of the year, exceeding his 17.9 FPPG average.
Other choices: Blake Bortles, JAC @ Tennessee Titans ($6,500); Matthew Stafford, DET vs. Green Bay Packers ($6,300); Kirk Cousins, WAS @ New York Giants ($6,200)
Brett Hundley, GB @ Detroit Lions ($4,800) – Hundley is a major bounceback candidate this week after he and the Packers were shut out in Week 16. The matchup is extremely attractive and I love Hundley’s running ability as well. It’s difficult to roster a QB that has more INTs than TDs, but the Packers are committed to Hundley in Week 17 and the Lions aren’t anything special on defense. At the very least, I expect to see a good scoring game with Hundley getting his piece of the pie. I’m all over Hundley in tournament play.
Other choices: Eli Manning, NYG vs. Washington Redskins ($5,000)
Nick Foles, PHI vs. Dallas Cowboys ($6,400) – With the chance that Foles doesn’t play the entire game, why risk rostering him at $6.4K? I just don’t see the attraction. Plus, even if Foles plays half the game he’s not going to light up the world in this one.
Le’Veon Bell, PIT vs. Cleveland Browns ($10,000) – It’s possible the Steelers get a huge lead early on and rest Bell the second half, although someone must score points with the Steelers vying for homefield advantage. Bell will get his mitts in the mix, although you have to wonder how much scoring he’ll need to do to make him worth the $10K price tag. Bell will be a tight fit in some lineups, and don’t forget that the Browns are not bad against the run. Still, Bell will be utilized in the passing game a bunch.
Other choices: Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @ Philadelphia Eagles ($8,700); LeSean McCoy, BUF @ Miami Dolphins ($8,000); Alvin Kamara, NO @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,900)
Dion Lewis, NE vs. New York Jets ($6,800) – The resurgence of Lewis continues. I know most of his resurgence last week had to do with Rex Burkhead and James White out with injury, although it’s still good to see that Lewis has really taken the reigns again. I mean, he has since the middle of the season for the most part. The Patriots are looking to wrap up homefield advantage, and that means Lewis will touch the ball a bunch. At least 20 times, I expect, considering he will also get the scoring chances on the ground. Lewis is a solid price and nice RB to build around for Week 17.
Other choices: Kenyan Drake, MIA vs. Buffalo Bills ($ 7,200); Leonard Fournette, JAC @ Tennessee Titans ($7,100); Christian McCaffery, CAR @ Atlanta Falcons ($6,700)
Carlos Hyde, SF @ Los Angeles Rams ($4,900) – I’m leaving Hyde right here in the same spot I suggested him last week. Things turned out well for Hyde and the Niners in Week 16, and I see that happening again this week. Hyde is going to get plenty of chances to put a hurtin’ to the Rams rushing defense, which is 6th worst in the league giving up points to RBs. This is a good week to ride Hyde, who is a great option to play alongside Le’Veon Bell in lineups, if you’re trying to squeeze value out of the RB slot.
Other choices: Derrick Henry, TEN vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,500); Frank Gore, IND vs. Houston Texans ($4,400); Corey Clement, PHI vs. Dallas Cowboys ($4,100); Alfred Blue, HOU @ Indianapolis Colts ($4,000)
C.J. Anderson, DEN vs. Kansas City Chiefs ($6,000) – Don’t get caught up in the excitement of Anderson’s performance last week – it’s not happening again in Week 17. A bunch of Anderson’s success was due to the seven receptions he snatched in the passing game. I don’t see the Chiefs getting hurt by Anderson, plus the price tag is inflated due to last week’s play. There are more attractive options for you to roster.
Keenan Allen, LAC vs. Oakland Raiders ($7,800) – Remember the magnificent weeks Allen put up for DFS owners back in Weeks 11-13? That’s what I’m looking at for Week 17, with how much is on the line for the Chargers. Rivers is going to target him a ton, and I like Allen’s big-play ability at usual. Still, it’s about the targets/catches for Allen, with most of his points coming from receptions and yardage. Allen will find the end zone as well, at least once. If I’m looking for one WR to build around, it’s Allen.
Other choices: DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @ Indianapolis Colts ($8,400); Julio Jones, ATL vs. Carolina Panthers ($8,200); Mike Evans, TB vs. New Orleans Saints ($7,200)
Golden Tate, DET vs. Green Bay Packers ($6,300) – Tate has been inconsistent this season, although a lot of that must do with the bump up in production from Marvin Jones, Jr. Tate is more of a tournament play suggestion, not a cash play, so if you want consistency and reliability I’d steer clear. As I’ve said previously in other writings above, I like the Detroit/Green Bay to net a good amount of scoring and I expect Tate to turn things around and find the end zone while putting up good yardage. I don’t mind taking a chance on Tate at $6.3K for the expectations I have for this game.
Other choices: Brandin Cooks, NE vs. New York Jets ($6,300); Jarvis Landry, MIA vs. Buffalo Bills ($6,200); Martavis Bryant, PIT vs. Cleveland Browns ($6,200); Jamison Crowder, WAS @ New York Giants ($5,800)
A.J. Green, CIN @ Baltimore Ravens ($6,300) – Value isn’t always about how high the price tag is, it’s what you’re getting for the price. I have a very difficult time passing on Green at $6.3K regardless of the matchup facing the Ravens. One of the most important points for me in cashing out is finding superstar value each week. Green is a fantastic representation of just that.
Other choices: Tyreek Hill, KC @ Denver Broncos ($6,000); Josh Doctson, WAS @ New York Giants ($4,400); Will Fuller, V, HOU @ Indianapolis Colts ($4,300)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT vs. Cleveland Browns ($7,300) – Smith-Schuster received a heck of a bump up in salary last week from $6.4K to $7.3K this week, likely because of the matchup with the Browns. I don’t like it. I like Smith-Schuster to play decent ball this week but he’s not going to meet value at $7.3K.
Travis Kelce, KC @ Denver Broncos ($7,100)
Greg Olsen, CAR @ Atlanta Falcons ($5,600)
Delanie Walker, TEN vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,400)
Zach Ertz, PHI vs. Dallas Cowboys ($6,000)
Good luck in Week 17! Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @TheRolyPolyBoy