Week 17 DFS Cheat Sheet: FantasyDraft and Yahoo! (Updated) January 1, 2017  |  Ian Goldsmith

Welcome to Week 17 of the 2016 The Fake Football FantasyDraft and Yahoo! DFS Cheat Sheet!

. With the help of our resident DFS Gurus Doug Shain, Chet Gresham, and Justin Bales 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 FantasyDraft and Yahoo!, 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. One Month ($6.99) 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.


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Sunday Update:

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 FantasyDraft Lineups

CASH (Updated)

GPP 1 (Updated)




GPP5 (Updated)

FantasyDraft Lineup Configurations


Let this be your weekly reminder that we are not trying to come in first place in a cash game, we are merely trying to finish in the top half of our tournaments. This means that we are going to worry a lot more about our floor than our ceiling. There are really only two QB that I even considered for cash game plays this weekend: Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith. Smith is so cheap on Fantasy Draft that he was really close to making this team but the floor on Aaron Rodgers, as well as the ceiling, was just too great to pass up. I’m going to try to get as many players as I can from meaningful games this weekend because we just don’t know the motivation level of the teams that are out of it. That’s why you see guys like Rawls, Jordy, Kelce, Tate, and the Seattle defense in here. As it turns out, I’m pretty comfortable with all the matchups those guys have as well so it’s a win-win situation. The other few plays are also pretty safe considering that their teams are out of it. Ingram is 60 yards away from hitting 1000 for the season and his offensive line has already come out and said they are aware of this fact. To me, this says that he’s a lock for those yards at least. This is the last game of Steve Smith’s career and there’s no way he’s not going out with a bang. He always comes through in Narrative games like this. Cam Meredith has no reason to rest in this game as he makes his case for being the Bears top wideout in 2017. He’s had 25 combined targets the last two weeks and I don’t see that changing this week as the Vikings have been crushed from the slot recently.


As I’ve been doing recently, I decided to narrow down the field of potential plays to those guys that I highlighted on this week’s Cheat Sheet. This allowed me to mix and match players that I felt strongly about while not deviating too much from what lead me to put those players on the sheet in the first place.

The more I think about configuring GPP lineups, the more I realize it’s about having a core group of players and then finding different iterations of players at the remaining positions. You’ll see that I didn’t always include every one of my staple plays but most of them show up in most of my lineups. By using them consistently and then shifting the supporting cast, I’m increasing my potential to hit a big score if my core guys go off. My staple plays this week are Jordy Nelson, Mark Ingram, Travis Kelce, Steve Smith, David Johnson, Adam Thielen, Doug Baldwin, and Cam Meredith.

As you can see, I wasn’t able to get all of my staple plays in every lineup, but every lineup has a large number of these guys. I’d love to be able to use Bilal Powell and Sammy Watkins as well but their “questionable” designations make me a little wary. If they are cleared to go full on Sunday then they may find their way into updated lineups this weekend. My favorite lineup is the Alex Smith one because it has, to me, the best combination of my staple plays. The only issue with that lineup is Alex Smith himself as he lacks the upside I truly look for in my QB. There’s really nothing else about that lineup that I don’t like.

The hardest decisions I’m going to be making this week is narrowing down my WR, especially when I have to choose between Thielen and Meredith. I’ll have a similar issue at RB with Murray, Rawls, and Ingram. I also have to make the decision to use David Johnson and then surround him with value plays like Zenner, Sproles, and Hogan or dump out of DJ and use a pair of RB in the Murray/Rawls/Ingram mold. You can see how I handled that in various situations with these sample lineups.



Sample Yahoo! Lineups

CASH (Updated)

GPP (Updated)


Yahoo! Lineup Configurations


I started this lineup with a three man stack of the Packers, who will be playing for the division this week. Aaron Rodgers has been playing well recently, and I stacked him with his two best wide receivers: Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. Le’Veon Bell will likely be held out this week, which makes DeAngelo Williams an elite option at running back (Still, given that he’s seen little playing time since coming back from injury, make sure he’s starting. If he doesn’t play, you can take a look at Fitzgerald Toussaint.). I also used Zach Zenner, who saw an increased role last week. Adam Thielen is coming off a huge game, but he’s still cheap and was an extremely consistent option when healthy before his neck injury. Travis Kelce has been one of the best tight ends over the last few weeks, and he’s a safe option for his price. Julian Edelman is another player that has been consistent recently, although he hasn’t displayed the upside we all know he is capable of recently. Lastly, the Eagles’ defense fit into the lineup, and they will likely be playing against the Cowboys’ backups for most of the game. They also come with a great Vegas line.


The “Big Three” for the Steelers are likely going to sit out this week, which is why I used a stack of Landry Jones, DeAngelo Williams, and Eli Rogers in a great matchup against the Browns. I used David Johnson and Julio Jones as my elite options, and they both get decent matchups this week. Travis Kelce has been on fire recently, and he’s an elite option on every slate. Doug Baldwin and J.J. Nelson have been playing big roles in their offenses recently, and they are both a bit cheap for the upside they come with. Last, I used the Eagles’ defense once again, especially for their low price tag.


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. Thanks, and have fun!!

Note: Links are live!

FantasyDraft Optimizer!

Yahoo! Optimizer!

Optimizer Instructions

Optimized Lineups



NOTES: 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 love both of these teams for the most part. I’m not completely sold on Chris Ivory, but it’s an easy move to get a guy like Sproles or Toussaint or McFadden instead.



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.


TeamOpponentLineMoneylineOver/UnderImplied Points
NEPvs. HOU-15-130044.529.75
DALvs. GBP-4.5-21052.528.5
ATLvs. SEA-5-22551.528.25
GBP@ DAL4.518052.524
SEA@ ATL519551.523.25
KCCvs. PIT-1.5-1274422.75
PIT@ KCC1.51074421.25
HOU@ NEP1587544.514.75




 2016 Stats


Excel: Week 17 Matchup Charts YAHOO-FANDRAFT 2016 Stats



Sortable Matchup Machine Quarterbacks (2016 Stats)

Here you will find the matchup stats for each Quarterback for the week.

Russell WilsonSEA@ATL$13,000$3364.50%6.9280.91.90.833.90.0619.124
Dak PrescottDALGB$11,300$3064.70%8.1287.
Aaron RodgersGB@DAL$15,400$4067.40%6.9273.51.60.623.60.0616.519
Brock OsweilerHOU@NE$10,000$2161.90%6.8251.81.30.825.10.1315.622
Ben RoethlisbergerPIT@KC$12,400$3258.50%6.9257.
Alex SmithKCPIT$10,600$2564.50%7256.61.30.823.70.0614.613
Matt RyanATLSEA$13,300$3662.0%7.3242.810.732.80.1914.411
Tom BradyNEHOU$14,300$3761.10%6.62141.30.734.70.19149


Sortable Matchup Machine Running Backs (2016 Stats)

Here you will find the matchup stats for each running back for the week.

RB1Spencer WareKCPIT$10,200$1920.890.
RB2Charcandrick WestKCPIT$6,700$1120.890.
RB1Thomas RawlsSEA@ATL$13,000$2218.981.
RB2Alex CollinsSEA@ATL$7,000$1018.981.
RB1Le'Veon BellPIT@KC$19,900$4123.3103.
RB1LeGarrette BlountNEHOU$10,900$3121.481.
RB2Dion LewisNEHOU$7,700$1821.481.
RB1Ezekiel ElliottDALGB$16,100$3520.684.
RB1Devonta FreemanATLSEA$11,000$2723.8813.40.84.33806.611915.90.520.82
RB2Tevin ColemanATLSEA$8,800$1723.8813.40.84.33806.611915.90.520.82
RB1Ty MontgomeryGB@DAL$10,000$1717.871.640.54.934.50.136.3106.114.80.610.68
RB2Christine MichaelGB@DAL$8,400$1517.871.640.54.934.50.136.3106.114.80.610.68
RB1Lamar MillerHOU@NE$10,600$2020.
RB2Alfred BlueHOU@NE$6,400$1020.


Sortable Matchup Machine Wide Receivers (2016 Stats)

Here you will find the matchup stats for each Wide Receiver for the week.

DEPWide ReceiversTmOppFanDrafYahooRec/GReYd/GReYd/TarTD/GT/GCom. %FPPGFO
WR1Dez BryantDALGB$12,300$2513.2189.18.81.621.661.20%28.9420
WR2Cole BeasleyDALGB$9,800$1613.2189.18.81.621.661.20%28.9420
WR3Terrance WilliamsDALGB$6,000$1213.2189.18.81.621.661.20%28.9420
WR1Doug BaldwinSEA@ATL$15,300$2613.9162.
WR2Jermaine KearseSEA@ATL$6,400$1013.9162.
WR1Antonio BrownPIT@KC$18,000$4013.6177.47.40.924.156.60%22.914
WR2Eli RogersPIT@KC$7,700$1313.6177.47.40.924.156.60%22.914
WR3Sammie CoatesPIT@KC$6,000$1013.6177.47.40.924.156.60%22.914
WR1Julio JonesATLSEA$16,000$3112.6161.47.90.820.461.7%22.0611
WR3Taylor GabrielATLSEA$8,700$1812.6161.47.90.820.461.7%22.0611
WR2Mohamed SanuATLSEA$7,800$1312.6161.47.90.820.461.70%22.0611
WR1Jordy NelsonGB@DAL$14,000$3214.2164.17.10.923.161.50%21.3619
WR2DaVante AdamsGB@DAL$13,300$2514.2164.17.10.923.161.50%21.3619
WR3Randall CobbGB@DAL$10,600$2214.2164.17.10.923.161.50%21.3619
WR1DeAndre HopkinsHOU@NE$10,900$1911.9156.37.20.921.655.20%20.6822
WR2Will FullerHOU@NE$7,000$1111.9156.37.20.921.655.20%20.6822
WR1Julian EdelmanNEHOU$12,700$1911.6137.86.80.820.356.90%19.069
WR2Malcolm MitchellNEHOU$9,200$1511.6137.86.80.820.356.90%19.069
WR3Chris HoganNEHOU$7,700$1211.6137.86.80.820.356.90%19.069
WR2Tyreek HillKCPIT$10,400$2113.8152.870.621.863.20%1913
WR1Jeremy MaclinKCPIT$8,400$1413.8152.870.621.863.20%1913
WR3Chris ConleyKCPIT$6,000$1013.8152.870.621.863.20%1913


Sortable Matchup Machine Tight Ends (2016 Stats)

Here you will find the matchup stats for each Tight End for the week.

Tight EndsTmOppFanDrafYahooRec/GReYd/GReYd/TaT/GTD/GFPPGFO
Jared CookGB@DAL$7,700$147.474.
Jimmy GrahamSEA@ATL$9,200$185.360.
Jason WittenDALGB$7,000$175.462.387.80.386
Travis KelceKCPIT$11,400$224.956.
Austin HooperATLSEA$5,600$104.653.
C.J. FiedorowiczHOU@NE$7,100$134.644.
Ladarius GreenPIT@KC$7,400$153.945.
Martellus BennettNEHOU$7,800$


Sortable Matchup Machine Defenses (2016 Stats)

Here you will find the matchup stats for each Defense for the week.

DefenseOppFanDrafYahooOff PointsSackIntFum RecDefTDRetTDFPPG
New England PatriotsHOU$7,800$2016.9210.
Atlanta FalconsSEA$5,000$1621.
Pittsburgh Steelers@KC$5,600$1322.
Dallas CowboysGB$5,200$1227.
Kansas City ChiefsPIT$6,700$1924.
Green Bay Packers@DAL$5,500$1326.
Seattle Seahawks@ATL$5,900$1631.
Houston Texans@NE$4,600$1027.



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.

RkTMRk vs. #1 WRPa/GYd/GRk vs. #2 WRPa/GYd/GRk vs. Other WRPa/GYd/GRk vs. TEPa/GYd/GRk vs. RBPa/GYd/G




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2016 Cheat Sheets

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