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FanDuel NFL Value Plays: Week 17 (2021)

Jan 2, 2021

Latavius Murray will be chalky at $5,500, but it’s chalk you will have to eat.

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Here we are, Week 17. We made it. We actually had a complete NFL season. Normally, when doing my Week 17 article I’ll discuss the difficulty of dealing with players sitting out as they get ready for the playoffs, and the headache that becomes, “who is even going to start?” Well, we’ve been dealing with that all season, and if you’re still reading this, you’ve been semi-successful at navigating it for the first 16 weeks, what’s one more…

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Quarterback

Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) $6,800 @ BUF
With Ryan Fitzpatrick ruled out this weekend, Tagovailoa is the unquestioned starter and there is zero chance he gets pulled in this game as he did last week. The Dolphins control their own destiny, win and they’re in, so there is no chance the coaches rest anyone for this game. The Bills are a much tougher defense now than they were earlier in the season, but there are rumors the Bills may rest some key veterans. At $6,800, I love Tua this week.

Running Back

Latavius Murray (NO) $5,500 @ CAR
Alvin Kamara has been ruled out of this game for COVID-related reasons, leaving Murray as the lead back. The Saints have an outside shot at the No. 1 seed, they need to win and have a few things happen in other games. However, those other games are being played at the same time as the Saints, so they won’t know their fate going in and will be playing to win. The Panthers rush defense is in the bottom third of the league, and other than playing spoiler, they have nothing to play for. Murray will be chalky at $5,500, but it’s chalk you will have to eat.

Alexander Mattison (MIN) $5,000 @ DET
Similar to the Saints’ situation, their star running back Dalvin Cook has been ruled out for Week 17, leaving Mattison as the lead back. Mattison has shown to be a viable alternative when given the opportunity — he had 15.1 FD points back in October when filling in for Cook. He also gets a great matchup with a Lions defense that ranks 29th and gave up 206 yards to Dalvin Cook in their last meeting. In fact, Mattison had 69 yards in that same game in relief of Cook. My strategy this week will be to plug in Mattison and Murray and stack some studs from other teams that have something to play for.

Wide Receiver

K.J. Hill (LAC) $4,600 @ KC
The Chargers won’t have Keenan Allen nor Hunter Henry, making all of their wide receivers good values against a Chiefs team that will be resting key players while getting ready for the playoffs. As far as I can tell, Justin Herbert is a full-go and he will need receivers to throw to. Hill will likely be the lowest owned of the group, and rightfully so, but he is my true punt play this weekend. He is a slot receiver that should get more looks in the middle of the field with Henry and Allen both out.

Lynn Bowden Jr. (MIA) $4,900 @ BUF
Both Dolphins’ wide receivers, DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant are questionable to play in this game. If one of them is ruled out, Bowden will step into the No. 2 role at wide receiver. We’ve seen the type of volume he has received in the past with Tagovailoa under center — 16 targets in a two-game span couple of weeks ago.

Tight End

Donald Parham Jr. (LAC) $4,200 @ KC
I mentioned earlier that tight end Hunter Henry was ruled out. That leaves Parham and Stephen Anderson as the main beneficiaries at the tight end spot. Parham was an XFL star that was maybe the best pass-catching tight end in that league’s short life span. Not to mention, he is huge, 6-foot-8 240 lbs huge, with 4.7-40 speed. He will make for a great red-zone target for Herbert.

Defense

LA Chargers $3,500 @ KC
And the third “Charger” to make the column is…their defense. Chad Henne will lead the Chiefs offense this weekend…if you can still call it the Chiefs’ offense. They will be without at least Tyreek Hill, Clyde-Edwards Helaire, and Sammy Watkins, with Travis Kelce and Le’Veon Bell likely out as well. The Chargers head coach will very likely be fired by Monday, any slim hope he has to stay on as coach would require him to beat the Chiefs — even a shell of the Chiefs.

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