Hello all and welcome to my final NFL GPP breakdown for Week 17 of the NFL season. For those of you who were here last year, we had a ton of success with this article throughout the year and saw a plethora of screenshots throughout the season of MAJOR wins from in cooperating this article into your weekly research and lineup construction. For those of you who are new, welcome, my name is Bob Viafora and I am one of the lead DFS analysts at DFS Karma. I’ve been with DFS Karma for 2+ years now and looking forward to what our team (and you – the reader) is able to accomplish this season. As a staple of your weekly reading/research, please reach out to me on twitter @DF_Advantage (throw me that follow if you don’t already) each week and let me know how your rosters did as well as sharing any #screenshots you may have. Football is back! Let’s GO!
High Tier: Aaron Rodgers ($6300 – DK / $8400 – FD) – Everyone is playing Davante Adams as he is trying to break the receiving yards record for most in a single by a GB player. While this narrative has sky-rocketed Adams projected ownership this week, it seems a lot of people aren’t interested in the man throwing him the ball, possibly one of the best QB’s of all time in Aaron Rodgers.
The Lions defense is one of the worst in the NFL throughout 2018 and one that should be absolutely torched by Rodgers come Sunday. They rank 31st in passing DVOA while allowing the most yards per pass in the NFL. The Packers are one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL and that shouldn’t change this week. Although Jamal Williams posted a massive score last week he is more of a bust candidate than the public would believe and he’s on my fade list this week.
I believe the narrative holds true here and the Packers keep a pass-heavy approach to dismantling this Detroit defense.
Mid Tier: Lamar Jackson ($5600 – DK / $7700 – FD) – The floor here is just outstanding for Jackson who is projected to be under 10% owned this week but his ceiling is up there as well. In his six starts, this season Jackson has not fallen below 17.50 DK points. So far his best week was 22.22 points which by no means is bad but you better believe his ceiling is higher than that.
A quarterback capable of putting 100+ yards on the ground any given Sunday will always be up there with the top QB’s on the slate when discussing upside. People are going to be terrified of playing Jackson in this spot against a legit Browns pass defense that has played incredibly this year ranking 5th in DVOA. Jackson, while not throwing at a heavy rate, has been fairly accurate averaging around a 58% rate (by no means good – but good enough for what we’re looking for).
Take a look at the graphic below.
Jackson obviously is a much better passer when it comes to the middle-right side of the field. This is likely a result of him rolling out so often and preferring to throw with his momentum rather than across his body.
The Browns line up there weaker linebackers and lineman on the right side of the field which leads me to believe Jackson will be able to thrive on that side with guys like Mark Andrews or Nick Boyle in addition to deep threat John Brown. If Jackson can put together a quality outing through the air in addition to what we know he’ll do on the ground this could be a smash spot for Jackson.
Low Tier: Eli Manning ($4900 – DK / $6500 – FD) – I don’t love this play but this could be the last time we ever see Eli Manning in a football game. If Manning knows this is his last name he should come out and toss the rock at an extremely high volume. Obviously beneficial for a 4.9k Superbowl QB no matter how much he has regressed over the last few years. If it is NOT his last game than he is essentially trying out for the starting job next year and showing the Giants he has something left in the tank and they can wait for another draft before snagging a QB.
While Eli has been terribly average this season, he has quietly put together the highest completion % of his career and is about to land another 4,000-yard season with a respectable TD/INT ratio.
The Giants are implied for over 23 points in this game and favored by close to a touchdown against the playoff-bound Cowboys. The Cowboys will likely be resting there defensive starters hopefully leading to a few breakdowns on the defensive end that will potentially lead to long touchdowns. The Cowboys are running a zone scheme that should be relatively similair to what we saw from the Colts last week where Sterling Shepard posted a huge game. (I’m big on Shepard this week – should’ve been last week as well – shoutout AC).
With that being said, Eli has more than enough upside to post a significant GPP score with so many factors in his favor this week.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (FP/$): Lamar Jackson
High: N/A – If I’m paying up I’m playing Saquon Barkley. He’s essentially the chalkiest running back in the high-tier on the slate. I don’t trust anyone else. Outside of Saquon, I’m looking for VALUE this week at running back which is not something I usually do.
Mid-Tier: David Johnson ($5,700 – DK / $7,100 – FD) – Running back is a pretty tough position this week and with nothing to play for I do have some concern about what type of volume we’ll get out of David Johnson but I do think he’ll be finishing the season out strong with quite the chip on his shoulder.
Johnson is underutilized in this offense but hopefully, they give him a chance to show what he’s got against a defense ranked 32nd in yards to opposing running backs. Even with the scary total on this game I think Johnson is a fantastic bet for a 100-yard game. If he can punch one or two into the end-zone and carry the Cardinals he could break the slate at this price.
Low Tier: Kenyan Drake ($3,700 – DK / $5,800 FD)- Drake’s price has come down even more on Draftkings and you just have to love his upside at this price. The Bills are by no means an easy matchup but this is one of the games where we should see the upper end of Drake’s utilization in what should be a fairly run-heavy game.
Drake was heavily involved in the passing game last week seeing 5 targets after just 3 and 1 the two weeks prior. Drake was able to produce in this role as a pass-catching back catching 4/5 targets for over 30 yards. If the Dolphins can stick with this plan of keeping Drake involved in the pass game while in addition giving him 8-12 chances to run, he could post a huge score this week. It’s not the safest play in the world, but his price point + upside make sense in GPPs.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (PT/$): Kenyan Drake
High Tier: JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,700 – DK / $7,900 FD) – Are people going to be down on JuJu this week after he fumbled to potentially cost the Steelers the playoffs in the last play of his last game? Possibly.
Do I believe that this is going to mentally hurt him on the football field therefor affecting his ability? Not a shot.
I follow JuJu closely on social media and if anything he is going to play his heart out in this game. JuJu is not the type of character to sulk on a mistake or get down on himself. He is going to come out with an extra step come Sunday.
The Steelers MUST win this game and you better believe that they are going to keep a pass-heavy approach the entire game scoring as many points as possible from start to finish. JuJu has already shown an elite catch % throughout his career much higher than the league average as seen below. While his aDOT isn’t where I would like it to be to see JuJu’s full potential he is taking advantage of every opportunity posting a 1.00 RACR this season. We are going to see major volume for JuJu this week and I think he is the top WR on the board (potentially aside from Davante Adams – if they are going for that yardage mark it would be smart to hit the lock button on him. Paying down big at running back this week will allow me to easily plug both of these higher tiered WR’s in.)
Mid Tier: Sterling Shepard ($5,400 – DK / $5,500 – FD) – As I mentioned in my Eli Manning breakdown, I am very high on Sterling Shepard this week and made the huge mistake of ignoring him last week in a similair spot. Shepard sees an impressive aDOT this season of 10 yards per target while easily surpassing his previous season high for air-yards.
With OBJ unlikely to play on Sunday this offense will flow through Barkley/Shepard/Engram. Shepard and Engram were the two players most efficient in last weeks game and we should see similair production against the Cowboy’s backup defensive backs who are playing a similair schematic on the defensive end.
As you can see Sterling Shepard throughout his career has consistently been able to post a higher than average catch rate than the league average in his usual aDOT range. With that being said, people still look at Shepard as a WR 2/3 and lack respect for him with OBJ and Barkley the two stars on this offense. If you know the player Shepard is you should know he’ll be looking for as much volume he can handle in his final game of the 2018 season as the New York Giants number one wide receiver.
Low-Tier: Kendrick Bourne ($3,800 DK / $4,900 FD) – Kendrick Bourne is a deep shot this week but I just keep coming back to him as I went through my research this week as my low-tier option. The undrafted wide receiver out of East Washington is going to get his chance in the NFL and I am buying into the narrative. While looking at Bourne’s raw metrics it is notable his is extremely agile (80th percentile) and has an above average catch radius for a WR.
98% of the DFS community will be throwing Bourne out the window this week but we will be part of the 2% giving him a shot in our tournaments. Bourne will be the wide-receiver one in a capable offense with Nick Mullens at QB and Shannahan calling the shots. He should expect anywhere from 6-9 targets this week in a game the 49ers will likely need to throw to keep up with the Superbowl potential Rams, who are favored by 10 points.
Bourne may not have turned into the fastest wide-receiver on the planet but he was a borderline phenom coming into college and should have an extra chip on his shoulder come Sunday. I don’t think he can possibly let us down at 3.8k this week.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (PT/$): Michael Gallup
Austin Hooper ($3,500 DK / $5,200 FD) – I think it’s going to be sharp to leave salary on the table this week where there are not a ton of high-tiered running backs I believe are worth paying up for. While I easily could have listed Travis Kelce or George Kittle here (two plays I love this week), if you are going double TE or looking to pay down I think Austin Hooper makes for a fantastic play on Draftkings at low ownership this week.
This game has one of the highest totals on the board at 52 and while Hooper’s target share has been extremely volatile. He does have that boom-or-bust potential in a matchup/game script that gives him a much better chance to ‘boom’. I love Hooper this week if you’re either paying down or looking to pair with a guy like Kelce.
I will be giving out more of my low-owned GPP’s plays on Sunday morning where I will be hosting an Instagram live show you can find @DFS_Karma on Instagram around 11am. Make sure to stay tuned and thanks for reading! I better see ALLLL the screenshots Monday morning with all of you RAKING in the cash! LET’S GOOOOO! #MONEYTEAM
WRITTEN BY: @ DF_ADVANTAGE – Follow me on Twitter
*THIS ARTICLE IS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR GPP ENTRY CONTESTS ON DRAFTKINGS AND FANDUEL. MY GOAL WHEN SHARING MY THOUGHTS/INFORMATION WITH YOU ALL IS THAT THESE PLAYERS COME IN UNDER 10-15% OWNED IN GPP’S. TO FIND PLAYERS THIS LOW OWNED, WE ARE TAKING ON A “BUST RISK”. THIS IS THE TYPE OF RISK AS A GPP PLAYER YOU NEED TO TAKE DOWN A TOURNAMENT. *