Welcome to the FanDuel NFL DFS core plays column for week 17 of the 2020-2021 season.
Week 17 is here after a very interesting 2020-2021 regular season. It always brings a number of unique scenarios given the playoff picture for so many teams, which often means a lot more variability and last-minute scrambling as we learn about who is being rested, the resulting beneficiaries and so on.
So, we’ll rely more on usage here over the likes of matchup ratings, which are easier to rely on for fantasy purposes.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the more reliable guys you can pencil into your lineups ahead of the Sunday afternoon lock for a massive 15 game main slate.
Note that we’re recommending some of the more premium plays this week. So, to get them all active in your lineups, you’ll need to do some digging for value in at least 2 or 3 roster slots. There will be no shortage in that regard though, so be sure to use our tools like the FC Cruncher and Cheat Sheets to build out the rest of your player pool(s).
Aaron Rodgers @ CHI, $8,500
There’s going to be temptation to pay up for Lamar Jackson given his great matchup and strong recent play, but I think the safest route to go here is to double down on the MVP candidate (Rodgers) going up against the Bears here.
The Packers have already clinched the NFC North, but can grab the #1 seed in the NFC with a win over CHI. The -4 road line for GB suggests they should be able to do so, but the fact that CHI is playing as well as they are right now is keeping this as a one score spread, and also leads us to believe that all starters should get their full share of run. That’s exactly what you want to bet on when it comes to week 17 DFS.
Rodgers is having a heck of a year for GB, averaging nearly 25 FPPG and really has only one dud so far on the season (week 6 against TB when they lost by 28 points in Tampa). He had 211 yards and 4 TDs against the Bears in week 12 (16 point win) but CHI is a different team since then and should put up far more of a fight. Even though they allow only 246 YPG to opposing QBs, Rodgers’ TD efficiency should lead to a 25+ fantasy point game here – perfect for cash games at minimum.
David Montgomery vs GB, $8,200
I’m anticipating that we’re going to have a heavily owned Alexander Mattison here for MIN who faces the sieve of a rushing defense (DET) at a great salary ($5,000). However, we’ve seen him let us down a number of times and it wouldn’t surprise me if he does that in week 17. So, let’s look at the true RB1 play that correlates nicely with the QB/WR group we’re targeting.
We’ve been featuring Montgomery in this column lately, and even though the price has increased steadily, it’s still very much worth paying up for him as a RB1 here.
I’m happy to double-down on the GB/CHI game this week as both teams have significant playoff implications at stake, and Montgomery’s usage combined with GB’s softness against the run make him an elite target. He’s rocking the second highest snap% amongst RBs this year (72%), is averaging 4.2 targets per game in the passing department (11th at the RB position) and is averaging nearly 24 touches in his last 4 games (6th most in the NFL on the year at 270 to date).
The path to a competitive game for CHI means controlling the ball when they have it and doing so with their most reliable offensive player (Montgomery). And with his usage in the red zone (goal line work) to go along with a strong effort when these 2 teams last faced off, you can feel pretty confident using Montgomery in cash game builds at a bare minimum.
Make sure you keep a close eye on the cheat sheet column right before lock to get a full scoop of the other RBs (including values) that we’re targeting as well.
Davante Adams @ CHI, $9,300
We don’t necessarily want to get too cute with every slot in our lineups here. There’s temptation to spend down at WR2/WR3 (rightfully so), but trying to be overly creative and complex can often work against you.
I firmly believe one of the best paths to take here is to lock in Rodgers’ best friend in Adams for an unbeatable 1-2 punch at QB/WR.
His usage, consistency and ceiling are all off the charts. He gets a ton of red zone work, is playing alongside arguably the league’s best passer this year, and is actually the second cheapest he’s been in nearly 10 weeks (albeit by a narrow margin).
He’s as reliable as it gets for double-digit targets (12-10-10-12 in his last 4 games), has an elite 76% catch rate and is rocking an eye-popping 17 TDs this season. He could (and should) easily put at least one or two more of those on the board here as GB fights for the #1 overall seed in the NFC, and should primarily face off with Kyle Fuller who is not going to be able to keep up despite being a solid corner in his own right.
Pencil him in for 10-12 targets, 7-9 receptions, 90-120 yards and 1-2 TDs here and enjoy the high floor, high ceiling production from one of the most reliable fantasy threats in the game right now.
Mark Andrews @ CIN, $7,200
George Kittle as a mid-range play or even Donald Parham as a $4,200 punt are a couple (likely) popular ways to go. However, I do think there is plenty of reason to spend up at TE this week for Andrews who is sure to play a meaningful role for BAL as they look to clinch against CIN.
Not only does he have a plus matchup against the Bengals and Vonn Bell in particular, but he’s actually been a very reliable source of production lately (in terms of usage and output) with 9.6+ FP in each of his last 5 games and at least 5 receptions in each. Not many TEs can tell this kind of tale given how variable the position is these days. And, he had 14.6 points against CIN when they faced off all the way back in week 5 (6-56-1).
BAL should win this one with relative ease, but Lamar Jackson and his favorite receiving threat will have every opportunity to produce in the first 3 quarters (at minimum). I understand paying down at TE in GPP scenarios, but locking Andrews in for cash game purposes is a healthy path to take for 10+ points out of the position.