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NFL Analysis – Week 17 Milly Maker

Hello everyone! ?

bathrobeDFS here with your analysis for Week 16 in the NFL. I will work through all three games, analyzing any and all relevant data I can muster with regards to how they will perform in a DFS capacity. So let’s get deep into it!

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Offensive Injuries to Monitor ?
(officially posted Friday)

NYJ – Robby Anderson (WR) – QUESTIONABLENYJ – Ken Dixon (RB) – QUESTIONABLE
NYJ – Demaryius Thomas (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
BUF – Andre Roberts (WR) – OUT

NO – Zach Line (RB) – QUESTIONABLE
CAR – D.J. Moore (WR) – OUT

CLE – Odell Beckham (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
CLE – Ricky Seals-Jones (TE) – QUESTIONABLE
CIN – Stanley Morgan (WR) – DOUBTFUL

GB – Dan Vitale (RB) – DOUBTFUL
GB – Jamaal Williams (RB) – DOUBTFUL
GB – Jake Kumerow (WR) – QUESTIONABLE

LAC/KC – NO ONE

CHI – Taylor Gabriel (WR) – OUT
MIN – Dalvin Cook (RB) – OUT
MIN – Alexander Mattison (RB) – QUESTIONABLE
MIN – Kirk Cousins (QB) – RESTING
MIN – Stefon Diggs (WR) – QUESTIONABLE (REST)
MIN – Adam Thielen (WR) – QUESTIONABLE (REST)
MIN – Kyle Rudolph (TE) – QUESTIONABLE (REST)

MIA – Allen Hurns (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
NE – Julian Edelman (WR) – QUESTIONABLE

ATL – Brandon Powell (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
TB – Chris Godwin (WR) – OUT
TB – Jameis Winston (QB) – QUESTIONABLE

PIT – James Conner (RB) – OUT
BAL – Mark Ingram (RB) – OUT
BAL – Marquise Brown (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
BAL – Mark Andrews (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
BAL – Lamar Jackson (QB) – OUT (REST)

WAS – Dwayne Haskins (QB) – OUT
WAS – Terry McLaurin (WR) – OUT

TEN – Adam Humphries (WR) – OUT
TEN – Kalif Raymond (WR) – OUT
TEN – Cody Hollister (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
HOU – Will Fuller (WR) – OUT
HOU – DeAndre Hopkins (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
HOU – Kenny Stills (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
HOU – Deshaun Watson (QB) – QUESTIONABLE

IND – Jordan Wilkins (RB) – OUT
JAX –  Michael Walker (WR) – OUT
JAX – Leonard Fournette (RB) – OUT
JAX – Dede Westbrook (WR) – QUESTIONABLE
JAX – Gardner Minshew (QB) – QUESTIONABLE
JAX – Nick O’Leary (TE) – QUESTIONABLE

PHI – Nelson Agholor (WR) – OUT
PHI – Zach Ertz (TE) – OUT
NYG – Scott Simonson (TE) – OUT
NYG – Rhett Ellison (TE) – OUT

OAK – Josh Jacobs (RB) – DOUBTFUL

ARI – Darrell Daniels (TE) – OUT
ARI – Charles Clay (TE) – QUESTIONABLE
ARI – Kyler Murray (QB) – QUESTIONABLE
LAR – Darrell Henderson (RB) – OUT

? New York Jets (6-9) at Buffalo Bills (10-5)

Saturday, 1pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 36 – BUF 19 – NYJ 17
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – O/U 36.5 – BUF 19 – NYJ 17.5
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 36.5 – PICK EM
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U –

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Jets:  Out Of Playoffs – Expect nothing out of the ordinary

Playoff/Starters Status? – Bills:  Locked Into 5th Seed – Starters Will Play Limited Minutes

The Story ?

This is one of those really ugly week 17 games that make playing fantasy particularly difficult. We know the Jets players are going to go all out and try to win this game. They’ve said as much. Still, just because the players are motivated doesn’t mean the coaching staff is going to put them at any extra risk (if the player is a long-term asset for the team). It’s important, this week especially, to proceed with caution on any team that is not playing for anything real. It’s important to not assume that every player on these eliminated teams will get a full run. Still, what other choice do we have but take some risks here. Let’s take a look at what we can do, if anything.

Before I go into anything specific, one more general point I would like to make – when a team like the Bills is locked in and resting starters it doesn’t just mean they are resting offensive players. You need to understand and take advantage of that. It’s not just Josh Allen and John Brown and Frank Gore who may not get any real run, but some of their defensive superstars as well. So, while we look and see that the Bills have the 5th best defense in the NFL, we can and should expect them to perform significantly worse than that. And when we see they are 3rd against the pass and 20th against the run, I would expect then to underachieve on those fronts, as well.

So, who do we play?

Assuming he’s not at any risk of resting, I think you can start here with Crowder and Darnold. I expect them to team up early and often today. Even with the Bills resting, the Jets are still projected to lose this game. That means taking the passing offense in what would have been an awful matchup, and people might not be on. You can also take a chance on Le’Veon Bell. He is only 5800 and, as I noted earlier, the Bills are significantly worse against the run and may wind up losing this game. 

On the Bills side, things get a lot more hairy. They have indicated that they plan on playing the starters, but they won’t get a full game. Also, Allen and Brown may not play at all? That means taking a deep GPP chance on Matt Barkley, Isaiah McKenzie, Robert Foster, and the other backups who could be underpriced even for their limited roles.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • No One – What an ugly, ugly game.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Sam Darnold and the Pass Game – This means mainly Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson (if he plays). If Anderson and Demaryius Thomas are out, I take a good amount of Vyncint Smith. 
  • Le’Veon Bell – I still don’t like him that much, and he may be too popular today, but he has the easiest path to success here, even if he’s played terribly this season (relatively speaking)
  • Bills Backups – I don’t love them, and almost none of the backups today are anything more than GPP plays anywhere. But you’d be silly not to have some Barkley, McKenzie, and Foster at least. 
  • Defenses – I’m not convinced the Bills defensive backups aren’t going to be able to smash the Jets anyway. And taking defenses against these backups is just cheating. And we have several places to do it today.

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Bills RBs – I don’t know if they are going to get any serious run and I don’t think they’ll find much success even if they do

Players I’m Fading

  • Bills Starters – Should be resting pretty much the entire game. We don’t know exactly who it’ll be, but I expect that it will, at least, be Josh Allen and John Brown, though I wouldn’t be shocked if I add Beasley, Singletary, and/or Gore to this list.

? New Orleans Saints (12-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-10)

Saturday, 1pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 45.5 – NO 29.25 – CAR 16.25
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 45 – 29.25 – CAR 15.75
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U –

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Saints:  In Playoffs – Playing for Seeding. Win and Niners Loss Gives them 2nd seed. Need To Win. Can Expect Max Effort from staters (until they pull away).

Playoff/Starters Status? – Panthers:   Out of Playoffs. Christian McCaffrey needs 67 receiving yards to get into 1000/1000 club. 

The Story ?

This one should be a lot trickier than you may think. The Saints need to win this game to have a chance at a first round bye. They are projected to win by almost 2 TDs. Once the Saints take that commanding lead, they have no incentive to continue to put their stars at risk. So, while I expect players like Drew Brees and Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook to come out guns blazing, this is a huge mismatch, and, if the Saints can pull away I expect these guys to all ride the bench for as much time as possible. That makes this game a lot harder to count on and a lot harder to trust, especially when you consider that this is going to be one of the highest owned games on the slate. 

It is important when you make your lineups/set your exposures/choose your player pools that you consider this. If Brees and the superstars don’t need to play the 3rd or 4th quarters, I don’t expect them to. So, while I do expect a lot of production for the time they are on the field, I am really more bearish on this Saints team. If you think the Panthers can manage to keep this game close at home, by all means load up.

The Panthers, on the other hand, will play their normal game – lean on Christian McCaffrey as much as possible and try to hide the shitty/inexperienced QB even more. This is going to be especially important with DJ Moore listed OUT for this weekend. That means Will Grier will have to rely on Samuel, Wright, Hogan, Olsen and Ian Thomas. How well I like these guys also depends on how badly the Panthers will lose. If the Saints allow this game to stay close, their defensive stars will stay in the game making it tough on the Panthers pass game. If the Saints blow this game out and are able to pull their starters, we should a lot more success in Junk Time for these guys.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Christian McCaffrey – He is so close to getting to the 1000/1000 club, and so close to breaking the record for most PPR points in a single season. The Panthers have already stated they are not going to ease off him this weekend. He looks great, and even better if the Saints do manage to pull away and start pulling starters.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Panthers Pass Game – The Saints are a good defense and WIll Grier is not a good QB. However, he should have to pass constantly, and he does have a chance at junk time success. Also, the pass catchers will benefit from DJ Moore, the #1 target on this team, being out. Expect a boost to all of them, though, again, I’m not really counting on anyone here
  • Saints D – There’s a good chance the Saints win this game on the back of their defense. I know it’ll get tougher for them the more they pull away as they begin to rest people. Still, I think they’re a fine choice

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Saints Offense – I am definitely going to have some exposure to the Saints here. The Panthers are 32nd out of 32 against the run. This bodes well for Kamara and Murray unless, again, the Saints pull away and these guys don’t get run. The Panthers don’t have anyone to stop Michael Thomas either (not that anyone does), but, I just don’t have faith they’re gonna play more than 2 or 3 quarters, and I think everyone on this team is going to be extremely chalky.

? Cleveland Browns (6-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-14)

Saturday, 1pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 43.5 – CLE 23 – CIN 20.5
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 43 – CLE 22.75 – CIN 20.25
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Browns:  Out Of Playoffs. All Starters are playing. Chubb has 92 yard lead for top rusher and needs 47 to get to 1500. Odell Beckham needs 46 receiving yards to get to 1000. Baker Mayfield needs 1 passing TD for 20. 

Playoff/Starters Status? – Bengals:  Out of Playoffs. Clinched #1 pick in 2020 draft. AJ Green shut down. Joe Mixon needs 25 rushing yards for 1000. Tyler Boyd also within 100 yards of 1000 receiving.

The Story ?

I know the Browns have been pretty awful this season, but I don’t understand how they are only 2.5 point favorites here. The Bengals are awful everywhere and the Browns aren’t expected to go easy at all. With how many players on the Browns are close to individual achievements, I expect then to rack the points up and wind up one of the highest scoring teams of the day.

On the other side, we will see a Bengals team facing a Browns D that has been pretty bad this season as well. They are 16th against the pass and 4th worst against the run. That bodes very well for Joe Mixon getting to 1000 yards, but also doesn’t look that bad for the chances of Andy Dalton helping Tyler Boyd get his 1000 yards. That would be a huge deal, so I expect them to actively try for that. The only issue is his 6700 price point, but his ownership should be relatively low to help offset it. I should also add that the Browns have been weakest against the slot which is where Boyd plays.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Browns Offense – I love this game, and I am going to have an absolute ton of it. Nick Chubb is in an amazing spot. So are Mayfield, Beckham, and Landry. I don’t mind going well over the field on all 4.
  • Bengals Offense – They are also going to see little in terms of great defenders. This game is supposed to stay close. I have no problem loading up on Joe Mixon especially, with some extra exposure to Dalton, Boyd, and Ross

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Kareem Hunt – I don’t like him nearly as much as Chubb this week. I think this will be a game where Cleveland can lean on the run, and they want Chubb to get to 1500 and be the top rusher in the NFL. Still, he’s only 5200 and it’s perfectly feasible he pays off as well.

? GB Packers (12-3) at Detroit Lions (3-11-1)

Saturday, 1pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 43 – GB 27.75 – DET 15.25
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – O/U 43.5 – GB 28 – DET 15.5
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Packers:  In Playoffs – Playing for Seeding. Win and they Lock #2 seed. Win and Saints loss and they get #1 seed. Lose and they lose the bye. Need to Win. Aaron Jones almost at 1000 rushing yards and 20 TDs.

Playoff/Starters Status? – Lions:   Out of Playoffs – Should be playing running out the starters and playing to win.

The Story ?

I feel like I could cut and paste what I wrote about the NO/CAR game and post it here. It’s pretty staggering. We have a Packers team that, like NO, needs to win for playoff seeding. That means we can expect full effort out of the starters. However, like the Saints, the Packers are also taking on a trainwreck of a team they are projected to beat by almost 2 TDs. This means that, much like with NO, I expect the Packers to come out here guns ablazing, take a commanding lead, and then pull the starters as soon as it’s feasible. 

With the Lions expected to lose by a lot, I would expect them to lean on the pass. Unfortunately, the Packers are almost top 10 against the pass and are almost bottom 10 against the run. This doesn’t bode well for the Lions. Nor does how badly Blough has been playing under Center. There’s just not a ton to like here, and I won’t be taking a lot on a 15 game slate.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • No One – I think this game blows out and the starters get pulled. And, even then, I don’t trust anyone on Detroit.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Detroit RBs – GB has been pretty awful against the run, but the Detroit backfield is now crammed. They have Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough and Wes Hills and Ty Johnson and JD McKissic. I don’t expect Johnson and McKissic to get much work (or even to be active), but who the hell knows what they do to protect people for next year. If I go anywhere, it’s Kerryon.
  • Detroit Pass Game – Like with the Panthers, I think this isn’t something I will lean on too heavily, but I will have some exposure in case the Packers wind up pulling their starters and Blough, Golladay, Amendola, and company have a decent amount of junk time to pay off against 3rd string defenders. 
  • Packers D – Have a great chance of crushing this Lions D and being the reason the game gets out of hand
  • Tyler Ervin/Dexter Williams – With Jamaal Williams out, Aaron Jones’ backups will be Ervin and Dexter Williams. If this game blows out, we are going to see a bunch of garbage time work for these 2, and both are pretty cheap. Unfortunately, DK priced these guys up this week, making them hard to really count on.

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Packers Offense – Again, just like with the Saints I absolutely love the Packers today. But so will the field. I expect the Packers to also be one of the most popular team stacks on the day. However, I think, again, there is a chance the game blows out quickly and we see Rodgers, Jones, Davante Adams and the other starters sitting on the bench by the 3rd quarter.

? Los Angeles Chargers (5-10) at Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)

Saturday, 1pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 45 – KC 27 – LAC 18
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – O/U 45.5 – KC 27.25 – LAC 18.25
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Chargers:  Out of Playoffs – Should be running out starters and playing to win. Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler within 100 yards of 1000 receiving.

Playoff/Starters Status? – Chiefs:   In Playoffs – Playing for Seeding. Move up to #2 with Pats loss. Could fall to #4 if they lose. Need to Win.

The Story ?

Hey! Remember what I wrote about the Saints and the Packers?? About how they are both playing to win, so we should expect max effort from the starters? But also how they are playing against far inferior teams they are projected to beat by double digits? And how we should be prepared for the games to blow out and the starters to eventually be rested? Yeah, same thing here with the Chiefs. The Chargers are around the bottom 10 against both the pass and run. They won’t be able to stop anyone the Chiefs have.

On the other side, the Chargers will face a Chiefs team that has been one of the worst in the league against the slot. That is where Keenan Allen lives. I expect him to far exceed his value today. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they try to get Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler to 1000, but I think that is less likely to be successful. 

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Keenan Allen – The Chiefs just can’t stop the slot receiver. Keenan Allen is one of the best in the game, and I expect him to try to cap off a forgettable year with a monster game. I also expect his BFF Philip Rivers to get him there

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Chiefs RBs – I think that, with the Chiefs having a commanding lead, the RBs should get a good amount of work. They are also very cheap. Damien Williams is only 4700, LeSean McCoy is 4200, and Darwin Thompson is 3600. I expect them to try and rest Williams and McCoy as much as possible, so that would make Darwin a really deep GPP play, taken if you think the Chiefs blow this game out and the starters are resting by the mid-3rd quarter.
  • Chargers Offense – The Chiefs are 6th against the pass and 30th against the run. That means I will have a ton of Austin Ekeler and a smattering of Melvin Gordon. With the Chargers likely playing from behind (and Allen in such a good spot), I will also have some exposure to his QB, Philip Rivers. I would also put Hunter Henry in league with Allen as someone who could take advantage of the slot, so I’d take him 3rd on this team behind Allen and Ekeler. Lastly, I don’t think Mike Williams is a great play, but I think is red zone usage is fantastic, and he’s too close to 1000 not to take a chance on them trying to nudge him there

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Chiefs Pass Game – Like with the Packers and the Saints, I absolutely love the Chiefs offense here. I have no problem taking a good load of Mahomes and Tyreek Hill and Kelce. Anyone else would be a GPP option as it is. The problem is I also think this game has a good chance of blowing out, and I think the Chiefs will sit the stars down ASAP.

? Chicago Bears (7-8) at Minnesota Vikings (10-5)

Saturday, 1pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 37 – MIN 19.25 – CHI 17.75
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – O/U 37 – MIN 19 – CHI 18
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 36 – CHI 19.5 – MIN 16.5
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Bears:  Out of Playoffs. Matt Nagy has said he hasn’t ruled out letting the younger players get more run and resting veterans. 

Playoff/Starters Status? – Vikings:   Locked into 6th Seed. Expect Limited Minutes from Starters.

The Story ?

With the Vikings planning to rest their starters on Sunday, and the Bears not ruling out giving more work to the kids on the team, that makes this game a lot more cut and dry. The Bears are top 10 against both the run and the pass, and I don’t expect the Vikings backups to see much success against them, even with ample opportunity. Still, I don’t know how you don’t take a chance on Sean Mannion or Ameer Abdullah or Bisi Johnson or Hollins or Irv Smith Jr. They should all have ample opportunity to succeed, though the defense will be tough to beat.

On the other side, we have to understand the Vikings should be starting backup defensemen as well, meaning the Bears should have a much easier road ahead of them than the numbers would indicate. Also, we should note that the Bears giving extra run to the kids means very little. Trubisky is like 10 years younger than Daniel and Robinson and Miller are only 26 and 25, respectively. I find it highly unlikely they are part of the old guard they will be resting.. It’s not like any of these guys are even pushing 30.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Bears Offense – With the Vikings resting their star players, we should see the Bears offense have an easier path to production than most may realize. I think the Vegas total is too low, and I expect the Bears to be able to get a few TDs on these Vikings backups. This means giving particular weight to David Montgomery and Allen Robinson.
  • Vikings Backups – With the Vikings likely to rest almost everyone, you have to take a good bunch of chances on Sean Mannion, Alexander Mattison (or Ameer Abdullah/Mike Boone if he can’t play and you’re not averse to risk), Bisi Johnson, Irv Smith Jr., and any other backup that should garner serious minutes here. They are all way too cheap for getting a full game of work in, even if it’s against a tough Bears D.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Bears D – Going against all the backups, you might want to go over the field here. But I’m not so sure the Bears aren’t going to rest some of their veteran defenders as well.

Players I am Fading

  • Vikings Starters – They should be resting and out of your lineups.

? Miami Dolphins (4-11) at New England Patriots (12-3)

Saturday, 1pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 45 – NE 30.5 – MIA 14.5
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 44.5 – NE 30.5 – MIA 14
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U –

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Dolphins:  Out of Playoffs. Expect another week of Max Effort from this Dolphins squad, even though it keeps costing them draft positions.

Playoff/Starters Status? – Patriots:   In Playoffs – Playing for Seeding. Need to win to secure a 1st round bye. 

The Story ?

This is the 4th game where we will see the starters give max effort but, after the game gets out of hand, we will see them relegated to the bench. The Patriots are the biggest favorites of the day. Vegas says they are going to win by 16, and I think that’s being kind to the Dolphins, or assuming they get some good work in after the Pats bench their defensive starters. So, again, I expect this to be a game where the Pats stars are overowned and their backups are legit GPP plays. I also think it’s possible the Pats D outscores the Dolphins, even if Miami finds success in junk time.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Patriots D – Even if the starters only play the first half, they can score 2 defensive TDs pretty easily in that time. The offense doesn’t have to do anything
  • Patriots Backups – I think this means Rex Burkhead, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, and Phil Dorsett II

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Sony Michel – I don’t expect him to do too much, but, for 4500, he doesn’t have to. 
  • Miami Pass Game – I’m counting on some junk time happenings, cause I don’t expect anything out of them if the Pats elite are in the game. This means having some exposure to Fitzpatrick and Devante Parker. It also means having a little exposure to Albert Wilson and Mike Gesicki. 

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Miami Run Game – Not today. They’ll lose by too much, and everyone is awful
  • Pats Stars – Again, like with the Saints and Packers and Chiefs, I think the Pats are in a great spot today. I just expect this game is over early and the starters aren’t going to get much more than a couple quarters of work

? Atlanta Falcons (6-9) at Tampa Bay Bucs (7-8)

Saturday, 1pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 47.5 – TB 24.25 – ATL 23.25
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Falcons:  Out of Playoffs. Expect nothing out of the ordinary.

Playoff/Starters Status? – Bucs:   Out of Playoffs. Expect nothing out of the ordinary.

The Story ?

If this isn’t the game of the day, it’s close, and that’s even with all the injuries. Jameis Winston is QUESTIONABLE (though he should play). On top of that, the Bucs will be missing their best 2 receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Still, the Falcons are 7th worst against the pass, so I expect Winston to play and throw the ball constantly in what should be a close, high-scoring affair. He should target Breshad Perriman as much as he can, with OJ Howard and Cameron Brate getting the next most looks, and Justin Watson taking up the rear.

On the Falcons side of the ball, they are facing the best run defense in the league. That means I expect to take the Falcons Pass Game primarily, with almost no exposure to any of the RBs.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Bucs Pass Game – They should be able to take advantage of a weak Falcons secondary all game. I will focus mainly on Breshad Perriman, followed by Jameis Winston, OJ Howard, Cameron Brate, and Justin Watson in deep GPPs.
  • Falcons Pass Game – Give me all the Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, and Matt Ryan. I also don’t mind having a good chunk of Russell Gage in GPPs seeing as the Bucs are pretty awful against the slot, and Gage should be the 3rd most targeted player on the this team

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • The Running Games – I don’t want very much Ronald Jones or Payton Barber or Devonta Freeman or anyone else. Of course, any of them can be lucky and run one in. But the odds of them being a successful focus point of these offenses is very low. 

? Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) at Baltimore Ravens (13-2)

Saturday, 425pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 37.5 – PIT 19.75 – BAL 17.75
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – O/U 37 – PIT 19.5 – BAL 17.5
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Steelers:   Fighting for a playoff spot. Need to win and for the Titans to lose and they sneak in.

Playoff/Starters Status? – Ravens:   Locked into #1 Seed. Already announced they are resting starters.

The Story ?

This is another game that’s going to be a mess. Even with Baltimore basically resting everyone worth anything, they are barely projected to lose. And, regardless, this game is way on the wrong side of 40 points so don’t get too excited. Still, backups will present fantastic opportunities for us, and will force some players to get a ton of usage at almost no cost. The issue is the defenses are both just too good to think you can get the best of them easily.

With the Steelers fighting for a playoff spot, I don’t expect them to roll over and make it easy for the Ravens backups. That’s a problem, as the Steelers are a top 3 defense overall, including top 5 against both the run and the pass. Robert Griffin is going to be chalk, and I don’t know if that’s as well deserved as you would think. The other players, though, are just far too cheap not to take a bunch of chances on – Gus Edwards (4800), Justice Hill (4600), Seth Roberts (3900), Nick Boyle (3400), Hayden Hurst (3200), and Miles Boykin (3000) especially. 

On the other side of the ball, I expect this Steelers team to give it their all, even if they’re not that great and relying on 2nd and 3rd string talent in a lot of places. They will be buoyed by the fact they will be facing backup Ravens defenders, sure, but it’s not like he’s been doing well against shitty players anyway. The one thing I will note – the Ravens D is 4th best (just behind the Steelers). Unlike the Steelers, they show splits – they are 4th best against the pass and 17th best against the run. I expect both of these numbers to worsen with backups getting some run, but I still expect the Ravens to be significantly easier to attack on the ground. So I’m gonna focus on the RBs with Conner out, with everyone else an ancillary piece.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Steelers RBs – We should see Pittsburgh have a lead in this game and try to run the clock down. With Conner out, that means having a ton of Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels. Both are far too cheap here
  • Cheap Ravens – to copy/paste what I wrote earlier – Robert Griffin is going to be chalk, and I don’t know if that’s as well deserved as you would think. The other players, though, are just far too cheap not to take a bunch of chances on – Gus Edwards (4800), Justice Hill (4600), Seth Roberts (3900), Nick Boyle (3400), Hayden Hurst (3200), and Miles Boykin (3000) are all just far, far too cheap
  • Steelers D – Playing to win against backups and RGIII?? Yes, please.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Steelers Pass Game – I don’t have any faith in Hodges and, by extension, any of his WRs or TEs. But, again, he will be facing backups in a crucial game. I think there’s some chance of him succeeding here at low ownership, but I really wouldn’t go here except in deep GPPs and if you’re doing multiple lineups.

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Robert Griffin III – Steelers D is 3rd best, top 5 against the run and pass, he will be chalk and he’s still RGIII. Don’t forget that and think that wearing the Ravens uniform will transform him back into a poor man’s Lamar Jackson.

Players I am Fading:

  • Ravens Starters/Old Dudes – That means Jackson, Brown, Andrews, and Snead.

? Washington (3-12) at Dallas Cowboys (7-8)

Saturday, 425pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 45.5 – DAL 28 – WAS 17.5
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 46 – DAL 29.25 – WAS 16.75
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U –

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Washington:  Out of Playoffs. Terry McLaurin needs less than 100 receiving yards to get 1000.

Playoff/Starters Status? – Cowboys:   Fighting for a playoff spot. Need to win against Washington, and for the Giants to beat Philly. 

The Story ?

This game is another one that is going to get ugly, quick. Washington is going to be without their QB and without the only stud player they have on this team, their WR1 Terry McLaurin. This leaves Washington in the hands of a QB3, a couple RBs that shouldn’t need to be used considering how much Washington will lose by, and a receiving corps made up of a few WR4s and TE3s. Against a Dallas Defense that, while not great, shouldn’t have much problem today, I have almost no faith in anyone from that side of the ball.

The other side of the ball is something I am worried about, too. I expect Dallas to come out on fire, giving everything they can and trying to end this game early. I expect a balanced attack to start, though they will eventually be able to just lean on a rejuvenated Zeke Elliot. The only issue I have is, like with several other teams, I have good reason to expect Dallas to pull their starters when this game gets out of hand. So, if you want to play Dak and Cooper and Zeke and Gallup and all them, you better hope Washington keeps it close, otherwise who knows how much of the game they’ll be resting and avoiding injury.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Dallas D – Case Keenum and Cam Sims and Hale Hentges are some of the talent Dallas will have to stop today. I have been pretty good with calling Dallas’ wins and loses lately. I think they can handle those guys without much of an issue.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Chris Thompson – You know who should get a ton of work today? The pass-catching RB for Washington. He is gonna get so, so much work today because Case Keenum is terrible, and he will have no choice but to dump it off every few plays. That means taking some real shots on Chris Thompson and his 3900 price tag. He hasn’t paid off yet this season, but he was a 6k priced talent last year in a similar role, and I think everyone’s forgotten that. 
  • Zeke Elliot – I would be far OTF on Zeke here, except I have a feeling he’ll barely make it into the 3rd quarter before they bench him and let Tony Pollard run the rest of the clock out. 

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Everyone Else – Much like with Zeke, I expect much of the Dallas offense to be able to rest relatively early. I know there’s a decent enough chance that Dak and Amari Cooper get you 2 TDs in the 1st quarter to not fade them, or the pass game, completely. But this reeks of a game where Dallas will just pound the run. Additionally, Case Keenum is the QB for Washington. So no thanks.

? Tennessee Titans (8-7) at Houston Texans (10-5)

Saturday, 425pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 45 – TEN 24.25 – HOU 20.75
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – O/U 45.5 – TEN 24.5 – HOU 21
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 44 – TEN 25 – HOU 19
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U –

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Titans:  Fighting for a playoff spot. If they win, they are the 6th seed. If they lose, they are probably out. AJ Brown needs less than 100 receiving yards to hit 1000. 

Playoff/Starters Status? – Texans:  In the Playoffs. Based on KC/LAC game. If KC wins, HOU is locked into the 3 seed. If that happens, starters will rest. If KC loses, HOU can move up to the 2 seed, so expect them to go all out. With KC expected to give full effort, expect HOU to rest starters.

The Story ?

This is the ugliest game of all for us as fantasy players. Everything else will have its resolution on the field, but not this one. We know the teams that are going to try, we know the teams that are resting people, and we know all the different scenarios that should determine what a team will do. This is the only game that plays at 4pm that will be determined by a 1pm game. That means we are not going to know what to do with this game until we know if the Chiefs win or not. That might not be until after 4pm if that game goes into OT somehow. 

So, if the Chiefs win, Houston is locked in and we can expect them to rest their starters. If the Chiefs lose, Houston will try everything they can to win. Again, we may not even know what happens until minutes before kickoff. Don’t expect any resolution until then, even if they announce something at 230-3pm. I should also remind you that when a team rests the stars, it’s not just offensive stars. They are also making their defense significantly weaker too. So the Chiefs game will have a massive effect not only on the Texans, but also on the Titans. Because of this, I will just lay this game out in TWO DIFFERENT OTF/UTF Layouts. You can use one if you think the Chiefs win (which is more than likely). You can use the other one if you want to take the gamble the Chiefs lose (or if you want to change things up later). 

IF THE CHIEFS WIN:

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Derrick Henry – If Houston rests everyone, I expect the Titans to win this one pretty easily. They are going to go max effort no matter what. That means leaning on the now-healthy Derrick Henry and his likely 20 DKP with a TD or two and a bunch of receptions. If he is healthy, he is the focus point of this offense
  • Titans Pass Game – I won’t be as high on them as I will be on Henry, but I have no problem taking a good shot on Sharpe, Tannehill, Brown, and Corey Davis, in that order. 
  • Titans D – Gimme all the Titans D against AJ McCarron and the 3rd stringers.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Texans Pass Game – Let’s be clear – I don’t have a lot of faith in AJ McCarron and the 3rd stringers here. The Titans defense is a slow, control defense that goes overlooked far too often. They are also trying hard to win this game. Still, McCarron and all his receivers – Keke Coutee and DeAndre Carter,  especially. Coutee should be the main piece of this Texans offense. He is the one they are going to move around and he’s only 3300. 

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Texans RBs – I don’t know who is going to get the looks. They just don’t have a ton of great options if Hyde and Duke rest. If they play, I don’t trust they’ll get a full workload

Players I am Fading:

  • Houston Starters – I expect we won’t know what they’re gonna do until way, way later than you would be comfortable with. I also think it’s feasible that they announce that Watson and Nuk and Stills and Hyde play, only to have them active but only available in an emergency. 

IF THE CHIEFS LOSE:

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Houston Pass Game – The Titans are a D that shows real splits – they are 6th best against the run and 20th against the pass. On top of that, they will be without Adoree Johnson, arguably their best corner, and someone who was going to shadow Nuk Hopkins. Without him playing for TEN (and with Will Fuller out), I expect a ton of work going to Nuk. This is a must win game for Houston. They can secure a first round bye, and that’s worth all the effort in the world. Expect it from Nuk, Deshaun Watson, Kenny Stills, Keke Coutee, and the 2 TEs (that are much more risky plays).
  • Titans Pass Game – The Texans D also shows real splits – they are 13th best against the run and 8th worst against the pass. This means I expect Tannehill to get a lot of work today, and we should get on that. Again, the Titans have to win this game too. If we break it down further, the Texans are, by far, weakest against the slot. So I will once again prioritize Tajae Sharpe, with AJ Brown coming in a close 2nd, as I expect them to try to get the rookie to 1000 yards. 
  • Derrick Henry – 13th is mediocre. Just because the Texans are much worse against the pass doesn’t mean they’re great against the run. They’re not. They’re mediocre. And they’ve just been getting worse every week without JJ Watt. So if you want to go all in on Derrick Henry, coming off a missed week, as the cornerstone of this offense, and as someone who may catch you a couple handfuls of passes today, I will be there with you.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde – I expect the Texans to be in pass formation most of the time, meaning a lot more Duke Johnson than Carlos Hyde. Still, Hyde has the goal line work you want. That places both these guys firmly in GPP territory.

? Indianapolis Colts (7-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10)

Saturday, 425pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 42.5 – IND 23.25 – JAX 19.25
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 42 – IND 23.75 – JAX 18.25
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Colts:  Out of Playoffs. Expect nothing out of the ordinary.

Playoff/Starters Status? – Jags:   Out of Playoffs. DJ Chark is within 100 yards of 1000 receiving yards for the year.

The Story ?

A game where, basically, we know what to expect going on. Sure, there’s one major question mark – the status of Leonard Fournette – but, as far as everything else goes, this should basically be business as usual.

Let’s start, therefore, with the Colts side of the ball. They will be facing a Jags offense that has been freefalling this season. Right now, they are the 4th worst overall, including 11th worst against the pass and a horrifying 2nd worst against the run. This means an easy path to success for an underpriced Marlon Mack, who is one of the better RB options on the slate. The Jags are also pretty pathetic against the perimeter as well, so, if you want to take a chance that TY Hilton shows you that 40 DKP ceiling of his, this would be a good week for him to do it.

On the other side, the Colts D is just outside the bottom 10 against both the pass and the run. They have Rock Ya-Sin guarding the perimeter and he has been fantastic this season. They also have Kenny Moore guarding the slot, who’s been better than average. I expect that, with Conley and Ya-Sin lining up on the same side of the field most of the time anyway, that DJ Chark would be the easy place to go here, if you go for any receiver. The real issue is the aforementioned Fournette. He hasn’t been able to practice this week, which doesn’t bode well. There’s no reason to push him in a meaningless game either. The problem is, we may not know until well after the 1pm games have started whether or not he plays. If he does suit up, I don’t mind having some exposure. If he doesn’t, I will have a fuckload of Ryquell Armstead, who should easy into 15 DKP for only 4400.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Marlon Mack – Jags are 2nd worst against the run. Should be easy for him to get you at least 100 yards and a TD.
  • TY Hilton – Jags have no one that can stop him. They should be able to feed him the ball all game without any problems, to the detriment of everyone else.
  • DJ Chark – He’s arguably the best player on this team, should have the easiest matchup for most of the game, and is within reach of a huge personal milestone. 
  • Ryquell Armstead – Too cheap for his bellcow role. He has the talent to more than pay off his 4400 price tag.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Nyheim Hines – Jags are bad enough and Hines is cheap enough (and gets enough pass game work), that he’s an easy GPP play today. Just don’t go nuts with the ownership
  • The Rest of Both Pass Games – Neither defense is that good against the pass, it would just be easier for both to focus on rushing. Still, that doesn’t mean that Jacoby Brissett or Jack Doyle or Minshew or Conley or Marcus Johnson can’t exceed value pretty easily.

? Philly Eagles (8-7) at New York Giants (3-12)

Saturday, 425pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 45 – PHI 24.75 – NYG 20.25
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – O/U 45 – PHI 24.5 – NYH 20.5
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Eagles:  Fighting for a Playoff spot. If the Eagles win, they win their division. If they lose, they can still win if the Cowboys lose. Still, expect max effort as they need to win to guarantee a spot. 

Playoff/Starters Status? – Giants:   Out of Playoffs. Saquon Barkley needs 89 rushing yards to hit 1000.

The Story ?

With the Cowboys likely to win their game, the Eagles are one of the teams that need to come out playing as hard as they can. Unfortunately, they are completely beset by injury. On top of their top WRs landing on IR, the Eagles will be without Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor. Fortunately, they are facing a Giants team that is 2nd worst in the NFL against the pass, meaning they should be able to make due with 3rd and 4th stringers. It also means that there will be a highly concentrated group of players that we can target on a team that needs to win, badly. That sounds like fantasy gold to me. 

The one issue I have is Philly RBs. With Jordan Howard returning, we are going to see a good backfield get overly crowded. Miles Sanders and Boston Scott would both have been fantastic option. Sanders should still be the lead back and Scott should still get a lot of the passing work, but Howard is going to cut into both players enough I don’t know if I can take them as full-throatedly as I would otherwise have wanted.

On the other side of the ball, the Giants will take on an Eagles defense ranked 4th against the run and 17th against the pass. I know Saquon Barkley has been hot lately, but the Eagles are significantly better than Washington and Miami. With his price back up to around 9k, I can’t imagine having as much of him as the field. That means we will have a Giants team playing from behind, that would want to focus on the pass, and having an easier route doing so. Sounds like taking some real chances on the Giants pass game, even if Daniel Jones is shoddy. 

I should also note that, as unlikely as it is, if the Eagles come out to a commanding lead, you should expect anyone worth anything to come out of the game.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Philly Pass Game – That means Carson Wentz, Greg Ward, Dallas Goedert, JJ Arcega-Whiteside in that order.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Giants Pass Game – Should have to lean on it with the Giants playing from behind. Also the easiest way to attack Philly. I will take Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, and Kaden Smith, in that order. 
  • Philly RBs – I don’t love any of them, but I love their potentials. I just wish there was only 1 or 2 of them. I will take Sanders, Scott, and Howard in that order.

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Saquon Barkley – Philly is top 5 against the run. I don’t mind taking some Barkley here, but, after his last 2 weeks and with his price increase, I can’t imagine getting to where the field will be. 

? Oakland Raiders (7-8) at Denver Broncos (6-9)

Saturday, 425pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 41 – DEN 22.25 – OAK 18.75
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 40.5 – DEN 22 – OAK 18.5
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U –

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Raiders:  Fighting for a Playoff spot. If they win and the Ravens, Texans AND Colts win, AND either the Bears, Lions, Chiefs OR Pats win, the Raiders are in. So it’s very unlikely, but they are still in the mix, and should be playing like it. 

Playoff/Starters Status? – Broncos:   Out of the Playoffs. Phillip Lindsay needs 42 rushing yards to hit 1000.

The Story ?

The odds are pretty good this game means nothing to anyone. But still, there’s a long shot the Raiders make the playoffs, so they may come out hard. With them missing Josh Jacobs, the Raiders are without one of their premiere pieces. They are taking on a Broncos defense that’s middle of the road against everything, meaning they should have no problem shifting that burden to the other options like Waller, Washington, and Richard. I wouldn’t mind having some exposure to Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow as well, but they will be facing the defense of Chris Harris and Will Parks, and I don’t like to mess with them.

On the other side of the ball, the Raiders D is 2nd worst in the NFL overall. They are 3rd worst against the pass and 9th worst against the run. I expect the Broncos to be able to attack them however they want. That means a ton of Lindsay and Sutton, with a decent amount of Noah Fant, Royce Freeman, Tim Patrick, and Drew Lock

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Darren Waller – With Jacobs out, and Williams and Renfrow bottled up, Waller should be the main option for this Raiders Offense. I expect them to go to him early and often.
  • Phillip Lindsay – With Denver projected to win this game and Oakland a shambling mess of a defense, I expect Lindsay to have one of his 100 yard, 1 TD games at least. 
  • Courtland Sutton – The Raiders are just awful against the pass and Sutton will get as many targets as he can handle. He is underpriced for that, and I hope he flies under the radar today.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Oakland RBs  – with Jacobs out, I expect a ton of work to go to Washington and Richard. Washington will be the lead back so make sure to prioritize him if you think the Raiders will win the game. Take Richard if you think the Raiders play from behind, as he should be the pass catching back. 
  • Rest of Denver Offense – That means taking some Noah Fant, Drew Lock, Tim Patrick, and Royce Freeman, in that order.

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow – Chris Harris and Will Parks Defense. Yuck.

? Arizona Cardinals (5-9-1) at Los Angeles Rams (8-7)

Saturday, 425pm

Vegas Info

  • Vegas Info (Wednesday Night) – O/U 49 – LAR 28 – ARI 21
  • Vegas Info (Thursday Night) – SAME
  • Vegas Info (Friday Night) – O/U 45 – LAR 25.5 – ARI 19.5
  • Vegas Info (Saturday Night) – O/U – 

Week 17 Playoff Report

Playoff/Starters Status? – Cardinals:  Out of the Playoffs. Expect nothing out of the ordinary.

Playoff/Starters Status? – Rams:   Out of the Playoffs. Announced they will be resting starters.

The Story ?

I am going to be avoiding this game. As you can see, the Cards have some questionable players they have no reason to push and the Rams have already indicated they will be resting some starters. I’m not taking a chance on Kyler Murray. I don’t trust any of the Cards receivers with Brett Hundley under Center. The only one I would take a chance on is Kenyan Drake who has been so hot lately it’s hard not to take a chance on him at 7100. He’s getting Saquon Barkley results, going against a worse rush defense, at a discount of 1600. And he will probably less owned too. That’s crazy to me.

On the other side, given what the Rams have said, I wouldn’t be shocked if the starters get some run and then are benched. I just have no desire to take the risk here when there are so many other teams that actually have something to play for. If I go anywhere here, it will be on someone like Malcolm Brown or Josh Reynolds.

OTF Plays (over the field)

  • Kenyan Drake – Like I said results have been incredible. He’s only 7100. He’s gonna be underowned, and he will get more run if Murray is held out.

? GPP Options (tournament plays)

  • Malcolm Brown and Josh Reynolds – I expect these two to get the most guaranteed run today, regardless of how the Rams decide to proceed. They are, basically, like backup/blowout plays but for the NFL, and as a hedge today.

? UTF Plays (under the field)

  • Everyone Else – Unless we get some major clarification, I am just going to stay away. I may have an occasional GPP share, but, otherwise, no thanks.

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