Week 17 DFS Cheat Sheet: FanDuel and DraftKings (UPDATED)
December 31, 2016 | Ian Goldsmith
Welcome to Week 17 of the 2016 The Fake Football FanDuel and DraftKings DFS Cheat Sheet!
With the help of our resident DFS Gurus Ian Goldsmith and Chet Gresham, we have put together a comprehensive NFL DFS Cheat Sheet with matchup stats, analysis, picks, sample lineups and lineup configuration advice. We have picks for FanDuel and Draftkings, and with their differing settings, the picks, stats and analysis will help you on even more sites than just those two. And with a week between games we will update our picks and analysis as the week progresses. You will receive your Cheat Sheet on Wednesday, in time for the Thursday night games and then we will update the sheet on Sunday Mornings to make sure you don’t miss any breaking news.
And even though we will have more info, more stats, more picks and just more everything in our NFL sheets, we will not be raising the price. Each sheet will remain $1.99 each just like our baseball and basketball sheets. And as a subscriber you will receive an email as soon as the new Cheat Sheet is posted on Wednesday of each week and then an update on Sunday mornings.
PLUS! Ian Goldsmith’s DFS Optimizer will be added to the sheets this season! It will go LIVE every Friday!
Check out our a sheet from last season to see what you get.
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Jeremy Hill is inactive. Rex Burkhead should see a lot of work in a tough matchup.
Stefon Diggs and Adrian Peterson are out. Adam Thielen and Jerrick McKinnon have good upside.
Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon are out. Denard Robinson will get the start and could be a useful cheap DFS play.
Jordan Matthews is inactive. Zach Ertz makes for a great TE play this week. Paul Turner should replace Matthews and could have cheap DFS appeal.
Jordan Reed will play. He’s too risky for me.
Bilal Powell is active. He’s risky, but could be worth a GPP play in a good matchup.
Malcolm Mitchell is out. Chris Hogan could see more work.
Steelers starters are out. Landry Jones, DeAngelo Williams, Fitz Toussaint, Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates and Jesse James should start.
Marqise Lee is active and has upside in a good matchup.
Lamar Miller is out. Alfred Blue should get the start in his place.
Playoff Picture & Injury Report:
This weekend we should avoid the Cowboys, Giants and Steelers starters, as they appear to be either resting or have a chance to be taken out of the game early.
If a player in a meaningless game has an injury, there is a good chance he will sit. But there are plenty of teams that do need to win this week and will go all out, but some more than others. Let us take a look-see below.
Green Bay needs to win and they win the NFC North and a playoff berth. They can still get in with some help with a loss by Washington against the New York Giants, who say they will play their starters even though they have nothing to play for as far as playoff seeding.
Detroit is in the same situation as Green Bay. They can get in with a Washington loss, but still can win the NFC North and a home game if they beat the Packers on Sunday night. A Giants win over Washington earlier in the day would depress the urgency of this Packers/Lions game, but they still would have plenty to play for.
Washington needs a win and they are in. It’s pretty simple really. There are scenarios with ties that could get them in, but a win is all they need. The Giants say they will play their starters, so that win may not be as easy as it appeared earlier in the week, but I still thing the Giants rest key guys.
Atlanta would clinch a first-round bye with a win over New Orleans. They would likely need Seattle to lose to San Francisco to get the No. 2 seed and a bye after losing, which is not likely, so they will be playing all out.
Seattle needs to beat San Francisco for a chance for the No. 2 seed and a bye week. Their main competition for that seed is Atlanta, so if the Saints beat Atlanta and Seattle beats San Francisco, Seattle gets their bye. That situation isn’t totally out of the question and since these two teams play at the same time, I expect Seattle to be playing all out unless they get a huge lead and can rest players.
If New England beats Miami, they get the No. 1 seed and home field advantage. They would also get the No. 1 seed if Oakland loses to Denver, which is more of a possibility with Matt McGloin starting, but not in anyway, a lock.
Oakland needs to win for a shot at gaining the No. 1 seed if the Patriots lose, but they also need to win so they can clinch the AFC West and a first round bye.
If Oakland does lose, Kansas City gets a shot at the AFC West title and a first round bye with a win in San Diego, so they too will be going all out to win.
The New York Giants don’t have anything to play for, as they are locked into the fifth seed, but the talk is that they will play. Of course talk is cheap and walk the walk, etc and so forth, so I won’t be risking any Giants starters this week in DFS.
Houston is also locked into their playoff seeding and have nothing to play for, but they did just switch to Tom Savage at quarterback and very much need to get him work with the starters if they want to have any chance to win a playoff game.
Randall Cobb didn’t practice all week, but is listed as questionable. He’s not worth a fantasy start either way. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams have high upside in this matchup.
Theo Riddick won’t play, which will boost Zach Zenner up again this week. He gets a tough matchup, but should see enough work to bring you value for his price in DFS.
Darius Slay should return this week, but hamstring injuries always have a shot at reoccurrence and Nelson already put up a big game against him earlier this season.
John Brown was limited in practice this week and likely will continue to see limited snaps due to his sickle cell issues. I prefer J.J. Nelson as a cheaper option there.
Kenny Britt is out, which gives Jared Goff limited options against a good defense. Fire up that Cardinals D/ST.
Julio Jones got a full practice in on Friday and coaches say he is healthier than last week, while Taylor Gabriel is out with a foot injury and Austin Hooper is out with a knee injury. Jones is feeling much safer than last week in a game the Falcons need to win. He may still be more suited for DFS tourneys though.
Tyler Lockett is out with a broken leg, which should up the targets for Doug Baldwin like it did last week. Jimmy Graham could see a few more, but he’s been blocking more and may have settled into his target share while Jermaine Kearse and Paul Richardson could see more work.
Thomas Rawls is no longer on the injury report and should get plenty of opportunities against the league’s worst run defense.
A.J. Derby is still out with a concussion, so Jeff Heuerman will take over as the Broncos’ starting tight end. He saw six targets last week.
Derek Carr is out with a broken fibula, so Matt McGloin will get the start. I expect the Raiders to focus on running the ball this week with their three-headed monster committee.
Melvin Gordon won’t play this week against Kansas City, so Ronnie Hillman and Andre Williams will handle the running back snaps in a tough matchup. There isn’t any upside there.
Spencer Ware has a ribs injury and will be a game-time decision. If he can’t go, Charcandrick West would get the start. This makes for a tough situation for fantasy and I will try to avoid.
Jordan Reed looks like he will play in a must win game. He may be healthier now, but we’ve seen him do nothing and re-injure himself in games he probably shouldn’t have been playing in over the last month. I’m avoiding him.
Rob Kelley is listed as questionable, but it appears they were mostly resting him up in practice for this matchup with the Giants. It’s a tough matchup, but he should see plenty of work.
Donte Moncrief won’t play against the Jaguars. His absence should help T.Y. Hilton see a glut of targets.
T.J. Yeldon is on I.R., so Chris Ivory should get the start against a weak Colts defense, but Ivory is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
Allen Hurns is out again. Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson both have upside in this matchup against the Colts.
Stefon Diggs is out, which will elevate Adam Thielen’s targets in a good matchup at home against the Bears.
Adrian Peterson is out. Jerrick McKinnon will get the start in a nice matchup, but will lose goal line work to Matt Asiata.
Doug Martin is out and Charles Sims is on I.R., so Jacquizz Rodgers will see a lot of work this week. On volume alone he should be a worthwhile play.
The Panthers are all hurting and could be in for limited snaps in a meaningless game. I’d stay away from them this week.
A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are out, while Jeremy Hill just got a limited practice in on Friday. Hill could still play, but I’d avoid if possible.
Matt Forte has been placed on I.R., while Bilal Powell will try to play after getting a limited practice in on Friday. The same can be said for Brandon Marshall, who will also try to give it a go. I’m avoiding this whole mess.
E.J. Manuel will get the start over Tyrod Taylor and gets a great matchup, but he’s still a very risky play.
Lamar Miller won’t play, which elevates Alfred Blue once again. He should have value in DFS.
Matt Cassel will start with Marcus Mariota injured. He will hurt the offense overall.
Malcolm Mitchell is out and Martellus Bennett is listed as questionable. Chris Hogan should see extra run this week in a good matchup and Michael Floyd will likely get a start.
The Steelers won’t play Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown or Ladarius Green. DeAngelo Williams and Fitzgerald Toussaint will be the main running backs, but deciphering what kind of split they will have is tough.
Sammie Coates will return from injury and should see plenty of work along with Eli Rogers. Landry Jones at quarterback does depress some of the offensive upside though.
Jay Ajayi will play with a sore shoulder, but if this game gets out of hand or he aggravates the injury, he’ll be rested.
Jordan Matthews won’t play this week, which makes Zach Ertz a great start in DFS.
The Cowboys will rest their starters at some point early in this game. Darren McFadden was going to be the main back, but he has an illness, so could see fewer snaps. Nothing is very clear this week with Dallas.
Sample FanDuel Lineups
FanDuel Lineup Configurations
QB begins and ends with Aaron Rodgers this week. The #1 fantasy QB of 2016 has been on fire and gets a Detroit team he torched earlier this season, throwing for 4 TDs in one half before slowing things down. Unfortunately for the Lions, Rodgers has everything to play for this week as Green Bay is in a must-win situation. I do not bet against the (arguably) best QB in the league when the season is on the line. A 300 yard, 3 TD game is likely his floor in this game. For other QBs, that might seem hyperbole, but this is Rodgers, and he is itching to win. He is stacked with Jordy Nelson, who also torched the Lions earlier this year. That was with CB Darius Slay playing. Slay was out in Week 16 and could be out this week. Ouch. This ownership stack will likely be over 50%. Usually that’s a deterrent, but not this week. You are welcome to throw some other combos out there, but please do so only in tournaments. These two are a must stack in cash games.
Because I’m spending a combined $17,000 on the QB stack, I needed to make some price compromises elsewhere. The place to do that this week is at RB, where I’ve rostered Alex Collins (who?!) and LeGarrette Blount. Collins will start for Seattle against San Francisco if Thomas Rawls is a no go. If Rawls is out, then Collins is a near lock for me given the matchup. Blount is a little trickier. The Pats need to win to secure the #1 seed, but I could see Belichick resting players anyways. We’ll see. You may be safer going with a guy like Jacquizz Rodgers or even Darren McFadden, both of whom are very cheap and should get the bulk of their respective teams’ carries.
Doug Baldwin and Cameron Meredith join Nelson at WR. Seattle can potentially steal the #2 seed away from Atlanta (they need a win and a Falcons loss), so their studs will be playing. Baldwin should feast against a porous Niners’ secondary. Meredith has, by far, become Matt Barkley’s favorite target. Minnesota has been beatable, and they have nothing to play for. This could be a sneaky shootout, and I love Meredith at his low price.
At TE, Kelce is the clear play this week. He’s been incredible all season, and KC needs a win to try and steal the bye from Oakland. I usually play my kickers against Jacksonville, but this week I’m going with Hopkins for Washington. He’s been solid all season, and the Redskins should be able to move the ball against a Giants’ D that has no need to put up a fight with their playoff fate sealed. He should have plenty of opportunities. KC has been the steadiest DST all season and are in a must-win game. Yes, please.
As I do every week, I’ll just cover players not mentioned in blurbs above. So, let’s start with the Atlanta RB duo, shall we? Atlanta needs a win to secure the #2 seed in the NFC. They are playing their bitter NFC South Rivals in a game with an over/under of 56 as of this writing. When these two teams played earlier this season, Freeman and Coleman combined for an otherworldly 296 total yards and 4 TDs. Yowzas. I’ll gladly take a gamble on them this week, all things considered. If I’m using one of the two in cash games, it will be Coleman given the big discount you get using him.
Joining Jordy and Cam at WR is Adam Thielen, who just won a number of people fantasy championships last week (including two of my opponents; I’m totally not bitter). I say that these teams blow past the current O/U of 41 and that Thielen will be a big part of it. Of course, this is Week 17, and the only players I trust in week 17 are players with something to play for. Just know going in that whomever you roster is going to be a risk this week (well, not ARod).
The only other change here is at DST where I’ve replaced Kansas City with Washington. The Skins have everything to play for, and the Giants do not. I’ll take my bet on motivated players any day of the week, especially when they are this cheap. If you can afford the $300 bump, go with KC. If you can’t, then I love me some Washington in tournaments this week.
UPDATE (CASH and GPP)
There aren’t a ton of changes here. I’m off of Collins given that Rawls is going to play this week. In his place, Jacquizz Rodgers becomes a near must start for me at his price. At only $5,200, you’re getting a guy that’s basically ensured 20-25 touches against a team he ran over earlier this season. With Sims on IR and Martin suspended due to drugs, Rodgers has the backfield to himself this week, and should have no trouble hitting value. I have him on a majority of my teams, especially cash lineups. The only other real change in this lineup from the previous two is the inclusion of Caleb Sturgis as I needed a minimum salary kicker. He’s been solid all season long and should provide a good floor.
Sample DraftKings Lineups
DraftKings Lineup Configurations
OK, there are three guys in the cash lineup here that were not talked about in the FanDuel lineups above: Jacquizz Rodgers, Steve Smith, and Alfred Blue. Well, Rodgers I briefly touched on…with Doug Martin out, he should once again get the bulk of the work for the Bucs, though Sims could eat into that a little bit. Still, his workload should be large enough to have a great chance at hitting value, especially on a site with full PPR. He took it to the Panthers in their first matchup this season to the tune of 129 total yards and 5 receptions. We can’t just project that he’s going to match those numbers, but we can say that the Panthers have nothing to play for, in which case I always favor offenses over defenses. Houston would be smart to rest Lamar Miller with the playoffs looming, so I expect Blue to once again get the start for the Texans. Volume alone should dictate this play at $4,300.
Now we get to Steve Smith Sr. In what could be his last NFL game, I’m expecting Flacco and company to go all out to force the ball to Smith as often as possible. He is 237 yards shy of Tim Brown for 6th on the all time receiving yardage list. 235 would put him over 1,000 for the year. I rarely choose players based on gut and storyline, but in this instance, I’m going to. Baltimore will do everything in their power to help the should-be Hall-of-Famer get to those marks on Sunday. Even as a Steelers’ fan, I’ll be rooting for him this week. He’ll be on most of my tournament teams.
Again, we see a number of similar names here. McFadden, whom I mentioned off-the-cuff in the FanDuel blurb, finds a place in the lineup here. Dallas can’t be dumb enough to play Zeke Elliott for more than a quarter (can they?), and I expect McFadden to get the bulk of the work. Unlike a guy like Alfred Blue, I’m worried about McFadden potentially losing carries to Alfred Morris in this meaningless game for the Cowboys, hence McFadden is only a tournament option for me. Golden Tate finds a place in the lineup here as he should be a big part of the shootout that will be taking place Sunday night in Detroit.
UPDATE (Cash and GPP)
This updated lineup takes a bit from both of the ones before it. The players on the team either have something to play for (Rodgers, Coleman, Nelson, Kelce, Chiefs D) or will be peppered with targets and/or touches (Quizz, Smith, Meredith, Thielen). It looks like Thomas Rawls will play, so I’ve soured on using Alex Collins. He could still have a decent second half should the Hawks get out to a big lead (which is very possible), but I’d still be hesitant to use him, even in tournaments. McFadden is another question mark as he missed Friday’s practice with an illness. Do you really want to roster a guy with question marks about playing time when there are other more surefire players available? I don’t, at least not in my main lineups. You can consider a guy like that if you are entering multiple lineups into a tournament.
I am very likely going to want to roster four of the following five receivers: Jordy Nelson, Doug Baldwin, Cam Meredith, Adam Thielen, and Steve Smith. Baldwin didn’t make the cut in this final lineup, but that’s not because I don’t like him. In fact, he’s my third favorite WR on the week behind Nelson and Smith (I know, I know…but, again, the narrative for Smith in this game is something I have fully bought into).
Hey folks, Ian here. There are a ton of websites out there that offer their own version of DFS optimizers. Most of them are really well done. Of course, most of them cost an arm and a leg too. The thing is, for all the good an optimizer does, at the end of the day it still only gives you a starting point on which to base your lineup. You need to still come up with projections. I’m not a programmer, but I use Excel extensively in my day job as an economist. So, I thought I’d try and figure out a way to create a basic optimizer and share it with you all. It’s not fancy. This doesn’t have some kind of eye-candy GUI. However, it works. And, at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
As for projections, I’m a big believer in the wisdom of crowds. This basic optimizer uses a mixture of projections from a number of different sites. If you want to do this yourself in the future and don’t want to do any kind of tedious regression analysis, I’d recommend using the FantasyPros Consensus Projections as a starting point. After getting averages of what many different experts think will happen on Sunday, you can then make tweaks of your own. To make this, I watched a lot of Youtube videos and used much of my previous Excel knowledge, much I learned through my local library (Libraries are awesome!). That is to say, this is relatively easy to make on your own given a little patience.
To use this optimizer, you’ll need Excel 2010 or later. If you have that, then click on one of the two links below (or both!), depending on which site you are playing. There are instructions on the first sheet. Thanks, and have fun!!
Notes: Links are live!
NOTE: Remember, these lineups are just a first run through the optimizer with adjusted consensus stats from several places online. You can always remove players you don’t want to include. That being said, I really love these lineups this week. There is a good amount of crossover with players I’ve mentioned in the above lineups, including Steve Smith, who I think is in for a massive game. Well, I hope so at least. I might dislike the Ravens, but I love rooting for players like Smith who simply love the game of football.
A very simple, but good start to DFS research is to look at the over/unders and odds. Obviously you want your players in games where Vegas believes the game will be high scoring and on winning teams, while your defenses should come from games they believe will be low scoring. Note: This week’s odds will be up shortly.
Sortable Matchup Machine Quarterbacks (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Quarterback for the week.
Sortable Matchup Machine Running Backs (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each running back for the week.
Sortable Matchup Machine Wide Receivers (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Wide Receiver for the week.
|DEP||Wide Receivers||Tm||Opp||DK||FD||Rec/G||ReYd/G||ReYd/Tar||TD/G||T/G||Com. %||FPPG||FO|
Sortable Matchup Machine Tight Ends (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Tight End for the week.
Sortable Matchup Machine Defenses (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Defense for the week.
Defense Opp DK FD Off Points Sack Int Fum Rec DefTD RetTD FPPG
New England Patriots HOU $4,000 $5,100 17 2 1 0.5 0.1 0.1 8.4
Atlanta Falcons SEA $2,600 $4,300 22 2.6 0.8 0.4 0 0 6.2
Pittsburgh Steelers @KC $2,900 $4,500 22 2 0.5 0.6 0.1 0 4.8
Dallas Cowboys GB $2,700 $4,500 27 2.2 0.5 0.6 0.1 0.1 4.4
Kansas City Chiefs PIT $3,400 $4,800 24 1.3 0.9 0.2 0.1 0 3.9
Green Bay Packers @DAL $2,800 $4,300 26 1.8 0.4 0.6 0 0 3.2
Seattle Seahawks @ATL $3,000 $4,700 32 2.3 0.4 0.3 0.1 0 2.6
Houston Texans @NE $2,300 $4,200 27 1.5 0.1 0.6 0 0 2.5
Sortable Matchup Machine Kickers (2016 Stats)
Here you will find the matchup stats for each Kicker for the week.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS WR/TE/RB MATCHUP CHART
You can find this chart HERE, but we wanted to make it sortable for you. It breaks down the rankings for defenses against WR1, WR2, “Other” WR, TE and RB against the pass.
|Rk||TM||Rk vs. #1 WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. #2 WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. Other WR||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. TE||Pa/G||Yd/G||Rk vs. RB||Pa/G||Yd/G|